ACCUTE conference

Motion to Incorporate and New Bylaws

As you know if you’ve been reading our newsletters from this Winter and Spring, the ACCUTE executive has been exploring the necessity of, and process for, registering ACCUTE as an incorporated not-for profit. There are several reasons why this is necessary.  We sketch out some of these reasons in those newsletters, and I’ll be discussing them in some detail at the AGM.

I’m happy to say that we will be bringing a motion to the AGM this year to incorporate ACCUTE as a registered not-for-profit.  The executive believes that this is an absolutely necessary step for several legal and financial–and even ethical–reasons, not least because of the need for Liability as well as Errors and Omissions insurance, a need originally raised by former president Heather Murray about 8 years ago.  Her reasons have only gained in strength since then (university structures being what they are these days, whether they would legally protect professors, let alone grad students and contract members who sit on association boards, is becoming a concern), and the new financial reality of ESC makes it even more imperative (we’re now legally obliged to file with Canada Revenue Agency whether we incorporate or not, but we’ve been advised that incorporation is a sound step in that process).

The executive and the Halifax office have been working on this, basically non-stop, for the past 5 or 6 months, employing both lawyers and accountants (and bears, oh my?).  All of this means that the executive will be bringing a motion to our AGM to officially incorporate ACCUTE as a registered not-for-profit.

Basically, the membership will be voting on moving the current, unincorporated ACCUTE into an incorporated ACCUTE.  That latter creature has already been created, but currently sits “empty,” waiting for us to move the existing ACCUTE into it, so to speak.  Our lawyers have drafted a motion to that effect for us, as well as a set of governing by-laws that do three things: 1) satisfy the various laws governing not-for-profits; 2) define ACCUTE in such a way as to let it function exactly as it does now (with some minor new bookkeeping and other paperwork requirements for the exec); and 3) give some space for ACCUTE to change and grow over time without needing to change the bylaws every time (because every change has to be filed with the government, so you don’t want to be changing the bylaws all the time.  Basically, a lot of our committee structures and activities will be covered by “policies” that we’ll maintain in the VP/Operations Manual).  In other words, the bylaws may look lengthy and detailed compared to our old (and in-need of updating) constitution, but it’s still the same ol’ ACCUTE.  And we’ve been advised that most of the other associations at Congress have already done this (indeed, you can see similar corporate bylaws to those we’re proposing for other CFHSS associations here, here, and here, for example).

So, why are we announcing this now?  Well, we want to let everyone know what’s happening at the AGM: we believe it’s very important to protect ACCUTE into the future by doing this, and so we want everyone to be able to read the motion and the bylaws in advance of the meeting.

I’ve embedded the motion (the first three pages, titled “Organizing Resolutions” and Schedule A) and the proposed bylaws, below, so you can read them through.  Please note that the motion gives the executive the ability to incorporate at any point after the motion is passed (should it be passed).  Our plan at this point is to make the incorporation effective June 30, to coincide with our new financial year-end, which will make accounting easier.  Also note that while we have drafted the bylaws with an eye to allowing ACCUTE both to function as it currently does in every way (with the addition of some minor new accounting and other paperwork for the exec) and to be allowed to develop in the future, still those bylaws can be changed.  If, after incorporation, the membership wishes to move any changes or corrections, we certainly can do so.

The files are below.  If you have any questions you would like to ask before the meeting, please feel free to contact me, and I will reply (time allowing).  And again, please note that I will be going into detail on the reasons for this motion at the AGM–please come to that, and join us after for our Celebration of Research!

See you all in Ottawa soon!

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