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Moose Jaw Pride Passes Vote to Disband Organization

Members unanimously voted to disband after financial reports revealed they had debts of over $100,000.

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Moose Jaw Pride will close over the weekend, closing its retail space Rainbow Retro and ending public works for the nonprofit.

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At the September 18 Annual General Meeting, the members unanimously voted to allow the board to liquidate and dissolve the organization as soon as possible.

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They and Board Chair Cole Ramsey, who uses their pronouns, declined to comment on the decision but clarified next steps.

Because Moose Jaw Pride is a registered non-profit organization, the organization will not be fully dissolved until the Board has addressed all outstanding debt.

The group now owes more than $100,000, including unpaid taxes, utilities and loans, according to a financial report released on Sunday.

The board was not aware of the breadth of the debt until August, according to a report from financial director Kate Ballard, as proper financial reporting was not presented in 2021.

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Ballard’s report noted that the financial balance sheet filed on Sunday was incomplete and not redacted by an accountant, adding, “Many of the details of these balances have yet to be reviewed by members of the board of directors. It’s being investigated,” he said.

The financial report lists liabilities such as an emergency business account loan in Canada of $60,000, a short-term bank loan of $30,000, an outstanding water bill of $5,600, and a grant overpayment of $3,777 that must be repaid.

These grants were forwarded to the Canada Revenue Agency for recovery as reports were not filed with the funding agency.

“Unrecorded cash outlays” recorded as income from Rainbow Retro but not credited, some incomplete payroll records for 2021 and 2022, unpaid GST and PST amounts unknown.

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A credit card in the nonprofit’s name was also found in August with an outstanding transaction balance and is currently under investigation by the board.

The nonprofit also paid no institutional premiums in 2022.

Ramsey told Discover Moose Jaw that the board has reported the financial situation to Moose Jaw Police for investigation.

For the time being, Moose Jaw Pride does not offer any services as a business entity. This includes organizational outreach or advocacy, as well as service and community support.

The Rainbow Retro Thrift Store is set to close on Saturday after four years of operation.

A report presented during AGM shows that the thrift store on Main Street hasn’t been a “revenue-generating company” for some time.

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“Our board members will do their best to continue to provide the connections, support and resources our community members need,” Ramsey said in an email to The Leader Post on Wednesday.

“We are coordinating with other community organizations and pride groups to ensure continuity of service.”

The decision comes just one month after the abrupt resignation of Taylor Carlson, Executive Director of Moose Joe Pride, who had held the position since 2019.

Moose Jaw Pride first incorporated in 2014, evolving from the gay and lesbian alliance Moose Jaw, which was formed in 2004.

lkurz@postmedia.com

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Moose Jaw Pride Passes Vote to Disband Organization

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