National Constitution of Citizen Advisory Committees (CAC)
Article 1 : Name
1.1 National Executive Committee of Citizen Advisory Committees
The committee is called the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Citizen Advisory Committees. NEC is the executive branch of the CAC.
1.2 Legislative and administrative basis
Paragraphs 4(c) and (f) of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, subsections 7(1) to 7(5) of the Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations, and Commissioner’s Directive 023.
Article 2: Roles and Objectives
The National Executive Committee of Citizen Advisory Committees, in accordance with the Mission of Correctional Service Canada and of the Citizen Advisory Committees, works to achieve the following roles and objectives:
to serve as a national coordinating committee for regional and local Citizen Advisory Committees;
to recognize and support each individual Citizen Advisory Committees in the respect of national guidelines;
to promote the humane, just and effective operation and development of all units of the Correctional Service Canada;
to plan and organize the National Conference of Citizen Advisory Committees in conjunction with Correctional Service Canada;
to facilitate the exchange of information between Correctional Service Canada and Citizen Advisory Committees at the national, regional and local levels;
to foster public awareness of the Correctional Service Canada’s programs and activities;
to promote and facilitate the orientation for Citizen Advisory Committee members;
to receive, document, discuss and present for approval the recommendations and/or resolutions of the regions;
to participate in consultations on national issues, relevant to the federal correctional system of Canada;
to act as impartial observers, and provide advice, to Correctional Service Canada regarding correctional operations, programs, policies, and plans; and,
to liaise with staff and offenders and their representatives, other organizations including criminal justice and advocacy groups and the community to address correctional issues within the context of CAC principles.
Article 3: Members
The National Executive Committee consists of six (6) members – the National Chairperson and the Chairpersons or a designate of the five (5) administrative regions, one of whom performs the role of Vice-Chair. It also includes a non-voting representative of the Correctional Service Canada, who serves as Co-Chairperson to the National Executive Committee.
Regional Chairs shall be elected in accordance with the method provided within the regional constitution/bylaws.
Upon the appointment of the new National Chairperson, the region until then represented by the new Chairperson shall appoint/elect a new Regional Chairperson in accordance with the constitution/bylaws of that region. The newly elected Regional Chairperson shall become a member of the National Executive Committee and shall represent his/her region.
Upon completion of his/her term, the National Chairperson shall continue to be a non-voting member of the National Executive Committee for a term of six (6) months.
The NEC may dismiss any of its members if it finds just cause.
Article 4: The Administration of the National Executive Committee
The National Executive Committee plans and organizes, jointly with the representatives of Correctional Service Canada the various activities for which it is responsible in accordance with the roles and objectives set out in Article 2. of this Constitution.
The National Executive Committee works in partnership with Correctional Service Canada, which shall identify staff members at the national and regional levels to provide support and maintain a strong relationship with Citizen Advisory Committees.
Article 5: The Responsibilities of the National Executive
The Chairperson shall:
call meetings of the National Executive Committee and the National Conference;
chair and direct the meetings of the National Committee and the National Conference and may request that another person be designated for this task;
represent the National Executive Committee of Citizen Advisory Committees and act as the official spokesperson;
take part in the meetings of partner groups, where invited to do so;
ensure that decisions taken by the National Executive Committee and at the the National Conference are implemented and monitored;
sign all documents requiring a signature; and
provide the annual report on the activities of the National Executive Committee.
The Vice-Chairperson shall:
perform the Chairperson’s duties if the latter is absent or unable to act; and
fulfill in addition, the responsibilities conferred on him/her by the Chair of the National Executive Committee.
Article 6: Delegation of Responsibilities
The National Executive Committee may delegate responsibilities, give a mandate to committees or persons, or form "ad hoc" committees concerning specific issues.
The National Executive Committee will receive the recommendations of the Regional Committees, take appropriate action, and report back to the region.
Article 7: Appointments of a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson
The National Executive Committee recognizes that each region shall assume the position of Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson on a rotational basis for a term of two (2) years for each position.
The position of chairperson will be determined by the National Executive Committee agreeing to the establishment of a rotational sharing of the positions.
Once a region has been identified to fill the first two year term as chairperson the subsequent region identified in the rotation will assume the position of vice chairperson for a period of two years.
Upon the designation of the national chairperson, that region shall elect/appoint a chairperson to represent them at the National Executive Committee.
The Chairperson of the designated region shall assume the duties set out in this constitution for the positions of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.
At the end of a two (2) year term, the Vice-Chairperson shall automatically become the National Executive Committee Chairperson.
The Chairperson of a region designated to assume the position for which he or she was selected, may refuse the appointment. Should this occur, the region identified next in the order of succession will fill the vacancy.
Article 8: Meetings/National Conference
The National Executive Committee shall meet four (4) times annually jointly with the Correctional Service Canada.
A minimum of three (3) National Executive Committee members in consultation with the Correctional Service Canada may call additional meetings, as they deem necessary and urgent in order to take a decision on issues that are judged essential. This meeting shall be held at a time and place set by the National Executive Committee within 30 days of a written notice to the Chair.
A quorum of any meeting of the National Executive Committee is constituted by the presence of representatives of three (3) regions.
Decision of National Executive Committee shall be taken by a simple majority of the members present.
The National Conference brings together delegates of Citizen Advisory Committees from all operational units of the Correctional Service Canada.
The National Conference is held on a biennial basis at a time and place determined jointly by the National Executive Committee and representatives of Correctional Service Canada.
Article 9: Recommendations and/or Resolutions
Recommendations and/or resolutions are presented by a Regional Committee to the National Executive Committee for consideration.
The National Executive Committee review and respond to recommendations and/or resolutions at their meeting and report the decision and/or action as soon as it has been agreed upon by the NEC to the submitting region.
The National Executive Committee can:
accept recommendations and/or resolutions and decide if it warrants consultation by the four other regions;
send back to the originator to request clarification and/or rewrite;
or dismiss if it feels that it is not properly supported.
Recommendations and/or resolutions being brought forward to be presented to the National Conference (in years that it is held) must reach the NEC at least 120 days before the conference.
Recommendations and/or resolutions that have been accepted by the National Executive Committee must reach the delegates at least sixty (60) days prior to the National Conference.
Voting delegates at the National Conference shall be composed of five (5) equal delegates per region as chosen by their respective regional Citizen Advisory Committee. The National Executive Committee members shall be excluded as voting delegate.
Any voting delegate attending the conference may submit recommendations and/or resolutions from the floor once recommendations and/or resolutions already on the agenda have been considered.
Resolutions shall be adopted by simple majority.
Article 10: Right of Veto
The delegates present at the National Conference of CACs may, by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the delegates, adopt a veto on any recommendation.
Article 11: Languages of Communication and Work
The languages of communication and work at meetings, National Conferences and committees are those recognized by Canada’s official languages policy.
Article 12: Amendments to the Consitution
Draft amendment(s) submitted by a regional committee to the National Executive Committee must reach the NEC at least one hundred and twenty (120) days before the National Conference.
The National Executive Committee shall review the amendment(s) proposed and decide whether to recommend it/them to the delegates at the National Conference.
Draft amendment(s) that have been accepted by the National Executive Committee must reach the delegates at least sixty (60) days prior.
Amendments to the constitution shall be ratified by a vote of not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the delegates at the National Conference.
In the year that no annual meeting is scheduled an amendment or amendments can be adopted if, after a consultation by email/mail, 2/3 of the local Chairs of CACs support the change(s). A record of that vote must be kept until the next annual meeting.
Article 13: Procedures
Generally accepted Parliamentary procedure shall be followed at all general and committee meetings.
National Chair, CAC
James A. Murphy
Manager, Community and Stakeholders Relations, CSC
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