I’ve left the email formatting in place to maintain as much accuracy in this as possible. Private information (email addresses and phone numbers) have been omitted.

From: Joe Anglin [email address omitted]
Subject: Letter from the Interim Leader
Date: September 28, 2008 12:43:22 PM MDT (CA)
To: Joe Anglin [email address omitted]

Letter from the Interim Leader,

There are those who grew this party from a “small group of dedicated people.” They met in small groups and planned and organized. They agreed on how to do things as they talked around the table. That is easy to do in a small group. They deserve our gratitude for getting this all started.

But as the party grows, from 25 - 50 people at a meeting to 150, to perhaps 1500, you need different skills and a different way of running it. You need more structure, more rules that everyone knows and lives by.

From how we vote, to how we speak, to how we make decisions, to what our policies are, and will be…it needs to be laid out in writing, accessible to all members particularly new people who are wanting to become members and be involved. It cannot simply reside in the collective memories and assumptions of those who began the movement.

Yesterday`s AGM is a classic example of growing pains. Our leadership was approached back in June and July to address these issues of organization. I informed the leadership myself; I intended to address these issues at the September AGM. I invited the leadership to work with me before the AGM and for reasons of their own they decided not to accept my invitation. For reasons of their own, they did not choose to inform the executive and membership of my concerns.

On Sunday, September 6, 2008, two weeks before the official due date, I submitted my motion calling for the establishment of a constitutional committee tasked with the responsibility to organize and schedule a constitutional convention to be convened 2009. On September 20, 2008 a motion was submitted by another member, calling for the establishment of a process to conduct a leadership review. We as the Alberta Greens believe in fixed election dates, and we believe in holding elected officials accountable.

I understand that many members felt they were not properly informed or were not allotted enough time to consider the motions. I agree completely! I think our constitution is woefully inadequate, but it is all we have to work with. We have no by-laws and no rules in which to guide a functional and fair process. Our constitution does allow for mail in ballots but that provision was not implemented in this situation. I agree with everyone concerned, mail in ballots should have been allowed. However, these were decisions made by the leadership and the executive who were responsible for organizing the AGM, and we complied with their decisions, insofar as they were consistent with the constitution of the party.

Before the meeting opened the Leader of the Alberta Greens, George Read; Secretary, Madeleine Oldershaw; CFO, David Crowe; Membership Coordinator, Kathy Burman; Deputy Leader, Kim Warnke; and President Susan Stratton left the gathering and did not return. The members in attendance were given no explanation as to why they didn’t return. Prior to them leaving the Moriningside Hall grounds a person to be identified later as the husband of one of the executive came into the hall from the back door leading to the parking lot, and shouted this meeting is cancelled. He quickly left the hall.

Once properly notified, consistent with our constitution and Roberts Rules of Order, a meeting must be convened and can only be adjourned by the membership. No individual or small group has the authority to circumvent the majority of the membership in attendance at a general meeting. A secret meeting conducted in a parking lot that excludes the membership in attendance is not just morally wrong it is unconstitutional.

Two executive members in attendance, Deputy Leader Peter Johnson and Elections Readiness Coordinator Midge Lambert remained. In the absence of George Read and President Susan Stratton, Deputy Leader Peter Johnson convened the meeting until the 120 members in attendance elected Dr. Sean Maw to assume responsibility as chairman. Dr Maw did a brilliant job.

There were several moments of contentious debate throughout the day. However, the members in attendance relied upon the Alberta Greens` constitution, as inadequate as I may think it is, to guide the meeting to a democratic resolution of each contentious issue.

Officers Elected at this Year’s AGM

Connie Jensen of Buck Lake was elected the new president of the Alberta Greens. Edwin Erickson, of Buck Lake and Will Munsey of New Sarepta were elected Deputy Leaders. David Crowe of Calgary was re-elected as CFO. Kathy Burman of Calgary was elected as Membership Coordinator, and Danielle Roberts of Calgary was elected as Communications Coordinator.

A constitutional motion was passed calling for a leadership review. As a result there was a vote of non-confidence. In my opinion, had George Read remained at the meeting he may not have failed a leadership review. Nominations were then submitted from the floor, in order to elect an interim leader. Peter Johnson, Mark MacGillivray, and Joe Anglin were nominated, and Joe Anglin was elected interim leader of the Alberta Greens.

The purpose of the title interim leader is to make it clear to the membership that this is not an attempt to take over the party or some underhanded effort to form a new party. The purpose of the title is to convey that this is a temporary position until a proper and fair leadership race can be called whereby all members have a chance to express their views.

The motion authorizing the creation of a constitutional committee delegated with the authority to organize a constitutional convention was passed before adjourning the AGM. This committee will set rules and procedures to receive submissions, and will establish a schedule for the process of creating by-laws, rules, and the adoption of a new constitution. We are now seeking members to participate on this committee.

A proper leadership race will take place, and will conclude at this constitutional convention (general meeting). As your newly elected interim leader I have not decided whether or not I will run for the party`s leadership. My only goal at this moment is to help foster a fair and transparent process so this party can grow.

I ask all of you to act responsibly and speak to each other about the events of the past week. I particularly ask you to go directly to the source and not rely upon second hand information or hearsay. I understand there was a large amount of misinformation circulating before the AGM. There were press releases sent out in my name that did not originate from me. I also understand that Peter Johnston was a victim of the same style of e-mail fraud. We are better people than this type of behaviour portrays.


Joe Anglin
Interim Leader Alberta Greens