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Knives out for PTS director

Knives out for PTS director

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Members angry after AGM once again fails to meet quorum
The grand marshal of Capital Pride 2012 has called for the resignation of Pink Triangle Services executive director Claudia Van Den Heuvel following a failed PTS annual general meeting Sept 25.
 
T Eileen Murphy is angry because members were not notified that their memberships had expired, which meant the AGM was once again unable to meet quorum. An AGM scheduled on Aug 26 also did not meet quorum.
 
“I think we should dissolve the whole organization, starting with the ED. It’s time to get rid of the ED and stop this dictatorship,” Murphy says. “We’ve had two resignations of the last two presidents, and there’s no reason for that except the ED. The ED is setting up these bylaws to have more power.”
 
Several key community members voiced concerns ahead of the meeting about proposed bylaws they say would give the executive director too much control over financial and board decisions. Five PTS board members have resigned from PTS in the past year.
 
Lyle Borden, who sat on the PTS board for six years, says Van Den Heuvel feels she does not have to be responsible to the board.

“You have to have accountability of the ED to the board. Not the other way around or watered down,” he says.

Several voting members, including Murphy; Capital Pride's director of community relations, Joanne Law; and former PTS board member Gary Leger, walked out of the meeting.
 
PTS outreach worker Lindsay Ly says it was an immature response to what she thinks is a conflict of opinion.
 
“It’s really important to talk about these things . . . Because people walked out, there was no opportunity for dialogue,” Ly says. “As people who know PTS and as people who supported it at one point, I think that those values in their mind should come above little petty things.”

Ly says the discourse is an example of members being divided along generational lines. 
 
Acting president Jessica Freedman says the failure to reach quorum disappointed the board, especially because members had several pressing issues to discuss.
 
“I look forward to the next AGM. It is certainly my hope and expectation that there will be a full and complete consideration of the issues that face the association,” Freedman says. “We’re all working very hard -- the board, the executive director and her staff -- to do the work that we’re entrusted to do for the queer community in Ottawa.”

But Leger says none of this matters if the organization can’t reach quorum at its AGM.
 
“Claudia talked about numbers [in a previous Xtra article.] While her financial numbers are great, they are funded way too heavily by the city on one side and not enough from corporate or community. Yet what she needs to be careful of is her numbers that count. Where were her numbers today?” Leger asks. “The numbers that counted today were not at that table. Otherwise, she’d have quorum.”
 
A representative from United Way Ottawa, one of PTS’s main funders, observed the contentious meeting. But Barry Keegan, United Way Ottawa’s manager of media relations and communications, says he can’t comment on discord at PTS.
 
The board of directors will hold a special meeting on Oct 1 to discuss how to move forward. The next AGM is planned for Nov 28. It will be the third attempt to reach quorum this year.
 
Listen to an audio file of the AGM below.  
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Comments

Public or Private
To respond to the argument by J. Bond that the PTS AGM was a private meeting. Back in 2000, the Objectives of PTS in the Letters Patent were changed to include the borader public. Among these objectives, I cite two: 1. To foster an understanding of homosexuality by providing community, educational and research services to the Public. 2. To assist the Public in being good consumers of professional and community services by providing social and other professional network support referrals and to gather and maintain other reference materials. Itr just seems to me that an organisation that has the public at large mentioned so prominently in its objectives should have open AGM's. Besides, whether the AGM is a public or a private meeting has never been an issue in the past 28 years, and it is my opinion that it should not be an issue now. What happens at PTS is of interest not only to PTS members but to the greater Queer community and the public at large. PTS AGM's should continue to be open meetings.
J.Bond
Dear J.Bond. What in the hell are you even talking about? We're all in the same fight, dude. Bradley's recording was unethical (possibly) and Kayla's questioning that. As part of journalistic integrity and code of conduct, every journalist has to be open to having their practices questioned, and has to engage in that conversation. Bradley hasn't engaged anyone in any conversation, but has only quoted journalistic exemption from the law. Don't talk to people like you're the only one who's fought for our freedoms. We're still fighting that same fight, and PTS provides services for people who are fighting that fight, and are still victims of the opposing side. Perhaps you should remember that we're all on the same side (in theory) and stop attacking those who are trying to ensure justice.
Corruption and Freedom of the Press
Violation of privacy
Bradley, at what point did you ask permission and receive unanimous consent from everyone present in the room to be recorded and posted on line? Not to mention that the recording took place in private room reserved for a private meeting. At no point during the recording have you mentioned that you were recording.
Again this is just another perfect example of unethical, yellow journalism by Xtra and in particular Bradley.
Kayla, Ottawa

Perhaps Kayla should remember what we have fought for. It has taken MANY years for our freedom, INCLUDING the press, so KEEP GOING BRAD!
You know, Karma like a boomerang can swing around sometimes Kayla. MANY things have been recorded, sometimes audio/visual when we least expect it. Then, boom, it comes back to bite us in the ass.
R.Nixon
Orleans
THE OTTAWA COMMUNITY !
I have live in ottawa for 21 years and its always the same thing , those who fight to get things done get stranded with unresolved issues that need to be over and done with. Also i would look at making ottawa pride better , meaning block off the streets for a day or two especially on saturday and sunday when yu have thusands of people , and more then 2 stages i would focus 5 smaller stages and 1 big one. I would like to see this happen for next years pride !!
Ethics in journalism, again
Jean Yves asked me a question. As this is a blog and not a dialogue, I have to say I am not a journalism expert. I was editor of a monthly LGBT paper for about 8 years, but this was quite a while ago, and things do change. For the ethical issue in the question, The best I could find was from The Association of Electronic Journalists at: www.rtndacanada.com/ETHICS/codeofethics.asp Their Code of Ethics at ARTICLE FOUR (Privacy)states: Broadcast journalists will respect the dignity, privacy and well being of everyone with whom they deal, and will make every effort to ensure that news gathering and reporting does not unreasonably infringe privacy except when necessary in the public interest. Hidden audio and video recording devices should only be used when it is necessary to the credibility or accuracy of a story in the public interest. So, in my view, it`s a mattter of balance: where is the public interest? To let the public know what happened by publishing a recording, or to withold that information from the public because it may inhibit anyone who isn't comfortable with being recorded. My opinion is that a greater good is served by publishing. That freedom of the press is helpful to the LGBT community as a whole who are able to get to hear the full story. It would have been next to impossible for the reporter to describe in words in an XTRA article the content of the audio file, so it had to be published so that those of us who could not attend but remain keenly interested in PTS could find out what happened at the meeting. That's it, I've decided this is enough for me on this issue, so I will not respond any further. For those really interested in this subject, please take an ethics in journalism course, or a course in Constitutional law and journalism.
Denis
That went by a little fast for me. If I understand it correctly, a reporter doesn't need to announce themselves at a meeting, doesn't need to gain consent of, or even give knowledge to, ANY of the attendees of the meeting that they're to record, and doesn't need to let anyone know that recording is going to be published. THAT, sir, sounds like it would greatly inhibit anyone who isn't comfortable with being recorded and having their voices heart over the internet to have their voices heard at this meeting, would it not? How, exactly, is that freedom of the press helpful to our community?
Replies, about the Press
You are making it personal, Jessica, please stop it. You do not have my permission to publicly publish statements as to what I may or not be aware of - you do not know me. My comment was very clearly referencing the article at issue, Knives out...by Mr. Turcotte, reporting on the PTS AGM. No one was outed, no lives dismissed, and no privacy rights breached by the article at issue, or by the reporter. And there was no breach of journalistic ethics in the article by Mr. Turcotte. The freedon of the Press we have in Canada is very precious, and it is not just for XTRA. It is to be treasured and not limited due to some imagined or possible harm the press may cause unless their freedom is limited for one arbitrary reason or another. This is what happens in fascist states and in dictatorships. I prefer the Canadian way. Here, there are no special rules for journalists that apply only to the LGBT community and I like it. That way, it's fair, for everyone. A brief information note for Jean Yves: I do not believe there is any difference in journalism between referencing a recording for your notes and publishing a recording. The recording itself, a photo or a video can become part of the story. Like a journalist's notes, a recording, a video, or a photo can all be used by a journalist to report the facts that occured at an event. They are the journalist's tools and they are equally protected, like a journalist's words.
Denis
Denis: is it just me, or is there a DRASTIC difference between referencing a recording for your notes and publishing a recording? I'm pretty sure there is. How are the meeting's attendees supposed to know if the journalist is there as a journalist or as a community member?
just because you can. . . . .
Just because someone CAN do something, doesn't mean they should, or that it is right. You make an effective argument justifying unethical practice within the community, Denis LeBlanc. Simply because you're personally unaware of someone who was inadvertently outed to a parent, a partner, a boss, or clients, doesn't mean it didn't happen--or that somewhere, in OUR community, people at this very moment endure intense suffering. But since its in the name of freedom of the press, I suppose its OK. (Let's be precise, freedom of Xtra.) Those who advocate unrestricted and irresponsible information-gathering seem unaware of the existence of ethics, that privacy, particularly for LGBT/queer people (especially youth), and FROM "Canada's Gay & Lesbian Paper," is somehow not important because they don't need it, seem like some awkward giant, lumbering destructively around some little person's Lego village. How can they so blithely disdain and dismiss the lives of others, in their own community (!), who do not have the same confidence, self-esteem, life-circumstances and ability to speak out as they do? I do not disdain these lives; I cannot dismiss them.
Referee Required
It looks like this debate needs a referee. I'd like to remind everyone that one guideline for reader comments states: Do not get personal and do not defame others. I feel there have been far too many personal attacks in this debate. This is a very interesting and lively debate. Please try to provide your ideas and opinions on the subjects at hand, and respect other points of view even if these are very different from yours.

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