ACSLPA’s Council has historically been made up of 12 individuals, 9 of whom are regulated members of the college elected by their peers and 3 of whom are appointed by the government to represent the public. Council terms for elected members are typically 3 years in duration and start January 1 of the first year and end on December 31 of the third year. Council is the governing body of the College and it directs the activities of the College, makes decisions regarding professional practice in accordance with the Health Professions Act (HPA), and sometimes hears appeals or reviews of discipline and registration cases. The public members on Council ensure the public is represented and has significant input into the decisions of the College.
Changes to Legislation affect Council Composition
On July 6 the Minister of Health, Tyler Shandro, introduced Bill 30 (the Health Statutes Amendment Act) in the Legislature which mandates that 50% of ACSLPA’s Council, along with the Councils of all regulated health colleges in Alberta, must be appointed by the government. For more information on the Bill you can go to https://www.alberta.ca/improving-public-health-care.aspx.
It has been suggested by some that this change signals the end of “self-regulation” for health professionals in Alberta and the beginning of co-regulation, where the responsibility of governing colleges is shared between the government and the regulated members of the professions.
ACSLPA’s Council held a special meeting on July 20th to discuss how ACSLPA would adapt to this new requirement. Options discussed included:
- keeping the Council size at 12 (which would mean reducing the number of elected members by 3); or
- increasing the size of Council to 18 (so that the number of elected council members could stay at 9).
In the end, Council decided the best way to comply with the new composition requirements would be to reduce the number of elected council members and keep the overall number of council members at 12.
Elections Discontinued for 2020, will Resume in 2021
The process to fill 3 upcoming vacancies on Council was underway when Bill 30 was announced. Individuals who would have been elected to those positions would normally have started their terms in January 2021 but, all things considered, it makes the most sense to leave the 3 vacancies unfilled rather than have to terminate 3 council positions in April. This means that Council elections are discontinued for 2020. More vacancies will open up on Council next year as terms come to their natural end; therefore there will be elections again in 2021.
ACSLPA would like to extend a sincere “thank you” to everyone who stepped forward as candidates for this year’s elections. We hope you will consider putting your names forward again next year.