Sidhu v. Kooner
Autar Singh Sidhu and Gurmit Singh Bains, applicants, and
Sukhdev Singh Kooner, Malkiat Singh Pabla, Satnam Singh
Matharu, Gurdev Singh Takhar, Gurmej Kaur Aujla, Harbans Singh
Daffu, Lehmber Singh Pahal and The Sikh Cultural Society of
Metropolitan Windsor, respondents
 O.J. No. 3408
Court File No. 95-GD-33816
Ontario Court of Justice (General Division)
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Oral judgment: August 13, 1997.
Associations -- Constitution -- Qualifications of members -- Amendment.
Application to determine qualifications for voting membership in the Sikh Cultural Society of Metropolitan Windsor. The Society's 1989 Constitution was replaced in 1993. The applicants contended that the vote for the new Constitution was not held in accordance with the 1989 Constitution.
HELD: A member for the purposes of the vote was any person who was a member in good standing as defined by the 1989 Constitution, as of June 20, 1993.
Raymond Colautti, for the applicants.
Anthony L. Giannotti, for the respondents.
1 CAPUTO J.:-- The parties have settled the issues in this Motion with the exception of two matters which, by agreement, is submitted to this court:
1. who will qualify to be a bona fide member of The Sikh Cultural Society of Metropolitan Windsor for the purpose of voting on the new Constitution which will govern the Society; and,
2. costs of the Application.
2 By way of background, in June of 1993, a new Constitution was voted to replace a Constitution which had been in place since 1989.
3 The Applicants in this Motion take the position that the vote in 1993 was not held in accordance with the 1989 Constitution and is therefore invalid.
4 The parties have agreed to conduct a new vote to determine whether the 1989 or 1993 Constitution are to govern the Society.
5 The Applicants submit in essence that the persons who were eligible to vote under the 1989 Constitution as of September 13, 1995, be eligible to vote except that no person should have to pay back dues for the purposes of becoming a member to vote.
6 The 1993 Constitution materially changed the rules of eligibility to become a voting member and a nominee of the Executive Committee, giving the Executive Committee discretion and control over the process.
7 The material filed raises serious questions about the legality of the vote in 1993 adopting the new Constitution. It is my view that persons eligible to vote, in principle, should be those members who would qualify under the 1989 Constitution as of the time of the vote to be held.
8 Because the 1993 Constitution is in question, in my opinion, it should not be used as a guide for eligibility to vote. I therefore order as follows:
1. A member for the purposes of the court-ordered vote should be as follows:
(a) A member is any person who was officially g member in good standing, as defined by the Sikh Cultural Society of Metropolitan Windsor's 1989 Constitution, as at June 20, 1993;
(b) A member will be any individual who is a person as defined by The Sikh Cultural Society of Metropolitan Windsor's 1989 Constitution and registers with the Special Referee on a date 30 days preceding the day on which the vote is to be held;
(c) Persons shall pay dues for the current year prior to becoming a member but no person shall have to pay back dues for the purposes of becoming a member to vote under this Order.
9 I am reserving my decision on costs until subsequent to the vote being completed. At that time, if the parties cannot agree on costs, I will receive further submissions.