By Gerald V. Paul
Tanya Walker of WalkerLaw confirmed yesterday that “the TMBA have filed an appeal of the court ruling against them over Mas-K and FMC.”
Asked about the financial implications of Toronto Mas Band Association (TMBA) legal costs in its dispute with Festival Management Committee (FMC), Walker said she could not comment. Walker represented TMBA in its lawsuit.
Ontario Superior Court ruled against TMBA in its bid for an injunction to stop Scotiabank Toronto Carnival funder FMC from bypassing it to pay bands directly.
“Nobody wanted to go that route (a lawsuit). At the end of the day, it’s about building our community in a win-win,” FMC CAO Chris Alexander told The Camera in an interview previously.
According to information obtained by this newspaper, “As you recall, the TMBA made a decision to suspend a member due to an admitted foreign partnership (which is against TMBA and the FMC rules). That decision was subsequently used against the TMBA by the FMC.
“As such, we met and all agreed that we were left with little recourse but to take legal action against the FMC after realizing that their intentions were to circumvent the TMBA at all costs,” the document continues.
According to the information, TMBA went to court originally believing their legal case was solid.
“We are exploring options to rectify said situation from discussions with the FMC to filling an appeal motion (which we did earlier this week) to allow us to challenge / argue the validity of the judge’s original ruling if we decide to do so,” the document says.
The document says TMBA is also fighting two insurance lawsuits related to last year’s parade route.
“By now we all should have received our individual contracts from the FMC with 50% of seed monies coming. You should all have proceeded and signed said contract,” the document says.
“Now for the tough part,” the information continues, “all of this legal activity cost us money. In the past, the TMBA would receive the funds and deduct monies for legal expenses off the top first before distributing to its members. With the individual contract situation that the FMC has employed means that bands will be receiving funding directly.
“Therefore we need everyone, in good faith, to give back to the TMBA a portion of your seed monies in order for us to cover our current and anticipated costs. We are all members of the TMBA and signed the motion / affidavits indicating full support for the TMBA.”
The document says the amount due for all expenses, including legal, totals $37, 388.75. “Each band should be giving back approximately $4,500 to the TMBA bank account in order to offset costs.”
When The Camera contacted mas band leaders Tuesday night, in some cases leaving messages, band leaders refused to comment.