Skip to main content

Minutes of a Meeting of the Board of Directors of the
Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

Held virtually on June 28, 2023


Board of Directors: Liza Aboud, Colleen Arnold, Gwen Beauchemin, Don Bowman, Andrew Escobar (Vice-Chair), Eric Hill, Jill Kowalchuk (Chair), Samantha Ventresca, Alourdes Sully, Michael Zahra

Board Advisors: Byron Holland, John Demco, Heather Dryden

Corporate Secretary: Brigitte LeBlanc-Lapointe

Regrets: Anne Butler, Matthew Gamble

Guests: Jane Fulford, Maureen James, Charles Noir, Deanna Young

1.  Call to Order & Approval of Agenda

The Chair called the meeting to order at 1:01 pm ET on June 28, 2023.

IT WAS MOVED by Michael Zahra and SECONDED by Samantha Ventresca that the agenda be approved.

Motion passed unanimously.

1.2  Conflict of Interest Disclosure

There were no conflicts of interest declared in relation to the meeting items.

2.  Report from the Community Investment Committee

The Community Investment Committee co-Chairs presented the final list of grantees to the Board for their review and approval, and noted that this is a year-long process that includes both staff input and expert contributions from members of the Community Investment Evaluation Panel (CIEP).  The Committee thanked staff for their efforts. 

CIRA staff advised that:

  • CIEP discussed and scored the projects, which reflected a focus on indigenous, northern, rural and student applicants, from eleven (11) Canadian jurisdictions, many of which indicated a desire for national reach and impact.
    • For the first time, the final list of approved projects is not dominated by Ontario.
    • One applicant from the Maritimes withdrew from the process due to capacity concerns and noted that they would reapply in the future.
    • There has been a steady increase in Indigenous-led and -focused projects over the past four years, with 48% of projects benefiting Indigenous communities and 19% being Indigenous-led this year.
  • The number of eligible applications was in-line with previous years (107 eligible applications).
  • Overall monies requested by applicants was over eight million ($8 million) dollars.
  • Seventy percent (70%) of applications were from new applicants, with eleven percent (11%) from previous recipients, showing a strong stream of those interested in reapplying to the process.
  • Of note was a higher proportion of projects within the policy engagement category.
  • The final list of projects strongly reflects funding areas relating to infrastructure, online safety and policy engagement.

IT WAS MOVED by Colleen Arnold and SECONDED by Liza Aboud that:

a) the full disbursement of $1,272,724.00 be approved; and

b) the sixteen (16) submissions with discretion to substitute such submissions with a recommended back-up project, all as presented to the Board, be approved.

Motion passed unanimously.

IT WAS MOVED by Liza Aboud and SECONDED by Don Bowman that the payment of a $2,000 honorarium to each of the nine independent non-Directors on the Panel be approved.

Motion passed unanimously.

The Board discussed the possibility of increasing the amount of CIRA’s commitment to support the community, including through NetGood, and the co-Chairs noted that this was being discussed at the Committee level and would come back to the Board for discussion at a future meeting. 

In response to a question from the Board, it was noted that CIRA has a contract with each grantee under the program that allows for additional auditing if deemed necessary and that to date CIRA has not seen it necessary to make use of this provision. It was further noted that CIRA’s NetGood grants are part of a niche program that is successful in part due to being nimble and supportive of the successful applicants, not administratively burdensome.

The Chair requested that CIRA staff keep additional auditing as an option while working with organizations being considered for funding/funded by the program.

3.  Net Good $250,000 Grant 

The Board was provided with a briefing note  and update outlining timelines related to this stand-alone grant.

4.    Next Meeting: July 21, 2023 

5.    In-Camera Session

The Board held an in-camera session.

6.    Adjournment

IT WAS MOVED by Samantha Ventresca and SECONDED by Eric Hill that the meeting of the Board of directors be closed.

Motion passed unanimously.

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 1:56 p.m. ET.