December 9/02 4:28 am - An Editorial Analysis
Posted by Editor on 12/9/02
CCA AGM - Will This be Real Change?
Editor's Note: In the interests of full disclosure, I will acknowledge that I allowed my name to be put forward for a position on the Board.
On December 8th, the Canadian Cycling Association held its Annual General Meeting in Montreal. The 2002 AGM was particularly interesting because a new governance structure was to be voted upon and, if successfully implemented, the new Board would be the first to work under the new system.
We have outlined the structure previously (see Daily News - October 29/02) for complete details but, briefly, the new Board is made up of a President, 5 Directors at Large and an Athlete Director. There are four Committees, and an Inter-provincial Council (IPC) for the provinces. The Board is concerned with policy and the Committees will work on their specific areas, while the Director General (formerly Executive Director) works to implement policy, liaise with committees and oversee staff.
As we stated in our earlier report, the structure has some good features to it, notably those allowing the Board to focus on policy and direction of the CCA as a whole.
The new structure was passed by the exisiting Board, and individuals were elected to fill all positions in the new structure. We are pleased to see that there were multiple candidates for almost every position, and that the elected members all offer considerable experience and knowledge. The complete slate of elections is:
Board of Directors:
President (3 years) - Bill Kinash (SK)
Directors at large (2 year term) - Loyal Ma (AB)
Directors at large (2 year term) - Pierre Thibault (QC)
Directors at large (2 year term) - John Tolkamp (BC)
Directors at large (1 year term) - Paul Carter (QC)
Directors at large (1 year term) - Leslie Tomlinson (BC)
Note: the Athlete Director is Andreas Hestler (BC)
Program Committee Chairs:
Chair High Performance (2 years) - Warren Lister (SK)
Chair Athlete and Coach Development (1 year) - Lister Farrar (BC)
Chair Events (2 years) - Louis Barbeau (QC) Acclaimed
Chair Officials (1 year) - Wayne Pomario (BC)
High Performance Committee Members:
Road and Track representative (1 year) - Andy Holmwood (AB)
Mountain Bike representative (2 years) - Dave Benson (MB)
Athlete and Coach Development Committee Members:
Road and Track representative (1 year) - Steve McCarthy (AB)
Mountain Bike representative (2 years) - Eric Reid (MB)
Events Committee Members:
Member at large (2 years) - Luc Bujold (NB)
Member at large (1 year) - Adam Ruppel (ON)
Officials Committee Members:
Road and Track official (2 years) - Louise Lalonde (QC) Acclaimed
Mountain Bike official (1 year) - Jim Bratrude (NS) Acclaimed
The CCA has struggled for sometime with poor relations with the provinces, and has had a public relations problem with the grassroots racer, who often distrusts the actions and activities of the Association. In addition, many feel that the CCA could do a better job of attracting corporate sponsors and marketing the national team for needed revenues. While these suspicions may be justified in certain cases, in general, we feel that the CCA has done a reasonable job, especially considering the budgetary constraints they labour under.
One of the major benefits of the new structure is that it offers the opportunity to inject new blood and new processes into the organization, something that has been sorely lacking for the past few years. Unfortunately, the people in charge will remain largely the same as the previous administration, and the geographic dynamics of the new Board and Committees does not inspire a tremendous amount of confidence.
The Board consists of 7 individuals, including the President and the Athlete Director. Three of the those seven are from BC, one from Alberta, one from Saskatchewan and two from Quebec (although Paul Carter is only recently a resident of this province, and is probably the least "tied" to a province). Viewed from an historical perspective, the Board consists of 5 people who have been involved in the previous structure for some years, and only two newcomers - Tomlinson and Tolkamp.
The situation becomes even more skewed, when you realize that two of the four Committees are chaired by BCers, and a third by an Albertan. Of the 19 positions, New Brunswick placed one person on a Committee, as did Ontario and Nova Scotia. Quebec did slightly better, with one Board member, one Committee Chair, and one other Committee Member. It is not good when any region dominates the organization, as western members could attest from years past.
The current slate could lead to some troubling scenarios. For example, BC has had a fairly recent acrimonious period with the CCA. What will happen if (and we hope when) the Events Committee tries to persuade BC organizers of Delta and Whiterock (and even Gastown) to take out sorely needed UCI sanctions to help bump up Canada's UCI ranking?
In the past there has been resistance from the provincial body over this suggestion - will the BC Board and Committee members work in the best interests of the sport nationally, or will they support provincial interests and possibly stifle western-based UCI races? With the Worlds in Hamilton next year, it would be highly embarassing if Canada could only put one rider in the men's road race, due to a low UCI ranking (this year we had no rider allotment until a last minute change by the UCI).
The new structure was set in place to separate out day-to-day and administrative activities from policy initiatives. If the Board gets bogged down in regional or sectoral versus national interests, then all the changes may have been for nothing.
We urge the newly elected Board and Committee members to make the most of this opportunity for a fresh start. You have one chance, so make the most of it.