Chantelois called the worst things any “LGBT” person could possibly be called in purported internal staff E‑mail

That would be racist and transphobic, which to queers, transgenders, and LGBTs are exactly the same thing.

  • Global News article

  • Picture of Gmail message dated July 7

  • Text of that message:

    Pride Toronto Staff Statement

    We, the undersigned staff at Pride Toronto, have written this letter to you to indicate our complete lack of confidence in the skills, abilities, and motivations of the current Executive Director to lead Pride Toronto. Furthermore, our solidarity has only now given us the courage to raise serious issues related to the ED’s performance over the last 18 months that we feel are important for you to be aware of as you prepare your annual performance review.

    Over the last eighteen months, the staff of Pride Toronto have regularly experienced intimidation. verbal abuse, manipulation, and deceit, which we have come to accept as core elements of Mathieu’s personality and character.

    We have been subject to racist, sexist, and transphobic comments, sexual harassment, and personal attacks. He has hired his friends without conducting interviews, lied to the media, the community, volunteers and the staff, and made us feel unsafe about disagreeing with him on anything. He has made derogatory comments about staff to other staff members, including comments about firing staff once the festival was over, and used Staff against each other to protect himself. In multiple situations, staff have been concerned with substance issues and been exposed to controlled substances that he has physically left in the office. He has tokenized staff members, volunteers, and members of the community, he has been afraid to have difficult conversations about community politics or with community, and he has crafted the festival in his own image rather than in the best interests of the community.

    He has intentionally kept us at arms’ length from you as the board, leaving us to feel unsupported, vulnerable and unprotected. For many months, we didn’t feel safe even to talk to each other. He has created an office environment that is manipulative, divisive, and ultimately toxic.

    The staff and volunteer ream worked collaboratively to put together a successful 2016 festival despite the lack of support and trust from the leader of the organization. The situation has been ongoing from the moment he began working here, but it has grown steadily more difficult to bear, especially in the last 72 hours. The lies and manipulation around Black Lives Matter, the failure to adhere to an agreed-upon emergency plan, and the lack of support that BLM experienced from the organization comes from the same place as his ongoing treatment of the staff.

    We request to meet together with the full Board minus the Co-Chairs, facilitated by a board member[,] to share our individual experiences over the last eighteen months and provide specific examples to support the claims we have made in this letter. We have given serious thought to what we are stating and we are prepared to speak to our accusations as a group.

    We further request that our concerns be formally considered as part of the board’s annual performance review of the Executive Director. We are dedicated to the mission and vision of Pride Toronto and signed up to be part of an organization that promotes inclusion, respect, and collaboration. The current leader of our organization embodies none of these traits and we find the situation to be unacceptable.

    We urgently await your reply[.]

  • Response, obviously from token white male cochair Aaron GlynWilliams (picture):

    Thank you, everyone, for bringing this to our attention. The Board of Directors met this afternoon and this is our top priority. We will be in touch with you all about next steps imminently.

    In the meantime, we ask that you please do not share this E‑mail or its contents with anyone. This is a highly confidential matter, and the Board expects your full cooperation in this regard as we move forward with addressing your concerns.

  • Later, Pride had to issue another statement, also not linked from its homepage or anywhere you would reasonably look for it.

    Pride Toronto feels the need to clarify certain information currently in circulation regarding the resignation of its former Executive Director, Mathieu Chantelois.

    Pride Toronto’s Board of Directors did receive a letter from its staff on July 7, 2016 which detailed serious allegations against the Executive Director.

    Immediately following receipt of the letter, the Board retained the services of a law firm that specializes in workplace investigations to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the letter’s allegations. At the commencement of the investigation, a copy of the letter was shared with the Executive Director.

    Rather than complete the investigation, Mathieu Chantelois chose to submit his resignation. The Board accepted his resignation.

    In what has been a difficult time for Pride Toronto, we had hoped to resolve this issue in a manner that protected the privacy of our employees. However, given recent events, we feel the need to set the record straight.

    Pride Toronto now looks ahead to our town hall meetings later this month. We look forward to recruiting a new Executive Director to the organization, and hosting a dynamic and inclusive festival in 2017.

Lesson on how to substantiate electronic mail

Being computer-illiterate (this means inexperienced, technically untutored, and Windows-using), Global News reporters did not do the obvious thing and ask for an electronic (not printed) copy of the claimed E‑mail with headers visible.

That would go a long way to substantiating the source of the mail, at least at the level of what organization or ISP was used to send it.

This is relevant to Chantelois because of my direct experience with him during his time at TFO. It involves nudie pics he has no cause to be ashamed of and someone’s use of TVO servers to send me harassing E‑mail. But I’ll save that for another day.

Posted: 2016.08.10 ¶ Updated: 2016.08.11