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Read the Returning Officer's Report 2022

CIRA Board of Directors Election 2022
Returning Officer’s Report

October 5, 2022

 

CONTENTS

Introduction
Overview
Pre-Election Stage
Nomination Committee Stage
Membership Nomination Stage
Shows of Support Stage
Campaign Forum
Voting
Request for the List of CIRA Members
Returning Officer Communication with Candidates
Conclusion

 

Introduction

This report describes my role as Returning Officer in the 2022 CIRA Board election. My role encompassed the following:

  • Monitoring the process of the election of the of Directors, including monitoring for deviations from the Corporation’s By-laws and /or Policy on Nominations and Elections
  • Determining whether any conflict of interest exists for any Nomination Committee candidate or  any Member Nominee candidate
  • Determining whether any financial association exists for any Nomination Committee candidate or any Member Nominee candidate
  • Review and approve the election software
  • Start and end both the shows of support process and the election process
  • Monitor the campaign forum
  • Verify the results of the shows of support
  • Verify the results of the election 

All meetings with CIRA staff were held virtually, this did not affect my ability to carry out my role. I recommend that the virtual meeting process be used for future elections.

The process for the shows of support and the election was outsourced to Dominion Voting, as it was in the 2021 election. The 2022 election went smoothly in all areas of the process.

 

Overview

Four Director positions on the CIRA Board of Directors were available for candidates in the 2022 CIRA Board Election, three positions for candidates elected from the Nomination Committee slate, and one position for a member nominee.

Five candidates were forward by the Nomination Committee. Thirteen members put forward their names to be candidates for the members slate. All candidates for the members slate submitted the required declaration in the required time period. One candidate for the members slate was found to be in a conflict of interest. Twelve member nominee candidates went to the shows of support stage. One candidate for the members slate was found to be in contravention of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation during the shows of support period, and therefore was removed from the shows of support stage. There were no candidates for the members slate who withdrew their candidacy during the shows of support period.

During the shows of support period 364 ballots were cast and seven of the eleven member nominee candidates received the required 20 shows of support to reach the final ballot.

The final ballot included the five Nomination Committee candidates and the seven member nominee candidates.

958 ballots were cast by CIRA members during the voting period.

The Nomination Committee candidates elected were:

Colleen Arnold
Don Bowman
Michael Zahra

The Member Nominee candidate elected was:

Matthew Gamble

 

Pre-Election Stage

The Returning Officer’s role in supervising the election began prior to the opening of the election. The pre-election steps were as follows:

  • I completed a review of the 2022 CIRA Board of Directors Election manual.
  • I completed a review of CIRA’s Directors’ code of conduct and policy on conflicts of interest and financial associations
  • I completed a review of CIRA’s By-law No.1
  • I completed a review of CIRA’s policy on nominations and elections
  • I attend the testing of the voting system on July 19 for the testing for the mock election, August 12 testing for logic and accuracy testing for the shows of support, and September 9 testing for the logic and accuracy testing for the final vote.

I have no recommendations in this area. The review of the documents and testing provided me with appropriate background and knowledge to carry out my duties as the Returning Officer. I noted that CIRA staff who were present for the testing acted in a professional manner and answered all questions I had in regard to the testing.

 

Nomination Committee Stage

The Nomination Committee phase began with posting of the call for applications from Nomination Committee members and the selection of the five candidates by the Nomination Committee. Each Candidate submitted a declaration which included a statement of any conflicts of interest and any financial associations.

My role for this stage was to review and process the candidates declarations, Survey Monkey Apply was used to complete the review. My review focused on any conflicts of interest or prohibited financial associations. Five candidates moved to the election stage; the results of the election were as follows:

Candidate Votes Result
Colleen Arnold 716 Elected
Don Bowman 523 Elected
Michael Zahra 385 Elected
Jimmy Mui 377  
Oscar Roque 370  

My recommendation for this area is included on page 8, Returning Officer communications with candidates.

 

Membership Nomination Stage

Applications to be a Membership Nominee were required to be received between July 21 and August 4. During this period 13 candidate applications were received by the August 4, 2:00 p.m. deadline. The 13 applicants satisfied the eligibility and completeness requirements and moved on to complete a declaration which included a statement of any conflicts of interest and any financial associations.

My role for this stage was to review and process the candidates’ declarations, Survey Monkey Apply was used to complete the review. My review focused on any conflicts of interest or prohibited financial associations. All candidates for the members slate submitted the required declaration in the required time period. One candidate for the members slate was found to be in a conflict of interest. 12 member nominee candidates went to the shows of support stage. One candidate for the members slate was found to be in contravention of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation during the shows of support period, and therefore was removed from the shows of support stage.

The process for the declarations provided me with the tools to complete my review.

My recommendation for this area is included on page 8, Returning Officer communications with candidates.

 

Shows of Support Stage

The 12 member Nominees were posted on CIRA’s website on August 18, 2022. The shows of support period was August 18, 2 p.m. to September 1, 2 p.m. Seven member Nominees received 20 or more shows of support, the seven member Nominees moved to the final ballot. The results of the shows of support and election were as follows:

Candidate     Shows of Support Votes     Results
Matthew Gamble 33 282     Elected
Iris Almeida-Côté 79 213  
Graeme Bunton 56 150  
Margaret McBeath 37 121  
Marita Moll 55 91  
Mekki MacAulay 24 52  
Riyad Mobeen 23 31  
Matt Simpson 16    
Bikramvir Duggal 14    
Derek Silva 13    
Hisham Al Qaddoumi 7    
Candidate removed      

 

Campaign Forum

The campaign forum period commenced on September 9 and ended on September 22. The campaign forum allows final candidates to promote their election platforms and CIRA members, registrants, and the public to discuss viewpoints, concerns, and candidate positions related to how candidates will serve CIRA and Canada’s internet community.

My role during the forum was to monitor the discussions for any posts that contain abusive language, personal attacks, threats, commercial solicitation, or defamations.

There were questions from members which the candidates were able to answer. In monitoring the forum, I did not see any comments that feel outside of the acceptable discussions.

In monitoring the election, I noted a decline in the questions from CIRA members and the involvement of the candidates. I recommended that the promotion of the forum be reviewed to determine if it can be promoted to the members to result in more questions and discussion during the campaign.

 

Voting

The voting period was from September 15, 12:30 p.m. to September 22, 12:30 p.m. I have no recommendations in this area as the voting process went smoothly.

 

Request for the List of CIRA Members

I noted this year that there were more requests by candidates for the CIRA members list. Each candidate is required to request the list pursuant to section 23(1) of the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. The candidates are reminded by CIRA staff that the information contained in the Register of Members can only be used for the purposes set out under section 23(7) of the Act, they are encouraged to only contact people who are part of their professional and social circle.

Five candidates requested the CIRA members list. Three candidates who requested the CIRA members list sent a mass email to all CIRA members. One candidate who requested the CIRA members list, and sent a mass email to all CIRA members, was found to be in contravention of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.

As the CIRA members list has been used by candidates to contact members outside their professional and social circle, I recommend that the communication to the candidates requesting the list be reviewed to educate the candidates on section 23(7) of the Act, to ensure that there is no unintended use of the list, that there is no contravention of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, and that the list is only used in an effort to influence the vote of CIRA members.

 

Returning Officer Communication with Candidates

To ensure improved communication between the Returning Officer and the candidates I recommend that the candidate declaration be reviewed to require candidates to respond to the Returning Officer in a timely manner to all reasonable information requests from the Returning Officer, and for the candidate to be available to the Returning Officer on a timely basis to review any reasonable requests of the Returning Officer.

This will allow the Returning Officer to have an effective communication to discuss any matters that arise through the election process.

 

Conclusion

During the course of my role as the Returning Officer the process and testing went smoothly.

I was assisted in a very professional manner by Aaron Deane, Julie Lepine, and Albert Chang. They all answered all questions I had throughout the 2022 process and provided independent support when needed.

The testing portion of the process was pertinent and allowed me with a solid understanding of the reports and process, this provided me with a strong background for my role as the Returning Officer.

 

Respectfully submitted,
Thomas Kriens,
Thomas Kriens, CPA, CA, LPA