Constitution & Bylaws
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1. Name of the chapter

The name of the Chapter is the ‘Counsellors for Social Justice: Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association’ (CSJ).

2. Mission Statement

The mission of the Counsellors for Social Justice Chapter of the CCPA is to advocate for social justice and social change through the role of the professional counsellor. The Chapter promotes equity and human rights for individuals and societies through action, education, training, consciousness-raising, advocacy, and conscientious objection. The Chapter is dedicated to working across borders, boundaries, professional disciplines, and differences in the pursuit of peace and wellness for all.

3. Objectives

3.1 To assist the CCPA in the achievement of mutually desired aims and objectives related to social justice.

3.2 To provide a forum for discussion and action related to local, national and international social justice issues in counselling and psychotherapy, and to support social justice initiatives such as ‘Counsellors without Borders.’

3.3 To be accountable to objective 3.2 with timely responses to critical issues raised with evidenced social action. Such actions will be directed toward the fair treatment of individuals and groups, and equitable distribution of the benefits of society.

3.4 To raise the critical consciousness of counsellors and psychotherapists regarding social, structural, systemic, eco-justice, global equity issues, and human rights.

3.5 To promote education and skills development as well as support for members:
a. To address social justice issues in local, national and international contexts.
b. To conscientiously object to participate in activities and organizations that deny human rights or the principles of social justice described in this constitution, in conjunction with the Constitution of the CCPA and within the parameters of the CCPA Code of Ethics and in relationship with the CCPA Board of Directors.

3.6 To collaborate, when possible, with civil society partners and non-governmental organizations outside of the CCPA that share similar objectives with the Counsellors for Social Justice Chapter.

3.7 To encourage non- partisan advocacy that promotes public, organizational and legislative action related to social justice.

3.8 To liaise with the CCPA Board for the purposes of taking a public stance on issues of social justice.


Article 1: Membership

1.1 Membership in good standing shall consist of those members of CCPA who pay an additional fee for membership in Counsellors for Social Justice Chapter.

1.2 Members shall conduct business in accordance with these by-laws and guidelines, and with the by-laws and guidelines established in the Constitution of the CCPA.

Article 2: Board of Directors

2.1 Any member in good standing may be nominated and subsequently elected to the CSJ Board of Directors.

2.2 The Board of Directors of the Counsellors for Social Justice Chapter will be as follows: Past Chairperson, Chairperson, Chair Elect, Secretary/Communications, Treasurer, Directors at Large (6).

2.3 Directors of the CSJ Board will perform the duties that pertain to their respective offices. They will participate fully in all activities of the Counsellors for Social Justice Chapter as required and as deemed appropriate.

2.4 Directors of the CSJ Chapter shall: act honestly, and in good faith, and in the best interests of the Chapter; and exercise the care, diligence and skill of a reasonably prudent person, in exercising their powers and performing their functions as a Director.

2.5 Duties of the CSJ Directors shall be:

2.5.1 The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Counsellors for Social Justice Chapter, shall be responsible for the general management and supervision of the affairs and operations of the Chapter and all Chapter committees. He/she shall be a signing officer.

2.5.2 The Chair Elect shall assist the Chairperson in the performance of his/her duties and shall, by appointment, assume all responsibilities of the Chairperson in the latter's absence. He/she shall be a signing officer.

2.5.3 The Secretary/Communications Officer shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the CSJ Directors. He/she shall make available at all Chapter meetings a list of all standing or special committees and their members. The Secretary/Communications officer shall maintain records in which the CSJ Constitution, Bylaws, and minutes are entered, with any amendments to these documents properly recorded, and to have current records on hand at every meeting. He/She shall send notification of CSJ Board meetings and Annual General Meetings and facilitate the communication of Chapter activities and special events with the national association (CCPA).

2.5.4 The Treasurer shall be responsible in all matters pertaining to the funds of the Chapter. The Treasurer shall be one of the two signing officers for cheques drawn on funds of the Chapter. He/she shall be required to present a concise financial report at each CSJ Board meeting and at the CSJ Annual General Meeting.

2.5.5 The CSJ Directors at Large shall be available for tasks and duties that serve the current interests and functions of the Chapter. These tasks and duties shall be delegated by the CSJ Board. The CSJ Directors at Large shall fulfill the general duties of Directors as printed in the Constitution and Bylaws of the Counsellors for Social Justice Chapter.

Article 3: Appointment and removal of elected members

3.1 Appointment to the CSJ Board shall be by election as a Director at the CSJ Annual General Meeting. All CSJ Directors shall be elected to office for a two-year term. The CSJ Board shall then elect Directors to the respective positions on the CSJ Board which must include a Chairperson, Chair Elect, Secretary/Communications Officer, and Treasurer. Six of the Directors shall serve their two-year term of office beginning in an even numbered year. The remaining five Directors shall serve their two year term beginning in an odd numbered year. The exception will be the first year, when eleven Directors shall be either elected or appointed.

3.2 CSJ Directors are eligible for re-election.

3.3 The Counsellors for Social Justice Chapter is a national organization and as a result meetings will be conducted through teleconference. In the event that any member of the CSJ Board of Directors fails to participate in two consecutive Board meetings, the Directors shall have the option to declare a vacancy on the Board in respect of such member and have the responsibility to appoint a member to fill the vacancy in question.

The CSJ Directors shall have the responsibility of inviting the appointment of another member to fill any vacancy occurring on the CSJ Board due to resignation or any other reason during its term of office. A CSJ Director may be removed from office by a vote at a meeting of Counsellors for Social Justice Chapter membership. A quorum will be constituted by the number of Chapter members who participate in such a meeting. A majority vote will stand.

Article 4: Committees

4.1 The CSJ Board of Directors may constitute committees as it deems necessary and it will prescribe their duties and responsibilities. The committee may convene and regulate their meetings as they see fit. All committees constituted by the CSJ Board will be accountable to the CSJ Board.

4.2 All decisions made by a committee related to policy or finances must be ratified by the CSJ Board.

4.3 Any committee member may be suspended and/or removed from office by the CSJ Board of Directors. A committee may be disbanded by a resolution of the CSJ Board of Directors

Article 5: Annual General Meeting

5.1 The CSJ Annual General Meeting shall be held annually at the CCPA Conference.

5.2 Notice of the CSJ Annual General Meeting and the business to be conducted at the meeting shall be provided in advance to every member in good standing.

5.3 The rules of procedure at the CSJ Annual General Meeting shall be determined by the CSJ Board of Directors.

5.4 A quorum for the transaction of business at any CSJ Annual General Meeting shall be constituted by the number of Counsellors for Social Justice members who attend the meeting.

Article 6: Voting Procedures

6.1 Each CSJ chapter member shall have one vote in all proceedings at which members shall be entitled to vote.

6.2 Every question submitted to a vote shall be decided by a majority of votes and in the case of a tie vote, the designated Chair shall cast the deciding vote.

6.3 On every question submitted to a vote, a declaration by the designated Chair that a resolution has been carried or lost shall be conclusive evidence of the fact, unless poll is determined.

6.4 When deemed appropriate by the CSJ Board of Directors, voting shall be conducted by email. Each CSJ chapter member shall be entitled to one vote by email. Chapter members must submit votes using the member email address noted in the chapter membership list. Votes will be matched to email addresses, and only those votes that match CSJ chapter member email addresses will count. Accountability for counting votes and matching email votes with addresses shall lie with the CSJ chapter Secretary or Director designate.

Article 7: Alteration of Bylaws

7.1 The constitution and bylaws of the Counsellors for Social Justice Chapter shall not be amended except by a resolution passed by the membership of the Chapter at a general meeting. Notice specifying the intention to propose the resolution must be provided at least one month prior to the CSJ AGM, through reasonable effort, to each member in advance of the general meeting.

Article 8: Inspection of Books and Records

8.1 The books and records (excluding in camera meetings) of the Counsellors for Social Justice Chapter may be inspected by any Chapter member in good standing, or any CCPA member in good standing, upon request to the CSJ Board of Directors. Any request to review the records must be approved by the CSJ Board.

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