Pride Toronto in turmoil after allegations of harassment and misuse of funds
The Pride Toronto board of directors says they are looking into concerns raised by volunteers, staff and board members this past summer about instances of verbal harassment and potential misuse of funds.
Pride's board released a statement earlier this week saying they took these allegations extremely seriously and began looking into them as soon as they were brought to light.
"We sought expert advice on the best practice to address these allegations in a way that would protect the people who submitted complaints and the people who were respondents; maintain confidentiality; eliminate potential conflict of interest; and ensure the legal integrity of any findings and consequences," the wrote in the statement posted to Twitter.
Pride says they hired an independent, third-party investigator named Gregory Ko to conduct an extensive, through investigation into the allegations.
"The potential misuse of funds relates to Board expenditures that were incurred before 2019," they wrote.
"Though the amounts at issue are very small compared to our Operating Budget, the Board felt it was essential for our own due dilligence, as well as our responsibility to our Membership, Sponsors and supporters that a third-party investigator have full power to investigate and report on any potential misuse of funds."
They also say the current board, which was formed on April 1, 2019, implemented new policies and procedures last May in order to improve transparency around their expenditures.
While the statement explains that a thorough investigation has been conducted, it does not include any details about the results or conclusions of said investigation.
They also didn't include any information about who exactly is being accused of verbal harassment.
This news comes as Olivia Nuamah, Pride Toronto’s former executive director, left her role just days ago.
The statement also invites readers to attend Pride's annual general meeting on January 29 as well as Pride festivities in June.
"The Board understands that our primary role is to provide Pride Toronto with trusted, stable, professional leadership," they wrote.
"That is why we chose to invest in the most thorough and independent investigation possible. We will continue to balance the need for fiscal responsibility and legal responsibilities with the need for a Festival that breaks boundaries, takes risks and imagines what is possible."
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