The Board’s latest expulsion missive is in blue, and my remarks in black.
Considerable redundant text has been redacted to improve readability. Anyone interested in the Bylaws or Policies can look them up, or read them in the previous accounts of expulsions.
The Board continues to fail to justify or explain any of the accusations against me, and imagines that its jurisdiction extends well beyond the boundaries of the Society.
Mr. Hawley’s responses to the Board’s allegations of misconduct can be summarized as follows:
Concerning the obligation of confidentiality in Policy G24: Since Mr. Hawley’s suspension was a “de facto” expulsion, meaning that he is effectively no longer a member of the society, Policy G24 has no application to him, and the Board has no authority over him.
The original Policy G24 complaints by Complainants A and B “were arguably in bad faith”, contrary to section C. of Policy G24. There has been a “retaliatory campaign against [Mr. Hawley] of calumnies and misinformation”, and the Board has condoned, promoted and enabled bullying against him.
There were deficiencies in the 2021 complaint against Mr. Hawley that culminated in his suspension from membership. For various reasons it was impossible for him “to do anything to lift that suspension”. The Board never had any intention of allowing Hr. Hawley back into the Society.
The Board’s positions with respect to all of these responses are stated below.
Applicability of Policy G24 to a non-member or a suspended member
The Board rejects Mr. Hawley’s argument that Policy G24, and the confidentiality provisions of that Policy, do not apply to him because he is a non-member of the Society.
Well, the Board has a problem in that while the Board’s authority and jurisdiction over the Society is near absolute, the Canada Not For Profit Corporations Act offers no avenue to extend that authority beyond the confines of the Society.
The Society can put ‘whatever’ in bylaws and policies to ostensibly extend that authority, but it has no legal effect.
In the Notice, the Board also said this:
Your argument amounts to this: If a complaint against an Alleged Offender such as you were dismissed, and no discipline of suspension or expulsion were imposed, then you would be bound by the confidentiality provisions of Policy G24. But if the complaint were upheld, and you were suspended or expelled from membership in the Society, then those confidentiality provisions would not apply. The Board is of the view that this is an erroneous interpretation of Policy G24, and that you are using this argument to justify what amounts to a continuing vendetta against [Complainant A] and [Complainant B].
Mr. Hawley has not responded to any of these points.
I made no response, primarily because they’re irrelevant, given the limitations to the Board’s authority… though I have pointed out that the Board’s authority is limited.
This is actually the biggest disadvantage of using indefinite exclusion from the Society as the go-to course of action, instead of following the general theme in the policy manual (eg- section G13) of incremental sanctions with the most severe consequences being applied only as a last resort. The Society can no longer influence someone who has been excluded.
As the opening words of Policy G24 make clear, the Society has the right and the obligation to protect all members, guests, staff, contractors, exhibitors and others from harassing behaviour. In order to do so, the Society has the right and indeed the obligation to monitor the behaviour of anyone, whether a member or not, who attends or participates in any Society meeting or other activity. The policy makes it clear that anyone – whether a member of the Society or not – may be subject to a complaint of harassment, and to appropriate discipline if the complaint is made out. This is the only way in which attendees at and participants in Society meetings or other activities can be protected from harassing behaviour.
Since Policy G24 therefore applies to both members and non-members, it follows that the confidentiality provisions of that policy also apply to both members and non-members, and that appropriate penalties may be imposed for a violation of those provisions.
Policy G24, as established above, cannot be applied to non-members, since non-members are outside the jurisdiction of the Board.
It would be different had these disputes been handled outside the Society, in an unbiased arbitration or mediation process or Court of Law, but the Board decided to act unilaterally instead.
In deciding that the appropriate penalty is expulsion from the Society, the Board has also considered the following:
Mr. Hawley’s conduct that formed the basis for the Policy G24 complaints against him by Complainants A and B;
Mr. Hawley’s June 2021 suspension from membership, and his conduct that resulted in such suspension;
Mr. Hawley’s continuing unwillingness or inability to appreciate and acknowledge the inappropriateness of his actions; and
The Board has consistently refused to enlarge upon any of those accusations, nor offer examples or explanations… not even in the case of actions that cannot actually exist (eg- ‘microaggressions’). It is thus not possible to ‘acknowledge’ that for which there is no knowledge available.
The obstinate refusal of the Board to enter into any kind of dialogue about even the most minor of these issues suggests an ulterior motive, perhaps an ideological one.
Mr. Hawley’s previous abusive and unfounded threats of legal action against the Society, its Directors and its Executive Director, as described in the June 2021 decision suspending Mr. Hawley’s membership.
Heather Laird offered an implied threat against me in her complaint, saying:
“… movements (like #metoo), he is aware of prominent figures falling to the wayside because of sexual assault and/or harassment allegations.”
Since she was a member of the Board at the time, it was not clear whether this was a Board sanctioned threat, or whether the intention was to follow through with such a public attack on my character.
In response, I merely pointed out that I would have the right to take legal action in such a case… no more a threat than Heather’s was.
But I’ve already pointed that out to the Board several times, and still they keep harping on it.
By reason of his past misconduct and current suspension, his persistent refusal to acknowledge any wrongdoing, and his continuing breach of the confidentiality provisions of Policy G24, the appropriate penalty is for Mr. Hawley to be expelled from membership in the Society.
Since I’ve been effectively removed from the Society since the spring of 2021, this action by the Board has no practical effect.
Several members forwarded this to me.
The Board (or the current President at least) has responded to the above with an announcement as follows:
“On 2022 July 22 the Board of Directors of The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada sent Glenn Hawley a Notice of Proposed Expulsion. The Society’s By-Law No. One gives recipients of such notices 20 days to respond, and Glenn Hawley responded on 2022 August 5 with an email to the Board directing us to read his reply on his website. The Board considered Mr. Hawley’s response at a meeting on 2022 August 17, determined that the response was wholly inadequate, and unanimously passed a resolution expelling Mr. Hawley from membership in the Society.
This email is to notify the National Council that Glenn Hawley is no longer a member of the Society or of any Centre, and that he may neither exercise any rights of membership of a Centre, including voting rights, nor stand for election as a director, councillor, officer, or National Council Representative of a Centre. He is therefore not entitled to attend any Centre meeting or event that is open only to Centre members. Each Centre has the responsibility to its members and to the Society as a whole to enforce this prohibition.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.
Regards, Charles Ennis, he/him
As noted above, this has no practical effect.