Division continues between Parrsboro radio station factions

Andrew
Andrew Wagstaff
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PARRSBORO - Two versions of the Parrsboro Radio Society continue to claim to be the legitimate operators of the local community radio station.

One version of the society is planning its annual general meeting for March 31, while the other version, which continues to operate the station, claims the meeting is invalid.

The group led by chairman Andy LeBlanc, which is now registered by the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stocks, is planning its meeting in accordance with the society's 2009 bylaws.

LeBlanc admitted there is not a lot they can accomplish without access to the society's books and bank accounts, which he said have been off-limits to them no matter who is listed as the official board directors and executive officers.

"We don't have control of anything since we went head to head with (station manager) Ross (Robinson)," said LeBlanc. "We have a financial statement from last March. We've tried to go to the bank..."

The radio society's bank will not recognize the LeBlanc group's authority without further legal documentation, according to secretary Kelly Rector, who said they are still working on the matter.

LeBlanc said the issue is not about power and control for them.

"Basically, what we want is an audit done on the books," he said. "We don't care to run the radio, we're just in so far now, we've invested a lot of time and our own money... we just want to make sure it's running the way it should be run."

The division was created last year after resignations and meetings that have had their validity questioned. Although LeBlanc and Rector resigned their executive positions, they now claim their resignations were not valid because they were tendered to Don Jewers, who they later determined was not the legitimate chairman. Jewers and his group of officers dispute this point.

The LeBlanc group has been listed as the executive and directors with the joint stocks registry since Feb. 28, but that information frequently gets changed, apparently by the group led by Jewers. The director information has been changed 20 times since Dec. 7, 2011.

Jewers said his group continues to operate the station as they have been, and that they do not recognize the March 31 meeting as an official meeting of the society. A mocking Facebook posting by the Parrsboro Radio Society on March 6 stated that the meeting planned by the "Shadow Bunch" had been canceled and rescheduled to take place on the moon in 2020.

LeBlanc has confirmed that the March 31 meeting would take place as scheduled.

Jewers also said that legal action is being pursued against the LeBlanc group for what he described as an unlawful entry into the radio station last fall, in which they changed the locks on the station doors. The group was accompanied by an RCMP officer at the time, and allowed into the building by Jewers.

"It was not right because our lawyer told us they would have to have a court order," he said. "They can register as the board, but when they come into a federally licensed radio station, they can't do it without a court order. So the whole thing was wrong."

Meanwhile, the LeBlanc group is pursuing legal action regarding what they claim to be defamatory statements made on the air the following day about the lawfulness of their entry into the building. The RCMP would not confirm this week if they are conducting any investigation into the radio station.

As for an audit, Jewers said they would have had one done by now if necessary information had not been removed from the building at the time of the locks being changed. He assured that an audit would take place.

Both Jewers and Rector said they hate to see the community radio station tarnished by the bad publicity. Rector is calling for an open public meeting so the community can have its say about the future of the station, while Jewers maintains that all of this was unnecessary.

"There wasn't any need of it," he said. "Had things been gone about a little differently, it might not have arrived at this point. But hot heads fly."

Organizations: Parrsboro Radio Society, Nova Scotia Registry, Robinson RCMP

Geographic location: PARRSBORO

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