In their letters, Dr Busser and Dr Webb are asking you to vote for two proposed bylaw changes that, in my personal view, will hurt the Board’s ability to fairly represent you, the member.
One change that is proposed is a drastically smaller board. One elected member per health authority region means directors will be less accessible to members and the Board will not be representative of the range of views from our communities around the province. In this case, smaller is not better.
A second bylaw amendment would remove all but two of our statutory committees from the protection of the Bylaws. Tactically this is not a wise move, with a pending election and negotiations with government coming up.
There is always room for improvement when it comes to governance, and the Board is continually taking steps in this regard. Let’s talk to each other about ideas for proactive change. As a big, complex organization we need to do this methodically, in consultation and with a full understanding of potential consequences. Three years ago, members considered a reorganization plan that was more broadly supported but did not receive the necessary 75% support of the members. We will continue to explore these ideas in a thorough and analytical way.
I’d like to address Dr Busser’s criticisms of the Board. As a comparatively new Board member I am extremely impressed by the work of the Board on behalf of our members. I always feel that I am able to provide my views—representing the physicians in my district—in vigorous and respectful debate.
Dr Busser refers to the way the Board has handled uncommitted reserves of money. Many members recently attended a Board education session on financial reporting for nonprofits facilitated by KPMG. We were given an explanation of how to read a balance sheet and nonprofit accounts. The example we worked from was the BCMA Annual Report. KPMG complimented us on our sound financial management. The reserve has been maintained thus far to meet the possible demands relating to negotiations and court cases, as part of due diligence.
The Audit and Finance Committee will be reviewing next steps on this matter, and will report back to the Board with recommendations. To suggest that the Board is holding back a decrease in members’ dues because of a lack of checks and balances is completely wrong. In fact, it is the other way around.
—Ralph Jones, MBChB
BCMA Board of Directors
District 7 (Chilliwack)
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