More trouble in Montreal

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1997:

MONTREAL– – Canadian
SPCA executive director Pierre Barnotti
admitted at the organization’s June 15
annual meeting that he augmented his
$49,000 annual salary in 1995 and 1996
by taking cuts from his fundraising campaigns
of $14,000 and $25,000.
Reported Lisa Fetterman of the
Montreal Gazette, “The former real
estate broker, who has declared bankruptcy,
acknowledged that he takes 10%
of the net profit from any fundraising
that costs the CSPCA some money to
mount, and 15% of the net profit if it
does not cost the organization anything.”
Under Barnotti, CSPCA revenue
rose from $1.7 million in 1995 to
$3.2 million last year. At peak in the
late 1980s and early 1990s, the CSPCA
raised $4 million a year, but incurred
debts exceeding $1 million by subsidizing
the animal control contract, 1991-
1993. It finally lost the contract anyway
in 1994 to a private firm, Berger Blanc.

Extensive budget cuts and personnel
changes followed, mostly under
perennial critic Alexander Wolf, who
headed a board coup soon after the loss
of the animal control contract, reportedly
paid himself just $600 in his first 20
weeks, and may have saved the CSPCA
from bankruptcy. Wolf was ousted,
however, in November 1994, after
allegedly uttering death threats against
former board president Raymond
Lemoyne. He was convicted in 1995.
The CSPCA has been continuously
in turmoil since circa 1981, with
factions representing dog and cat breeders,
animal rights activists, no-kill proponents,
and anti-low-cost neutering
veterinarians at various times briefly
holding the board majority.
Although the CSPCA was
Canada’s first humane society, founded
in 1870, with a title indicating national
status, it only once in recent memory
reached for influence beyond Montreal,
under veteran CTV reporter Cynthia
Drummond, 1988-1990, whose initiatives
during 24 months as executive
director included annual consultation
meetings among U.S. and Canadian
groups addressing transborder issues.
Barnotti in 1996 drew flak
from the SPCA of Montregie, serving
Montreal suburbs on the south shore of
the St. Lawrence River, for intervening
on the side of the defendents in three
cruelty and neglect cases and asserting
that only the CSPCA has the authority to
prosecute cruelty cases in Quebec.

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