We fact-checked the 5 assertions in the open letter written by five community organizations including the Hellenic Congress of Quebec (HCQ) and addressed in error to the «Hellenic Canadian Congress». (The Hellenic Canadian Congress was renamed Canadian Hellenic Congress (CHC) more than 15 years ago on April 1, 2005 according to the public records). We can only guess that everyone is allowed to make a few mistakes some of the time …
The open letter signed by five community leaders is also addressed to the wrong head office address … but in any case it was uploaded to Facebook on November 26, 2020 (although backdated November 19, 2020) …
The numbered excerpts in square brackets below are from the Ontario court judgment dated April 14, 2020.
#1. FALSE. Normally, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. If the Hellenic Congress of Quebec “recognizes” that the current CHC board of directors has the power and legitimacy to call a meeting of members for the purpose of holding new elections, then «ipso facto» the Hellenic Congress of Quebec “recognizes” that the current CHC board of directors has the power and legitimacy to call a meeting of members to discuss any other matter.
« Once the 2016 Constitution is properly amended and passed, all future elections are to be conducted in accordance with the terms of the amended Constitution.»
#2. FALSE. The Ontario court judgment dated April 14, 2020 did not invalidate the 2016 Election. The judge did not order a new election. The HCQ did not seek any other relief after the 2019 Election.
« As a result, notwithstanding the irregularities of the 2016 Election and the relief ordered below in respect of certain articles of the 2016 Constitution, there is no basis for disturbing the composition of the National Council as elected in 2016.»
#3. FALSE. If the CHC has given the HCQ sufficient prior notice of the Meeting of Members to be held on November 28, 2020, any complaints about the agenda of the meeting or the timing of the next elections may be addressed by member organizations at the Meeting of Members on November 28, 2020 in a collegial and democratic manner.
#4. FALSE. The judge did not paint such a rosy or flattering picture of the CHC in the past. On the other hand, during the last three years, Dr Theodore Halatsis as president and the current board of directors have worked tirelessly for Hellenism and for the international recognition of May 19th as the designated Remembrance Day of the Genocide of Pontic Greeks (including securing 13 genocide recognitions by various municipalities across Canada).
« It is clear from the evidentiary record that the CHC had for years acted in a manner inconsistent with its constituting documents. It had no financial statements and elections and annual conventions were not being held. As record-keeping was inconsistent, it is difficult to see how the organization was operating or who was making the decisions. It certainly was not operating according to the governance structure in the 1999 Constitution. Inevitably, there were differences of opinion among the constituent organizations that were exemplified by the dispute over fees and unequal treatment of the provincial organizations.»
#5. FALSE. The provincial organizations have a duty to support the CHC in a non-partisan manner, to collect fees from underlying member organizations who have voting privileges, and to remit those fees to the CHC. In fact, the Hellenic Congress of Quebec volunteered and undertook to do so before the Ontario court.
« If the CHQ did collect fees from members that were to be paid to the CHC in the manner described by Mr. Manios, the CHQ ought to have submitted those fees to the CHC. If the fees collected were for membership in the CHC through the CHQ, the CHQ had no right to keep those fees.5 The individual and organizational members of the CHQ, who were members of the CHC by virtue of this membership, would lose their rights by virtue of the CHQ’s failure to transfer their fees. While the CHQ’s failure to transfer any member fees it collected would have been improper, under the 1999 Constitution, this did not result in a loss of rights or status as a provincial organization.»
« The CHQ has undertaken to pay $7,000 in outstanding fees within 60 days of the making of this order. That undertaking ought to be honoured. In addition, at the hearing, the CHQ advised that it is no longer seeking a financial accounting. »