THE EC BYLAW VOTE: WHAT’S REALLY AT STAKE

Posted by By at 24 February, at 16 : 46 PM Print

By Horse Canada

When I received the February 10, 2015 Equine Canada announcement that my vote was being sought on new bylaws, my first thought was that I should attempt to understand what impact these bylaws would have on me individually. When I received an announcement about the bylaw vote from Horse Council BC three days later, it became evident that there was much more to consider than just my personal interests. HCBC made it clear in its message that it strongly objects to the proposed bylaws; most other PTSOs have taken the same position, and they have conveyed their objections to their members through emails and bulletins on their websites.
There was extensive consultation with stakeholder groups during the drafting and modifications to the EC bylaws. Many requests were made, and not one stakeholder group can say that all their needs have been met by the bylaws that are now being voted on. But there really is just one central issue that is going to bring these bylaws down if the provinces are successful in convincing their members to vote against them: the loss of voting privileges for provincial members who do not have EC sport licenses.

Over the past ten days, I have sought information, insight and opinions from a variety of individuals. My goal was to understand the issues from all perspectives so that I could help myself and you, the would-be voters, to understand what is at stake and what you should consider when deciding how to vote.
Emotions have run to red-hot among the provinces, the sport discipline committees and the EC Board on an ongoing basis over many years. The current situation reveals that the fence mending is far from complete – that recreation and sport, the provinces and EC, are still eying one another with mistrust. In order to avoid falling into the trap of letting my attempt at sharing relevant factors deteriorate into a ‘he said she said’ that plays on emotions rather than the objective facts, I have decided to refrain from quoting individuals in this article. Instead, I will provide a list of the people with whom I had conversations by email, phone, or both. As the voting period is already half over, time was a limiting factor and I couldn’t possibly reach everyone, but I believe I managed to speak to individuals on all sides. Here they are, in no particular order:

Eva Havaris – CEO of EC
Tony La Giorgia – Chair of EC Bylaws and Governance Committee
Sarah Bradley – Chair of Dressage Canada, Chair of EC Sport Council
Les Oakes – President of the Alberta Equestrian Federation
John Taylor – Chair of Jump Canada
Mike Gallagher – EC Board Member (immediate past President)

(*A note that Mike Gallagher, as a current Board member, was unable to comment on the bylaws. I did not attempt to speak with EC President Al Patterson, for this reason and for the reason that Patterson has, in the past, declined to be interviewed by me on other EC matters, such as the horse slaughter industry.)

A Bit of History

In August 2012, EC proposed a set of new bylaws to members in response to changes to the Canada Not-For-Profit Act that compelled all non-profit organizations in Canada to comply with new rules regarding governance. The proposed bylaws were received negatively by most of the provinces, and they were ultimately defeated, primarily by ‘no’ votes from members in two provinces: BC and Alberta. With a compliance deadline of October 2014 imposed by Corporations Canada, EC went through the process of re-drafting the bylaws throughout 2014. Provinces and other stakeholders were consulted, and a number of items were requested. Al Patterson assured the provinces that their members’ voting privileges would be preserved in the new bylaws. Individual voting rights for PTSO members are also part of the Accord that the provinces signed with EC in 2011.

In November 2014, EC Sport Council had a meeting in Toronto at which members of two discipline committees, Jump and Eventing, made it known that they were not in favour of the bylaws that would continue to give PTSO members the same voting privileges as EC sport license holders. Their objections were ultimately successful, and the bylaws were changed to reflect a two-tier membership structure that would take away the individual vote from PTSO members. The bylaws were then approved by the EC Board and issued for voting by members on February 10th. The majority of the provinces quickly responded by communicating their opinion of the bylaws to their own members; it is abundantly clear that they want them to vote ‘no’. Here is a link to the OEF’s most recent email to members regarding the bylaws.

Let’s Wade In

Chances are you have not yet voted on the bylaws. In fact, it’s unlikely you will vote at all by the February 26th deadline (the deadline to register to vote is actually the 24th). Voter apathy is rampant in Canada’s horse community. Here are some membership statistics: in 2014 there were approximately 19,000 sport license holders (though some of them are Juniors and are not eligible to vote) and roughly 80,000 members of PTSOs who, under the existing bylaws, have a vote. The 2012 EC bylaws were defeated after a total of 872 individuals voted, which represents voter participation in the range of less than one percent, assuming similar membership numbers canada pharmacy. easily compare prices and purchase valtrex (valacyclovir) … for that year. But the fact that members tend not to exercise their voting privileges doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to take away those privileges. And for many of us, it’s simply counterintuitive to ask people to vote to have their vote taken away in the future – which is precisely what EC is asking non-sport license holders to do. If the bylaws are passed (and they need a two thirds majority of votes to do so), then PTSO members will no longer have an individual vote. However, that is not to say they lose their say entirely.

A table on page six of the proposed bylaws indicates that a quota of voting representatives will be assigned to provinces according to their membership numbers. The largest provinces, with over 20,000 members, will receive four allocations, while the smallest provinces, with fewer than 1,000 members, will receive one. Now, these are individual votes, so each of those allocations counts for no more than an individual EC sport license holder’s vote. Applying a bit of arithmetic leads quickly to the conclusion that giving a province with 20,000 members the voting power of four individuals is nothing more than a token gesture with virtually no possibility of having an impact. That would certainly be the position taken by the provinces, who understandably feel let down after being promised a vote for all their members. But we must again return to the earlier point about how many people actually bother to vote at all.

The annual EC Convention and purchase dapoxetine online approved by fda. of services, , say i always requires more dapoxetine hcl. AGM is the primary event where voting on a range of topics takes place each year. Last year there was an exceptionally high turn-out of individual members, at around 100. That’s right, 100. The reality is that the people who are engaged with our provincial and national federations, those who go to the AGM and vote – as individuals, but more often as members of committees such as the discipline committees – represent a tiny minority. Practically speaking, do most of us ever exercise our voting privileges? No, we don’t. If HCBC has four people representing its interests at the AGM, their relative influence is far greater than if you apply the math on the mistaken assumption that everyone votes. In fact, having a guaranteed four person representation from BC is likely to be higher than the attendance of ordinary HCBC members anyway – except when the AGM is occasionally held in BC, of course.

The real problem is in the principle, rather than the practicality, of the revocation of votes for provincial members. There is a perennial tug-of-war between those who enjoy trail riding and those who compete, particularly in the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines. At its worst, the power struggle resembles a left handed person who uses her left hand to try and cut off her right hand. Recreation and sport are two parts of the same body, but they act more like combatants with mutually exclusive interests. In my conversations over the past week, the word ‘trust’ has come up over and over. The provinces are wary of EC, and the about-face with the voting privileges has become an unfortunate opportunity for the provinces to continue to mistrust the national organization, and to rally their members to follow suit.

Please Consider This

First of all, let me point out the obvious: if you don’t vote on these bylaws, you have no place complaining about the outcome. Assuming you do plan to vote, here are a few things to consider:

1. Article 197 of the Canada Not-For-Profit Act states that if fundamental changes to the organization are proposed – they are listed within Article 197 itself – each class of member votes separately, and each must have a majority vote of two thirds for the fundamental change to be passed. In other words, the provinces as a class of voter will continue to have the ability to reject fundamental changes in exactly the same way that EC sport license holders have.

2. The proposed bylaws will alter the structure of the EC Board. The change will be rolled out over the next four years, but ultimately there will be a Board of nine directors, four of which are representatives chosen primarily by the provinces, but also other national associations, such as breed associations that are members of EC. The other five will be elected by the sport disciplines. This is an increase in provincial representation on the Board compared to the current Board structure.

3. If you are an EC sport license holder, you have nothing to lose when you vote on the discount generic baclofen 20 mg is available at our canadian pharmacy. buy generic baclofen 20 mg and save on the baclofen 20 mg price. new bylaws; you continue to have the same vote you have today. However, if EC fails to implement these bylaws that comply with the Not-For-Profit Act, the organization could be forced to dissolve, and to then be rebuilt again from scratch. EC has not yet received a warning about the fact that it has already missed the October 2014 deadline, and no one can predict when the first, second and final third warning will come; the risk is unquantifiable, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

4. If you are not a sport license holder but a PTSO member who wishes to have an individual vote in EC, you can purchase a noncompetitive EC membership for $10 that entitles you to have the same voting privileges as a sport license holder. And if you are an active volunteer on one of EC’s many committees – sport oriented or otherwise – you probably already have voting privileges as a committee member even if you aren’t a sport license holder.

5. Bylaws can and should change over time as an organization grows and evolves. If the proposed EC bylaws are passed, that doesn’t mean the provinces can’t successfully regain their members’ vote the next time the bylaws are under review.

6. When the proposed EC bylaws were drafted, the structure of other Canadian national sport organizations (NSOs) were looked at, and individuals with legal experience in NSO and non-profit governance were consulted. The equestrian industry has unique features and challenges that make it impossible to draw a perfect parallel with any other sport organization. But if your child wants to play Lacrosse, for instance, here is what happens: you join a local club and pay a fee of $80. You don’t have voting rights at the provincial or national level; in fact you are not even considered a member, but a participant. Some of the fee you pay trickles along the PTSO, and some to the NSO. You don’t have a vote at the provincial or national level, and you probably don’t care. You just want your kid to be able to play Lacrosse. It bears pointing out that some provincial equestrian federations don’t actually extend individual voting rights to their members either.

7. When two sport disciplines objected to the membership structure of the bylaws, and were successful in getting them changed to a two-tier membership structure, they didn’t go to their members and ask for their feedback before doing so. The elected executive members made a discretionary decision that they believed was in the best interests of their members, and they acted on dapoxetine online pharmacy dapoxetine price buy dapoxetine it. One needs to be careful with how literally one interprets the concept of democracy, because taking it too far can lead to a system that is both unwieldy and incapable of meeting anyone’s needs.

8. If you have a moral objection to the revocation of individual votes for PTSO members who will continue to contribute an annual membership fee to EC, you have the easiest decision of anyone. It’s obvious how you should cast your vote.

Does it bother me that the provinces were led down the garden path with respect to voting privileges for their members? Yes, it certainly does. I also wish recreation and sport would stop trying to amputate one another. Recreation is the grass roots of all sport, equestrian or otherwise; and high performance competition is the public profile of a sport, inspiring new people to become participants. A kid that starts out trail riding with his uncle on weekends may become a member of Canada’s Reining Team one day. The persistent attitude that recreation and sport are not complementary branches of the Canadian equestrian industry is short-sighted and ultimately destructive. If fluoxetine ( fluoxetine street price ) – generic fluoxetine from 90 x 10mg = $21 to 90 x 20mg = $30. fast worldwide shipping. discount on re-orders! visa  there is one piece of advice I would like to give everyone, regardless of how you decide to vote on the bylaws, it’s to not look at the issues from the standpoint of only recreation, or only sport. Try to stand far enough from the trees to see the forest.

If you are going to vote, and that is a big IF, please weigh what is really at stake for you, for those with whom you share your love of horses, and for the volunteers who have spent many, many hours working on EC’s governance so that you don’t have to worry about it. I am not suggesting that incorrect means justify ends. But let’s not lose sight of the end entirely, especially since most of us ultimately want the same thing – an equestrian community that thrives into the future.

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