WINNIPEG — Hundreds of people have signed a petition to reinstate James Favel as the executive director of the Bear Clan Patrol, after he was ousted last month from the organization he co-founded.
Favel joined the Bear Clan Patrol in 2014, going on to become the face of one of Winnipeg’s best known community safety groups.
“James began to quickly grow The Bear Clan Patrol from just a few people to hundreds of volunteers who would regularly patrol the streets,” reads the petition. “They soon became a household name under his leadership.”
“Then the Board of Directors unceremoniously ousted him, with no warning or valid explanation on July 31st. Let the (Board of Directors) know this is unacceptable and James needs to be reinstated.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 1,800 people had added their names to the petition.
FEUD BETWEEN FAVEL AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS DEEPENS
The campaign to get Favel his job back comes against the backdrop of a public feud between him and the board of directors, after Favel said he was unfairly ousted, calling his firing an “overreach.”
On Tuesday, the Bear Clan Patrol board of directors shared a lengthy Facebook post, accusing him of making false allegations.
“James Favel has not been forthcoming about the causes for his dismissal,” reads the post. “Serious human resources issues came to light, that were independently confirmed, and they are among the reasons for his dismissal.”
The board said a Manitoba Workplace Health and Safety investigation was launched after a staff member filed a complaint against Favel. According to the board, the review found “Mr. Favel does not believe that he has done anything wrong, however, his treatment of (name redacted) has been unprofessional and intimidating. Although he has been asked to apologize to (name redacted) for his mistreatment, he has not done so to date.”
The post said most of the board members were recruited by Favel and that the decision to remove him was “unanimous.” It also said the nine members reflect “the makeup of the communities [they] serve.”
“Each member brings specific expertise and insight and has been vital to Bear Clan’s outreach and growth. Several of our board members also walk with patrols, while James Favel has not walked with a patrol for more than a year,” the post reads.
CTV reached Favel by phone on Tuesday. He said he was out of town and would respond to the Faceook post at a later time.
Last week, he called the complaint against him “frivolous” and denied ever acting like a bully at work.
“Due process wasn’t followed. I didn’t get an opportunity to give a fulsome response because I didn’t have all of the information that was in the claim,” he said.
“The work that I was doing, I don’t do that work for me; I do that work for my community, and now I’m not able to effectively do that work in the community anymore. The only people who are going to suffer are community members.”
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