Canadian Baha’is Elect their National Governing Council

Canadian Baha’is Elect their National Governing Council

Newly elected members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada. © Laura Mostmand
Toronto, Ontario, 3 June 2013 (CBNS)

More than 150 Baha’i delegates from across the country met in Toronto over the weekend of 25–26 May to elect the national governing body of the Baha’is of Canada, the National Spiritual Assembly.

Those elected for a one-year term were Karen McKye (Toronto), Deloria Bighorn (Vancouver Island), Mehran Anvari (Hamilton), Judy Filson (Toronto), Elizabeth Wright (Quebec City), Enayat Rawhani (Toronto), Gordon Naylor (London), Susanne Tamas (Almonte, Ontario) and Lisa Flynn (Toronto). Karen McKye will serve as Secretary, the chief executive officer of the National Assembly, over the coming year.

The prayerful and reflective atmosphere of Baha’i democratic elections, devoid of campaigning and raucous debate, created a spirit of dignity, which Baha’is see as an essential element of elections, characteristic of the reciprocity and respect that should infuse the relationship between individuals, social institutions and the community as a whole.

The elections were part of the annual National Convention. The convention’s agenda focused on a message received by the Baha’i world community from its international governing council, the Universal House of Justice. The message noted the gratifying progress of the five-year plan of action that Baha’is around the world have been pursuing. The plan addresses some of the most fundamental challenges facing humanity at this time.

Central to the plan and its current success has been a global upsurge of coordinated and coherent actions at the grass-roots level that involve meetings that strengthen the devotional character of the community, classes that nurture the hearts and minds of children, groups that empower youth to serve their communities, and study circles aimed at applying Baha’i teachings to individual and collective life.

Canadian Baha’is as well as the other national Baha'i communities are eagerly pursuing a plan that is conceived as a systematic effort to learn how to serve the needs of the world’s children and youth, how to advance social practices characterized by moral and spiritual principles that strengthen a global collective consciousness of humanity’s oneness and unity, and how to create the foundations of a peaceful and prosperous world civilization.

The Baha’i Community of Canada was established in 1898, and the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is was incorporated by an Act of the Canadian Parliament in 1949.