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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The TRIBE Toronto Saga Continues

After the letter sent in January was released to me a flood of new information has come to light including minutes of a most recent meeting held by the TMBA on March 13, 2010. During the numerous discussions and points that were raised in said meeting two things stood out for me ; 1.) No one could cite or legally prove exactly which rule TRIBE Toronto has broken and 2.) The major issue is the fact that Andre De Freitas has been accused of lying about the role TRIBE Trinidad will play in TRIBE Toronto as well as the fact that the publicity surrounding TRIBE Trinidad's involvement was premature (articles posted in the Trinidad Newsday Newspaper was discussed):

‘Tribe Toronto’ Agenda Item from
C) Business Arising:

In Attendance:

MARK DELEON, WHITEFIELD BELASCO, CALVIN BELASCO, TONY ISHMAEL, MARCUS EUSTACE, WILL MORTON, MARLON SINGH, ERROL ACHUE, BRYCE AGUITON, RAS PERSAUD, MERVYN SKEETE, GARVIN CRICHLOW, GAIL SEUSAHAI, CURTIS EUSTACE, WHITNEY DOLDRON, ANEIL PERSAUD, ANDRE DEFREITAS, KENTY DEFREITAS, JACKIE FORDE, CLARENCE FORDE, THEA JACKSON, DARRIO JACKSON, DEXTER SEUSAHAI, ALVIN ADORE, LOUIS SALDENAH

· Clarence Forde (CS) asked Louis Saldenah (LS) who actually signed the letter in question
· LS said it was signed by Nip’s wife on behalf of Nip simply as acceptance and not approval for the content
· LS said the name change was not discussed by the Executive prior to the Jan 23 meeting (or to date in fact)
· LS said they will
· CF asked of the letter will be dealt with by the Executive
· LS wanted clarification on some issues first (recommendation)
· Bryce asked if the claim by Andre De Freitas (ADF) was factual
· LS said the signature was only for the acceptance of the letter, not for the approval of the request
· ADF said it was given to ‘Council
· CF and Bryce wanted to know who ‘Council’ was?
· LS needed to confirm the receipt of the Jan 11th letter and what the status of the new body was
· LS said that by the time the letter was received, Tribe Toronto was already operating – not clear of Newsday article was out then
· Ken De Freitas (KDF) asked that LS get his dates straight. Said ADF was accused of forgery…(although KDF was not present at the last meeting)
· LS clarified what he saw on the document
· A lively ‘debate’ ensued
· Again, it was noted that Nip’s wife, Colleen signed on Nip’s behalf that the document had been received.
· LS denies accusing ADF of forgery – it was an issue of getting to the root of what ADF was claiming as he presented a few different versions of the document status and what was signed by whom
· Garvin reviews to KDF what the discussion was at the last meeting and why ADF’s integrity is being called to question. He also explained why the membership has reacted the way it has, based on the events and presentation by ADF at that meeting. Reiterated that Andre was not accused of forgery, just mis-representation
· Bryce wanted to know what was to be done about the fact that ADF first said the Executive signed the document, then said Nip did, then admitted it was actually Colleen receiving the document….and was it an email thread or an actual letter?
· Lively debate again…no answer to the question
· Calvin asked if there is a problem with ADF changing the name?
· LS clarified that the whole issue is about the presence of Tribe Toronto as a possible offspring of Tribe Trinidad. Louis read from the Newsday article announcing tribe’s plans to enter the Toronto Caribana festival. States that many bands have similar names as TT bands (D.Midas, Callalloo, etc) but operate autonomously (no controlling involvement from Trinidad bands)
· LS notes that if a large mas comes from Trinidad, it is allowed to perform as a guest and is not part of the judging – that should apply to all mas (section and otherwise) coming from TT
· LS said, we must protect our brand, the festival and the local culture we are publically funded for
· LS reminds the membership that the Tribe website still notes Tribe Trinidad as an operating body in Tribe Toronto. What if ADF and Tribe Trinidad have a falling out? Will that allow Tribe Trinidad to have complete control? ADF has never produced a contract, and said he did not have one at the last meeting.
· Mervyn Skeete (MS) states that he has a problem with this happening and funding 3 levels of government is now at risk. We have rules for large mas, does this not also apply to section mas? Will ADF personally give MS all monies he will lose should the funding be pulled back due to this issue? We must protect the integrity of our operations and source of funds
· KDF claims it is all hearsay and rumours. Is it any different from the bands buying body suits from India
· Needless to say a really lively debate ensued…
· CF mentioned that a Union contact mentioned to him that Mijhevic told this contact that he was aware of the Tribe situation…urged caution at how we approach as it is a public debate now. Funding will be pulled if we are not smart and diligent
· (Editor’s note: I have seen multiple Blogs detailing what is being discussed in our meetings with the source being ‘a bandleader’. Gents, what happens in the meeting stays in the meeting…keep your mouths closed to the public…it is damaging all of us http://karabana.blogspot.com/2010/01/voted-no-to-tribe-toronto.html)
· LS agreed, he had heard the same thing
· LS detailed a letter from Eddison Doyle indicating that the FMC distributes monies for ‘local operations’ only
· Dexter S (DS) said, no respect to ADF or KDF, but they took the wrong approach and lied. ADF also disrespected all the bandleaders with his comments and attitude. Also wanted to know why the Toronto-Lime ads are still running of the band name has not been approved and they are still associated with Tribe TT
· Dexter S (DS) said, no respect to ADF or KDF, but they took the wrong approach and lied. ADF also disrespected all the bandleaders with his comments and attitude. Also wanted to know why the Toronto-Lime ads are still running of the band name has not been approved and they are still associated with Tribe TT
· Thea (new band) noted that ADF claimed in the January meeting that Tribe TT will have 3 sections in his band, then ADF retracted the claim – so what is the truth?
· KDF denies it
· General debate about it…nothing of relevance to note
· LS to KDF, members do not have a problem with the Tribe name, it is the alliance with the Tribe TT – it would be no different than allowing MacFarlane or Legacy to come with a band and receive Canadian funding to be a band in Canada
· LS sent a letter (signed by 3 out of 5 of the Executive) to Dean in Trinidad and it has not been replied to
· KDF claims Dean thinks it is not to be taken serious and scoffed at it
· ADF was not aware of the letter and wanted to know why he was not asked to sign it…
· LS told him he only needed 3 of the Executive to sign it
· Garvin notes that there is a process for changing a band’s name and for participation. The announcement of Tribe Toronto, prior to approval breaches that process. Reminds membership that Andre was ready to call a lawyer in the last meeting…
· ADF asks, what is the process for changing a band’s name? Show me?
· LS said he felt ADF did not understand the processes and the way to conduct himself as a bandleader
· Bryce wants the truth. Is Tribe TT an operating partner in Tribe Toronto? Says ADF has presented so many conflicting stories that he does not know what to believe. Feels ADF tried to misrepresent the document he said was approved
· ADF disagrees
· Bryce feels the membership has been deceived and nothing is being clarified
Calvin has a few issues…He has no confidence in ADF. His minutes from the Jan meeting had large gaps in them, even though he brought someone along to type them for him, especially the discussions around Tribe’s issues. No indication of what motions were passed or by whom. Feels ADF is putting the funding in jeopardy. What will be done? Feels Tribe should not come to Toronto
· KDF says none of that is true…more ranting
· Calvin says, we must come to a decision…ASAP
· GAIL S asks, will ADF put out a press release disassociating himself with Tribe TT? Are they willing to do that?
· ADF did not answer
· LS states that in the Executive meeting, ADF said he cannot do that
· LS indicates that ‘perception' is powerful. Websites all validate the association
· LS asks if we need to restrict the number of name changes a band can go through as the Evolution/Allspice/Tribe changes speak to disorganization and poor band management
· Bryce notes that the websites are all still the same as they were – nothing was done or has changed. ADF plans to do nothing
· GAIL S asks, will ADF put out a press release?
· ADF asks if that will satisfy the membership?
· LS says the horse is out of the barn now…
· Bryce states that there is an issue of trust now…
· ADF asks if he needs to provide a letter from Tribe TT?
· Whitney Douldron (WD) says, Press Release or letter, each would need to be validated
· GAIL S asked ADF if he is willing to state the name change and publically disassociate himself from Tribe TT
· ADF said he will state the name change but avoided the question about the disassociation
· LS states that the issue at odds is the funding risk. Reminded ADF that he promised to remove his name from the web sites…and has not
· Garvin – it is still there
· ADF claims it is gone
· (Editors note: It takes about 72 hours for a change on the internet to propagate and appear as content is cached in browsers)
· MS says he is troubled by the misrepresentation from ADF as ADF is in a position of trust on the Executive
· ADF says he will resign his position
· Dario (new band) states that if this was an operating business/corporation, this kind of behavior (bringing risk to revenue sources) would be met with swift discipline. This issue has carried on for a long time and must be addressed quickly. This is not about a name change.
· KDF – it is just a name change
· Lively discussion
· Thea (new band) asks how do you pass a motion to remove a band?
· CF states that there no way to ‘vote out’ a band. As per the constitution. A disciplinary committee will review a band’s behavior and make a recommendation to the Executive, who then present it to the membership to vote upon.
· CF also mentions that an integrity of an individual can be put to the floor by any member
· Bryce asks if trying to pass off a fake document a breach?
· Calvin asks, what if the Executive turns down a name change request?
· Mervyn reiterates the process
· Bryce asks what was decided in the Executive meeting about the name change (see earlier note that the meeting has not happened)
· General question – did Andre resign?
· Calvin – a comment made in the heat of the moment is not a resignation
· MOTION TO REMOVE ANDRE AS ASST RECORDING SEC
MARCUS MADE THE MOTION
BRYCE SECONDED
14 ACCEPTED (INCLUDING ANDRE)
2 ABSTAINED
MOTION CARRIED
There is much more in the way of minutes from the meeting ,but based on the excerpt posted above I am sure you get the "gist" of what happened .It is also interesting to note that TRIBE Toronto was not placed to enter as a new band, but from the minutes the NAME was changed from a band that already exists; how this affects the rules that were allegedly broken is I suppose a matter for the TMBA to decide on but clearly there was no set precedent on how to handle that issue.

As for the inclusion of information being leaked to the blogs, well too late for that! Someone REALLY wants the public to know what is happening regarding the TRIBE Toronto issue and no, the information is not being leaked from TRIBE's side. The decisions being made are not supported by ALL band leaders in Toronto, some do feel as if it is a "witch hunt":

Coming from that meeting is now an ultimatum for TRIBE Toronto and as one blogger commented on Monday, it is now a game of chess! What will be the next move?

WITHOUT PREDIJUICE (sic)

After consultation with Legal Counsel, on the TRIBE situation.

Discipline should be meted out according to
a) The severity of the infraction
b) The consequences of the infraction to the whole group (TMBA)
c) The consequences to each Band/Bandleader

a) If the person is willing to acknowledge that, he did make a mistake.
b) If the person is willing to take the necessary steps, as asked by the members to make
corrections, in the media.
c) If the person is willing to completely disassociate from the Trinidad group.

This merits the lesser form of discipline

BUT
A) If the person is still stating that he did not know how his name became involved.
B) If the person does not want to make corrections as asked
C) If the person is arrogant about the whole affair
D) If members of their group make THREATS, (all you have to go through me)
or behaves in a manner to bring discredit to the TMBA.

This merits a more severe discipline.

There are only TWO forms of Discipline for this situation, they should be accorded,
THE OFFENDING BAND CAN BE DEMOTED TO THE LOWEST CATEGORY
(C division) or the more severe penalty of being
SUSPENDED FOR A PERIOD OF NOT MORE THAN ONE YEAR

If one of these penalties is not done, this will show that the TMBA as a group cannot control their members and will leave the door WIDE OPEN for any other Band to do the same thing in the future.

When one of these penalties is handed down, this does not MAKE THE WAY OPEN FOR ANY OTHER BAND TO ADVANCE TO A HIGHER DIVISION, all other Bands will stay in their allotted positions.
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