Moose Jaw Pride dissolves after discovery of large financial liabilities


Moose Jaw Pride will dissolve as an organization due to excessive financial liabilities. (Darrin Morash/CBC – image credit)

Moose Jaw Pride members voted unanimously at its annual general meeting on Sunday to dissolve the organization and liquidate its assets.

The vote came after the organization’s board learned of large financial liabilities – totaling more than $100,000 – earlier this year.

Moose Jaw Pride Chairman of the Board, Cole Ramsey, told CBC that during the pandemic, monthly financial reports – provided by the executive director – were either presented orally or not presented at all, under the pretext that the financial statements had not been completed by the organization’s accountant. with.

Ramsey said they became suspicious earlier this year after receiving an email from a granting agency alerting Moose Jaw Pride to an overdue grant report.

Cole Ramsey

Cole Ramsey

From there, the board eventually discovered that no accounting had been done in 2021 and liabilities had accrued, Ramsey said.

“All I was told in talking to our former accountant was that they were told their services would no longer be needed,” Ramsey said.

According to an accurate financial statement as of August 31, liabilities include $90,000 in loans, more than $3,700 in grants to be repaid and nearly $2,000 for the rental of a photocopier.

Various transactions were also charged to a credit card which the council was unaware of until last month.

The organization has earned just over $1,100 since the start of the year and has about $15,000 in assets. His balance currently sits at less than $6,800.

Darin Morash/CBC

Darin Morash/CBC

Ramsey said all financial duties were the responsibility of the organization’s executive director – who, from September 2019 until last month, was Taylor Carlson.

Ramsey confirmed that it was Carlson who last contacted the accountant. Carlson was fired by the board on August 11.

According to Ramsey, Carlson was reported to the police.

Carlson did not respond to requests for comment.

Operations to slow down slowly

Ramsey said Moose Jaw Pride still has to pay off its debts. Although there is a small chance that she can get enough money to pay them off and continue operating, dissolution is likely.

The result also means that the Rainbow Retro Thrift Shop, opened by the organization in 2018 as an additional source of income, will close from this weekend. Rainbow Retro was questioned in the organization’s financial report, as just over $12,000 was recorded as store revenue, but the money was never deposited into any of Moose Jaw’s bank accounts. Pride.

Ramsey – the organization’s longest-serving board member – said they were struggling to manage their emotions over the situation.

“It’s definitely not… what any of us expected when we signed up to become volunteer board members,” they said. “We take things day by day and we manage things the way we can.”

Darrin Morash/CBC

Darrin Morash/CBC

Amanda Farnel, a former chair of the Moose Jaw Pride board of directors who was present at Sunday’s meeting, said she was surprised by the news.

“It’s disappointing, it’s an organization close to my heart and so important to our community,” Farnel said. “I feel for them because it’s hard as a volunteer not to trust your chief executive.”

Farnel said the organization provides a safe space and resources for Moose Jaw’s LGBTQ community. She hopes the organization will continue in some form in the future.

Ramsey said from now on, Moose Jaw Pride as an organization will not provide programs or services, but its members will try to continue providing resources to the community. Arrangements are underway with other community organizations and Pride services as well.

“It remains to be seen what form exactly this will take, but there will be pride in Moose Jaw,” Ramsey said.


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