Report on the Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada) 2019 annual general meeting

Gael Spivak, President

Editors Canada held its 2019 annual general meeting (AGM) on June 8. The AGM is held during the conference but members do not have to attend the conference to attend the AGM.


There were 84 attendees at the AGM.

  • in person: 63
  • via Zoom: 21

This number included some student affiliates who are encouraged to attend but they cannot vote.


At this year’s AGM, I had the parliamentarian (Virginia St-Denis) sit beside me instead of among the attendees, as the previous parliamentarian did last year. I also introduced her so everyone was aware of her role. Virginia’s knowledge in Roberts’s Rules of Order was valuable during the meeting.

Approval of various business items

All of these were approved without discussion:

  • the agenda
  • the 2018 draft AGM minutes
  • the 2018 annual report
  • the 2018 auditors’ report

The treasurer, Julia Cochrane, gave a presentation on the financial challenges that the association is facing, including the continuing trend of dropping membership numbers and deficits.

These trends are serious and they are threatening the existence of the association. Some of the ideas in the Rethinking Editors Canada document are designed to address this (by changing how we get and share revenue), so I encourage you all to read it and provide constructive comments and suggestions.

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 because members need time to think about and discuss them, and members who are not at the meeting cannot vote on them.

Two of the motions passed without discussion.

  • Ratifying the updated Definitions of Editorial Skills. Thanks to Tania Cheffins for her work on updating the definitions.
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement. Thanks to Fazeela Jiwa for all her work on this project.

The third motion, Finding work for members, had considerable discussion.

Support for it included these points.

  • The director for branches and twigs mentioned that one of the main questions she is asked is about finding work.
  • People don’t know to come to Editors Canada to find editors.
  • People are joining the organization, but leaving because they aren’t finding work.

Objections to it included the following.

  • It could be illegal.
  • It may be a conflict of interest.
  • It makes Editors Canada an agency.
  • It’s not part of our mandate to find work for members or to help them find work.
  • We don’t have enough volunteers for this task.

One member wanted to revise the motion but the extent of the revisions created a different motion. Because substantive motions from the floor are not allowed under the federal legislation, the parliamentarian and I did not allow that motion onto the floor. The mover, Greg Ioannou, did, however, accept a friendly amendment to the motion to create a task force to examine the proposal (instead of outright approving the proposal). This amended motion passed.

Appointments and elections

Members voted to appoint Hogg, Shain & Scheck as the auditor for 2019.

Anne Louise Mahoney, 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 nomination 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.)

Even though some members say that we elect the slate of directors, we have not, in fact, done so since at least 2003 (and likely before then but the minutes all members easily have access to go back to only 2003). You can see this in these excerpts from AGM minutes (the minutes are available on the association website). Each year, the nominees for director were acclaimed.

(There were elections in two years for the members-at-large position on the NEC when there was more than one candidate. And before the new legislation came into effect, members did vote for the regional directors if there was more than one candidate.)

If there are more nominees than positions, then there will be an election. This year, one member self-nominated from the floor, which triggered an election.

  • Members were given ballots with nine blank spaces to handwrite names in, so as to not give a disadvantage to the person nominated from the floor.
  • Two staff members each counted the ballots and compared vote numbers to insure the integrity of the results.

The original nominees received the most votes, so they were voted in as the new directors.

President’s Awards

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

  • Janine Harker
  • Sophie Pallotta
  • Lee Parpart
  • Mary Rykov
  • JJ Wilson
  • Jacqui Woods-Powell

And the winner of the Lee d’Anjou Volunteer of the Year Award was Donna Dawson. Congratulations to Donna and all the other winners.

Programme d’agrément en révision linguistique

In 2018, no one passed the comparative editing exam. The general editing exam will be held in the fall of 2019.


This year, Editors Canada recognized the following certified editors.

  • 2019 Certified Proofreaders
    • Lindsey Hritzuk
    • Maureen Nicholson
    • Amanda O’Brien
  • 2019 Certified Structural Editors
    • Jodi Di Menna
    • Lindsey Hritzuk
    • Roma Ilnyckyj
    • Robin Marwick
    • Amanda O’Brien
    • Erin Secord
  • 2019 Certified Professional Editor (CPE)
    • Roma Ilnyckyj

Jess Shulman presented those in attendance with their certificates. Congratulations to all of you!

Other business

I asked if there was any other business. There was not. I had prepared a statement on my time as president (in particular chairing the AGMs) and read it at this time.

As I said in the statement, it was an honour to serve as your president and I want to thank all the people who supported me in that work.


The AGM was adjourned at about 5:50 p.m.

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