The OATA Board has received legal counsel and governance advice not to proceed with the 2021 AGM until the confusion and misinformation circulating among the membership, by a self-described Group of Five, are tackled and the climate of dissention and division addressed.
As we are all aware, the Government of Ontario has declared a state of emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Organized events of over fifty people are prohibited and AGMs can be held electronically regardless of by-laws. In-person AGMs can be postponed until February 2022. That is NOT our goal and that will not happen. But delaying a few more weeks to emerge collaborative is reasonable and worthwhile. Counsel is advising, given the circumstances, an in-person AGM would be best.
The OATA has already delayed the AGM due to COVID-19 and, more importantly, due to consideration of the proposed motions. Recently, the Board has become aware of additional plans to sabotage the conduct of the AGM. The Board does not want to delay the AGM by months, rather it is engaging the OATA Ombudsperson to work with independent governance experts and organize micro-learning sessions on governance and a by-laws boot camp in preparation for a productive, in-person AGM. The goal is transparency and collaboration and the ability to emerge from the AGM united. For now, please remove the Hold the Date for Saturday, June 26.
Clare Richard, Board Chair
My name is Susan Cameron. Many of you may know me as the previous, long-serving, CATA Ethics Chair and Ethics Coordinator. More recently, I have been serving as the OATA Ombudsperson.
I have had contact with OATA members recently about the AGM. I agree with the Board and its legal counsel that it is best for the entire profession and for this Association to use the time to build governance knowledge in and comfort with the Act among the membership, as well as the Regulations and the By-Laws that govern your not-for-profit association.
As the Ombudsperson, and with my own governance background, I will work at arms’-length from the Board to bring about the understanding and unity needed.
At this time I would ask the membership for their patience and to respect the authority and integrity of the review process. This includes not posting on social media.
Additional information will be forthcoming once I complete the scope of the assignment with the governance experts being retained to work with me.
I feel confident this is all in the best interest of the full membership.
Susan Cameron, Ombudsperson