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Rules of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association

1          NAME

The organization shall be known as the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association.

2.         SECRETARIAT

Secretariat of the Association shall be at the office of the International and Interparliamentary Affairs Directorate, Ottawa.

3.         AIMS

The aims of the Association are:

(1)       to develop among its members a greater knowledge of the purposes of NATO and to consider in what manner the Atlantic Alliance may be developed further so as to assist peoples in the signatory countries and, incidentally, all other persons of good will and, concurrently, while maintaining adequate common self defence, to seek to achieve maximum political stability and the greatest possible degree of economic betterment.

(2)       to make and maintain contact with parliamentary representatives in other NATO countries, which have similar purposes, and to seek to meet periodically with all such representatives, for joint public discussions of commons problems and aims.

4.         STATUS:

It shall function within the mandate of the Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons, with the support of the office of the Executive Secretary, and in affiliation with other NATO Parliamentary groups and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, whose headquarters is in Brussels.  Consultation will be maintained with the Atlantic Council of Canada and with other groups working to foster a strong and united Atlantic Alliance.

5.         MEMBERSHIP:

Membership shall be open to all Members of the Senate and the House of Commons of Canada on application and payment of an annual membership fee.


The Honorary Officers of the Association shall be:

Honorary Chairs:

The Speaker of the Senate
The Speaker of the House of Commons

Honorary Vice-Chairs

The Leaders of the Political Parties in the House of Commons


(a)       Subject to Article 17 the Executive Committee of the Association shall be elected for a two year term at a General Meeting.  It shall have the responsibility for the general management of the affairs of the Association and shall report thereon at each General Meeting of the Association.

(b)       The Executive Committee shall consist of fourteen elected members as follows:

(i)         A Chair

(ii)        Two Vice-Chairs (1 Gov., 1 Off. Opp.)

(iii)       Eleven Counsellors

(c)        Each House and each recognized political party in the Canadian Parliament shall be represented in the Executive Committee.

(d)       Members of the Executive Committee shall be members in good standing of the Association.

(e)       The Executive committee shall meet at the call of the Chair or any four of its members.

(f)        If for any reason a position on the Executive Committee becomes vacant the Executive Committee shall fill the position from the general membership for the balance of the term.

(g)       The Chair shall assume the duties normally associated with that office including that of presiding at meetings of the Executive Committee and the general membership.  In his absence the Chair shall designate a Vice-Chair to act on his behalf.

(h)       The Chair is normally the Canadian member of the Standing Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, but he may also designate an additional member.


The Executive Committee shall meet at least twice yearly to:

(a)       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.

(b)       Draw up a work plan and submit it to the General Meeting.

(c)        Approve any activities, including travel, that are added to the Association’s work plan over the course of the year.

(d)       Convene the General Meeting.

(f)        Draw up a draft budget for the upcoming fiscal year and submit it to the Joint Interparliamentary Council.

(e)       Submit reports to the membership as required.

(g)       Ensure that regular reports are submitted to the Senate and House of Commons, as required in the rules and practices of both Houses.


There shall be a Nominations Committee for the election of the Executive Committee constituted as follows:

(a)       The Chair, Vice-Chairs and Executive Secretary, five members of the Association chosen at a meeting of the Executive Committee and representing the recognized political parties in Parliament and the Whips of both Houses.

(b)       In order to be eligible to vote, and to be on the Executive Committee, parliamentarians should be members of the Association at least 30 days prior to the General Meeting.  Once the deadline has passed, the names of all members eligible to vote shall be placed on a voters list.

(c)        The Association secretary shall distribute nomination forms to all members of the Association.

Nominations should be received at least one week in advance of the General Meeting.  The Association secretary should prepare a nominations report based on nominations received.  Once the deadline has passed, the nominations should be made public.

(d)       Only positions for which no candidacy has been put forward can be filled by nominations from the floor at the General Meeting.

(e)       The election shall be presided over by a parliamentarian 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 Association secretary and additional necessary staff from the International and Interparliamentary Affairs Directorate.

(f)        The ballot box shall be placed in full view and each parliamentarian shall insert his or her own ballot into the box.

10.       MEETINGS:

(a)       At least one meeting of the general membership shall be held each fiscal year.

A General Meeting must be held within 90 calendar days of the Opening of a new Parliament.

(b)       The Executive Committee or 10 members of the Association may, upon a minimum of two weeks notice, call a General Meeting.

(c)        At a General Meeting held every second year, the assembly 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 (or co‑chairs);

·                     amend, where necessary and with two weeks’ notice, the Association’s statutes 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.

11.       QUORUM:

No meeting shall be held without a quorum.  The quorum for an Executive Committee Meeting shall be five, provided that a representative from each house is present. The quorum for a General Meeting 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.


The Rules may be amended at a General Meeting of the Association.  Not less than two weeks’ notice must be given to the membership and proposed amendments shall be enclosed with the notice.  A two-thirds majority vote of those present at a general meeting shall be required to amend the Rules.


The Executive Secretary of the Association shall be assigned by the International and Interparliamentary Affairs 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.


(a)       The funding of the Association will be derived from:

(i)         Membership fees

(ii)        Grants

(iii)       Gifts and bequests

(b)       The operating year of the Association shall be the fiscal year, commencing on the first day of April and ending on the thirty-first day of March of the following year.

(c)        30 % of the Association's annual grant shall be included in the Estimates of the Speaker of the Senate and 70 % will be included in the Estimates of the Speaker of the House of Commons.

(d)       The signing officers of the Association shall be the Chair or, in his absence and in his impossibility to act, one other parliamentarian assigned by the Executive Committee together with the Executive Secretary of the Association.

(e)       A financial statement of the Association shall be presented to the Executive Committee on a semi-annual basis.


(a)       Delegates to the Spring Session, Annual Session, Annual Tour and other meetings of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, as designated by the Executive Committee shall be chosen according to the Selection Procedure laid down in Article 15.

(b)       The number of delegates for the meetings and sessions of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly shall normally be:

(i)         Standing Committee
The Chair and one other member

(ii)        Spring Session
Up to 12, the exact number to be fixed by the Executive Committee

(iii)       Annual Session
12, although additional delegates may be permitted by resolution of the Executive Committee

(iv)       Study Tour
Up to three

(c)        A member of the Canadian delegation elected by his peers during a meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to be an officer of the Assembly or an officer or member of one of its committees or sub-committees shall serve in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.  Candidacies shall be approved by the Executive Committee.


(a)       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.

(b)       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.

(c)        For all other vacancies on delegations, the Association may 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.

(d)       The Executive Committee shall decide the allocation of places amongst recognized Parties on the basis of 30 % to the Senate and 70 % to the House of Commons and with regard to party representation in each House.

(e)       The Chair shall be the leader of a delegation and members elected to office in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly according to Article 15 shall also be selected as delegates.

(f)        The Whips in choosing the delegates shall take into account that participation in an inter-parliamentary meeting provides a valuable opportunity to increase understanding about attitudes and policies in Alliance member countries and that this formative experience should be available to the widest possible number of parliamentarians.  For that reason delegations should reflect, as far as possible, a 60 % experience and 40 % new members’ composition.

(g)       All members shall be advised of the delegates and alternates chosen.

(h)       All delegates and alternates selected shall be advised that, as a condition of participation, they must agree to take a full part in briefings and give the time required to prepare themselves to make a contribution at the meetings.


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


The Chair or any officer of the Association, or any person nominated for the purpose by the Executive Committee, is authorized and empowered to appear and make answer for the Association to all Writs, Orders and Interrogatories upon articulated facts issued out of any Court.

19.       PROCEDURE

The rules of procedure to be followed in conducting Association business shall conform to Canadian parliamentary practice and rules of procedure.