The information meeting held April 7th at the Rideau Curling Club in Ottawa had about 40 people were in attendance. The meeting was quite informal and involved a significant sharing of available information. Art Olson, OVCA Secretary took notes and provided a summary at the end of the meeting. The following is an attempt to condense the various inputs during the evening:
- No one is happy with the last few months of strife, confusion, rumours and most of all with the lack of communications by the Ontario Curling Association (OCA). All of us would like to see a strong and effective OCA. The question is how to get there.
- The OCA is our primary vehicle for influencing change. If it continues under siege, curling in Ontario will suffer.
- Curling organizations in Ontario are volunteer based - we need to respect these volunteers commitments and investment in the sport.
- In order to gain some understanding of the issues leading up to the March 30th Special General Meeting, background was provided on the OCA's former status as "a member not in good standing". After discussion, those present agreed that this was no longer an issue as the OCA is now "a member in good standing".
- The OCA Board failed in their communication and management responsibilities with respect to the OCA's general membership (curling clubs of Ontario), their OCA Zone Representatives and Ontario curlers.
- The Special General Meeting on March 30th has led to a number of commitments by the Board for review of direction, approach and structure. These commitments included improvements to governance and communications.
- There appears to be a significant division within the OCA Board regarding responsibility and direction. Unwillingness to be accountable, issues relating to operations, conflict of interest and security of communications are essentially making the Board dysfunctional.
- The second General Meeting on April 27th provides an opportunity to demonstrate the Board's commitment to change and deal with issues that are best described as failures in timing. Although voting is limited to Board Members, Members at Large and Zone Reps, attendance by a significant number of member of clubs from across the OCA area is critical in ensuring a balanced approach. This meeting will consider a motion regarding confidence in the Board, a motion to re-instate Dale Curtis as First Vice President, and proposals for improvements from the Board. Member Clubs should communicate their expectations regarding the meeting and subsequent action to their Zone Representatives. It is desirable that much information on the OCA Boards commitments as possible should be distributed prior to the April 27th meeting.
- The current OCA By-laws require updating once a clear statement of future direction is established. In particular, those sections relating to who has voting authority are questionable from the point of representation and renewal. The OVCA will pursue becoming a Member at Large of the OCA Board of Directors. Implementation of Ontarios Not-for-Profit Corporations Act may delay action on by-law amendment.
- The Annual General Meeting of the OCA in June provides an opportunity to bring closure or to demonstrate progress and commitment. Any member of a curling club may attend and address the meeting.
- The OCA Board must clarify their role as policy makers and communicators versus the Executive Directors operational responsibilities. This will require a more active involvement by the Board in OCA events. The creation of a staff position responsible for the coordination of OCA events will assist the Executive Director in fulfilling his role.
As noted, the April 27th Special General Meeting has been moved up to 13:00. The location might also be moved as there is apparently little to no parking at High Park, and a larger room will likely be necessary. Will post more details when they're available. If you're interested in attending to ensure your point of view is heard, please contact Elaine Brimicombe regarding transport.