May 06, 2022
To all members,
Our branch annual general meeting (AGM) that was scheduled for April 27, 2022 was cancelled due to the urgent need to elect a branch president to fill the recent vacancy. In its place, a special members meeting (SMM) was held to either elect a new president or vote on a motion to ask the national board to dissolve our branch, re-assign its members to a nearby branch, and transfer the residual net assets to the national office.
Thirty registered members attended this most important meeting at the Royal Canadian Legion hall in Cornwall Ontario on April 27, 2022. We very much appreciated their participation but had hoped for a larger turnout.
A presentation was given explaining the current situation, the reasons for the meeting and the procedures to be followed. The consequences of failing to elect a president were emphasized as failure to do so would trigger the subsequent vote to dissolve our branch. The slides of this presentation are available on the side panel of this branch web page.
There was a lengthy discussion between the members, the branch officers, and some of the national office staffers present on the topic of member engagement in our association activities and the consequences of not electing a president.
There was only one nomination from the floor for the position of president and that person declined.
The subsequent vote on the motion to ask the national board to dissolve our branch, reassign members to a neighbouring branch, and transfer our net assets to the national office failed to pass due to insufficient votes in favour. A two-thirds majority was required and the motion was defeated by a small margin.
As our current by-laws are silent on what happens in such a situation, advice was subsequently sought from the national board. We have been assured that our branch continues to exist despite being delinquent with respect to the position of president not being filled; that the current board members can continue doing business; and that the vice-president automatically assumes the responsibilities of the president in the interim.
The vice-president signed a proxy form delegating our branch treasurer, who was already registered as an observer, to represent by proxy our 2,000+ members at the annual members meeting to be held in Ottawa on June 21-23, 2022.
We are still required to hold a branch annual general meeting (AGM) as soon as our future direction is determined. Your board of directors is requesting permission from the national board to hold our 2022 AGM later than the date established in our by-laws. You will be notified when that meeting will take place.
Branch financial reports will be provided to the national office to close the current fiscal year as required by the Association regulations. These reports will be presented to the members at our next AGM..
Member participation in the core activities of our Association at the branch level is paramount for the viability of a branch. We therefore encourage each one of you to participate in all ways possible to keep this branch alive and healthy. The upcoming provincial election is a golden opportunity to do so. Register as a volunteer on the Association web site using your membership number and you can find out how to join the Reach 338 program. You decide the level of engagement that you are comfortable with. Learn more about Reach,338 here: https://www.federalretirees.ca/en/news-views/news-listing/october/infographic-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-reach-338-supporter.
If you were unable to attend the April 27, 2022 special members meeting and were considering serving as a director, please contact us for more information. At the next AGM, we will not only have to elect a new president, but also a new secretary, as this position will also become vacant at that time.
Please visit your branch web page frequently for updates.