The Council of the Atlantic Planners Institute is pleased to recommend to members a new By-Law for API. Significant changes to API’s By-Law have been approved by API Council to ensure compliance with the new Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. Adoption of this By-Law will result in fundamental changes to our governance structure and practices. This new By-Law must be approved by a special resolution of the membership. The Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act provides that a two-thirds majority of those that vote is required to make fundamental changes to the By-Law of a corporation.
API is a federally incorporated body. Without changes, API is not in compliance with the Act which governs it. Recent changes to the function, structure and By-Law of the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) also require changes to the API By-Law. Furthermore, as provinces have legislated the planning profession, the regulation of the profession has shifted from CIP to PTIAs (Provincial, Regional or Territorial Institute or Association). Therefore, changes to the structure and function of API are required to better support planning in Atlantic Canada.
Organization of Organizations Model
With the new By-Law, API will move to an organization of organizations model. The voting membership of API will become the four provincial associations. All current members of API become non-voting members of API.
The four provincial associations continue to be responsible for: admission and regulation of their members; Continuous Professional Learning; discipline of their members; promoting the profession; and student mentorship.
API will become an administrative body providing secretariat-type support for the four provincial associations to the extent each determines through individual MOUs.
Key Provisions of New By-Law
The purpose of the corporation remains as outlined in the 2014 Articles of Continuance adopted at the API 2014 AGM:
- Provide services to the members of the Institute;
- Advance the study and practice of professional planning;
- Represent the practice of professional planning to the public; and
- Promote a high standard of competence and conduct in the study and practice of professional planning.
The voting members will be limited to four: the Prince Edward Island Association of Planners; the Licensed Professional Planners Association of Nova Scotia; the New Brunswick Association of Planners; and the Newfoundland and Labrador Branch of the Atlantic Planners Institute. Each provincial association shall assign its vote to a proxyholder for the AGM.
Non-Voting Member status shall be available automatically to all individual members of any provincial association that is a Voting Member. Non-Voting Member status shall also be available to individuals or organizations that have an interest in the planning profession and that have applied and have been accepted as Non-Voting Members in the Institute. All regulated full members and candidates must be a member of one of the four provincial associations.
The property and business of the Institute shall be managed by a Board of not more than ten Directors, which shall include:
- one individual who is a member of the Prince Edward Island Association of Planners;
- one individual who is a member of the Licensed Professional Planners Association of Nova Scotia;
- one individual who is a member of the New Brunswick Association of Planners;
- one individual who is a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Branch of the Atlantic Planners Institute; and
- one individual who is a Student member.
In addition to the above directors the Board may, by ordinary resolution, add additional directors at large from among the members of the Institute up to the maximum as set out in the Articles of the corporation. The Board would be directly elected by the four corporate voting members (the provincial associations).
Implications for Members
Voting members of provincial associations will be able to automatically become Non-Voting Members of API and have full access to the benefits associated with membership in API and CIP. API will provide administrative and support services for each province as required. This will maximize economies of scale.
In the absence of professional legislation in PEI and NL, individual members in those provinces require representation in a recognized PTIA to have access to recognition as certified professionals through the use of the MCIP designation. API will continue to play the role of a recognized PTIA for these two provinces.
API Council voted in support of this new By-Law on May 9, 2017. Members will now be given the opportunity to review the proposed By-Law. A webinar will be held in the coming weeks to discuss the changes and answer questions. All current API voting members in good standing will be eligible to vote on adopting the new By-Law. More information will be shared with members shortly on both the webinar and voting process.
Background on Planning in Atlantic Canada
In 1966, API became a regional association of planning professionals. In 1967, API became the Atlantic Canadian Affiliate to the Town Planning Institute of Canada (now CIP). API started out with four provincial chapters (currently titled as branches in the API By-Law), but provided region-wide member services in a context of membership standards set out and managed by CIP.
In 2005, the Registered Professional Planners Act of NB and the NS Professional Planners Act were passed. As a result, both branches gained responsibility for the admission and regulation of their members. PEI and NL continue to work towards the introduction and adoption of professional legislation in their respective provinces.
Comments or questions on the new By-Law can be sent to API Council via: firstname.lastname@example.org