From the Board: Chris Buchanan

  • March 05, 2019

It’s easy to forget about the North. The population of the Northwest Territories is only 45,000, which is a tiny fraction of Canada’s 36 million. Living in a place that is frequently skipped over in national reporting for statistical reasons (0.125 per cent is just a blip), you can get used to being ignored. That is why I was pleased to see that the CBA chose to maintain regional representation on the Board of Directors following the Rethink process.

Prior to Rethink, the Board was comprised of the presidents from each of the 13 Branches. Now, the Board and Branch President roles have been separated, with Board members being elected into their two-year roles by the members of each branch. I had a unique front-row seat to this change, as I was the Vice-President of the NWT Branch prior to the change, and then President following the change. I just missed being a part of the Board. Or so I thought.

The year I stepped down as President happened to be the same year the NWT’s Board seat opened up. I was hesitant to join the Board at first, thinking that the member from Ontario or Quebec would have more sway than little ol’ me. But I’m happy to report that I was wrong. Each Board member has equal footing and is given the same voice at the table. In fact, Board members do not technically represent the CBA members in their jurisdiction – they just happen to be from that province or territory. Having people from all parts of Canada is one of the ways the Board maintains diversity and ensures that all views are heard.

In my six months as a Board member and the Chair of the Audit Committee, I have always felt that my views were welcomed and valued. I truly believe that I am making a difference to the CBA, and I encourage all of you to consider joining the Board.

Chris Buchanan is an associate with McLennan Ross LLP in Yellowknife.