Conflicts at the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter will head to territorial court later this month.
But it’s not the Humane Society Yukon’s board initiating the case, as they earlier said they would do. The government’s registrar has ordered them to appear.
Early last month, the registrar completed an investigation that found the society had broken the Societies Act by illegally denying memberships to six individuals and refusing to hold a special meeting after over 20 per cent of the members petitioned for one. The board was ordered to reinstate members and hold an annual general meeting with the purpose of electing a new board no later than Oct. 5.
The board responded by saying it would be seeking a jurisdictional review in the territory’s Supreme Court.
But it never followed through on that, said Phillipa Lawson, lawyer for the registrar. Since the board has yet to reinstate the banned members or hold the meeting as ordered, the society has committed an offence under the Societies Act.
Last week, the charges against the society were filed.
“He’s just following the steps he has to, basically. He gave the society lots of time,” said Lawson.
“There’s no surprise here. They’ve known right from the beginning. He told them, ‘This is an order, and refusal to comply constitutes an offence, and you may be prosecuted.’ And they chose not to comply.”
No one is asking for the society to be shut down, she said. The registrar does have the power to do that, she added.
The case will first appear in court on Oct. 30. A trial date will be set at that time, said Lawson.
The board could still apply for a judicial review in the Supreme Court, she said.
The humane society board has declined to comment on matters related to the society since they are before the courts, president Shelley Cuthbert said in an email to the News.