RAC’s AGM Fair And Open?

So RAC is holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Montreal this August September or October but is it really a legally enacted annual general meeting or is there a fundamental problem with it?

If I am reading the Presidential Message in the recently posted RAC Report correctly then I think we members (and non-members too) have several reasons to be very concerned.

(BTW is the RAC Report only available to members? If so, this would seem awfully shortsighted on our part.)

First concern with the AGM is it appears that the RAC AGM is only open to members. This is very troubling as (a) it suggests we have something to hide and (b) it is a very unfriendly and hostile to potential new members who are being expressly excluded.

Now of course non-members are ineligible to vote at an AGM and may not participate in the meeting without the expressed permission of the members present but rarely, if ever, have I heard of an AGM that excludes the public. (We do seem to be going out of our way to avoid encouraging non-members to join RAC.)

What’s even stranger about this AGM is it appears that there will be no minutes read from the previous AGM and no vote to accept the minutes as read or as corrected.

Then it seems that there is no vote or confirmation of acclamations of officers of the organization by members present.

I also don’t see any opportunity to discuss issues arising from the minutes or an opportunity  to introduce new business by members.

These are fundamental activities associated with all legal AGMs.

In fact, it appears that the only activity will be a report from the president followed by a members-only question and answer period.

To my understanding of an AGM this activity does not reach the requirements necessary to constitute an official and recognized AGM.

RAC, like all non-profit organizations, is required by law to hold a public AGM where the members are given opportunity to participate in a meaningful manner.

(This usually means an agreement by all to use Robert’s Rules of Order which sets out procedures to ensure fairness and openness when conducting the business of the association or group.)

Unless I am missing something here I don’t see this happening in Montreal.

What do you think of RAC’s AGM in Montreal? Is this a fair and open process?

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About Peter West

I am retired. I'm invested into bike riding, guitar playing, yoga and Ham Radio. I am a former photojournalist, newspaper and magazine editor and public relations practitioner with national, regional and local experience. A long-time member of Toastmasters International and an active Amateur Radio (Ham) operator here in Canada I am taking on new challenges.

3 thoughts on “RAC’s AGM Fair And Open?

  1. Peter, the points you raise appear to put a spotlight on one or two possibilities: 1) the Board members and, by extension the Executive, have no idea what they’re doing; or 2) the Board and, by extension the Executive, don’t care if what they are doing is legal or right. (In fact, on the face of the information you present, both possibilities seem likely.)

    In addition, the banning of non-members from the Annual General Meeting is incomprehensible and displays a “holier than thou” attitude. It’s also very short-sighted and, in the vernacular, “sucks”. What in the world are the RAC masters thinking? In my experience, never before have non-members been prevented from attending the AGM as spectators. Allowing their attendance also provided the RAC with an opportunity to show itself in action, to speak directly with non-members and to gain new members.

    Touching upon one or two of your stated issues, I believe the door might be open to a legal challenge as well and, assuming the points you raise and have been raising for some time are factual, I am surprised that the RAC’s Honourary Legal Counsel has not suggested this possibility. Or perhaps he has and was just ignored.

    As a member of the RAC for many years, I don’t recognize much of anything in this organisation any more. Certainly, I see very little to encourage me to continue supporting it. That fact saddens me very much.

    Incidentally, in a previous post you have mentioned there may be a move afoot to create a new national organisation to represent Radio Amateurs. I would be interested in knowing more about that, including how to contact those who are spear-heading it.

    If nothing else, perhaps it might allow for the RAC Board and Executive to get a wake-up call and, in large part, to resign en masse to make room for those possessing the drive, understanding, genuine concern and the integrity to carefully bring back a meaningful advocate. It could also encourage more Radio Amateurs to become actively supportive of a Canada-wide organisation.

    That would be almost as good as a visit from Santa Claus.

    73,

    Bob
    VE3BDB

  2. Peter ,, Bob has is right, they are legally bound as a non for profit group they must provide to the members, a up to date treasures report, how many members they have ect. They also have to provide a copy of the insurance policy for all members to see as well. The last AGM I went to in Toronto, Bob certainly took the time and answered all the questions I had. What is they are hiding? Again let us know where we can sign up for a new National Organization.

    Russ Hemphill VE3FI

  3. I think all of us would rather RAC survive than not. It is very frustrating to me, to see good grass roots effort ignored and openness shunned. I was a very early supporter of CARF, Doug would not be happy.

    – 73 Diane Bruce VA3DB

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