Elections Archives

Enfranchisement Principles Applied to Overturn Results of Election

In Ngouandi v. Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise (A.C.F.) Inc. (released July 2018), the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench applied broad pro-enfranchisement principles to overturn the results of the election of the president and regional board member of a Saskatchewan non-profit association representing the Francophone community in Saskatchewan.

Judicial Review of Elections

The Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act permits a corporation, or any director or member of the corporation, to apply to court to determine any controversy with respect to an election or appointment of a director. (The Act also allows an application in respect of the election or appointment of a public accountant, but this would rarely arise and will be ignored for the purpose of this article.) Applications to court involving the election of directors may determine who controls the corporation and, therefore, are much more likely to arise in litigation.

A Court's Inherent Power to Postpone a Properly Called Election

In Toronto Humane Society v. Milne (a 2001 decision), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ordered a meeting of members to be postponed even though it had been properly called. The meeting, called for the purpose of electing a new board of directors, had been called with the minimum amount of required notice and deprived the members of an opportunity to consider an alternative slate.

Appeal to Members to Resolve Problem of Rival Boards

Croatian Peasant Party of Ontario v. Zorkin (decided 1981) involved warring factions within a not-for-profit corporation, each of which had called meetings to pass by-laws and elect directors, resulting in total confusion. The Ontario Supreme Court held that the only way to resolve the governance issues was to hold a court-ordered meeting of members at which the board of directors would be elected and a set of by-laws would be confirmed.

Sask. Court Invalidates Election and Orders New List of Members

In Ray v. Morin (decided in 2002), Justice Allbright of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench found that there were sufficient grounds to invalidate an election of directors of a non-profit corporation and order the compilation of a new list of members and a fresh election based on the new list.

Close Elections Equal Closer Scrutiny

In Garcha v. Khalsa Diwan Society - New Westminster (decided in 2006), the British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld a trial court decision setting aside a close election of directors of a religious institution governed by the British Columbia Society Act (now the Societies Act).

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