Tibetans and Mongolians preserve their unique cultures.
Jan. 30, 2009
Present: Zasep Tulku (Venerable Zasep Rinpoche), Evan Zaleschuk
(by teleconference), Matthew Richards (by teleconference), Conrad
1. Proposal for head office move.
2. Appointment of auditor
3. Change of timing for Annual General Meeting
4. Meeting formalities
1. Proposal for head office move
The first issue our Board addressed was whether or not to move
our head office from its traditional home of Ven. Zasep Rinpoche’s
Buddhist temple, Gaden Choling in municipal Toronto.
Lately, the religious community, or Sangha, at the temple has
found that the Gaden Relief volunteer work they have had to do
over the last while, for example, the paperwork, has become a
bit of an inconvenience. However, since Gaden Relief is a Federally
recognized charity and organization, Federal legal rules would
have to be applied in the case of an address change. Our address
is in our Constitution. Therefore a change in one would mean a
change in the other and this decision would entail detailed, inconvenient
consequences. We would have to first publish, in English and French,
our intention to move our office in the “Canada Gazette”
[Federal government official publication]. We would then have
to have our decision formally approved by Industry Canada. After
this, we would have to call a meeting to vote on the decision
and eventually have it approve and ratified at an AGM. We also
felt that if we moved our office to a private address like Conrad’s;
while it would make some things easier, like clerical work, it
may also make our organization look less official and transparent
to government agencies, even sparking audits etc. If there was
a change in the membership of our Board and our office needed
to be moved again, to suit a better personal address, then we
would have to go through the whole complicated process of changing
our Constitution again. Rinpoche said that if we kept our office
at Gaden Choling he would ask one of his students there to post
all of our mail and paperwork to Conrad’s domestic address.
At this point of the conference call we decided to vote on whether
to move the Gaden Relief office to Conrad’s personal address
or keep it at the Gaden Choling address.
Unanimously, we decided to keep the office at the Gaden Choling
2. Appointment of auditor.
The Board decided that we needed to get a Chartered Accountant
to whom we could submit our tax return, within six months of our
fiscal year end: the end of each April month. This year, we were
1 month late with our return and we received a letter from the
government, threatening to revoke our charity status. Due to widespread
abuses, Revenue Canada has been closing down thousands of charities
that have not followed the official rules around their charitable
status. Conrad submitted all the proper paperwork and got everything
sorted out. This situation was a wake-up call for our Board to
make sure we are diligent in following all the official rules
around charitable status.
This was a good segueto the topic of us being more knowledgeable
about such rules and regulations. Conrad said that one of the
rules of which we were unaware is the need for our organization
to have an appointed auditor, an accountant as a disinterested
3rd party, to produce official audited statements. In other words,
to have an accountant go over our books, to make sure everything
we do is legal and proper and to stake their professional reputation
upon their work with us. This would constitute, for us, a yearly
$2000.-5000. expense. This is a Federal, not Provincial law and
supposedly Industry Canada is moving to make this process a whole
lot easier for charities. In the meantime, we will have to start
formally observing this rule. Conrad said we must make it a priority
to find a CA in the Toronto area as soon as possible. The Board
formally asked Conrad to see to this.
3. Change of timing for Annual General Meeting.
Conrad also made us aware that, officially, we need to hold our
AGM 30 days after the yearly, year-end fiscal report and that
the AGM would be held in person. As our organization is small
and decentralized, we’ve had a hard time doing this. Conrad
suggested that we change our Constitution to reflect this fact
and that we should see if we could hold our AGM up to six months
after our fiscal year and that we could do it by teleconference
call. The Board formally asked Conrad to look into this, to have
our by-laws changed and this to be submitted, with fee, to Industry
Canada to be officially approved.
4. Meeting formalities.
Legally, we must also institute a more formal structure to our
Gaden Relief meetings, such as approving and agenda, reviewing
the minutes of the previous meeting etc. The Board agreed that
hereupon we would make this so and officially start this procedure
at our next teleconference call.
End of Meeting
[Minutes prepared by Matthew Richards]