Canadian Medical Association

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Introduction
Agenda
What to expect
Who is considered a delegate?
How does the AGM work?
How to participate
How to prepare
Frequently asked questions


Introduction

At the CMA, we champion better health, health care and a thriving health workforce. Member participation in our Annual General Meeting (AGM) — on Sunday, Aug. 21, from 11 am to 3:15 pm ET — is a chance to help lead that change.

This year’s virtual AGM is a forum for members to ask questions of CMA leadership, vote on bylaw changes and address other corporate matters.

The AGM will be followed by the Nominations Committee report from 3:30 to 4 pm ET, where delegates can vote on the president-elect and other nominations.

Register now

In addition, Dr. Katharine Smart will share reflections on her term and welcome her successor, Dr. Alika Lafontaine — the CMA’s first Indigenous president. His historic leadership will be celebrated following the AGM and the event will be available via webcast.

Agenda (all times are subject to change)

Annual general meeting

11:00 – 11:25 am ET

Welcome and outline of meeting

11:25 – 11:45 am ET

Remarks from CMA leadership

  • Dr. Katharine Smart - President’s valedictory address 
  • Dr. Alika Lafontaine - President’s inaugural address
  • Dr. Suzanne Strasberg - Annual report from board chair
  • Dr. Abdo Shabah - Francophone spokesperson update
     

11:45 – 12:00 pm ET

Audit and Finance Committee report  

  • Dr. David Cram, Chair, Audit and Finance Committee
  • Vote on motion AGM-1: appointment of auditors
     

12:00 – 1:30 pm ET  

Governance Committee report

  • Dr. Carl Nohr, Chair, Governance Committee
  • Vote on motion AGM-2: proposed bylaw changes (modernization of the nominations process)
  • Vote on motion AGM-3: bylaw changes (housekeeping)
     

1:30 – 1:45 pm ET

Wellness break

1:45 – 3:15 pm ET

Q & A session (w/ outgoing president, board chair and Francophone spokesperson)

3:15 – 3:30 pm ET

Wellness break

Note: Delegates will be asked to return at 3:30 pm for the Nominations Committee report (only they can vote). All other participants will have the option of leaving or staying on as observers.

Nominations Committee report

3:30 – 4:00 pm ET

Nominations Committee report

  • Dr. Ann Collins, Chair, Nominations Committee
  • Vote on the slate of board/committee positions and on the president-elect position
     

Special Event

4:30 to 5:30 pm ET  

Welcoming Dr. Lafontaine’s historic presidency (via webcast)


What to expect at AGM 2022

Appointment of auditors

Every year, members vote to approve an auditor who is responsible for examining the financial statements of the CMA, performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the statements and preparing a report in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.

The CMA board is recommending that Ernst & Young LLP be appointed as external auditors of the CMA until the next AGM or until their successors are appointed.

Proposed bylaw changes

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.

The current bylaws require certain numbers of members to support each nomination for certain positions:

  • 10–50 for CMA board directors
  • 50 for certain CMA committee members
  • 50 for President-elect

In addition, the bylaws stipulate that nominations for student positions on the CMA board can be submitted by the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) or by candidates who have the support of any 50 student CMA and CMFS members, and nominations for resident positions on the board can be submitted by Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC) or candidates who have the support of any 50 resident CMA and RDoC members.

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.

In addition, the CMA is proposing bylaw amendments that relate to housekeeping matters. An example is the removal of specific dates related to the production and publication of the financial statements (which include the auditor’s report), to align with a flexible AGM date.

The proposed amendments become effective when adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of members present and voting at the AGM.

Learn more about the proposed bylaw changes in our annual report.

CMA membership is a prerequisite for voting at the AGM. Physicians and medical learners must join or renew their memberships with the CMA before 8 pm ET on Tues., Aug. 16. Non-members, including members of the public, may register to observe the meeting. Note: Registration will close at this time and date for both members and non-members. For more information, or if you are unsure about your membership status, please contact the CMA Member Service Centre at memberservicecentre@cma.ca or 1-888-855-2555.

Members Q&A

Members are encouraged to attend and participate in this year’s AGM. Members will have an opportunity to ask questions of the CMA leadership during a Q&A session at the end of the AGM.

Nominations Committee report

After the conclusion of the AGM, voting for nominated candidates will begin. Only delegates can vote for these CMA board and committee positions. The Nominations Committee report includes a bios for each nominee and information about the nominations, ratification and elections processes.

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.


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.

[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.
  • cma.ca/AGM

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
  • Attends the meeting
  • Follows the meeting rules as outlined by the chair
  • 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.
      • cma.ca/agm

      How to prepare for AGM 2022

      Learn more about how the AGM works

      To help members prepare, we held two information sessions in July that covered how the AGM works, what to expect, how to participate and what to know about the proposed bylaw changes, followed by a Q&A with our board chair, vice-chair and presidents. If you missed them, review the presentation from the sessions or contact AGMRegistration@cma.ca for a full recording.

      Renew your membership

      Physicians and medical learners who wish to vote at the AGM must join or renew their memberships with the CMA before 8 pm ET on Tues., Aug. 16. 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 memberservicecentre@cma.ca or 1-888-855-2555.

      Read the Annual Report

      The CMA encourages members to read our annual report in advance of the AGM so dialogue and voting can be informed. The annual report contains key highlights, guiding principles and corporate objectives from July 2021 to June 2022. As well, members can review the 2021 CMA non-consolidated audited financial statements and a detailed explanation of the proposed bylaw changes.


      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 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.

      I understand members are going to vote on bylaw amendments at the AGM. How's that done?

      As of June 28, members can access detailed information on proposed bylaw amendments in the 2022 Annual Report. At the AGM, the proposed amendments will be presented and be open for debate. After debate, the AGM chair will call for a vote; a motion requires a 2/3 majority to pass in this case. If adopted, the amended bylaws are effective immediately.

      At last year’s AGM, proposed bylaw amendments to promote equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) were not adopted. What's the CMA doing about EDI?

      This year, bylaw amendments are being proposed that would remove barriers to nomination for certain CMA leadership positions by allowing for self-nomination. In addition, the mandate of the Nominations Committee in seeking and encouraging nominations would be strengthened to consider sexual identity, ethnicity, indigeneity and disability — in addition to the existing requirement for the committee to consider age, gender and regional balance.

      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 the profession and are entitled to attend and vote to help shape the future of your national medical association.

      What happens at the Nominations Committee report meeting?

      Taking place immediately following the AGM, the Nominations Committee report meeting is an opportunity for delegates to vote on candidates for certain CMA leadership positions.

      Who's 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.

      How many delegates must attend the Nominations Committee report meeting to conduct business?

      For the meeting on the Nominations Committee report, quorum is set at 50 delegates.

      I’m a delegate this year. What will my role be at the Nominations Committee report meeting?

      Delegates will receive the 2022 report of the Nominations Committee by Aug. 5. They will vote to either ratify candidates for certain CMA leadership positions or to elect candidates if there’s more than one nominee for any office.

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

      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. For instance, this year, there are two candidates being put forward for the position of president-elect; an election will be held for this position.