It is curious and disappointing that the BCMA has chosen not to pursue audio/video conferencing for the June 2008 AGM. This decision is curious given that attendance at the AGM is likely to be limited by the Board’s decision to move the meeting to Prince George.
It is disappointing that the Board is not doing its best to facilitate maximum involvement of the membership this year given that the last AGM ended prematurely. You will recall that the directors, in an ill-advised move, prematurely exited the 2007 meeting, leaving it without a quorum.
The Law Society has provided audio conferencing for their AGM for several years. I personally contacted the people involved for the Law Society and arranged for this information to be passed on to the BCMA. From the information I obtained it appeared that audio conferencing should be neither expensive nor complicated. Somehow the Board committee assigned to look into the topic seems to have introduced complications where none should have existed.
I have long thought that the BCMA has become too bureaucratic and has lost touch with its membership. It does not appear that the BCMA makes communicating with its members a priority if they can both move the meeting to a somewhat remote location (even for those in the north a flight to Prince George is neither easy nor inexpensive) and then reject ways to allow the membership to be involved.
To add insult to injury, the reason given for not pursuing audio conferencing is as follows: “The BCMA Board reaffirms its commitment to a consistent and equitable approach for all members with regard to attendance and participation at its Annual General Meeting by not pursuing special arrangements for video conferencing in one or more sites for the 2008 AGM” (Resolution B08/02/01-03, as posted on the BCMA web site).
This statement reminds me of the term “doublespeak,” which first appeared in the early 1950s after publication of George Orwell’s novels Animal Farm and 1984. Given that Board members will have their expenses paid to go to Prince George while the rest of the membership will be forced to pay their own way, it truly does appear that “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
—Doug McFee, MD
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