Following the work of the 2019 Canadian High Performance Strategy action plan which identified the importance of a governance code for the sports system, and building on the years of COC investment in governance as part of the NSO enhancement investment, the COC decided with partners like B2ten, to join forces with the sport community to support and accelerate this fundamental part of the Canadian sport system.
A working group was convened in February 2020. A sub-group of the Working Group has met regularly. The sub-group is comprised of Eric Myles and Marg McGregor of COC, JD Miller of B2ten, Gord Peterson who chairs COC’s Governance Committee and David Matlow who is a partner at Goodmans. The sub-group reviewed governance codes of other nations, researched best practices in the sports and business contexts and discussed the approach to drafting a governance code and the appropriate best practices to include in a code.
The proposed terms of a governance code were discussed with the Working Group at several meetings, introduced to the sport community at a COC gathering on November 5, 2020 and was the subject of two webinars held on December 3, 2020 and January 6, 2021 to which all NSOs and other interested parties were invited. The webinars provided an opportunity for all participants to ask questions and provide input. Those webinars continue to be available for viewing at https://nso.olympic.ca/coc-nso-sport-governance-code/. All input that was received during this first phase of the consultation process was considered and revisions to the proposed Code reflecting this input was discussed with the Working Group on January 19.
Following that discussion the Code was revised and can be downloaded to the right.
We are now entering the final phase for consultation and input. Interested parties have an opportunity to provide their comments on the Code.
Please send your comments to Eric Myles (email@example.com) by Monday March 1, 2021.
Following submission of your comments, if you would like to arrange a meeting to further discuss same with the working group, please contact Manon Demêtre, Executive Assistant to the Chief Sport Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) at your soonest convenience however no later than March 8, 2020.
There was one particular issue that came up during consultations relating to requirements and/or interactions with international federations which we understand vary significantly from one NSO to another. Best governance practices today see the board chair elected by the directors as the directors have the most frequent interaction with the chair and as a result are most able to determine who among the independent directors is best suited for this important position. This approach is consistent with the requirements of Section 142 of the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act which provides that generally the directors appoint the officers. For certain NSOs, historical practice has been its members electing the board chair, which is inconsistent with best practice. One possible means to address this is to provide within the Code that if an NSO considers doing so to be desirable, its members can appoint a director, who is not the chair, whose functions will be that of the NSO’s representative at the international federation. Doing so would not undermine best practices and maintain the chair as an independent director elected by the other directors. If this approach is included in the Code, the supporting resources being prepared to assist NSOs in implementing the Code will include a job description for this position.
Your input with respect to this specific matter along with any other related suggestions that might assist your NSO would be appreciated.
The adoption of a Canadian Sport Governance Code will be an important development for the Canadian sport community. All input received will be considered.
Thank you in advance for your interest and support.
Chief Sport Officer