Annual General Meeting

Edmonton Chapter

March 12, 2001


Bob Bouvier     [the girlfriend]               James Haiden               [Source B]                   Val Bennett

[Tim] Adams      Gail Radford-Ross        Andy Lang                   Rolf Sandl                    Paul Bains

Elsie Cable       Bill Miller                      Ferrel Christensen         Elsie Sandl

Russ Cable       Marshall Deslauriers     George McGeogh         Ron Bailey

Bev Fowler      [the aunt]                      Steve Barr                    Dave McCallum

Rick Fowler     Louise Malenfant          [the son/nephew]          Bob Molofy

[Source A]       Walter Schneider          Jason Yeats                  Harvey Biever             

[As explained elsewhere, certain names have been replaced here by descriptors in brackets. Not listed are the names

of some regular members who did not attend, but cast absentee ballots by directing in advance that their votes be registered for Bob Bouvier for president: Rob LaBossier, Gary DeVries and Ron Marshall. These three also said in advance that they wished to run for the offices indicated below. Russ Cable was not present until after the vote, but he too had asked that his ballot be cast for Bob Bouvier. Also not listed is the grandmother, not present, on whose behalf the Malenfant group cast ballots for president and vice president. These facts plus one abstention each in the races for president and vice president would account for the numbers of votes described below. The ballots were counted, and the minutes later written up, by just-elected secretary Bev Fowler assisted by Elsie Cable.]       [Back]



Ø     The Meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. with a quorum of 30 people in attendance.  Members reviewed and agreed to the Agenda. 


Ø     A New Member’s Presentation was given by Bob Bouvier.


New Business


Ø      Election for members of the Board:

¨      Ferrel Christensen raised a point of order:  Members should ratify new bi-laws before an election vote for the new Board was called. 

¨      Walter Schneider raised a second point of order:  Members should vote to abolish the old bi-laws before the new ones are adopted. 

¨      A motion to abolish old bi-laws was made by [Source A] and seconded by Louise Malenfant.  The motion was carried unanimously.


Ø      Bob Bouvier gave a brief presentation on the proposed amendments to the Society’s bi-laws.  These amendments were necessary for several reasons:

¨      Since its inception, the Society’s focus has moved away from a lobby/protest movement towards a public service society (i.e. the Men’s Help Line and the Tuesday Support Group).   To maintain this effort, more funding must be obtained, hence the Charitable Tax Number and grant applications.  In order to qualify, the group must prove that less than 10% (approximately) of its activities are political in nature.

¨      During the process of completing the Charitable Tax Number and grant funding application, it was discovered that ECMAS brochures, website, and most particularly, the bi-laws needed to be updated to show the group’s new focus and comply with government regulations.  Copies of same are to be forwarded with the application. 

¨      Review time for these applications is approximately 4 to 6 months, therefore the group needs to move quickly


Ø      Copies of the amended bi-laws were provided to the membership.  Ferrel Christensen raised the point that that the words “monthly meetings” in article 12.2 should be omitted (since it was specified no where else in the bi-laws), and the article amended to read, “…the chair will report monthly to the Board…”


Ø      A motion was made to accept the bi-laws with the noted amendment.    The motion was seconded and carried by majority vote.


Ø      Ferrel Christensen also pointed out that members must be paid in full and in good standing to be eligible to vote. The meeting was paused to allow those members who wished to pay their dues to do so.


Ø      The election was then called with the following nominations:



Committee Chairs


§   President -

Bob Bouvier; [Source A]

§     Support Group -

James (Jiggs) Haiden

§   Vice President -

[Tim] Adams; [the girlfriend]

§     Access & Custody -

Gary deVries

§   Treasurer - 

Marshall Deslauriers

§     Personnel -

Ron Marshall

§   Secretary -

Bev Fowler

§     Finance -

Gail Radford-Ross



§     MEP -        

Rick Fowler/

Rob LaBoissiere



§     Public Relations -

[the girlfriend]/

[Source A]

 (*Note:  ‘/’ indicates Co-Chairs)


Ø      The membership requested and received speeches from the candidates.   The vote was then cast and tallied as follows:

§         For President:            Bob Bouvier – 22 votes         (*33 votes for President; 28

[Source A] – 11 votes              member ballots, 1 proxy, and 4 absentee)

§         For Vice President:    [Tim] Adams – 15 votes          (*29 votes for VP; 28 member

                                             [the girlfriend] – 14 votes          ballots, 1 proxy, and no absentee)

§         All other positions were accepted by acclamation.


Ø      A motion was made by Bob Bouvier to accept the new Executive; seconded by [Source A].  Motion was carried unanimously.  The new Executive and Committee Chairs are as follows:




§     Committee Chairs


§   President -

Bob Bouvier

Support Group -

James (Jiggs) Haiden

§   Vice President -

[Tim] Adams

Access & Custody -

Gary deVries

§   Treasurer - 

Marshall Deslauriers

Personnel -

Ron Marshall

§   Secretary -

Bev Fowler

Finance -

Gail Radford-Ross



MEP -        

Rick Fowler/

Rob LaBoissiere



Public Relations -

[the girlfriend]/

[Source A]


Ø      Marshall Deslauriers gave the Treasurer’s Report (see copy attached).


Ø      A brief discussion followed on the subject of conducting an audit on the society’s books.  Ferrel moved that Gail and Rolf be nominated to act as auditors.  Motion seconded by [the girlfriend] and carried by majority vote. 


Ø      The subject of moving the mailbox to a more accessible location was brought forward.  A debate ensued on private residence vs. commercial box.  It was decided that although private residence would be cheaper, a commercial box would be a more practical and professional choice.  More discussion ensued on whether to keep the box in its current location, or move to a more central location.  The group eventually decided to allow Marshall Deslauriers (who currently holds a mailbox key) to investigate the options and report back to the group. 


Ø      The subject of a Policies and Procedures Manual was brought forward.  Copies of the “Committee Structure in E.C.M.A.S.” were given out, and members were asked to review the information and provide input for the Manual at the next meeting. 


Ø      At the last general meeting, Gail Radford-Ross had been asked to investigate the feasibility of insurance for the Society.  She now advised the membership that she had obtained a rough quote of $400 to $600 per annum for Director’s insurance, from Lloyd Saddler Insurance.   Gail further advised that the agent declined to discuss any details until the charitable status and grant funding applications were successfully completed.  In order to do this, the group first needs to file its bi-laws and financial statements.  A brief discussion ensued on the following points:


§         The question of insurance came up because of the shift in focus from “lobby/political” to “support/service” group, which could open ECMAS up to liability. 

§         [the girlfriend] suggested a written disclaimer for the Support Group, to be signed by those in attendance. 

§         [Tim] offered to draft up a script to be incorporated into the information sheets already being given out. 

§         Bob suggested copies of this disclaimer be added to ECMAS brochures, and given to the insurance agent to potentially lower premiums.  

§         Discussion was subverted back to the question of the Charitable Tax Number, how many applications had already been made, and whether or not this application was truly feasible.  Walter pointed out that government regulations could cause serious constraints on the future workings of the group. If the tax number was ever revoked, ECMAS could end up paying thousands of dollars in retroactive taxes.   Bob and Ferrel responded that a certain percentage of lobbying was acceptable (no more than 5-10% of the group’s activities as a whole—so long as it relates and is pertinent to the group’s objectives).  It was also pointed out that members attended protests and pickets over the last year or so not as representatives of ECMAS, but rather as individuals.

§         A consensus was reached that ECMAS should take due care and ensure that the funding and charitable status applications be submitted successfully the first time.    Experienced input was required.  [the girlfriend] suggested that Grant McEwan College had an excellent resource center and volunteer staff that could be utilized.  Membership was then advised that the application, itself, was nearly complete.  It was the collateral documents that needed finalization. 


Ø      [Source A] moved that a Board Meeting be set up to “hash out” the final details of the collateral documents to the application.  Seconded by [the girlfriend] and carried by majority vote.  After some discussion it was decided to open this meeting to general members as well.  The Secretary was asked to coordinate a time and place and advise the membership.


Old Business


Ø      Bob gave an update on a meeting between John Booth, Abdullah, Gary and Bob prior to the election.  The purpose of the meeting was to discover what further action the government planned to take with regards to Bill 26.   John Booth’s response seemed to be to refer everything back to the “Unified Court Task Force”.   The question was then raised as to when the results from this task force would be publicized, since the public input deadline had been September 1, 2000. 


§         Bob moved that the PR Committee draft up a letter to Booth requesting information on the Unified Court issue.  Seconded by Andy and carried by majority.

§         Booth had no statistics on how successful Bill 26 has been—i.e., how many applications to the court vs. how many successful applications, etc.  [Source A] is to investigate statistics through other channels and report back.

§         Ferrel pointed out that this should really be a Custody and Access Committee issue.  Bob and [Source A] are to forward the idea on to Gary. 

Committee Business


Ø      Due to time constraints and the absence of many Committee Chairs, only the MEP and Men’s Help Line Committees were heard from.


Ø      Rick Fowler advised that the MEP Committee was only waiting for the bi-laws to be formalized before they began tabling issues with MEP, such as the child over 18 issue.  (MEP has taken the liberty of pursuing their collections until the child reaches the age of 22—or to the first post-secondary degree.)


Ø      It was also strongly advocated that the Edmonton group work more closely with the Calgary group to coordinate our efforts and appear a consolidated and united group.  As it stands now, the two groups are working under two different agendas with the same people in MEP and under the same name.  This can only harm ECMAS’ credibility.  Highlights of the ensuing discussion are as follows:


§         Concern was expressed that Calgary concentrating solely on a lobby effort under the name of ECMAS could cause trouble with our Charitable Tax application.  Consensus was reached that if Calgary wishes to operate on a “piggy-back” basis, using the ECMAS name, then they must adhere to the parent chapter’s bi-laws (and this goes for Fort McMurray as well). 


§         [Source A] and [the girlfriend] questioned whether we needed to vote on the issue.  Bob responded that the issue was more complicated than that, and that perhaps what was needed was an open-ended article in the bi-laws pertaining to chapters.  It was decided that this issue needed to be “fleshed-out” in the forthcoming Policies and Procedures Manual.


§         Gail raised the question of:  If ECMAS Edmonton gets their tax number and grant funding, does Calgary get part of this funding?


§         It was pointed out that the bi-laws have now been ratified; we’re no longer asking for input.  Mike LeBerge of the Calgary group was notified of the AGM and forthcoming bi-laws and did not respond.  It was also discovered that the Calgary group met with the MEP liaison after the need for unity was discussed and agreed to.  Rick’s request for a copy of the agenda and minutes from this meeting has to date been met with no response. 


§         Ferrel Christensen raised the point that Phil Bullard, the original founder of ECMAS in Edmonton, has returned to the group and has offered to act as liaison between Edmonton and Calgary.   This idea was well received by the membership.


§         Rick advised that Mike had suggested meeting in Red Deer, but they could not agree on a time or date.  The membership was advised that there had been only one meeting between the two chapters, which took place in 1997.  The question was raised as to whether the Calgary Chapter felt any accountability to the parent chapter in Edmonton. 


§         Considering the above, Bob raised the question:  Do we really want chapters?   In response the membership agreed there was power in numbers, and that there was a definite need for unity and consistency between the cities.


§         [Tim] Adams suggested a courteous but firm approach:  “This is how we’re forced to go; these are the rules.  If you don’t wish to follow them, you should look at another route and another name.”  (Franchise analogy). 


§         Walter pointed out there are precedents to follow in matters such as these.  Named other groups which have successfully dealt with these issues in the past (i.e. CFA’s), and suggested we try to get one of their manuals for guidance. 


§         Consensus was that Calgary group is fairly large and is getting a great deal of respect.  As such, their input could be invaluable.  It was also pointed out that the Calgary group was tabling an information session on the issue of false allegations.  Elsie is checking into this. 


Ø      A motion was made by Ferrel that the group contact Elsie to discover when Calgary’s information session is to be held, and that the Board decide if we should send a representative to make formal contact.  Seconded by [Tim], and carried by majority.

Ø      Gail advised that the Men’s Help Line was in dire need of more volunteers.  [the girlfriend] suggested contacting the Volunteer Resource Centre, but it was decided we would be better off recruiting our volunteers from within our group. 


Ø       [the girlfriend] suggested that all committees should prepare a report as to the parameters, responsibilities, and expectations of their respective committees.  She further suggested these reports be submitted to the PR Committee and the Board as soon as possible, to be reviewed and discussed at the special meeting being called for the Policies and Procedures Manual.   A motion to this effect was made by Rick Fowler, seconded by Gail Radford-Ross, and carried by majority.


Ø      The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.