Minutes of the Board of Director’s special meeting – August 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 (1:30 to 2:00pm)
  • Maureen Haan, Director
  • Penny Hartin, Director
  • Rabia Khedr, Director
  • Brad McCannell, Director
  • Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Director

Regrets: Laurie Ringaert, Director

Accessibility Standards Canada public officers

  • Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Collinda Joseph, Senior Advisor to the CEO
  • Michelle Demery, Chief Operating Officer (COO)
  • Jacques Falardeau, Manager, Research and Standards Development
  • Louis-Philippe Daigle, Manager, Finances and DCFO
  • Maggie Saunders, Manager, Governance and Reporting
  • Elizabeth Pinsent, Junior Policy Analyst, Governance and Reporting
  • Lorraine Trudel, Coordinator, Governance and Reporting
  • Gavin Scharfe, Analyst, IM-IT, Administration


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

1. Roll call and welcoming remarks

The meeting opened at 1:30 p.m. with a roll call and words of welcome from the Chairperson.

2. Board meeting agenda

Document 2A: Proposed Agenda

14.1  Motion presented and seconded to approve the proposed agenda.

Carried by all.

3. Governance Committee update

Because the Chair of the Governance Committee had to leave the meeting earlier, the Board members consented that his report be presented at the beginning of the meeting.

The Chair of the Governance committee, Kory Earle, presented a review of the work carried out by the committee since the last Board meeting.  Mr. Earle gave an update on the ongoing work by the Committee on the By-law and policies’ review process.  He also explained that the Governance effectiveness training session that had previously been approved is still planned; however, it will take place after the Board performance assessment work is complete.  He noted that more information on the assessment work will be provided by Mr. McCannell later in the agenda.

4. Governance Committee: Indigenous awareness training

For future Indigenous training, a briefing note and a plan will be presented at the fall Board meeting. Some training could initially be done online and will be done in person when circumstances permit.

5. Chairperson’s message

Document 3A: Chairperson’s Message

All Board members received in advance the Chairperson’s message regarding Accessibility Standards Canada’s first year.  The message recognized the work and commitment of all Board of Directors since their appointments last August. Future plans will focus on developing a close relationship with stakeholders and the community at large along with a concrete long-term work plan to reach the goal of the organization as stated by the Accessible Canada Act (i.e. to achieve a barrier-free Canada by 2040).

Board members and the CEO shared their highlights of the past year in regards to their work and contribution to the organization.

6. Minutes of Special Board Meeting – July 7 & 14, 2020

Document 4A: Minutes of July 7 & 14, 2020

14-2  Motion presented and seconded to approve the minutes with the following modifications: 1) to write out Chief Operating Officer where it currently says only “COO” on page 4;  2) write Accessibility instead of Accessible in reference to Accessibility Standards Canada on page 5; 3) replace visual identify with visual identity on page 7; 4) under item 6, replace Objectives Setting with Goals and Objectives Setting on page 5.

Carried by all.

7. Chairperson’s update

Document 5A: Chairperson’s Report

All Board members received a copy of the Chairperson’s report, which Mr. Bérubé went through briefly. There was no further discussion.

8. CEO’s update

Document 6A:  CEO’s Report

All Board members received a copy of the CEO’s report.  Among other items, the report included the engagement of youth in standards development. Accessibility Standards Canada is developing a strategy to ensure perspectives, contributions and engagement of youth with disabilities be incorporated in future work.  The suggestion was made to consider other groups such as seniors, racialized communities, etc. in engagement strategies.

The CEO will enquire and report back on the specific process and with regard to those Board members whose mandates come to an end in a year.  He will present information at the next Board meeting.

9. Strategic Planning Committee update

The Chair of the Planning Committee, Maureen Haan, reported that the committee met to determine the annual calendar for future Board meetings along with the schedule for upcoming committee meetings.  In upcoming committee meetings, members will focus on establishing the foundation of the work for the next 20 years and will work closely with all Board members.  A review of the Strategic 3-year plan will be done to evaluate if planned activities are feasible and to adjust accordingly.  Ms. Haan explained that due to the ongoing COVID-19 concerns, the committee had determined that a face-to-face meeting in September would not be feasible.  For now, no changes were made to the January in-person meeting and the next Annual Public Meeting.

14-3  Motion presented and seconded to cancel the September 2020 Regular Board meeting in Edmonton.

Carried by all.

14-4  Motion presented and seconded to add a Special meeting of the Board for October 8 and 9, 2020, from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Deadline to hand in the material for this meeting for translation is September 20, 2020.

Carried by all.

14-5  Motion presented and seconded to add a Special meeting for the Board for November 20, 2020 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., to focus solely on the outcomes of the engagement strategy in order to set the priorities for the next round of the Grants and Contributions program.

Carried by all.

14-6  Motion presented and seconded to add a Special meeting for the Board of Directors for December 10 and 11, 2020 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Carried by all.

14-7  Motion presented and seconded to authorize the Strategic Planning Standing Committee to develop a long-term vision/roadmap for 2020 to 2040 with the significant goals and timelines that are necessary to Canada to be barrier-free by 2040.

Carried by all.

10. External Relations Committee update

The Chair of the External Relations Committee, Penny Hartin, reported that the committee is making recommendations on the cover of the organization’s Departmental Result Report to include the organization’s Brand name and its colors.  Suggestions were also made for the content of the messages from the Minister and the Chairperson.  Additionally, an email will be sent out in late August regarding the stakeholders’ consultation process on issues of accessibility and personal requirements. The results of the engagement survey will be presented at the November 20, 2020 Board meeting which will lead to the next grants and contributions call.

The Communications team developed a video for the organization’s website for the recruitment campaign of technical committees’ applicants, in which it answers some applicants’ questions.

The committee will circulate a draft for Board members’ feedback on the development of values, principles and guidelines when applied to the creation and use of videos, pictures, social media in the work of the organization.

11. Performance Appraisal Committee update

The Chair of the Performance Appraisal Committee, Brad McCannell, reported that the committee met on July 16, 2020 to review the Board evaluation process.  The Committee recommends that the Board of Directors consider contracting a third-party organization to do the Board assessment work, as this would make it possible to achieve the desired timeline, among other advantages. The Performance Appraisal Committee would still be involved in the process and the cost is within budget. 

12. Performance Appraisal Committee:  Board evaluation

Document 13A: Briefing Note – Board Evaluation

After discussion, the Board confirmed that having the evaluation done before year-end would provide them with material to build upon in the second year.  The Board will be able to provide input ahead of the final recommendations.  The CEO will report back on the specific rules for hiring a third-party. The work will be wrapped up in time for presentation at the December Board meeting.

14-8  Motion presented and seconded to approve that the first performance assessment of the Board be done by an external, third-party organization and that the Performance Appraisal Committee provide input to Public Officers for the selection of the firm that will provide this service to Accessibility Standards Canada.

Carried by all.

13. Board-CEO Communications Protocol

Document 14A: Briefing Note – Communications Protocol

Document 14B: Communications Protocol

14-9  Motion presented and seconded to approve the Communications Protocol.

Carried by all.

14. Board Effectiveness Tool

Document 15A: Board Effectiveness Tool

Changes were made to the document to reflect discussion and input from Directors at the last Board meeting.  There is no need to have it approved.

15. Accessibility Policy and Guidelines

Document 16A: Briefing Note - Accessibility Policy and Guidelines

Document 16B: Accessibility Policy and Guidelines

The Vice-Chairperson presented the revised document, which reflects input from all Board members. The document will be reviewed regularly and evolve, with other sources of information incorporated.

14-10  Motion presented and seconded to approve the Accessibility Policy and Guidelines document as presented.

Carried by all.

16. Other business

The Chairperson informed Board members that letters were sent on behalf of Accessibility Standards Canada in response to the two letters it received in regards to inaccessible Statistics Canada surveys.  The letters stated the organization’s mandate and the CEO reported that staff have been available to offer support to Statistics Canada to help develop surveys.

17. Concluding Remarks

The Chairperson thanked all the staff who offer their ongoing support and contribution to the work of the Standing Committees.

14-11  Motion presented to adjourn the meeting at 4:10 p.m.

Carried by all.