The Green Party of Saskatchewan
Constitution and Provincial Bylaws

Table of Contents

Section One - Constitution
Section Two - Provincial Bylaws

 

Constitution of the Green Party of Saskatchewan

1.0      Name

The Green Party of Saskatchewan is a political organisation registered under the Election Act of Saskatchewan, and is hereinafter referred to as the GPS or the Party.     (The Constitution and Bylaws were originally adopted under the name  "The New Green Alliance Party of Saskatchewan".  The name was changed at the Spring 2005 Convention to be the "Green Party of Saskatchewan" but none of the policies nor its constitution have changed as it is still the same Party.)

2.0      Principles

Every member of the GPS shall abide by the following principles in the actions within the Party.

2.1       Ecological Wisdom

Human societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society that utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture which replenishes the soil, move to an energy efficient economy and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.

2.2       Social and Economic Justice

We believe in the right of every person of working age to socially useful and environmentally sustainable work, access for every person to free education and health care, and adequate food, clothing and shelter.

2.3       Participatory Democracy

All citizens must be able to directly participate as equals in the environmental, economic and political decisions that affect their lives.

2.4       Personal, Social and Global Responsibility

We believe individuals should act to improve the well being of themselves and their communities, and at the same time, enhance ecological balance and social harmony. We seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice and the health of the planet.

2.5       Community Based Economics

We recognize it is essential to create a vibrant and sustainable economic system, one that can create jobs and provide a decent standard of living for all people while maintaining a healthy ecological balance. A successful economic system will offer meaningful work with dignity, while paying a "living wage" which reflects the real value of a person's work. Local communities must develop an economy that assures protection of the environment and worker's rights, broad citizen participation in planning, and enhancement of our quality of life. We support cooperatives and public enterprises that distribute resources and control to more people through democratic participation.

2.6       Cooperation and Mutual Aid

We believe in the concept of a cooperative rather than competitive human society. While both these elements exist in Nature (including human nature), our industrial society has placed far too much emphasis on competition. A change in outlook away from competition and towards cooperation and mutual aid must take place both at the personal, social and global levels.

2.7       Respect for Diversity

We believe in honouring the cultural, spiritual, racial and sexual diversity that exists in human societies. We also believe in respecting the diversity that is found in Nature, by striving to protect, restore and enhance the biological diversity on which healthy Nature and all future life depends.

2.8       Peace and Non-Violence

Regardless of differences, we recognize the inherent value of all life. The GPS commits itself to the establishment of a demilitarized society, based on mutual cooperation and non-violent conflict resolution amongst all people and nations.

2.9      Decentralization

We must return power and responsibility to individuals, communities and regions. We must encourage the flourishing of regionally based culture, rather than a dominant monoculture. We must have a decentralized democratic society with our political, economic and social institutions locating power on the smallest scale that is efficient and practical. We must reconcile the need for community and regional self-determination with the need for appropriate centralized regulation in certain matters.

2.10   Gender Equity

We value women and men equally. We therefore support active and equal involvement of women in politics and encourage women in politics to assume positions of power.

3.0      Objectives

The objectives of the GPS shall be:

3.1      to run candidates and contest provincial elections,

3.2      to inspire and educate people in the principles of ecology and democratic socialism,

3.3      to promote a society where environmental and social concerns are given precedence over short-term economic gain.

3.4      to stimulate thought and discussion between members about the future of democratic socialism and ecology, and to translate these discussions into positive action,

3.5      to meet with and support environmentalists and democratic socialists in Canada and around the world,

3.6      to advance the right of all citizens to be well informed, and have easy access to a wide range of public policy options, by means of an open, democratically controlled media.

3.7      to work toward a society where all citizens are encouraged to share fully in a democratic process that is inclusive and transparent.

4.0      Composition

4.1      The GPS is composed of its members as a whole.

4.2      The Group is the basic organizational unit of the Green Party of Saskatchewan. A Group is a collective of people who have a sufficient sense of identity and community to be able to work together to achieve the aims of the GPS. A Group may be people working together in a neighbourbood, constituency, at a place of work, with a community or popular organization, or around a particular issue.

4.3      A Regional Steering Committee is a committee struck to coordinate the activities of several Groups within a geographic area.

4.4      The Provincial Council is a committee composed of members from each Regional Steering Committee and coordinates the activities of Groups on a provincial level.

4.5      The Provincial Executive, including the Party Leader is elected at Convention and is charged with managing Party affairs between Conventions. The Provincial Executive fulfills the requirements of the Election Act of Saskatchewan.

5.0      Use of Feminine/Masculine Words

Words in the Constitution denoting the female or male gender shall be deemed to include the other.

6.0      Democratic Control - Responsibility

6.1      The highest authority resides and comes from the membership operating democratically.

6.2      Under ordinary circumstances, this highest authority will be exercised by the members acting at the Annual Convention of the Green Party of Saskatchewan.

6.3      The Annual Convention will elect the Party Leader, and Provincial Executive members in whom authority and responsibility will be entrusted between Annual conventions, in accordance with the terms of the Constitution.

6.4      The Green Party of Saskatchewan Premier shall appoint Cabinet Ministers from a list of MLAs provided by the membership.

6.5      The elected officers and Party representatives at all levels shall apply, in performance of their duties the policies laid down and dictated by the members through Annual Convention or referendum vote.

6.6      In order to facilitate the continual development of new ideas, and discourage the creation of a managerial elite, all elected positions shall be limited to a maximum of three years, followed by a hiatus from office for a period of at least one year. The provisions of this article may be waived for a individual by a two thirds majority vote at Annual Convention.

6.7      For similar reasons, an GPS candidate who has served continuously as an elected MLA for eight years or more shall not be eligible for nomination in the immediately following election. The provisions of this article may be waived for a individual by a two thirds majority vote at Annual Convention.

7.0      Membership

Eligibility for Membership

7.1      Membership shall be open to every Saskatchewan resident who subscribes to the Constitution and Principles of the Party, provided she is not a member of any other provincial political party registered under the Saskatchewan Election Act.

7.2      Every applicant for membership shall sign an application, the contents of which shall be prescribed by the Bylaws of the Party. Applications for membership shall be made to the Regional Steering Committee. Members shall be in good standing provided they pay their annual membership fees as prescribed in the Bylaws of the Party.

Rights and Duties of Members

7.3      All members of the GPS enjoy equal rights without discrimination.

7.4      A member, who is in good standing may:

7.4.1      attend and speak at all meetings of the GPS,

7.4.2      attend, speak and vote at Annual Convention,

7.4.3      vote on GPS referenda,

7.4.4      hold office in the GPS,

7.4.5      exercise any other rights afforded under the Constitution and Bylaws of the GPS.

7.5      Each member shall declare their commitment to the Party's principles, and agree to abide by the Party's Constitution and Bylaws.

8.0      Amendments to the Constitution and Provincial Bylaws

8.1      For amendments to the Constitution, at least two-thirds of the members present at an Annual Convention or Special General Meeting called for such a vote must agree with the changes.

8.2      For amendments to the Provincial Bylaws, at least one half plus one of the members present at an Annual Convention or Special General Meeting called for such a vote must agree with the changes.


Provincial Bylaws of the Green Party of Saskatchewan

1.0      Groups

1.1      The minimum number for a Group shall be five members.

1.2.      Any Group may join with other Groups or divide itself to form project or interest Groups. Groups within a region may form regional groups.

1.3      Every Group shall inform a Regional Steering Committee of the nature of the Group, and the name of a contact person, in order to coordinate the activities of Groups and allow other members of the GPS to become involved in their activities.

1.4      The internal organization of the Group is the responsibility of the Group members, provided always that the highest authority in the group shall be the membership in a duly constituted meeting.

1.5      Funds raised by a Group shall be split with the provincial party, according to guidelines or bylaws set by Convention.

1.6      When a Provincial or Municipal election is called Groups shall work together on an electoral constituency basis.

1.7      All decisions in GPS Groups shall be made by consensus. This means by the agreement of most participants, with dissenters and abstainers agreeing to recognize the majority opinion as the Groups decision. If those who do not agree do not give their consent, a 75% vote for or against shall be necessary to produce a Group decision. Those who do not agree with the decision may have their objections included in any minutes recorded.

1.8      All advertising and promotional material produced by groups within the Green Party of Saskatchewan shall clearly indicate the name of the group that authorised its production and/or publication. The name "Green Party of Saskatchewan" shall not be used by itself for any materials which have not been approved by groups representing the entire membership, such as the provincial Executive, Council, or a General Meeting of members.

2.0.      Membership

Loss of Status of Member in Good Standing and Reinstatement

2.1      A member shall no longer be a member in good standing of the GPS when:

2.1.1.      such member has been suspended from membership in accordance with the provisions of Article 3,

2.1.2      such member is in arrears of six months or more in the payment of yearly membership fees.

2.2      The loss of member in good standing in accordance with the preceding section is automatic.

2.3      A member may be reinstated as a member in good standing when:

2.3.1.      the suspension imposed has ended,

2.3.2.      such member has paid all arrears in membership fees.

2.4      A member who wishes to be reinstated as a member in good standing shall notify the Regional Steering Committee. The Regional Steering Committee shall ensure that the conditions provided for in the preceding section have been fulfilled. When they have been fulfilled, the member is reinstated as a member in good standing.

Loss of Membership and Readmission

2.5.      A person shall no longer be a member of the GPS when:

2.5.1      such member resigns from the GPS

2.5.2      such member is expelled from the GPS in accordance with the provisions of Article 3,

2.5.3.      such member is in arrears of 12 months or more in payment of membership fees.

2.6     Any person who has been expelled from the GPS may be readmitted as a member in good standing provided such member complies with the provisions of Section 7.1 of the Constitution, Section 2.4 of the Provincial Bylaws and fulfills the other conditions which may be required by the Discipline Committee.

General

2.7.      Notwithstanding Section 2.1 upon written request of a member, the Regional Steering Committee may allow a member who is in arrears in the payment of membership fees to remain a member in good standing when the member is in financial difficulty.

3.0      Discipline

3.1.      Penalties may be imposed on a member or officer if he has committed any of the following offences:

3.1.1      committed a fraudulent or dishonest act against the Party,

3.1.2     obtained membership through fraudulent means or misrepresentation,

3.1.3      having fraudulently received or misappropriated any assets or money belonging to the Party,

3.1.4      having published or circulated, either verbally or otherwise, false reports or misrepresentation concerning any member or officer of the Party in respect to any matter connected with the affairs of the Party,

3.1.5      having furnished without proper authority to do so, a complete or partial list of the Party membership to any person or persons other than those whose official positions entitles them to have such a list,

3.1.6      having published or circulated either verbally or otherwise, reports which were designed or calculated to injure the Party,

3.1.7.      having repeatedly brought unsubstantiated or frivolous charges against other members.

3.2      The following penalties may be imposed on a member or officer of the Party:

3.2.1.      written reprimand,

3.2.2.      removal from office

3.2.3      suspension from membership for a specified period of time,

3.2.4      expulsion from the Party.

3.3.      The aforesaid penalties may be enacted pursuant to the following rules and procedures in the following sections.

3.4  The Regional Steering Committee shall constitute a Disciplinary Committee composed of three members. These members shall be randomly selected from a pool of members in the Region willing to sit on the Disciplinary Committee. .

3.5  On receipt of a charge against a member or officer, the Disciplinary Committee shall convene a hearing as soon as possible and the plaintiff and accused shall be given not less than seven days notice of the date, time and place of the hearing.

3.6  The Disciplinary Committee shall hear the charge with impartiality and equity and it shall give the accused and the plaintiff the opportunity to present evidence and arguments. It shall ensure that the accused and plaintiff are allowed to be represented by witnesses presented by the adversary. It shall maintain order during the hearing. In every case, the onus of proof is upon the plaintiff and she shall present her evidence first.

3.7.  The Disciplinary Committee shall determine its own rule of procedure for the hearing and may in particular:

3.7.1      decide where and when the hearing will be held,

3.7.2      grant postponements and adjournments,

3.7.3.      intervene in the hearing and ask questions,

3.7.4      proceed in the absence of the plaintiff or accused if they have been duly notified about the hearing.

3.8  If the Disciplinary Committee comes to the conclusion that the accused is guilty of the offence as charged, it shall decide on the penalty to be imposed. The decision shall be rendered in writing and forwarded to the accused, the plaintiff and the Provincial Executive in strict confidence. The decision of the Disciplinary Committee shall be implemented immediately.

3.9  The accused or the plaintiff shall have the right to appeal the decision of the Disciplinary Committee to a general membership meeting. The person who wishes to appeal shall advise the Regional Steering committee in writing of their desire to appeal not later than 30 days after the decision of the Disciplinary Committee.

3.10.  In the context of the appeal procedure to the general meeting, the Disciplinary Committee will present the reasons for their decision and the person appealing will present their evidence and argument to support the appeal. Following the presentation, a vote will be taken on the appeal. The decision of the meeting will be final and binding on the Party.

General Rules Concerning Charges

3.11  Subject to the other provisions of this article, any member in good standing who considers that another member, officer or representative has committed an offense pursuant to sections 7.1 may lay a charge against this member, officer or representative. The Provincial Executive, Regional Steering Committee Executive and Constituency Executive may also lay a charge against a member, an officer or a representative.

3.12  No charge can be laid later than 90 days after the day the member who is filing the charge became aware of the offence.

4.0      Candidate Selection

4.1.  In an electoral district where there is an Constituency Association, selection may be conducted by the Association, subject to approval by the Regional Steering Committee.

4.2.  In an electoral district where there is no Constituency Association but where there are Party members, selection will be conducted by a meeting or other process mandated by general meeting or the Provincial Executive.

4.3  In an electoral district where there is no Constituency Association and there are no Party members, selection will be made by general meeting, Provincial Executive or by some procedure or committee mandated by one of these bodies.

5.0      Meetings

5.1      There shall be nine types of meetings - Annual Convention, General Membership, Provincial Executive, Provincial Council, Regional Steering Committee, Committee, Constituency, Group and Nomination.

5.2      There shall be at least one Annual Convention held every fiscal year It shall be held no later than six months after the end of the previous fiscal year.

5.3      Committees will hold meeting at the call of the chairperson of the Committee. There shall be at least four Provincial Executive meetings annually.

6.0      Decision Making

6.1      All decision making will attempt to be made by consensus. This procedure will attempt to include sufficient time for effective discussion and debate.

6.2      Where consensus is not attainable, a vote shall be held.

6.3      All decision making on changes to the Constitution, Bylaws, or major policies, shall include a 30 day preview period to encourage full and effective discussion and provide the opportunity for tools like study circles to be utilized.

6.4      A secret ballot on any vote at any meeting shall be required if three members present request the secret ballot.

6.5      At general meetings, a vote shall be called on all decisions.

6.6.      Each meeting shall have an agenda, a chairperson and a secretary.

6.7      A Special General Meeting shall be by petition in writing of the lesser of one-third of the membership or 50 members to the Provincial Executive. The Provincial Executive shall have the power to call, at any time, a Special General Meeting of the members.

7.0      Quorum

7.1.      Quorum for the Annual Convention and General Meeting shall be one-third of the membership or 20 members whichever is less and a majority of the Provincial Executive members.

7.2      Quorum for the Provincial Executive, Regional Steering Committees, and other committees shall be at least half of the committee members.

7.3      Quorum for a constituency Nomination meeting shall be at least five members within the constituency in question.

8.0      Provincial Executive Officers

Election of Provincial Executive Officers

8.1      The Party Leader is a member of the Provincial Executive.

8.2      All Provincial Executive officers shall be elected by vote at the Annual Convention.

8.3.      The nomination and election of Provincial Executive officers shall take place on the last day of the Annual Convention and shall be a special order of business until completed.

8.4.     The order of election shall be as follows:
8.4.1  Party Leader
Duties:
- To be responsible as the external/public voice of the Green Party of Saskatchewan
- To respond in a timely fashion, contact requests from the public, media, and organizations primarily based in Saskatchewan.
- To ensure that the passed resolutions of the Green Party of Saskatchewan are effectively communicated to the public.

8.4.2  Party President
Duties:
- To be responsible for the internal/member voice and
direction of the Green Party of Saskatchewan
- To ENSURE Executive, Annual, and Special Meetings of
the Green Party of Saskatchewan are properly constituted and called when necessary.

    8.4.3   Party Vice-President
Duties:
- To support the President in his/her duties
- To be the acting President when the President is unable to fulfill his/her duties for a short period of time between the Annual General Meeting

    8.4.4   Secretary:
Duties:
- To record minutes of each Executive, Annual, and Special Meeting of the Green Party of Saskatchewan.

    8.4.5 Treasurer/Chief Official Agent
Duties:
- To be responsible for the Provincial Accounts of the Green Party of Saskatchewan
- To be the main contact of the Green Party of Saskatchewan with Elections Saskatchewan
- To ensure the Green Party of Saskatchewan fulfills it's obligations as set out in the Saskatchewan Elections Act.

8.5   The Provincial Executive Officers shall:
- Act pro-actively to ensure the orderly functioning of the party within the framework and spirit of the Constitution of the Green Party of Saskatchewan,
- Ensure that all functionary positions are filled, - Ensure that all functionary responsibilities are undertaken in a timely and expeditious manner Engage in long term planning.
- Ensure all passed resolutions of theGreen Party of Saskatchewan are acted upon in a timely and expedient manner.
- Be the voice of the general membership in-between annual general meetings.

8.6  Nominations for positions on the Provincial Executive shall take place on the Convention floor and the nominees are elected by a vote of the membership.

8.7      After nominations to an office are closed, the nominator will be allowed up to three minutes to speak in favour of her nominee.

8.8      A nominee will be permitted up to three minutes in which to make an acceptance speech to the Convention.

8.9      If there are more than two contestants for an office and no candidate has received a majority of those voting, the candidate with the least votes shall be eliminated and another vote shall be held to ascertain whether a majority of those voting favour one of the remaining candidates. This shall continue until a majority of those voting cast ballots in favour on one candidate.

8.10      The installation of Provincial Executive officers shall take place at the last meeting prior to adjournment of the Convention and the Provincial Executive officers shall assume their offices immediately after such installation.

8.11.      The term of office for Party Leader and other members of the Provincial Executive officers shall be for one year.

Vacancy in a Position on the Provincial Executive

8.12.  The Vice-President shall automatically become President should this position become vacant during a term of office.

8.13  If a position other than Party Leader or President should become vacant on the Provincial Executive during a term of office, the Provincial Executive shall have the right to appoint another party member to the vacant position.

Vacancy in the Position of Party Leader

8.14.  If the position of Party Leader should become vacant during a term in office, the Provincial Executive shall have the authority to appoint an interim Leader until a new Party Leader is elected at a Special Party Leadership election. The Special Party Leadership Election shall take place no later than 60 days after the position of Party Leader becomes vacant. The Special Party Leadership Election shall be open to all members in good standing.

9.0      Finance

9.1  The fiscal year of the GPS shall be from January 1st to December 31st.

Salaries of Staff and Representatives

9.2      The maximum yearly salary of staff, officers and representatives shall be no greater than the average yearly provincial unionized wage. Fringe benefits will be similar to that attained by unionized workers in the province.

Political Contributions and Annual Membership Fees

9.3      Political contributions to the GPS shall be limited to a yearly maximum of $3500.

9.4      Political contributions will only be accepted from private individuals.

9.5.      No financial contribution will be accepted from any organisation except the Green Party of Canada.

9.6      The annual membership fee shall be set at the Annual Convention.

Party Funds

9.7    All funds raised by a Regional Steering Committee, Constituency Assocation, or other Group within the GPS shall be allocated in the following proportions:

9.7.1      8% of all funds for which a federal tax receipt is to be issued shall be returned to the head office of the Green Party of Canada

9.7.2.      All GPS membership fees, plus 12% of all donations shall be allocated for use by the provincial party generally, and administered by the Provincial Executive

9.7.3      The remaining 80% of contributions (or 88% in the case of non-tax-receiptable donations made directly to the Party) shall be allocated for use by the Committee or Group that raised the funds.

9.8    Groups may choose to redesignate funds available to them to other Groups within the GPS, as deemed necessary.

9.9   All money raised shall be deposited in a financial institution (preferably a Credit Union) and/or invested in accordance with the laws of the provinces dealing with the investment of monies by trustees, the whole as determined and decided by the Provincial Executive.

9.10.  The Party funds must be used for Party purposes only.

9.11  In the case where a donation is for a candidates deposit to allow that person to run for the GPS in a provincial election, that s/he will receive the full 100% of the donation back. The provincial party will not subtract the 12% in the situation of it being for a candidate‚Äôs deposit

10.0  Annual Convention

10.1.      The timing of the Annual Convention shall be as specified in Article 5 of the Constitution, and shall be open to all members in good standing.

10.2  Should the scheduled timing of Annual Convention conflict with other party activities, the Provincial Executive is empowered to bring forward or delay the date of such Annual Convention by no more than two months. Such action shall require a two-thirds majority support from the Provincial Executive.

10.3  The Provincial Executive shall issue the official call to such Annual Convention at least two months prior to the date of the Convention.

10.4  The general purposes of the Annual Convention are:

10.4.1     to receive reports from the Provincial Executive officers in order to respond to the members on how they have carried out their responsibilities during the year and their opinions on the tasks of the GPS in the period ahead,

10.4.2      to discuss and adopt resolutions involving solutions to members common needs and concerns,

10.4.3      to decide on the policies of the GPS for the period ahead, following democratic debate and a vote on resolutions duly submitted to the Convention,

10.4.4.      to deal with any other issue, duly submitted to the Convention, concerning the common good and welfare of the Party and the public generally,

10.4.5.      to deal with any proposed changes in the Constitution or Bylaws,

10.4.6      to elect the officers who will comprise the Provincial Executive from the time they have taken the oath of office after such election.

Resolutions

10.5.  Members, Groups, Regional Steering Committees, and the Provincial Executive may submit resolutions for action at the Annual Convention.

10.6.  Such resolutions shall be sent to the Provincial Secretary at least two months prior to the date of the Annual Convention. The Provincial Secretary shall ensure that copies of all resolutions submitted in writing to her for consideration at the Annual Convention are made available to all members at least six weeks prior to the opening of the Convention.

10.7  The Convention shall have committees, some of which will commence work in advance of the Convention to assure the most democratic and efficient functioning of the Convention. These committees shall be open to all members in good standing.

10.8  The Resolutions and Bylaws Committee shall review all resolutions which have been duly submitted before the Convention, group them by subject matter or amalgamate them according to the intent of the resolutions. The Committee shall review the resolutions to amend the Constitution or Bylaws, draft the constitutional text, determine the order of presentation to the Convention in accordance with the order of priority outlined in section 14.12 and make recommendations to the Convention regarding the purpose of the resolution taking into account, where need be, the present Constitution.

10.9.  The Election Committee shall be responsible for conducting nominations, determining the eligibility of those being nominated, be responsible for preparing ballots, be responsible for explaining election procedures to the Convention and shall be responsible for counting of the ballots, reporting of numbers of votes for each candidate, destroying the ballots, all of which shall be subject to the decision of the Convention. No member may be on the Election Committee who is an Elected Legislated Representative. No member may be on the Election Committee who is a candidate for Party Leader or the Provincial Executive.

10.10  Other committees which may be required during the course of the Convention shall be elected by the Convention.

10.11  All Convention committees shall have a non-voting member of the Provincial Executive.

10.12.  Resolutions for which adequate notice has not been given may only be considered if this is acceptable to a two-thirds majority of those attending the Convention.

Agenda and Vote

10.13  A Convention Planning Committee shall prepare the agenda and schedule for the various matters coming before the Convention. The Convention Agenda should normally include:

10.13.1      report of the Provincial Executive,

10.13.2      written reports of Officers who are members of the Provincial Executive,

10.13.3      report of the Resolutions and Bylaws Committee,

10.13.4.      Resolutions,

10.13.5.      Appeals,

10.13.6      Reports of other committees in the order determined by the Provincial Executive,

10.13.7.      Election of the Party Leader

10.13.8.      Election of other Provincial Executive Officers

10.13.9.      Other Business as determined by the Convention.