THE GREATER TORONTO KURDISH HOUSE
Adopted May 2007 by the Executive Committee of K.H. and amended by
Revised Feb. 01, 2010
For the purpose of this constitution:
“T.G.T.K.H.” shall mean The Greater Toronto Kurdish House, commonly referred to as Kurdish House (KH)
“Kurdish” shall mean that which pertains to the Kurds.
“Kurds” shall mean persons whose distinctive ethnic background in terms of racial, cultural, or linguistic characteristics is identical to the inhabitants of the geographic region in the adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria commonly referred to as Kurdistan.
“Kurdistani” shall mean persons who live in Kurdistan regardless of their ethnic origins or consider themselves to be Kurdish by virtue of ancestry.
“By-Law” shall mean standing rules governing the membership of the KH made under this constitution on matters of internal regulation and administration of the KH
“Congress” shall mean a meeting of internal membership of the KH convened by the Executive Committee in accordance with the By-Laws.
“Act” shall mean the Corporation Act of the province of Ontario.
ARTICLE I – NAME
This organization shall be known as The Greater Toronto Kurdish House
ARTICLE II – REGISTERED OFFICE
The registered office of the KH shall be located at 1658 Victoria Park Ave., unit #201, Toronto, Ontario, M1R 1P7.
ARTICLE III – OBJECTS
The objects of K.H. shall be:
- a) To promote kinship, identity, and unity among the members of the Kurdish community, living in the Greater Toronto and surrounding areas, by uniting them under an umbrella organization, regardless of their political, religious or regional backgrounds.
- b) To promote and support our peaceful culture by rejecting violence of any kind.
- c) To preserve and promote the Kurdish language, culture and heritage among members of the local Kurdish community and Canadian society at large.
- d) To provide counseling and supportive social services to the members of the Kurdish community in their native language, in the matter of housing, language instruction and employment training.
- e) The Greater Toronto Kurdish House strives to reach out to all other communities’ mutual support and co-operation.
- f) To support the right of Kurdish women and to promote the prevention of violence toward Kurdish women and children.
- g) To support the struggle of the Kurdish people in attaining their right of self-determination and to encourage communication with other cultural communities living in Canada in order to promote awareness of Kurdish national and human rights.
- h) To foster business and cultural relations between Canada’s government and Canadian companies with Kurdish businesses and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
- i) To work towards creating and broadcasting Kurdish programs using all means of mass media to inform government leaders, media, and human rights organizations in Canada about plight of the Kurds.
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP
Membership in the KH will be in accordance with the By-Laws and is open to members of the Kurdish community who are of the age of 16 or over.
ARTICLE V – MEMBERSHIP FEES
The Executive Committee shall recommend the amount of the annual fee to the annual Congress for its final determination.
ARTICLE VI – ORGANIZATION
a. There shall be an Executive Committee (E.C.) consisting of:
i the immediate Past President
ii the President
iii the Vice-President
iv the Six Executive Officers
v the Secretary
vi the Treasurer
b. The members of the Executive Committee shall be named, appointed, or elected as follows:
1. The immediate past President shall be named a member of the Executive Committee at the annual Congress of the KH
2. The President, the vice-president, the Executive Officers, the Secretary, and the Treasurer shall be elected at the annual Congress by vote of the members present thereat* as follows:
- There shall be a 45-day cut-off meeting of the current EC (prior to the Congress) for the nomination of candidates for the EC where the candidates should be seconded by at least 3 members of the current EC. There shall be valid and documented reasons for refusing candidates.
- All the new candidates must have been an active member of KH for at least 3 months
- All new members of the EC shall be elected by majority of votes in the Congress
- Candidates for the positions of President, Vice-President, and Treasurer shall:
- I. Be proficient in both Kurdish and English
- II. Have post-secondary education (college diploma or higher)
- III. Not be an active or representing member of any non-Canadian political organization
* In the interest of stability and continuity of work, five of the original Executive Committee of KH shall automatically become members of the Executive Committee during the first two Congresses of KH following incorporation of the organization.
3. All mid-term vacancies on the Executive Committee shall be filled by the Executive Committee from a slate of three substitute candidates pre-elected at the annual Congress by vote of the members present thereat.
4. At least one of the EC members should be female.
5. Special considerations should be given to candidates is such a fashion as to represent Kurds from all four parts of the greater Kurdistan as outlined in the “Definitions” section above.
c) The term of office of the newly elected Executive Committee shall commence at the conclusion of the annual Congress at which it was elected.
- There shall be a Congress to represent the membership at large, comprised of all K.H. members who have been a member of the KH in good standing for at least Six months prior to the meeting of the Congress.
NOTE: This pre-condition is waived for Honorary Members.
- The Congress is the supreme legislative body of the KH which meets at least biyearly.
ARTICLE VII – BY-LAWS
The biyearly Congress of the K.H. may pass by-laws not inconsistent with this Constitution concerning:
- The procedure for election of the Executive Committee;
- The management of its property and its own internal organization and administration;
- The time, place, and conduct of the annual congress and other meetings of the KH;
- The appointment of auditors;
- All other matters as are deemed necessary or convenient for the promotion of the welfare of the members or the conduct of the business of the KH.
ARTICLE VIII – AMENDMENTS
i) Amendments to this Constitution may be made by a two-thirds vote of the members present in person or by proxy, provided that:
ii) Member’s identification is verified,
iii) Each participant of the Congress shall have proxy of one member only,
iv) One of these situations applies: illness, physically out of Ontario, death of family or close friend, personal or family emergency) such as at the annual Congress or an extra-ordinary Congress specifically called for that purpose
THE GREATER TORONTO KURDISH HOUSE
BY – LAWS
BY–LAW I – FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the KH shall end on December 31 each year.
BY-LAW II – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1 – TYPES OF MEMBERSHIP
A. Regular Members:
All members of the Kurdish community are eligible for membership provided that they:
i. are Sixteen years of age or over,
ii. Agree to subscribe to the Constitution and By-Laws of the KH,
iii. Pay the prescribed membership fees unless waived or deferred – on justified grounds – by the Executive Committee.
iv. Have no criminal record or other major public conviction
B. Honorary Members:
Honorary Membership may be conferred upon active friends of the Kurds or distinguished persons for valuable services rendered to the Kurds or Kurdish community if the Executive Committee so determines.
Section 2 – RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES, AND DUTIES OF MEMBERS:
A. Regular Members:
Regular members shall have all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of membership including the right to vote, to stand for elections, and to participate in debate unless limited by disciplinary measures taken in accordance with the By-Laws.
b. Honorary Members:
Honorary Members shall not be entitled to vote or to stand for elections, however, payment of membership fee remains their sole discretion.
Section 3 – TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
Membership is terminated:
- on death
- on notice of voluntary resignation given in writing to the Secretary,
- upon failure to pay the membership fees for a period of six consecutive months after the due date AND on a resolution being passed to that effect by the Executive Committee.
- on any other grounds, provided a resolution to that effect has been passed by a two-thirds vote of the members at the Congress or by at the Executive Committee.
BY-LAW III – MEETINGS
Section I – CONGRESS
- The Congress will hold a biyearly meeting not later than 18 months after incorporation and subsequently not more than 15 months after the holding of the last meeting in accordance with the law.
- The Congress may also meet at such other times as may be determined by the Executive Committee or at the written request of one-fourth of its members.
Section 2 – EXECUTICE COMMITTEE
The Executive Committee shall meet regularly as decided by a resolution of the majority of the Executive Committee or at the call of the President or at the written (i.e. fax or e-mail) request of two members of the Executive Committee to the President. Such requested meeting will be held within a reasonable time after the request.
Section 3 – QUORUM
The quorum for meetings of the Executive Committee is a majority, while that of all other meetings of the KH is 25% of the eligible members present.
Section 4 – NOTICE OF MEETINGS
- The notice of meetings of the Executive Committee shall be given in a manner determined by the Executive Committee at its first meeting.
- The notice of meetings of the Congress shall be mailed at least 25 days before the date of such meeting to the eligible members as per Article IV Section 2a and shall include a proxy form consistent with the provisions of the Act.
Section 5 – PROXIES
- Any member entitled to vote but unable to be personally present at the meeting, may- by means of a proxy- appoint a person as his nominee to attend and act at the meeting in the manner, to the extent and with the power conferred by the proxy.
- All procedural matters, such as the execution, deposit or revocation of proxies, etc., shall be in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Act.
Section 6 – PLACE OF MEETINGS
Meetings of the Executive Committee and the Congress may be held at any appropriate place within Ontario, preferably within the boundaries of the Greater Toronto Area, as the Executive Committee may deem fit and proper.
Section 7 – VOTING
Except at the Congress and where voting by secret ballot is required, voting at the meetings of the Executive Committee shall be by voice or a show of hand.
Section 8 – Order of Business of the Executive Committee
- Urgent business
- Reading of the minutes of previous meeting
- Reports of each member
- Continuation of the previous unfinished business
- New business
- Set date of next meeting
BY LAW IV- AUDITORS
- The Congress, at its first general meeting, shall appoint an auditor to hold office until the first biyearly meeting.
- The Congress, at each meeting, shall appoint an auditor to hold office until the next annual meeting.
- All other matters regarding auditors shall be handled in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Act.
BY-LAW V- DUTIES
Section 1 – PRESIDENT
- The President shall be the presiding officer and the official representative of the K.H. No official business or document (i.e. cheques) of the KH is valid without the President’s approval or signature, however, he / she remains fully accountable to the Executive Committee.
- The President, or his / her representative, shall be the Chairperson of the Executive Committee meetings and the Congress.
- The President is responsible for the overall progress of the business and activities of the K.H. and as such has the authority to delegate work to other members of the Executive Committee of the KH
- He / she shall present to the Congress an annual and detailed report of the organization for the previous year.
- He / she shall ensure that all legal requirements of the organization are fulfilled
- Where applicable, the President shall cast the tie breaker’s vote
Section 2 – VICE-PRESIDENT
The Vice-President will perform the duties of the President in his absence and such other tasks as assigned to him at other times by the President or a majority of the KH’s Executive Committee.
Section 3 – SECRETARY
It shall be the duty of the Secretary to record all minutes, keep all records and registers required by the Act, and co-ordinate meetings of the Executive Committee.
Section 4 – TREASURER
It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to maintain proper books and accounting records with respect to all financial transactions of the KH and to present monthly Financial Statement to the Executive Committee and annual detailed and duly audited financial statements for the preceding fiscal year to the Congress. The Treasurer’s signature is required on all cheques and financial documents issued by the KH along with the signature d the President or the Vice-President.
Section 5 – EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
The Executive Officers who direct the four main committees of the KH namely – a) Membership b) Public and Media Relation c) Promotions and IT d) Finance –
shall perform those duties as are mutually determined by members of the Executive Committee.
Section 6 – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to act reasonably, prudently, and sagaciously in the administration of the affairs of the KH in furtherance of its objects and to comply with the provisions of all applicable statutes and without derogating from the generality of the foregoing;
- to carry out the instructions of the Congress,
- to authorize payment of expenses incurred in the conduct of approved business of the KH,
- to convene a special meeting of the Congress on receipt of a proper requisition which is in accordance with the Act and By-Laws,
- to set up sub-Committees as may be necessary and to appoint members thereto,
- to keep the membership informed of its activities
- to deal with all matters which – in its opinion – require action between meetings of the Congress
Section 7 – CONGRESS
It shall be the duty of the Congress:
- to elect – at its biyearly meeting – President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and the Executive Officers of the K.H. subject to Article VI, Section 1, item b.2,
- to receive and pass upon communications and reports of various officers, auditors, and sub-committees,
- to determine the action to be taken in regard to the reports received and to instruct the Executive Committee thereon,
- to appoint the auditor for the following year
- to determine and set the annual membership fee,
- to adopt By-Laws necessary for the transaction of the business of the KH consistent with the provisions of the Constitution and applicable statutes,
- to amend the Constitution and By-Laws, if necessary, in accordance with Article VIII of the Constitution and By-Law VII respectively.
BY-LAW VI – LANGUAGE
- The primary language for internal communication within the KH shall be the Kurdish language.
- The language for all external communication – including records and books to be maintained according to the provisions of various statutes – shall be English.
Amendments to these By-Laws may be made by a simple majority of the members present in person or by proxy at the annual Congress or an extra-ordinary Congress specifically for that purpose.