Report from the 2020 Editors Canada annual general meeting

Heather Buzila, President

Editors Canada held its 2020 annual general meeting (AGM) on June 20 via the Zoom platform. The AGM is usually held during the annual conference, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of the conference, the AGM was held entirely online.


A total of 119 members, 6 student affiliates (who were allowed to attend but could not vote), and 3 staff members were registered for the AGM.

At the peak of the meeting, 85 people were online.


I asked Virginia St-Denis to be my parliamentarian for the AGM, and I introduced her as such at the beginning of the meeting. Virginia’s knowledge of Robert’s Rules of Order was valuable during the meeting, and I took several opportunities to message her using the chat function in Zoom to ask questions or look for advice.

Approval of various business items

All of these items were approved without discussion:

  • the agenda
  • the 2019 draft AGM minutes
  • the 2019 annual report
  • the 2019 auditors’ report

The treasurer, Michelle Waitzman, discussed the new financial processes that have been implemented during 2019–2020. These included asking the auditor to produce consolidated financial statements that include branch financials, which allows us to get a true picture of the financial status of the association. We also ended the webinar revenue-sharing pilot after calculating the actual administrative costs of running the webinar program. Michelle also outlined the new funding model for twigs that includes giving each twig a set amount of funds each year based on either their planned expenses for the coming year or what was budgeted for the previous year.

Substantive motions

There were three substantive motions that members submitted before the AGM. As noted in the call-to-meeting email, substantive motions from the floor are not permitted by federal legislation because members need time to think about and discuss them, and members who are not at the meeting cannot vote on them.

  • One of the motions passed without discussion.

    Ratifying the Honorary Life Membership Policy and Procedures. Thanks to the Honorary Life Membership Task Force for all the work they did on this project, and thanks also to Gael Spivak for working with the task force to draft the new policy and procedures for members to review and comment on.
  • The second motion, Lowering the ODE Fee for Students, had considerable discussion. 

    While most people were in favour of the idea, many commented that the motion was too vague and needed to include more specific information, such as what would be considered a reasonable price for student listings on the ODE. Ultimately, the motion was withdrawn, and the student relations committee will be asked to spend more time looking into this issue if they would like to pursue it for the 2021 AGM.
  • The third motion, Striking a Standing Committee to Prepare Members for Work Opportunities, had some discussion.

    Some members were concerned that this committee would overlap with other existing committees and that it wasn’t necessary to strike a committee specifically for this reason. It was also mentioned that this information already exists on the website in various places.

    A member responded that this would bring all that information into one location on the website. Another comment was that the committee would not be finding work for members, but would instead focus on helping members find work. Another noted that member support would give directors permission to focus some volunteer resources on this aspect (in addition to standards and other important work).

    Ultimately, the motion passed with a large majority in favour.

Motions from the floor

Michelle Waitzman moved to congratulate the 2020 conference committee for their hard work and dedication and acknowledged how difficult it was for the committee to see the conference cancelled. This motion passed without discussion.

Appointments and elections

Members voted to appoint Hogg, Shain & Scheck as the auditor for 2020.

Gael Spivak, past president and chair of the nominations committee, discussed the work the committee did to solicit nominations for committee chairs and for director positions on the national executive council (NEC). She then presented the list of nominees for the NEC.

After nominees are named, there is a call for nominations from the floor. Robert’s Rules of Order says that if there are no extra nominees, the slate is automatically acclaimed, without an election. (See RONR, 11th ed., p. 443, ll. 7–14.)

There were no nominations from the floor, so the slate was acclaimed.

President’s Awards

I announced the winners of the President’s Award for Volunteer Service. They were

Maxie Bai Martin (Editors Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph)
Letitia Henville (Editors British Columbia)
Cathy McPhalen (Editors Edmonton)
Lynne Melcombe (Editors British Columbia)
Joanna Odrowaz (Editors Toronto)
Jim Taylor (Editors British Columbia)

The winner of the Lee d’Anjou Volunteer of the Year Award was Alexandra Peace from Nova Scotia.

Congratulations to Alex and all the other winners.

Professional certification

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the audit of the certification results had not been completed by the time of the AGM. The results will be sent to candidates as soon as they are available.

Other business

There was no other business to discuss.


The AGM was adjourned at about 5:15 p.m.

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