Dr Appleton seems to be confused in his response to my letter in the May issue of the BCMJ[2008;50:185]. Although video- conferencing clearly should be the long-term goal for the association, audioconferencing is available now and is neither expensive nor difficult. The information I passed on to the BCMA was in regard to audioconferencing.
I talked with the vendor for the Law Society and determined that they have been able to provide audioconferencing at 11 sites spread across the province for the Law Society AGM at a total cost of $5000. This can be done as easily as providing a speakerphone, with a member of the Society delegated to supervise.
Even a speakerphone would allow members from around the province to participate in the AGM and vote on resolutions. This information was passed on via my regional delegate to the BCMA with ample time to make arrangements before the AGM.
I, in turn, continue to be confused by the excuses given by the BCMA for not providing audioconferencing for the AGM. Given that 38% of those surveyed in the 2008 Ipsos Reid Member Survey did not think that the BCMA was sufficiently open and transparent, providing audioconferencing would seem to be an appropriate way to try to repair the association’s relationship with its members.
To argue against audioconferencing for Prince George because there has been no audioconferencing in Vancouver (which seems to be what the Board is claiming in a convoluted way) is to argue that two wrongs make a right.
—Doug McFee, MD
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