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CMA - 2 - 2022 pre-AGM Information Session

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The AGM of the CMA is Sunday Aug 21st. I guess we are all not concerned about meetings on Sunday anymore.

I thought I'd try to prepare myself this year, hence I signed up for one of two "CMA's pre-Annual General Meeting (AGM) information sessions" 90 minutes on a Monday afternoon. About 2 pages of attendees (? 50 people) of whom many appeared to be CMA staff and board. Chair was a CMA staffer who did a much better job than the physician chair of the 2021 AGM.

For 90 minutes invested, I don't actually remember very much, but at my age that's not too surprising.

  • Why was this info session held? Well, I'd guess the primary reason was to promulgate agenda item 1: Overview of CMA AGM 2022 -How to participate -What to expect. A long-time senior board member, Carl Nohr, retired surgeon from Ab, and a registered parliamentarian (!!) gave a primer on how to interject into the discussion and when and how the interjection will be recognized/voted. I'm guessing that this is because the parliamentarian expert at the 2021 AGM did such a bad job. (and the AGM chair did a bad job too). It wasn't much but a little awkward role playing, and the lesson wasn't really for the audience I don't think - because the problem last year wasn't the audience but rather that the Parliamentarian didn't know or express well the rules according to Robert so the meeting was a shambles.
  • Q&A with CMA board chair and vice-chair was the second agenda item and this had a few presentations (Alika Lafontaine spoke well as did Katharine Smart) and there were a few of the expected questions and answers and missteps.
  • A couple of things really struck me. Suzanne Strasberg is an Ontario GP, long term involvement in OMA/CMA (and thus presumably experienced) and chair of the Board. She came across very awkwardly. In the Zoom image she was 10 feet back of the camera and her image onscreen was fuzzy! Not very professional. Questions which were asked she was unable to answer, even/particularly ones she should have been able to handle - about the implications of the proposed Bylaws changes. "I'll have to check on that." No contribution from others to actually answer the question. She misspoke several times. Had no comment on the conduct/results when asked about how the Board interpreted the 2021 AGM. (I took the opportunity to post in the chat the link as I am aware of no official CMA response.)
  • They had no apology for the lack of an official AGM report document. No suggestion that the Minutes would be proposed for acceptance/adoption. Someone even commented that he/she had never heard of Minutes being presented or voted upon at a meeting. (I may be missing something. I've never been at a meeting where the previous AGM minutes were not presented - but I'm just young).
  • In regards to the proposed bylaw change: that the nominating process for CMA president be opened widely, so anyone can nominate anyone including themselves, they really had nothing. One questioner said that this could mean that there could be 300 nominees. Dr. Nohr stated that he thought that would be a good thing. Then he stated that anyway the CMA Nominating Committee would review the nominees to make sure they were "suitable" !!!!! Hmmm. In the chat I suggested that this was a perhaps inappropriate target and perhaps he meant to state "eligible" and someone quickly took up on that re-wording.

There were two comments on the suitability of the upcoming AGM arrangements. A distinguished (or perhaps ruffled) elderly gentleman from Ontario referred back to the days when the CMA meeting was held over several days and the discussion was in person, wide-ranging, and robust, and suggested that the CMA return to this plan. On the other hand another attendee pointed out that the CMA was proposing a 4 hour Zoom forum (he thought that this was pretty tough), followed by 30 minutes of the Nominating Committee report (responsible for the President Elect and nominations for the (? only) 7 CMA committees would be voted on by delegates (i.e. not attendees). Wouldn't seem that the Nominations committee's work is too important if it is given 30 minutes - I'd assess that no discussion is expected. (I'd guess that all the members of the important committees are from the Board anyway).

Hope this summary is helpful. I'd be happy to receive corrections if my memory is incorrect..

My first CMA post looked at some CMA documents - minutes of meeting and Financial statements.   Subsequent ones will present my thoughts of the CMA AGM's from 2021 and 2022.

Just to foreshadow my 4th note on the 2022 AGM, I think the major proposed bylaw change is a lousy idea and should be defeated. I don't think the Board of the CMA is doing a great job these days and it seems to me the CMA is falling apart. So, anyone reading this, I encourage you to register for the AGM (if you are still a CMA member):

You can have Netflix going on your pad (or alternative electronic device) and pay attention at just the right time to participate in the vote.




Cease fire banner, you don't speak for the people.