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News and Views

Changes to the Society Act on your mind? You’re not alone!

June 26, 2015

Posted in: WATSON Speaks

There is a lot of information and speculation out there about the new BC Societies Act – what you need to do and why.

As part of WATSON’s ongoing research and as we monitor the governance landscape we are keeping abreast of developments and initiatives related to the new BC Societies Act. At WATSON, we see transitioning under the new Societies Act as an opportunity to enhance governance practices and have identified three key areas where societies can optimize this window for positive change:  Bylaws, Policy Review and Renewal.

WATSON has also identified the “BIG FIVE” changes that come with very specific requirements: 

1)             Member-Funded Societies

2)             Records and Reporting Requirements

3)             Member Classes

4)             Directors – Qualifications, Restrictions and Powers

5)             Special Resolutions

As new information becomes available and enabling regulations are introduced, WATSON will be expanding its program of breakfast workshops and will publish updates on the web. WATCH this space!

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about the “Big 5”, if you’re curious about WATSON’s advice on the “three windows of opportunity” and you want to start planning for change, contact us and ask how we can help you:

  • Get informed about changes to the Act and what this means to your organization;
  • Learn how to prepare; and
  • Explore how this transition is an opportunity to improve overall governance practices.

Contact or or call 604-569-2071.


20 Questions — Building and Sustaining an Effective Board by Elizabeth Watson, Q.C.

June 23, 2015

Posted in: WATSON Views

Are you currently serving on a board? Thinking about accepting a directorship? Or interested in learning more about what such a commitment entails? Are you in a governance role and interested in building and sustaining an effective board?

You’ll want to read CPA Canada’s newly released 20 Questions Directors Should Ask about Building and Sustaining an Effective Board, authored by Elizabeth Watson, QC

Informed by WATSON’s deep expertise in governance and years of advising hundreds of individual directors, boards and organizations, 20 Questions sets out the best current thinking on:

  • recruitment and retention of board members,
  • board renewal,
  • setting term limits,
    the meaning of “diversity” and how to achieve it,
  • directorial independence, and a range of other topics.

The most significant contributor to a high performing board is the quality and experience of individuals serving on the board and the way they work together. Practical, insightful and informative, 20 Questions – Building and Sustaining an Effective Board guides you through the various stages of a board’s evolution from creation through to renewal.

Directors, aspiring directors, shareholders and others who want to explore, refresh, or deepen their understanding of how board composition impacts an organization’s ability to meet its strategic objectives, can download this practical and comprehensive document here.


Gender diversity in Australian boardrooms

April 9, 2015

Posted in: WATSON Views

The Australian Institute of Company Directors has announced a major initiative as part of a long-running campaign to improve gender diversity in Australian boardrooms.

The AICD has in the past played a leading role in the debate on board diversity. The new diversity policy asks all boards to ensure that 30 per cent of their directors are female and urges S&P/ASX200 companies to meet this new target by the end of 2018.

The new policy recognises the clear benefits that diversity brings to a board and the operations of an organisation. Importantly the policy sets a target – not a quota. A key facts sheet can be found here.

To read more the full media release click here.


New British Columbia Societies Act Introduced

April 8, 2015

Posted in: WATSON Views

The new, highly-anticipated Societies Act was introduced as Bill 24 in the British Columbia legislature for its first reading on March 25, 2015. If passed, the Societies Act will replace the current Society Act, which was enacted in 1977. WATSON is following the progress of Bill 24 and will provide updates here.


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