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Canadian Public Health Association

Election procedures

The Board of Directors (Board) of the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) shall consist of:

  1. The Chair and Chair-Elect who shall be elected by the Voting Members as both Officers and Directors in accordance with these Election Procedures; and
  2. Not more than eight (8) and not fewer than six (6) Elected Directors, of whom one (1) is a Student Member.

Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee supports Board sustainability through succession and the implementation of a nominating process by which Board members are elected by the membership. The Nominating Committee makes a strategic contribution to the work of the Board and the Association by ensuring that candidates are individuals who can contribute significantly to achieving the goals of CPHA. The Nominating Committee's key areas of responsibility are to:

  • Review and update the nominating process
  • Create a list of potential candidates for filling vacant Board positions
  • Providing advice, as requested, to the Board on appointed Board positions
  • Review Board Recommended Candidates for the Chair-Elect Position

The Board may request that the Nominating Committee take on other responsibilities from time to time.

The Board shall determine the mandate of the Nominating Committee. It is the role of the Board to identify the skills and experience being sought in nominees. The Nominating Committee recommends to the Board the electoral schedule and process, including setting the deadlines for opening and closing of nominations.

General Conditions
Members shall be elected to the Board by a vote of CPHA members who are eligible to vote. No person shall be elected as a Director of the Association unless that individual has been nominated as stipulated in these procedures and any vote cast for any person not so nominated is void. An elected Director shall start their term of office on the first day of January next following their election.

In the event that the deadline for an election activity falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the deadline shall be extended to the next business day.

All Board Members, excluding the Chair and Chair-Elect, shall serve one (1), two (2) or three (3) year terms as determined by the Board prior to their election.

All public communications and promotional activities with respect to Elections will be conducted in both English and French.

Election of the Chair-Elect
CPHA desires its leadership to come from within the Board of Directors so that the Chair and Chair-Elect have a solid understanding of the issues, challenges, and governance model of the Board. As such, a recommendation comes from the Board of Directors to the Nominating Committee for the Chair-Elect position. Should there be zero, or two or more qualified Directors whose names are presented as candidates by the Board, the Nominating Committee may provide advice to the Board on the matter or may oversee an election from among the current Board members.

The Chair-Elect shall be elected by the Voting Members as a Director in accordance with these Election Procedures and shall serve for a period of two years. On the first day of January following the second anniversary of election, the Chair-Elect shall become the Chair. The Chair shall serve a term of two years or until the first regular meeting of the Board at which his/her successor takes office in accordance with the by-laws.

In the event that the Chair-Elect is unable to assume the office of Chair, a new Chair-Elect and Chair shall be elected by the Voting Members in accordance with these Election Procedures.

In the event that the Chair is incapable of completing his/her term as Chair, the Chair-Elect shall assume the position of Chair and a new Chair-Elect shall be elected by the Voting Members in accordance with the Election Procedures. If the Chair-Elect is required to take over and complete the term of his/her predecessor, this will not disqualify him/her from serving the full term as Chair.

In order to be eligible to nominate or seek office, an individual must meet the following criteria on the date the nomination papers are submitted and again on the date voting starts:

  • Be a CPHA Member in good standing and not in arrears to the Association for any fee or levy; and
  • Be at least eighteen years of age with power under law to contract.

The following conditions will constitute ineligibility for a potential candidate for the Board:

  • Any person in receipt of salary, wages, commission, bonus or any form of remuneration from CPHA. This does not apply to those Board members, committee members, members and volunteers who may be paid a per diem or receive reimbursement for expenses related to carrying out the duties of their position;
  • Has been found guilty of a criminal offence (in or outside Canada) relating to financial dishonesty, including tax evasion, theft, fraud or any other criminal offence that is relevant to the operation of the Association;
  • Has been found guilty of a non-criminal offence (in or outside Canada) within the past five years relating to financial dishonesty, including offences under charitable fundraising legislation, convictions for misrepresentation under consumer protection legislation or under securities legislation or any other offence that is relevant to the operation of the Association;
  • Has been a member of the board of directors, a trustee, officer or equivalent official who controlled or managed the operation of a charity during a period in which the organization engaged in conduct that constituted a serious breach of the requirements for registration for which the charity had its registration revoked within the past five years;
  • Has been a promoter of a gifting arrangement or other tax shelter in which a charity participated and the registration the charity has been revoked within the past five years for reasons that were related to participation in the tax shelter;
  • No member of the Nominating Committee will be eligible for election as a Director.

Call for Nominations
The Call for Nominations, recommended by the Nominating Committee and approved by the Board, will be sent each year to all active Members a minimum of one week before the CPHA Annual Conference. The Call will be open at least 30 days.

Active recruitment is undertaken by members of the Board of Directors and the Nominating Committee.

Filing of Nomination Papers
Nominations for Director shall be in writing by e-mail. The nominee will indicate his/her consent to be nominated and supported by two (2) persons (nominators) who are CPHA Members in good standing and are eligible to vote at the election. Nomination papers must be received by the office of the Executive Director on or before the specified deadline.

The nomination form must be accompanied by:

  • A statement of eligibility (maximum 500 words) from the nominee indicating how his/her experience fits with the skills and strategic areas being sought by the Nominating Committee; and
  • The contact information of the two (2) nominators.

In addition to the above, candidates have the option to include any or all of the following at their discretion:

  • Photo (head and shoulders)
  • Link to a video message
  • Link (one) to an online profile (e.g., LinkedIn)

The above additional information will be made available via CPHA's website in the language in which it is provided (i.e.,  CPHA will not translate any of this material).

All supplied materials will be published to CPHA Members.

Each nominee for the Board shall review the Code of Conduct for Board members.

As soon as is reasonably possible following the close of the Call for Nominations, the Nominating Committee will meet to review all nominations. Acting within the mandate and priorities determined by the Board, the Nominating Committee will review nominations for their eligibility and recommend to the Board names for election by the membership.

The Nominating Committee shall ensure the required range of expertise and skills as well as a diversity of geographic location, gender, age, cultural backgrounds, etc. are met. In addition, nominees should represent a wide range of public health backgrounds, perspectives, disciplines and specialties.

Where only one candidate remains in respect to any position, that individual shall be certified by the Nominating Committee to have been elected to that office by acclamation.

The Nominating Committee's recommendations shall be forwarded to the Board of Directors for ratification.

Eligible Voters
In order to be eligible to vote, an individual must be a CPHA Member in good standing and not in arrears to the Association for any fee or levy and be at least 18 years of age as of September 30, the date on which the official voters list is created.

On September 30 of an election year, the Membership Officer shall provide the Executive Director with a list of members entitled to vote in the upcoming election. Such list shall include each Member's last known mailing address and e-mail address.

Immediately following Board approval of the slate of candidates, the ballot will be prepared in both English and French.

All Members eligible to vote and having e-mail addresses will be sent:

  • Instructions for casting an electronic vote
  • A unique, secure authentication
  • A link to electronic ballots
  • A link to biographical profiles of the candidates

All Members eligible to vote and having no e-mail addresses will be sent the following:

  • Voting instructions
  • Ballot card
  • Background information on candidates
  • An identifiable, pre-addressed, postage-paid return envelope addressed to the Office of the Executive Director in which the ballot will be placed.

If, through mistake, inadvertence, accident, or other cause deemed reasonable by the Nominating Committee, the ballot and/or return envelopes are not mailed/e-mailed out on or before the first day of the election, they shall be sent out as soon as possible thereafter, and doing so shall not invalidate any election held in the prescribed manner.

The election takes place from mid-October to mid-November each year and will run for at least 30 days.

Voting will be done via a secured web-based poll for eligible Members with an e-mail address, and with paper ballot via Canada Post for eligible Members with no e-mail address.

On the first day of the election, instructions for casting an electronic vote will be sent by e-mail to eligible voters and instructions for casting a paper vote will be mailed by Canada Post.

Members must select from the candidates on the ballot.

One person is allowed one vote for each vacant position. There will be no opportunity to vote by proxy.

Votes will be strictly confidential.

An encouragement/reminder to vote will be sent by e-mail up to four times. There will be no reminders to those with no e-mail address.

Electronic or mail-in ballots must be received at the Office of the Executive Director prior to the poll closing at 23:59 pm (Eastern Time) on the last day of the election. Ballots received after that deadline shall not be accepted or counted.

Quorum is achieved by having ballots cast by at least five percent of the total eligible voters. Election of Directors shall be by simple majority.

Vote Counting and Reporting Election Results
On behalf of the Chair of the Nominating Committee, the Executive Director and another individual designated by the Chair of the Nominating Committee will oversee the results of the vote.

Following the closing of voting, the results of the electronic vote will be tabulated automatically. Return envelopes will be opened and paper ballots will be counted. The successful candidate(s) will be the individual(s) who receive(s) the greatest number of votes. In the case of a tie, the outcome will be determined by flipping a coin.

All candidates will be informed of the outcome of the election by the Executive Director prior to a general announcement to the membership.

As soon as is feasible after the close of the election, the Nominating Committee will meet to verify that the election process was upheld. Immediately following the Nominating Committee meeting, the election outcome will be announced via the CPHA website and other Association communications channels.

The Chair of the Nominating Committee reports the findings to the full Board and verifies that the election process was upheld. The report to the Board will include:

  • The names of all candidates who were elected to the Board for the positions of Director, Student Director and Chair-Elect.
  • If applicable, the names of all candidates who were elected to the Board by acclamation.
  • The voter turnout will be reported to the Board, but not made public.

The ballots (electronic and paper) shall be maintained in safe keeping until January 1st of the year following the election, at which time they shall be destroyed.

A report from the Nominating Committee shall be presented at the next AGM following the election.