Schedule 1 - Rules of Procedure

Introduction
This Procedure Bylaw is a set of simple rules that is consistent with the general concepts of parliamentary procedures, is easily applied and anticipates most situations Council and its committees are likely to encounter. It is based upon the Simple Rules of Procedure for Occupational Licensing Agencies, authored by Thomas R. Miller and published by the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO), of which the Real Estate Council of Alberta is a member.

In order to keep these rules simple, it has been necessary to focus only on likely situations. Consequently, these rules may be inadequate to cover certain unanticipated situations. When these arise, council members will have to fashion a procedural response to the problem consistent with the spirit of these rules using common sense, charity and justice.

Subordination to Law
The Real Estate Council of Alberta must conduct its business within the boundaries set out in the Real Estate Act, Rules and Bylaws. This Procedure Bylaw covers the conduct of business at a Council or committee meeting where such business may be lawfully conducted.

These rules of procedure are not intended to address special procedural requirements of conduct proceedings under Part 3 of the Real Estate Act. In any situation where these rules of procedure could be interpreted as conflicting with any requirement of law, Council must adopt an interpretation of the rules which avoids the potential conflict.

Guiding Principles
Council members should approach the Procedure Bylaw with a spirit of goodwill and common purpose. Adherence to the rules is the responsibility of all council members.

Interpretation of the Procedure Bylaw must be guided by the following principles:

  1. fair and open debate
  2. majority rule
  3. courtesy
  4. good order
  5. common sense
  6. efficiency

The goal is to move business along, to ensure majority rule, and to provide the minority with a right to be heard. Because the rules in the Procedure Bylaw are few, and there is not a rule for every situation that may arise, it is incumbent upon council members to apply the rules guided by the principles above.

The Rules of Procedure

1.

Majority Rule

 

(a)  Each member has one vote on a matter on which the Council votes.
(b)  Except as may be otherwise provided by law, all decisions by Council shall be made upon a vote of a majority of the members present at a meeting, a quorum being in attendance.
(c)  Before a vote is taken by Council, a member may request the vote be recorded.
(d)  If there are an equal number of votes for and against a motion, the motion is defeated.

   

2.

Duties and Powers of the Chair

 

a)

The chair shall preside at all meetings when present. When the chair is not present, the Chair-elect shall preside. If there is no Chair-elect, Council shall designate a temporary chair to preside in the chair’s absence.

 

b)

The chair may initiate action and participate in debate on any matter with the same rights and privileges as any other member and the chair shall vote on every matter before Council, unless first excused or disqualified as provided in the Procedure Bylaw.

 

c)

The chair shall exercise the following powers impartially and without favour:

 

 

i)

to recognize any member or other person to address the chair or Council;

 

 

ii)

to reasonably regulate the course of debate consistent with the Procedure Bylaw, including the time allotted to any speaker;

 

 

iii)

to reframe or restate any motion as an aid to the moving party;

 

 

iv)

to enforce the Procedure Bylaw and to determine whether a motion, petition, or remarks of any person is out of order when the same has been brought into question by any member or upon the chair’s own motion;

 

 

v)

to deviate from the agenda or order of business when fairness or the convenience of Council may require it;

 

 

vi)

to call the members to a meeting, to call meetings to order, to call a brief recess in business and to adjourn a meeting; and

 

 

vii)

to take such action consistent with the Procedure Bylaw which may be necessary to protect the rights of any person at the meeting or the dignity of the meeting.

 

d)

Appeal of any procedural ruling by the chair shall be made to Council upon the motion of any member.  Council shall decide a motion to appeal in a manner consistent with the Procedure Bylaw.  A motion to appeal shall be debated and determined immediately.

   

3.

Council Decisions

 

Except as provided in Rule 4, decisions by Council shall be made upon the motion of any member. Any member present and not disqualified may make a motion, including the chair or other presiding officer. No second shall be required for any motion.

   

4.

Proceeding without Objection

 

On routine matters and any other matter when it appears to the chair that council members are of one mind, the chair may state the action to be taken and call for objections from council members. The matter shall be deemed approved if no member objects. Upon the objection of any member, the matter shall be decided only following a motion and appropriate debate.

   

5.

Course of Debate

 

a)

On any matter where reports are to be considered, the reports shall be considered before a motion to determine the matter shall be permitted.

 

b)

The chair may permit general discussion of a matter before a motion to determine the matter is made. Otherwise, no discussion or debate of a matter shall be allowed until such a motion is made.

 

c)

Debate shall be allowed following every motion for which, under the rules, debate is allowed. No member shall be unreasonably excluded from debate.

 

d)

Whenever possible, the chair shall call upon the member making a motion to speak first and shall recognize a member who has not spoken before a member who has previously spoken on the motion.

 

e)

Except as may be expressly permitted in these rules, no member or person in attendance at a meeting shall speak except without first being recognized by the chair. The chair shall not unreasonably withhold recognition from any individual wishing to speak.

 

f)

Except for questions of a member allowed by the chair, all discussion and debate will be addressed to the chair or to Council generally. When a question is permitted of a member recognized to speak, that member shall not surrender the right to reasonably conclude any remarks following the response to the question.

 

g)

All remarks shall be civil in content and in tone. Whenever possible, a speaker shall avoid merely repeating the remarks of a previous speaker.

   

6.

Main Motions

 

When a motion which disposes of a main issue before Council is pending, Council shall not consider another such motion.

   

7.

Affirmative Language

 

Whenever possible, motions should be cast in affirmative language.

   

8.

Inappropriate Motions

 

Dilatory, frivolous, rude or absurd motions and motions which are contrary to the Procedure Bylaw shall not be allowed.

   

9.

Procedural Motions

 

a)

The motions set forth in paragraph (b) of this rule are the only procedural motions which may be considered when a main or substantive motion is pending. Other motions shall not be considered. The procedural motions set forth in paragraph (b) of this rule also may be offered at other times as appropriate. Except as may be provided in paragraph (c) of this rule, a procedural motion is debatable and may be amended.

 

b)

Procedural motions shall follow the following order of rank or precedence. A procedural motion with a lower rank may not be considered while a motion of higher rank is pending.

           

 

 

 

Rank

Motion

 

 

 

 

First

To appeal a ruling of the chair or other presiding officer

 

 

 

 

Second

To recess the meeting

 

 

 

 

Third

To lay a matter upon the table

 

 

 

 

Fourth

To postpone action indefinitely

 

 

 

 

Fifth

To postpone action until a date certain

 

 

 

 

Sixth

To take up from the table

 

 

 

 

Seventh

To call the previous question to a vote

 

 

 

 

Eighth

To amend

 

 

 

 

Ninth

To make a substitute motion

 

 

 

 

Tenth

To refer to a committee

 

 

 

 

Eleventh

To withdraw a pending motion

 

           

 

c)

Concerning procedural motions:

 

 

1)

To appeal a ruling of the chair – This motion may be made by any council member immediately following the ruling which is the subject of the motion.  A member may appeal only procedural rulings with this motion as contemplated in Rule 2(d).

 

 

2)

To recess the meeting – This motion may be made to request a brief recess only. A recess ordered under this rule may be for any reason.

 

 

3)

To lay a matter upon the table – This motion will allow Council to postpone a decision on a pending main motion for a brief time during a meeting so that other business can be conducted. Unless the matter upon the table is taken up by a separate motion, it will be placed at the end of Council’s business and taken up before the meeting is adjourned. A motion to lay upon the table may not be debated or amended.

 

 

4)

To postpone indefinitely – This motion may be made to ask Council to postpone action on a main motion without any date set for resumption of consideration. Any motion postponed indefinitely shall expire unless revived by the adjournment of the second regular meeting of the Council following the meeting at which the motion was postponed. No motion substantially similar to the postponed motion shall be considered by Council unless a timely motion to revive consideration of the postponed motion is adopted by the Council. This motion is debatable.

 

 

5)

To postpone consideration to a date (and time) certain – This motion calls upon Council to postpone consideration of a main motion to a date and perhaps also a time specifically identified by the moving member. While consideration of a main motion is delayed under these rules, no substantially similar motion shall be considered by Council.

 

 

6)

To call the previous question to a vote – This motion may be made only after persons desiring to speak on a pending motion have had the opportunity to speak at least once.

 

 

7)

To amend a motion –

 

 

 

a)

A motion to amend must be relevant to the motion which it seeks to amend.

 

 

 

b)

An amendment which is acceptable to the maker of the original motion shall be adopted without a vote of the members. An amendment which is not acceptable shall be adopted only upon a vote of the members. The adoption of an amendment shall not constitute the adoption of the original motion as amended.

 

 

 

c)

A motion to amend a pending motion to amend is in order, but a further motion to amend shall not be considered until disposition is made of the previous motion to amend.

 

 

8)

To make a substitute motion – A motion to treat a matter in a manner which is substantially different from a pending motion shall be offered as a substitute motion. A substitute motion may be amended as provided under Rule 7(c); however, only one substitute motion may be considered at one time. A vote to adopt or defeat a substitute motion does not dispose of the original motion.

 

 

9)

To refer to a committee – This motion permits Council to refer a pending matter to a standing committee, a committee created to consider the pending matter, or to Council’s staff. The motion shall include a date when the matter referred must be returned to Council with a report or recommendation. If the committee provides no report or recommendation within the time allowed, the referred matter shall return to Council for disposition.

 

 

10)

To withdraw a motion – A pending motion may be withdrawn by its maker at any time prior to its amendment, adoption, or defeat as long as no other procedural motion is also pending.

   

10.

Motions to Restore Matters Previously Postponed or Defeated

 

The motions described in this rule are in order only when no other motion is pending. Each motion may be debated and amended.

 

a)

To take up from the table – This motion calls for Council to take up and consider a main motion previously laid upon the table. A motion to take up an item from the table may not be made while another main motion is pending.

 

b)

To revive consideration – This motion may be used to call upon Council to revive consideration of any matter indefinitely postponed by the adoption of a motion made under Rule 9(c)(4). To be in order, a motion to revive consideration must be made before the matter to be revived expires.

 

c)

To reconsider – This motion may be used during any meeting to ask Council to reconsider any action taken during that same meeting. To be in order, the motion must be made by a member who voted with the prevailing side on the matter to be reconsidered. A motion to reconsider must be made prior to the final adjournment of the meeting at which the action to be reconsidered was taken.

   

11.

Every Member Must Vote

 

It is the duty of every council member, including the chair, to vote on every matter coming before Council. No member may abstain from voting and if any member shall fail to indicate his vote, it shall be recorded as an affirmative or “yes” vote. Voting on any matter before Council, except the appointment of the chair and Chair-elect, will be conducted by a show of hands. A member may be excused from voting by a vote of Council.

Any member may make a motion to be excused or to excuse any other member from voting. Council shall excuse a member from voting only upon grounds of a real or potential conflict of interest, direct or indirect, or the appearance of such a conflict of interest or if voting on the matter by the member will result in or create the appearance the member would be in breach of section 9(1)(c) of the Real Estate Act.

In a conflict of interest situation, the council member shall disclose the conflict in accordance with Rule 12 and ask the entire Council for permission to be excused. Where the conflict is clear, the chair may approve the request without objection under Rule 4.

Council may also excuse a member from voting upon the grounds of personal emergency or other grounds in law. However, a member shall not be excused even upon these grounds if doing so will unreasonably prevent Council from performing its duty under law.

When a member is excused from voting the reasons for the excusal must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

   

12.

Disclosure of Conflict of Interest

 

A member shall make immediate disclosure of any real or potential conflict of interest, direct or indirect, which might make participation on a given matter improper under section 9(1)(d) of the Real Estate Act.

   

13.

Points of Order and Privilege

 

a)

Any council member who believes Council is proceeding in a manner inconsistent with these rules or applicable law shall draw it to the attention of the chair with a point of order. Any council member may direct a question concerning procedure to the chair. A point of order or question of procedure may be made at any time and shall not require recognition by the chair. The chair shall determine all points of order and questions of procedure.

 

b)

Any council member who reasonably believes that the dignity, rights or safety of Council or any council member is in immediate jeopardy may raise a point of privilege to announce it. A point of privilege may be raised at any time but may not be permitted to unreasonably interrupt Council’s business. The chair shall rule on points of privilege.

   

14.

Suspension of the Rules

 

Council may suspend the application of these rules of procedure to an identified item or items of business whenever it is reasonably necessary or expedient to do so. Council may not, however, suspend any requirement of law, the application of Rules 1 or 2, or the requirement of a quorum. A motion to suspend the rules, made only when no other motion is pending, must identify the item or items of business to which it will apply. A vote of two-thirds of the council members regardless of the presence of a quorum is necessary to pass a motion to suspend the rules.

   

15.

Adjournment

 

Upon the motion of any council member, Council may vote to adjourn a meeting finally or until a specified date and time at which the meeting will resume. A motion to adjourn is debatable and, to be in order, must be made when no other motion is pending. A motion for final adjournment is out of order while any item of business is laid on the table pursuant to a motion adopted under Rule 9(c)(3).

 

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