Wednesday, June 1, 2011

One Person's Account Of Last Night's Toronto Humane Society Board Election - Seems It Was More Akin To A WWE Event!

I attended the General Meeting at THS last night I am not involved much with their issues and don't know the full story however I was curious to see what was going on. I will tell you that I have never seem such a farce in my life. The patients definitely are running the asylum It doesn't matter if you are pro or con Tim Trow because that is incidental to my point. However if Mother Theresa were running for the THS Board of Directors she would never have gotten in. Votes were padded by employees who screamed and yelled and carried on worse than the animals they are supposed to be looking after. People were shoved and insulted. One man was escorted out by police because he stood up and screamed the election was unfair. No one could make a fair choice because the THS supporters who wanted their own people in would not let others talk. You could not hear anyone for all the heckling and insults being thrown at anyone who was not the favored choice of the present Board. I will never ever be associated with this organization again. Many of us who are civilized, walked out of there in total shock after witnessing this whole debacle. Not only was it shocking, it was extremely upsetting to see anyone acting out in the manner they did. God help our animals because there are unbalanced people looking after them.
*Do you have an personal account of the meeting? Share what you witnessed by commenting on this post.

20 comments:

  1. I sincerely believe this post is probably from a pro-Tim Trow supporter seeking to find anything redeeming about him in light of the abuses documented on the public record (Link here: http://ottawahumane.ca/news/ospca_release.cfm )

    Yes, the meeting was slightly raucous as pro-Trow people were routinely booed and anyone expressing the slightest anti-Trow sentiments were accorded a heroic applause. Yes, there was some rudeness and attempted shouting down of pro-Trow speakers, but the President and Chair consistently reminded that everyone was to be accorded civility and respect. Differences in opinion were valid but respect for all was defended and encouraged at all times.

    It must be understood that much of the rudeness came from employee and volunteers who suffered terrible personal abuse and trauma under the reign of Tim Trow. Think what it would be like if a rapist was permitted to make speeches to his victims... Important: I am NOT not not not not intimating Tim was guilty of that, I simply am trying to draw a parallel for the sake of understanding the emotional duress those people were under. As well many of them were young, unfamiliar with the formalities of public meetings and for many, it was the very first time they could be heard by the membership and able to call Mr Trow on his version of the truth.

    The one gentleman who was ejected by Police was protesting that people outside the overflow room on the patio could not hear the speakers (microphone acoustics were not great). A fair comment. The problem was that even after he was acknowledged, thanked and the problem rectified, he continued to shout down (not-pro-Tim-Trow) speakers and be loudly abusive and threatening. The disruption to the meeting continued until he was ejected for disruption of the proceedings by Police. (I was in that room)

    Given the experience of past AGM's, no one could have predicted such an in-person turnout of such magnitude. 271 in attendance, where in past it was very rare to get more than 80 or so people there. The majority of the membership exercised their legal right to vote via proxies. In the past, Tim Trow would appear with 700-800 proxies in hand and subsequently ignore those 80 or so present, waving them when challenged or asked a question - which as he ran the meetings as Chair and President in the past, meant he was able to totally ignore valid questions about finances, etc. from members in the room.

    Now - THAT was rude, uncivil, disrespectful and it was in the past that "The patients definitely are running the asylum", the chief patient being Mr Tim Trow himself.

    Ken Wood - newly elected Director to the board of the Toronto Humane Society

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the account Ken, and congratulations! Now that all's said & done, it's time to keep focusing on helping those needy animals across the city! I'm certainly hoping the city votes in favour of the motion passed yesterday placing stricter protocols on animals in pet shops. Cheers :)

    PS if there's ever anything you want to communicate to the public through my blog, simply email me at torontopetdaily@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. After hearing your speech last night I can understand your reluctance to accept any of the blame for those employees who were worked into a frenzy of hysteric proportions. Am I to take from your post that age is an excuse for ignorance. If that is the case then what is your justification. You did not address the members by telling them how good you would be or what you would do for the animals. You told them how bad Trow was and what he had done. You lost my vote at that time. No where in my post did I even comment on Trows redeeming or unredeeming qualities. I specifically said my point was not whether you are or are not a Trow supporter. My point had to do solely with the way the election was conducted. I was there with an open mind to make a decision on who to vote for after hearing all of the candidates. I was not allowed to do so because of your group continually interrupting, insulting, cat calling, pointing, holding signs and generally acting like school children so potential candidates withdrew from speaking rather than face the backlash from your group. Yes the Chair kept reminding people to be civil. However that group was not about to listen to her or anyone else. So despite whatever weak attempts were made to quieten the crowd, it did not happen. THS should never have allowed their employees to stage protest with mega phones to greet members entering the meeting. Being there on my own and not of a particular big stature I found it intimidating and upsetting. As for the man who was taken out by police. You are absolutely misinformed or lying. He was not abusive or threatening. He was loud and he made three very good points. You failed to mention those around him applauded his observations. The Board members are hypocrits, the election was unfair and no one could hear on the patio. That was all he said and he was right. I was sitting directly in front of where he was standing when he shouted. He had his say and sat down behind me without saying another word. However the police still came in at the insistence of Downey and escorted him out. Do not attempt to sugar coat what went on or your involvement. There were too many people who witnessed the whole affair for it to be denied. This post alone speaks of what is wrong with this Board. You keep saying you don't want to get stuck in the past and you want to move forward but even after you have been elected you could not bring yourself to addressing what benefits you plan for the animals and THS. You go back to the same complaints about events that took place in the past. No wonder that man called you all hypocrits. Come to think of it I didn't hear anyone of the favored people mention future plans for THS. It would appear they feel in order to make themselves look good, they need to make someone else look bad. You should be ashamed of yourself for the infantile, cowardly manner in which you and the other board members won your seat. If I were in your place I certainly wouldn't be bragging about it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. To be fair I think people should read a few other accounts of the AGM before making a judgement call. Here are two blog postings about it.

    http://iwantapounddog.blogspot.com/2011/06/toronto-humane-society-annual-general.html

    http://animalfarm-selkie.blogspot.com/2011/06/its-not-end-its-beginning.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. "Votes were padded by employees"
    Excuse me, is the original poster suggesting there was voting fraud?
    Is there factual evidence for such an allegation, or is someone just being inflammatory?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't think that is a fair characterization. I was a candidate on the board-favoured slate (as well as an incumbent) and never once said anything to insult anyone else running. Neither did David Bronskill, for instance. Moreover, the chair and president were exceptionally courteous to all candidates. Michael Downey specifically addressed the crowd before Tim's speech and reminded them to be civil and courteous.

    -Crystal

    ReplyDelete
  7. "votes were padded" meant the employees of THS voted as they were told to by their employer. I was told all employees were instructed to join in order to do bring a little more insurance to the Board backed candidates or risk losing their job. An employee told me that herself on election night.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My aplogies Crystal, you were the only candidate who spoke of the future and not the past as did David Bronskill. You both got my vote! However in my defense you were only two out of the 16 or 18 candidates who conducted them selves professionally with any kind of decorum or respect for the process. The rest were disgusting in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous, your ignorance is appalling. Thank goodness you left. Please stay gone. Your comments are full of highly skewed opinions and lies. Here's one: "employees of the THS votes as they were told to by their employer". Really? Prove it. The THS publicly suggested their choice of slate members. No one forced anyone to vote against their will.

    You say the "rest were disgusting". Maybe you need to reconsider your offensive language. Many things are disgusting, like animal hoarding, neglect, letting animals die in their cages - all things which Trow allowed to happen under his watch at the THS. Maybe that's what you should be disgusted at instead of your impotent self-righteousness with regards to the candidates - who will do more for animal care than you ever will with your petulant attitude.

    Next time, do some research before you go get yourself involved in something you apparently know nothing about. People like you in your ignorance end up supporting people like Trow because he sounds nice and then when animals die because of his inability to run a shelter, you don't do a thing.

    And anyone posting a comment under "Anonymous" shouldn't be calling anyone else a coward, coward.

    ReplyDelete
  10. RE: "votes were padded"

    LOL. You do make it sound like North African democracy at work. How deliciously conspiratorial.

    The employees I know were not told who to vote for.

    There was a general fear amongst the employees that if Trow returned, many would be fired by him for political reasons. So yes, see that Tim doesn't get elected (i.e. back the Board candidates) or you job may be at risk seems pretty obvious doesn't it?

    An informal survey by staff indicated 80% were not in favour of the Tim Trow slate. The employees who were there didn't seem to need any prodding or coercion to make their voices heard; they seemed pretty sure that they didn't want Tim in power.

    The only padding is between your ears, brother ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. @ Truly Anderson-I have absolutely no idea what went on at the election but your comments make you seem very pompous & perhaps you should research just what offensive language is.
    Just my thoughts from reading all the comments above & btw I am a THS supporter & have recently adopted a dog from THS.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I was there and was appalled at the behaviour of the employees outside the meeting - incredibly rude and obnoxious. As far as I can tell they are quite happy to have half the work to do now that the cages are almost empty all the time. I have seem some be truly caring about the animals but certainly not all. Only Crystal as a Board member seems to care about the animals and she is a sell out to me because she has sided with OSCPA endorsed other Board members and with half the animals now going to TAS is clearly now supporting a much higher rate of euthanasia. She has lost any credibility she once had. The attempts of the Chair to quieten things down were very half hearted. I was a monthly donor and am now stopping. Several people I spoke to are doing the same. They have lost faith in the THS. Tuesday's meeting did nothing to give any comfort to this 25 year veteran in the animal welfare world. This is Anonymous as I have gotten incredibly hostile and rude emails before from ignorant current Board supporters. Young and incredibly ignorant of the real world of animals rights and welfare in Toronto and Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "There was a general fear amongst the employees that if Trow returned, many would be fired by him for political reasons. So yes, see that Tim doesn't get elected (i.e. back the Board candidates) or you job may be at risk seems pretty obvious doesn't it?" Really???!!! People should have voted in candidates who were going to do the most and best for the animals--not because they wanted to keep their jobs!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Don't assume that because someone works at THS they care about animals. I remember a number of employees being very belligerent about the dog park as that would take some of their parking places. They were not at all concerned about the animals. I do know of some volunteers and workers who are not happy with some of the Board but are too afraid to speak out. They too are worried about their jobs but for a different reason and that is sadly because they really do care about animals and a half vacant shelter that turns away many animals and allows many to be euthanized is not something to be proud of and they are fearful of speaking out. They also detest how cozy the THS has gotten to the OSPCA due to strong relationships between certain Board and executive members and the OSPCA organization.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Employees of the THS should not be allowed to vote. Clearly there was a conflict of interest.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ken Wood says "much of the rudeness came from employee and volunteers who suffered terrible personal abuse and trauma under the reign of Tim Trow. Think what it would be like if a rapist was permitted to make speeches to his victims."
    Are you for real? This is absolutely ludricrious! Who is FORCED to stay working or volunteering in an organization that is so incredibly abusive and traumatizing!!! Your comment is offensive to those who have truly suffered sexual abuse. I believe that the board deliberately allowed those employees to behave in such a disgusting and unprofessional manner. It was also disgusting that some of the board endorsed candidates had to denigrate others in order to build themselves up. Ken Wood was one of them. Lisa Gibbons started it off and it was disgraceful. I have no respect for these people.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Not impressed that a Board member - Ken Wood, is also a lier. Having been at the meeting the person ejected was not being abusive and in fact behaved far better that the outright rude employees, and the Board endorsed candidates including Ken who didn't speak about what they could do for the animals but were there bashing other people. I really doubt they truly care about the animals. I am just so sad to the see the THS the way it is today. Once it was truly at the forefront of animal welfare and now it is just a pale shell. No one involved with the THS today should be proud of how they don't take in strays and how many they hand over to be killed. The empty space and the OSPCA butt kissing Board members. Given the recent news of how badly the OSPCA screwed up in Newmarket how can anyone who cares about animals feel at piece with Linda McKinnon and others being at THS - they have VERY close ties to the OSPCA. What a joke.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Basically this was an exercise in mob mentality. And if Ken Wood (see his little diatribe above) is a shining example of how "polite and civil" the board was, then heaven help us. If anyone should feel they were facing their "rapist" it's Trow in facing these people. The OSPCA charges against him were thrown out, not because of some little technical error, but because his human rights were grossly violated. That, and the way in which, the OSPCA violated his rights only proves that their raid was a witch hunt and a smear campaign. The AGM was just a sickening extension of this same perverted process.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The man who was thrown out was just trying to say he couldn't hear anything due to the mob of unruly employees, etc. If he had been yelling with the mob supporting the Board and their selection he never would have been tossed. Their is is no integrity with this group. I came prepared to hear everyone's side and quite frankly as a business person was supremely unimpressed with how the meeting was conducted. I cannot believe the President is in business as this would never be tolerated and being a member of other Not-for-Profits I have never seen a meeting allowed to be so disrupted by supporters of one side. Was a real lesson in how low this Board has allowed things to sink. Another point - It was due to Peter Worthington's columns in the Sun that got the THS way back when to stop using electrocution to kill the animals. He has long been an animal welfarist. To hear him booed by immature, young people who combined could never ever hope to accomplish one iota of what he has for the animals was a defining moment for me. There really is an abysmal lack of leadership at the THS and very few there who truly are there for the animals and not to pad their resume or there for the power.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I had wanted to ask some financial questions but I was so disturbed and distracted all I could think about was getting the hell out of there. For example: How many thousands of dollars have been, and will continue to be, spent(wasted)on the Victoria Park satellite location that has been closed for over a year? Last July, right after announcing that donations were down almost 60% why did the board bring in an HR consultant who was being paid $100 per hour? What did this person accomplish?

    ReplyDelete