Have you noticed?
The Readers’ Forum section of The PEGG has been overflowing
lately with thoughtful comment on a wide variety of issues.
We have many more letters than we have space, so some of
your letters haven’t made it to print.
You may also have noticed that some of the letters have been
much longer than the 300-word limit suggested in the masthead
on the Readers’ Forum page. This is partly the result
of a Council decision.
When we first started receiving long and heated letters on
inclusivity, we decided that the letters should be printed
regardless of length, because we wanted to encourage comment
and discussion. We wanted to ensure that all viewpoints were
In addition, perhaps because we all care so much about our
professions, some of the discussion in the Readers’ Forum
has been less civil than usual, and this is an increasing
cause for concern.
I have contributed to this situation, and I apologize for
doing so. When some letters appeared that contained misinformation,
I asked our executive director to respond directly and ensure
that the facts were fairly presented. Some of his responses
had to deal with personal attacks on him and his staff, and
tensions and invectives escalated.
This was certainly not the intended result. The PEGG is a
professional publication, and everyone – members, letter
writers, volunteers and staff members – deserves to
be to be treated with dignity and respect. I should not have
put the executive director in that position.
Council has met and discussed the issue at length. We have
agreed that it was inappropriate to involve the executive
director in responses to the Readers’ Forum, and that
will cease. We have asked The PEGG editor to be more diligent
in applying the editorial policy that is summarized in the
masthead of the Readers’ Forum. We have also asked
that our independent editorial board become more involved
in advising the editor on the appropriate treatment of controversial
We intend this to distance Council and staff from moderation
of the Readers’ Forum, and so continue to encourage
open and frank discussion of issues.
Online Forum Kicks Off
We have established and will soon launch an online members’ forum
to provide another vehicle for open discussion, and we hope
that you will take the time to be involved in that as well.
Part of that forum will be the Question of the Month, which
should provide the opportunity for valuable dialogue and
insight for Council on the views of members.
One continuing issue that has been underlying many of the
comments in Readers’ Forum is the question of the roles
of Council, staff and the executive director. It is clearly
Council’s role to govern the Association. That is established
in legislation, and is what we are elected by our members
Some time ago (at least 10 years past) Council established
a task force to examine APEGGA’s governance model.
Council of the day agreed to adopt a modified Carver governance
model, and that model continues to be in force today.
Council acts as a governing board, not a management board.
Council restricts itself to policy issues, and delegates
implementation to staff. Policy issues will normally include
strategic planning, defining expected results and priorities,
and placing limitations on the means to be used to achieve
Council is accountable to our members and to the Alberta
Government for APEGGA’s overall performance.
The executive director is Council’s single link to
APEGGA staff. With the support of his staff, he is responsible
for the implementation of policies and for the ongoing operation
of the Association. He is authorized to establish subsidiary
policies, make decisions, take actions and develop activities
within the limits set by Council.
As the most senior employee of our Association, he is often
called upon to represent APEGGA and speak on APEGGA’s
behalf, and he does so with the support of Council.
Before I conclude, I want to provide a bit of an update on
inclusivity. Council has established two working groups
to deal with revisiting the concept. One group is working
with some members of the Board of Examiners to address
potential implementation issues. The second group is reviewing
and clarifying the case for change, and will be bringing
the matter to the membership for consultation later this
Please take the time to comment either directly to me, or
through one of our forums. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org,
and I look forward to hearing from you.