James Favel says he’s back as Bear Clan member, running to become part of board

By | September 4, 2020

Former Bear Clan Patrol leader James Favel says he’s back as a member of the Winnipeg-based organization, and aiming to claim a spot on its board.

“I have been reinstated as a member in good standing and my nomination to the board of directors has been secured,” he told CBC News on Friday.

“I’m just looking forward to getting back to doing the work that I love. We find ourselves now with a new opportunity to regain control of the organization.”

Favel, the former executive director of the non-profit citizen patrol group, was ousted from the organization on July 31 after a dispute with the Bear Clan’s board.

He accused the board of directors of interfering with his running of the day-to-day operations of the organization, which does evening community patrols and delivers food to people in need.

He also said the board members were no longer representative of the community and are serving illegitimately past the expiry of their terms, after they failed to hold an annual general meeting in November.

Board chair Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais has denied Favel’s allegations. Rather, the board said Favel was dismissed because of a complaint from his office manager.

“This has been an ongoing battle,” Favel said Friday. “The things that they have been accusing me of were not real. And it was very unfortunate that they took that track.

“When all this first came out, I felt crushed. I was hurt. I had invested my entire life in this and to have them come and say ‘you can’t even represent Bear Clan anymore,’ they were trying to take away my identity.”

 CBC has reached out to the board for comment on Favel’s reinstatement but has not yet heard back.

This has been an ongoing battle.– James Favel

Early Friday, Favel posted on Twitter that his membership in the group, which he helped revive in 2014 after it had gone dormant for years, has been reinstated.

That comes after interventions from a lawyer who helped “push them back and back them down,” Favel said, also citing help from an online petition that had collected more than 3,800 names as of Friday.

“It’s been a stressful past few months, but yesterday was a big day for me,” Favel posted on Twitter.

“Personally, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who has supported me from the inception of Bear Clan right up to the present moment.

“It was because of your constant support, strength and encouragement that I have had the courage to stand up and fight for the organization that I love and that I wish to continue to serve with all of my heart.”

Favel says he is running to become a board director in an election that will be held at the Bear Clan’s annual general meeting, likely in the last week of September.

“The countless messages and phone calls of support from the kindest people … have given me the strength to keep going; the strength to stand back up after being knocked down and have my name stand and be counted in the upcoming AGM election for director of Bear Clan once again,” he wrote in his Twitter post.

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