Annual general meeting - motions

Annual general meeting - motions

Four motions were approved at the 2019 Doctors Nova Scotia (DNS) annual general meeting.

Doctors Nova Scotia (DNS) has developed guidelines to help members prepare clear, concise and relevant motions. 

Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie endorsed as president-elect

Members endorsed Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie as the 2019–20 President-Elect. Dr. MacQuarrie is an obstetrician and gynecologist with South Shore Women’s Health and the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s Northern Zone Department Head for Maternal and Child Health. Dr. MacQuarrie welcomes this opportunity to work with DNS and physicians in Nova Scotia. She understands the health-care landscape and how each of the unique players can contribute to positive change in health services in this province. Dr. MacQuarrie is a physician leader in her own right who has strengthened her skills with formal leadership development over the past several years. She has served as Section Chair for the Obstetrics and Gynecology section since 2015 and has been the Section Forum Chair and a member of the DNS Board of Directors since 2016.

Section of Physician Leaders/Administrators

The new Section of Physician Leaders/Administrators was approved.

On April 5, the Board of Directors endorsed an application to form a new Section of Physician Leaders/Administrators. The Board determined that the application met the requirements for forming a new section as outlined in the association’s Rules and Regulations. A section for physician leaders would enable those working in leadership positions in the health system to connect with aspiring leaders to improve physician engagement and input into health-system planning and decision-making, including problem-solving health-system issues

Suspending member dues for short-term locum placements

This motion was approved and will allow the association to waive membership dues for any physician who holds a temporary licence with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia to provide locum coverage in Nova Scotia for six weeks or less. The DNS by-laws state that the annual general meeting is responsible for the setting of dues. In November 2018 the Board of Directors passed a motion to temporarily waive those dues until a motion could be passed at the AGM.

One of the many issues facing our members is the difficulty in getting out-of-province locum coverage. The challenges for locums primarily relate to fees and administrative burden. This is the association’s contribution to reducing these obstacles, therefore making it easier for out-of-province locums to practise here.

Approval of revised by-laws

Delegates approved two changes to the association’s by-laws as proposed by the Governance Committee.

The first change was to Section 6.4 – changing the membership category from “emergency membership” to “temporary membership.” This aligns with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia’s Temporary Membership category and includes locum and emergency members.

The second change was to Section 15, which refers to policies that, if violated, could lead to a member being removed from the Board or a committee. The new Board and Committee Attendance Policy says that “The Board may, by a motion requiring a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote, remove any director, officer or committee member before the expiration of the person’s term if his/her conduct is found to be in violation of the code of Ethics, Respectful Workplace Policy, Board and Committee Attendance Policy or the Code of Conduct, or for any other reason that the Board in its discretion may determine to be valid.”

Members' Forum replaces motions from the floor

As motions are not accepted from the floor at the AGM, the Board has added a Members' Forum as part of the business meeting. This session is an open, informal forum for members to discuss with the DNS Board Executive and senior staff any key activities and issues the member finds interesting and relevant. Guidelines for the Members' Forum include objectives and an outline of the process.

Members are welcome to submit questions for the members' forum in advance to Charmaine Smith

Implementation of motions

If a motion to change the bylaws is approved at the AGM, the change comes into effect immediately. All other resolutions approved at the AGM will be reviewed by the Board of Directors in the year following the AGM.

It’s the responsibility of the Board to identify implications and determine the association's ability to carry out the resolution. The Board will take the following factors into consideration:

  • Alignment with the strategic plan and direction
  • Financial resources required
  • Staff resources required
  • Best interests of the association
  • Legal implications
  • Alignment with best practices in business and governance


Charmaine Smith
Director, corporate services
1-800-563-3427 ext. 4930