AVLIC Annual General Meeting Information
AVLIC is required to hold an AGM each year. During this time, the Board of Directors is responsible to report to the membership on the activities of the past year.
AVLIC operates a democratic policy-setting process. The AGM is the opportunity for members to discuss proposed resolutions for change (motions) with other members in order to provide direction to the Board of Directors. Motions that are passed become policy and will direct the future work of the Association. During the conference years, the AGM is also where the Board of Directors for the upcoming 2-year term is elected by the membership.
Member’s Rights and Responsibilities
All Active members have a right and a responsibility to participate in the governance of AVLIC. The essential responsibility of the membership is to support AVLIC in fulfilling its mandate. The balance of rights and responsibilities are intertwined and are integral to the success of the Association.
For example, as a member, you have a right to vote on motions that will guide the continuance of the vision of AVLIC, as well as having the responsibility to fully understand what is being proposed. Therefore, each member is responsible for adequately preparing for meetings by reading materials provided, asking for clarification in advance and conducting additional research, if required. This allows members to fully understand the issue/s being discussed in order to make an informed decision when voting.
Another vital responsibility of membership includes attending member meetings on-time and properly informed. Or, if unable to attend member meetings, to ensure proxy* votes are appropriately represented by giving the proxy to another member you trust will represent your voting preferences. As members in AVLIC, you have the right to expect all other members to fulfill their responsibility to the organization.
As formal Association business, the AGM follows Roberts Rules of Order. The meeting is run by the AGM chair (usually the president) and assisted by a parliamentary advisor and the recording secretary.
Voting members sign in to receive their voting cards and register any proxy cards they may be charged with. If a voting delegate leaves the room at any time during the meeting, they are asked to give their voting cards to a proxy that remains in the room in order to maintain quorum**.
Once called to order, the meeting will proceed in accordance with the agenda as accepted or amended by the voting members present.
Observers may register to attend the AGM. Observers may be stakeholders or vested parties of AVLIC who are not members. Observers are not allowed to obtain the floor for any issue, unless that observer is recognized by the chair and only under the circumstances that they have specific expertise or knowledge that may be helpful in clarifying a point of discussion during a debate. Non-member observers are asked to leave the room at any time the meeting goes in-camera (discussion for members only and results are not documented).
Most motions are moved by a member, and then seconded by another member, read by the chair and, if applicable, debated upon.
The member who made the motion has the first right to speak to the motion, as long as s/he obtains the floor properly. This member cannot speak against the motion but does not have to speak for the motion and may vote against it. The member who seconded the motion may speak against the motion.
No person may speak more than twice to the motion, and the second turn can only be taken after everyone who wishes to speak the first time has spoken. Members always refer to the other members and officers in the third person. Debate must be confined to the merits of the motion.
Amendments can be made to the motion, one at a time.
A motion will be put forth at the AVLIC AGM 2014 to limit debate to 2 minutes per speaker on each topic, to a maximum of 15 minutes per topic. All comments and proposed amendments to said topic will be discussed within the 15 minutes. Although this time limit will be the default, members are able to put forth a motion to suspend the accepted limitation of debate. If this motion to suspend is successful then discussions may continue on the topic.
Any member may call for a vote by “calling the question”, although members must be recognized by the chair first and are not permitted to interrupt to call the question. If the motion to close debate is accepted by 2/3 of the membership, voting on the current motion shall follow.
To accommodate all proposed business, the chair may request permission of the membership to reduce the number of minutes of speaking time.
Voting is conducted by the raising of cards once the “question” on a motion is called. The chair will call for “all in favour”, “all opposed”, and declare the results of the vote. If a vote appears close, the vote will be re-conducted and counted again. Motions are passed either by majority*** or 2/3 of the votes.
Members have the right to make a motion to take a vote by ballot during a controversial issue.
**Quorum – the minimum number of votes necessary to conduct the business (Class A members, Class C members and proxy votes). As per the current bylaws, quorum for the AVLIC AGM is 25% of the votes eligible to be cast at the meeting.