CSPG Constitution

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WHEREAS the Canadian Study of Parliament Group, founded in 1978, is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that brings together people with an interest in the role, function and reform of parliamentary institutions;

WHEREAS this Constitution is to govern the activities and operations of the Canadian Study of Parliament Group, including in respect of its Board of Directors;

WHEREAS the Canadian Study of Parliament Group strives to foster discussions amongst individuals that are representative of Canada’s current and evolving population;

THEREFORE, with the consent of its membership as expressed at the Annual General Meeting held on April 14, 2023, the following replaces the Constitution adopted on March 11, 2005:

  1. Interpretation

    In this Constitution,

    “Board” means the Board of Directors as established under section 6.

    “Director” means a member of the Board who is not an Executive.

    “event” means a seminar, conference, workshop or other event organized or sponsored by the CSPG—in whole or in part and however named—that is not a meeting of the Board.

    “Executive” means those members of the Board who occupy the positions of President, VicePresident, immediate past President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Communications Officer.

    CSPG means the Canadian Study of Parliament Group.

    “member” means a person who has

    1. opted-in to be a member by informing the CSPG in writing; or
    2. attended a CSPG event within the past twelve (12) months.

    “parliamentary topics” include subjects related to

    1. the Parliament of Canada;
    2. the legislature of a province or territory of Canada;
    3. parliamentary and legislative processes;
    4. relationships between the branches of government; and
    5. the role of the Crown.

  2. Objective

    The objective of the CSPG is to encourage and promote the study of parliamentary topics, including by:

    1. sponsoring research and studies of the legislative process;
    2. hosting events and providing other forums for discussion on parliamentary topics; and
    3. partnering with groups, including other Study of Parliament groups.

  3. Activities

    (1)    The CSPG must carry out the following activities in relation to parliamentary topics:

    1. organize and sponsor events;
    2. encourage academic research and writing;
    3. prepare and disseminate publications;
    4. foster public discussion, participation and understanding; and
    5. encourage scholarship, including by providing bursaries and grants.

    (2)    Each year, at least one activity under subsection (1) must focus on diversity, equity, inclusion or access.

    (3)    The Board may do all things necessary to support the activities of the CSPG, including by loaning or providing money and by entering into contracts.

  4. Working languages

    Activities of the CSPG are to take place in both official languages of Canada.

  5. Meetings of members

    (1)    An Annual General Meeting of members must be held not later than ninety (90) days after the end of the fiscal year end of the CSPG, at a date and time determined by the Board.

    (2)    A Special General Meeting must be held within thirty (30) days upon the written request of any twenty (20) members, at a date and time determined by the Board.

    (3)    At least twenty (20) days’ written notice of an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting must be provided to all members.

    (4)    The quorum for an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting is sixteen (16) members.

    (5)    An Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting may be held in person or by an electronic communications medium, as determined by the Board.

  6. Board of Directors

    (1)    The Board consists of at least ten (10), but no more than fifteen (15), Directors, including the Executive.

    (2)    Among the Directors,

    1. one (1) is a Deputy Principal Clerk from Procedural Services at the House of Commons;
    2. at least one (1) is an employee of the Senate Administration;
    3. at least one (1) is an employee of the Library of Parliament;
    4. at least one (1) is an academic who teaches political science or a related field other than law;
    5. at least one (1) is an academic who teaches law within a faculty of law;
    6. at least one (1) is a public servant who works for an entity other than the Senate, House of Commons, or Library of Parliament; and
    7. at least four (4) have English as their first official language and at least four (4) have French as their first official language.

    (3)    The Executive consists of Directors who occupy the following positions:

    1. President;
    2. Vice-President;
    3. immediate past President;
    4. Secretary;
    5. Treasurer; and
    6. Communications Officer.

    (4)    No person may be a Director if they are not capable of understanding both English and French.

    (5)    The Board shall strive to ensure that its membership reflects gender parity and regional representation from coast to coast to coast and may appoint additional Directors to achieve this objective.

    (6)    Each Director serves a renewable two-year term, and is, in accordance with the selection process as determined by the Board, to be elected by a decision of the members present at an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting.

    (7)    A vacancy may be filled by decision of the Board in respect of the remainder of a departing Director’sterm, unless an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting is to occur within thirty (30) days of the vacancy.

    (8)    A member of the Board may resign at any time by providing notice in writing to the President.

    (9)    A member of the Board may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Board for cause or because they are no longer eligible to be a member of the Board.

    (10)    Members of the Board serve on a voluntary basis and are not compensated.

  7. Meetings of the Board

    (1)    The quorum for meetings of the Board is a majority of the members of the Board then in office.

    (2)    To facilitate its work, the Board may establish committees and subcommittees and set their terms of reference.

    (3)    The Board may determine the time, place, and manner (i.e., in person or by an electronic communications medium) in which to hold its meetings.

  8. Finances

    (1)    The financial year of the CSPG is the calendar year

    (2)    The Treasurer must submit a proposed budget to the Board in each financial year, and present a financial report at the Annual General Meeting.

    (3)    At each Annual General Meeting, the members must appoint a person at arm’s length from the Board to review the accounts of the CSPG and to hold office until the next Annual General Meeting. The Board may fill any vacancy in that office of auditor that occurs between Annual General Meetings. The auditor’s remuneration, if requested, must be approved by the Board.

  9. Subordinate instruments

    The Board may establish rules, directives, policies and guidelines that supplement this Constitution and provide for matters not herein expressed.

  10. Amendments

    (1)    Amendments to this Constitution may be made by resolution agreed to by a two-thirds majority of members present at an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting, provided that any proposed amendment was circulated along with the notice of the meeting.

    (2)    This Constitution comes into effect upon adoption at an Annual General Meeting in accordance with this section.

© 2015 Canadian Study of Parliament Group