Minutes of the Board of Directors’ Regular Meeting – May 25, 2023
Members of the Board of Directors (the Board):
- Me Paul-Claude Bérubé, Chairperson
- Mary Reid, Vice-Chairperson
- William Adair, Director
- Kory Earle, Director
- Maureen Haan, Director
- Penny Hartin, Director
- Brad McCannell, Director
- Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Director
- Laurie Ringaert, Director
Accessibility Standards Canada Public Officers:
- Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
- Martine Bareil, Chief of Staff, CEO’s Office
- Dino Zuppa, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Standards and Research
- Louis-Philippe Daigle, Acting Director General/Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Services
- Andrée Deslauriers, Director, Stakeholder Relations and Intergovernmental Affairs
- Andrea Podruski, Manager, Research and Impact
- Christina Richard, Manager, Communications
- Guillaume Dufresne, Manager, Stakeholder Relations and Corporate Secretariat
- Micah Walter, Senior Policy Analyst, Stakeholder Relations and Corporate Secretariat
- Christopher Collmorgen, Senior Policy Analyst, Stakeholder Relations and Corporate Secretariat
- Jasmine Desloges, Coordinator, Stakeholder Relations and Corporate Secretariat
- Heather Scott, Policy Analyst, Stakeholder Relations and Corporate Secretariat
- Badra Benyamina, Junior Policy Analyst, Stakeholder Relations and Corporate Secretariat
- Hangameh Mumtazi, Coordinator, Stakeholder Relations and Corporate Secretariat
Thursday, May 25, 2023
1. Welcoming remarks and roll call
The meeting opened with a roll call and words of welcome from the Chairperson.
37-1 Motion presented and seconded to open the meeting at 12:05 p.m. EST. Carried by all.
2. Land acknowledgement
L. Ringaert presented a map of the First Nations treaty areas in Manitoba, from where she was participating, and presented land acknowledgement in recognition of Indigenous, Metis and Inuit peoples’ past and present contributions.
3. Board meeting agenda
Document 3A: Proposed agenda
37-2 Motion presented and seconded that the Board adopt the agenda of the Regular Board of Directors’ meeting being held on May 25, 2023. The agenda had been reduced to only time sensitive items when the meeting was moved from in person to virtual. Carried by all.
4. Chairperson’s verbal update
The Chairperson informed that five Board members will reach the end of their Board terms in August 2023. The Chairperson reaffirmed the ongoing work of Board members and staff and thanked everyone for their contribution. Director P. Hartin indicated that she will not be applying for reappointment or extension.
L. Ringaert thanked the Chairperson for his leadership and support to the Board and to the staff working with the Board. K. Earle also thanked the Chairperson for his contribution and recognized the contribution of P. Hartin to the Board.
5. CEO’s verbal update
The CEO presented a verbal report on activities of the last few months, including:
- Accessibility Standards Canada’s employees are back at work following the Public Service Alliance of Canada strike;
- Employees are working hybrid (working from home and working from the office);
- The National Research Council (NRC) has brought accessibility to the forefront and accessibility is now their second priority for building codes;
- The CEO made a presentation with Stephanie Cadieux, Chief Accessibility Officer, to CFIAT (Canadian Financial Institute on Assistive Technologies) a consortium of banks and related companies. The presentation was well received. Accessibility Standards Canada was asked to create training modules about standards;
- Accessibility Standards Canada and the Manitoba Department of Families signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
The Board thanked the CEO for his report. The Board suggested that there needs to be more evaluation and progress measurement within the organization. The Board also inquired about the Canadian Congress on Disability Inclusion, hosted by Employment and Social Development Canada. This year’s theme did not lend itself for Accessibility Standards Canada’s participation as it depends on whether the theme is relevant to our mandate.
6. Terms of reference for accessible procurement
Document 6A: Briefing note
Document 6B: Terms of reference for accessible procurement
Dino Zuppa, COO, informed Board members on the recent launch of the Centre of Expertise which provides information on many areas of standard development and research projects. The Centre of Expertise is available on the organization’s website for stakeholders, other interest groups and general public. D. Zuppa will provide a detailed presentation about the Centre for Expertise at the next Board meeting.
The COO provided information on the updated version of the terms of reference for accessible procurement (document 6B) as requested by Board members at the February 2023 Board meeting. The new version provides a comprehensive approach for accessible procurement for government employees, bidders, as well as accessible criteria for purchasing, leasing goods and services. It also includes the requirements to include suppliers who include accessibility components in their products and services. It was recommended that these four points stand out in the section Scope of Work in document 6B, found at page 7.
Recommended that no new barriers and intersectionality framework are added to the terms of reference for technical committee’s template.
37-3 Motion presented and seconded that the Board approve the terms of reference for accessible procurement, with modification to include intersectionality approach and no new barriers (cross disability perspective). Carried by all.
Action: A revised version of the Terms of Reference for accessible procurement will be sent to all Board members by the Friday Board email.
7. Terms of reference for standards-Update versions
Document 7A: Terms of reference for accessible tourism
Document 7B: Terms of reference for accessible artificial intelligence
Document 7C: Terms of reference for program design and service delivery including customer service
Document 7D: Terms of reference for acoustics for built environment
The Chairperson left the meeting for a few minutes. The Vice-Chairperson presided this item.
Recommended modifications include the following:
- To use the term “intersectional framework” instead of lens in all the Terms of reference documents;
- In document 7C, to review text missing at bottom of page 6, following the sentence “These include:”.
37-4 Motion presented and seconded to revise the four terms of reference and add component of intersectionality framework and to ensure no new barriers (cross disability) are created, and to include the recommended modifications. Carried by all.
Action: All four terms of reference (documents 7A, 7B, 7C and 7D) will be revised to include clauses on intersectional framework and that no new barriers are created during the development of standards.
Action: The template for terms of reference for technical committees will be revised to include:
- Cross disability checks during development of standards (no new barriers); and
- Application of Intersectionality framework.
8. Terms of reference for existing built environment (CAN-ASC-2.6)
Document 8A: Briefing note
Document 8B: Terms of reference for existing built environment (CAN-ASC-2.6)
The COO presented a draft terms of reference (ToR) for the existing built environment (CAN-ASC-2.6). The intent is to upgrade accessibility solutions when renovating existing buildings. Heritage buildings to be considered as a separate standard.
Based on different structures and layouts of buildings, the draft ToR includes the accessibility requirements such as egress, emergency, wayfinding, etc. in the existing building.
The Board made several recommendations for modifications to the terms of reference. These include:
- On page 6 of document 8B, change the last sentence to read “These are examples, but not limited to:”;
- On page 7 of document 8B, above the 7 bullets, the second sentence of paragraph should read “Examples are listed below but not limited to”;
- Expand to a cross disability approach, and include examples other than mobility based (such as signage, stairs, lighting, wayfinding, egress, parking);
- At the beginning of page 6, consider a table of contents to other standards;
- Refocus to removing barriers – not only when readily achievable or with a triggering event;
- Consider including timelines in developing this standard so actions are not further postponed;
- Revisit language, example: this is not totally new or for first time;
- Include intersectionality framework; and
- Include cross disability approach so that no new barriers are created in the development of this standard.
Board members agreed to delay the approval of the Terms of Reference for existing built environment (CAN-ASC-2.6). A revised version of the terms of reference will be provided to Board members with proposed modifications. The resulting delay in setting up this technical committee was accepted by Board and COO.
The Chairperson had returned and resumed Chairperson responsibilities.
9. Orientation of new Board members – Information package
Document 9A: Briefing note
J. McLaughlin gave a summary of the process for welcoming future Board members to Accessibility Standards Canada. The Internal Affairs Committee created an orientation package. Document 9A provides a list of recommended documents to include. Suggestion was made to include background documentation on the Roadmap to 2040 and the 3-Year Strategic Plan, past Annual Reports, as well as the Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Strategies.
Action: Board recommended to prepare a new item entitled “Get To Know Me” for 90 minutes at the first Board meeting with new members.
10. Standing committees feedback on process
Document 10A: Briefing note
Board members exchanged views on the process for the selection of Board members to standing committees. Board members discussed that a yearly review of standing committee membership could be part of the process and that each committee could elect their Chair. A description of the roles of Committee members and Committee Chairs would support the selection process.
The following recommendations were proposed:
- That the Internal Affairs Committee look at the membership process for standing committees and provide recommendations;
- That the Internal Affairs Committee in consultation with the External Affairs Committee look at opportunities to share responsibilities equally;
- That changes are included in the Governance policy based on proposed recommendations by the Internal Affairs Committee;
- That the Chairperson provide recommendations regarding standing committees membership for September 2023, taking into account the status of Board member term lengths, the responsibilities for each committee, and sharing responsibilities equally between committees. Also to consider that Standing Committee appointments be made on a temporary basis for continuity for Board members staying on past September 2023; and
- That Committees ensure 2 and 2 in each committee until selection is done.
11. Board Effectiveness
Document 11A: Summary of generative discussion (February 2023) with scope of work for training
M. Reid provided a summary of the February 2023 Board generative discussion on Board effectiveness. Four themes emerged from the discussion summary: the culture of the organization; power and roles; the processes; and leadership.
Directors recommended that the Board effectiveness training be postponed till the arrival of new Board members.
37-5 Motion presented and seconded that the Board approves the Board effectiveness training Scope of Work, as presented. Carried by all.
12. Indigenous awareness training update
Document 12A: Briefing note with scope of work for training
L. Ringaert presented the Scope of Work designed to deliver in-person learning for the purposes of engagement with Indigenous partners and how to create a more inclusive workplace for Indigenous peoples.
Proposed modifications to the Scope of Work as follows:
- On page 3, to change the language around “organization”, since the trainer may or may not be affiliated with an organization;
- On page 5, under Timeline section, to add the words “and Board” to the last bullet point in Summer activities; sentence should read” Final outline approved by the IAC and Board”;
- Preferable that trainer has knowledge of disability and accessibility issues as well as knowledge of Indigenous culture;
- Timeline for training can be agreed at a future date to include participation of new Board members.
37-6 Motion presented and seconded that the Board approves the Indigenous awareness training Scope of Work with modifications as presented. Carried by all.
13. Review of Board policies and protocols
Document 14A: Briefing note
Document 14B: Accessibility policy and guidelines
Document 14C: Procurement guidelines
Document 14D: Code of conduct and ethics
Document 14E: Whistleblower policy
Document 14F: Recruitment policy
J. McLaughlin, Chair of the Internal Affairs Committee, summarized the annual review process for the policies and protocols based on the Board’s 2023 Annual Critical Dates Calendar. The documents presented for approval contain proposed modifications in track changes. The procurement guidelines did not require modification.
37-7 Motion presented and seconded that the Board approves the Accessibility Policy and Guidelines, Code of Conduct and Ethics, Whistleblower Policy and Recruitment Policy with modifications as noted and discussed:
- To include the same language for effective dates in all documents;
- In document 14C, page 1, second bullet under section “Process in brief”, to eliminate the content of the bracket and replace with “(Board member)”.
Carried by all.
Action: Revised and approved policies and guidelines will be added to the e-binder in the Microsoft digital platform.
14. Work plan and timeline review for the CEO profile
Document 15A: Briefing note
M. Haan provided an overview of the work plan and timeline for the Internal Affairs Committee to develop the organization’s CEO profile. In the briefing note (document 15A) the proposed date under the section “Next Steps” should be the month of May and not April. The draft profile will be presented at the September 2023 Board meeting.
37-8 Motion presented and seconded that the Board approve the work plan and timeline for the review of the CEO profile, with modification as presented. Carried by all.
15. Annual public meeting update
P. Hartin informed Board members that plans for the organization’s third Annual Public Meeting (APM) scheduled for June 1, 2023 are proceeding as planned. Board members’ recommendations from the December 2022 Board meeting were included in the preparation of this event.
On May 18, 757 registered participants were counted at closing time for registration. It is ok for people to still register after the closing date. The agenda was modified to include the CEO co-presenting with the Chairperson. Panelists will be Chairs of some technical committees. Board members were encouraged to share the APM link with networks and to promote hosting of viewing parties. After the event, a thank you message will be sent to participants along with a survey for feedback. The APM final report will be presented at the September 2023 Board meeting.
16. Strategic plan: Board reporting
Document 17A: Briefing note
J. McLaughlin gave an overview of how the new strategic plan will be reported by the CEO and the Board.
Action: Both standing committees will review key initiatives from the strategic plan to set up actions and timelines in their respective work plans.
37-9 Motion presented and seconded that Board approves the Internal Affairs Committee proposed steps to link standing committees’ work plans and regular reports to the strategic plan. Carried by all.
17. Terms of reference for existing built environment (CAN-ASC-2.6) (continued)
Document 8A: Briefing note
Document 8B: Terms of reference for existing built environment (CAN-ASC-2.6)
The CEO requested that the Board revisit its decision on terms of reference for existing built environment. (Page 6 of the present minutes, item no 8, document no 8b)
37-10 Motion presented and seconded to re-open the previous discussion on agenda number 8 -Terms of reference for existing built environment (CAN-ASC-2.6). Carried by all.
The CEO presented a three-tier prioritizing plan on areas that need to be worked on in the existing built environment. The technical committee would identify activities and apply performance approach and measures throughout the development of the standard. By doing so, plans for the application of the Terms of Reference for existing built environment could proceed by September 2023.
37-11 Motion presented to reconsider the approval of the Terms of Reference for existing built environment (CAN-ASC-2.6) as presented in view of the new information provided on the three-year plan. The Terms of Reference would not be applied to heritage buildings. Modifications to the Terms of Reference would include:
- Modifications outlined in item number 8 above;
- In document 8B, page 7, second paragraph from bottom, to replace part of sentence stated as “or after a triggering event” with new sentence “and is timeline based.”;
- The creation of timelines determined by the technical committee for federal jurisdictions.
Carried by all.
18. In-camera session
Document 18A: Theme – Culture of the organization
37-12 Motion presented and seconded to proceed to the in-camera session with participation of the CEO. Carried by all.
37-13 Motion presented and seconded to end the in-camera session. Carried by all.
19. Concluding remark
The Chairperson thanked all Board members and staff for their participation.
37-14 Motion presented and seconded to adjourn the meeting at 3:59 p.m. Carried by all.