Minutes of the Board of Directors’ Regular Meeting – September 30 to October 2, 2019


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
  • Rabia Khedr, Director
  • Brad McCannell, Director (by teleconference)
  • Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Director
  • Laurie Ringaert, Director

Accessibility Standards Canada staff members:

  • Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Kevin Whitehouse, Director General
  • Eric De Santis, Senior Legal Counsel (October 1 am)
  • Nathalie Poitras, Administration Manager
  • Maggie Saunders, Corporate Secretariat Acting Manager
  • Micah Walter, Policy Analyst (October 1 am and October 2 am)
  • Isabelle Carrier, Acting Corporate Secretariat
  • Christina Richard, Communications Manager
  • Carrie Letourneau, Accessibility Communications Acting Director (October 1)
  • Pamela Wotherspoon, Communications Manager (October 1 am)
  • Romantica Rasoldier, Communications Advisor (October 1 am)
  • Daname Gogue, Grant and Contribution Specialist (October 2 am)
  • Amy Wilmott, Business Strategies Consultant (October 2 am)


Monday, September 30, 2019

1. Words of welcome

The meeting was opened at 9:15 am with words of welcome from the Chairperson and the CEO.

2. Approval of the agenda

Motion for the approval of the agenda and to add the item “Other business” to the agenda and keep it open should there be motions to add at the end of the meeting. Carried by all as modified.

3. Rules for meeting management

Document circulated with proposed principles of meeting management (Chairperson).

4. Sign language and video remote interpretation use

Presentation: ASL Interpretation (Director Dr. Joe McLaughlin).

5. Accessibility Standards Canada mandate and overview

Presentation: Welcome to Accessibility Standards Canada: Overview and mandate (staff).

The Board noted the importance of establishing effective relationships with the other federal organizations that have mandates under the Accessible Canada Act (the Act), as well as the Accessibility Secretariat. The Board also noted the importance of working with provinces and territories as well as engaging Canadians and Indigenous stakeholders.

Accessibility Standards Canada will explore how new federal accessibility standards could apply at provincial and territorial levels and Accessibility Standards Canada’s role within a federal-provincial-territorial approach to consistency. The Board tasked staff to undertake this work and include this item on a future Board meeting agenda.

6. Principles of good governance

Presentation: Accessibility Standards Canada: Board governance briefing (Institute on governance).

7. Public versus private governance: challenges facing a public sector board

Presentation: Accessibility Standards Canada: Board governance briefing (Institute on governance).

The Board noted the importance of strategic planning and public communications as well as ensuring the accessibility of Board and Accessibility Standards Canada activities.

8. Public stewardship

Presentation: Accessibility Standards Canada: Board governance briefing (Institute on governance).

The Board noted the importance of proper stewardship of resources, information and accessibility. The Board reiterated that board members are appointed as individuals and do not represent other organizations while within Accessibility Standards Canada meetings or events.

9. Board and committees roles and responsibilities; building and maintaining positive and appropriate relationships

Presentation: Accessibility Standards Canada: Board governance briefing (Institute on governance).

The Board noted the importance of establishing clear roles and authorities for committees, with terms of references as approved by the Board, including persons with disabilities and the role of the Board in identifying skills and knowledge gaps for addressing future Board vacancies.

Motion to adjourn the meeting at 4:45 pm.

Carried by all.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Motion to reopen the meeting at 9:15 am

Carried by all.

10. Accessibility Standards Canada legal status, authorities and indemnification

Presentation: Accessibility Standards Canada (Senior legal counsel).

The Board sought clarity regarding access to information and privacy requirements in relation to Board activities. The Board sought clarity regarding legal aspects of accessibility complaints under the Act versus discrimination complaints under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

11. Conflict of interest

Presentation: Accessibility Standards Canada (Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner).

The Board sought clarity regarding requirements as public office holders under the Conflict of Interest Act, including the duty to recuse from discussion or votes if there is a conflict of interest with outside activities.

12. Departmental results framework

Presentation: Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory (staff).

The Departmental Results Framework will be prepared by staff, reviewed by the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and CEO, and then sent to Board members later in the month. A conference call will be held late October to gain the Board’s approval on the Departmental Results Framework.

13. Communications

Presentations: Communications overview (staff); Accessibility Standards Canada Visual Identity Guide (staff).

The Board noted the importance of a visual identity for Accessibility Standards Canada that is fully accessible and reflects the organization in a dynamic and progressive manner and noted the importance of accessible communications and platforms. A new Visual Identity Guide will be sent to Board members to choose a visual identity that meets the requirements of the Board.

Motion that the operating name “Accessibility Standards Canada – Normes d’accessibilité Canada” be adopted; to be referred to in full, not in acronym form. Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization (CASDO) will be kept as the legal name.

Carried by all.

14. Media training

Presentation: Media spokesperson training (Interplay Creative Media).

Documents: Training manual: Media spokesperson; Key messages worksheet (Interplay Creative Media).

The Board noted the importance of using Accessibility Standards Canada media opportunities to also challenge stereotypes and support culture change by promoting the dignity and value of people with disabilities.

Motion to adjourn the meeting at 4:55 pm.

Carried by all

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Motion to reopen the meeting at 9:15 am.

Carried by all.

15. Grants and contributions

Presentation: Grants and contribution program (staff).

The Board noted the importance of engaging people with disabilities, as well as stakeholder organizations, and ensuring accessible processes.

The Board noted the importance of establishing a foundation and guiding principles for the program that reflect the range of disabilities and support research capacity more broadly. The Board added the following to the list of proposed priority areas for research: research to inform foundation and principles; the diversity and intersectionality of disabilities; procurement; and outdoor spaces as an aspect of the built environment.

Motion that the Board support the 4 grants and contributions strategies outlined in the October 2nd, 2019 presentation to the Board and incorporate feedback provided by the Board.

Carried by all.

16. By-law drafting and priorities

Presentation: By-laws to be drafted (staff).

Motion that staff be given the mandate to prepare the first draft of a complete set of by-laws in time for the November Board meeting, including the terms of reference of each of the 4 standing committees, and that the by-laws will be made publicly available. The by-laws will incorporate feedback provided by the Board.

Carried by all.

17. Other business

17.1 New permanent location of Accessibility Standards Canada

Discussion clarified that it is not the intent of the directors of the Board to be involved in operational issues of Accessibility Standards Canada but the Board would like a vehicle to provide some input into the face of the Accessibility Standards Canada as acceptable by the CEO.

Motion that M. Reid and Dr. J. McLaughlin (in consultation with other potential interested directors) will assume responsibility to provide feedback on behalf of the Board via the CEO on matters related to the preliminary design and fit up, as it pertains to the incorporation of accessibility features and public interface display module within Accessibility Standards Canada’s new permanent location in Gatineau, Québec.

Carried by all.

17.2 Correspondence addressed to Board members

Motion that all correspondence received by the Board, either directly or through the Chairperson, and/or correspondence received by staff at Accessibility Standards Canada, will be monitored, logged and then responded to by the CEO (or their delegate) in consultation with the Chairperson. Records of such correspondence and responses will be made available to Board as part of their meeting agendas.

Carried by all.

17.3 Chairperson’s participation as a guest speaker

Motion that the Board, in the absence of a current protocol, acknowledged and supports the Chairperson’s participation as a guest speaker, the Chairperson’s reimbursement of travel expenses to attend this event, and also the participation of the CEO as a guest at an Independent Living event on September 20, 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario.

Carried by all.

17.4 Accessibility Standards Canada representations

Motion that the Board agrees that in the interim of a policy being implemented, the CEO and Chairperson will be permitted to accept or reject invitations for presentations from stakeholder groups.

Carried at a majority of the Board members. (The CEO and Chairperson agreed that the Board should be kept informed of all requests received, and accepted or declined).

17.5 Next face-to-face Board meeting

Motion that the Board holds its second face-to-face meeting on November 25, 26, and 27, 2019, in the National Capital. Region.

Carried by all. (The most important items will have to be discussed on the 2 first day of that meeting).

17.6 Conference call Board meeting

Motion that the Board hold a teleconference meeting at 3:00 pm Eastern Time on Friday, October 25, 2019 to discuss the Departmental Results Framework where a decision concerning the framework will be made.

Carried by all.

18. Wrap-up and next steps

Presentation: Next steps (staff).

19. In-camera session

Board agreed unanimously that an in-camera session was not necessary and it was cancelled.

20. End of meeting

Motion to adjourn the meeting at 12:20 pm.

Carried by all.