Coalitions Policy

Approved by CBA Board of Directors, August 2004.

A. Purpose

The CBA can gain advantages when it joins with like-minded organizations to form a coalition.  Through alliances with other community groups, the CBA can share resources, access information, achieve more strategic and effective messaging, increase CBA visibility, and enhance the credibility of the legal profession and the CBA.

There are also potential risks, centring on the concern with who is empowered to say what on behalf of the CBA, when and how.  The CBA could lose control of its message, with a possible risk of embarrassment or damage to ongoing relationships. The CBA could be held liable for the actions of others.  Participation could drain resources.  On-going commitments to a coalition may no longer reflect CBA priorities over time.

The purpose of this policy is:

  • To establish criteria to assess whether the CBA should join or form a coalition.
  • To establish the procedure for approving CBA participation in a coalition.

B. Criteria

The CBA will participate in joint action with other organizations where:

  • The objectives of the coalition are consistent with the policies and priorities of the CBA and its national constituent groups (committees, conferences, sections, etc).
  • Coalition decision-making respects CBA input and approval processes.
  • The activities of the coalition will enhance the CBA’s credibility.

C. Procedure

  • Participation in a coalition by the CBA or a national constituent group must be authorized by the Board of Directors or, between meetings of the Board, by the Executive Officers.  Authorizations by the Executive Officers will be reported to the Board of Directors at its next meeting.
  • Requests for authorization should be addressed to the Senior Director, Legal and Governmental Affairs (L&GA).
  • Contents of Request
    The CBA constituent group wishing to join or form a coalition shall provide the following information:
    • About the coalition:
      • name and contact information
      • members
      • objectives and key messages
      • governance, including decision-making and approval structures
      • any statements adopted by the coalition
    • About CBA’s participation:
      • CBA policy vis-à-vis the objectives of the coalition
      • Proposed level of CBA participation (CBA, Section, Committee, etc)
      • Proposed CBA representative to the coalition
      • Implications (possible advantages and disadvantages) of CBA participation
      • Method for CBA input and influence of coalition’s public statements
      • Financial implications
      • Duration of CBA participation
  • The Legislation and Law Reform Committee will review the request and make a recommendation to the Board of Directors or Executive Officers.
  • The Board of Directors or the Executive Officers will review the request and the recommendation of the L&LR

D. Conditions for Participation in a Coalition

  • The CBA representative shall inform the Senior Director, L&GA in advance of meetings and activities of the coalition and shall report on each meeting or activity afterwards.
  • Financial support for participation in and activities of the coalition is subject to the budgetary approval process.
  • The CBA public statement rules govern its approval of coalition statements or activities, unless the Board or Executive Officers delegate that to the representative.
  • The coalition shall not use the CBA logo without prior approval of the Senior Director, LL&GA.
  • The Board or Executive Officers can make other conditions of approval for participation as it sees fit.
  • Where participation in a coalition is approved, the Executive Officers will review the CBA’s continued participation as needed, and at least annually, in consultation with the group initially making the request, the CBA representative on the coalition, and the L&LR Committee.
  • The review requirement applies to coalitions in which the CBA participates when the policy is adopted, as well as to those approved under the policy.