Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Report in Le Devoir on R & D Employees' Letter

There is a report in Le Devoir this morning indicating that employees of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development have sent a joint letter to Aurel Braun, Jacques Gauthier and Elliot Tepper demanding their immediate resignation from R & D's Board: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/canada/280911/droits-et-democratie-en-crise-dirigeants-et-employes-reclament-la-demission-du-president-du-conseil.

Later: Less detailed report in English on same topic; http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/81278482.html 

January 13: Fragment from report in today`s Globe and Mail The employees of Rights & Democracy have unanimously demanded the resignation of the board's chair, Aurel Braun, and two vice-chairs, saying they mistreated the organization's president Remy Beauregard in the months before his death.
At the same time, Mr. Beauregard's widow, Suzanne Trepanier, has insisted that Prof. Braun's name be removed from the message of remembrance displayed on the group's website, describing it as "hypocrisy."
Ms. Trepanier said in a letter to Mr. Braun that the way her late husband was treated for the last year of his life made it impossible for her to accept his expressions of regret.
"You don't treat a person like you did with Remy and then praise his qualities after he is dead. This is, to me, hypocrisy," she wrote.
Prof. Braun, who teaches at the University of Toronto, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

January 14: Former Presidents of D&D, Ed Broadbent, Warren Allmand, Jean-Louis Roy et Jean-Paul Hubert write to the PM: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/canada/281058/a-la-defense-de-droits-et-democratie
"Quatre anciens présidents de Droits et Démocratie ont apporté leur soutien aux employés en colère. Dans une autre lettre envoyée à Stephen Harper, et dont Le Devoir a obtenu copie, Ed Broadbent, Warren Allmand, Jean-Louis Roy et Jean-Paul Hubert réclament une enquête indépendante. « Cette enquête devrait porter une attention particulière au rôle et aux agissements du conseil d'administration », expliquent-ils, selon le quotidien. « Compte tenu des informations qui nous sont parvenues relativement aux circonstances qui ont entouré le décès de M. Beauregard, nous croyons que le comportement de certains membres du conseil d'administration soulève de sérieuses interrogations qui méritent l'attention du gouvernement », ajoutent-ils." http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2010/01/14/001-droits-democratie-rebelles.shtml#commenter

January 15: "In an interview yesterday, Mr. Braun, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto, called the suggestion that board members contributed to Mr. Beauregard's death ludicrous.  . . . He also questioned whether the staff letter made public this week was authentic because it was sent by email and contained only typed names, not signatures. .  .  . Following his death, his widow, Suzanne Trepanier, said she had been told by a coroner that her husband's heart attack was likely linked to the stress he was under.": http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=2443403.

January 20: Aurel Braun, Jacques Gauthier, Brad Farquhar, Elliot Tepper, David Matas, Marco Navarro Genie and Michael Van Pelt respond by Op-Ed in National Post: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2010/01/20/aurel-braun-jacques-gauthier-brad-farquhar-elliot-tepper-david-matas-marco-navarro-g-233-nie-and-michael-van-pelt-committed-to-accountability-and-oversight.aspx 
But then an article appeared on this in the Winnipeg Free Press (http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/82205207.html) that says: Payam Akhavan, another Conservative appointee who quit the board earlier this month, said Braun's assertion of the board being stonewalled was "absolutely false."  Akhavan, a McGill University law professor who specializes in human rights, said the real dispute is not over Israel and Gaza - where the agency has virtually no presence - but rather control of Rights and Democracy's day-to-day operations, and a board that was trying to "usurp power" and "micro manage."Akhavan said raising the anti-Israel card is part of a "concerted campaign" by the board to polarize public opinion about the agency.

My comment:  The bottom line is that Braun, Tepper and Gauthier provide no account for why the staff at D&D and Mme Trepanier are SO upset with them.  This does not bode well.

January 21: "Troubled rights agency asked for government help months ago: documents" Winnipeg Free Press http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/82294287.html

January 25: David Matas issues a rambling commentary that appears to imply that he expects that the resolution of the current crisis can only be through the disbanding of D&D altogether: http://ezralevant.com/Matas%20R%26D.doc

January 28: Looks like the situation will be addressed by Ottawa: Le ministre des Affaires étrangères, Lawrence Cannon, a demandé à son sous-ministre adjoint, Gérald Cossette, d'éclaircir la situation à Droits et Démocratie. Il mènera une vérification et fera un rapport au ministre. C'est la première indication que le gouvernement Harper se préoccupe de la crise qui secoue l'organisme fédéral depuis le 8 janvier dernier.

No comments: