|Draft Constitution for Equal Parents of Canada
Equal Parents of Canada (EPOC) is a national Canadian organization
dedicated to promoting the well-being of children, by advocating the full
and equal participation in parenting by both father and mother, and supporting
the preservation of the extended family. EPOC advocates governmental and
social respect for the preservation of every parental relationship with
every child, both for the intact family, and for families in the process
of separation and divorce. EPOC seeks to ensure that every person, group,
or agency in Canada shall constantly unite to preserve the right of every
child to the nurturance, discipline, support, and loving care of both parents.
EPOC seeks to promote the right of every child to a complete relationship with both parents, by encouraging the creation and growth of like-minded local organizations in every part of the nation.
EPOC seeks to advance and preserve the ideals of shared parenting, mediated settlements for family disputes, the removal of the overwhelming majority of family disputes from the adversary system of the family law courts, and the radical reduction of the family law court system across the nation.
EPOC seeks to expose and resist bias against fathers or bias against mothers in education, social programs, justice, politics, and government.
EPOC offers a forum for the coordination of the activities of local organizations.
The Board of Directors consists of one Director for each of the provinces and territories of Canada. Among the members of the Board, four are selected to form the Executive Committee, and given the titles President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
The EPOC Board of Directors advances EPOC objectives, reacts to social, governmental, and political events, provides means of free and open communication among EPOC members across the nation, conducts the day-to- day business of EPOC, and serves as the legal entity for EPOC.
The Board of Directors conducts frequent contacts with the authorized representatives of the Organizational Member groups, for the purpose of disseminating information, setting policy, coordinating activities, and developing goals.
All members of the Board of Directors must exercise high standards of
conduct, to promote a reputation for integrity both within and beyond EPOC.
The President presides over meetings, leads in the development of policy,
promotes the growth and development of EPOC, guides the advancement of
EPOC objectives, communicates with government and social agencies, serves
as a spokesman for EPOC, and acts as the chief executive officer. The President
may vote as a member of the Board of Directors in those circumstances set
out by the Bylaws of EPOC.
In the event that the President is unable to complete his term of office, the Vice-President shall take the title and office for the balance of the term. When the President is unavailable for an Board of Directors meeting, the Vice- President shall preside. The Vice-President assists the President, and performs a role similar to that of the President in the development and promotion of EPOC goals. The Vice-President may vote as a member of the Board of Directors in those circumstances set out by the Bylaws of EPOC.
The Secretary schedules and announces meetings, prepares and publishes
minutes of meetings, maintains the official record of communications within
the Board of Directors, conducts correspondence with groups and individuals
both internal and external to the Board, and maintains the official record
of Board correspondence.
The Treasurer maintains financial records of the EPOC, reports regularly
to the Board of Directors with regard to financial matters, conducts legally-required
communication with government agencies regarding finances, maintains the
membership list, and votes as a member of the Board of Directors.
With approval by a vote of the Board of Directors, the President, Vice-President,
Secretary, or Treasurer may delegate the performance of any official duty
to any person or persons, on terms agreeable to the Board, with the exception
that none of these officers may delegate voting authority or final responsibility
for any of the duties of office.
Should any officer of the Board of Directors be unable to continue in office, the Board of Directors may appoint any person to replace that officer, by a two-thirds favorable vote of the entire Board membership.
Any officer of the EPOC Board of Directors may be removed from office by a unanimous vote of the full Board Membership, excluding the member whose removal is under consideration. Any officer of the EPOC Board of Directors may be removed from office by a majority vote of the constituency that elected the officer, provided that the vote has been requested of the Board of Directors by a petition bearing the signatures of one third of the constituency.
2.3.1. Eligibility to Attend
All Directors are eligible to attend all Board meetings. Any person approved by a vote of the Board of Directors as an observer or presenter is eligible to attend that meeting.
The Board of Directors shall conduct a meeting at least quarterly.
The Secretary shall notify all Board members of every meeting of the EPOC Board of Directors. The Secretary will provide at least two weeks of notice for each meeting except where abbreviated notice is accepted via a polling of the full Board of Directors membership.
Motions and resolutions of the Board of Directors shall be decided by a simple majority vote.
A Quorum for the EPOC Board of Directors meetings is comprised of fifty percent of the Board membership plus one.
Due to the wide geographic dispersion of the EPOC, the Board of Directors will authorize and conduct all necessary activities to enable the full and informed participation of all members of the Board and all EPOC members.
At the discretion of the Board of Directors, any meeting of the Board, whether confined to members of the executive, or opened to others attending at the invitation of the Board, may be conducted through the use of telecommunications technology.
Upon the request of two other members of the Board of Directors, the
presiding officer may conduct voting and discussion on a motion using correspondence
with the entire Board membership. Issues decided in this manner will decided
by a two-thirds majority of those responding.
EPOC has an obligation to make good faith efforts to ensure that the Individual Members receive adequate notice of elections, an opportunity to vote, a fair restriction of eligibility to vote, and sufficient information on which to base a decision.
Three months before the scheduled date of the next election, the Board of Directors will confirm an Electoral Committee, made up of at least one Director solicited from each of the provinces and territories of Canada. Directors on the Electoral Committee shall be ineligible to run in the next election for Board of Directors membership. The Electoral Committee shall organize itself in accord with the applicable Bylaws and this Constitution, and conduct the election using resources approved and provided by the Board of Directors.
Every EPOC member who is in good standing at noon, thirty calendar days before the election date, shall be eligible to vote.
A vote for the membership of the EPOC Board of Directors shall be held every two years.
Every EPOC member who is in good standing at noon, thirty calendar days before the election date, and who is nominated by a petition of ten other members in good standing within their region, shall be eligible to run for the position of Director for that region.
Notification shall be done using telecommunications technology and other methods as required to ensure that all EPOC Organizational Members have been issued notice.
Ten calendar weeks prior to the date of the election, the Electoral Committee shall notify EPOC membership of the election, including a calendar of events in the election, notification that nominations are open, and notification that voter registration is open.
Six calendar weeks prior to the date of the election, the Electoral Committee shall notify EPOC membership of the then current list of candidates.
Four calendar weeks prior to the date of the election, the Electoral Committee shall notify EPOC membership that the voter registry is closed.
Two calendar weeks prior to the date of the election, the Electoral Committee shall notify EPOC membership of the final list of candidates.
In order to provide the membership with sufficient information to support the decision-making process, the Electoral Committee shall regulate and provide telecommunications access to materials supplied by the candidates.
Votes may be cast by electronic mail or by regular mail. The use of proxies shall not be allowed. The electoral committee may choose to require advance booking by regular mail, in order to produce prompt returns after the close of voting. The Electoral Committee shall maintain records of all ballots. The electoral committee shall validate all votes using the registration list, and announce all results as soon as possible upon the completion of counting.
As soon as possible within two calendar weeks after the election of new members for the EPOC Board of Directors, the Electoral Committee shall convene a meeting of the new Directors. A designate of the Electoral Committee shall preside over the meeting, and the new Directors will elect the Executive Committee.
Upon the election of new members for the Executive Committee, the new Board of Directors will be deemed to have taken office.
After the resignation or removal of a member of the Board of Directors, the Board may call a by-election to fill the vacated position.
The Board of Directors may refer questions to the Electoral Committee for a vote by the Individual Members, to be conducted in conjunction with the election of one or more new directors.
All members of EPOC must affirm and support the ideals and goals of
the organization, and support the organization, itself.
3.1. Organizational Membership
Each Organizational Member Group of EPOC (local group) must be a Canadian group that operates on a charitable or not-for-profit basis.
Each local group must provide the Board of Directors with a statement in writing, from a duly authorized representative of the group, identifying the group and demonstrating its qualifications to be an EPOC Organizational Member, in accord with any and all bylaws pertaining to membership.
Each local group supports the initiatives of EPOC, and facilitates communication between the the EPOC Board of Directors and the membership of the group.
Each local group authorizes a single EPOC local representative (usually an executive officer of the group), who conducts the group's liaison with the EPOC Board of Directors.
Each local group validates Individual Membership applications for EPOC
3.1.3. Loss of Membership
Any local group that violates any term of this constitution, or violates any Bylaw of EPOC, shall be subject to dismissal from EPOC at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
Each EPOC Individual Member must be a member of a local group that is also an EPOC Organizational Member.
On a voluntary basis, each Individual Member contributes to communication with the EPOC Board of Directors, supports the advocacy initiatives of EPOC, and votes on referendum questions referred by the Board of Directors.
For support of activities, each Individual Member pays dues to EPOC.
The exact amount of dues is determined by the bylaws pertaining to dues.
3.2.3. Loss of Membership
Any Individual Member that violates any term of this constitution, or violates any Bylaw of the EPOC, shall be subject to dismissal from EPOC at the discretion of the Board of Directors. In the event that an Organizational Member Group of EPOC loses its membership in EPOC, the EPOC Individual Members of that group may retain membership in EPOC for a period of one year following the loss of the group's membership.
The Individual Members may amend this constitution by means of a petition stating the amendment, and bearing the signatures of not less than two thirds of the membership. The Board of Directors may amend this constitution by means of a vote of not less than four fifths of the Board membership with all positions filled.
The Board of Directors shall create, amend, and consolidate the Bylaws of EPOC. Measures for the enforcement of the Bylaws shall be instituted within the Bylaws, and executed by the Board.
The EPOC Board of Directors shall act as the financial authority for EPOC, and maintain compliance with all federal and provincial laws and regulations pertaining to the financial management of the Corporation.