Message from the CCO President – January 24, 2023
One of the joys of serving as CCO President is to witness first-hand the passion and commitment demonstrated by CCO Council members in the execution of their duties to regulate chiropractic in the public interest. As president, it has been my privilege to help chair productive debate on matters before Council, and to arrive at duly undertaken decisions that serve to strengthen CCO’s overall governance.
While CCO Council has jurisdiction to pass specific by-law amendments unilaterally at any point, it was decided that hearing from and taking into account the widest range of comment on these amendments as they affect the public interest would be optimal.
The amendments were, therefore, published on December 2, 2022
and then distributed to all CCO members and stakeholders with a request for feedback until January 9, 2023. This feedback was incorporated into the publicly available Council information package
for last Friday’s meeting.
The passage of the amendment to By-Law 6 increased to six years from three years the amount of time that must have elapsed since a disciplinary finding or disqualification against any prospective Council candidate or committee appointee. The by-law takes immediate effect.
In the course of a fulsome, well-reasoned and respectful debate on the subject, Council heard that a six-year interval is already the requirement at several other Ontario healthcare colleges, such as the CNO, CPSO, CPO and COO. Extending the interval to six years was deemed to be in the public interest, as findings of professional misconduct or incompetence are serious, and Council must act ethically and with integrity in protecting the interests of the public as a whole.
Consideration was also given to the number of individuals affected by the amendment. The period of ineligibility for 2023 Council election now includes members with disciplinary findings from three – six years ago. A total of 19 members received disciplinary findings in that additional period, and are therefore now ineligible to run until their six-year interval has lapsed.
Council further considered the timetable for implementing the amendment, in particular with reference to the proximity of upcoming elections. It was noted that given CCO’s staggered terms of office, and the three-year cohort of potentially affected individuals who might wish to be eligible for candidacy, that there would always be a potential impact on an upcoming election cycle regardless of when the amendment was implemented. Moreover, it was argued that if it were in the public interest to amend the by-law, it was equally in the public interest to implement it immediately.
In the end, after thoughtful evaluation and thorough debate, Council passed the amendment by a simple majority. Keen observers of CCO governance will note that as per Section 8.8 of CCO By-law 8
that unless otherwise required by law or by by-law, every question that comes before Council may be decided by a simple majority of the votes cast at the meeting of Council members (and that if there is a tie, the chair may cast a deciding vote).
As president, I want to thank my colleagues on Council — elected and public members alike — for their spirited individual contributions and unity of purpose in holding chiropractic in Ontario to the highest standard. Thank you to stakeholders, including members, for your interest in and engagement with CCO’s regulatory work.
Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming elections for Council, with additional details to follow.