GPA Constituency Association Formation Guide

Join the 2016 Wave of New Green Constituency Associations

Now’s the time for Alberta Greens to find each other in their home ridings and get together for fun and action with like-minded others.

Creating a Constituency Association (CA) will mean you can give tax receipts for donations and hold events that raise Green awareness and attract new members and volunteers. All this will help to attract and support the best possible candidate for your next provincial election campaign.

It’s definitely not too soon to get started on building the foundation for a strong campaign next time around – and you never know how soon a by-election might happen. Besides, sharing ideas and camaraderie in joint efforts to create an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable Alberta can make the work a pleasure.

Any GPA Party member can take the initiative to start a CA in their local riding – and join the Honour Roll of those who get it done before year’s end! Past President Susan Stratton (pastpresident@greenpartyofalberta.ca) is the one to contact with whatever questions and concerns you may have about getting started – or to share your enthusiasm about the prospect. This Guide will clarify the process for you.

Checklist for starting a Constituency Association (CA)

Here is a checklist to help you through the steps of CA formation.

  1. Let the Party know you want to start a CA.
  2. Recruit people who are willing and able to become the President and CFO of the CA.
  3. Decide on a time and place for your founding meeting.
  4. Compose your notice of meeting (the invitation). Susan can supply a sample.
  5. Susan will send the invitation to the Green Party of Alberta members in your Electoral Division. These people are automatically members of the CA once it’s formed. Susan can also send the invitation to GPA contacts who are not members but might be inspired to join.
  6. Hold the meeting, adopt a Constitution, elect the Board.
  7. Send the Party the completed data sheet, minutes, and registration form all as explained below.
  8. The Party will review your application and if it’s complete, will endorse it.
  9. The application is filed with Elections Alberta (EA). In due course EA registers your CA, assuming everything is in order.
  10. You send an electronic copy of your confirmation of registration back to the Party once you receive it from EA.

Corresponding with the Party

Please send all material electronically to pastpresident@greenpartyofalberta.ca. The only document the Party needs to receive on paper is the original application registration form that will go to Elections Alberta when it’s complete. The Party President has to sign this.

Documents you will send to the Party

From the checklist, you can see that the Party asks for some documents following your founding meeting.

To become registered with Elections Alberta (EA), a CA has to be endorsed by the Party. The documents requested are to support your CA’s request for endorsement.

Data Sheet

Please complete and send this data sheet, which tells the Party who the CA’s Board members are and confirms their consent to be on the Board. Each Board member will need to sign it, so you should take it to your founding meeting.

Data Sheet example

Blank Data Sheet you can use (,doc format)

Data Sheet Instructions

Constitution

There is a pre-approved standard CA Constitution. Any changes you wish to make will require the approval of the Party Executive Council. You will attach a copy of your CA’s Constitution to the minutes of the meeting at which it was adopted.

GPA Generic CA Constitution

Section 5.3 of the Generic CA Constitution is awaiting Executive Council approval and is expected to be adopted in February. 

If you are not adopting the standard CA Constitution, your Constitution must be approved by the Executive Council. In addition to covering the usual constitutional matters, your CA’s Constitution needs to include and not conflict with these requirements:

  1. the CA members are all the Party members who live in the riding;
  2. the CA is an independent entity;
  3. the CA cannot bind the Party to any contract nor create any liabilities of the Party;
  4. the CA Board will consist of, at a minimum, three elected members (President, Chief Financial Officer, and Secretary); at least two-thirds of the Board must be resident in the constituency at all times during their term of office.

 

Minutes of Founding Meeting

The minutes of the founding meeting of the CA should record:

  • who was present
  • how, when, and to whom notice of the meeting was sent
  • who chaired the meeting
  • who was secretary of the meeting
  • what resolutions were passed.

You should attach any relevant documents.

A sample set of minutes for a typical founding meeting can be downloaded here.

Word.docx format   Sample Minutes of the Founding Meeting of A Constituency Association

PDF format  Sample Minutes of the Founding Meeting of a Constituency Association

Open a bank account when you are ready

The Elections Alberta registration form asks for details of the CA’s financial institution and the names of two signing officers on the bank account, but not the account number. An account need not be opened until the CA has donations and expenses.

Elections Alberta registration form

The EA registration form is the one item a CA needs to send to the Party as a hard copy.

The form can be downloaded directly from EA’s website. There are two versions of the form available from Elections Alberta’s Constituency Associations page.

Visible link: http://www.elections.ab.ca/parties-and-candidates/constituency-associations/

The form is called “Registration of a Constituency Association” and the links are on the right-hand side of the page. One is a form you can partly fill in online, but you will still have to print it out and sign it before sending it to the Party. The other is the same form, meant to be printed out and then filled in by hand.

Mail the completed form to:

Green Party of Alberta
319-3630 Brentwood Rd NW
P.O. Box 45066 Brentwood PO
Calgary, AB
T2L 1Y4

Party guidelines for CAs after registration

When Elections Alberta has registered your CA, they will notify you by regular mail. Please scan and send a copy of that confirmation of registration to the Party using info@greenpartyofalberta.ca and also to Susan Stratton at pastpresident@greenpartyofalberta.ca.

For as long as it exists, the CA will need to stay in good standing with the Party and Elections Alberta (EA).

The CFO of your CA will become familiar with EA’s filing requirements. The Party can assist with this.

The CA should abide by the Party Constitution and Bylaws and always uphold the good reputation of the Party.

The Party asks the CA to send it a copy of anything unusual that passes between the CA and Elections Alberta. This excludes routine correspondence and the regular quarterly and annual filings if the CA is in good standing and is not insolvent or otherwise in difficultly. Send unusual items to info@greenpartyofalberta.ca and also to pastpresident@greenpartyofalberta.ca.

Any questions or concerns, please contact pastpresident@greenpartyofalberta.ca.