By-Laws 2017

revised: June 4, 2017


  • Our members are each People First group in Nova Scotia.

What we do is:

  • Self-advocacy.
  • Promote equality for people labelled with an intellectual disability


    • Members must show a commitment to the goals of PFNS.
    • There must be a current membership list for each chapter in the provincial office.
    • Voting members are members of the local groups who have been labelled with an intellectual disability, or have used the services for people who have been labelled such as: vocational centres, group homes, following IPP in education system, disability employment programs.
    • Voting members must be 18 years of age or over.
    • Voting members of the provincial board are the Presidents of each local group, plus the Executive of PFNS.
    • Non-voting members are junior members between the ages of 12-17 years.

If someone wants to join PFNS from an area where there is no local group, the Executive can vote to have that person become a member.  That member, with the support of PFNS, will be encouraged  to start a local group.


  1. A local group must follow provincial by-laws.
  2. A local group must have a meeting a minimum of three (3) times a year.
  3. A member of a local group is considered an active member if they attend the majority of regular chapter meetings that year (50% +1).
  4. A local group will provide reports to the provincial Board Meetings and to the AGM.
  5. The local group’s appointed board member must attend a minimum of one Provincial Board Meeting per year.
  6. A local group must have an elected Executive, to be elected at every two years.
  7. A local group and its members must follow the goals of PFNS

If a group doesn’t follow the goals of PFNS, that group’s membership may be discontinued by a 75% majority vote of members present at an AGM meeting.


  • Executive Committee has the authority to:
  • Take care of the business of PFNS between general meetings;
  • Spend money and to make sure the spending of money is within the approved budget;
  • To meet the objectives of PFNS and to enable PFNS to get gifts, donations, and receipts of any kind.
  • Any contract, document or any other material that requires the signature of PFNS may be signed by any two Executive members and staff. The Board may appoint other members or advisors to be additional signers.
  • PFNS may borrow money by a special resolution of the members.
  • Directors and officers shall serve without remuneration and shall not receive any profit from their positions. However, a director or officer may be paid reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of his/her duties.
  • PFNS does not have a seal.
  • Directors and officers shall serve without remuneration and shall not receive any profit from their positions. However, a director or officer may be paid reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of his/her duties.


The Board of Directors will consist of the provincial Executive and the President of each local group. If the President of a local group holds a provincial Executive position, then an alternative Director may be appointed by that local group. The Executive of PFNS shall be as follows:

  • President
  • Past-President
  • Vice-President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • The President will run all meetings of PFNS.  The President will make sure the work of PFNS is being done.
  • The Past-President will chair the nominating committee, will attend PFNS Board meetings, and will share experience with the Executive whenever necessary.
  • The Vice-President will assist the President, and will perform the duties of the President if the President is unable.
  •  The Secretary will read minutes of meetings.
  •  The Treasurer will be responsible for the reading of the financial reports at the meetings and present the budget.
  • The Executive the authority to carry on the business of PFNS in between board meetings. The Executive will carry out the business of PFNS subject to Board approval.
  • A leadership Ad hoc committee may be formed to plan for training opportunities for the membership and community,  with advisor/staff support. This committee may consist of senior members of PFNS who have served on the board for no less than ten years.

Any member of the Executive may resign in writing to the Board.   The Board may by a majority of the votes remove any director. If an Executive position becomes vacant, the membership shall appoint a new director at an AGM.


  • Must follow all of the goals of PFNS
  • Support Board and its work – if unable set alternate, with input from Executive committee.
  • Must attend all PFNS Board meetings- or select alternate, with input from Executive committee.
  • Work as a team with other advisors and staff
  •  Appointment of the provincial Advisor will be set every two years by a vote of the Board of Directors.


  • Must  follow all the goals of PFNS
  • Support their local chapter and its work
  • Must attend at least one PFNS board meeting a year
  • Work as a team with provincial advisor, other advisors and staff       Appointment of the Chapter Advisor will be set every two years by a vote of the Chapter members


  •  Staff must  follow the goals of PFNS
  •  Their role is to support all members, the Board and the executive and all committees in their work
  • Assist with PFC work
  • Will take all board minutes
  • Must attend all PFNS board meetings, or send alternate, with the input of the Executive committee
  • Staff are supervised by the executive, represented on a daily basis by the President, and the Staff advisory Committee
  • Work as a team with Advisors


  • Meetings of the Board of Directors may be held at any time and at any place with ten (10) days notice and at least two times a year.
  •  Notice must be sent in writing or by phone to each Director.
  • Preparation of minutes, all books, records and minutes of all meetings of PFNS and of the Board of Directors shall be the responsibility of the Staff, and shall be kept at the PFNS office.
  •  Members of the Board of Directors will be reimbursed for their reasonable expenses.
  • The books and records of PFNS may be inspected by any member within two (2) days’ notice prior to the Annual General Meeting at the office of PFNS.
  • Members of the Executive may not be related by blood or marriage.


  • President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer will be elected once every two (2) years at an Annual General Meeting.
  • The President and the Past-President shall appoint a nominating committee of three (3) members and the Past- President, at least two (2) months before the elections.
  •  The committee will be chaired by the Past-President. The committee will prepare a list of candidates for each position.
  • Candidates must have sat on the provincial Board. All nominations will go to the nominating committee.
  • An Executive member is eligible to hold the same position for two (2) full consecutive terms.
  • An Executive member must be out of office for at least four (4) years before he/she can hold the same position again.


The annual or any other meeting will be held at a time and place to be determined by the Board of Directors. At any annual meeting, in addition to any other business, the following will be received:

  1. The Report of the President
  2. Financial statements
  3. The Auditor’s Report
  4. The Budget
  5. Auditor for next year
  • The members of PFNS will be able to consider and conduct any business of People First at this meeting.
  • The Board of Directors or the President have the power to call a general meeting of the members of PFNS at any time, but (10) days written notice must be given to the members prior to any annual or special meeting.
  • At meetings, there MUST be a majority (50 +1) of the members entitled to vote.
  • At all meetings of members of PFNS, every decision will be determined by a majority vote unless otherwise provided for in these by-laws.
  • At the Annual General Meeting, each group will have one (1) vote. A voting member may appoint another member to attend and act on their behalf at any meeting.


  • Unless otherwise ordered by the Board of Directors, the official year-end of PFNS will be March 31.
  •  The staff and president/Executive will see that all necessary books and records of People First required by the by-laws or any applicable law are regularly and properly kept.


  • The by-laws of the PFNS may be changed by a special resolution at an AGM, and approved with at least three-quarters (3/4) of the members.
  • Notice of the by-law changes need to be given at least two (2) months prior to the meeting.