Ask me Anything - with Adrian Currie
This Ask Me Anything session was held on Zoom, hosted by Andrew Hazen and featuring Federal Council Ontario Rep Adrian Currie in the "hot seat'. Over 30 members attended with many great questions. Details from the Chat are below. You can click the Video URL to watch the session recording from YouTube.
The following is the very verbatim transcript from the Zoom recording.
Ok, well, we've got we've got 20 people online, more people may join us as we go, but we can probably get started. Let's do that. So welcome, everyone to our ask me anything with with our federal council rep, Adrian Curry. Adrian has graciously agreed to try and field as many questions, difficult and otherwise as we can squeeze into an hour, hour and a half. Four people from Ontario, mostly, but I noticed that there's a couple of people from from other parts of the country that have tuned in as well, which is cool.
And I keep getting Ding Dongs that are out there, more people coming in, so that's great.
I just want to say there's a second meeting in Ontario for the Greens starting at eight, so I'll be looking at that time.
Fair enough. I don't know if anybody else will be going to that to say, well, we'll see.
We'll see how this meeting goes. I don't know if I'll be able to last past 8:00. We'll see if there's plenty of interest. You might continue a bit longer, but if I'm swamped and I'm in, I'm beaten back with my at eight. We'll see. OK, so let's get started then. So thank you, everyone, for coming. As many as many of you know, I'm the Ontario rep to Federal Council, so and you and I, we've taken the time to organize this forum tonight for you, our membership, to have an opportunity to ask questions and to get some answers. I know many of you think that federal council is like a brick wall where it's difficult or even impossible to get information out of us. And I sincerely apologize for that. I've been on county council now for five to six months, so I'm still new to this. What I do know is that I have a responsibility to the membership, especially in Ontario, to provide them with answers and to keep them updated with what's happening on federal council. Hence tonight's session. I will try to answer your questions as best as I can. However, I do not know all the answers. And one of the tasks that we're trying to work on, on federal council is transparency. It's a difficult word. It's a it's a it's it's an important responsibility and it's something that we're working on. So we have a long way to go. We have we still have working on getting agendas and minutes out on time with supporting documents. We've we've we've we've just this week dedicated a fellow council member to focus on getting minutes and and agendas out on time. So we're making an effort with that. So it's it's an open session. We've had some questions emailed to us from members ahead of time. So but first, what I will do is we'll just open up the floor and start taking questions.
So Joe Foster here, you hear me? Yes. OK, my question, Adrian, is way back when 10 years or so ago, I was in the process of developing handbook's for every committee, the only one that refused to have it at the time was the agency. But everybody, including the ombudsperson, had handbook's and they were up to date 10 years ago. Do you know what the status of those are?
I don't. We only have we only handbook I know about is the Federal Council handbook. I think we've had this year, which is basically it's not quite I guess it would be the Constitutional Council. It's not the Green Party constitution. It's not the code of conduct. It's just the it's just the the everyday rules meeting procedures and whatnot that the councillors are supposed to follow up the whole idea.
And my view is that the Constitution is a governance document in the handbook, provided the processes and procedures. And these are all was not known by many times by the grassroots people.
Yeah, well, if you could share that with us or share the ones that you that you have with us, it is always a good idea to update them and spread them with their committees because we are trying to be more open, transparent and more grassroots. So every help, every assistance that you can give us would be would be appreciated.
I have a question, Ingrid from Cambridge. It's kind of along those same lines, kind of I'm getting a lot of people requesting to be volunteers, which is not a bad problem at all.
But I was just wondering if there could be some kind of a form, like a letter or like a welcome short, like not like they can go online and see everything that the Green Party is all about.
But I wish there was something that I could have in my hands to just give them the new newbies, some information generally without, you know, like just be able to just send that to them.
And one page, because we don't want to overwhelm people at the beginning. Right.
And so I was just wondering if there could be something like that, like a letter or some kind of an outline of what the Green Party does and what they you know, what their options are as volunteers. OK, so I'm just wondering if there is something out there or not. Well, I haven't seen that. I mean, we define how we operate. Maybe we should say, OK, maybe we should say if you're not, you know, I think we should all be muted unless we're so angry.
The first thing that comes to mind about that would be to reach out to other ideas and see what they have. So one of the things that we're trying to work on here right now with my idea in Ontario, I'm working with Matthew Pekoe and Jason Hammond is regional representation. I'm sure I'm sure you're not the first idea to have this question. I'm sure other ideas have similar questions for they might have solved the problem already. So definitely reach out to the media. Where did you say you're from again? Cambridge. Cambridge. So if anyone on this call has an answer for Ingrid, please share it, put the answer in the chat or, you know, contact Ingrid directly and, you know, show them what you have. Because, as I said, I'm sure this is not the first time this has come up and there's no need to reinvent the wheel. Someone somewhere has the answer so they can. I'm pretty sure they can share that with you.
I think it should be the same, though, across the across the country, across the province. You know, it shouldn't be like, you know, everybody's different, but we don't want to be, you know, telling people all different things. It should just be the same across the board.
I think that's true of a consistent welcome package is what you're kind of looking for. Yeah. Yeah, that's definitely somewhere. Did really well.
Definitely something worth working on later.
Maybe we can go to one of the pre submitted questions. Now, I just put it in in the chat. Can you bring the amount of the executive director and leaders total compensation packages, including benefits, or let us know why that isn't possible, given that executive salaries are always made public by other ethical organisations?
That's a good question. Well, the answer to that is that I don't know. I don't know how much the executive director makes and I don't know how much the leader makes. So I couldn't give you that answer. And why is it not shared with the with our membership? To a very good question. That is something that we should change and we should work on, because, like you said, it's a democratic institution and and it's good for building trust and preventing anti corruption. So that's a good question and a good point.
And is there any follow up action you can take on that?
Yes, I will bring that up at our next committee of the whole meeting and ask it to my fellow councillors. Why is this so and how can we change it and how can we make this information available to our membership?
Who's who's next, you can use the you can wave your hand or put or use the zoom hand up, uh, function.
You can wave your hand or something that might help.
George for. You're meeting George. Still muted. There we go.
I think I will be muted for the rest of my life, the best of friends. Sorry about the election debrief. It was undertaken back in March. There were a couple of people hired. I was told that it would be a couple of months until we knew what what we had got, good or bad, in order to build a for 30 months.
And we have no idea what that operation is, what it looks like. What do you know?
That's a very good question. Well, I can share with you that we had a presentation, I think it was a month ago by the relief committee. But we there is a follow up presentation that's going to be given to us soon. So I think the way it works is that once that information is shared with us, then it can be shared with the membership.
Why can I not by why cannot what, you know, share with all of us?
It's a very good question. Unfortunately, I'm I'm not in charge of that. I'm finding this out as I go. So, yeah, that's a good that's a very good point.
But you have no idea of the timeline for all this, because this election is about the election, but is committed with no foundation to work with.
I hear you. I hear you. I don't. Yeah. Yeah. I haven't even seen the report myself. I've only received the presentation of it.
You're welcome. Paul, do you have your hand up? Paul Gallagher, I'm sorry.
No, I'm just resting my elbow. But now that you mention it, since you've given me the mic, I should apologize for my late arrival. It took me 20 minutes just to flow through 10 million emails to find the link to this meeting. So that's my only excuse. I missed the question before, so I won't ask you to repeat it. Would it be would it be fair to raise your question in terms of I was sitting in on the recent federal council meeting a couple of days ago and it didn't go anywhere substantially except into on camera again. And this is being a repeat performance for me anyway. I don't mean to pick on somebody else's parade or something for a year or two, but where are we going with rumors of an election call coming as early as next spring or sometime in the summer? We need to sort of sharpen our spears to use a sick analogy and get our act together, like really, really quickly. So, anyway, enough for me. Do you want to comment on that? What can we do to help is the bottom line.
What can you do to help? Well, we do have an election preparedness committee and they are unfortunately, they're just getting warmed up again. The leadership race took a lot of bandwidth. And then and then while we were federal council was tied up with the former situation in the summer. So that took a lot of energy. So the the plus the policy process committee is just getting us up straight up again. The Election Committee is just setting it up again. What can you do? I wish I, I wish I could ask so that you can volunteer to join this committee, but I think it's a pretty small committee. Just I just work with your work with your idea and and try to get people ready for nomination meetings and and try to get as organized as possible. And then hopefully some more direction will come from council. I hope you're right. I hope so, too.
So perhaps sort of a follow up or segue from that, Adrian, we have another one of the pre submitted questions. Provincial green parties have almost no in camera time. What are our plans to reduce in camera time to near zero or make in camera sessions harder to make happen?
Transparency. We have to learn how to share more information on federal council and not be so, so private, I think.
Well, I've been on council. We've dealt with a lot of personnel issues. And and with the leadership race, we were dealing with candidates complaints and whatnot. So we had to go on camera and I apologize for that. It is frustrating. I understand there's nothing worse than showing up for a federal council meeting. And then five minutes into it, we're in camera. And then because we're having a heated debate, it goes on for an hour, an hour and a half. And then, you know, whoever the observers are left standing in the dark or sitting in the dark and there's not much information being shared. I do apologize for that. Hopefully, as things calm down and as the fireworks become less and less, there will be fewer reasons to go on camera. And and we can just have more open meetings and and have everyone participating. Or at least there on the on the.
But are there are there any rules or guidelines around what needs to be in a done in camera versus what can be done in front of observers?
Yes, the the the general rule for going into camera are H.R. matters and and and discussions that that involve personal and confidential information. So as we deal with fewer and fewer H.R. matters, then there will be fewer and fewer in camera sessions. And as we have less, fewer crises to deal with, then we won't have to go on camera. So the policy's pretty clear. It's just a matter of not having as many of these issues cropping up.
Ok, I see Karen Brill has her hand up.
Andrew, Andrew, can you hear me? Yep. Yeah, right, thanks. Yeah, you know, Adrian, respectfully, I don't think it's about just transparency. I think that actually all these in camera sessions have created a lack of trust in federal counsel. And I would also say the Green Party at the federal level. And I think we have to do a lot better than to just say, you know, this will go away. This will not go away. This feels like a habit that federal council is into. So I would like to see some protocol. I would like to say I would like to understand H.R. issues what is that's a massive, you know, broad brush of H.R. issues.
Well, I mean, human resource issues. So hiring, firing, promotion, wages, compensation. Those are those are major issues.
No, I understand your issues. But what I what I question is that all these have to be private and in camera, certainly in any organization, H.R. issues are discussed at every level. Right. They are consultative. They aren't a secret. That's the beginning. Right. All these secrets that just get churned.
Right. Well, that's a that's an interesting point. Well, I know from my experience from other organizations, when we do deal with H.R. matters, they are done in camera. So this does not seem unusual to me. I think what the issue is that I mean, I understand your frustration because if you're coming to meetings and they're constantly being held in camera, you think that there is a culture of secrecy. As I said, I'm new counsel. I've been here for five to six months. So this is this is a new experience for me. Whether this has been going on for years or not, I don't know, because I I mean, like I said, I'm not an expert on general counsel. I haven't been following federal counsel at all until I until I joined until I was elected general counsel this year. So my experience only goes back five, six months. So I can't speak about the culture of secrecy. So because I don't know about it, what I do know is that I was part of a group called Greens for Counsel, and one of the one of our major points was transparency. So we're trying to work on that. Yeah, we have. We have better.
Adrian, look, I appreciate that, I appreciate that you're still new, but the fact that you're calling it a culture of secrecy is very serious.
Hold on. Hold on. I'm using your I'm paraphrasing your terminology. I'm fine. Yeah. Paul Gallagher, you have your hand up.
Yes. Thank you. I am going to try and be measured and deliberately not try to not be pejorative. But there's something here that I think needs to be said. And I'm I'm assuming that we're all friends in this room around the table with the same green blood in our veins, with the same values and morals. But I think Karen Brill has just articulated something which really, really, really needs to be addressed on an urgent priority basis. You are also hemorrhaging from the parties. And I can't speak for everybody, but for people who are listening in to these federal counsels on a monthly basis. And it's been going on now for a number of months. We are we are getting frustrated and not going anywhere. I understand the pressures of dealing with H.R. and sensitive issues, but if these need to be sorted out quickly and I suspect they do have an emergency, extraordinary meeting and deal with them, please, before we start hemorrhaging long term committed volunteers like myself.
Thank you for listening. That's a good point, Paul.
A very good point, that if we have a trend that is that we wish that we should deal with them separately and then at at the regular federal council meetings, we can deal with ordinary business, which don't have to. But I think a point. So we will take that advice and I'll bring it to our committee of all and then bring that to one of our next council meetings. That's a very good suggestion.
Great. We can go now to Scott. You've had your hand up.
Yes, I initially put my hand up before Paul made that point, but I had a similar suggestion, slightly different, and that simply that you structure the federal council meeting with all the non in camera business first and then say to everyone who's watching. OK, we have to go into camera for the rest of the meeting and then we can just go.
Yes, that's a good point. So just just to touch on that point. The last meeting that we had, we had the original agenda, was just that it was the regular business first and then kind of second. What we what normally happens, though, is that when we go on camera, we don't have enough time to finish the business that we're dealing with. So a suggestion was made to flip the order. But I think Paul made a probably better suggestion deal with the confidential matters separately and then for the regular council meetings, deal with regular business.
I do agree it's a better way to do it. But in the event that you can't do a separate meeting, I think at the very least you can deal with your regular business first hand. If you have a lot of hard to deal with, just say that the meeting is only going to be 20 minutes or 30 minutes and then we have to do H.R. for the rest of our time through rather than just sitting around waiting for you to come back.
True. And I want to say something to you and then Eric. Eric, you will come to you next. I agree with you. I think that more effort has to be made to treat the meetings as, let's just say, a party in a sense, where we have guests and we have to keep the guests informed of what's happening and let them know give give them an update if anything happens, such as welcoming people, sharing the agenda in the chat, given a little bit of grace period for people coming to the meeting and then giving people a heads up of where we are at on the agenda and then at the end of meetings or when we come out of in camera saying, OK, you know, we're here, we're back. Thank you for sticking around. This is what we discussed. In general terms, we can't give you any specifics. And now we're going to move into the regular business or, you know, the meeting is going to be is going to be adjourned. Thank you for taking the time to be here. You know, just treat people with a bit more courtesy and a bit more warmth and friendliness, because personally, I feel that these meetings are a bit cold.
And I and I was going to say confrontational, but I suppose that is correct in a sense.
But I just think that we can change the mood of the of the meetings a bit and make them more collegial and and professional as well.
So, Eric, I saw your hand up, so I'll take a question from you, it's a follow up question actually on this whole discussion. How does that work procedurally at the federal council meeting? Doesn't work like this, that as soon as one councillor says, can we go on camera, that the whole council goes on camera or how is that how is that determined? And is there some sort of a formal process? Does it need to be put in advance on the agenda if an item is in camera or the only item is going to be in camera? How does it work?
There's two answers to that's a very good question. The first is that when a motion is made to go in camera, it doesn't have to be seconded. So you go in camera long as you have long as long as a majority of you get this correct. I think as long as there's not a majority of councillors who oppose it. But the point is that you don't need a second, a second. But in most cases on the agenda, it's listed. There's a there's a time it's an agenda item that we're going to go on camera to discuss X and X, the topic or business.
Can I suggest then that at the next federal council meeting, you will raise a procedural question, which is, you know, can in camera items be identified on the agenda and worked according to an agenda?
Can I be identified? Yes, in camera items, so there they are identified on the agenda. It's you know, so there's a call to order and then there's, you know, the approval of the agenda and then, you know, the you know, the what's it called anyways. So there's different there are different topics that are listed. And if you're going into Canada, into a camera, it's one of those headings. So you know that, OK, at eight o'clock we're going to camera or eight thirty according to the time line, which should be in camera at this time. So it's it is it is an agenda item. That's your question, right?
Well, we are, but also a follow up on that then if if the items are already identified on the agenda in camera items to also disallow from now on any kind of talk in camera motions.
Yeah, there aren't really any ad hoc and camera motions because it's usually agreed upon before as part of the agenda that we will be going to camera to discuss the topic because because the councillors pretty much have a good idea what we will be discussing at each meeting.
Ok, but would that be possible to basically move that forward so that there are no ad hoc and camera motions any longer?
True. That's a good point to a limit to minimize the amount of in camera sessions for meetings.
You got it. You got.
All right. Great. So we'll go now to John Wilson and then Peter for.
I was that good. Yes, good. OK, so first of all, I think we have to give you a gigantic congratulations, Adrian, that just to sort of not beat you up completely, but in case I don't think people are aware, but we had a very long and painful episode with our previous executive director. There was a gigantic amount of conflict behind the scenes about trying to establish whether it was appropriate to have an executive director with a history of allegations of sexually harassing women as the head of the staff organization. And this ultimately resulted in the CBC piece on the National. And we were one of the groups, I think the probably the only group that doing a lot of research into the fact base that wasn't done. There was no vetting done of him during the actual hiring. So we did the vetting and we tried to get council to listen to the facts and to support the story it was developing to helping research. And believe it or not, only a minority of councillors supported that. And Adrian was one of the ones from the very beginning who, before we knew how serious the most serious allegations when we only knew that he had participated in humiliating survivors that he admitted to in his previous job. Adrian knew right there that it was that was not the ethical bar that we were looking for in our staff, certainly not in our executive director.
And and and it was a it was a long fight. So I have to thank you, Adrian, for being on the right side of that. That was absolutely we're very, very proud of you for that. You're welcome. Thank you. OK, now I get to be a go ahead. I'll take it. All right. So I echo what a lot of the concerns about a camera. I would I hope everyone's going to be involved in the motion process. I know there are some motions that have been written to address this. There is one which is focused on transparency, which and I think this is the right solution. It raises the bar for the number of votes required to get into in camera. And it raises it from, I think, a mature, simple majority to three quarters. And I know that in the previous council, some of the worst abuses have been camera information that were passed only on a bare majority. So that would, I think, make councillors ensure that it's the right subject to go into the meeting. So I hope everyone's going to be looking at some of those motions. My particular question to you, Adrian, was about that process. And one of the things that happened, as you know, is we found really very serious evidence from one of his previous employers and we took that to federal council and we said, you have to look at this.
And the what they had to do was sign an NDA and it was the fund and the executive that had that request from us. And they refused to sign the NDA. They refused to see the information, which we now extremely serious and relate to multiple instances of reports of bullying and harassment. So council didn't want to know that. And it was the executive that made that decision. And our information is that that that information, that decision wasn't ratified by the full federal council. And as you know, that goes against not that goes against the Constitution. Right. At the executive council is not supposed to have decision making powers or we end up with something like an autocracy. It's running away. And in this case, it seems to have made a extremely serious decision, an attempt to not no serious accusations against staff and to do that unilaterally. And so if that is correct, as I believe it is, then what will be the consequences for that? And I would expect, at the very minimum, an explanation of why that occurred or an apology to members. And if there were further consequences against the people involved in that decision, then I would like to know what those plans are.
That's a good question. Well. Well, my first thought is that I guess many of us on the council had hoped that the former executive director situation was in the past and that we could we had moved on and that we don't have to deal with any any more repercussions, repercussions from that.
Well, you bring up a good point, and that is holding the executive and the fund accountable. Yeah, that's a tough one. You know, the the question the decision was not brought forth in front of the whole federal council. So none of us, not all of us had privy. We're not we're privy to that information. And we didn't have an option to discuss it or even make a decision on that.
I don't know, I guess you're asking you're asking that federal councillors to to reprimand the executive or the funds somehow or ask somebody some pointed questions about why they didn't do that. Why then share the information with us?
I mean, it was that's a that's a violation of the Constitution and that's unilaterally seizing power for a decision that put junior staff at serious risk. Right. I can I can I can post the youth coalition one. But it's it's allegations of emotional of sexual harassment and that he was thrown out of that organization or his membership not reviewed excuse me, in order to not expose their staff to that behavior. And our executive made a decision that we won't we were willing to accept unknowingly whatever that risk was. That's that's an incredibly serious decision that especially now that we look at the CBC piece, you could argue that that decision to the attempt to not make a decision led to the National Party being humiliated by the CBC and. So I think that's more than a warning.
Yeah, well, the the statute, the executive and the fund the executive is is there to make decisions. But I can't I can't say on behalf of general counsel, but they do have they are they do have the mandate to make decisions on short, short timeframes.
What they must be ratified. They have to be ratified by counsel.
Ok, so then so then so then they would be ratified by the council after the fact. So. Well but but remember, the NDA could have been signed at any time. True. But remember that was there, that was their decision not to sign it. So then so then they should have brought that back to council and say OK, we didn't do it for these reasons and here's why.
And ratify and ratify it. Right. And then council could have said, oh, my God, what are you doing? This is exposing us to serious risk and there is literally no justification for this. Or tell us what the labor law reason was for you to not accept this, which I don't believe exists, and let's undo that. And they the process for the availability of the NDA to the CBC was over a month, so there was tons of time for you to do this. There's there's no excuse that it was a rush that prevented them from bringing it to council.
True. Well, then I guess council has some work to do and we have to go back and look into this and say, why did we not have a chance to look at this and to why were we not informed and given a chance to to to speak on this? That's that's a good point.
And I think and if members could find that ultimately members need to be told.
Right. And accountability and accountability.
s, OK. Over to Peter for OK. Good evening. Thank you very much.
Regarding the NDA, just to that, there's all sorts of reasons why people would or would not sign the NDA and we've only seen what's happened. The high profile cases don't even against President Trump in the States and whatnot. But in business, one of the reasons you would not sign an NDA is they might tell you something in that NDA that you may have had another venue or another channel telling you what that was. And you can never say for sure. Oh, yeah, I didn't break the NDA. I already knew what he told me. So it's really hard to sign an NDA without knowing what you're going to be signing it for. So I don't I don't blame anyone for not wanting to sign that. I want to make that clear here. It would be nice if we have some legal expertise in the field. It can get a little bit more advice on that and so forth. Quick question. And I've been a bit behind on my emails, but there was talk about hiring a consultant at a twenty thousand dollar fee or something to find out who the leaker is of all of this sort of stuff.
Whatever happened to that, it's still in process. So it the the motion was for the. For the executive committee and or the fund, I'm not exactly sure, but for one of the two of them to look into hiring an outside consultant, to look into and created the COO to create an investigation, to look into the source of the leaks.
So this is unfortunately so far out of the bar. And right now I don't care. The other part of it is, is while one person's lekker is another person's whistleblower, you think the other twenty five people, 30, Howard is on this call. You did a show of hands. I'm pretty sure the majority would agree that person was a whistleblower. So I don't want to see that 20, 20 thousand dollars blog on that. So I want to make that very clear because all we're doing there, the only person who is worried about a leak is someone who's got a personal reputation to defend for some reason. And it's going to be somebody on the council or someone on the it doesn't make sense. So I don't want to see that you can carry that bad voice forward if you can. Please.
Can I can I say something, though, please? So the the motion the wording of the motion is that. An amount to be spent up to 20 thousand, and once that once they get to that amount, they have to come back to council for approval. So it's there's they don't they won't necessarily spend the full twenty one twenty dollars spent on it, let alone twenty thousand.
And I do think and that's a key thing.
And there were some emails going back and forth of people saying they're going to pull their donations to the party. And, you know, that sounds like a great idea to me. So I'd like you to carry that back to the People Council. But back to your meetings and stuff. Who chairs those meetings and who sets the agenda? Is it the same person all the time? Or can there be perhaps a motion that would be rotated as to who chairs the meeting? Because the person who chairs the meeting controls the meeting and that needs to change. We can't have one person controlling it all the time.
So. So the chair is the is the president of the federal council. So that person is elected? Well, they were they were chosen because the the previous president resigned. So we had to we found an interim president.
And then through the process on federal council, we we we nominated an interim president until the next federal council elections. So the agenda is set by the by the executive. But also it's it's it's it's theoretically a democratic process. So council so federal councillors can put forward ideas for for the for the agenda agenda topics and then and then the president and the executive and should go through it and and set the agenda.
So there is some input, for example, the way it should work, theoretically, that we have a committee of the whole meeting. And it's a it's a it's a meeting where no motions are made, no decisions are made. We discuss topics. And then through that discussion, the agenda is made from the committee of the whole meeting. So whatever topics were discussed, ideas and whatever is important that federal councillors feel should be discussed at the next federal council meeting, that those should be on the agenda. So there is input from federal councillors, the the president and and I guess is the executive. They're the ones who finalised the agenda.
And I trust there's always the new business category where someone can bring something up that wasn't previously included on the agenda.
Yes. So, ah, according to a federal handbook, agenda items have to be put forward 10 days before the federal council meeting, and then it's finalized seven days before the actual final council meeting. So so there should be a set agenda. However, the agenda is a fluid document and and items can be added to it at the last minute if they're important and if there is and if they're high level. Thank you.
Ok, so we'll go now. We'll go now to Michael Pilling and then Eric Udoka.
Adrian Kudo's, my friend. You've been a class act all the way along, and I think this is an outstanding step forward that you're holding these meetings. I wish all of the provincial reps for holding this meeting. So kudos to you for this and a number of the other progressive things that you've been involved with on council. Thank you. I'd like to talk for a second about the council handbook. Now, those of you and I know and probably a few others know that when we were united as green for council, we agreed that there were necessary reforms to transparency and openness required at the federal council after the election. John Keter took hold of that and he got. Well, we don't and Bob Macci. Reform with him, a committee to reform the council handbook. He didn't include anyone else. I was one of the folks that asked for nine councillors to be included in this committee, but it turned out into an inside job with a very small number of people.
I also asked John Carter to share a document with non councillor's before it was passed. And they also declined to do that. What we ended up with.
Was a reform of the council handbook that didn't actually increase the transparency or openness, and I think it actually decreased it intensified the requirements for secrecy and did nothing to share the decision making with a broader group of people. As you know, those folks might have seen. I pointed out today that we have a lot of work in the party that's not getting done properly because there's simply not enough people on council to do all of these roles.
So one thing I think we can do and one thing I've think I've seen watching these meetings is that there is a good number of progressive people on our council. But they're not really taking the leadership. And I think it would be possible to get together another reform of the council handbook to fix a lot of these rules right in health, and possibly you could spearhead that with a couple of other councillors and do something that was open and transparent to the members and put it forward on the agenda. Would you be willing to do that?
That would be a big undertaking. And to tell you the truth, I'm not sure if I get knowledgable to spearhead a task like that. I mean, I could be part of the of the group, the smaller committee that would that would lead that and then and then definitely reach out to membership and get some get some input. Yeah, like I said, I don't think I would lead it.
But if if you feel the problem is that I don't know what was before, so I can't compare the handbook now to what was before. I mean, I don't even think I've seen version 4.0. I'm going to think I've seen it, but I haven't read it thoroughly. So I can't compare the before and the after. So would I be willing to lead that? As I said, I don't think I have as much experience as I should have, but I would be willing to be part of it, though.
Yes, I think all we need is for people like yourself, willing to make sure that it gets on the agenda and gets discussed properly because there was a lot of things in that reform that were clearly left out.
Ok, so I'll say this, though, that that John and and Lobi and I think a couple other people, they worked on that, but they the the draft was passed before the governance committee and the governance committee made up of at least 10 council members, went through the, you know, the federal council handbook and line by line, issue by issue and debated a lot of the changes and the improvements. And they had to and it was passed by the governance and then it went to council and the whole council looked at it and then council passed it.
Ok, OK, back over to you, Eric. It was.
Yeah, just wanted to react to what Peter said about MDD as a as a trainer and consultant, I've signed at least 50 or so and over my lifetime and a few few things can come to mind.
The first thing is, if you can prove that something has been in the public domain already, then the NDA is not any longer applicable to you. The second thing is what we were looking at right here was a clean 8R question that any any person with the right frame of mind or with some form of common sense, as I call it, would have would have been interested in because it might avert a huge disaster. And eventually that disaster was only averted in the very last second in which it could be averted. So I thought this was a very serious issue and the executives should have signed the NDA in a heartbeat, as far as I'm concerned.
Thanks, Eric. I'm just going to flip to another one of our pre submitted questions, which I'll just pop into the chat here as well, not question being how much money has been committed and or spent since October 29th, 2019. So the end of the last election cycle by Green Party or the Fund or Council on Severances agreed upon resignations, past grievances and or present grievances. And the Oscar goes on to say, I do realize that the individuals involved should not and cannot be named, which is why I'm asking for a grand total, not a detailed list.
Well, the simple answer to that is I don't know the amount. I'm not privy to that information because I'm not part of the fund and I'm not part of the executive. So I don't know the answer.
Good question, but I don't know. I don't know the answer and I'm not sure. I guess you're right if it's just a general amount. Yeah, but I don't know the answer to that.
And perhaps then you can take that that question back to council and the fund and and and try to get an answer to that one.
So I saw David from Burlington had his hand up right before the last question.
Hi, Adrian, thanks again for all your work on the council.
It's great to have such a representative. This one they have have people ask some questions whenever they want. That's wonderful. So I've asked the same question of I've expressed these concerns to headquarters elections organizers that they should make better use of volunteers from the Eda's for training for election preparedness.
I've been asking for this for over a year and it's gone nowhere or apparently gone nowhere. So are you willing to bring a motion to the federal council to get the headquarters staff to look into ways to better utilize volunteers for election readiness?
That's a good question, David. I, I been hearing similar questions. And at the at the last committee, the whole meeting, I put forth a question on on the agenda to deal with volunteers willing to help out, help the staff and whatnot. We have to find a better way to get our volunteers more involved. And that includes having positions on committees that are non federal council councillors. And just, you know, the more diverse representation we have on committees, the better. We're going to have better solutions. We're going to we're going to have we have an intelligent bunch of members and volunteers all across the country that are itching to get involved. And we have to do better than that. So, yes, we will be election readiness committee is election preparedness committee is is meeting and they should be meeting even more frequently and regularly to discuss these topics. So they will be brought up out of committee, the whole meeting and then be brought to federal council. And we'll look into that. I do want to say one thing, though. It's seven fifty two. And there was a question about Eda's and how to bring them in and to make the party more grassroots.
So what are you what are the what are you undertaking to make the Green Party a real grassroots party, specifically in terms of policy developed from ground up communication from media members, not centrally approved any longer, etc.? That is something I've been hearing over and over even before I was on federal council. So I'm working on a project for regional collaboration with Matthew Pizzle and and David Hammond, and it's a fantastic idea. It's such a simple solution to a lot of the issues that we're dealing with. Just having Eda's regional groups of four to five, Eda's working with each other, sharing information, answering questions such as how to run a virtual ATM, how to organize volunteers when it comes to fundraising, how do you know how to get signs ordered and whatnot during an election? We can help each other out way more easily than always heading towards staff or the central party to figure that out. So we are working on that. I know Jason is working hard on that. I know Matthew's working hard on that. We're going to things out of that. We're going to we're going to get some running soon.
So, Adrian, I got another suggestion. There's lots of different levels that you can get volunteers involved. And you've mentioned a couple of good ones.
Another possibility would be to develop a roster of mentors so that new ideas can be paired up with somebody from a more experienced idea.
Get there, get the get on the ground running, you know.
Yeah, that's that's essentially what the original collaboration is, is that you have facilitators from each idea and they are part of a group.
And then and then, yes, there would be a a leader and a sense of that group, which would be, like you said, a mentor who would share their information and get people on board, more volunteers and younger editors and whatnot. Definitely, yeah.
Ok, thank you. OK. I mean, just say I think, Paul, is that your hand up?
You're muted in Paul. Paul, your muted.
So you can hear us. Someone sent a message that this meeting is needed.
For Andrew, can you only Paul sorry, I, I didn't I didn't realize my apologies, I didn't realize I was muted. I just wanted to go back and echo what Adrian just said. I think you've hit on an important button. It has huge potential. We tried here in Ottawa Centre where I am on the EDA executive, by the way, to get something started on that last year. It didn't pan out for various reasons that I won't bore you with. Now, if you are looking for volunteers from EDS or elsewhere to work with you to map out a plan or a prospectus of opportunities, I would be glad to volunteer in that regard. I would also urge you and it's is not I don't say this from self-interest point of view. I would also urge you to factor into your equation and your considerations, input from the editors themselves, in other words, to have a modicum of input into their own destiny rather than making it a purely top down exercise. It's not a concomitant with a lot of speak that you're hearing things about. How do we deal with the Aboriginal people? Well, how about we go and talk to them and ask them how they want to be dealt with in the first place? So in that vein, I offer that comment. But if you're looking for volunteers, give me a call. I'd be glad to help.
Ok, thank you, Paul. That's awesome, Paul.
Thank you. So I'm going to throw a question out there, Adrian, going back to the council meeting Tuesday night. Was a decision actually made that we have a new interim executive director?
And if so, are you able to tell us who that is and linking forward from that in the process to find a permanent new executive director?
What are the what are the timelines for that? And will there be a professional search firm and professional vetting utilized?
Very good question, Andrew. The answer to your first question is yes. We have chosen a new interim Ed, but I cannot share the name with you. There's some background check and other procedures, other steps that have to have to follow first before it's publicized in the name was announced. And in terms of the permanent ED, the timeline is as soon as possible. Now we have to follow a process. We have to. We have to. We have to agree on the process, we have to make sure that it's a good process because we don't want to make the mistake that we made last year around this time. And and we have concerns that the party wants to be more progressive and more and more diverse. So there are a few there are certain steps that has to be made. First of all, we have to agree on the job description. It has to be formalized as be shared with not only the membership, our membership, but all of Canada, because there's a lot of talented people out there. So that has to happen. So then the hiring process cannot be rushed. It has to be done methodically and and and organizationally. And and then there has to be multiple rounds of interviews and then a decision made by federal council. So it won't happen in the next month or two. But we know there's most likely going to be a spring election. So, you know, the clock is ticking, but at the same time, we have to have a good process. We have to follow the process well, and then we have to choose a really good. He did that simple.
So given the horrible job that was done for the last one, will there be a professional search firm, HRR guidance to do this? I'm sorry, but I doubt the skills that we have in the volunteer leadership right now to do that, especially again, given the evidence of past blunders. So we need professional help.
Well, I can I can share with you that we are discussing that. And I think for a second year, I think we have come to a consensus that we will hire an outside consultant at the at the very least to bring in candidates a wider pool of candidates. And then I'm not sure exactly how involved they're going to be with the selection process. But we will get some outside assistance because at this stage in the game, I think we do need it is I think it's the right thing to do.
And vetting. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, we have a saying. We have a saying in Jamaica. You live, you learn, you know, you only learn from them.
So we're going to make sure that we learn from from the past debacle and move forward.
And speaking of vetting, and because you mentioned it with the interim executive director selection, what's what what are the the those final steps that are being done before their name can be announced?
What what are the the well, with what if any, with any important hiring. You have to do a background check, you have to check references.
You have to do, I think a police check and and whatnot. So those have to fall in place. And then and then you can then you can spread. Then you can share the information.
Ok, so it's 8:00, how are we feeling?
We have a ton more questions or a few more. I'm willing to go for another 10, 15 minutes, but well, let's see if something for the next one.
Yeah, let's see. OK, yeah. Thank you. So, yeah. OK, let's say something for the next one then.
So why don't we wrap this up and and we'll have another one soon and we'll just just one second.
I just want to I, I'm cognizant that most of the voices this evening have, have been male. So I just want to explicitly throw it out there. If any of the the women on the call have felt bowled over or not able to get their question into, please speak up and throw it out there if there's anything on your mind or on by anyone else.
Addae, anyone? I have a question.
I'm sure I'll go. I'm just wondering whether you could tell us anything about what happened in regards to our president. I know that in Cameron meeting, I'm sure it was confidential in some way. But I was wondering how if there is anything you could comment or say about how we lost our president in this debacle that we're calling it our former president. Yes. Well, look, yes, I had a membership would like to know something other than just what we got, which was just a statement that he's gone. I think we'd like to know something about what happened.
And, you know, so far I remember that. I remember the date. Was it August twenty fourth, August 4th, August 4th, August 4th? Yeah. A very heated, somewhat contentious meeting. We came out of camera and Jean-Luc resigned on on air over the Internet. And that was it was a sudden resignation. We were all surprised that there were counselors and observers and everyone else in the party. There was I certainly did not know of any warning. And there was no one asked for his resignation. No one knows and no one hinted at his resignation. I think that he made the decision that he wanted to that he no longer want to be the president. So and if I'm correct, he's still a member of the fund. So he's still with with federal counsel. He's still with the Green Party. So he's still here. John, look, he's still here.
Now, I realize that I just just wanted to kind of I think I'm on the idea for kind of so I've seen John Cook three times since the resignation, but just I think the membership would like to know just sort of, you know, it was so sudden and kind of surprising that that's all.
So, yeah, like I said, it was very surprising to all of us as well. If you remember, the the federal council meeting came to an end and then we had to start it up. Forty five minutes later to finish the meeting. So there was no warning at all.
And we have an interim president and I guess the next one is going to be just elected during the next cycle, next cycle, right? Right.
Liana Khankan, Cusumano is the president pro tem as the interim president until the next election.
All right. Thank you.
Any one else, any other. Paul, do you have your hand up beside your hand?
I do. I just have one parting shot, if I may. I was I was a little frustrated. As Karen Brill pointed out earlier, I was a bit frustrated and annoyed and disappointed at the last federal council meeting until all of a sudden young carer stood up. I think she's the youth council representative or whatever the correct title is. And she stood up and said something very erudite. And I'd like to thank her or find a channel to thank her for her initiative. And her comment, you may recall, is Madam Chair or words to that effect. Could you say something in the way of hope for all of the observers out there in the dark so they know what to expect, whether to come back into the room or at what time or some kind of intelligent expectation. And I was quite surprised for her young years. That's a sign of strong leadership potential. And I think it warrants kudos being sent to her. If you could perhaps convey that message to her. I think it would be, well, well-founded.
I will. And if you'd like to, you can send her a message as well. It's her it's her name is Karen is also Cara Nezar, a Green Party Nazia. But I will share the message and I do. I did appreciate that as well.
And I mentioned at the start of this meeting that I think we can conduct our federal council meetings more collegially and more professionally and more more warmly in a sense that the observers are, in a sense, our guests. And so, you know, as you have, as you do with any party and you have guests, you treat them well, you invite them and you say, thank you for coming, have a drink. You know, this is what's going on. And when the party is about to be finished, you know, we give them time to put on their coats, their shoes, grab their purses and their glasses and leave. And, you know, and so for federal council, I think it'd be nice to come out of an in camera session or just before we're about to finish to say, OK, that's it for the meeting tonight. Thank you for showing up. Minutes will be circulated in a day or two. You know, be on the lookout for that. And the committee, the whole meeting is coming up next week and whatnot. You know, just give a nice, you know, a nice conclusion to the meeting and the people feel welcomed and respected and then invited to the next one go.
All right, thank you.
Ok, all right, well, I'm going to I'd like to conclude it on this one. Yeah, let's let's have another one of these and and we'll do our best to make federal council more inclusive and more representative and and a better functioning body.
Absolutely. And on that note, I'll just make a plug for a little project a few of us have put together. We're calling the transparency project to provide a little rigour and organization around those of us who are interested in watching and improving federal council. So we've got an email group and some other initiatives happening, including a survey that people can fill out after a after a federal council meeting in order to generate some sort of ongoing data points and sort of continuous improvement feedback for for council. So I'll just put a link in the in the chat for that. And thank you all for showing up.
We had 30 to 34 people at different points throughout through this session, which I think is fantastic.
It's great that people are are interested and really appreciate Adrian's willingness to be on the hot seat for an hour and a bit and do his best to answer some pretty pointed questions. I think we need a lot more of that. And and hopefully the idea of this sort of thing will trickle out to some of the other councillors and more of this will happen across the country as well. So talk it up.
Thank you, everyone. Thank you for taking the time and being here with us. I believe you. You too. You're welcome.
And some holdouts. So.
How do you think I think that went pretty well. I was pretty pleased with the with the amount of participation and you still handled pretty well. Yeah, I'm going to copy the chat. And this thing was recording as well. So I'll send you out some some notes and some things you can follow up on. OK. OK, later and give people more feedback. I think it's great.
Ok, bye, David. Thank you.
18:58:24 From Grace Workman-Porecki : Hello everyone!
19:01:29 From George Orr : Donald Trump just said he will concede once the Electoral College votes are cast
19:02:46 From Jason Scott : Fixed my name. Hazard of using my son's laptop.
19:07:02 From Christine Elwell : Hi Adrian, what can we local EDA's do to help you? Christine UR GPC
19:10:35 From Andrew Hazen : Pre-submitted question: Can you bring the amount of the Executive Director and Leader's total compensation packages, including benefits, or let us know why that isn't possible given that executive salaries are always made public by ethical organizations as anti-corruption trust-building measures?"
19:10:58 From Matthew Aequitus : I created a one page introduction sheet I created in the absence of one. I can share that but other EDAs may have a better one...
19:11:28 From Eric Uyttewaal : Ingrid, the EDA 2.0 email discussion group would immediately share that type of material if you ask for it. Are you member of EDA 2.0?
19:11:44 From Grace Workman-Porecki : That sounds good, Matthew!
19:12:35 From Peter Forint (Pickering-Uxbridge) : An HR lawyer should weigh in on the last one...
19:13:01 From Karen Brill : Hi Grace. Here is a link to an "intro to the Green Party" presentation that is being shared through the Green Party EDA and CA in Peterborough - Kawartha. As forwarded by Matthew P.
19:13:11 From Grace Workman-Porecki : Eric, can you share the EDA 2.0 email discussion group info? What type of material to they have?
19:14:10 From Grace Workman-Porecki : Thanks, Karen! I’ll take a look!
19:16:43 From Andrew Hazen : Pre-submitted question: Provincial Green parties have almost no in camera time. What are our plans to reduce in camera time to near zero, and what are our plans to make in camera sessions harder to make happen?
19:17:32 From Honora Nedwidek : Post-election campaign debrief reports are generally shared with the membership at the convention following the election year. The post-2015 election report was shared with members on the website and in hard copy at the 2016 Convention, for example :)
19:18:18 From John Willson Barrie-Innisfil : Honora, can you provide a link to the post-2015 election report?
19:20:16 From George Orr : Honora, if its done, get it out. Sitting on it for one moment longer is a disservice to those of us on the ground.
19:21:08 From George Orr : I have also asked to see the data that goes into this work
19:22:21 From Honora Nedwidek : I didn’t say it was done, George :)
19:22:31 From Mark.Mackenzie : When I was on Council we never discussed any wage issues or HR policy for staff etc. That was all the responsibility of the ED. The only HR issue that FC should have is with respect to the ED only. Unless something has changed?
19:22:33 From Honora Nedwidek : John, I will see if I can pull that up!
19:22:38 From david momotiuk - (i/we/he/they/you) : Speculation about election-readiness is in my opinion all a bunch of distraction. If the NDP want to pressure a Spring-Election during COVID, it shows you full-well what they think of over-all Healthcare and Public-Safety. (((sigh...))) :-(
19:22:51 From John Willson Barrie-Innisfil : @Honora, awesome, thanks so much.
19:26:32 From TBSN Greens : well said Adrian!
19:29:29 From TBSN Greens : ad hoc in camera happened in sept for sure
19:32:31 From David - Burlington : Can you bring to Federal Council a motion to make HQ staff make more use of volunteers for election readiness training? The leadup to the 2019 election and during the writ period had a drastic shortage of GPC HQ Elections Organizers and this left many EDA;s with needs that were not being met.
19:33:56 From Ingrid’s iPad : Ggod point David.
19:39:05 From John Willson Barrie-Innisfil : There is no excuse to not sign the NDA... and the other organization was so concerned about our employees that they took a greater risk than the GPC was prepared to accept and issued a public statement instead, putting us to shame: https://youthcoalition.org/youth-coalition-for-sexual-and-reproductive-rights-ycsrr-official-statement/#_ftn1
19:39:11 From Mark.Mackenzie : Fund was to hire the firm and report to the Executive (for some unstated reason)
19:39:42 From michael pilling : whistleblower absolutely
19:40:03 From John Willson Barrie-Innisfil : Can we do a vote to see how many of us agree with Peter?
19:41:07 From Michael Barkley : Peter is right on, not a dime
19:43:49 From Paul GALLAGHER : would be good to publish the agenda to all (including thec’observers’). I have never been provided or offered an agenda.
19:44:08 From Paul GALLAGHER : preferably in advance of the meeting please.
19:45:03 From John Willson Barrie-Innisfil : This was the NDA that the GPC Executive Council refused to sign, and kept from Full Council, which was simply to accept information from an employee's ex-employer. https://growthandrenewal.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/YCSRR-Green-Party-NDA-20203.pdf
19:45:04 From Andrew Hazen : The current Council Handbook that Michael PIlling is currently referring to actually REQUIRES the Agenda and Supporting Materials to be distributed to all Observers AT LEAST 48 hours in advance.
19:45:46 From Paul GALLAGHER : WOW! how about that. May EC someone
19:46:30 From Paul GALLAGHER : whoops, maybe someone (Adrian?) might like to remind of, or make that assertion ??
19:47:28 From John Willson Barrie-Innisfil : Copy of latest Council handbook, which are the functional 'rules and procedures' for Council: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cveGQD3-rVc5wcjlzCeEZtor3npm_Zc4/view?usp=sharing
19:49:07 From david momotiuk - (i/we/he/they/you) : In my opinion, anyone ever... should NOT sign an NDA. It makes no ethical sense, and it might actually be legally inappropriate and non-sensible.
19:49:08 From Andrew Hazen : How much money has been committed and/or spent since October 29, 2019, by the Green Party of Canada, and/or the "Fund" and/or Federal Council on severances, agreed upon resignations, past grievances and/or present grievances. I do realize that the individuals involved should not and cannot be named, that's why I am asking for a grand total, not a detailed list.
19:52:05 From Paul GALLAGHER : Thankyou John Wilson, for the link
19:53:32 From michael pilling : allowing more volunteers on all committees is a key part of fc handbook reform
19:54:10 From Eric Uyttewaal : For anyone interested in signing up for EDA 2.0, please send an email to Michael Strumberger <email@example.com> with a request to join
19:54:37 From Grace Workman-Porecki : Thank you, Eric :)
19:55:34 From michael pilling : thank you to Adrian, Andrew and all attendees! this is a big step forward
19:56:31 From David - Burlington : When will the next Ask Adrian anything be held? This has been wonderful.
19:56:41 From michael pilling : all of our problems can be and hopefully will be quickly behind us
19:57:06 From Grace Workman-Porecki : Agreed, David!
19:57:07 From michael pilling : if we start talking to each other in an open and inclusive way like this meeting
19:57:58 From Grace Workman-Porecki : Yes, Michael - this seems like a nice step forward.
19:58:28 From Paul GALLAGHER : 😁🧐🍀🍀🍀
19:59:06 From Peter Forint (Pickering-Uxbridge) : Slow to hire, slow to fire...
19:59:50 From Eric Uyttewaal : Adrian, thank you very much for you openness, your courage and your willingness to serve us as members! I look forward to our next Ask Adrian Anything session; time well spent!
20:00:41 From David - Burlington : If you don't learn something every day you are dead.
20:00:57 From david momotiuk - (i/we/he/they/you) : Regarding EDA's... in my opinion, the more important issue is to actually FORM more of them. Nationally, there are about 238 GREEN EDA's. That means there are about 100 riding's that when elections are called, they are simply putting forth "paper-candidate's" with limited Campaign Support.
20:01:36 From Karen Brill : Thanks to all. This was very helpful.
20:03:34 From Honora Nedwidek : @John Willson
20:07:01 From Mark.Mackenzie : I was also very impressed with Kiara's comment. Unfortunately some of us waited to come back into the meeting. When the meeting reconvened, all they did was adjourn the meeting. Very strange...but Kiara tried to look out for the observers which is a start
20:07:05 From Eric Uyttewaal : Andrew, thank you for taking this initiative and moderating!
20:07:07 From Peter Forint (Pickering-Uxbridge) : THanks all...
20:07:23 From George Orr : gotta go. Adrian, thanks
20:07:48 From Grace Workman-Porecki : Thank you, Adrian :)
20:07:49 From John Willson Barrie-Innisfil : Thank you @Honora!
20:08:11 From Andrew Hazen : https://gpcmembers.com/processes/the-transparency-project
20:08:11 From Grace Workman-Porecki : Thank you, Andrew!
20:08:15 From Marianne Workman : thank you
20:08:48 From David - Burlington : Thank you Adrian and all participants.
Report inappropriate content
Is this content inappropriate?