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Resolution Guidelines

The following resolution guidelines have been provided by the CACP Resolution sub-committee to assist and support the membership with the development of resolutions.

The Preamble

The purpose of the preamble is to lead up to the operative clause. That is, the preamble familiarizes the reader with the subject under discussion and alerts the reader to the problem at hand. The reader is then prepared to consider the solution/call to action offered in the operative clause.

All preamble clauses begin with “WHEREAS” and, where appropriate, should start out by referring to the applicable legislation. If possible, list the particular Sections of the Criminal Code or Act to which the resolution is taking exception.

The preamble should then go on to explain what, exactly, the problem is. This is best explained by using examples of the actual incident(s) precipitating the resolution.

The Operative Clause

All operative clauses begin with “THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT” the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police…”. Usually, this is then followed by either “requests…” or “is opposed to…”.

In the case of operative clauses which consist of requests, usually requesting an action by a minister, it is imperative that this request be directed to the proper minister. That is, the minister having jurisdiction over the legislation in question. Also, when referring to the minister, use the phrase “the Minister of…” rather than the individual’s name.

The operative clause is the call to action—the very reason the resolution was drafted in the first place. This is the most important part of the resolution and should be written very clearly. There should be no doubt as to what specific action is being requested.

Also, the called-for action must be appropriate to the problem outlined in the preamble. Often, an operative clause will contain more than one call to action. Unfortunately, these other calls to action are usually associated with peripheral issues and are therefore not truly pertinent solutions to the issue at hand. This only serves to confuse the reader and, to the various committees which most review the resolutions, detracts from the proper call to action.

The Wording

Keep it simple. Keep it action oriented. And keep it free of ambiguous terms.

Commentary/Media Lines

To be submitted with each resolution. This provides background information for CACP members and the members of the Resolution sub-committee.

The Action Plan

Outline how the sponsor is going to move the resolution forward until implementation is complete. The sponsor is responsible for providing the association’s Executive Director with a yearly status report in August of each year.


April 1st of each year. This allows sufficient time for resolutions to be considered by the Resolution sub-committee, to be translated and to be packaged. After this date, resolutions will not be accepted by the CACP National Office. Only urgent matters, addressed in a resolution format and with the approval of the Board of Directors, may be tabled at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Additional Resources