Innovative ways divisions are getting to “yes” on Section 41

There are various ways to comply with Section 41 of the new BC Societies Act, and the Vancouver and Powell River Divisions have taken innovative approaches. The two represent very different types of divisions – Vancouver being the largest division with the most members – and Powell River being one of the smallest divisions with the fewest members. Their decisions about board composition and compensation were chosen to best suit the needs of their divisions, and their stories are helpful for those divisions that have yet to start the process of getting to “yes”. Following is a synopsis of information these divisions shared during a webinar with their division colleagues on November 8, 2017. 

The Vancouver Division “was created to ensure that family doctors in Vancouver have an instrumental role in health care system change” says Cheryl Hogg, Chief Operating Officer of the Vancouver Division. Because of their perspective on family doctor involvement, the division unanimously decided to maintain their board membership profile, comprising physicians only. In order to still comply with Section 41, their board members are restricted to participating in governance activities only and cannot be involved operationally. As part of their governance commitment, each Board member is assigned a liaison role on a committee, providing a governance lens to the operations of the organization. Board members are remunerated with a fixed annual salary based on historical averages, job descriptions, expected levels of participation, and the current sessional rate. The new model was enacted as of November 1, 2017 and has been successful thus far.  

The Powell River Division took a different approach and made the decision to diversify their board membership. “Diversity has the potential to lead to better decision making, which will ultimately deliver better value to members,” says Guy Chartier, Executive Director of the Powell River Division. Due to the community size of Powell River, board diversification has been on the Division’s radar as a method to reduce burnout of overly engaged physicians since 2012. However, the board did not diversify from GPs only until 2017, when the its first community board member was elected (prompted by compliance with Section 41). So far, the integration of a community member on the board has been very positive, but the next 10 months will be a journey to reach compliance. 

Listen to a recording of the webinar. The links below lead to PowerPoint presentations shared during the webinar and related external resources. 

For more information about Section 41 or if you have questions about how your division will reach compliance, email