Minutes of the Board of Directors’ Regular Meeting - June 1 and 2 , 2021


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,
  • Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Director
  • Laurie Ringaert, Director

Accessibility Standards Canada public officers:

  • Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Dino Zuppa, Director, Stakeholders Engagement for Built Environment
  • Heather Throop, Special Advisor
  • Maggie Saunders, Director, Intergovernmental Affairs (June 1)
  • Philipe Sarrazin, Senior Director, and Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Louis-Philippe Daigle, Manager, Governance and Reporting, and Deputy Chief Financial Officer
  • Micah Walter, Policy Analyst, Governance and Reporting (June 2)
  • Michelle Demery, Senior Director, and Chief Operating Officer (COO)
  • Collinda Joseph, Manager, Standards Development Operations (June 1)
  • Christopher Collmorgen, Manager, Stakeholder Engagement (June 1 and 2)
  • Jasmine Desloges, Coordinator, Governance and Reporting
  • Anthony Jolicoeur, Coordinator, Governance and Reporting
  • Gavin Scharfe, Analyst, IM-IT, Administration
  • Dixson Pushparagan, Student (observer)


  • Jason Ducharme, Partner, MNP consulting firm (June 2)


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

1. Welcoming remarks and roll call

The meeting opened with a roll call and words of welcome from the Chairperson.

The Chairperson presented a land acknowledgement in honor of Indigenous peoples, as Accessibility Standards Canada reaffirms its commitment and responsibility for the recognition and support of Indigenous peoples. A moment of silence was observed for the tragedy of Indigenous children in British Columbia.

21-1 Motion presented and seconded to open the meeting at 12:00 p.m.

Carried by all.

2. Board meeting agenda

Document 2A: Proposed agenda

The Chairperson presented the proposed agenda for approval.

21-2 Motion presented and seconded to approve the agenda for the June 1-2, 2021 Board meeting as presented.

Carried by all.

3. Minutes of special board meetings

Document 3A: Minutes (March 2-4, 2021)

Document 3B: Minutes (April 15, 2021)

21-3 Motion presented and seconded to approve the minutes of the Board of Directors’ Special Meeting of March 2-4, 2021, with correction to the spelling of “sign language” on page 7 under motion 19-8.

Carried by all.

21-4 Motion presented and seconded to approve the minutes of the Board of Directors Special Meeting of April 15, 2021.

Carried by all.

4. Business arising

Document 4A: Action item list

Document 4B: Board motions list

Both documents were reviewed and it was noted that future documents in Excel format would be made available in Word format.

5. Correspondence

The Chairperson was copied on a letter sent to the Minister from a community organization, and a letter of acknowledgement was sent on behalf of Accessibility Standards Canada. Further correspondence would be based upon the Minister’s request.

6. Chairperson’s update

Document 6A: Chairperson’s message

The Chairperson’s message stated that after two years of foundational work, the long-term planning and work of the organization strongly benefits from the guidance and engagement of persons with disabilities. Such participation and communication also benefits the whole nation by providing a strong support for the development of standards, partnerships with organizations and stakeholders, and the public.

A new initiative will begin at all regular Board meetings for Board members to learn about one another as virtual meetings have limited shared exchanges. It was proposed and agreed by all Board members that one Board member would share their life and work experience at each regular Board meeting. While regular Board meetings can be more than one day, there is only one presentation per meeting.

Board members expressed interest in learning about other organizations doing similar work as Accessibility Standards Canada. Particular interest was expressed to learn about the “Council of Federal Accessibility Agencies” and how mandates vary from one group to another who are part of this Council.

7. CEO’s update

Document 7A: CEO’s report

Document 7B: Outdoor spaces outline

Document 7C: Plain language outline

The CEO submitted his report outlining the various projects and activities that took place in the organization in the past few months. The Board members appreciated the great detail in reporting on all aspects of the organization.

The CEO outlined that May 31, 2021, was the organization first virtual Annual Public Meeting and the organization received positive feedback on the event.

Detailed information was presented at the meeting in relation to the work being done by the four technical committees. It was noted that the work for the Built Environment-Accessibility is underway with the setting up of a new committee and progress has been made with respect to collaboration with the National Research Council.

The accreditation process for the organization is progressing and processes are being put in place and documented.

Presently, the organization is almost at full staff capacity, and Board members will receive the updated functional organization chart in the next few weeks.

Many of the projects and activities outlined in the CEO’s report can also be found on the organization’s website.

8. Annual public meeting roundtable

The Chairperson acknowledged the work done by the External Relations Committee and the Communications and Stakeholder Engagement teams in organizing the first Annual public meeting of Accessibility Standards Canada on May 31, 2021.

The Chair of the External Relations Committee, Penny Hartin, thanked all Board members for their contribution and the staff who facilitated the event. The Chair of the Committee asked each Board member to give their feedback on the Annual public meeting, and to provide recommendations for next year’s event.

9. Standards development process

Document 9A: Briefing note

Document 9B: Standards development process

The CEO proceeded to present the new proposed process for standards development. The document 9B outlined the 12 steps required to complete the process. The chart describing the process defined who is responsible for each aspect of the work described for each step. The three groups responsible for specific functions identified in the 12 steps are: the Office of the CEO, technical committees, and the Board of Directors. The CEO indicated that the functioning of technical committees must also respect the criteria set by the Standards Council of Canada on how committees are established and how they do their work.

For the public consultation process, all comments from the public will be considered, reviewed and documented. All questions that were not answered during the consultation will be acknowledged, answered or referred to the appropriate entity. This will be shared with the Board of Directors.

21-5 Motion presented and seconded to approve the document presented outlining the process for standards development as presented at the Board meeting on June 1, 2021. Board members requested modifications and a revised version of this document will be presented for approval at a future meeting.

Carried by all.

10. Harmonization work with provinces and territories

Document 11A: Briefing note

The CEO presented a summary on the benefits of having consistent, “best in class” standards established across Canada and involving provinces and territories from the beginning of the process. Such an approach would prevent duplication, reduce costs, and provide expertise and research to provinces and territories. This collaboration would result in a high level of accessibility no matter where people reside and bring about a positive culture change.

The CEO will continue to update the Board on provincial or territorial matters moving forward.

It was recommended that the long-term roadmap that the organization is developing reflect the engagement of provinces and territories and goal for harmonization in the years to come.

11. Financial update

Document 12A: Presentation

A summary of Accessibility Standards Canada’s budget was presented by Philipe Sarrazin, CFO. A comparative chart presented to Board members outlined the organization’s financial expenses for the year 2019 to 2020 compared to expenses for the year 2020 to 2021. Factors such as COVID-19 and increases in staff, deliverables, and the grants and contributions program all had significant impacts on the budget of the organization compared to the previous year. The focus for this year’s fiscal planning will be on integrated budget planning and multi-year planning with references to projects.

12. Procurement guidelines

Document 13A: Briefing note

Document 13B: Procurement guidelines

Document 13C: Annex

The Vice-Chairperson presented the revised version of the Procurement Guidelines based on the recommendations of Board members at the March 2-4, 2021 Board meeting.

21-6 Motion presented and seconded to approve the revised version of the Procurement Guidelines as presented at the June 1, 2021 Board of Directors meeting.

Carried by all.

13. Accessibility policy and guidelines

Document 14A: Accessibility policy and guidelines

The modifications to section 2.2 (description of volunteer) and section 3.5 (description of DAISY system) were made as requested at the March 2-4, 2021 Board meeting. The document was presented for approval at this meeting.

21-7 Motion presented and seconded to approve the Accessibility Policy as presented at the June 1, 2021 Board of Directors meeting with the modification to describe the function of the DAISY system as: “to be allowed to move from one part of a document to another”.

Carried by all.

14. Performance appraisal committee update

The Chair of the Committee, Brad McCannell, gave an overview of the Committee’s activities since the last Board meeting on March 2-4, 2021. The Performance Appraisal Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee met on May 4, 2021 to discuss the observations from the summary report presented to the Board at their Special Meeting of April 15 on the roles and responsibilities of the Board and the CEO.

15. CEO objectives 2021-2022

Document 16A: Briefing note

The Performance Appraisal Committee was asked to reach out to the CEO for his input on his objectives for 2021 to 2022 (also known as commitments). The Committee will meet to develop an evaluation process and the CEO’s objectives for 2021 to 2022. The objectives will be developed based on the strategic plan, the department framework and the mandate of the organization. The CEO’s objectives will be shared at the special Board meeting on June 17, 2021.

16. Strategic planning committee update

Document 17A: Committee report

The Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, Maureen Haan, asked that all Board members focus on and read document “32B: Roadmap to 2040” as it is an important document that will be discussed at the June 2, 2021 Board meeting.

17. Annual meeting calendar update

Document 18A: Annual meeting calendar update–critical dates

The Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, Maureen Haan, stated that this calendar was created by the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and the CEO and it was based on the annual meeting calendar approved at the March 2-4, 2021 Board meeting.

21-8 Motion presented and seconded to approve the Annual Meeting Critical Dates calendar as presented at the June 1, 2021 Board meeting, with the following modification identified on page 3, to add ‘’generative discussion’’ as a standing item for all regular Board meetings.

Carried by all.

The Chairperson consulted all Board members to schedule the next regular Board meetings in September and December 2021 based on the annual meeting calendar.

21-9 Motion presented and seconded to approve the next two regular Board of Directors’ meetings scheduled on September 13-14-15 (for four hours each day), and on December 8-9-10, 2021 (for 3 to 4 hours for each day).

Carried by all.

18. Strategic plan follow-up

The Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, Maureen Haan, reported that the focus of the Committee was based on the work for the Roadmap to 2040 and to incorporate the CEO’s reporting into the Roadmap.

19. Meetings and presentations from stakeholders

Document 21A: Briefing note

Document 21B: Criteria triaging for meeting requests

Director Penny Hartin, Chair of the External Relations committees, reported that the External Relations and the Strategic Planning committees were asked to review requests from outside groups or individuals who wish to meet with or present to the Board. The joint committee work resulted in a guideline document titled “Criteria Triaging for Meeting Requests” which presents the criteria to decide whether and when a request for a meeting from outside groups or individuals is within the mandate of the organization.

Other components will need to be added to the criteria process as to who will receive the requests, analyse them, apply the set criteria and make final decisions. How much time is allocated to presentations from outside groups or individuals will need to consider timing based on the strategic plan, the annual meeting calendar and other time constraints. The process requires a general vision on how to apply it from beginning to end and how to coordinate the process.

The document for criteria triaging will be revised to clarify terms such as “community” in Part A to further include groups and individuals. Other terms will be reviewed and acronyms will be spelled out. The two committees will review this document and present a revised version at the next regular Board meeting in September. The importance of hearing from groups and individuals was noted.

At the September Board meeting, the document “Communications Strategy and Stakeholders Engagement Plan’’ will also be reviewed. Alternative ways will be examined for Board members to engage or create a space with the public either virtually or in person at a future time.

20.Concluding Remarks

Director Kory Earle will give a short presentation at the beginning of the meeting tomorrow, prior to the Governance Committee items. This is the first of the initiative for Board members to share information about their own work and life experiences.

20-10 Motion presented to adjourn the meeting at 3:55 pm.

Carried by all.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

21. Welcoming remarks and roll call

The meeting opened with a roll call and words of welcome from the Chairperson.

21-11 Motion presented and seconded to open the meeting at 12:00 p.m.

The Chairperson proposed to recite a land acknowledgement at the beginning of each Board meeting. Director Mary Reid offered to recite the land acknowledgement in honor of the Indigenous peoples in her province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Board members agreed that for each future Board meeting, a Board member will recite a land acknowledgement from the province in which they reside.

Carried by all.

Director Kory Earle proceeded to share a brief summary of his life and work experience with all Board members.

22. Governance committee update

Document 25A: Committee report

The Chair of the Governance Committee, Kory Earle, stated that the Committee met a couple times since the March 2-4, 2021 Board meeting and discussed the Travel Reimbursement and Salary Per Diem Reimbursement Guidelines and Indigenous awareness training.

23. Travel and reimbursement policy revision

Director Kory Earle informed the Board members that the Travel Reimbursement and Salary Per Diem Reimbursement Guidelines will be reviewed by the Committee and presented at the September 2021 Board meeting for approval.

24. Board trainings follow-up

Document 27A: Governance committee training

The Chair of the Governance Committee, Kory Earle, presented revised dates for Indigenous awareness training for all Board members. The action plan was presented in two distinct steps (formally known as Phase 1 and Phase 3 in the Indigenous Awareness Training Roadmap):

Step 1: In Fall 2021, Director Laurie Ringaert will host a discussion with Board members on Indigenous awareness. Two weeks prior to this discussion, the Committee will share a list of resources with all Board members. The Committee will add two videos suggested by the CEO to the list of optional resources.

Step 2: In early 2022, Board members will hold a four-hour training session on Indigenous history, culture and engagement, hopefully in person. The Committee will work with staff to draft a statement of work for this training, which will be approved by the Board at a future meeting.

21-12 Motion presented and seconded to approve the action plan outlining step 1 and step 2 on Indigenous awareness training for all Board members, as presented at the June 2, 2021 Board meeting.

Carried by all.

25. Risk management plan

Documents 28A-29A: Briefing note

Document 28B: Enterprise risk management policy

Document 28C: Risk tolerance statement

The CFO, Philipe Sarrazin, presented the concepts outlined in the documents 28B and 28C related to risk management planning and how to apply its principles.

The document 28B, at section 5, identifies the roles and responsibilities of the Board, CEO and CFO. A risk management report will be presented at each regular Board meeting going forward.

26. Risk registry

Documents 28A-29A: Briefing note

Document 29B: Risk register and key risks

An updated version of the document 29B was sent to all Board members prior to the meeting.

The CFO, Philipe Sarrazin, presented the risk registry document. At Tab 1, the information identified which risks the organization could be exposed to and the rate of occurrence and impact. Risk level and risk impact are ways to determine which risks are above an acceptable curve. At Tab 2, it identified the risks by categories that need to be mitigated. There is a need to determine how to utilise the risk registry from a Board point of view, to identify the specific roles for the Board and the CEO’s Office, and to outline how risks relate to the organization’s mandate. Based on these findings, new controls will be considered and mitigation actions will be set in place.

All future documents in relation to the risk management plan and risk registry will be presented in accessible formats. Plain language will also be used for better understanding of risk management terminology. Revised documents will be presented at the next regular Board meeting.

27. External relations committee update

Document 31A: Committee report

The Chair of the External relations committee, Penny Hartin, reported that the Committee met four times since the last Board meeting. The 2020 to 2021 Annual Report is ready to be submitted to the Minister after which time the Minister will have 15 days to table it in Parliament. It will then be available to the public and posted on the organization’s website.

Any further comments about the Annual Public Meeting should be shared with the Chair of the Committee.

The strategies for communication and engagement will be presented at the next regular Board meeting.

It was further agreed by all Board members that no acronyms should be used in all communications such as the Annual Public Meeting, the Annual Report or the Roadmap to 2040. This will ensure accessibility and full understanding of names for all.

28. Roadmap to 2040

Document 32A: Briefing note

Document 32B: Roadmap to 2040

The Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, Maureen Haan, presented Jason Ducharme from MNP consulting firm who was present at the meeting to support discussion on the roadmap. The contract with MNP will be completed after the Board meeting and the Committee will carry forward with finalizing the roadmap for Board approval at the September meeting.

The Chair requested feedback from each Board member on questions related to specific items in the roadmap. Comments shared were to focus on the content of the document and any recommendations on smaller changes such as wording would be sent to Micah Walter with copy to Maureen Haan and all Board members. There was a delay of one week to provide comments to the Strategic Planning Committee.

29. Other business

Not applicable.

30. In-camera

Not applicable.

31. Concluding remarks

The Chairperson reminded Board members of the next special Board meeting to be held on June 17, 2021. All documents pertaining to this meeting should be sent to staff by June 10. The next regular Board meeting will be on September 13-14-15, 2021.

Carried by all.

21-13 Motion presented to adjourn the meeting at 4:03 p.m.

Carried by all.