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Special Meeting of Members

Two important elements of CNA’s governance system were voted on during the special meeting of members on January 29, 2014 — voting rights for members and majority voting. This meeting was “special” because it was outside the annual meeting held each June.

While the details of CNA’s bylaws may seem far removed from the critical work nurses do every day, they are in fact vital to CNA’s ability to effectively represent the nursing profession. This procedural business helps to shape and sustain CNA as the national professional association that provides support to 151,404 Canadian RNs.

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Special meeting results

Member class voting rights

CNA is an association of groups. As such, where legislation is concerned, our members are associations (i.e., the provincial and territorial RN regulatory/professional associations) as opposed to individuals. As per the new federal Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (NFP Act), CNA must articulate in its articles and bylaws the membership classes and the voting rights of each — including the new classes that were voted in at the June 2013 annual meeting (i.e., Canadian Nursing Students’ Association, Canadian Network of Nursing Specialties and the Family of Nursing class for retired and independent nurse groups). Each class must be assigned voting rights. To be compliant with the NFP Act, it was necessary that we confirm and implement a new model by October 2014.

Two models were proposed:

  • Model A — Equal representation
  • Model B — Proportional representation

Model A treated each member equally by allotting the same number of votes to each jurisdiction or group, regardless of their membership size. Model B allotted votes based on the number of nurses represented in each jurisdiction.

Model B was carried.

This proportional voting rights model allocates more votes to larger jurisdictions, but also decreases the existing gap between larger and smaller jurisdictions. This new model will give the membership — especially our newest member classes — an authentic voice at CNA while preserving the voices of our current members.

Click on the motions below to expand for details on each model.

Motion: THAT the proposed voting rights for members member classes be accepted as shown in Model A — Equal Representation Model: Read More +


Motion: THAT the proposed voting rights for members member classes be accepted as shown in Model B — Proportional Representation Model: Read More +


Majority voting

Current CNA bylaws state that a two-thirds, or supermajority, vote is required for approval of resolutions, motions and bylaws. After the June 2013 annual meeting, where some motions would have passed with only a simple majority vote (50 per cent plus one), we received a number of requests from members to reconsider our voting requirements.

CNA put forth two motions at the special meeting:

  • That motions and resolutions can be decided by a majority vote
  • That bylaws can confirmed with a majority vote

The first motion was carried, and the second motion was defeated.

Therefore, under the current bylaws governing CNA, motions and resolutions can now be decided with a simple majority vote. Bylaws, however, will continue to require a two-thirds vote for approval.

Click on the motions below to expand for details on each bylaw amendment.

Motion: THAT the proposed amendments to bylaws and 2.18.4 be approved as shown below Read More +


Motion: THAT the current bylaw 7.7 be amended from requiring a two-thirds vote to a majority vote. Read More +


Did you miss the meeting? A video of all the proceedings is available below: