Canon 5 election of lay delegates to Synod
Friday, December 15, 2017
Dear Clergy and Wardens,
At the last Diocesan Synod held in November 2015, a significant change was made in
the way Synod delegates are elected. This document outlines the manner in which voting
will take place across the diocese. Although a diocesan Synod may not be convened in
2018, the process must still be implemented. The D.E.C. approved such a process at its
October 2017 meeting.
It is imperative that those people who attend the annual vestry meeting sign in by using
the standardized form to be supplied to each parish. This will be the only way in which
we will be able to send out ballots. On the form, each person will need to clearly indicate
his or her name, signature, e-mail address (for those who choose to vote by e-mail) or
the complete mailing address (for those who choose to vote by a mail-in ballot).
Furthermore, annual reports MUST be filed with Synod Office PRIOR to March
15th as per Canon 23, article 3. This deadline is to be strictly enforced. Annual
Vestry Meetings MUST be held prior to this date in order for the report to be
mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to Synod Office.
The process of election is as follows:
i. Election for lay delegates to synod will be by blind electronic ballot and/or mail-in
ballot, based on the request of the voter. It will take place after March 15th of each year.
ii. Any person who attended and signed the register and declaration at the last annual
parish vestry meeting held before the calling of synod has the right to vote for their
deanery/region’s delegates – both regular and youth.
iii. The vestry clerk will send to the Synod Office a photocopy of the annual vestry
meeting attendance register and the name and email of each person or if they don’t have
email the full postal address of those who signed and wish to exercise their right to vote
for delegates to diocesan synod.
iv. The names placed on the deanery/region ballots, regular and youth, will be those
proposed by parish vestries at their annual meeting and submitted to the Secretary of
Synod as part of the annual parish reporting required by our canons. This is filed with
synod office by the canonical deadline.
v. The two persons with the most votes in each deanery/region will be the delegates
from that deanery/region, the youth with the most votes will be the youth delegate from
vi. If there should be a tie vote (other than for the two lay members who receive the
most votes or if there is a tie for the second delegate) a runoff vote will be conducted
among those nominees who tied to decide a final ranking unless the assigning of addition
delegates to the region based on average attendance makes this unnecessary.
vii. The Secretary of Synod will use the results of the voting in descending order in each
deanery/region to name those who will fill the remaining lay delegate positions from that
deanery/region if there are any.
viii. The Secretary of Synod will use the voting results in descending order to name
alternates for a deanery/region should that be needed.
ix. Should a deanery/region not elect a youth delegate then the seat normally assigned to
that deanery/region will be added to the pool of lay delegates to be divided among the
deaneries/regions as per Canon 5 article 9.
x. Synod office will provide to the members of the Diocesan Executive Council the
average attendance for each deanery/region based on the reports filed with the synod
office by the deadline set out in the canons. Those numbers will be the ones used to
assign the deanery/region any additional seats as set out in the canon.
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any further clarification. I thank you
in advance for your cooperation.
Canon Stephen Kohner
Secretary of Synod
encl. FAQ Election of lay delegates to diocesan synod
Election of lay delegates to diocesan synod
Frequently Asked Questions
a) Who gets to vote? To be able to vote you must be at least 16 years of age, attended the annual
vestry meeting, and to have declared in writing at that meeting that you are a member of the Anglican
Church of Canada and belong to no other religious denomination. In addition to be a member of
vestry you must declare yourself to be a regular attendant in the Services of that church. Thus,
anyone who meets these criteria is to be given the chance to vote. Whether you vote is up to you, but
the diocese cannot remove the vote from someone who meets the qualifications.
b) Can I be a member of two vestries and, so, vote twice for synod delegates either in the
same or different deaneries/regions? Normally no. The law says you can only be a member of
one vestry in the diocese. However, there is an exception for those congregations that exist for only
part of the year. Cacouna and Ile d’Orleans are the two examples cited in the statutes. In these cases
those who attend the Services of those churches and are members of the Anglican Church of Canada
and belong to no other religious denomination have the right to vestry membership there as well as
in their home parish. If you attend annual vestry meetings in your home parish as well as that of
those summer parishes, you have the right to vote twice.
c) How do I get on the voters list? After each annual meeting, the vestry clerk is to send to the
Secretary of Synod at the Synod Office by March 15th, a copy of the signature declaration (supplied
by Synod Office). The declaration will indicate each person’s name, signature and email address. If
the person does not have an email address, then their complete postal address with postal code is
required. The Secretary of Synod will compile the voter’s list from those lists submitted by the
d) Who can be nominated? Any member of the vestry may be nominated by the other members
of the vestry at its annual meeting.
e) Is it one nominee per parish? No. At the annual vestry, the parish can nominate as many people
as they wish. In addition each parish can nominate lay person(s) between the ages of 16 and 25 to be
a youth delegate. Each deanery/region has one youth delegate to synod and a number of lay
delegates. The whole of the deanery/region will vote on who will be their delegates. The voters are
free to elect two, or more, from the same parish if that is their will.
f) How many lay delegates will our deanery/region have? One youth delegate and at least two
lay delegates. That number will be increased based on the percentage of average attendance the
deanery/region has of the total average attendance for the diocese.
g) What is “average attendance”? It is the total accumulated attendance on Sundays, plus
Christmas and Ascension of the region divided by 52 for the year prior.
h) What is the time frame for voting? Votes will be conducted each year by the Secretary of Synod
at some point following the March 15th deadline for reports submitted following the annual
vestry meetings. The results of the election will be announced after the D.E.C. has confirmed the
calculation of the number of lay delegates for each deanery/region. This calculation is based on the
average attendance submitted to the synod office by each parish as part of their diocesan report by
the canonical deadline for reports. [It is hard to set exact dates given that voting will take place by both e-vote
and mail. Mail-in vote will take at least one month and if required to go two or more rounds will take much longer but
we do have a date at whch the process can begin –no earlier than March 15th.]
N.B. Annual reports MUST be filed with Synod Office PRIOR to March 15th as per
Canon 23, article 3.