Proposed By-law Amendments – Summary

The key revisions are outlined below:

1. Administrative consolidation and increased document accessibility 

  • Consolidate the overall framework from 22 Parts to eight Parts.
  • Simplify wording of financial/corporation by-laws to align with best practices and plain language principles.
  • Remove/reduce explicit and prescriptive processes and develop into standalone governance policies.
  • Change language to gender-neutral terms.

2. Introduce term limits for Professional Council and Committee Members

  • Set a maximum of 21 years of lifetime involvement on a combination of Council and committees.
    • No more than nine years consecutive and 18-year lifetime Council involvement.
    • Introduce a three-year waiting period between maximum term limits.
    • No more than nine years on one committee and 21-year lifetime committee involvement.
    • Council could make appointments beyond the term limits in exceptional circumstances.
  • The 21-year total is specific to Council and committee involvement. Optometrists would still be able to contribute to College work in other ways (i.e., QA Assessor, Coach, Expert).
  • Governance best practices support turnover, board/committee succession planning and incorporating fresh perspective.
  • The changes would provide both the College with the opportunity to retain knowledge and experience while also encouraging renewal and involvement from a wider range of the membership demographic.

3. Reduce the role of the Executive Committee, focusing on its legislative requirement

  • The Executive Committee’s lone responsibility would be to act as Council between meetings in matters of administrative urgency.
  • Other functions such as governance, human resources, finance and risk management to be re-assumed by Council or continue to be handled by existing standing committees.

4. Introduce officer term limits and an appointment model for other Executive Committee members

  • Set a four-year maximum term limit for each of the officer positions, President and Vice-President, to encourage new leadership and promote succession planning.
  • Apart from the officers, remaining Executive Committee members would now be appointed by Council.
  • This would ensure the Executive Committee better reflected the Council makeup and aligns with the existing statutory committee appointment model.

5. Revise timing to facilitate a new Council year in 2021

  • The period for Council and committee terms would shift to align with the new Council year.
    • Instead of beginning at the first annual Council meeting, the term would now run from January 1-December 31.
  • Council meetings are going to continue quarterly, based on this new schedule in 2021: March, June, September & December.
  • Executive election/committee appointments would now occur at the final Council meeting of the year.