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A Message from CPSA Council Chair: Sowing the seeds of good governance

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Council, January Messenger 2023 | Posted January 19, 2023
Read time: 3 minutes

Both my grandmothers were perennial optimists. For them, January’s arrival brought discussions about what bulbs had been planted in autumn and the anticipation of what was to grow in spring—no Excel spreadsheet or database required. They understood what was planted and where, and couldn’t wait to see the new additions flourish in an already well-established garden.

Some seeds were brought from Ukraine and had been planted, divided and shared over time. Others, after having fulfilled their lifespan, were substituted with new varieties that were better suited to the conditions, design and current needs of the garden. The results were ever-changing, yet the garden remained a constant over time.

CPSA Council planted its own seed in January 2022 in the form of a governance review. Council continued to fertilize that seed throughout the year, with the goal of identifying best practice governance principles, structures and processes to update and strengthen CPSA’s governance framework. This work was led by a specific Council committee and chaired by Councillor Laurie Steinbach.

CPSA Council approved a Governance Review Analysis and Implementation Plan, including several recommendations and timelines, at our September Council meeting. I would like to thank Councillor Steinbach and the entire committee for their leadership and efforts in completing this work. You can read the Governance Review final report, which contains the list of approved recommendations to begin in January 2023.

One notable recommendation approved by Council was the transition from the title of Council President to Council Chair. Council carefully considered the term Chair and determined it was more appropriate and descriptive for the individual that chairs the meetings and leads in Council oversight.

For 2023, CPSA Council has also chosen to focus on the following key elements:

  • Enhancing Council culture and expanding on its education and learning plan;
  • Adopting new Council committee structures;
  • Exploring new ways to assess and evaluate individual Councillor and Council effectiveness; and
  • Reviewing models for a competency-based selection of Councillors.

A new year also means a few new faces around the Council table. I am pleased to welcome and acknowledge Dr. Oluseyi Oladele and Dr. Maryana Kravtsenyuk, who will be joining Council as elected regulated members. I also wish to congratulate our re-elected regulated members Dr. Richard Buckley and Dr. Daisy Fung, who will be returning to Council for a second term.

Prior to the end of 2022, a new public member was also appointed to CPSA Council. I am pleased to welcome Dr. Lyle Oberg, who commenced his term effective Dec. 20, 2022.

Thank you to Dr. Jaelene Mannerfeldt, who is returning as Vice-Chair, and Dr. Nicole Cardinal, who is newly elected to the position of Community Member-at-Large. I look forward to working with you on the Executive Committee.

As part of setting my intentions for chairing CPSA Council in 2023, I recently read Health and Optimism by Christopher Peterson and Lisa M. Bossio, which reviews the general principles underlying belief change. I was particularly interested in the authors’ exploration of the concept that individuals who start to think in more healthful ways will then start to behave in more healthful ways. They also consider the role optimism plays in the larger society or with groups of people that purposefully commit to a shared sense of optimism.

And so, I wish to exercise my grandmothers’ perennial optimism this year, confident in CPSA Council’s commitment to each of the planning, planting and growing seasons of good governance. I also seek to have Council continue to lead in an active and effective manner, with a shared sense of optimism with our key stakeholders and community partners—working toward a harvest of good outcomes for the public, regulated members and CPSA.

As always, it is a privilege to serve.

Stacey L. Strilchuk, Chair, CPSA Council

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