Election of the Council of the College
Welcome to an overview of the process for the election of the Council of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario. This overview provides all members of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (the College) information about the upcoming election of professional members to the new Council of the College (the Council). All members are being advised about the election, its timing and the process to stand for election to the Council.
1. About the Council and the College of Naturopaths of Ontario
The College regulates and ensures the on-going improvement of naturopathic doctors in order to protect and serve the public interest. The College protects Ontarian’s rights to safe, competent and ethical care by supporting naturopathic doctors to maintain the standards of practice of the profession and by holding them accountable for their conduct and practice.
The College of Naturopaths of Ontario is one of 26 health regulatory colleges in Ontario that are established as self-regulating professions. This means first, that naturopathic doctors are involved in determining the rules that govern the profession, i.e. they are members of Council. Second, self-regulation means that naturopathic doctors are accountable for their own conduct, i.e. they are accountable to self-regulate, with the College providing assistance and oversight.
A Council, similar to a board of directors, directs the work of the College. The role of Council is to represent the interest of the public. The Council is made up of naturopathic doctors (who have been elected by their peers) and members of the public (who have been appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario).
The College is given its mandate to regulate naturopathic practice in Ontario and give health-care consumers a strong voice in the regulation, through the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA).
When the members of the profession elect a peer to sit on the Council, they do so because they believe that the individual for whom they vote is best able to represent the public interest. Elected Councillors are not beholden to the members who elect them but rather to the public of Ontario. When an individual seeks to be elected to the Council, they do so because they believe that they can make sound, reasoned, decisions that serve the public’s interest.
It is the RHPA that gives the College its mandate to regulate the practice of naturopathic doctors and gives health-care consumers a strong voice in the regulation of naturopaths by requiring an equitable balance of public appointees and elected professionals on the Council.
2. Election Schedule
The following schedule will govern the Council election:
A formal Call for Nominations will be issued by the College 90 days before the date of the election (the date on which the balloting will close);
- Members interested in seeking election must submit a Nomination and Consent Form, a Conflict of Interest Questionnaire, a Confirmation of Eligibility Form and an Election Undertaking Form, which must be received by the College 60 days before the election;
- Candidates will receive a written confirmation of their eligibility from the Registrar along with a request for additional information;
- Candidates will be required to provide a biography, personal statement for use in the election, as well as complete the Fiduciary Agreement (Acknowledgement & Undertaking);
- Balloting of Members, by electronic means, will begin 30 days prior to the election date;
- Close of Balloting will occur on the date that has been set by the Registrar as the date of the election;
- Candidates will be advised of outcome of election by Registrar, usually within 48-72 hours of the close of balloting;
- Candidates who wish to submit a request for a recount must do so with 7 days of the date on which they are advised of the election results;
- A recount will occur within 15 days of the deadline for the request for a recount;
- A Council Orientation Meeting and the first Meeting of the newly elected Council will occur as soon as possible.
Additional information about the various aspects of this schedule is provided in the sections below.
Each member of the College is assigned to a District according to the first three letters of the postal code of their primary practice location or, if the member is inactive, their residence address.
The eight Districts are as follows:
District 1 (West)
composed of communities served by the postal codes beginning with “N”, excluding the following postal codes: N0A, N0C, N0E, N0G, N0H, N1A, N2Z, N3L, N3P, N3R, N3S, N3T, N3V, N3W, N3Y, N4B, N4K, N4L, N4N, N4W.
District 2 (South)
composed of communities served by the postal codes: L0J, L0P, L0R, L0S, L2A, L2E, L2G, L2H, L2J, L2M, L2N, L2P, L2R, L2S, L2T, L2V, L2W, L3B, L3C, L3K, L3M, L6H, L6J, L6K, L6L, L6M, L6P, L6R, L6S, L6T, L6V, L6W, L6X, L6Y, L6Z, L7A, L7C, L7G, L7J, L7K, L7L, L7M, L7N, L7P, L7R, L7S, L7T, L8E, L8G, L8H, L8J, L8K, L8L, L8M, L8N, L8P, L8R, L8S, L8T, L8V, L8W, L9A, L9B, L9C, L9G, L9H, L9K, L9T, N0A, N0E, N1A, N3L, N3P, N3R, N3S, N3T, N3V, N3W, N3Y, N4B.
District 3 (Toronto West)
composed of communities served by the postal codes: M2R, M3H, M3J, M3K, M3L, M3M, M3N, M3R, M4R, M4V, M5G, M5H, M5J, M5K, M5L, M5M, M5N, M5P, M5R, M5S, M5T, M5V, M5X, M6A, M6B, M6C, M6E, M6G, M6H, M6J, M6K, M6L, M6M, M6N, M6P, M6R, M6S, M7A, M8V, M8W, M8X, M8Y, M8Z, M9A, M9B, M9C, M9L, M9M, M9N, M9P, M9R, M9V, M9W.
District 4 (Toronto East)
composed of communities served by the postal codes: M1B, M1C, M1E, M1G, M1H, M1J, M1K, M1L, M1M, M1N, M1P, M1R, M1S, M1T, M1V, M1W, M1X, M2H, M2J, M2K, M2L, M2M, M2N, M2P, M3A, M3B, M3C, M4A, M4B, M4C, M4E, M4G, M4H, M4J, M4K, M4L, M4M, M4N, M4P, M4S, M4T, M4V, M4W, M4X, M4Y, M5A, M5B, M5C, M5E, M5W, M7Y.
District 5 (South Central)
composed of communities served by the postal codes: L1S, L1T, L1V, L1W, L1X, L1Y, L1Z, L3P, L3S, L3R, L3T, L4A, L4B, L4C, L4E, L4G, L4H, L4J, L4K, L4L, L4S, L4T, L4V, L4W, L4X, L4Y, L4Z, L5A, L5B, L5C, L5E, L5G, L5H, L5J, L5K, L5L, L5M, L5N, L5P, L5R, L5S, L5T, L5V, L5W, L6A, L6B, L6C, L6E, L6G, M7R.
District 6 (North Central)
composed of communities served by the postal codes: L0A, L0B, L0C, L0E, L0G, L0H, L0K, L0L, L0M, L0N, L1A, L1B, L1C, L1E, L1G, L1H, L1J, L1K, L1L, L1M, L1N, L1P, L1R, L3V, L3X, L3Y, L3Z, L4M, L4N, L4P, L4R, L7B, L7E, L9J, L9L, L9M, L9N, L9P, L9R, L9S, L9V, L9W, L9Y, L9Z, N0C, N0G, N0H, N2Z, N4K, N4L, N4N, N4W.
District 7 (East)
composed of communities served by the postal codes beginning with “K”.
District 8 (North)
composed of communities served by the postal codes beginning with “P”.
Although every effort has been to ensure that all postal codes are included, in the event that your postal code is not listed, please contact the College (firstname.lastname@example.org). Your postal code will be analyzed and added to the appropriate District in accordance with section 10.01 of the bylaws.
Registrar’s note: The current by-laws incorrectly list postal code M4V in both District 3 and District 4. Using the discretion given to the Registrar under this section of the by-laws, M4V has been included as part of District 3 for this election. A future version of the by-laws will correct this and M4V will only appear in District 3
In order to establish a staggered election schedule for the future, the initial election held in 2015 covered all eight Districts and elected members for varied terms pursuant to the By-laws. The 2016 election covers only those Districts where the member was elected in 2015 for a single “year” (please note that the first “year” term ran from October 2015 to April 2016). Therefore, the 2016 elections include:
- Districts 1 (West), 3 (Toronto West) and 5 (South Central)
Each of these Districts will elect one member to the Council for a 3-year term (April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2019).
5. Eligibility to Vote
A member is eligible to vote in an election for members of Council if, on the day of the election, the Member,
- holds a certificate of registration, i.e. they have not been suspended;
- has his or her principal place of practice or, if the Member does not practise the profession, his or her principal place of residence, in the electoral district for which an election is being held;
- is not in default of any fees or other amounts owed to the College; and
- is not in default of returning any required form or information to the College.
All members will be advised by e-mail as to whether they are eligible to vote and if they are eligible how to submit a ballot and if they are not eligible, why they have been deemed to be ineligible by the Registrar.
Any member who is deemed ineligible may ask the Nominations and Elections Committee to review their status. The Nominations and Elections Committee decision on the matter will be final.
6. Eligibility to Stand for Election
A member is eligible for election to Council if the member has been nominated in accordance with the by-laws, has completed and returned the conflict of interest questionnaire and if, on the deadline for the receipt of nominations and up to and including the date of the election, the member(‘s)
- is principally engaged in the practice of the profession in the electoral district for which he or she is nominated or, if the member is not engaged in the practice of the profession, the member principally resides in the electoral district for which he or she is nominated;
- is not in default of payment of any fees to the College;
- is not the subject of any disciplinary or incapacity proceeding;
- has not been the subject of any professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity finding in the preceding three (3) years;
- certificate of registration has not been revoked or suspended in the preceding six (6) years for any reason other than non-payment of fees;
- certificate of registration is not subject to a term, condition, or limitation imposed by either the Discipline Committee or the Fitness to Practise Committee;
- has agreed to resign, before taking office, any position such as director, owner, board member, officer or employee that the member holds with a Professional Association relating to naturopathy;
- has agreed to resign, before taking office, any position such as director, owner, board member, or officer that the member holds with an educational institution relating to naturopathy;
- has not been disqualified from Council within the preceding three (3) years;
- is not a member of a council of any other college regulated under the RHPA;
- is not an employee of the College;
- does not have a conflict of interest to serve as a member of Council or has agreed to remove any such conflict of interest before taking office;
- has substantially complied with the Election Handbook of the College; and
- is not in any default of returning any required form or information to the College.
Where the eligibility criteria noted above indicates a status with the College, it also includes the status with the former BDDT-N. For example, an individual has had a term, condition or limitation placed on their registration by the BDDT-N, would not be eligible for election to the Council.
It is important to note that section 13(3) of the Naturopathy Act 2007 stipulates that “a person who was registered to practice under the Drugless Practitioners Act by The Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy immediately before section 6 came into force shall be deemed to be a holder of a certificate of registration issued under this Act, subject to any term, condition, or limitation, suspension or cancellation to which the person’s certificate of registration was subject.”
This means that any registrant of the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy (BDDT-N) who was suspended or had their registration cancelled or was or in default of any payment to the BDDT-N is deemed to have the same status with the new College.
Similarly, under sections 13(4) and 13(4.1) of the Naturopathy Act, 2007, any discipline or complaint proceedings before the Board are continued under the new College.
All nominations received by the College will be verified by the Registrar for the eligibility of the nominated individual to stand for election. If you have any questions about whether you are eligible to stand for election to the Council, please contact the Registrar of the College, by telephone or by e-mail. Contact information is provided below.
7. Nomination Procedures
Members who wish to be nominated for election to the Council in their District must submit a signed Nomination and Consent Form (see Appendix 1) no later than January 6, 2016. Members may request the Nomination and Consent Form in an accessible format. Nominations received by e-mail or on any other document than the approved Nominations and Consent Form will not be considered valid unless the form used is an approved accessible format.
Three members in good standing from your District must sign the nomination and the candidate seeking to stand for election must also sign the Nomination and Consent Form indicating their consent to stand.
Nomination and Consent Forms may be submitted by scanning and e-mailing to the College or by facsimile. As some electoral Districts are large, the requisite signatures do not need to all appear on the same form; however, scans or facsimiles of a Nomination Consent Form must have the name of the Nominee on all forms along with the names of the individual nominating the candidate.
All candidates must also submit a Confirmation of Eligibility Form (see Appendix 2), a Conflict of Interest Declaration (see Appendix 3) and a signed Election Undertaking (see Appendix 4) to the Registrar at the time that the Nomination and Consent Form is received.
The by-laws of the College enable members to vote electronically. As a means of managing the resources of the College effectively, electronic balloting will be instituted for this election of the Council.
All members were provided with a unique username and password (herein referred to as “log on information”) for the College website, which enables them to complete a number of transactions with the College electronically. This includes such things as updating their personal, clinic and residence information, updating some information for the public register, completing their renewal information and fee payment processes on-line.
This same log on information will allow a member to review the candidate information for the election and vote for a candidate standing for election in their District. The database will track whether a member has voted and the candidate selected (although this latter information is not available for general review by the members or staff of the College and is only required for recount purposes). Once a member has voted, they will not be able to vote again or change their vote.
On-line balloting will open on February 9, 2016 and will close on March 10, 2016 at 5:00 pm ET.
9. Biography and Personal Statement
Members who file signed and valid Nomination and Consent Forms will be invited to provide a brief biography (300 words or less) outlining their professional history and a brief personal statement (300 words or less) outlining why they wish to sit on the Council of the College.
All materials submitted must:
- Not be (or potentially be) libelous, offensive or in bad taste;
- Not be in violation of any law or the College’s Rules of Conduct;
- Reflect the College’s mandate of protecting the public interest;
- Not make promises to change, or commit to making changes to the College’s by-laws, regulations, standards of practice, policies or position statements;
- Not promote or advocate on behalf of the profession;
- Be submitted must in either English or French (note: the College will not translate the summary or the statement into English or French should it be provided in any other language);
- The total length of each the candidate’s biographical summary and personal statement combined may not exceed 600 words.
The Nominations and Elections Committee must approve all materials submitted; however, the Nominations and Elections Committee, Registrar and other staff of the College are not responsible for editing the documents. Materials will be reviewed as quickly as possible and any materials not approved will be returned to the candidate for further editing, time permitting.
Note: If the submitted candidate’s biographical summary and statement do not meet the stated specifications, the College reserves the right to truncate the documents unilaterally, without further input from, or consultation with, the respective candidate.
Any candidate who is not able to provide an approved biography and/or statement by the required deadline will be listed on the information sent to the members of the profession with their name only.
Biographies and personal statements will appear as submitted. If the biography or statement exceeds 300 words, the College reserves the right to truncate the materials, editing it for length without any further consultation with the candidate.
The deadline for receipt of a candidate’s biographical and personal statement is January 26, 2016 at 5:00 pm ET. Please note that a signed Fiduciary Agreement (see Appendix 5) of Council Members must accompany the biography and personal statement.
10. Campaigning Principles
As noted above, the College will circulate information about candidates standing for election to members. The College will not release mailing address information for members to any candidates. Candidates who wish to engage in additional campaign activities do so at their own cost.
Any campaign activities must reflect the College’s mandate of protecting the public interest. Candidates must not make promises to change or commit to making changes to the College’s by-laws, regulations, standards of practice, policies or position statements. Candidates must not promote or advocate for the profession or any advocacy group.
All activities and statements must comply with the regulations, by-laws, and Ontario Human Rights Code.
Candidates for election to the Council must neither seek nor allow an endorsement from a current (sitting) member of the Council nor imply that the College has endorsed their candidacy.
Candidates may not use the logo, colours or any symbols or watermarks from the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.
11. Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest exists where a reasonable person would conclude that a Council or Committee member’s personal or financial interest may affect his or her judgment or the discharge of his or her duties to the College. A conflict of interest may be real or perceived, actual or potential, direct or indirect.
All Council and Committee members have a duty to carry out their responsibilities in a manner that serves and protects the interest of the public. As such, they must not engage in any activities or in decision-making concerning any matters where they have a direct or indirect personal or financial interest. All Council and Committee members have a duty to uphold and further the intent of the Naturopathy Act, 2007 to regulate the practice and profession of naturopathy in Ontario, and not to represent the views of advocacy or special interest groups.
A conflict of interest or an appearance of a conflict of interest by a member of Council or its Committees could
- bring discredit to the College;
- amount to a breach of the fiduciary obligation of the person to the College; and
- create liability for either the College and / or the person involved.
As a result, the Council has very clear rules outlined in the by-laws surrounding conflict of interest and very clear governing policies that establish how a member of the Council or its Committees must behave in the event that he or she is in a conflict of interest on a matter upon which they are expected to make a decision.
Many conflicts of interest are situational in nature, that is, they arise because of a specific issue or matter before the Council, and can therefore be addressed through procedure. Other conflicts are inherent in a position an individual might hold in a separate organization. In these instances, the conflict of interest goes beyond specific issues or matters before the Council or its Committees and is pervasive among all matters. In such cases, the individual who might be seeking to be a candidate for election would be disqualified.
The by-laws of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario detail two situations where the conflict of interest is pervasive and unresolvable (section 16.04 of the by-laws at January 29, 2015). These are as follows:
- an individual holds a responsible position in any professional association relating to naturopathy, including but not necessarily limited to a position as director, owner, board member or officer or is an employee; or
- an individual holds a responsible position in any educational institution relating to naturopathy, including but not necessarily limited to a position as director, owner, board member or officer.
A “responsible person” within an organization is an individual who directly or indirectly makes or influences decision-making within the organization. A person who is solely responsible for implementing decisions made by others would not likely be seen as a responsible person.
The by-laws provide some examples of typical titles of individuals in an organization who would be considered a responsible person. These include an owner, board member, officer or director of the organization. However, this list is not exhaustive and positions carrying other titles might also be deemed a responsible person and individuals holding these titles might be deemed not to be a responsible person depending on the role that they play within the organization.
The College has developed a Conflict of Interest Questionnaire, which all nominees must complete and return as part of the election process. The Questionnaire serves two purposes. First, it allows the College to identify candidates that may potentially be “responsible persons” for further evaluation. Second, for candidates that are elected to the Council, it allows the Council to identify in advance potential instances where a conflict of interest might arise. For example, a Member of Council who is also active in a charity would declare a conflict of interest if the Council were determining whether to undertake charitable activities and if so, which charity or charities to support.
Members of councils and boards often have the belief that in declaring a conflict of interest that they may be suggesting some wrongdoing. In fact, the opposite is true. Declaring or even exploring when a member has a potential conflict of interest indicates that the member is aware of the importance of the decision-making body and the issues in which they might participate and that they have placed the interests of that body above their own. This is how one might act in the public interest.
Candidates for election must complete and return the College’s Conflict of Interest Questionnaire at the time they are submitting their biography and personal statement as part of the election process. At that time, the Registrar will address any concerns about unresolvable conflicts of interest. Individuals who have such a conflict of interest are given the opportunity under the by-laws to resign the other position that places them in conflict or withdraw their Nomination for election.
12. Roles of the Registrar and Nominations and Elections Committee
The Registrar or, the Registrar with the assistance of the Nominations and Elections Committee, supervises and administers the election. The Registrar may, subject to the by-laws:
- Appoint returning officers and scrutineers;
- Establish procedures and any necessary deadlines including procedures and deadlines relating to the receipt of nominations, biographies and personal statements and ballots (or equivalent if voting is done electronically);
- Establish procedures for the opening and counting of ballots (or equivalent if voting is done electronically);
- Provide for the notification of the results of the election to all candidates and members;
- Provide for the destruction of ballots (or equivalent if voting is done electronically) following an election; and
- Do anything else that the Registrar deems necessary and appropriate to ensure that the election is fair and effective.
The Nominations and Elections Committee is responsible for:
- Reviewing and making a final ruling on any disputes regarding a member’s eligibility to vote in an election;
- Reviewing and making a determination on the acceptability of the biography and personal statement submitted by a candidate for election;
- Upon the request of the Registrar, assisting the Registrar in the supervision and election of candidates for the Council;
- Upon a referral from the Executive Committee, holding an inquiry into the validity of the election of the member of Council referred by the Executive Committee and making a report and recommendations to the Council.
13. Orientation and First Council Meeting
All candidates for election must ensure that they block the full days of April 26, 2016 and April 27, 2016 to attend meetings of the Council.
On April 26, 2016, a Council Orientation meeting will be held. At this meeting, all Council Members will be given an overview of the by-laws, Council governance policies, their fiduciary responsibilities and the upcoming schedule of Council meetings. Council members will also be provided with a new Conflict of Interest Questionnaire and a Fiduciary Agreement to be signed and returned to the Registrar prior to the meeting the following day.
On April 27, 2016, the newly elected Council will hold its first formal meeting of the Council of the College. At this meeting, the Executive Committee will also be elected.
Only those candidates who are elected will be required to attend Council meetings; however, all candidates must ensure that they are available to attend. Information about being elected to the Executive Committee will be provided to successful Candidates when they are informed about the results of the Council election.
In the event that any candidate has filed a request for a recount, all candidates from that District will be invited to attend the Council meetings unless or until the recount has been completed.
14. Contact Information for Questions
Any member who has questions about the Election Handbook or related matters is invited to contact the College as follows:
Andrew Parr, CAE
Registrar & CEO
The following forms are available in the Elections Section
on the Resources tab.
- Nomination and Consent form;
- Confirmation of Eligibility form;
- Conflict of Interest Questionnaire;
- Acknowledgement and Undertaking regarding Fudiciary Duties;
- Election Undertaking