By-election, bylaws, goodbyes


Regrettably I must tell you about two vacancies that have come about on the Board of Directors. In January our Northern Ontario Director, Peter Martin, had to resign for personal reasons. Peter is an enthusiastic individual who made a strong personal commitment to COPA. In addition to serving on the Board for three years Peter put a great deal of effort into helping the Float Plane Committee deal with the Temagami Lakes Region float plane access issues. His experience with the Ontario Government was of great value in this effort.

Since Peter had only one year left in his term as Director, the Board decided to replace him with an interim appointment. The word was put out through our COPA Flights in Northern Ontario for individuals interested in putting their name forward and an appointment will be made at the March Board meeting in Winnipeg.

A second vacancy will be coming up on May 31. Darin Graham, one of three Southern Ontario Directors, is resigning from the Board due to a pending move to New Zealand in June.

Although Darin is disappointed to leave the Board he will be pursuing an excellent career opportunity in New Zealand. Darin has made a significant contribution to COPA during his time on the Board. He worked hard to coordinate the strategic planning process we went through last year and has applied his business and academic experience effectively to Board deliberations.

Since there are three years remaining in Darin’s current term as Director the Board has decided to call a by-election to fill this vacancy. The details on the by-election and a call for nominations can be found elsewhere in this issue.

On behalf of the all the Directors I would like to thank Peter Martin and Darin Graham for their service to COPA and for their inspiration on the Board. It has been a pleasure working with both of them and we wish them well in the future.

On another topic, the Bylaws Review Committee of the Board has been working diligently on an overall review of the bylaws of COPA, the COPA Special Action Fund Inc. and the COPA Flight Safety Foundation.

Bylaws tend to evolve over time as amendments are made to accommodate new ways of doing things and new processes which often results in inconsistencies developing. Since COPA has been around for more than 50 years it was time to do a major review of all three sets of Bylaws to insure they properly reflect the way we do things today and are consistent between organizations, as well as being in compliance with the Corporations Act.

This initiative resulted from the strategic planning we did last year and in October the committee began its review. Ray Hawco, Director for Newfoundland and Labrador is chairing the committee which includes John Davidson, Director for Manitoba and Nunavut; Jane Guertin, COPA Office Manager, and myself.

Many hours have been spent on this project to date. As of press time the committee has completed its initial review and developed a proposed new set of bylaws. The Executive Committee reviewed the proposal and it is not undergoing review by our legal council. I am expecting the final proposal for updating the bylaws to be reviewed by the Board at the March meeting.

Following that and a final once-over by legal council, the proposed new bylaws will be published in the June COPA Flight for membership review prior to the Annual General Meeting in July.

This has been a major effort but has been worthwhile in that many technical changes have resulted which cleaned up inconsistencies and ambiguities throughout all three documents. The result is a clear and concise set of bylaws which we expect will make governing and operating your organization more efficient and effective as we move forward.

Keep your prop spinning.