CFI Canada gets a shake-up, comes clean
After receiving some flak (some of it merited, some of it not) over my article indicating my worry that the CFI’s Board of Directors was fractured over Justin Trottier’s dismissal, and that this fact alone demanded that the organization come clean to members regarding the details. While I had managed to get a few details of what was happening, it was clear from every other article out there that no one was 100% aware of the facts, and this was precisely my original complaint. A lack of transparency was the crux of the problem, demonstrating that that the board was susceptible to outside influence and could fall victim to a situation similar to what transpired:
On November 21, Derek Pert wrote to the board requesting that he be terminated with severance. Derek indicated that he thought he lacked sufficient support from the board to carry out his duties. The board held an emergency meeting on the evening of Wednesday, November 23. At that meeting the board passed a motion confirming that Derek had full authority to carry out the responsibilities associated with the position of National Executive Director.
There followed a motion to terminate Derek Pert with severance of $50,000. The motion was made by Michael Gardiner. The motion was properly seconded and a vote was taken. The motion failed 6-3, with Michael Gardiner, Ian McCuaig, and board chair Carol Parlow voting for the motion.
Late on the night of November 23, Derek Pert submitted a letter of resignation. On November 24, in quick succession, directors Michael Gardiner and Ian McCuaig and board chair Carol Parlow submitted their letters of resignation.
That doesn’t sound fucking sketchy at all. Former board member Ian insists the motion was done as a symbolic gesture, but this whole affair smells like a major scam. You don’t play around with member money, especially when there is so much at stake.
As for what the future holds, I’m not sure Justin should come back. His presence could further divide members who already had to pick camps (trust me, I read all about their opinion in the comment section) and it could have the appearance of impropriety. I think, however, that the opportunity is there for a lot of exciting changes to happen. I do agree that CFI’s mission hasn’t always been clear, and increased professionalism would benefit their image. I also think that they need to increase their media strategy, and have professional press people that could represent secular issues in the news (both local and national). It’s time to get serious and show everyone that CFI can thrive in the face of a crisis. The Simpsons have a word for this kind of thing: crisitunity!