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Vancouver Pride says human rights complaint resolved

‘Cooperation and goodwill’ helped resolve complaint with former employee, says VPS

Volunteers carry the rainbow flag at the 2015 Vancouver Pride parade. Credit: Sergei Bachlakov

The Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) released a statement April 27, 2016, saying it has settled a human rights complaint filed by former volunteer coordinator Melody Johnson.

The matter has been “appropriately resolved” by both parties, the statement says.

Johnson told Daily Xtra she filed a complaint with the BC Human Rights tribunal in October 2015, after the VPS fired her in July.

“The VPS acknowledges that an unfortunate set of circumstances caused some painful misunderstandings to develop,” reads the Pride Society statement.

“The VPS will be working constructively with Melody to improve its policies to better support future employees,” the statement continues. “Cooperation and goodwill between the parties has now allowed this matter to be concluded and both parties have mutually agreed to look forward and not comment publicly any further.”

Johnson did not respond to Daily Xtra’s request for comment on the VPS statement, though in early April she confirmed she and the VPS had attended a mediation by the Human Rights Tribunal, but said she was unable to offer any details.

In her complaint, Johnson alleged former VPS executive director Ray Lam failed to offer her support or accommodation after she says she was sexually assaulted by two men in an alley near Davie Street in May 2015.

A draft statement of defence, written by Lam and leaked to Daily Xtra, alleged Johnson had work performance issues and was not discriminated against.



Lam resigned after the 2015 Pride season, according to a statement from VPS president Tim Richards, emailed to Daily Xtra on Nov 2, 2016.



Lam’s resignation followed a summer of tension around the VPS’s mandatory trans pledge and several staff and board resignations.