Media Releases

Equine Canada Proposed Bylaw Changes
2012-08-17

Have your say - Equine Canada Proposed Bylaw Changes

Please note the following from the Alberta Equestrain Federation - voting closes August 23, 2012 so make sure you vote as soon as possible!

The Executive Committee of Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF) has carefully reviewed and considered the draft Bylaws recently received from Equine Canada (EC) and has unanimously agreed that the proposed changes are not favourable to our members or to the future of a strong equine organization in Alberta and/or Canada. 

AEF hereby recommends to its Senior Members (all members 18 years of age and older) to "VOTE NO" on the proposed Equine Canada Bylaw changes.  Voting is scheduled to take place between August 9 and 24, 2012.  Register to vote as soon as possible online https://licence.equinecanada.ca/bylawregistration/index.aspx

The proposed amended Bylaws were drafted to meet the upcoming changes to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act and items agreed to within the content and context of the Joint Service Committee Accord (JSC Accord) which was signed by Equine Canada and all of the Provinces/Territories Associations (P/TAs).  Comments, concerns and suggestions were made by the EC divisions and by the respective P/TAs; few if any of these suggestions were accepted or acknowledged by the EC Bylaw committee or EC Board.

If the current proposed amendments to the Bylaws are voted down the existing Bylaws will stay in effect until more acceptable and inclusive amendments can be redrafted and proposed to the membership.  There is sufficient time to re-address the Bylaw changes before the Industry Canada deadline in the fall of 2014.

The principles set forth in the Joint Service Committee Accord (JSC Accord) have not been honoured in the proposed new Equine Canada Bylaws. There are parts of the proposed Bylaws which might be acceptable, but there are fundamental principles within the JSC Accord that have not been included in the Equine Canada Bylaws. This would include some of the following:

* The JSC Accord refers to a Service Agreement to be negotiated between Equine Canada and the respective P/TAs. The proposed Bylaw changes contain no language regarding Service Agreements.  AEF believes a Service Agreement is necessary to outline how the two organizations work with each other.  AEF is aware there is alleged current unresolved breach by Equine Canada of the current Service Agreement.
 
* Nowhere in the proposed Bylaws does it state that members in good standing of the P/TAs (individual members of P/TA's) are members or that they receive voting privileges in Equine Canada.
 
* The JSC Accord sets forth that the national portion of the Provincial and Territorial Associations (AEF) fee be set by a 2/3 majority of the provinces and not the Equine Canada board. The Bylaw changes contain no language regarding fee structure. It is important how membership fees will be determined and must be entrenched in the Equine Canada Bylaws. This leaves all the provinces at the mercy of the Equine Canada Board. This could result in AEF members subject to very large arbitrary fee increases with no recourse.
 
* The proposed Bylaw changes refer to the appointment of a Provincial Territorial Association (like AEF)  and adds that Equine Canada shall recognize the Provincial and Territorial Association, leaving the door open for Equine Canada to recognize an alternate association if AEF does not agree to their terms.
 
* The JSC Accord states that all individual members of P/TA's shall become members of Equine Canada through their P/TA (AEF) membership.  The proposed Bylaw changes allow individual members to purchase a membership with Equine Canada without becoming a member of their P/TA (AEF). 
 
The proposed Bylaw changes make the transition from a Provinces Division to an Advisory Council. AEF believes Equine Canada will reduce the activity, responsibility, financial ability, and voice of the Provinces and our members within Equine Canada. AEF believes Equine Canada has already successfully reduced the importance of the Provinces Division and AEF's ability to work on behalf of our members at the national level.
 
You the member have the right and responsibility to vote as you see fit, you are a current member of Equine Canada through your AEF membership, please review the options.  A "NO" vote allows everyone to go back to the table and encourages open dialogue with all concerned members of Equine Canada.  A "YES" vote may close that door for good.  Silence or non participation indicates support for the proposed amendments to the Equine Canada Bylaws.  We encourage you to use your 'voice,' and be heard.
 
Recommendation of a "NO" vote is in the best interests of all AEF members and for all current and future equine related endeavours.
Voting is taking place now until August 23, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST. Mail-in ballots must be received by Equine Canada by August 23, 2012.
 

If members prefer a paper ballot, please send an email to Crystal Labelle at CLabelle@equinecanada.ca Depending on your preference, Crystal will either send Individual members a ballot or an access code and password after verifying voter eligibility. All ballots (electronic and paper) must be received in EC's office no later than August 23,2012.

To register your vote on line please have your AEF membership ready and click here: ttps://licence.equinecanada.ca/bylawregistration/index.aspx

Equine Canada Bylaws information: http://www.equinecanada.ca/index.php?ption=com_content&view=category&id=1196&Itemid=490&lang=en

Most sincerely, 

 
Sonia Dantu
Executive Director
On the authority and request of the Executive Committee
Alberta Equestrian Federation