Canadian Medical Association

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What to expect
Who is considered a delegate?
How to participate
How to prepare


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 – 3:05 pm ET

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

3:05 – 3:15 pm ET

Closing of the AGM

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, to be released June 28.

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 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 – which includes bios for each nominee as well as the nominations and elections processes – will be made available to delegates at least 15 days before the meeting on Aug. 21.

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 to participate at AGM 2022

Rules of order

By taking an active role at AGM 2022 you can help shape the future of our association.

To promote an effective and orderly meeting experience for all participants, the CMA follows meeting rules in the CMA Bylaws and Operating Rules and Procedures (as well as Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 12th edition, as long as they are not inconsistent with the Bylaws and Operating Rules and Procedures).

Why do we use rules of order?

  • They balance the rights of all members, whether in the majority or the minority on a given issue, and whether present or not at a given meeting
  • They present procedures on how to participate in a meeting and how to vote

What are some rules of order?

  • A member can comment when recognized by the chair
  • Only one member can comment at a time
  • The member must respect the assigned time to comment
  • Only one motion at a time may be considered
  • Members have a right to clearly understand what they are voting on
  • A simple majority usually determines the outcome of a vote
  • A higher vote may be required for some motions (e.g., amending bylaws)

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 to take an active role in the meeting

  • Follow the instructions of the Chair
  • Seek recognition from the Chair before commenting
  • If recognized to comment, introduce yourself by full name and location
  • Direct all comments to the Chair and not to other members (e.g., “Madam Chair, I would like to respond to Dr. Smith’s comment…” rather than “Dr. Smith, your point about….”)
  • Avoid personal comments about others
  • Ensure comments are clear, concise and germane
  • Be sure to vote
  • Respect the rights of other members to participate

How to prepare for AGM 2022

Sign up for a pre-AGM information session

When you register for the AGM, you will be prompted to sign up for one of two pre-AGM information sessions in July. Join Board Chair Dr. Suzanne Strasberg, Board Vice-Chair Dr. Carl Nohr and our CMA presidents for the 90-minute pre-AGM conversations. They are an opportunity to learn more about how the AGM works, what to expect and how to participate; review proposed bylaw changes; and ask questions.

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 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. The annual report will be available June 28.