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How CIRA’s committed to good governance

As the national not-for-profit behind building a trusted internet for Canadians, trust is embedded in everything CIRA does—including its approach to governance.
By Shehnila Sayeed
Communications Specialist

As the national not-for-profit behind building a trusted internet for Canadians, trust is embedded in everything CIRA does—including its approach to governance. CIRA is governed by a board of directors made up of twelve directors and three non-voting board advisors. The board plays a role in providing strategic direction to CIRA and directors act in the best interest of the corporation as we fulfill our mandate.

As strong believers in good governance practices, CIRA takes its governance and by-laws seriously. CIRA’s governance policies are comprehensive, current, regularly reviewed and revised and reflect best practices. Don’t just take our word for it, CIRA’s by-law and policies received an “A” grade when reviewed recently by Dr. Richard Leblanc, one of Canada’s foremost governance experts.

Learn more about CIRA’s practices and policies in this roundup, featuring five ways CIRA’s committed to good governance.

Openness and transparency

A key element of good corporate governance is transparency, meaning records and procedures to both members and stakeholders are accessible, up-to-date and easy to understand. Through regularly updating our board and governance hub, CIRA is transparent in sharing all the key policies, procedures and plans, reports and all other resources that steer our operations.

Participation at various levels

As the internet is a shared resource and impacts us all, CIRA’s governance structure allows for members and Canadians at all levels to participate to various degrees. Whether it’s joining the nomination committee, running for the Board, showing your support for a nominee, participating in the campaign forum, or voting for the candidates—there are a variety of ways you can have an impact on Canada’s internet. Learn more about the various opportunities here. Unique to CIRA, members can apply to join the Board through the members’ slate.

 Considering member proposals

Members are key contributors to CIRA’s governance. The perspectives of CIRA members are highly valued and their presence and participation at CIRA’s AGM is vital. A quorum of members must be present for the AGM to proceed.

Under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, members may submit a proposal on any matter they wish to raise at the AGM.  CIRA will include for consideration in its AGM, member proposals that are submitted within the time frames set out in the Act and associated Regulations. In fact, for the past three consecutive years, CIRA has considered member proposals that were submitted during its AGM. CIRA’s board carefully considers the input of our members arising from these member proposals, which results in greater transparency on various issues.

Gathering different perspectives

To build a well-rounded board with various competencies represented, CIRA’s board members come from diverse professional and geographical backgrounds, allowing us to represent different Canadians’ perspectives to fulfill our mandate. CIRA’s nomination committee is in place to ensure the election ballot aligns with the background, skills and attributes needed for an effective functioning board. Their aim is to seek and select qualified and professional candidates to appear on the nomination committee slate of the final election ballot, to be voted on by CIRA members. The nomination committee is made up of six to 12 professionals from across Canada with experience in various industry sectors. These individuals serve two-year terms. CIRA’s government representative on the board also sits on the committee as an observer.

When elected, board members serve a three-year term and are expected to apply their distinct skills and expertise to help develop the strategic direction of CIRA. Meet the board and learn more about what CIRA members consider when voting for candidates.


As part of their commitment to establish a shared understanding of the governance responsibilities held on the CIRA Board of Directors, all board members agree to follow the Board Charter which also acts as a code of conduct. CIRA also has a detailed conflict of interest policy for its directors. Additionally, CIRA’s governance policies are in line with the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act.

Make your voice heard: become a CIRA member!

One of the most accessible ways to get involved in CIRA’s governance is to become a CIRA member!

CIRA is a member-based organization that values the input of its members and their contributions to enabling a trusted internet. Having a .CA and being a CIRA member supports the great work we do for Canada’s internet.

Membership is free and only open to .CA holders. It remains active so long as your domain(s) remain registered—there’s no additional renewal process beyond renewing your .CA domain name.

If you’re not a member and have a .CA domain name—become one! Don’t have a .CA domain name? Don’t wait, register yours today.

About the author
Shehnila Sayeed

Shehnila is a Communications Specialist at CIRA. Shehnila comes from an agency background where she’s had experience executing campaigns for some of Canada’s leading brands.