Communique #4 – Resolutions
National Chairperson of Resolutions Rolande Chernichan, April 12, 2022.
Spring has arrived! The Constitution & Bylaws directs that provincial councils meet in June or July. Councils are preparing to return to in-person conventions, making it possible to present resolutions. Resolutions adopted at diocesan conventions will soon be on their way to provincial chairpersons.
Resolutions are a gift of members’ work, and through their adoption, the League realizes part of its mission through the advocacy of each resolution. In gifting a resolution to the next level, the submitting council relinquishes ownership of the resolution. Upon receiving a resolution, the resolutions committee reviews each resolution thoroughly and makes necessary edits to the wording. The vetting often requires more than one committee meeting. The provincial committee’s recommendation for each resolution must be presented for acceptance at the pre-convention meeting of the provincial executive before the resolution is presented to the provincial council and convention assembly.
The Resolutions Supplement to the Executive Handbook directs that “all resolutions, briefs and support materials are reviewed by the resolutions committee.” The review begins by ensuring that the submitting council has provided all required documentation as outlined on the Checklist for Reviewing Proposed Resolutions. Is there anything missing? Is clarification required? If so, requests must be made to the submitting council, specifying a deadline to submit the information to the committee.
The list of 13 criteria approved by the national executive/board guides resolutions committees at all levels and “indicate[s] the requirements for accepting resolutions for presentation at the annual national convention.” Resolutions committees of other levels of the League may set their procedures for receiving resolutions, using the national standards “as a guide and keeping in mind the requirements for resolutions destined for national level” (Resolutions Supplement to the Executive Handbook). A resolutions committee must assess that each resolution satisfies those criteria and standards.
The resolutions committee may combine resolutions that address the same topic providing that the resolution’s intent is not changed. The resolutions committee critiques the wording of the resolved clause(s) in conjunction with the content of the brief. The committee should ask itself: Does the resolved clause capture the intent of the resolution conveyed by the brief? Is it possible to improve the wording without changing the intent?
The committee must verify that the resolution’s intended destination is correctly stated by the bridging clause(s). Verify that the resolution topic is that of provincial government jurisdiction or of a federal government nature or that both levels of government are correctly implicated because of the resolved clause(s).
The committee ensures that the wording is in keeping with the League’s non-partisan stance. It is appropriate to quote government documents in the brief to support the resolution; but, there must be no mention of political parties or elected parliamentarians.
The brief must explain and support the intent of the resolved clause(s). The committee’s review involves verifying the statements contained in the brief to determine that they are factual, current and supported by the research documents. Parenthetical references in the brief must be identified in the support material. The committee must verify that quotes are not taken out of context. The brief may be reworded to make it concise. The resolutions committee must verify each citation of the Works Cited list including website citations. The committee must review that the wording of the action plan is well stated. The resolution’s title may be edited, providing the intent is maintained.
As the resolution progresses through each level of the League towards its intended destination, the receiving resolutions committee at the next level must also revise the wording in the resolved and bridging clauses of the resolution to make them applicable to their level.
In concluding its review of each resolution, the provincial resolutions committee must send a letter of disposition to the submitting diocesan council, with a copy to the submitting parish council, noting the results of its review. The letter would state the resolution is accepted for presentation to the annual convention or the resolution is being returned with the committee’s reasons and recommendations stated. If not accepted, it would be appropriate to return the resolution in its entirety.
As a provincial chairperson of resolutions, you are encouraged to remind the diocesan council of its responsibility to ensure a member is prepared to speak in favour of the resolution at the provincial convention. It is recommended to have a prepared pre-worded three-minute statement to speak in support of the resolution when the motion for its adoption is opened for debate.
I encourage you to share this communique with diocesan chairpersons of resolutions as a resource to carry out their responsibilities in reviewing and vetting parish council resolutions gifted to the diocesan level.
As we celebrate Christ’s victory over death this Easter, may we be women of the resurrection, bringing His gift of love, peace and joy into the world because we are Catholic and Living It!
National Chairperson of Resolutions