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B.C. Wildlife Federation president Jim Glaicar steps down amid controversy

The president of the B.C. Wildlife Federation stepped down Wednesday in the wake of several controversies at the hunting and fishing organization.

In an email sent to BCWF members, Jim Glaicar cited personal reasons for his resignation.

Interim director of operations Brenton Froehlich confirmed that past president George Wilson has been appointed interim president in Glaicar’s place. The BCWF did not respond to a Postmedia request for an interview, but in an emailed statement Froehlich said Glaicar oversaw the “transformation of the organization from that of a political bystander to an effective voice for the people of British Columbia with respect to the stewardship of our fish, wildlife and habitat.”

Glaicar is one of several people to leave the organization in recent months. Last summer, Peter Louwe, the organization’s communications coordinator and a former TV journalist, blamed a “toxic workplace atmosphere” for his decision to leave.

In a resignation letter obtained by Postmedia, Louwe said he “was not aware that a number of staff members were deeply unhappy” when he started work in May 2016. “Shortly after I began work, five staff members resigned. With my departure, nine staff members have quit in about two months.”

A BCWF spokesperson took issue with that number, but confirmed “some staff” had left BCWF in recent months.

In an internal email obtained by Postmedia, Louwe also wrote: “I see another two years of upheaval at the office at minimum, with a revolving door of staff brought in, then quitting, unless significant changes are made.”

In April of this year, Postmedia reported that the RCMP and Canada Revenue Agency had received complaints from BCWF members about a $4,000 donation made to the B.C. Liberal party. The money was given to the Okanagan chapter to participate in a fundraising golf tournament for the B.C. Liberals. As a charity, the wildlife federation is not allowed to make political contributions. 

A spokesperson said the BCWF had not realized that “paying to attend would be considered a third-party political donation by the federation.” The Liberal party refunded the money at the chapter’s request.

In early 2016, the BCWF suspended vice-president Ed George for three months over sexist and racist emails sent to staff. George claimed he was the victim of a witch hunt, and unsuccessfully challenged his suspension in B.C. Supreme Court in March.

The BCWF describes itself as the province’s “largest and oldest conservation organization” and is a federally registered charity with 50,000 members, 11 full-time and three part-time employees as of Dec. 31, 2015. It had revenues of $2.97 million and expenses of $2.58 million that year.

gluymes@postmedia.com

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http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/wildlife-federation-president-jim-glaicar-steps-down-amid-controversy