Brandon Flying Club president Kevin Choy says the fact the WestJet launch party Sept. 3 will be held in the club’s hangar in the event of inclement weather points to good relations between his organization and the city.
Dissension at the Brandon Flying Club is being created by a select few members who are unhappy with the club’s direction, according to its president.
"None of the claims against the board have been substantiated," BFC president Kevin Choy said. "I challenge anyone to come directly to me and state what their problem is."
Last month, the Brandon Sun received a package from an anonymous source stating "many members of the Brandon Flying Club have great concerns about the direction that the board of directors is taking at present."
The letter detailed five examples of "major issues" at the club.
One of the most flagrant accusations is that the BFC board wrongfully dismissed its general manager while she was on maternity leave.
Choy said the issues will be discussed at a board meeting tonight.
"They can say what they like, but none of it has been substantiated and it is disappointing that the hard work of the board to pass a Not-for-profit (Corporations) Act, which is required by the federal government, is trying to be smeared by a few people," he said.
Most of the problems, according to Choy, stem from when the BFC had to rewrite its charter to fall in line with the mandated federal act, which was passed at the 2013 annual general meeting.
"The club is in a difficult position," Choy said about the BFC, which has annual operations of more than $1 million, employs more than 10 people and has substantial assets. "There are no contracts or human resource policies at all and if anyone is against (implementing those), I find it very disappointing and wrong."
The letter also raised questions about transparency and accountability at the club, stating that there is "poor morale within the employees."
Established in 1943 as BFC — and known previously as the Virden and Brandon Flying Club for seven years — Choy said the board is doing its best to make sure the organization is sustainable for 70 more years.
There has been no advancement in the club’s bottom line for a decade, he said — something that has to change moving forward.
"We’re trying to work with staff and members to help out the club."
The letter also said the club has made missteps with the media in the city in the past.
Last April, Choy told the Brandon Sun that BFC had been in conversations with Air Canada Jazz to bring a charter service to the city.
The article caused the resignation of one board director. Other members believe it may have damaged the club’s relationship with the City of Brandon and affected its chances of working with WestJet, which announced it would be flying out of Brandon less than a month later.
For his part, Choy said some of the article was taken out of context. He pointed to the fact the city is throwing a party to celebrate the airline’s first flight into Brandon on Sept. 3 and, if the event runs into inclement weather, it will be hosted inside the club’s hangar as proof the two organizations are on good terms.
He also said the club is currently negotiating with WestJet Encore officials regarding potential opportunities for BFC.
"We are negotiating now," Choy said. "There are a number of aspects of ground support that we are working with WestJet on."
It’s all in the name of progress for the club, according to Choy.
"To try to say we are doing things not right or deceitful, I totally disagree with that," he said.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 15, 2013