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Canada-United Kingdom Inter-Parliamentary Association


as amended at the Annual General Meeting, March 3, 2009

1. Name:   

This organization shall be known as the "Canada-United Kingdom Inter-Parliamentary Association".

2. Aim:   

The Canada-United Kingdom Inter-Parliamentary Association shall promote exchanges between British and Canadian Parliamentarians, with the aim of developing greater understanding of differences in the operation of the parliaments of our countries and of increasing co-operation between parliamentarians on matters of mutual concern in international bodies and on domestic issues.

3. Membership:   

  1. Membership is open to all Members of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada on application and payment of an annual membership fee.
  2. Ex-officio members - the Speakers of the Senate and House of Commons shall be the Honorary Chairmen and the Leaders and the House Leaders of the recognized political parties in both Chambers shall be the Honorary Vice-Chairmen who shall serve in an advisory non-voting role.

4. Operating Year:   

The operating year of the Association shall correspond to the fiscal year, commencing on the first day of April and ending on the thirty-first day of March.

5. Annual General Meeting:   

  1. An annual General Meeting of the Membership shall be held each fiscal year in the National Capital at a time when Parliament is in session. An AGM must be held within 60 calendar days of the Opening of a new Parliament. The Executive Committee or 10 members of the Association may, upon a minimum of two weeks written notice to the Executive Secretary, call an Annual General Meeting. It shall:
    • Elect the members of the Executive Committee
    • Receive a summary report of the expenses of the previous fiscal year and a written report of the association’s activities for that year from the Chair
    • Amend, where necessary and with one week’s notice, the association’s Rules by a two-thirds vote of the members present at the meeting
    • Make suggestions and adopt resolutions in accordance with the aims of the association
    • Transact any other necessary business
  2. Electronic notice addressed to their Parliamentary offices shall be given to all Members at least 10 sitting days in advance. Such notice shall include the date, time and place of the meeting and any proposed changes in the Rules, and notice of the process for nomination.
  3. Voting shall be by secret ballot.
  4. The quorum shall be set at 20 or one-third of the total membership, whichever is the lesser amount, provided that the Senate and the House of Commons are represented.

6. Special General Meeting:   

A Special General Meeting of the membership may be called at any time by the Chairman or any ten members of the Association. Notice shall be given as for an Annual General Meeting. It shall transact only such business as was specified in the notice of the meeting.

7. Executive Committee:   

  1. An Executive Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting to be composed of 11 members, with 30% of its members from the Senate and 70% from the House of Commons, to positions as determined in each association’s constitution.
  2. Members shall be members of the Association in good standing and shall not be a Chair of another Parliamentary Association.
  3. Each recognized political party should be represented on the Executive Committee in numbers proportionate to their representation in each Chamber; nothing precludes an independent Senator or MP from being a member of the Executive.
  4. To the extent that it is possible given the desirability that each political party should be represented on the executive and the size of these parties, members should not be eligible to serve on more than one association’s executive committee.
  5. A Vice-Chair shall as necessary assume the duties of the Chair if he is unable or unwilling to act. The senior Vice-Chair shall be the representative of the Chamber other than that of the Chair.
  6. If the Chairman is a Senator, both Vice-Chairs according to seniority in the House of Commons shall be members of the House of Commons, but not vice-versa.
  7. The executive shall meet at the call of the Chair or any four of its members.
  8. Quorum should be set at five or at one third of the total membership in the executive, whichever is the lesser amount, provided that a representative from each house is present.

8. Functions of the Executive Committee:   

The Executive Committee shall meet at least twice yearly to:

  1. Direct and manage the affairs and budget of the association in accordance with the decisions taken at its general Meetings and directives of the Joint Interparliamentary Council.
  2. Approve any activities, including travel, that are added to the association’s work-plan over the course of the year.
  3. Convene the AGM
  4. Draw up a draft budget for the upcoming fiscal year and submit it to the Joint Interparliamentary Council
  5. Submit reports to the membership as required
  6. Ensure that regular reports are submitted to the Senate and House of Commons, as required in the rules and practices of both Houses.

The Executive may replace for the balance of the term any of its members who are unable or unwilling to carry out their duties.

9. Nominations Committee:   

  1. There shall be a Nominations Committee for the election of the Executive constituted as follows:
    1. The Chair and Vice-Chairs;
    2. The Whips of both Houses.
  2. The Committee shall meet at the call of the Chair to submit to the Annual General Meeting the names of all members who may have been proposed and to recommend an Executive.
  3. Other nominations may be received from or on behalf of any member of the Association. They shall be presented in writing to the Executive Secretary who shall put them at once before the Nominations Committee. Such nominations shall include a statement of the willingness of the nominees to serve if elected and shall be delivered to the Executive Secretary at least 48 hours before the date of the Annual General Meeting.
  4. Nominations may be moved from the floor at the Annual General Meeting.

10. Nominations and Election of the Executive Committee:    

  1. The Executive Secretary shall distribute nomination forms to all members of the Association with the Notice of Meeting.
  2. Nominations should be received at least 3 sitting days in advance of the Annual General Meeting. The Executive Secretary will prepare a nominations report based on nominations received. Once the deadline has passé, the nominations should be made public.
  3. In order to be eligible to vote, parliamentarians should be members of the association at least seven days prior to the AGM. Once the deadline has passed, the names of all members eligible to vote shall be placed on a voters list.
  4. Nominations will only be accepted from the floor at the AGM for positions for which no candidate has been nominated.
  5. The elections shall be presided over by a parliamentarian to be chosen from a list that has received the approval of the Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons who is not nominated for a position on the executive of the Association. Elections shall be conducted by secret ballot with the support of the Executive Secretary and additional necessary staff from the International and Interparliamentary Affairs Directorate.
  6. The ballot box shall be placed in full view and each parliamentarian shall insert his or her own ballot into the box.

11. Representation of the Association:   

  1. Members shall be notified in writing of every opportunity as it arises to represent the Association at any meeting in Canada or abroad.
  2. Every member shall have the right to apply for inclusion in any such representation subject to:
    1. the number of places available;
    2. an application in writing on a form approved by the Executive and included in the notification;
    3. the decision of the Selection Committee.

12. Selection Committee    

  1. Upon the approval of its budget by the JIC, the Executive Committee shall meet to establish its level of participation at each of the activities listed in its work plan for that fiscal year;
  2. If the names of the individual members who are to participate at each of these activities are known, these are to be noted on the record of the meeting and forwarded to the Whips for their approval;
  3. For all other vacancies on delegations, the association must send applications to its general membership for selection as delegates to be determined by the Whips of each party, with due regard to the need to build strong Canadian delegations at international conferences;
  4. The following should serve as a guideline in the selection of delegates;
  5. Insuring a balance between each selected group in order to give equitable opportunity for new qualified members to be chosen;
  6. Selection of members who may be expected to contribute to the success of a meeting and who will undertake to attend briefing sessions in advance at home or abroad;
  7. Should a vacancy occur in a selected delegation, the Executive Committee may fill that vacancy in consultation with the Whips of both Houses.

13. Executive Secretary:   

The Executive Secretary of the Association shall be an officer of the International and Interparliamentary Affairs Directorate assigned by the Clerk Assistant of the Directorate. The Executive Secretary shall be accountable to the Executive Committee, particularly to the Chair, and shall be responsible for providing the administrative management for activities of the Association, for determining and co-ordinating any additional resources required to support these activities and will act as Secretary for outgoing delegations.

14. Rules of Procedure:   

Meetings of the Association shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures and practices of the Canadian Parliament.

15. Dissolution of Parliament:   

In the event of a dissolution of Parliament, the Executive Committee in office at the time shall carry on the affairs of the Association until a new Executive Committee is elected, with due regard to policies and related procedures set out in the Financial Management and Policy Guide for Parliamentary Association.