Squamish Chamber of Commerce Apologises to John Jervis

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Nov. 23, 2012

Squamish Chamber of Commerce has apologised to John Jervis, turning the last chapter on a bitter saga that didn’t do much to enhance the chamber’s reputation in public minds.

After accepting the apology, John Jervis has joined as the member of the Squamish Chamber of Commerce.

On November 20, the chamber finalized a settlement with John Jervis on events surrounding his expulsion from the chamber last year.

In a media release, the chamber said the details of the settlement are confidential, but two aspects can be shared.

Firstly, as part of the settlement, a full release of liability has been granted to all parties, including the Squamish Chamber of Commerce and all former and current directors.

The Squamish Chamber of Commerce has publicly released an apology to Jervis.

An excerpt: “Although a Board may sometimes have to deal with difficult situations, it is not the Chamber’s mandate and it is not in the Chamber’s interest to publicly accuse any individual member or business of wrongdoing, especially by way of press release.”

(Scroll to the bottom to read the full text of the apology)

Jervis has accepted the apology, and is now a member of the chamber again.

“I am very pleased the current board and I have reached an agreement that will conclude this matter,” he said. He declined to go into the specifics of what led to his expulsion, but said he has always acted ‘appropriately’ and in the best interest and respect of his peer membership.

Surely, the chamber isn’t the first group in Squamish to have internal differences, but rarely has an organisation put its squabbles on such fine display.

Allegations and counter allegations, expulsions and mass resignations: You name it, they have done it.

Simmering tensions bubbled into full public view last year when John Jervis was expelled by the then board of directors.

They accused him first for not sharing the findings of an economic development survey he had been carrying out. They also levelled serious allegations later, which were swiftly rejected by him and other chamber board members.

It propelled Jervis to walk down a legal route, even as his friends and sympathisers publicly derided the allegations as a sad attempt to besmirch his reputation.

The apology is as much a reflection of a change of guard at the chamber as it’s an attempt to seek a closure and move forward.

Board Chair Chris Pettingill said it’s the board’s intention to rebuild relationships with all parties.

“We have much to gain by collectively working for the advancement of economic development in Squamish.”

That is a much nobler goal.

Perhaps, the Squamish council can impart some wisdom to chamber members on how to conduct themselves in public.

Councillors might detest each other’s views and political positions, but they still manage to exchange words and smiles, at least when the camera is on.

Squamish Chamber should follow their lead, and send beaming images of after-5s and golf rendezvous, not expulsions and mass resignations.

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The full text of the apology:

Yesterday, the Squamish Chamber of Commerce reached a resolution with the Director previously expelled from the Squamish Chamber of Commerce. As part of this resolution, the Squamish Chamber of Commerce wishes to communicate the following apology:

In October of 2011 the Chamber of Commerce made a contentious decision to expel one of its directors.

Strong feelings and unresolved issues have lingered throughout the Membership.

Although a Board may sometimes have to deal with difficult situations, it is not the Chamber’s mandate and it is not in the Chamber’s interest to publicly accuse any individual member or business of wrongdoing, especially by way of press release.

Our Chamber’s obligation is to stay focused on positive activities that promote our local economy, and support our members’ businesses.

In order to ensure all of our efforts are directed at serving our membership, the Chamber Board and expelled Director have worked together to reach an amicable resolution.

As part of this resolution, the Chamber Board apologizes on behalf of the Chamber to John Jervis and all Chamber Members for the manner in which the issues surrounding the economic development survey and subsequent expulsion were handled.

The Chamber also retracts all public accusations made against John Jervis and offers to reinstate his membership.

There has been a lot of change at the Chamber since all of this began, and much has been learned The Chamber Board and Mr. Jervis are happy to put all this behind us formally and finally.

Comments

  1. Joe Webber says:

    Why would anyone push so hard to be a member of group/club/organization that didn’t want them as a member? What would their motivation be? It makes me wonder.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure the previous board “fabricated” all this toward Mr. Jervis for their own entertainment. I’m sure the prevous board had better things to do. Why would that board who were comprised of ethical and promiment members of the community take this serious action without just cause? The current Chamber board is a joke for apologizing and bringing back Mr. Jervis.

  3. Don Patrick says:

    I think “anonymous” did not word his first sentence correctly… was it “I’am sure” or was it to be something like “I cannot believe” … having a little profiling experience and after asking previous associates and those so called close to the proponent would certainly give one another impression of this fellow. I would agree the present conclusions are a “joke” and the actions are just a gut reaction to get the action under the table and get on with the work required by the C of C mandate.

  4. EM says:

    You have obviously never met Mr. Jervis yourself or you would know how impossible the allegations were. He has spent a lot of time volunteering in town here and gave a fair large donation to Hospice, which my family appreciates. And why did all those directors resign? Something very fishy has been going on we will never know completely.