April 19th, 2005
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CommonBorders Annual General Meeting
November 19th, 2004
On February 6, 2005, voters in the Mexican state of Guerrero will go to the polls to elect their state governor. Alianza Civica, a Mexican non-governmental, non-partisan organization that promotes the development of civil society and democratic participation, has invited CommonBorders to send a delegation of electoral observers to this important election. Please see "Guerrero2004" for details, or click here."
December 30th, 2003
El Salvador 2004
CommonBorders will send election observers to El Salvador's Presidential elections in March 2004. Please see "El Salvador 2004" for details, or click here."
December 11th, 2003
Dear CommonBorders Friends and Supporters:
As a result of the recently announced ferry strike, three key members of
the current CommonBorders Board of Directors will not be able to attend our
AGM this Saturday, December 13th. The Board has therefore decided to
postpone the meeting until the New Year, so that we will have the benefit of
our full complement of Board members. We apologize for any inconvenience
caused by the short notice of this postponement.
We hope that you can join us on our new meeting date, which is Sunday,
January 11th. We will meet from 2:00 - 4:00 at the UVic Grad Centre, and
then reconvene for a fiesta at Kathy McKay's home, located at 3142 Highview
Street (off Finlayson and Cook Street) (tel: 381-3674/ email: email@example.com).
The agenda for the meeting will include:
· Overview of CB history
and current status
· Review of CB Board
roles and responsibilities
· Elections for Board
· Delegation to observe
We look forward to a productive, informative meeting of current
CommonBorders members and individuals new to CommonBorders' work. We
appreciate the interest that many of you have expressed in learning more
about CommonBorders and your enthusiasm to participate as Board members,
delegates, and/or CommonBorders supporters, and look forward to seeing you
in January. Until then, the Board will be working hard to lay the groundwork
for a delegation to observer
If you have any questions, please contact Linda Shout at (250) 356-1379
November 25th, 2003
Dear CommonBorders friends and supporters:
We are writing to invite you to attend the CommonBorders' first Annual General Meeting as a registered society.
The AGM will take place on Saturday December 13th from 2pm-4pm at the University of Victoria Grad Student Building (behind the Student Union Building).
In the past year, CommonBorders organized a delegation to observe the March 2003 congressional elections in El Salvador. In addition, we are now completing the process to register CommonBorders as a non-profit society! As a society, we hope to build on CB's past successes, qualify for sustainable funding and continue to build a non-partisan and grassroots organization that trains and sends delegations to observe elections and supports the development of democratic/civil societies throughout Latin America.
The purpose of the Annual General Meeting is to elect a Board of Directors for 2004 and to make plans for upcoming electoral observer missions, including organizing a delegation to observe the March 21, 2004 presidential elections in El Salvador. Refreshments will be served.
Feel free to check out the CB website to read about the upcoming AGM; our report from the March 2003 El Salvador delegation and other recent developments:
The AGM meeting agenda will include:
Following the AGM at 5pm you are all invited to a snackluck fiesta at Kathy McKay's house located at: 3142 Highview Street (off Finlayson and Cook Street) (tel: 381-3674/ email: firstname.lastname@example.org )
Please RSVP to Linda Shout at email@example.com or phone her at 370-9879 to let her know you would like attend the AGM!
We hope that you can make it.
Take care and we look forward to seeing you there,
CommonBorders' AGM Committee
November 22nd, 2003
CommonBorders Board Meeting
AGM at UVic
Date is confirmed at Saturday, December 13, 2003, 2:00 – 4:00 at
the UVic Grad Centre. Setup at 1:00
(b) Draft e-mail invitation by Therese is approved. Thanks Therese! Each of us can now send out the invitation (pending decision on location of the all-important social event!). Make sure the correct date, time and location info is included on the e-mail. Please emphasize that people must RSVP so that we know what kind of numbers we’re dealing with. Contact is Linda.
Steve will check with Kevin to find out if we can have the social at his place and e-mail the rest of us asap. Kathy has offered her place if Kevin’s is not available. Thanks Kathy! Kathy’s address is 3142 Highview Street (Cook and Finlayson area). Her phone number is 381-3674. This will be a “snackluck” with CB Board (i.e., us) bringing snacks for the social
(c) No changes to the agenda as set out in last meeting’s minutes. Therese will e-mail the plans for the CB history section to the Board. Steve will lend his slide projector and slides to Kathy. Board members will meet individually with their agenda partners to organize their sections of the meeting.
Potential new board members: Steve reports Alvaro is committed and
Angela Robinson is still interested. Murray and Paul are coming over for
the meeting but don’t want to be on the board. Roberto is not sure about
being on the board but definitely wants to go on the next delegation as a
coordinator/translator. Linda is having lunch with Janine Fernandes this
week, who might be interested. Linda
will call Lynda Hills and re-contact Jeannie MacPherson, Dulcie Fernandes
and Lorraine Calderwood-Parsons.
(a) Registered name: Jessica has reserved our name, CommonBorders/Fronteras Comunes Society. The $30 cost reserves our name for 56 days, during which time we must complete the incorporation process.
(b) Jessica circulated an e-mail describing some board and decision making models. At the next meeting, Jessica and Steve will walk us through these choices and we will decide on models CB will adopt and write into the bylaws. This will be completed before the AGM. The new board may choose to revise the bylaws and can do so at the next AGM.
It takes an average of 10
days from filing the paperwork to completing the incorporation process. Steve
and Therese (after November 28th) will help Jess with this.
Delegation to El Salvador
Steve and Linda met with Rob Fleming on November 16th.
Rob is interested in going with a CB delegation and will put the word out
to his contacts in the federal/provincial/municipal government and labour
communities. He agrees that it is best to have a variety of political
viewpoints represented in the delegation. Already he has four or five
people ready to apply. As to cost, he agreed that to provide for a
transparent process, a flat coordination fee should be asked of all
delegates and that a sliding scale will be considered. Overall it was a
very positive meeting – Rob feels he can recruit some good delegates,
and understands that CB will engage in our usual selection process in
order to provide for a balanced, productive delegation. Steve and Linda
will meet again with Rob on November 30th to get an update from
him on the people he has contacted. The board will send Steve or Linda any questions they have for Rob for
the meeting. Steve and Linda will send out an update e-mail after
Therese has met with an FMLN group in Vancouver that is sending a
delegation. They have started recruiting delegates. Therese and Murray
attended one of the delegates’ meetings and feel that we could share
some of CB’s expertise with them, particularly in the realm of observer
behaviour and non-intrusive techniques. Therese has told this group that
CB may be sending a delegation and, if so, there is a possibility that we
could work together on the training aspect.
group agreed that we could explore the idea of sharing training if asked,
but that we should be cautious to keep at arms-length from any obviously
Therese, Linda, Jessica, Kathy, Roberto, Alvaro.
At the next meeting, we will discuss a process for choosing coordinators
and delegates given the large number of potentials. We would like to
offer the coordinating experience to those who haven’t experienced that
level of responsibility without overwhelming them. Could we have a couple
of “apprentice” coordinators, who have their fees partially covered?
Size of delegation:
Opinions of the group ranged from 8 to 20. In many ways the ideal number
is 12 for group cohesion and logistics. If we have a large number of
delegates, we can fund more coordinators. One issue is fees: if the
approximate cost per coordinator is $2000, then the “pod” must support
this. If there is a pod of 3, we must ask for $650 CDN per delegate
coordination fee. This seems high. However, most other group who do
similar work (such as Global Exchange) charge $350 - $400, or about $30
per day. We can still do fundraising, and Rob Fleming may have some good
sources. Our new board may also have some good ideas and experience in
will ask Paul to put the AGM invitation on the website. In the future,
board members should send all website ideas and change requests to Steve,
and he’ll forward them to Paul. Paul will continue to do the website
until the AGM (at which point a board member or Douglas may take this on).
Linda circulated an incomplete first draft of the El Salvador
report. Linda will have it
completed by next Saturday and it should be up on the website that
Guatemala election news: Linda
will forward the notes she has received to Steve for Paul to put on
the website. Steve will also
ask Paul to update the electoral calendar.
Sunday, December 7th, 4:30 at Linda’s house (1117A May Street, 370-9879).
November 9th, 2003
Asch, Steve Baileys, Therese Boulard, Kathy McKay, Linda Shout (minutes)
Membership and Commitment
Linda announced that she is probably leaving the country in January. She
will be available until then for planning and attending the AGM, and
supporting new Board members
Steve will be leaving at the end of February. He is also committed to
working with CB until then to get the new organizational structure going
and help with planning a delegation
Therese is willing to be a Board Member at Large but can’t take on a
specific position. She will be a coordinator for the next delegation and
will be present to provide continuity
Jessica is willing to be a Board member. She is willing to commit to one
year on the Board but will play a behind the scenes role rather than a
very public one (although if all goes well she may be able to be a
coordinator for an upcoming delegation). Her vision over the next year is
to get new members on the Board and hold monthly meetings that CB members
can attend. Ultimately she wishes to step back into a “member” role
rather than Board member.
Kathy commits to serving on the Board and has no restrictions on the
role she would play. Kathy agrees with Jessica’s vision of monthly
meetings and drawing new people to the organization.
Saturday, November 29th, 2:00 – 4:00
Social to follow at Kevin Gillese’s home (address?)
First choice is UVic Grad Centre. A grad or club member must book it.
UPDATE: Anne-Cath has confirmed we can book in her name. Linda will contact the Grad Centre to book meeting room for the 29th
James Bay Community Centre ($27/hr) and Fairfield Community Centre ($25
- $35/hr for non-profit) are other options. Steve will also contact church in Esquimalt (St. Savior’s?)
will draft the invitation e-mail and forward it to the Board for
has a list of CB members, former delegates etc. He will send out the
e-mail to this list. He will also ask Paul to post the invitation to the
AGM to the CB website. We will invite recipients to pass the invite along
to anyone they think may be interested.
Steve: Alvaro is willing to be on the Board. Angela Robinson, who is on
the Board of St. Savior’s (?) church and has extensive marketing and
media experience, is also interested. Paul Mably is back in town and is
interested, although he’s very busy with Oxfam.
Linda: Wendy and Roberto may both be interested (will want to come to
the AGM at least). Linda’s former co-workers at the Children’s
Commission, Jeannie MacPherson, Dulcie Fernandes and Lorraine Calderwood-Parsons
(and maybe Lorraine’s husband Vic) want to attend the AGM. Dulcie is
very interested in Board membership. The others would like to know more
and go on a delegation (and may be interested in serving on the board).
Rob Fleming sent an e-mail expressing interest in working on a
delegation with CommonBorders.
NOTE that we will not advertise widely for Board positions but will
target former CB members or people who know something about the
Following the AGM, we could have an “evening with CommonBorders”
that would be open to the public to raise the profile of the organization.
Meeting should be no more than two hours in duration
Agenda as follows:
Decision made by current Board to go ahead and register as a society.
Jessica and Steve have organized the paperwork. There are still a couple
of legal points that need to be clarified. Steve
and Jess will discuss these with Kevin Gillese. First name choice is
CommonBorders/FronterasComunes; second choice is CommonBorders Electoral
Observers (or CB Electoral Observers Society?)
will continue with the process and report back to the CB Board.
Victoria city council member Rob Fleming has approached CB with interest
in forming a delegation for El Salvador’s presidential elections,
including representatives of BCGEU, School Board and municipal government.
These groups offer to fundraise and have extensive resources to support a
One idea is that we could provide training and logistical support to
such a delegation, similar to what we were planning to do for the CaNGO
delegation. Each organization would pay a coordination fee ($X per
delegate) to fund coordinators
The Board feels that these delegates should either join a CB delegation,
which would be comprised of delegates from a variety of communities and
different perspectives (i.e., not just a labour focus and should be in
keeping with CB’s principles of neutrality), or
If they do want to have a delegation that’s more focused, we could
provide our services but the delegation would not be under the CB banner
(perhaps it would be in addition to a traditional CB delegation)
will meet with Rob to clarify the way CB does things, and to find out more
about what kind of a delegation Rob is hoping for. If it looks like we
have some common ground, Rob could make a presentation to the Board. Steve
will use the meeting to gather information and will not make any
commitments at this time.
We should get a short report on El Salvador up on the website. On
Tuesday, Therese will send
Linda all the notes/CIS group reports we have and Linda
will start compiling the report.
will send a copy of the information on society bylaws to the rest of the
Board for our info. We can use many of the sample bylaws as written but
will have to customize them somewhat.
Saturday, November 22 2003, 4:00 pm at Steve’s house (#5 – 48 Michigan).
October 18th, 2003
Jessica and Steve met on Saturday October 18th to discuss and
plan the steps required to have CommonBorders recognized as an
incorporated society under the BC Society Act.
There are a number of steps, which must be undertaken by
CommonBorders in order to apply to become a society. These steps include:
Approval and Reservation
CommonBorders must submit a list of three possible names to the Ministry
of Finance for approval. Three names are submitted in case one or two of
the names are already being used by other societies.
It was proposed that CommonBorders submit the following three name
CommonBorders Electoral Observers
CommonBorders Electoral Observation Project
A fourth suggestion was made by Therese to include the name:
phone the Names Unit of the Ministry of Finance to inquire as to how
long it will
take to have a name searched and approved;
contact other CB board members to ask for feedback on name choices
provide the $30 fee to the Ministry of Finance and be reimbursed by CB
It was discussed and decided CB would benefit by obtaining feedback from
a legal mind regarding the potential implications of Society bylaws,
procedures and impact on potential liability, etc.
contact one of our legal beagles on our CB roster (Kevin Gillese, Peter
Golden or Wendy Zimmerman) and ask for their assistance with this.
Constitution and Bylaws
We reviewed the constitution and bylaw template found on the Ministry of
Finance’s website used for creating a new society. A number of possible
amendments were discussed and it was agreed that we would provide a number
of suggested changes to the CB board for discussion at the Annual General
Meeting in November.
Jessica and Steve
Jessica and Steve will:
review society bylaw and constitution templates and make recommendations
to CB board. To be discussed at next meeting on November 1st.
CB must submit a list of a minimum of five directors on the CB board and must include their names and contact information as part of the application process.
contact current active CB board members and seek their permission
to list them as directors.
Address/Postal Box for CB Society
We discussed the need to change
the current address of CB (Steve’s residential address) to an address
which will be accessible year round and not subject to change of address.
It was decided to look into the availability and cost of using a postal
box number. Information to be presented to CB board at AGM in November.
look into cost and availability of a postal box.
of BC Society Act
In order to better understand the implications of becoming a society, it was decided that CB should obtain a copy of the BC Society Act for review by CB board members.
obtain a copy of the BC Society Act online or at the Queen’s
We discussed whether it may be advantageous to have CB become a
“charitable” society and what steps are required in order to do so.
make inquiries through the Ministry of Finance and our legal beagles to
determine what is required to attain charitable society status and what
advantages are. This information will be reported to CB at AGM in
Next meeting: Saturday November 1st at 1pm at Steve’s.