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CMA - 4 - 2022 AGM

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As the CMA AGM is upcoming - quickly - I have been marshalling my thoughts...

The last thought about CMA AGM's

The 2022 CMA AGM is Sunday August 21 2022 at 8am Pacific time. One does have to be a member to attend:  must join or renew their memberships with the CMA before 5 pm PacificTime on Tues., Aug. 16.  Non-members can observe... I encourage you to join, register, and vote.

The Agenda of the meeting is posted. It includes the Remarks from CMA leadership (presumably the usual flim-flam), Audit and Finance Committee report (can query about the lack of detail in the report), the Governance Committee report (the discussion and vote on proposed bylaw changes), a members Q&A session, and votes on the report of the Nominating Committee (i.e. for elected positions and committee positions). As well two "wellness" breaks are noted - "wellness" is the current fashionable term for "coffee break" but they don't fool me.

It does not include a discussion of the minutes of the previous meeting, and it does not include a vote on the Finance report (but we do get to vote on the auditors...). I would presume that one can ask questions about the Finance report, and it seems to me some might include the $3.2 billion that isn't mentioned and why any details of the finances are hidden from the report.

The bylaw changes this year are described as "as a step to remove barriers to seeking a leadership position, the CMA will put forward a motion for a proposed bylaw change to modernize the nominations process", and "The CMA board is proposing removing the numerical requirements to allow candidates to self-nominate. This approach would remove barriers to participation and expand the CMA’s pool of diverse leadership candidates. "

The wording which would change includes this: "Any member of the Association may submit nominations for the offices of..." to replace a statement that 'a Division, or a nomination supported by 50 members' - in other words anyone one member could nominate themselves or any other eligible member for any position. One will have to decide whether this is an appropriate change, will appropriately remove barriers to participation in the CMA leadership, and whether it will enhance the goals of the organization.

I myself don't see it. The board has given no insight into their thought processes in offering it. There is no suggestion that experts in member-driven national volunteer organizations have observed it to be an effective tool.  There's nothing.  Perhaps someone just shouted out one day, "Down with 50!!!" and a bandwagon was formed.

One member suggested that this could lead to chaos, with many - say, 300 people - nominated for a position such as president elect. Dr. Nohr responded to that suggestion with his thoughts that this would be good, and commented that the Nominations Committee would be reviewing nominations to ensure they were 'suitable' (corrected on prompting to eligible, but I think a faux pas reflecting what might be behind the Board's intention). Myself, I think of the chaos in those eastern European - Israel, perhaps - where there are multiple irrelevant parties in elections. Chaos. I don't see the disadvantage of ensuring that someone who imagines him/herself as a leader of having to persuade a few colleagues - perhaps 50 is too many, but perhaps not - to stand up behind them to do that.

I certainly don't see this as being an important and effective tool to enhance diversity and inclusivity in the organization. As Drs. Granger Avery, Eric Cadesky, and others said in 2021 in the Medical Post about last year's AGM with it's processes and proposals, these seem to me in fact anti-democratic - while being presented as 'democratic' the chaos and disorganization which quite possibly could result, and "nominations committee oversight" may impair rather than enhance and support membership engagement and democratic processes.

I wonder in fact if this isn't the chaos of a failing leadership trying to persuade themselves and their members that they are leading well. I think that perhaps they are leading badly. In combination with this evidence, and the comments I've made in my previous messages in this trail, I think it is time for a change.

The last thing, before a presentation and Q&A with the incoming president, is the report of the Nominations Committee which is available and for which 30 minutes is allocated for discussion and to vote on the candidates reported there. I don't expect much detailed discussion in 30 minutes!

Let's look at the slate.  Drs Kathleen Ross and Carolyn Wang from BC offer for the president-elect position.  These names may be recognized by BC members and perhaps a few others.  Most can only read the brief bio's. Then a few board positions. I don't recognize any of the names so that's dull. But there is no election anyway:  the Board offerings are one per province, NB and PEI being proposed for 2nd terms and PQ for a 1st term, typically - the Nominating Committee not offering any actual 'choice'.  (The Bylaws state 1 board position per province, term renewable once). The candidates and incumbent Board member generally seem to have long histories at the CMA, other national organizations (CMPA/RC) and their own provincial associations. Our BC representative, Dr. Walton, is said to have been a representative at something like 13 annual CMA General Council meetings... perhaps that is enough for one person.  I guess 30 minutes will be plenty if members have the strength to even stick around that long.

Which could just be unfortunate.  The last is a presentation entitled "Welcoming Dr. Lafontaine’s historic presidency".  Dr. Lafontaine is an indigenous physican, an anesthesiologist in Grande Prairie, a highly recognized physican leader and advocate for health transformation for indigenous citizens. In 2019 he received the Sir Charles Tupper Award for Political Action:  recognized as "a member of the CMA MD-MP Contact Program or CMA member who has demonstrated exemplary leadership, commitment and dedication to the cause of advancing the policies, views and goals of the CMA at the federal level through grassroots advocacy efforts."  Seems to me he is an example of EDI in action.

Sign up for the meeting. But be prepared for a long one.


Notice of motions (for 2023 - need to be submitted within 2 weeks or so I guess):

Draft proposal 1. The CMA circulate detailed minutes of Board Meetings and CMA AGM's, and the latter minutes are presented to the subsequent AGM for review and approval as official documents of the association in accord with guidelines established in Robert's Rules of Order

Draft proposal 2. The CMA Financial Statements as presented to members include a detailed report of the operations of the CMA's wholly owned subsidiaries and subsidiaries thereof: CMAH 2018 Inc (? CMA Impact Inc) and the CMA Foundation; and relationships with other organizations that are subject to CMA oversight.-?

My apologies for the long message. Please forgive the typos and inadvertent errors and post corrections.


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