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Yukon gov't launches investigation into Many Rivers counselling services

In a letter, the Registrar of Societies says complaints have been made about the Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services Society's compliance with bylaws and regulations.

Letter from Registrar of Societies says complaints made about non-profit's compliance with rules

The Yukon government is investigating complaints that the Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services Society is not complying with regulations and its own bylaws. (Paul Tukker/CBC)

The Yukon government has begun an investigation into complaints that the Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services Society is not complying with regulations and its own bylaws.

The non-profit society is currently involved in a labour dispute with its unionized employees.

About 20 employees went on strike at the society's offices in Dawson City, Watson Lake, Haines Junction and Whitehorse on Nov. 2.

CBC has obtained a letter sent on Nov. 27 by the government's Registrar of Societies, Fred Pretorius, to Many Rivers and copied to an unstated number of complainants.

According to Pretorius's letter, the allegations against the society include the board of directors not following due process — in respect of membership application, in providing all members adequate notice of an upcoming special general meeting in September, and in providing adequate notice to all members of an annual general meeting in November.

Pretorius says in the letter that he was hoping the issues could be resolved informally, "but it is clear they cannot."

He also says any member of the public can complain about a society's breach of regulations or bylaws, with the Registrar deciding how to proceed from there.

The deputy-registrar, Marie France Pourreaux, is investigating the complaints, the letter says.

"Please take notice that Ms. Pourreaux is entitled under Section 21(2) of the Societies Act, full access to the society's records for purposes of making the investigation," Pretorius wrote.

CBC received an email in response to a request to the government's Community Services department for more details and an interview with Pretorius. 

The response confirmed the investigation and added the Many Rivers Society has not filed its annual report and financial statements that were due by July 31, 2018.

CBC has also requested an interview with Brent Ramsay, the executive-director of Many Rivers. He has not responded.

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