SF Canada Votes To Require Peter Halasz to Resign

SF Canada, Canada’s national association of SF professionals, has voted to remove Peter Halasz from membership.  

Under the SF Canada bylaws the motion required a supermajority of 75% of the members voting to pass. The outcome of the vote was 78% Yes (35 votes) and 22% No (10 votes).

The text of the motion, made by member Robert Dawson and seconded by member Margaret Curelas, reads:

In light of various actions by Peter Halasz incompatible with a collegial relationship with the members of SF Canada, including but not limited to his release of members private email addresses on January 18, 2022, I move that he be required to resign effective immediately, as provided in the sixth clause in the section of our bylaws concerning conditions of membership; and that he not be permitted to rejoin.

The motion refers to the SF Canada by-laws “Conditions of Membership” which say —

6)    Any member may be required to resign by a three-quarters (3/4) majority vote at the annual general meeting or a special general meeting, for any cause which the membership may deem reasonable.

Peter Halasz is a past President of SF Canada. SF Canada recently removed its webpage about him. Formerly accessible at https://www.sfcanada.org/peter-halasz/, it now returns “Page not found.” The removal has occurred since the last Google cache snapshot was taken on January 5 (still visible here.) (Should that screencap expire, the Wayback Machine has a March 2021 copy here.)

Halasz also at times has served on the board of the Friends of the Merril Collection, and the governing board of the World Fantasy Convention. He is a co-founder and one of the administrators of the Sunburst Award.

SF Canada has not yet responded to File 770’s request for comment sent through their website’s contact page.

12 thoughts on “SF Canada Votes To Require Peter Halasz to Resign

  1. I knew Peter Halazs from rather long ago, and could be a difficult and persistent individual. Otherwise I have have no idea what could have led to this dismissal.

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  3. This sounds kind of Kafkaesque. Releasing the mailing list is obviously a serious matter but was it intentional or an accidental oversight?
    Apart from this one example the rest of Halasz’s alleged ‘crimes’ are vague, “various actions by Peter Halasz incompatible with a collegial relationship with the members of SF Canada…”
    I mean what the heck does this mean? Peter is known for his abrasive personality which suggests these unspecified charges are likely the result of a conflict of personalities.

  4. Peter McGarvey: Despite your assessment of Halasz personality (I don’t know him) that didn’t keep them from electing him President in the past, did it. Why are you jumping in to flyspeck something you admit to having no information about?

  5. Mike, that’s kind of the point, SF Canada didn’t give us a lot of information about the nature of the charges. This leads to all kinds of speculation, did Peter poison someone’s mother? Or release a genetically modified plague on the world? Or did he just rub someone the wrong way? The vagueness of SF Canada’s statement smacks of a Star Chamber where your crimes are never clearly specified before punishment is meted out.

  6. Given that I’m not a member of SF Canada, my inclination would be to think that presumably the board has the info they feel they require and don’t feel the need to make statements that could open them up to litigation (remember JDA dragging a lawsuit out of a public statement?)

    Of course it’s possible they have a history there that I’m unaware of, but is there any reason to jump to that conclusion?

  7. Peter McGarvey: You want them to prove it to your satisfaction in a public presentation of evidence on the internet. That you aren’t getting what you want does not establish that SF Canada didn’t go through its own due process.

  8. Ah,

    Forgive me if an anonymous post appears here and appears to end in mid-sentence. New keyboard, don’t usually post here. Bad combination.

    I am, for the current time, a member of SF Canada. There was no due process worthy of the name. But so what? The entire AGM was an exercise in amateurishness and incompetence.

    The Halasz matter began as a dispute over the content and import of financial statements. It became protracted as parties refused to back down and ended up talking past each other. It quite quickly degenerated to personal invective, and the personal invective became ugly. Halasz wasn’t the only one involved in bitter, ugly personal invective, he was just the only one who got expelled. As things got out of hand, there were people who called for calm and restraint. But that wasn’t the Board, which seemed happy to wallow in the gutter, it certainly wasn’t certain Board members who had a track record of bullying.

    That stuff about disclosure of member’s information happened, but it wasn’t intentional, the information was buried in a much larger document which was uploaded without realizing, and an apology was made almost immediately. That’s just a red herring. The real issue was personal issues and personal invective.

    As sordid as it was, it’s not terribly unusual for small groups or communities, particularly if the situation is managed poorly. The reality is that it’s easy for people to paint themselves and each other into corners. In these situations, people need to take steps back and act like grown ups, that didn’t happen. So it went where it went.

    In the end it all ended up amateurish and unprofessional and ugly with bitterness all around. I’m sure that if we started up, everyone could take sides all over again, and it would get bitter and ugly all over again. Personally, what’s done is done, and I’m prepared to move on.

    This kind of dreck has happened before many times, it’ll happen again, in many places. It’s not particularly unique or interesting, unless you’re caught up in it, or unless you’re into gossip.

    I’m just hoping that next time around, people will behave a little better, show a little more judgment.

    Let’s move on.

  9. I don’t want to wade into this too deeply, but D.G. (“Den”) Valdron’s lengthy comment here today compels me to note two things. First, he says he is “for the current time, a member of SF Canada.” Den, you’re glossing over something here in a way that strikes me as disingenuous. To refresh your memory, I draw your attention to your own post on the SF Canada listserver with this timestamp:

    Fri Jan 21 10:00:28 PST 2022

    It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to quote its contents publicly, but you make a statement there that certainly adds shading to your “for the current time, a member of SF Canada” positioning of your remarks here.

    Second, you completely ignore here the issue raised in the listserver message with this time stamp, and the lengthy discussion that followed it:

    Tue Jan 18 16:43:57 PST 2022

    Finally, there are those who might term your own involvement in the discussions as intemperate. Not only did you post (by far) more comments than anyone else on this topic, but despite what you said on January 18, you have continued to do so, with invective, on the listserver, as recently as today in the message with this timestamp:

    Thu Feb 3 10:59:45 PST 2022

    You say, “Let’s move on” (a) as if you yourself have done so and (b) as if you’ve given us the definitive summation of what happened. As far as (a) is concerned, you demonstrably have not, and, as far as (b) is concerned, speaking as one who observed but did not participate in the listserver debates on this issue, in my view, you have neither fully nor fairly summarized what happened.

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