Minutes of the Board of Directors’ special meeting – March 11, 2020


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
  • Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Director


  • Laurie Ringaert, Director

Accessibility Standards Canada staff members

  • Michelle Demery, Chief Operating Officer
  • Christina Richard, Manager, Communications/Stakeholder Engagement
  • Maggie Saunders, Acting Manager, Governance and Reporting
  • Lorraine Trudel, Coordinator, Governance and Reporting


1. Roll call and welcoming remarks

The meeting opened at 3:00 p.m. EDT with a roll call and words of welcome from the Chairperson. All Board members accepted in writing to waive provisions 3.4.3, 3.4.5 and 3.4.6 of the Governance Policy to allow this teleconference to be held without the regular notice or regular advance provision of agenda and materials. Urgent decisions are required in the face of the COVID-19 threat, namely the possibilities of having to postpone the inaugural Annual Public Meeting on April 6, 2020 and also to cancel the April 6 to 8, 2020 Regular Board meeting, both slated to be held in Toronto, Ontario.

2. Board meeting agenda

The Chairperson suggested adding item “Other decisions following the decision on the previous item” to the agenda after item 3, to proceed with a decision to postpone, cancel or pursue plans for the April 2020 Annual Public Meeting and the April Board meeting.

07-1 Motion presented to approve agenda as amended.

Carried by all.

3. Annual public meeting and board meeting

The plans for the Annual Public Meeting have been underway for quite some time and 330 people had already registered with 40% participants from Toronto and 60% from the rest of Canada. Board members discussed about the repercussions of proceeding with the event and how it could put attendees at risk.

Cancellation of both the Annual Public Meeting and postponement of the Regular Board meeting would have financial repercussions; however, delaying postponement and cancellation further would mean significant financial loss for both the participants and the organization. Board members deliberated on the many issues relating to this situation.

07-2 Motion presented to postpone the April 6, 2020 Annual Public Meeting to a later date in the 2020 to 2021 fiscal year, as established by the Board of Directors, and to cancel the April 6 to 8, 2020 Regular Board meeting.

Carried by all.

4. Other decisions following the decision on the previous item

The Chairperson suggested to the Board members to hold 2 conference call meetings of 90 minutes each on April 6 and 7 at 1:30 p.m. to address the most urgent items, to postpone the other issues to the June face-to-face meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and to extend the Halifax meeting to a 4-day meeting if necessary.

The Directors expressed to extend these conference calls for a maximum of 3 hours each and not to extend the Halifax meeting for more than a 3 full-day meeting.

07-3 Motion presented that in lieu of a Regular Board meeting in April, a Special Board meeting will be held by teleconference on April 6 and 7, 2020, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. It was also decided that the Board may extend, if necessary, the Halifax June meeting to a maximum of a 3 full day meeting.

Carried by all.

5. Concluding remarks

The Chairperson will review the agenda to adapt the most pressing items to the times allocated for the April 2020 Special Board meeting. Cancellation of the April 2020 Annual Public Meeting will be publicized on the organization’s website. Announcements will also be made through social media and registered participants will be notified individually.

07-4 Motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:30 p.m. EDT.

Carried by all.