Preamble and Principles of the
CONSTITUTION OF THE TRILLIUM PARTY OF ONTARIO
NOT SUBJECT TO CHANGE
The Trillium Party of Ontario shall respect the true value of the democratic process and commit to that process, so that all who join it, will have their voices heard.
1 . NAME
The name of this Provincial Party shall be the Trillium Party of Ontario. It shall register a political party with Elections Ontario under the name of Trillium Party of Ontario / Trillium Party TPO / Parti Trillium de l’Ontario / Parti Trillium PTO and the abbreviated name of Trillium (hereinafter referred to as “the Party”). These bylaws will form our Constitution (hereinafter referred to as ‘this Constitution’).
2 . MISSION STATEMENT
To form and maintain government by uniting Ontarians on a foundation of family values, common sense politics, self-reliance, and economic development.
3 . OBJECT
The Object of the Trillium Party is to promote, form, and maintain a Government of Ontario that:
• Nominates and promotes candidates who advance the principles and policies adopted by the Party membership in accordance with this Constitution;
• Advances the development of compassionate and self-reliant citizens;
• Protects individual freedoms for all citizens; and
• Establishes trustworthy, accountable, effective and prudent government
• To Protect the Ontario economy by encouraging policies that prevent bankruptcy.
• To re-build Manufacturing in Ontario with the objective to ensure everyone who so desires it has employment.
• To strive to eliminate debt.
• Encourage policies to strive to get our Energy rates back to the lowest in the world.
• To create a proactive health care system in Ontario.
• To make day care affordable and accessible to all those in need.
• To enforce Parental Rights through ensuring legislation that protects parents and their parental rights from interference from any governing bodies.
• To promote Private Property rights. “Everyone shall have the right to own, use and enjoy property and shall not be deprived of those rights except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice including full and timely compensation for loss”.
• Reduce and strive to eliminate Ontario’s excessive legislation and over regulation
4 . PRINCIPLES
The Party is founded on and will be guided in its policy formation by the following principles.
Citizens’ Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities
• Trillium will defend the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons.
• We believe in the inherent value and dignity of each individual citizen;
• We believe that all citizens are equal before the law and entitled to fundamental justice;
• We believe that all citizens have certain fundamental and immutable rights and freedoms, including:
o the right to life, safety, liberty, and privacy;
o the freedoms of speech and expression and the freedom to advocate, without fear of intimidation or suppression, public policies which reflect their deeply held values;
o freedom of religious belief and practice;
o freedom of peaceful assembly and choice of association;
o freedom of mobility; and
o freedom to own, enjoy, and exchange private property in a free market.
4.2.5. We believe in freedom of the press and other media.
The Role and Function of Government
Provincially, to reflect, strengthen and efficiently serve the common-sense values of Ontarians:
1. civic responsibility;
2. the lowest possible taxation;
3. a strong and enterprising work ethic;
4. stable families and a growing population;
5. self-directed communities;
6. prudent provision for Ontario’s future;
7. sensible assistance for the sick and disabled;
8. respect for the rule of law;
9. respect for traditional fundamental freedoms; and
10. secure ownership of and benefit from private property.
Federally, to encourage and support earned prosperity among all provinces, equal treatment of all provinces by the federal government, and the full exercise of Ontario’s constitutional rights and responsibilities.
We believe that the government, elected officials and civil servants are to serve the people; and that all citizens should be treated equally without prejudice in receiving the services offered by government.
We believe that functions of government should be delegated to the level of government closest to the people and best able to fulfill the function; and that the division of powers among the levels of government must be respected.
We believe that the government should provide for the basic needs of those who are genuinely unable to do so themselves.
We believe in democratic processes including:
• free and fair elections;
• fixed election dates;
• free votes in the Legislature; and
• the power of citizens to recall elected representatives and initiate binding referendums.
• We believe that elected representatives are to serve honestly, ethically, and with concern for all; that their duty to their electors supersedes their obligations to any political party; and that government must be open and accountable to the people.
• The Party and its representatives shall be guided by these principles and shall ensure that its policies conform to these principles.
We believe Ontario should play a leadership role in a unified and democratic Canada.
Legislative and Judiciary Functions of Government
We believe the Legislature is subject to judicial review as judges protect our constitutional rights; however, judges are to interpret laws, not make them.
Taxation and Financial Considerations
We believe that government must be fiscally prudent, namely:
• balancing budgets;
• limiting taxation;
• minimizing the size and growth of the public sector; and
• that it should treat public monies as funds held in trust.
We believe in universal public access to education.
4.9.1. We believe in universal public access to health care. We believe that our health care should be more proactively focused and should be respectful to all type of practices. Health care should be designed first to protect the citizens of Ontario.
We believe in being environmentally responsible through conservation and renewal of the environment for present and future generations.
Family and Community
We believe that the family is the building block and core of society and the means by which citizens pass on their values and beliefs; therefore, the family should be protected from unnecessary intrusions by government.
We believe in the preservation of Ontario’s heritage.
5 . MEMBERSHIP
Membership in the Party shall consist of all Ontarians who: 5.1.1. are at least fourteen (14) years of age;
5.1.2. indicate their intention to join the Party by personally authorizing an application for membership in the Party;
5.1.3. actively support the principles of the Party; and
5.1.4. have paid the prescribed membership fee, personally or through an immediate family member.
As proof of membership, an Ontarian shall:
5.2.1. either hold an official current membership card of the Party issued in his or her name, or be on the official party membership list.
Subject to minimum periods of membership which may be set out in this Constitution or otherwise by Executive Committee, every member in good standing is exclusively entitled to:
5.3.1. attend and participate in any General or Special meeting of their Constituency Association and attend any portion of their Constituency Association Board of Directors meeting that is not in-camera; and
5.3.2. vote for the board of directors of their Constituency Association; and
5.3.3. attend and participate at any Party General Meeting upon payment of the prescribed fee.
A member may resign his or her membership by conveying a written resignation to the Party, and such resignation shall be effective upon receipt.
The Executive Committee may set out rules and procedures for the suspension, expulsion and reinstatement of membership, which shall require a two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Committee for the suspension, expulsion and reinstatement of membership.
6 . CONSTITUENCY ASSOCIATIONS
The Constituency Association is the primary organization through which the rights of members are exercised.
The Constituency Associations shall be placed into five regional zones as specified by the Executive Committee, each consisting of an approximately equal number of constituencies representing: the unique areas of Ontario.
Recognition may be granted by Executive Committee to one Constituency Association in each constituency. Members may form a Constituency Association in a constituency in which at least fifteen (15) members of the Party reside. To obtain recognition as the Constituency Association of the Party, the Constituency Association shall:
6.3.1. actively support and promote the Principles and Member Approved Policies of the Party and abide by the articles of this Constitution;
6.3.2. adopt the Constituency Bylaws as specified by the Executive Committee; and
6.3.3. apply in writing to the Executive Committee for recognition, including a copy of the minutes of the meeting in which the Constituency Bylaws were approved and a list of the Officers and Directors of the Constituency Association.
Subject to 4.3 above and the other provisions of this Constitution, the affairs of each Constituency Association shall be under the control of its members, acting through the Constituency Association Board of Directors who shall be responsible to ensure that said affairs are conducted in a manner consistent with the Principles and Policies of the Party, this Constitution and the Bylaws of the Constituency Association, and not prejudicial to the interests or well-being of any other Party Constituency Association, or of the Party.
Constituency Associations shall comply with such requirements as to their governance, financial management and reporting, as may be implemented by Executive Committee. Recognition of a Constituency Association may be revoked pursuant to rules and procedures set out by Executive Committee, per the Election Act. Recognition may also be revoked, at the discretion of the Executive Committee, if Association membership falls below fifteen (15) members.
6.5.1. Upon the revocation of recognition of a Constituency Association any funds or other assets of the Constituency Association shall be transferred to the Party, to be returned to the Constituency Association upon reactivation.
A list of the Constituency Association Presidents and their contact information shall be made available to any President of a recognized Constituency Association who makes a request for such a list in writing to the Party.
Every Constituency Association shall provide organizational and financial support to the Party’s candidate in their constituency.
The prescribed membership fee shall be split equally between recognized Constituency Associations and the Party.
7 . GOVERNANCE
The governance of the Party shall reflect the following principles:
7.1.1. authority within the Party resides in its members.
7.1.2. The Executive Committee, and the Leader as a member of the Executive Committee, are accountable to members of the Party. The Leader is also accountable to the caucus.
7.1.3. the Caucus is accountable to the members of the Party and to their constituents.
To ensure accountability, there will be regular communication from the Leader and the Executive Committee to Constituency Associations and members.
The governance of the Party between General Meetings is vested in the Executive Committee and the Leader.
8 . MEETINGS
The control and governance of the activities of the Party are vested in the members at General Meetings.
The General Meetings of the Party, either Annual or Special, shall be a meeting of members of the Party.
An Annual General Meeting shall be held each calendar year, at a time and place in Ontario to be fixed by the Executive Committee and at which financial statements are presented.
8.3.1. At each General Meeting, the Secretary shall present the Minutes of the previous General Meeting and inform the members that the Minutes have been duly approved by the Executive Committee.
General Meetings have the power and responsibility to:
8.4.1. amend this constitution; 8.4.2. amend and adopt Party policy; and
8.4.3. elect the Executive Committee by secret ballot.
The date, location(s), business to be transacted, and the rules and procedures for any General Meeting of the Party will be as determined by Executive Committee. One or more of the matters set out in Article 8.4 need not be conducted at a General Meeting if less than eighteen (18) months have passed since such a matter was conducted at a General Meeting.
Special General Meetings may be called by the Executive Committee and shall be called upon the written request of one-quarter of all recognized Constituency Associations, where said Associations have held a
Special General Meeting of the Constituency Association for the stated purpose of debating this matter and the request has been approved by a majority vote. The said Special General Meeting shall be held not later than 120 days after the receipt by the Secretary of the written requests. The purpose of the special meeting shall be stated in the call of the meeting.
The quorum for all General Meetings shall be the lesser of a majority or one hundred (100) members in good standing of the Party. The Executive Committee may provide that members though not present at the place of the General Meeting, may communicate with those present through the use of appropriate satellite, telephonic and computer technology and shall be deemed present at the place of the General Meeting and shall be included in the quorum.
At least sixty (60) days written notice of the holding of any General meeting shall be sent to all members of the Party who have been members in good standing of the Party for at least fourteen (14) days before the date of such notice. Notice may be given by post or it may consist of transmitting the information of such notice by using appropriate telephonic and or electronic mail to the member’s appropriate information of record and simultaneously posting the information on the Party’s website.
In preparation for an Annual General Meeting, the Executive Committee shall appoint the following Committees, the members of which must be members in good standing of the Party:
8.9.1. a General Meeting Arrangements Committee whose duties are to organize the General Meeting; 8.9.2. a Policy and Constitution Committee whose duties are to prepare a call for and accept policy
Resolutions and Constitutional amendments and to review and comment on all policy resolutions and Constitution amendments submitted for consideration by the members at the General Meeting. The Policy and Constitution Committee will ensure that all resolutions submitted to it are made available to all members.
8.9.3. a Credentials Committee whose duties are to make final decisions as to voting status of all members and other persons attending the General Meeting; and
8.9.4. a Nominating Committee (if necessary), which must be created not less than one hundred twenty (120) days prior to the Annual General Meeting of the Party.
18.104.22.168. The Nominating Committee shall consist of a minimum of three (3) and a maximum of seven (7) members, none of whom are seeking election to the Executive Committee nor are Staff or Caucus members. The Nominating Committee shall notify the members not less than ninety (90) days in advance of the Annual General Meeting of which positions on the Executive Committee will be elected that year and that nominations are open. Nominations shall close thirty-five (35) days in advance of the Annual General Meeting. The Nominating Committee shall ensure all proposed nominees are members in good standing of the Party, eligible to site on the Executive Committee and that they have collected at least ten (10) signatures of members in good standing of the Party who support their candidacy. The Nominating Committee shall disqualify any proposed nominee who not a member in good standing, who is not eligible to sit on the Executive Committee or who has not collected the required signatures. The Nominating Committee shall, at least thirty (30) days in advance of the Annual General Meeting, notify the members of the candidates standing for election to the Executive Committee.
8.9.5. Such other Committees as may be required to accomplish the purposes of a particular General Meeting.
8.9.6. For the 2018 AGM, a Special Policy and Constitution Committee will be formed on December 1st, 2017 whose duties are to study the Trillium Constitution in search for potential errors not limited to but including contradictions, semantic errors, grammatical errors, and contextual errors. This committee will submit all findings to the EC not later than 60 days before the 2017 AGM. All findings will be included in an extended constitutional session where members will have the opportunity to accept, or decline changes. Item 8.9.6 in its entirety will be deleted from the Trillium constitution after the 2018 AGM.
Any member in good standing of the Party who has paid the prescribed registration fee, personally or through an immediate family member, shall have the right to attend and speak at the General Meetings and any member in good standing of the Party for at least fourteen (60) days before the date of such meeting shall have the right to vote on all matters properly brought before the membership for consideration.
9 . OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The officers of the Party shall be a President, a Vice-President – Membership, a Vice-President – Policy, a Vice-President – Fundraising, a Vice-President – Communications, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and (10) representatives to be referred to as Provincial Directors, two (2) from each of the five (5) regional zones who are residents within one of the Constituency Associations within that regional zone. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed in this Constitution
9.1.1. The officers, the Past President (if appointed), the Leader of the Party, and two members of Caucus who are elected by Caucus and who shall be non-voting members, shall constitute the Executive Committee.
9.1.2. The Executive Committee shall be subject to the Bylaws of the Constitution, and none of its acts shall conflict with action taken by the Party. No officers, employee or member shall have any authority to act for or on behalf of the Party except as specifically provided by the Executive Committee through adoption of a motion or a standing rule of order.
Subject to this article, the officers shall be elected by ballot at the Annual General Meeting of the Party for a two-year term. A member may not seek election for more than one position on Executive Committee at a time. Their term of office shall commence at the close of the Annual General Meeting at which they were elected and shall conclude a the close of the Annual General Meeting where their successors are elected.
9.2.1. The President, the Vice-President-Fundraising, the Secretary, and one Provincial Director from each of the five (5) regional zones, shall be elected in odd numbered years.
9.2.2. The Vice-President-Membership, the Vice-President-Policy, the Vice-President-Communications, the Treasurer and one Provincial Director from each regional zone, shall be elected in even numbered years.
9.2.3. Provincial Directors shall be elected by members in good standing of the Party from the regional zone in which the Director resides.
9.2.4. The Executive Committee may, with the approval of two-thirds of its members present and voting, appoint members to fill the term of office of any vacancy on the Executive Committee between Annual General Meetings, provided that the person is a member in good standing and, in the case of a vacancy in a Provincial Directors position, that the person appointed shall reside in the regional zone that has the vacancy.
9.2.5. Any members of the Executive Committee appointed by the Executive to the Committee shall stand for election by the general membership at the first Annual General Meeting after their appointment, if they seek to renew their appointment.
The President shall have general responsibility as the Chief Executive Officer of the Party, and shall preside over all provincial meetings of the Party at which the President is in attendance.
The Vice-President – Membership shall be the first vice-president, and shall be first to act for the President in the President’s absence or the President’s inability or refusal to act. The Vice-President – Membership shall be responsible for the growth of the Party, and in co-operation with the Party Office shall be involved with the maintenance of the membership lists and renewals, and for Constituency development and organization. The Vice-President Membership shall chair the Provincial Directors’ Committee.
The Vice-President – Policy shall be the second vice-president, and shall act for the President and the Vice-President – Membership in the President’s and the Vice-President – Membership’s absence or the President’s and the Vice-President – Membership’s inability or refusal to act. The Vice-President – Policy shall be appointed to and serve as the Chair of the Policy and Constitution Committee, and shall have primary responsibility to organize and manage all meetings and processes related to the consideration and adoption of the Constitution and Policies of the Party.
The Vice-President – Fundraising shall be primarily responsible for raising funds for the Party.
The Vice-President – Communications shall be responsible for all communications, advertising and promotional programs relating to general membership matters in co-operation with the Party Office.
The Secretary shall:
9.8.1. Have custody and maintain or cause to be maintained all records of the Party except financial records, including the taking of the minutes at the society meetings. These records shall be kept at the Party Office premises in accordance with standard corporate practice;
9.8.2. Have custody of the seal of the Party and, whenever used, it shall be authenticated by the signatures of the Secretary and the President or other officer as designated by the Executive Committee; and
9.8.3. Register all approved Special Resolutions to amend this Constitution with the Societies Registrar and comply with all enactments respecting the corporate affairs of the Party.
9.9. The Treasurer shall:
9.9.1. Be responsible for all accounting and budgeting activities including the preparation of financial statements and reports, and shall have custody and maintain or cause to be maintained all financial records and documents of the Party. These records shall be kept at the Party Office premises in accordance with standard corporate practice;
9.9.2. Shall be the Chief Financial Officer of the Party, and work with the Auditor in the verification and presentation of the Party’s financial statements; and
9.9.3. Comply with all enactments respecting the financial affairs of the Party.
During the first three meetings of the Executive Committee after an Annual General Meeting, the Executive Committee may, with the approval of two-thirds of its members present and voting, appoint the immediate Past President of the Party as a full voting member of the Executive Committee. The absence of the Past President at an Executive Committee Meeting shall not count in determining a quorum, but if the Past President is present, the presence shall count in fulfilling quorum requirements.
The following individuals shall not be eligible to be elected or appointed to be voting members of the Executive Committee:
Members of or employees of Members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, except the Leader;
Members of, or employees of Members of the Parliament of Canada; and
Employees and contractors of the Party or any other political party.
Any member of the Executive Committee may be removed, suspended or reinstated from the Executive Committee by a two-thirds vote of the whole Executive Committee. Any such change to the Executive Committee must be communicated to the constituency associations or posted to the party website in a timely manner.
A member who holds any elected Party position or designation may be censured by, or suspended from the Party by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee for conduct that is in substantial contradiction to this Constitution.
No officer shall serve more than six (6) consecutive years in any combination of executive committee positions.
Special meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by the President and shall be called upon the written request of two (2) members of the Executive Committee. Dates for notice may be altered or waived by a motion supported by two-thirds (2/3) of the current Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee shall meet at the call of the President, or at the call of the Leader. Notice of such a meeting shall be given, with not less than seven (7) days and not more than thirty-one (31) days’ notice of the meeting. In the event of the neglect, refusal or inability of the President or Leader to call a meeting of the Executive Committee, the Secretary shall call a meeting upon written request to the Secretary of at least two (2) members of the Executive Committee. Notice of such a meeting shall be given, within three days of receipt of the written request by the Secretary, with not less than seven (7) days and not more than thirty-one (31) days’ notice of the meeting.
A majority of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.
Minutes of the Executive Committee meetings shall be provided to Executive Committee members and be made available to Presidents of recognized Constituency Associations upon written request. Upon giving reasonable written notice to the Executive Committee, Members shall be allowed to review the audited financial statements and public filings of the Party at Party Headquarters during regular business hours.
The Executive Committee may conduct any business that could be conducted by way of motion at a meeting, by a passing a resolution in writing. Such resolutions in writing are subject to the same requirements as if they were made by motion at a meeting, and shall be recorded by the Secretary in the same manner as a motion passed at a meeting.
The Executive Committee may:
appoint an Executive Director who shall report to and be accountable to the Executive Committee and who shall approve any staff positions as required for the organization and administration of the business of the Party;
set salaries for the Executive Director and staff;
set terms of reference and powers for the Executive Director; and
by a two-thirds vote approve policies regarding the remuneration of officers, and the reimbursement of officers’ expenses.
The Executive Committee may approve the borrowing, raising or securing the payment of money pursuant to legislation. In the event that debentures are to be issued, notice of the proposed issuance shall
be sent by mail to all Party members no less than sixty (60) days prior to the date of the next scheduled General Meeting at which the issue is to be considered, and shall require a seventy-five percent (75%) vote of participants at the general meeting to approve.
The Executive Committee may authorize the drawing, making, accepting, endorsing, discounting, executing and issuing of promissory notes, bills of exchange and other negotiable or transferable instruments.
The Executive Committee shall appoint an auditor for the Party. The Executive Committee shall have authority to enter into the engagement with the auditor and approve the auditor’s fees. At each Annual General Meeting, the Treasurer shall present the audited financial statements of the Party as signed by the auditor, for the preceding year(s).
The Executive Committee shall have the authority to file all such notices, returns or resolutions as may be required by law, and may delegate from time to time the signing and verification of such notices, returns or resolutions as may be required and appropriate.
The Executive Committee shall appoint from time to time such special committees as deemed necessary to carry on the work of the Party. The President shall be ex-officio a member of all committees except the Nominating Committee.
1 0 . LEADER
The Leader is the chief public official of the Party, whose authority includes that specified for the leader of party pursuant to law.
The Leader shall promote the Party.
The Leader shall be elected by the members of the Party using a preferential ballot, and must receive a majority. To be entitled to vote in a Leadership Vote a member must have been a member in good standing of the Party for the thirty (60) days immediately prior to the date of the vote.
The Leader shall provide a report to the members at every General Meeting.
The Executive Committee shall, at least once after each election, ask each attending member, “Do you approve of the current Leader?” with the voting options being “Yes” and “No”. Voting shall be by secret ballot. The number of votes cast for and against the question, and the total valid votes cast, shall be announced to the General Meeting before the end of the general meeting.
If the membership votes in disapproval of the Leader as provided in Article 8.5, or a written declaration demanding a Leadership vote is signed by three-quarters of the Caucus and by three-quarters of the Executive Committee, the office of Leader will be deemed vacant.
In the case of a vacancy in the office of Leader, the Executive Committee shall, within fifteen (15) days announce when a Leadership Vote will be held. Notice shall be given to all members of the Party by the Executive Committee within a further twenty-one (21) days of the announcement. The Leadership Vote must be held not sooner than three (3) months and not later than nine (9) months from the date of the event giving rise to the Leadership vote. An Interim Leader shall be appointed by the Executive Committee in consultation with Caucus. Such Interim Leader shall not be eligible to be a candidate in the Leadership Vote.
In the event the Leader announces his or her intention to resign the position of Leader of the Party, a Leadership Vote must be called by the Executive Committee within fifteen (15) days from the date of the announcement, and notice shall be given to all members of the Party within thirty-six (36) days of the announcement. The Leadership Vote shall be held not less than three (3) months and not more than nine (9) months from the date of the announcement.
In preparation for a Leadership Vote, the Executive Committee shall appoint a Leadership Rules Committee, the members of which must be members in good standing of the Party and voting members of which may not be members of the Executive Committee.
The Leadership Rules Committee shall establish the rules, procedures and mechanisms according to which the Leadership Vote shall be conducted (“Leadership Selection Rules and Procedures”). These must not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, but may provide for appropriate telephonic and computer technology for voting.
The Leadership Rules Committee will be the final authority on disputes related to the Leadership Vote and its process, but for certain offences set out in the Leadership Selection Rules and Procedures which shall be subject to an appeal to the Provincial Candidate Selection Committee.
In order for a person to be considered as a candidate for the leadership of the Party, they must:
• be a member in good standing of the Party;
• complete and submit an application form as specified by the Leadership Rules Committee, and agree that some or all of the contents of the application form as completed and submitted can be disclosed to all members of the Party and the public at large;
• provide at least one hundred (100) signatures of eligible Leadership voters; meet any requirements of qualification under applicable laws;
• pay all application fees as specified by the Leadership Rules Committee; and
• agree to abide by the rules and procedures for the conduct of the Leadership Vote as specified by the Leadership Rules Committee.
1 1 . CAUCUS
If the government is formed by the elected members of the party, all government legislation and resolutions must have majority caucus approval before going into the Legislature or being proclaimed.
Caucus members may, by a majority vote of Caucus, order a secret vote by ballot, on any issue.
Members of Caucus may only be ordered expelled from Caucus on the initiative of the Leader and supported by a majority vote of Caucus, held by secret vote by ballot.
Caucus, through a majority secret ballot vote may recommend that the Leader dismiss a member of the Leader’s staff.
Caucus will elect two of its members as non-voting members of the Executive Committee, with the right to speak for Caucus.
Caucus may request the Executive Committee to call the Leader to account on any matter by a majority vote of Caucus, held by secret