Guide to Virtual (Online) Meetings During COVID-19
- Written by Doreen Gowans
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The following are guidelines to be used by councils holding virtual (online) meetings if meetings cannot take place in person during the COVID-19 pandemic. The League is governed by the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, and at the moment, the by-laws do not allow councils to have “official” online meetings. The following is a summary of how meetings can take place, decisions can be made and councils can move forward.
- Online or virtual meetings of parish, diocesan and provincial councils can be held.
- Business can be discussed and decisions can be taken.
- The secretary or other person who would normally be recording minutes should take “notes” of the meeting.
- Decisions that do not require a motion but simply approval by those present can be made and acted on by the council.
- If an “item” would normally require a motion to confirm the action, then it should be submitted to the meeting, discussed and a vote taken.
- The “item” is either accepted or rejected. If rejected, it goes no further.
- If accepted, then a vote should be taken that the “item” be recommended for approval at the next in-person meeting of the council. If this is rejected, it goes no further.
- If accepted, the council may take any action required on the “item” recommended for approval. For example, the treasurer requested that a donation of $200.00 be made to the national voluntary fund for Catholic Missions In Canada. This “item” was voted on, discussed and accepted. The treasurer then requested the donation of $200.00 be recommended for approval at the council’s next in-person meeting. This was accepted. A cheque for $200.00 can be written and sent to national office for this donation.
- When an “item” has been recommended for approval, it should be added to a list to be maintained by the secretary (or other recording individual). These accepted “items” should be submitted as motions at the next in-person meeting of the council for formal approval and insertion in the official minutes of the in-person council meeting where they are passed.
- All “items” requiring a formal motion can be processed in this way, including other donations, approval of council official minutes, etc.
- The “notes” taken at virtual meetings should be kept for future reference (similar to minutes) so that there is a record of what has taken place by the council during all virtual meetings it holds.