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Council Elections

Comments from Council members ...

I initially became involved with the College as a non-Council member of the Discipline Committee.  I then became a Council member in 2014.  It has been an incredible experience personally and professionally.  The experience was initially quite daunting since as veterinarians we give very little thought to regulation on a day to day basis.  However, it is ultimately quite fascinating how much thought and effort is put into regulating the profession in a fair manner that protects the public. 

As a Council member, I learned a lot about the profession and about how I should be doing things in my own practice.  I also learned a lot about myself through my interactions with other veterinarians, College staff and public members of Council. 

I am proud of the work that I have done as a Council member and on the Executive Committee.  Regulation and public protection helps to maintain the reputation of the veterinary profession. 

I would strongly recommend a position on Council to all veterinarians.  It is time consuming, but incredibly interesting and fulfilling.

Patty Lechten, DVM
CVO President 2018-19


As I reflect on my experiences with the College, it was first and foremost absorbing that the College serves the public of Ontario.  Over the years, I developed a more complete understanding of the CVO:

  • as compared to the OVMA; regulation versus association, plus interactions with government, advocacy groups, OVC and much more,  

  • appreciation of where CVO sits in the regulatory world compared to other regulated professions (other doctors, lawyers, engineers and more), and other veterinary regulators within Canada, North America and the world!

  • through associated Committee work, better understanding of the components of registration, accreditation, investigations and resolutions, quality assurance, and good governance, and realized that licensed members are part of these processes and changes, 

  • the roles, expertise, and importance of staff and volunteer activities and actions,

  • interaction with public members on Council; they bring their views of our profession and their own profession or position and expend incredible energy in service to the public,

  • opportunity to interact with veterinarians and public members from all parts of Ontario, other scopes of practice and business models, non-clinical practice, different schools and varied demographics, and

  • learning and participation in the role of veterinarians in One Health and how this is evolving.

This was not just “giving back”; so much was received in return, and the sharing continues because of contacts and friendships developed.  I left with a greater feeling of inclusion in the profession as a whole; more than simply being a professional. My understanding of the concept of professionalism was changed including how it relates and compares to that of other professionals. I developed an appreciation for those that came before me and with me to get us to where we are now, and those who will come next.  I will not stop trying to recruit others to get their own rewards from the experience.

Dr. Susan Warren
President 2019-2020

Am I eligible to run for Council?

Your experience, skills and knowledge are needed on College Council!

Serving on Council is an opportunity to play a leadership role in veterinary regulation. The success of regulation is a result of the contributions of those who seek election to Council. Those who have served on Council or on a College Committee are the first to say it is an interesting and enriching experience.

To be a candidate, a licensed member must be nominated by two licensed members who are entitled to vote in the election. The nominee must consent to his/her nomination, and all nomination forms must be received in the College office by the stated deadline.

A member is eligible for election to the Council if, the member,

  • is engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine in the electoral district for which he or she is nominated or, if the licensed member is not engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine, was, on the 90th day before the election, resident in the electoral district for which they are nominated;

  • is not in default of payment of any fees prescribed in any regulation or by-law made under the Act;

  • is not the subject of any current disciplinary or incapacity proceeding;

  • ​has not been found guilty of professional misconduct or serious neglect by the Discipline Committee or found to be an impaired licensed member by the Registration Committee during the six years immediately preceding the election;

  • is not the holder of a licence that is subject to a condition or limitation as a result of a finding from a proceeding either in Ontario or another jurisdiction;

  • is not the holder of a licence that has been revoked or suspended, other than for non-payment of fees, in the six years preceding the date of nomination;

  • has not been an employee of the College at any time during the three years immediately preceding the election;

  • is not a director, officer or employee of a professional association, and does not hold any other similar role or function with an organization whose interests conflict with the mandate of the College;

  • ​has not been disqualified from sitting on Council under this By-law at any time during the three years immediately preceding the election;

  • has not been removed from a committee under this By-law for reasons related to the Council code of conduct at any time during the three years immediately preceding the election;

  • is not nominated in more than one electoral district; and

  • does not have a conflict of interest to serve as a member of Council or has agreed to remove any such conflict of interest before taking office.

Who is on Council?

Council consists of 11 veterinarians from regions across the province, one veterinarian elected from the University of Guelph, one representative elected by federally employed veterinarians, and five public members appointed by the provincial government. Council members serve the public interest and they contribute their expertise, judgment and experience gained through a diverse array of professional experiences. The current Council includes individuals currently engaged in companion animal medicine, food animal medicine, companion animal practice owners, mobile practice owners, and locum veterinarians. Other members of Council have experience in research, and emergency medicine as well. There are also two professional members of Council who received their DVM education internationally. The Council is committed to fairness and fosters a culture of diversity and inclusion that is respectful to all people.

What exactly is the Council of the College?

The Council is the College’s board of directors. It is composed of 13 veterinarians and up to five public members. The veterinarians on Council are elected by their peers through a regional election process. The public members are appointed by government.

All Council members share the responsibility of fulfilling the College’s statutory mandate to regulate the veterinary profession in the public interest.

What is the role of a member of Council?

The Veterinarians Act provides the legal foundation for the College’s governance structure, activities and authority. The College is required to fulfil the role of a regulatory college established in this legislation. Serving on Council is a privilege and a unique opportunity to use your knowledge and experience to contribute to the betterment of the veterinary profession in Ontario. Each councillor helps the College deliver on its mandate of responsible, professional and ethical decision-making in the public interest.

The accountability of a member of College Council differs from that of a membership organization. Once elected to Council, veterinarians are not accountable to the licensed members in their electoral district, but instead to the statutes and laws governing the College.

Although a Council member may bring regional perspectives to the Council table, an elected Council member does not represent the electorate.

By accepting a position as a Council member, you occupy a position of trust and confidence. The best interests of the College and the public interest take precedence over your personal interests and the interests of veterinarians in your electoral district.

All Council members, whether veterinarians or public members, are equal around the Council table and participate equally in discussion and decision making.

I don’t have any experience on a Board of Directors. How can I contribute?

The College provides a thorough orientation session to introduce new members to the College, its mandate, current policies and ongoing activities. Orientation is also provided for each of its committees.

What does Council do?

As a member of Council, you participate in the work of College committees and contribute to the development of College policies and programs. Through service to the College, Council and Committee members are serving the veterinary profession in the public interest.

Council makes decisions concerning the policies which are used in:

  • licensing veterinarians,
  • accrediting veterinary facilities,
  • establishing and maintaining professional and ethical standards of practice,
  • developing quality assurance programs, and
  • resolving situations when standards have not been met.

Council is currently guided by its strategic plan which includes the following objectives:

  • Promoting professionalism to assure quality care.
  • Modernizing the oversight of the veterinary profession.
  • Regulating proactively to mitigate risks.
  • Championing One Health.
  • Assuring impact through outcomes.

Council members also make decisions on the College budget and serve on at least one Committee.

What is the commitment?

Council ensures that College policies are established in accordance with the College’s mandate, as set out in the Veterinarians Act. Council provides oversight and direction to the College’s Registrar and Chief Executive Officer.

Duties of a Council member include:

  • Attending every Council meeting
  • Participating on Discipline panels and at least one Committee
  • Reading meeting packages and preparing for Council deliberations (this is approximately a four hour activity prior to a meeting)
  • Participating in Council orientation and ongoing education sessions

What are the organizational values of the College?

It is expected that the behavior of Council and Committee members reflects the principles which support the continuing trust of the public and the veterinary profession:

  • Honest
  • Reliable
  • Competent
  • Relevant
  • Independent
  • Inclusive
  • Accountable

All Council members must adhere to the statutory requirements, the Code of Conduct, the College By-Laws and policies.

Serving on Council is a great responsibility with a focus on important, challenging topics. However, having fun is also important and the collegial atmosphere of the College fosters a great working relationship between Council and staff.