November 15, 2009
At LO’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in January, 2008, a request was made to investigate Horticulture Membership status. The issue is whether Horticultural Members should be allowed to represent the interests of Active Members on the Board of Directors. The bylaw committee met and made the following recommendations at the annual general meeting in January, 2009.

The Association is “owned” by Active Members and was formed to benefit Active Members. Active Members are “companies” (not individuals) who are actively engaged full time in the business of horticulture, defined as: “Companies who design, install and maintain landscapes; grow plant material; retail plant material and garden-related products and services.” They are the only ones who can sit and vote at a Provincial Board of Directors meeting.

Horticultural Members are individuals (not companies) who have an interest in the horticultural industry. They may be teachers, garden communicators, government employees, etc. Currently, they are allowed to participate in chapters and sector groups, but they cannot make up more than 20 per cent of the group. They are not allowed on the Provincial Board of Directors and are not allowed to vote at the AGM.

History of bylaw

Originally the bylaw committee recommended that Horticultural Members be allowed to sit on the Board, but with no vote. The board asked the committee to re-visit the issue and to consider adding the right to vote. After much debate and discussion, the committee withdrew the recommendation in favour of the status quo, with no voting rights and no board representation. After much debate at the board level, new recommendations and motions were developed and brought to last year’s AGM.  

The following motions were made at the AGM, January, 2009:

Motion 1:  “To approve all proposed changes except Article 5, Section 3.” Motion by Tom Intven, Canadale Nurseries/Seconded by Alan White, Turf Systems.


Note: This motion was essentially housekeeping. It updated the language without affecting the intent of the bylaw.    

Motion 2: “To approve a change to Article 5, Section 3 to add the words, ‘Horticultural Member representing chapter Active Members.’

Motion by Beth Edney, Designs by the Yard/ Seconded by Lindsay Drake  Nightingale, Yorkshire Garden Services.

Decision was to return to the bylaw committee for further study.

Note: This motion would have allowed chapters to choose a Horticultural Member to represent their interests at the Board of Directors with full voting rights.   

Bylaw wording

Old Bylaw (Article 5 - Section 3)

“The Directors must be Active Members in good standing with the Corporation and must be at least 18 years of age.”

Proposed change (Article 5- Section 3)

“The Directors must be Active Members or a Horticultural Member representing Chapter Active Members in good standing with the Corporation and must be at least 18 years of age.”

This second motion did pass.  After general discussion, a request was made by the members asking the bylaw committee to revisit this section of the bylaws and report to the board of directors.

The bylaw committee met and presented the following proposed change to the board of directors at the July 15, 2009 meeting. It was reviewed, discussed and approved by the board of directors. As per the bylaws – any changes to the bylaws must be forwarded to all members 30 days prior to the Annual General Meeting.  Please review the following bylaw change, which is to be presented to the members at the next Annual General Meeting, scheduled for January 13, 2010.

Suggested board motion

Whereas the role of bylaws is to clarify the purpose and intent of the association
Whereas the bylaws outline the rules that protect the intent and ownership of the association
Whereas the association was formed to advance the interests of the “owners” defined as the “Active” category of membership
Whereas interests of “Active” members are best protected and advanced by ensuring that “Active” members have the controlling votes at the Provincial Board of Directors meetings.
Whereas in certain controlled circumstances it is possible for a non-active member to represent the interest of the “Active” Member
Whereas the following bylaw change will absolutely protect the integrity, intent and ownership of the association while at the same time allow non-active members under the authority of “Active” members to represent “Active” Members
Be it resolved that the Bylaw Committee recommends the following change to Article 5 Section 3 from:
“The Directors must be Active Members in good standing of the Corporation and be at least 18 years of age.”
“The Directors must be Active Members in good standing with the Corporation and must be at least 18 years of age.
Non-Active members may serve on the Board of Directors under the following conditions:
  • Unanimous annual vote of the chapter and or sector group board
  • Unanimous annual vote of the Provincial Board of Directors
  • Non-active members may not exceed 2 board members
  • Non- active members will not be allowed on the executive
  • Only elected board members may vote on this issue

Be sure your voice as an LO member is heard – attend the AGM and vote. It will be held at 8 a.m. on Wed., Jan. 13, 2010, at the Doubletree International Plaza Hotel, 655 Dixon Rd., Toronto. Free breakfast is served, starting at 7:30 a.m. An RSVP is appreciated to Kathleen Pugliese at at 905-875-1805, or 1-800-265-5656, ext. 309, or