Canadian Medical Association

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How does the AGM work?
How to participate
How to prepare
Frequently asked questions

The 2023 AGM will be held virtually on Aug. 16 from 11 am to 4 pm ET. Registration will open in May.

Share your ideas for change: Submit a corporate business proposal for consideration at this year’s AGM by May 19.


At the CMA, we champion better health, health care and a thriving health workforce. Member participation in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) is a chance to help lead that change.

The AGM is a forum for members to ask questions of CMA leadership, vote on bylaw changes and address other corporate matters.

In addition, it is a place to celebrate our presidents. In a valedictory address, the outgoing president reflects on the highlights of their term, while the incoming president sets out their vision for the year ahead in an inaugural speech.

The AGM includes the Nominations Committee report, where delegates can vote to ratify candidates for CMA leadership positions.

View a list of past AGMs and their corresponding reports. Note: Member log-in may be required for some files. 

How does the AGM work?

View transcript

AGM video 'How does the AGM work?' transcript

[Text on screen:] How does the AGM work?

[Overview:] Artist stands with his back to the camera, drawing images on a white board that illustrate what is being explained in the voiceover.


At the CMA, hosting an effective Annual General Meeting is important. It’s why we follow rules of order, including our Bylaws and Operating Rules and Procedures, as well as Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.

  • Rules of order establish how to participate in a meeting and how to vote
  • Their purpose is to balance the rights of ALL members on a given issue

So, what’s different about a meeting that uses rules of order?

  • The meeting chair must recognize a member before they speak
  • Only one member can comment at a time and must keep to a time limit
  • Only one motion can be considered at a time
  • Each member has one vote for a given motion
  • In most cases, a motion is passed when it receives a majority of votes
  • For some motions, such as amending bylaws, a two-thirds majority is needed

Learn more about how the AGM works.

Your participation can help shape our future.

[Text on screen:]

  • CMA logo
  • Shaping our future. Together.

Note: Except for facilitative business motions such as approval of bylaws or appointment of auditors, motions at the AGM are encompassed by the corporate business proposals described in the Operating Rules and Procedures.

The role of the chair

  • Declares the meeting open
  • Ensures fairness
  • Observes and enforces the rules of order
  • Follows the agenda
  • Rules on points of order
  • Manages appeals from the ruling of the chair
  • Responds to members’ requests for information and parliamentary questions
  • Puts motions to a vote and announces results

The role of the member

  • Informs themselves on the agenda items for the meeting
  • Develops a functional understanding of the rules of order
  • Attends the meeting
  • Participates by asking questions and debating 
  • Supports a respectful and collaborative environment
  • Votes

      How do I participate in the AGM?

      View transcript 

      AGM video 'How do I participate in the AGM?' transcript

      [Text on screen:] How do I participate in the AGM?

      [Overview:] Artist stands with his back to the camera, drawing images on a white board that illustrate what is being explained in the voiceover.

      [Voiceover:] Participation in the CMA’s Annual General Meeting is a chance for members to shape the future of our association.

      In order to take an active role in the meeting, it helps to be familiar with some basic rules of conduct:

      • Follow the instructions of the meeting chair and seek their recognition before speaking
      • If recognized, state your full name and location
      • Direct all comments to the chair and not to previous speakers
      • Ensure comments are clear, concise and germane
      • Avoid personal comments about other members and respect their right to participate
      • Be sure to vote

      Learn more about how to participate in the AGM and help lead change in health care.

      [Text on screen:]

      • CMA logo
      • Lead change in health care.

      How to prepare for the AGM

      Renew your membership

      Physicians and medical learners must join or renew their memberships with the CMA to register for the AGM. Non-members, including members of the public, may register to observe the meeting. For more information, or if you are unsure about your membership status, please contact the CMA Member Service Centre at [email protected] or 1-888-855-2555.

      Frequently asked questions

      What happens at the AGM?

      Required under our bylaws, the AGM is where members receive the CMA Annual Report, vote on proposed bylaw amendments, appoint the external auditor and ask questions of CMA leadership. All members are entitled to attend and vote at the AGM.

      How many members must attend the AGM in order to conduct business?

      The minimum number of members who must be present to conduct business (known as “quorum”) is set at 50 members for the AGM.  

      What are bylaws?

      Bylaws describe the purpose of the association and outline the rules that govern it. They are approved by the members, and require a 2/3 majority vote of members. They contain information about the organization’s objectives, and its membership, officers and meetings. The bylaws also lay out the composition and duties of the board of directors and certain committees.

      Can I ask a question or share a comment at the AGM?

      Yes. Instructions will be provided on how to submit a question or seek recognition to speak in favour or against a motion. Questions and comments must be respectful, germane and show proper decorum. To allow as many members as possible to participate, verbal participation will be limited to two minutes per member in a debate on a motion. This time limit will be strictly enforced. Questions may also be posed in writing and will have an upvote feature.

      Can I make a motion at the AGM?

      Procedural motions (e.g., a point of order) may be made at the AGM. The AGM chair will rule on whether they’re in order or not. Main motions from the floor relating to corporate issues, bylaw amendments or health policy issues are not in order at the AGM. These types of motions must be submitted to the CMA in advance under Corporate Business Proposals or Member Health Policy Proposals.

      What’s a point of order?

      A point of order is a motion used when a member feels meeting rules are not being followed and they call upon the AGM chair for a decision. A point of order must be dealt with before whatever was being discussed can proceed. If the chair is not sure how to rule, the point of order can be submitted to members for a vote.

      I’m a student member. Can I attend the AGM and vote?

      Yes and yes! You’re the future of our profession and are entitled to attend and vote to help shape the future of your national medical association.

      What happens during the Nominations Committee report?

      The Nominations Committee report includes the nominations for certain key leadership positions on the CMA Board, CMA committees and as president-elect. It is an opportunity for delegates to vote to ratify candidates for these leadership positions.

      Who is considered a delegate?

      Some delegates are appointed by virtue of their position (e.g., the chair and members of the CMA Board of Directors, the speaker and deputy speaker, the president of each division, and some past officers). Provincial/territorial and affiliate society delegates are members appointed by their respective provincial/territorial medical association or affiliate society to vote in CMA elections. See section 10.2.1 of the bylaws for a complete list.

      What’s the difference between ratification of a nomination and election?

      The Nominations Committee is elected by the delegates. Its composition is set out in the by-laws, as established by the members of the CMA.  The Nominations Committee has the mandate to recruit and secure strong balanced leadership for the CMA. It has a robust vetting and interview process and bring nominations to the delegates at the AGM. When nominations from the floor are not in order and a single nominee has been presented by the Nominations Committee, delegates approve the nomination through a vote called “ratification.” An election is held if there’s more than one candidate for a particular position.