Important Update: Annual Meeting Adjournment and Next Steps
Dear CGHA Members,
This is an important update regarding the recent Annual Meeting of our organization and the subsequent adjournment. It is vital to keep all members informed about the situation and the steps we are taking to address it.
During the Annual Meeting, an incident occurred that disrupted the proceedings while a proposed new bylaw was being presented. As a result, the decision was made to adjourn the meeting in order to maintain order and uphold the integrity of our decision-making process. We acknowledge that this incident has raised concerns and caused uncertainty among our members, and we want to address them directly.
It is important to clarify that the adjournment was necessary to ensure a respectful and productive environment for all participants. Our decision to adjourn was made while taking into careful consideration our commitment to transparency, fairness, and the best interests of our organization and its members.
We understand that not all members may have been present during the disruptive incident, and opinions on the matter may vary. We want to assure you that we respect and value diverse perspectives within our organization, and we encourage constructive dialogue and open communication in the appropriate way.
Our unwavering commitment lies in addressing this matter with the utmost fairness, integrity, and a steadfast adherence to our governing principles. Our dedication to the mission and values of our organization remains resolute as we navigate through this situation. We assure you that we will diligently address the concerns that have been raised and seek a resolution that is equitable and just. To assist us in this process, we have enlisted the expertise of a lawyer from Sport Law who will conduct an in-depth internal review of our governing documents, encompassing both the existing and proposed bylaws. In addition, they will be facilitating an informative meeting with our board, followed by a dedicated session with our valued members to provide clarity and address any questions or concerns that may have arisen. Rest assured that the CGHA will convene a Special General Meeting (SGM) in the late fall to resume our important discussions and decision-making process. Together, we will move forward towards a positive outcome.
We also welcome suggestions for the new bylaw that aligns with the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010, S.O, c. 15, parliamentary procedure, and other relevant governing bodies.
Should you have immediate feedback for us to consider, please fill out the linked survey.
We want to assure you that our organization remains strong, and we are fully committed to serving our members and fulfilling our mission. Your engagement and participation are vital to our collective success. We encourage you to share your opinions, concerns, and feedback through appropriate channels, such as attending meetings, participating in committees, or reaching out to the board.
The board and appropriate representatives are available to address any other questions or concerns you may have. We will provide updates as the situation progresses and ensure transparency throughout the process.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding. Together, we will overcome this challenge and emerge stronger as an organization.
At the adjourned CGHA Annual Meeting, several questions were raised regarding the governance of minor sports associations and the role of non-profit boards. To address these inquiries, we have created an FAQ guide that focuses on the unique challenges faced by minor sports organizations in Ontario. This guide aims to provide valuable insights into the responsibilities of board members, parliamentary procedures, and the importance of adhering to policies and bylaws. We hope this resource will enhance understanding and promote effective governance within the CGHA and similar organizations.
The Difference Between a Town Hall Meeting and an Annual Meeting: Ensuring Productive Discourse
It's essential to clarify the distinction between a town hall meeting and an annual meeting, particularly when addressing the need for productive discourse and respectful behavior during the latter. Here's a breakdown of the two meeting types:
1. Town Hall Meeting:
A town hall meeting is an open forum designed to engage the community in a broader discussion. Its purpose is to provide a platform for members to express their opinions, concerns, and suggestions regarding various topics or issues related to the organization. The primary focus is on gathering input and fostering dialogue between the organization's leadership and its members. Town hall meetings often encourage active participation and a free exchange of ideas.
2. Annual Meeting:
An annual meeting, on the other hand, is a specific type of meeting required by the organization's bylaws or governing documents. It serves as an opportunity to report on the organization's activities, financial status, and future plans. The primary objectives of an annual meeting typically include electing board members, discussing important matters affecting the organization, and presenting reports to the membership. Unlike a town hall meeting, an annual meeting follows a structured agenda and adheres to established parliamentary procedures.
The Purpose of an Annual Meeting:
The purpose of an annual meeting is to ensure transparency, accountability, and effective governance within the organization. It provides a formal platform for members to stay informed, make important decisions, and actively participate in shaping the organization's direction. While open dialogue and member engagement are encouraged, it's crucial to maintain order and respect for the established meeting procedures.
Respecting Order and Productive Discourse:
During an annual meeting, it's essential to foster an environment of respect, where all members have the opportunity to express their views within the established rules and guidelines. Disruptive behaviour or using the meeting as a personal soapbox undermines the purpose of the annual meeting and can hinder the organization's progress.
The decision to adjourn an unruly annual meeting was made to restore order and ensure that the meeting's objectives could be achieved effectively. It's important to communicate to the membership that an annual meeting is not the appropriate forum for soapboxing or disruptive behaviour. Instead, it is a time for constructive dialogue, decision-making, and collective progress.
The annual meeting is an opportunity for the organization to come together, make informed decisions, and collectively contribute to its success. By upholding the principles of respectful discourse and effective governance, you can ensure that the annual meeting serves its intended purpose for the benefit of all members.
CGHA Annual Meeting FAQ: Non-Profit Boards and Policies in Ontario Minor Sports Associations
What is the role of a non-profit board in a minor sports association, like the CGHA? The non-profit board of a minor sports association plays a vital role in overseeing operations, setting strategic direction, and ensuring compliance with legal requirements. It is responsible for making governance decisions, setting policies, and safeguarding the organization's mission and values. The board represents the interests of members and strives to create a positive and inclusive environment for athletes, coaches, volunteers, and members.
What are the key challenges faced by non-profit boards in minor sports associations? Non-profit boards in minor sports associations often encounter challenges such as managing member interests, effective financial resource management, resolving conflicts within teams and among members, and navigating legal and regulatory complexities. Additionally, maintaining a strong volunteer base and ensuring active member engagement can present ongoing challenges.
How are board members selected or elected in a non-profit organization? Board members are selected through a nomination and election process outlined in the association's bylaws. Nominations are sought by a nominating committee, and elections occur during annual meetings. The goal is to establish a diverse and qualified board that effectively represents the interests of the association's membership.
What is parliamentary procedure, or Robert's Rules, and why is it important? Parliamentary procedure, commonly referred to as Robert's Rules of Order, is a set of rules and guidelines for conducting organized and efficient meetings. It provides a framework for facilitating discussion, making decisions, and ensuring fairness and order during meetings. Parliamentary procedure is crucial as it promotes effective decision-making, protects participants' rights, and maintains order and decorum within meetings.
How do boards ensure transparency in their decision-making processes? Boards ensure transparency by providing timely and accurate information to members, documenting decisions and actions, conducting open meetings when appropriate, and communicating effectively with stakeholders. Transparency fosters member engagement and promotes a culture of accountability within the organization.
Can a board member choose not to follow a policy they don't agree with? While board members are encouraged to express their views and engage in healthy debates, once a policy is established and aligns with the organization's bylaws, all board members are expected to adhere to it. Consistent governance and the smooth functioning of the organization rely on board members respecting established policies. Dissenting members can advocate for policy changes through proper channels, such as proposing amendments following established procedures.
What liabilities does a board member face for not following policies or bylaws that disrupt the board's work? Board members have fiduciary duties to act in the best interests of the organization. Failing to follow policies or bylaws, especially when it disrupts the board's work or compromises the association's mission, can lead to legal consequences and potential liabilities for the individual board member. In extreme cases, legal action could be taken against the board member for breach of fiduciary duty.
Why is submitting a notice of motion or changes to bylaws or policies needed in advance of the annual meeting?
Transparency: It promotes transparency by allowing members to review proposed changes and provide informed feedback or raise concerns.
Preparedness: It facilitates preparedness by giving members time to study the proposed amendments and come to the meeting with informed positions or arguments.
Fairness: It ensures all members have equal opportunity to participate and contribute to the decision-making process.
Order and Efficiency: It allows the meeting to proceed in an orderly and efficient manner, with the agenda planned and discussions organized effectively.
Compliance with Bylaws: It demonstrates a commitment to following the organization's bylaws and maintaining the integrity of the governance procedures.
There are several online resources available that can help individuals better understand not-for-profit governance in Ontario, as well as the roles and responsibilities of board members, policies, and bylaws. Here are a few reputable sources to consider:
Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) - ONN is a provincial network for the nonprofit sector in Ontario. They provide various resources, including guides, toolkits, and webinars, to help organizations and board members understand governance best practices. Visit their website at: https://theonn.ca/
Imagine Canada - Imagine Canada is a national charitable organization that provides resources and support to nonprofits and charities. They offer guides, templates, and webinars on nonprofit governance, including the roles of board members and developing effective policies and bylaws. Explore their resources at: https://imaginecanada.ca/
Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario) - CPA Ontario provides resources specifically related to financial management and governance for nonprofits. They offer articles, webinars, and guides that cover various aspects of nonprofit governance and board responsibilities. Access their resources at: https://www.cpaontario.ca/
Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services - The Ministry's website provides valuable information on nonprofit corporations in Ontario. They offer guides and resources related to incorporation, bylaws, governance, and compliance with the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA). Explore their resources at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/non-profit-organizations
BoardSource - BoardSource is a U.S.-based organization focused on nonprofit board governance. While their resources may not be specific to Ontario, they provide comprehensive guides, webinars, and publications on board roles and responsibilities, policies, and effective governance practices. Visit their website at: https://boardsource.org/
These resources should provide a solid foundation for understanding not-for-profit governance in Ontario and the various aspects of board member roles, policies, and bylaws. It's important to note that specific legal advice may be necessary for interpreting and applying governance principles and regulations to individual organizations. Consulting with a lawyer specializing in nonprofit law in Ontario is always recommended for specific legal guidance.