New Eligibility Criteria for Council Election
Council approved the following amendments to the eligibility criteria for district elections in the CPSO General By-laws:
- Provide for a cooling-off period before physicians who have held certain positions with other organizations may be eligible to run for CPSO Council;
- Require prospective Council election nominees to complete an orientation or educational session regarding the roles, responsibilities and obligations of CPSO Council and committee members prior to submitting their nomination material; and
- Clarify the eligibility criterion relating to disqualification and amend the time limit for its application.
The changes are part of CPSO’s efforts to modernize the governance structure and processes of the CPSO and align with new government expectations for health regulatory colleges.
The Ministry of Health has identified the use of cooling-off periods as a governance best practice and will be asking health regulatory colleges to report on this, among other leading practices, beginning in March 2021. A member will not be eligible to stand for Council election: if the member holds, or has held within one year before the date of the election, a position which would cause the member, if elected as a councillor, to have a conflict of interest by virtue of having competing fiduciary obligations to both the College and another organization. While this applies to any organization where there may be competing fiduciary obligations, members specifically cannot be a director or officer of the Ontario Medical Association, the Canadian Medical Protective Association, the Canadian Medical Association, the Coalition of Family Physicians, the Specialists of Ontario or the Ontario Specialists Association within one year before the date of election; or if the member is, or has been within five years before the date of the election, an employee of the College.
It is important that Council members are well-informed and aware of their expectations and the time commitment required as a Council member. The intent behind the orientation is to inform candidates about what being a Council member and CPSO committee member entails, and what will be expected of them in advance of standing for elections.
The by-laws currently provide that a member is not eligible for election to Council if Council has disqualified the member during the three years before the election date.
The amendment clarifies that it applies to both disqualification from Council and from a CPSO committee. The amendments also address members who may have resigned from Council or from a committee in face of a disqualification.
Council supported the extension of the three-year time period to five years.