Delta Patriots Cricket Club has taken three Surrey clubs among others in the West Coast Cricket Association (Cricket BC) to court seeking a series of orders related to its governance, specifically seeking that each member is entitled to one vote at any association meeting, including annual general meetings.
Justice John Harvey noted in his May 5 reasons for judgment, delivered in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, that the petitioner is a registered society “promoting and fostering” cricket among Delta’s youth.
The respondents in this case are Surrey United Cricket Club Society, Newton Surrey Cricket Club, Surrey Stars Cricket Club, West Coast Cricket Organization, British Columbia Mainland Cricket Association, West Mission Strikers Cricket Club, Chilliwack Cricket Club, Richmond Cricket Club, PakCan Cricket Club Ltd. and West Vancouver Cricket Club.
Cricket BC is an affiliate of Cricket Canada, which is a member of the International Cricket Council.
“At issue is the propriety or legality of the voting procedures within Cricket BC,” Harvey noted.
Counsel for the Delta Patriots noted that many of the member clubs have more than one team, allowing them to cast more than one vote at the AGM. The Patriots argued that Cricket BC’s membership is not made up of “teams” but parent clubs and so permitting clubs to have more than one vote contravenes the Societies Act.
Harvey noted that Cricket BC argued the court shouldn’t grant the declaration sought, “but rather, should direct a general meeting of Cricket BC within a designated period of time and identify the members who are entitled to vote so as to remediate the apparent conflict between the Bylaws and the SA.”
The secretary for Cricket BC noted that cricket teams have always been considered members of Cricket BC and that the order sought would “unduly interfere” with the organization’s finances as member clubs are charged dues “reflective of the number of teams that play under the club’s banner,” Harvey said.
The judge ordered that a meeting, “be it is an extraordinary meeting,” or the AGM which did not take place in November, be held no earlier than 45 days but no later than 90 days from May 5 to address the issues of membership and payment of dues.
In addressing who may vote, Harvey agreed with the petitioner that non-registered entities, “although members of Cricket BC, are not voting members given their lack of legal capacity.
“I have deferred the ordered meeting in order to give sufficient time to those clubs wishing to participate in the governance of Cricket BC to attend to the necessary steps to achieve legal status if they wish to do so,” Harvey decided.