Special NEC 2016 03 11 minutes .pdf
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National Executive Committee
(Special) Wednesday March 11th, 2016 5:30 p.m.
100 Queen Street, 4th floor, Ottawa, Ontario
Present: E. Tremblay, N. Giannakoulis (tel), A. Picotte, N. Burron, A. Butler, M. Collins (tel), C.
DesRochers (tel), J. Hove (tel), A. Nemec (tel), S. Mullen, J. Porter (tel) N. Pothier, S. Powell, P. Scholey, J.
Squires, I. Borré (tel), L. Truswell (secretary)
3. d) Motions related to the SGM format and related issues
a. Motion to decline to distribute the "Petition-complaint" to the membership
There was discussion whether to stay in-camera or to come out of camera
Motion: It was moved by A. Butler, seconded by S. Mullen to come out of camera.
In favour: (7) N. Giannakoulis (tel), A. Picotte, A. Butler, M. Collins (tel), C. DesRochers (tel), A. Nemec
(tel), S. Mullen
Opposed: (3) J. Hove (tel), S. Powell, J. Squires
Abstain: (2) E. Tremblay, S. Maguire
OUT OF CAMERA
Discussion followed about the risk to disseminate the petition which contains confidential information
and CAPE’s legal responsibility. If it were to be distributed, it should not be electronically.
It was stated that A. Picotte said that it would only be distributed on request and that it should not be
circulated except in redacted form at the SGM itself. In addition, it is a hybrid petition/complaint and
normally when someone has a complaint, it is kept very private (protected). A concern was raised about
exposing the Association to risks.
Motion: It was moved by J. Squires, seconded by S. Powell that A. Picotte decline to distribute the
"petition-complaint" to the membership.
Discussion followed including ways it could be circulated and under what conditions. It was suggested to
add a watermark and/or a disclaimer. The point was reiterated that the petition contains allegations
and that nothing has yet been proven, nor investigated. Members should be made aware of what is
going on in their union and that the process has to be followed.
Legal advice was received that the NEC blackout all the paragraphs that have to do with a former
employee of the organization. It should be clear that all information having to do with a former
employee cannot be made public because this would expose the NEC to being sued by that former
employee. If we are talking about the principle justice, let’s not forget the respondent (the president)
having a chance to give her view of things, her own facts as it should be transparent and democratic and
respecting the principles of natural justice. The President invited the NEC to remain equitable in the
treatment of the information because transparency is important.
One member stated that the membership does have the right to know what’s going on in their union
but the way to do that is with the results of the investigation and an informed vote. The point was made
about the sharing of potentially libelous information which would be deeply unfair. Also, we have a
responsibility to protect the President who is our highest official.
There were concerns as how to deal with disclosure of redacted information with regards to the SGM. It
was suggested that a warning/reminder be given at the beginning of the SGM that everyone in the room
is legally responsible for what they say.
For the record, as the point has now been made that an individual is responsible for what they say, then
so is the NEC, and so is A. Picotte. If this association distributes this petition, it is responsible for that.
Anything that comes from the fact of it being distributed can come back on to the NEC.
In privacy law, it differs at varying levels of jurisdiction, but essentially, information that is released that
could reasonably be used to identify the person being discussed is personal information. So just
redacting the name of former CAPE employees is not necessarily enough. If there is context released, it
could allow any reasonable person to figure out who is being discussed. That is something that needs to
be taken seriously. There may be five or six places in the petition document where that is potentially a
problem. This point needs to be made clear and it is asked of A. Picotte to explain what is actually going
to happen at the SGM should this motion be defeated. It is understood that the document will be
distributed to people at the SGM and those to who request it.
The A. Picotte responded that everything concerning that employee is being redacted and members can
get their copy upon request. There was no violation of privacy and that legal counsel’s advice was
A concern was raised about circulating the petition in its entirety. The suggestion was made that if
anything were to be circulated, it should only be those that are being investigated by the CRC.
Another concern was raised with regards to fear of being involved as well as character assassination.
The point was made that if the petition is to be circulated, the rebuttal should be circulated as well.
It was suggested to also have a disclaimer on the documents circulated.
With respect to the NEC’s responsibility of circulating the petition, if the NEC knows certain allegations
are completely false, or lies, this makes the NEC an accomplice knowing that these allegations are false,
and the NEC could be the subject of a complaint for disseminating false information.
Discussion ensued on this topic. It was stated that the constitution and bylaws do not say that they have
to circulate the petition.
The rebuttal should be distributed at the same time as the petition. By doing so, the principles of equity
and natural justice would be respected. A. PICOTTE stated that it is standard practice .
Motion 1: Be it resolved that the NEC recommends to A. Picotte that he decline the request of the
petitioners to circulate the petition to the membership. Moved by J. Squires and seconded by S. Powell.
In favour: (5) N. Burron, J. Hove (tel), S. Powell, P. Scholey, J. Squires
Opposed: (6) N. Giannakoulis (tel), A. Butler, M. Collins (tel), A. Nemec (tel), S. Mullen, S. Maguire
Abstain: (3) E. Tremblay, A. Picotte, N. Pothier (tel)
Not present: (2) C. DesRochers (tel), J. Porter (tel)
The Chair decided to share his reason for voting. He stated that his focus has been on the liability of the
Association. The question he asked himself was if the petition is circulated, does it open up the
Association to liability? First, A. Picotte will be introducing the petition out and pointing out that they
are allegations. It will not be widely distributed to members. The petition is already out there so the
liability will be shared with the original petitioners and since they put it out first, so accrues more to
them than us. He also strongly suggested taking the advice of putting a water stamp on it.
Suggested motion: Be it resolved that the NEC recommends to A. Picotte that a redacted version of the
petition- complaint be circulated at the SGM to include only those portions determined as: 1) not
currently under investigation, 2) not containing personal or confidential information, and 3) not
misleading as to what is possible in the context of our constitution and bylaws. Moved by J. Squires and
seconded by P. Scholey.
It was noted that the Chair had a script for the SGM and a question was raised as to whether there was
information with regards to the process for the SGM.
The Chair responded the script for the SGM was written just prior to Wednesday’s meeting with the
intention that it would be revised to reflect whatever the NEC decided for the meeting and so that
everyone could get the rules down and out to the membership.
A. Picotte said that there are two things he will mention at the SGM. Firstly, a motion can be passed for
of removal from office but it has no legal bearing until there is a vote by the general membership
requested by the NEC. Secondly, there cannot be a new election vote for the president’s position before
one and a half years, Nov. 2017. One of the VPs would step in.
A concern was raised about confusing the members by having multiple and unrelated issues discussed at
the same time at the SGM without due investigation.
One member commented that the point of the SGM is to let the members ask questions and to help
them understand what is occurring now.
It was suggested adding a footnote to the document. They added that members have the power to
change the constitution.
A concern was raised about distributing the petition. Despite the legal advice given stating that it would
be unusual to redact the petition, CAPE is in an unusual situation. Distributing it would put the
association at risk. It’s important to show members that NEC show due process and respect for process.
Whatever will be founded will go to the members. It was suggested to say at the SGM that this is what
the NEC can share now, and after the investigation, information will be shared to make an informed
A concern was raised about transparency. It would seem to this member that if the petition were
redacted, aside from the one employee’s information, that it would look like censorship and an attempt
to hide. It was stated that the investigator’s report goes to the NEC and not the members.
Motion 2: Be it resolved that the NEC recommends to A. Picotte that a redacted version of the petition
complaint be circulated at the SGM to include only those portions determined as: 1) not currently under
investigation, 2) not containing personal or confidential information, and 3) not misleading as to what is
possible in the context of our constitution and bylaws. Moved by J. Squires and seconded by P. Scholey.
In favour: (5) N. Burron, J. Hove (tel), S. Powell, P. Scholey, J. Squires
Opposed: (6) N. Giannakoulis (tel), A. Butler, M. Collins (tel), C. DesRochers (tel), A. Nemec (tel), S.
Abstain: (4) E. Tremblay, A. Picotte, N. Pothier (tel), S. Maguire
Not present: (1) J. Porter (tel)
Suggested motion: Be it resolved that the NEC recommends to A. Picotte that the SGM take the
following format: introduction and statement from A. Picotte, same as previous SGM (10 minutes),
presentation of redacted petition by one or more designated petitioner(s) (20 minutes), rebuttal by E.
Tremblay (20 minutes), discussion and questions (2 hours), closing remarks from A. Picotte and/or staff
(10 minutes). Be it further resolved that A. Picotte be requested to delegate NEC member Sean Maguire
to chair the SGM. Moved by J. Squires and seconded by N. Burron.
The format of the SGM was discussed.
The Petitioner should present the petition; it should not be a member of the NEC. It was suggested that
a generous amount of time be allotted for discussion at the meeting.
A similar amount of time should be provided to both parties and that Q & As should only be responded
to by one person. The rules and the process to be used should be communicated to the petitioners and
the President so they can prepare accordingly. Meetings are run according to Bourinot’s Rules. Respect
and Collegiality is mandatory. It is a political debate. A power balance should be maintained. For the
President and whoever speaks on behalf of the petitioners, the time needs to be strictly regulated, just
like it would in a political debate.
It was suggested to have in the meeting script that, if anyone has a motion to put forth to do so during
the Q & A period and recognize that they it will be seen as a recommendations to the NEC and, not
A question was raised as to the Petition’s contributors. If there are several of them, the NEC should
know who they are before the meeting and not the day of the meeting. Part of the message that A.
Picotte might want to give to the Petitioner is to explain why we have to blackout parts of the petition
and that there is a slot of time and if there are other contributors, they should be identified ahead of
A suggestion was made that if there are multiple petitioners that there should be multiple respondents,
the NEC, as well and not just, the President.
The Chair disagrees as it is a petition against the President and only the President should get equal
opportunity to speak.
Copies of the Constitution and Bylaws will be made available on the tables at the SGM.
The Chair confirmed that information with regards to what can and cannot be shared, will be provided
at the beginning of the meeting.
A member stated that there are multiple petitioners and that only one person has come forward to
associate themselves with it to take ownership. It would be fair to know ahead of time who the authors
are and that should be known before the meeting, for the sake of transparency and clarity. The other
point raised was that people need to own and take responsibility for what they say. Members who
come forward to speak should clearly identify themselves by stating their first and last name and
department or local they are from. The same applies for those on the phone.
It was suggested that the Elections and Resolutions Committee (ERC) be consulted from a due process
perspective, because there will be a vote to this, amongst other things and to have a conversation with
them. The ERC should be heard from a process perspective. They have been invited to the SGM. A
member pointed out that it will be important if there will be a vote down the road; the Elections
Committee is responsible for that so if somebody has a question, it would be good for them to answer it.
One member stated that he will not be sitting with NEC members despite having respect for them as he
sees that some of them are responsible for the current situation and that they are divided. Also, this
member is mentioned in a complaint and finds it unfortunate that they won’t have a platform to
respond to it. This member feels his reputation is being tarnished and it’s loathsome to publish and give
to members and not provide an official opportunity to respond. It was suggested that some time could
be taken to adequately respond to this at the Q & A period as this is a serious matter and career
The Chair stated that if a personal allegation is made, he will let people answer as it goes into the realm
of personal privilege. He does not expect many true questions after everyone has had their time to
speak. The Chair could remind people that there are rules of behaviour and that one can be disciplined
for publishing or circulating, among the members, false reports or willful misrepresentation and slander.
Discussion continued on the organization and format of the SGM.
The President stated that she just wants to make things real clear and understood that this motion sets
the format. She trusts that good notes were taken and that all of the recommendations and suggestions
that were made to keep order will be applied for fairness in the process. And in terms of the seating
arrangement, at this point, even if there are two tables reserved at the front for NEC members, the NEC
might opt, like at the last SGM to sit where they please. We should just move on and vote on this
motion as it is, without the “recommending to A. Picotte” because at this point it’s a moot point
because I. Borre will be there and is the one responsible for applying this as she gets her direction from
the NEC and from the decision on the format.
One member wanted to clarify the role of the NEC at the meeting with regards to speaking and being
spoken to. The point was made that if something is said in error at the meeting; the NEC members
should know the rules and should be getting up to make clarifications. Also, if something is being
circulated about someone, they should have the right to be able to speak to it. It’s about reputation and
The Chair disagreed with this as there is a process for this. If one thinks that a bylaw has been violated,
a complaint could be filed.
The Chair again stated that there need not be a motion at the general meeting. The moment a petition
of 100 plus signatures is received, there shall be a vote. He said that with his understanding of the
constitution, there is never a need for a motion at a general meeting and the reason is that, by its
nature, it’s a self-selection of people that happen to be in Ottawa. Due to some people being outside of
Ottawa, the constitution was designed that way that motions are not required at general meetings –
ever. However, the corollary to that is the moment a petition is received to remove the President, a
vote shall happen.
A. Picotte read the legal advice provided by Peter Engelmann (lawyer) for the following questions:
1) How can a member of the NEC be removed? 2) Does the NEC have any veto power in this regard?
It was found that the Chair was correct.
Motion 3: Be it resolved that the NEC recommends to A. Picotte that the SGM take the following
format: introduction and statement from A. Picotte, same as previous SGM (10 minutes), presentation
of redacted petition by one or more designated petitioner(s) (20 minutes), rebuttle by E. Tremblay (20
minutes), discussion and questions (2 hours), closing remarks from A. Picotte and/or staff (10 minutes).
Be it further resolved that A. Picotte be requested to delegate NEC member Sean Maguire to chair the
SGM. Moved by J. Squires and seconded by N. Burron.
C. DesRochers left the meeting, N. Burron left the meeting.
In favour: (8) N. Burron, A. Butler, M. Collins (tel), S. Mullen, N. Pothier (tel), S. Powell, P. Scholey, J.
Opposed: (2) N. Giannakoulis (tel), A. Nemec (tel)
Abstain: (3) E. Tremblay, A. Picotte, S. Maguire
Not present: (3) C. DesRochers (tel), J. Hove (tel), J. Porter (tel)
Article 30.3 of the Constitution states that, “Members attending an AGM can make and vote on
recommendations to the NEC on matters arising at the meeting. Successful recommendations will be
presented to the NEC.” Under section 32 of the Constitution, there is nothing in that section which
speaks to passing motions.
The Chair informed that an agenda can be amended with a 2/3 vote. At an AGM, a motion could very
likely be added to an agenda. It was noted that throughout this process the Constitution and Bylaws
have been referenced for guidance
3. e) Volunteer applications for 2 positions of the CRC
The Chair stated that everybody has a one-page chart on all volunteers and would like to have a vote
tonight on this. He proposed that within the room, he hands these out and mark an X and those on the
phone email him their choices. He’ll get back to the NEC’s next meeting with the final list.
One member asked if they could speak before voting to make a comment about eligibility.
The Chair asked if everyone was okay with voting this way and suggested having a discussion about it.
Discussion ensued. The names of the candidates were verified, some eligibility issues arose, some
members expressed their dislike of e-voting.
One member raised a concern that there should not be a vote at this time due to having some members
not present and other reasons. Discussion continued.
Motion 4: It was moved by A. Butler, seconded by S. Mullen that NEC members present at the meeting
at the time of this motion; submit two names from the nine provided to the Chair by noon, Monday,
March 14th to fill vacancies on the CRC.
In favour: (5) A. Picotte, A. Butler, M. Collins (tel), A. Nemec (tel), S. Mullen
Opposed: (4) N. Giannakoulis (tel), S. Powell, P. Scholey, J. Squires
Abstain: (1) S. Maguire
Not present: (6) E. Tremblay, N. Burron, C. DesRochers (tel), J. Hove (tel), J. Porter (tel), N. Pothier (tel)
Motion 5: It was moved by J. Squires to go in-camera.
In favour: (9), Opposed: (0), Abstain: (1)
N. Pothier left following the vote
Motion carried unanimously
The meeting continued in-camera till adjourned at 10:20 pm.