At the most recent RAIC annual general meeting (AGM) in Nanaimo on June 8, a vote was taken on a motion to amend the bylaws governing the use of the post-nominal designation, MRAIC.
The motion that the Board of Directors of the RAIC had asked members to approve would have replaced the MRAIC designation by a new RAIC designation for members licensed or registered to practice architecture. The new designation would have allowed provisions for interns and retired and honorary members to use modified designations as well. The MRAIC designation would have been phased out by the end of 2019.
The vote took place at a well-attended meeting at the RAIC Festival of Architecture, and a vigorous debate was held on the motion, with heartfelt responses on both sides of the issue. Votes were cast by members in attendance and under the RAIC’s proxy system. A 2/3 vote in favour was required to pass the motion.
The initial count at the meeting suggested that the motion had passed by a small margin. Given the close vote and importance of the issue to the membership, a recount of the number of signed-in members and proxies and a review of transcripts was undertaken after the AGM.
The recount overturns the earlier result and indicates that the 2/3 majority required to pass the motion fell short by 12 votes; 250 votes were needed for the motion to pass, but only 238 votes were cast in favour. In other words, The recount indicated that the motion did not receive the number of votes needed to take effect.
The Board has istened carefully to what the membership had to say and paid attention to all comments and concerns. The point made clearly from members on both sides of the issue was that there had not been enough time for discussion and consultation on this proposed change.
As a result, the Board will revisit and reconsider the proposed approach to the designation at the next board meeting in September. The Board continues to welcome input and commits to a full discussion over the next year on the best way to move forward.
The goal of the motion was to strengthen the RAIC’s ability to advocate for architects and to protect against misuse of the designation. It was seen as a first step toward the creation of a broader, more inclusive membership base that would ensure the RAIC’s future as a substantial organization with capacity, influence, and impact. An expanded membership, which includes more licensed and registered architects, would enhance the RAIC’s role – with the public as well as decision-makers – as a leader on matters relating to the built environment.
The RAIC regrets the confusion that this has caused, and thanks all those who took the opportunity to participate in this important discussion and exercise their right to vote.
The RAIC’s strength is the engagement, passion, and expertise of its members. The Board looks forward to working together with members to continue to build an RAIC that is relevant, strong and influential as it advocates for architecture and the profession.