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CNC DECLARATION AND BY-LAWS

As adopted at the 7th, 8th and 9th Biennial CNC Conventions

Declaration and By-Laws of the Canadian Network on Cuba

1. PREAMBLE

Since the early days of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, many Canadians and Canadian organizations have supported the far-reaching and progressive achievements of the Cuban people. A number of these individuals and groups came together in the fall of 2002 to establish The Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC). The CNC believes that Cuba’s efforts to eliminate illiteracy, poverty, racism and gender inequality through measures such as universal education and health care, its internationalist compassion, vision and dedication, its commitment to the individual, the community and to democracy -- all these achievements deserve to be defended. And we also believe they must be actively defended because Cuban sovereignty has been continually threatened by a number of governments, particularly that of the U.S.A. These threats have been military, e.g., an invasion and countless acts of terrorism, and economic, e.g., the illegal and immoral Blockade. Just as we defend Canada’s right to self-determination, so, too, we support Cuba’s sovereign right to choose its own path to development, without outside pressure or interference

2. OBJECTIVES OF THE CANADIAN NETWORK ON CUBA

We are committed to the strengthening of friendship and solidarity between the peoples of Canada and Cuba. To this end, we work with the Cuban Institute for Friendship Amongst the Peoples (ICAP) and other international and national partners in order to promote social, cultural, political and economic relations between Canada and Cuba on the basis of mutual respect and non-interference. We:

• initiate, co-ordinate and co-operate in cultural, educational, political and aid campaigns and projects involving Canada and Cuba.

• counter media and other distortions of Cuban reality by disseminating information about the achievements of the Cuban revolution in areas such as education, public health, culture, democracy and human rights.

• work to improve Canadian foreign policy on Cuba.

3. MEMBERSHIP

3.1 CNC Full Membership

Open to any organization, including friendship and solidarity groups, trade unions, political parties and non-governmental groups (other than those eligible only for Associate Member status) that agrees with and abides by the CNC Declaration and pays membership dues. Full member organizations have voting rights based on the principle of one organization, one vote, except at the CNC Convention where two voting delegates are permitted.

3.2 CNC Associate Membership

Associated Membership is open to any individual, non-membership based group, and is the only membership category for groups that have travel, tour or other for-profit commercial connections with Cuba and agree with and abides by the CNC Declaration and pays membership dues. Associate Members are permitted to participate in all CNC discussions but are excluded from voting.

3.3 New Membership Applications

Qualifying for CNC membership requires agreement with the CNC's objectives and to abide by CNC by-laws, an application that establishes a practice of solidarity and friendship work with Cuba, as well as a reference from a Full Member Group. All member applications (Full and Associate) must be reviewed and approved by a majority of CNC Full Member Groups in good standing.

3.3.1 The Role of the Executive in New Applications

The CNC Executive reviews all membership applications and must convene a vote. When a new membership application is received, the Executive evaluates the application for its completeness. The application is then forwarded to member groups with any recommendation with explanation from the Executive as well the reference of the Full Member Group, and the deadline for voting. The Executive then collects and announces the result of the vote.

3.3.2 The Role of CNC Member Groups in New Applications

Full Member Groups in good standing evaluate the application using their own internal decision making processes and information. The right of Full Members Groups to determine whether a group is admitted is unqualified, requires no explanation and is the prerogative of that group. The vote is confidential and final. Groups that do not gain admission to the CNC may reapply if the majority of Full Member Groups in good standing agree to re-open the application.

3.4 Disassociation of Member Groups

From time to time, member groups may dissociate or be removed from the CNC. Dues will not be refunded.

3.4.1 Voluntary Dissociation

Groups may disassociate from the CNC voluntarily at any time by sending a written letter to the Executive signed by the authorized representative of that group to the CNC requesting disassociation.

3.4.2 Lapsed Membership

Notification of dues in arrears will be sent on a yearly basis to Member Groups. Groups that are not in good financial standing with the CNC for more than two convention cycles will be considered to have voluntarily dissociated themselves from the CNC. They may reapply for membership in the CNC at any time.

3.4.3 Expulsion

Any Full or Associate Member that in speech or deed violates the Objectives of the CNC may be expelled by a two-thirds vote of the Full Member Groups in good standing of the CNC.

3.4.4 Appeals process for expulsion from the CNC

An expelled member organization may appeal their expulsion to the next CNC biennial convention by submitting a written appeal to the executive two months before the first day of the convention. The executive can waive the deadline for notice of an appeal in exceptional circumstances. The expelled group may speak to the convention in the session considering its appeal, and the expulsion may be over-turned by a 2/3 majority of voting delegates of Full Member groups.

3.5 Dues

CNC dues shall be collected annually at a rate of $150 per year for Full Members and $75 for Associate Members. Dues must be paid by February 1 in order for member groups to be in good standing and to vote.

4. DECISION MAKING PROCESSES

All CNC Full Member Groups in good standing may vote on resolutions at the convention or as called by the Executive between conventions or specified in the by-laws. It is the expectation of the CNC that all Member Groups will respect the democratic process and the decisions of the majority.

4.1 Quorum

All votes conducted by the Executive or Full Member Groups in good standing must have sufficient quorum to be considered binding. Quorum is defined as 50% of the executive or Full Member Groups plus one.

4.2 The Executive

4.2.1 Role of the Executive

The CNC Executive acts on behalf of the CNC between conventions and is accountable to Member Groups. The specific role of the Executive is to execute the plan of work established by CNC Member Groups at the latest CNC Convention. The Executive may also take decisions and allocate resources consistent with the benefit of Canada-Cuba solidarity and friendship. Additional responsibilities include processes relating to membership, cross-Canada representation of Member Groups, organizing the CNC Convention and other duties describe elsewhere. The executive holds a minimum of ten meetings per year.

4.2.2 Resignation or Removal of Executive Members

If a member of the Executive resigns or is unable to continue serving for any reason such as death or incapacity, the Executive may appoint an interim member from a Full Member Group in good standing at the time, taking into account regional representation. If an Executive member misses 3 consecutive Executive meetings without being excused by the Executive, following discussion/consultation with the member, the Executive may decide to drop them from membership of the Executive and appoint an interim member as per previous sentence.

5. THE CNC CONVENTION

The CNC Convention meets every two years, unless the Full Member Groups decide otherwise. The Convention elects the Executive and establishes a plan of work for the CNC for the coming two years. The Executive, in consultation with Member Groups, determines the date of the following Convention, organizes its program and conducts the Convention.

5.1 Voting Process

Only the authorized delegates of CNC Full Member Groups (maximum two per Full Member group) may vote at the Convention. The delegates' names must be communicated to the executive. Only voting delegates may speak in voting sessions of the convention. Guests, prospective members, associate members, observers, the delegates of Full Member Groups not in good standing may not vote.

5.2 Election of the Executive

Full Member Group delegates elect an Executive of seven members at the Convention. The election is conducted by a committee of three or more Full Member Group delegates to the convention (the Balloting Committee) who are not standing for the Executive. The Balloting Committee is named by the convention.

5.2.1 Who Can Serve?

Any person who is a member of a Full Member Group in good standing and who agrees to be nominated may stand for election to the Executive.

5.2.2 The Election Process

5.2.2.1 Nominations

Any delegate of a Full Member Group can nominate eligible persons for election to the Executive while nominations are open

5.2.2.2 Executive election Voting Process

Members of the Executive are elected by plurality. Delegates of Full Member Groups must cast votes for the full size of the executive, no more or fewer candidates, for their ballots to be valid. To ensure a full executive, additional rounds of voting may be required to resolve ties. Candidates stand individually, but group membership and region are noted for considerations of diversity.

6. AMENDMENTS TO BY-LAWS

Changes to the Declaration or By-Laws require a two-thirds vote of delegates of Full Member groups at the CNC convention.
 
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