As a result of decisions made by members attending the annual general meeting held July 21 in Vancouver, the Poplar Council now has a new name: Poplar and Willow Council of Canada - en français, Conseil canadien des peupliers et des saules. The expanded name has been adopted in recognition of the increasingly important role of willows in Canada in biomass plantations for energy and in phytoremediation. Willows are members of the genus Salix within the same family (the Salicaceae) as poplars, which belong to the genus Populus. For the last decade or more, the Council has included willows in its mandate; members felt that the time had come to recognize that broader mandate through the name of the organization. The decision also reflects the direction being taken by the International Poplar Commission whose Executive Committee, meeting the day before the Poplar and Willow Council of Canada, took the first steps towards changing its name to 'International Commission on Poplars and Other Trees Sustaining People and the Environment', part of its overall reform process.
The new name - and a new logo - took effect once the name change had been approved by Corporations Canada as part of the process the Council is undergoing to conform to regulations under the new federal legislation for Not-for-profit corporations. The meeting in Vancouver approved draft 'Articles of Continuance' and a draft 'By-law Number 1' which were subsequently submitted to Corporations Canada in line with those regulations. The Articlesof Continuance have been accepted.
In other news from the annual meeting:
- Barb Thomas stepped down from the position of Chair which she has held for five years. Raju Soolanayakanahally of Agriculture and Agrifood Canada in Indian Head, Saskatchewan was elected Chair in her place.
- John Doornbos of the Canadian Forest Service in Edmonton, who has been Past Chair, was appointed to the position of Treasurer, replacing Hamid Naeem who had resigned from that position.
- The position of chair of the Environmental Working Group became vacant, following the resignation of Jaconette Mirck who has left Canada for a university appointment in Germany. Steps are being taken to fill the Council vacancy.
- The Pesticide Working Group has a new chair - Richard Krygier of the Canadian Forest Service in Edmonton - who replaces Cees van Oosten. Cees remains as a Vice-Chair of the Council.
- An ad-hoc financial sub-committee which has been reviewing the financial sustainability of the Council reported to the meeting and received a number of suggestions for enhancing the long-term viability of the organization.
- Plans for future annual meetings were discussed. While no final decision was reached in regard to a meeting in 2015, the suggestion of a small targeted workshop in eastern Canada, probably in September, was favoured.