What are the "constitution and by-laws"?
The Constitution of the Young Greens of Canada guides the activities of the Young Greens.
It also sets out and limits the powers of the Young Greens' Council, the governing body of the Young Greens of Canada.
Article 1 - Purpose
1.1 The name of this organization shall be the Young Greens of Canada, hereafter referred to as “the Young Greens.”
1.1.1 The Young Greens of Canada is a unit of the Green Party of Canada, hereafter referred to as “the GPC”, representing youth members of the GPC from the ages of 14 to 29 years old.
1.1.2 The purpose of this constitution is to guide the activities of the Young Greens and limit and set the powers of the Young Greens Council as defined by the bylaws.
1.2 The purpose of the Young Greens is as follows:
1.2.1 to promote the core principles of green politics as stated in the Charter of the Global Greens and the constitution of the GPC;
1.2.2 to facilitate the involvement of young Canadians within the Young Greens;
1.2.3 to facilitate the involvement of young Canadians within the GPC;
1.2.4 to facilitate networking between Green campus clubs and between the Young Greens and external green organizations;
1.2.5 to act as an advocate for youth within the GPC and Canadian government.
1.3 The purpose of the Young Greens Council is to serve as the elected governing and decision-making body of the Young Greens of Canada.
Article 2 - Policies and Practice
2.1 The policies and practice of the Council will be in accordance with the following principles:
2.2. The recognition that English and French are the national languages of Canada, a reality we aspire to reflect in our conduct and activities, and
2.3 The six core Green values:
2.3.1 Ecological Wisdom;
2.3.2 Social Justice;
2.3.3 Participatory Democracy;
2.3.5 Sustainability; and
2.3.6 Respect for Diversity
Article 3 - Membership
3.1 The Young Greens reserve the right to determine their own membership as follows:
3.1.1 The non-voting membership of the Young Greens shall be informal and primarily based upon a person’s involvement in the organization.
3.1.2 The voting membership of the Young Greens shall be composed of all GPC members in good standing who are 14 to 29 years old at the election date.
3.1.3 All members of the Young Greens Council (hereafter referred to as “the Council”) must have been members of the GPC for at least 30 days as of the Council election date.
Article 4 - Council Composition
4.1 The Council shall be composed of the following positions:
4.1.3 Campaigns and External Affairs Chair
4.1.4 Communications Chair
4.1.5 Finance Chair
4.2 An individual may not hold more than one council position concurrently, unless appointed to fill a vacancy on a temporary basis not to last more than 90 days. A council member holding two posts exercises a single vote on council.
4.3 The term of office for each council position shall be no more than 13 months. Council elections shall be held in accordance with Section V of this constitution.
4.4 Each council member shall have the right to appoint his/her own assistants at his/her pleasure and assign tasks to whomever s/he may choose. Each council member shall be responsible to the Council for these appointments and assignments.
Article 5 - Election of Council
5.1 All members of the Young Greens who are members in good standing with the GPC shall be eligible to vote in the selection of the Council members.
5.2 An election of council may be initiated by 75% of the council members or a petition that contains the signatures and addresses of at least 100 voting members of the Young Greens at any time prior to the end of term as outlined in Section 3 of this constitution.
5.3 Invitations to vote shall be sent out to the membership of the Young Greens at least 14 days prior to the election day.
5.4 In elections, where one place is to be filled, and where there are more than two candidates, the preferential ballot shall be used.
5.5 Council has the authority to fill any vacancies by appointment until the next election period. All council members shall be notified of the vacancy within 7 days of any council member learning of the vacancy. Appointments shall be made with the agreement of at least 75% of the council members.
Article 6 - Other Bodies
6.1 The YGC will recognize and support Young Greens campus clubs in accordance with our bylaws.
6.2 Council Working Groups act as advisory bodies to the YGC and may undertake specific projects as outlined by the YGC. Decisions reached in various committees must be brought before the YGC for approval.
6.3 Working Groups
6.3.1 shall be started and disbanded by council, as needed,
6.2.2 are composed of general members and directed by at least one councillor,
6.2.3 can be chaired by any member of the working group, and
6.2.4 decisions reached in Working Groups shall be brought before the YGC for approval
6.3 All openings in working groups shall be communicated with the general membership.
6.4 A working group chair shall be appointed with the agreement of at least 75% of the members of the working group.
6.5 A Council working group may stand for no more than one year without review and re-appointment of the working group chair.
Article 7 - Meetings
7.1 The Council shall conduct meetings no less than 12 times a year.
7.2 A Chair or 50% of the Council members may call a meeting of the Council.
7.3 Rules applying to meetings as outlined in the bylaws must be respected.
7.4 All and only members of Council may vote in Council meetings.
7.5 All decisions of Council shall be by consensus or, if consensus cannot be reached among those present, by a majority vote of those present.
7.6 The quorum for council meetings shall be 50% + 1 of the filled positions.
Article 8 - Documents
8.1 Because the Council shall strive for openness and transparency, the Council shall make the following documents publicly available in both French and English:
8.1.1 The Constitution of the Young Greens of Canada
8.1.2 The Job Descriptions of the Young Greens Council
8.1.3 The Minutes of Council meetings (no later than 14 days after the meeting)
8.2 The Council shall determine the meaning of The Constitution of the Young Greens of Canada with the approval of 75% of the Council members present.
Article 9 - Disciplinary Action
9.1 If any member of the council fails to attend two meetings in a row, regardless of whether a report was provided in lieu of attendance, a vote to remove that council member shall be automatically initiated by the meeting chair at the second meeting.
9.2 A vote to remove a councillor from office may be initiated by any other Council member if,
9.2.1 If any YGC councillor is perceived as not fulfilling his/her duties and obligations under the Constitution, or
9.2.2 if any YGC councillor has engaged in unconscionable or illegal conduct
9.3 A council member shall be automatically removed from council without a vote if they have:
9.3.1 been convicted of a criminal offense; or
9.3.3 missed three subsequent meetings
9.4 A positive vote for removal proceeds with at least a 75% majority
9.5 Once a councillor is removed from council, either automatically or via vote, he/she:
9.5.1 is considered ineligible to run for a council position in the next election.
9.5.2 must be provided with written reasons that explain his/her removal within 7 days of the decision, are made public, and are provided to any member who requests them.
Article 10 - Dissolution
10.1 The Young Greens shall not be dissolved without the approval of 80% of the Council members present followed by 80% of the votes cast by the voting members of the Young Greens. The vote regarding dissolution shall be sent out to the membership at least 30 days prior to the voting day and shall be accompanied by an explanation of the relevant situation.
10.2 In the event of dissolution of the Young Greens, all funds shall be held in trust by the Green Party of Canada until such time as this constitution should again govern an elected Young Greens Council.
10.3 Elections may be called by the Green Party of Canada for a new Council after one year if the membership has not already done so. The membership may call an election of the Council at any time following the dissolution of the Young Greens Council.
Article 11 - Amendments
11.1 Amendments to this constitution shall not be made without the approval of 80% of the Council members present followed by 66% of the votes cast by the voting members of the Young Greens. The vote regarding amendments shall be sent out to the membership at least 20 days prior to the voting day and shall be accompanied by an explanation of the proposed amendments.
11.2 Amendments to the Bylaws of this constitution shall not be made without the approval of 80% of the Council members present. Amendments to these Bylaws shall be made public no later than 14 days after the vote by Council.
By-law 1 - YGC Elections
1.1. Calls for nominations will include a message encouraging diversity including, but not limited to, gender and region.
1.2. Staff and interns of the Green Party of Canada cannot run for the YGC, with the exception of a seasonal intern or staff working the equivalent hours of a seasonal intern during their term, provided they are committed to fulfilling their YGC duties during a general election.
1.3. Nominations for Communications Directors and the Global Young Greens Representative shall be announced during the same nomination period as the Young Greens Council election.
By-law 2 - YGC Councillors
2.1. YG Councillors may not reside outside of Canada for longer than 30 consecutive days during their term, and these 30 days may not coincide with the first 30 days of their term or a general election.
By-law 3 - YGC Meetings and Reports
3.1. One or both Chairs of the Council shall chair the meetings. If neither Chair is present, one of the other chairs shall chair the meeting.
3.2. The Council may adopt procedural rules, not inconsistent with the constitution, for conducting their meetings.>/p>
3.3. The Council shall send out an annual report to all members at least 30 days prior to the annual elections.
3.4. A Council Committee shall submit written reports to the Council at least every 2 months.
3.5. The Council may ask for a written Council Committee report at any time with 14 days notice given to the committee chair prior to the reporting date.
3.6. The Council Committee reports shall be made available to any member who requests such reports.
By-law 4 - YGC Voting Representative on Federal Council
4.1. Within 30 days of being elected, the YGC must ensure that there is a YG Councillor elected by the YGC to serve as the voting representative on Federal Council.
By-law 5 - General Election Action
5.1. By the time a writ is dropped for a federal general election or by-election, the YGC shall form a campaigns committee should significant campaign involvement be requested by Federal Council.
5.2. The YGC will appoint a committee to organize a YG election campaign.
5.3. The Chair of the Election Committee has decision-making capacity but must consider input from YG Councillors.
5.4. The Election Committee chair will collect input from the YGC and make final decisions in a timely fashion.
5.5. The YGC remains the governing body, wields authority over the Election Committee, and has the capacity to annul decisions made by the Election Committee.
5.6. The Election Committee must develop and implement a communications strategy during a general election.
By-law 6 - Young Greens Campus Clubs
6.1 Young Greens campus clubs are defined as groups of YGs who meet the following criteria:
6.1.1 Respect the purpose of the Young Greens
6.1.2 Respect the regulations of the relevant student union (where applicable)
6.1.3 Have had their constitutions approved by the YGC
6.1.4 Have reported the names of their President(s)/Chair(s) and contact information to the Campaigns and External Affairs Chair.
By-law 7 - Young Green International Involvement
7.1. The Young Greens Council shall work to integrate the principles and campaign ideas of the Global Young Greens into their activities through coordination with the Global Young Greens Representative.
7.2. Nominations and selection of a Canadian representative to the Global Young Greens shall last for a period of one year, and be undertaken as outlined in Bylaw 1.
7.2.1. The newly elected YGC shall be responsible for selecting the GYG Representative within 30 days following the election of council.
7.2.2. In the event of a mid-term vacancy, selections for the representative shall be made as per Bylaw 15.
7.2.3. The GYG position shall be selected as per regular voting procedures of the YGC, with particular attention given to the need for diversity in the council’s composition.
7.3 In addition to their regular responsibilities as a member of the GYG Steering Committee, the GYG representative will be expected to fulfill the following duties and tasks:
7.3.1 Providing at minimum, monthly updates to the YGC regarding the Steering Committee’s activities, campaigns, and initiatives.
7.3.2 Representing the YGC as a Delegate to Global Young Greens conferences should the term fall on a Congress year.
7.3.3 Representing the Young Greens as a member of the Federal Council International Liaison Committee and providing regular updates to council about its activities.
7.3.4 Facilitating regular and constructive relations with Young Greens in other countries; establishing and coordinating networks between the YGC and other YGs.
7.3.5 Participation in YGC committees and working groups as need arises.
By-law 8 - Youth Policy Development
8.1. The YGC must field candidates for a Youth Policies and Education critic for the Shadow Cabinet when the position becomes vacant.
8.2. The YGC will accept applications for nomination to the position of Youth Policies and Education critic for the Shadow Cabinet.
8.3. The Youth Policies and Education critic will be approved by the YGC, and recommended for appointment to the Shadow Cabinet by the Co-Chairs.
8.4. The Youth Policies and Education critic is expected to liaise between the Shadow Cabinet and the YGC.
By-law 9 - Overall Structure of the YGC
9.1. The YGC executive consists of the positions as laid out in Article 4 of the Constitution.
By-law 10 - Co-Chairs
10.1. The duties of the Co-Chairs include, but are not limited to,
10.1.1. Internal Duties, comprising primarily of:
10.1.1.1. Organizing, facilitating, and ensuring proper records are kept of internal YGC activities and documents
10.1.1.2. Ensuring that the YGC is in compliance with the Constitution of the Young Greens of Canada
10.1.1.3. Preparing and distributing to Councillors before the meeting the packet of material needed for the meeting, including but not limited to the agenda
10.1.1.4. Sending out the call of the meeting (the official notice of a meeting given to all members of the organization)
10.1.1.5 Overseeing the work of the entire Council to ensure that responsibilities are being met
10.1.1.6 Organizing internal council activities and gatherings
10.1.1.7 Preparing an annual report at the end of the Council’s term based on the submissions of the entire YGC
10.1.2. Membership-related Duties, comprising primarily of:
10.1.2.1. Preparing and providing to the YGC membership minutes of YGC meetings
10.1.3. GPC-related Duties, comprising primarily of:
10.1.3.1. Maintaining communication between the Young Greens of Canada and the Green Party of Canada
10.1.3.2. One or both Co-Chairs filling the position of Youth Representative to Federal Council and attending all Federal Council calls and meetings
10.1.4. Miscellaneous Duties, comprising primarily of
10.1.4.1. Ensuring that the Young Greens of Canada are represented in the international Green movement by appointing a youth delegate to the GGs in accordance with Bylaw 7.
By-law 11 - Campaigns and External Affairs Chair
11.1 The duties of the Campaigns and External Affairs Chair include, but are not limited to:
11.1.1. Coordinating policy development
11.1.2. Chairing the Campaigns Working Group, including but not limited to:
188.8.131.52. Crafting campaign strategies and objectives
184.108.40.206. Organizing and coordinating efforts to meet campaign objectives
220.127.116.11. Planning and preparing for future campaigns
18.104.22.168. Communicating the activities and decisions taken by the working group to the YGC
11.1.3. Sitting on Federal Council’s Campaign Committee, subject to its approval
11.1.4. Liaising with and developing the national club network, which includes but is not limited to the following:
22.214.171.124. Coordinating, facilitating and supporting initiatives to help clubs carry out local actions and activities
126.96.36.199. Facilitating discussion between campus club heads
188.8.131.52. Maintaining the GreenBook guide for clubs
184.108.40.206. Developing and supporting strategies for local growth
220.127.116.11. Ensuring clubs are represented on the YGC and facilitate their involvement in YGC activities.
By-law 12 - Communications Chair
12.1. The duties of the Communications Chair include, but are not limited to:
12.1.2. Developing a national strategy to increase the visibility of the Young Greens of Canada
12.1.3. Supporting Council portfolios, including Campus Club work,for any messaging, communication, and branding needs
12.1.4. Ensuring consistency in information sent to YGs on the structure and processes of, and recent news related to, the GPC and the YGC
12.1.5. Chairing the Communication Working Group, which consists of the Communication Directors and any other member(s) appointed by the Communications Working Group
12.1.6. Supervising Anglophone and Francophone Communications Directors in order to ensure equal linguistic representation.
By-law 13 - Communications Directors
13.1. The duties of the Communications Directors include, but are not limited to:
13.1.1. Reporting to the Communications Chair
13.1.2. Ensuring the YGC communicates in both official languages wherever possible (in the goal of equal language representation)
13.1.3. Undertaking the tasks assigned by the Communications Chair,including communications, through social media, with the membership base
13.1.4. Receiving, editing, and posting submissions to the Understory (the YG’s newsletter/blog), including a minimum of quarterly submissions by Directors.
13.1.5. Actively participating in the Communications Working group.
13.2. Anglophone and Francophone Communications Director appointments shall last for a period of one year, as per Bylaw 1
13.2.1. The newly elected YGC shall be responsible for selecting Communications Directors within 30 days following the election of council.
13.2.2. In the event of mid-term vacancies, selections for the Directors shall be made as per Bylaw 15.
13.2.3. Director positions shall be selected as per regular voting procedures of the YGC, with particular attention given to the need for diversity in the council’s composition.
By-law 14 - Finance Chair
14.1. The duties of the Finance Chair include, but are not limited to:
14.1.1. Ensuring that the YGC respects relevant Elections Canada regulations
14.1.2. In consultation with the YGC, drafting the basic framework and ideas for the YGC Annual Plan and Budget for the following year
14.1.3. Drafting and submitting to FC a YG departmental submission for the GPC Annual Plan and Budget in accordance with the GPC budget schedule (must be completed by approximately August of the previous year)
14.1.4. Reporting on any budget activities and providing regular budget updates 14.1.5. Leading the YGC in organizing and leading fundraising initiative(s)
14.1.6. Coordinating with Co-Chairs on planning the YGC retreat
By-law 15 - Working Group Nomination Process
15.1. All working group positions are to be made public.
15.2. Openings shall be made public on our website, and YGs in good standing shall be invited to participate in working groups.
15.3. Mid-term vacancies of Director and Representative positions, in addition to calls for Working Group chairs/members, shall be publicized to the membership and be filled based on an open nominations process, with positions being approved by the YGC as per standard council voting procedures.
15.4. Any YGC member in good standing is eligible to serve a non-Chair position.
15.5. Successful candidates for any non-chair positions shall be chosen via a majority vote by the YGC.