The Kelowna Yacht Club has filed a response to a civil suit alleging improper election handling. (Contributed)

Kelowna Yacht Club fires back at election allegations lawsuit

A member said he was slandered when he tried to complain

There is no basis for the courts to interfere in the decision made by the Kelowna Yacht Club, the club said in response to a civil suit filed by one of its members in February.

In a response filed at B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna in March, the club denied most of the allegations brought foward by Marc Whittemore, a local lawyer and member of the club.

Whittemore had alleged that an informal voting structure in the club led to members being excluded.

He said this went against a “duty of care” the club owed its members, according to Whittemore’s interpretation of the club’s bylaws.

In its response, the club said they “do not owe a duty of care to (Whittemore) as alleged, nor have they breached any standard of care.”

READ MORE: Infighting at Kelowna Yacht Club makes it to court

The conflict stemmed from a members-only Facebook group that Whittemore was a part of, known as the ‘The Burgees.’

In it, Whittemore wrote that he wanted to see the marina, which consists of both sailing and social members, become a year-round club with a “vibrant social/dining membership.”

He questioned the path to leadership the club presented, alleging that social members were being unfairly disqualified despite paying club fees.

Whittemore said he received a “falsely” and “maliciously” written “formal reprimand” in response to his post.

The reprimand was issued Don McEachern, the yacht club commodore at the time.

Whittemore alleges the reprimand was slanderous when it accused him of being “abusive, offensive, demeaning, vexatious.”

In their response, the club asserts that it is “impossible to answer” Whittemore’s claim that elections are being held improperly as he has not provided details on which elections were held improperly.

The club stated that Whittemore’s “claim involves nothing more than a disgruntled member of a club who does not like management decisions,” and that the disagreement should be handle internally, and not in a court room.

There has been no judgement rendered in the case.


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