Victoria Tenant Action Group

AGM 2019 - Special Resolutions

November 8, 2019

VTAG’s first AGM is an opportunity to revisit how this organization is coming to form, which means revisiting and revising the Constitution and Bylaws, to ensure VTAG can best represent and serve those it intends to: those who do not own their home in Greater Victoria.

In particular, VTAG seeks to create greater clarity with regard to its membership — who is eligible to become a voting member, how membership is achieved, and how membership is terminated — and directorship.

The following are five resolutions to be voted on at VTAG’s upcoming AGM:

Resolution 1 - Eligibility and classes of membership

Add the following text within “Part 2 - Members” section of VTAG’s Bylaws:

“Eligibility and classes of membership

 2.0 The society has two types of members: 1) Voting members, and 2) Supporting members.

2.0.1 Voting members are individuals who:

  1. Do not own their own home.
  2. Reside within Greater Victoria, defined by the boundaries of the 13 municipalities and 3 Electoral Areas that make up the Capital Regional District, as well as the First Nations Reserve lands within this geographic area.
  1. Municipalities: City of Victoria, District of Saanich, District of Oak Bay, Township of Esquimalt, City of Langford, City of Colwood, Town of View Royal, Town of Sidney, District of Central Saanich, District of North Saanich, District of Metchosin, District of Highlands, District of Sooke.
  2. Electoral areas: Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, Southern Gulf Islands Electoral Area, and Saltspring Island Electoral Area
  3. First Nations Reserve lands:  Pacheedaht First Nation, Scia'new (Beecher Bay) First Nation, T'Sou-ke  Nation, Esquimalt Nation,   Songhees  Nation,  W̠JOȽEȽP (Tsartlip) First Nation,  BOḰEĆEN (Pauquachin) First Nation,  SȾÁUTW̠ (Tsawout) First Nation, W̠SÍḴEM (Tseycum) First Nation.
  1. Pay annual membership dues, if any, in the amount determined by the Board.

2.0.2 Supporting members are non-voting individuals or organizations who:

Pay annual membership dues, in the amount determined by the Board.“

Explanation

This resolution is intended to help ensure VTAG’s leadership and decision-making is led by those the organization is focused on: residents of the capital region of British Columbia who do not own their own home. It adds clarity about the membership classes eligibility and privileges. These membership classes have been identified on recent and current iterations of VTAG’s application form, however, there are currently no provisions in VTAG’s Bylaws to reflect this. Additionally, this addition allows for organizations, in addition to individuals, to become supporting members. Note that VTAG does not current require membership dues, even though wording is present in the existing Bylaws that refer to it, so adding this wording does not imply automatic mandatory dues.

Resolution 2 - Application for membership

Remove the following text from VTAG Bylaws, Part 2 - Members:

“2.1    Membership is achieved by filling out a membership form. The person becomes a member of the Society on the Board’s acceptance of the membership form.”

And add the following text in replacement:

“2.1        Those seeking to become a member of VTAG can apply by filling out a membership form. Membership is achieved upon Board review and approval of the applicant’s membership form.”

Explanation

The current wording produces ambiguity about when membership is actually achieved — whether it is upon filling out a membership form, or whether it is upon Board’s acceptance of the form. The proposed new wording is intended to clarify that membership is achieved upon Board approval of the membership form.

Resolution 3 - Member not in good standing

Remove the following text from VTAG Bylaws, Part 2 - Members:

2.4    A member is not in good standing if the member fails to pay the member’s annual membership dues, if any, and the member is not in good standing for so long as those dues remain unpaid.”

And add the following text in replacement:

“2.4         All members are in good standing except a member who (a) regularly fails to adhere to operating rules or procedures, or (b) who has failed to pay their current annual membership dues. The member is not in good standing (a) as determined by the Board and until the Board determines the issues have been addressed, and (b) for so long as those dues remain unpaid or until the Board determines otherwise.”

Explanation

It is common practice for societies to have stipulations around members not in good standing (who typically lose voting privileges as a result of this status). VTAG does not currently require member dues for voting members. The proposed wording intends to acknowledge that there may be other types of actions, besides outstanding dues, that result in a member being not in good standing.

Membership in a values-based community advocacy organization requires cooperation with the broader aims of the organization and the rules and procedures that have been determined by membership. If a member regularly contravenes these rules and procedures (as they may be outlined in VTAG’s operating policies, i.e. anti-oppressive policies, code of conduct), the proposed wording allows the board to place this member as not in good standing.

Resolution 4 - Termination of membership

Add the following text to VTAG Bylaws, Part 2 - Members:

Termination of membership within annual period

2.6 A person ceases to be a member of the society and no longer has member privileges, including voting:

(a) by delivering their resignation in writing to the society

(b) on their death

(c) on being expelled, or
(d) on being a member not in good standing for 6 consecutive months.

2.6.1 A member may be expelled by a two-thirds majority vote of the board for taking any action which is deemed harmful or detrimental to the operation or reputation of the society or to another member.” 

Which renders the following text redundant, therefore remove the following text:

Termination of membership if member not in good standing

2.6    A person’s membership in the Society is terminated if the person is not in good standing for 6 consecutive months.”

Explanation

The proposed wording expands upon the manner in which membership may be terminated. Existing wording sets out that membership is terminated if a member is not in good standing for 6 consecutive months, and the proposed wording preserves this. It also adds further circumstances that may result in a terminated membership: of the member’s own choosing; for reasons of death; or due to a process of expulsion. The process for expulsion is outlined in a further clause, requiring two-thirds majority of the Board (greater than the ordinary threshold).

Resolution 5 - Persons eligible to be directors

Add the following text to VTAG Bylaws, Part 4 - Directors:

Persons eligible to be directors

4.5         Directors must be defined as eligible Voting Members in accordance with the Society’s bylaws. Supporting Members are not eligible to be directors.

Explanation

Contingent on Resolution 1, which formalizes the classes of membership, this proposed wording stipulates that persons eligible to be directors must be eligible to be Voting Members of VTAG. The intention is to ensure that decision-making of the organization is reserved for the core member base of the organization: those who do not own their own home in the capital region of British Columbia.

Please join us at VTAG’s AGM: Sat Nov 30, 1-3pm, GVPL Central Branch.