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Wade Leslie

Slate: Nomination committee
Province: Alberta

Candidate Statement 

Dear CIRA Members,

As an experienced executive, board member, and proud Canadian, I am deeply committed to our country’s digital future and the pivotal role CIRA plays in shaping it. As such, I am enthusiastically applying for a position on CIRA’s board.

My career journey has granted me extensive experience in strategic leadership, corporate governance, and stakeholder relations. As the President and CEO of Sultran Ltd. and Pacific Coast Terminals Co. Ltd., I’ve implemented strategic initiatives leading to significant expansion of the company’s capacity and operations. More importantly, I’ve promoted a culture of safety and environmental stewardship, reflecting the ethos of managing the .CA domain for the public good.

Possessing a CPA, CMA designation and an MBA, I’ve demonstrated advanced financial acumen that will be invaluable in overseeing the fiscal integrity of CIRA. Additionally, my involvement in managing cybersecurity threats and risks within complex organizations equips me with an understanding of the challenges facing CIRA in this domain.

Throughout my board experience, I’ve championed best corporate governance practices, aligning organizations with their strategic goals. I have honed a collaborative leadership style, cultivating a consensus-driven approach and open communication, essential for CIRA’s diverse and knowledgeable board. These experiences have solidified my commitment to uphold the high ethical standards expected of a CIRA board member.

Beyond my professional experience, I am passionate about CIRA’s mission. The power of the internet has permeated every aspect of our lives, and the management of the .CA domain is a vital responsibility that impacts every Canadian. I am confident that my strategic vision, cybersecurity awareness, and financial expertise can contribute positively to the board’s decision-making process and guide CIRA to new heights.

My aspiration is to contribute to CIRA’s commitment to building a trusted internet for Canadians, promoting cybersecurity, digital literacy, and the engagement of the .CA community. As a board member, I’ll work tirelessly to ensure that CIRA continues to be a reliable, progressive, and responsive steward of our digital landscape.

In conclusion, my candidacy is based on a proven track record of effective leadership, financial oversight, cybersecurity knowledge, and unwavering commitment to governance. I am ready to bring my experience, passion, and perspective to CIRA’s board to help shape a secure and inclusive digital future for all Canadians.

Thank you for considering my application. I am eager to contribute to CIRA’s mission and success, and I would greatly appreciate your support.

Best regards,

Wade Leslie

Mandatory Questions

1. Explain from your perspective what CIRA does and why it matters.

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) serves a crucial role in managing the .CA domain, symbolizing the digital identity of Canadian entities. Beyond being just the custodian of the .CA domain, CIRA’s work expands into various dimensions, each contributing to a resilient and trusted digital environment for all Canadians.

CIRA ensures that .CA websites are accessible and secure, forming a foundation for Canadian businesses, organizations, and individuals to foster their digital presence. This is of paramount importance as the internet has become deeply intertwined with our everyday lives – from online commerce and remote working to digital learning and entertainment.

Simultaneously, CIRA actively engages in shaping internet policy, ensuring the internet remains open, secure, and accessible for Canadians. This involves advocating for fair internet rules and policies that prioritize user privacy, data protection, and digital inclusivity.

Moreover, CIRA takes the lead in creating innovative programs and services, aimed at enhancing Canada’s internet infrastructure. This includes developing cybersecurity products and services to protect against cyber threats and ensure secure digital transactions.

CIRA’s work also extends into community engagement, providing a platform for Canadian internet users to express their views on how the internet should be governed. The organization’s “Internet Performance Test,” for instance, enables Canadians to gain insight into their internet service quality. Similarly, the “CIRA’s Community Investment Program” funds projects that enhance the internet for the benefit of all Canadians, underscoring its commitment to digital inclusivity and literacy.

In essence, CIRA’s role is significant because it maintains the sovereignty of Canada’s internet space while ensuring its reliability, security, and inclusivity. In an increasingly digitized world, CIRA’s mission resonates even more profoundly. It not only safeguards Canada’s digital identity but also acts as a custodian, innovator, and advocate, shaping a digital future that is secure, inclusive, and responsive to Canadian needs.

In a broader context, CIRA’s work contributes significantly to our economy, culture, and social fabric, setting the stage for the continuous growth of Canada’s digital landscape. Therefore, as a central player in Canada’s internet ecosystem, CIRA’s work is essential for the prosperity and digital resilience of our country, and, by extension, to every Canadian.

2. Why do you want to be on CIRA’s Board of Directors? In responding, please indicate how you would contribute as a CIRA Board Member and what specific skills and experience you bring that makes you a qualified candidate.

Joining CIRA’s Board of Directors aligns with my commitment to serve in a role that has a profound impact on the digital future of Canada. As an experienced executive and board member, I want to leverage my expertise in strategic leadership, corporate governance, and financial oversight to contribute to CIRA’s mission.

I am passionate about digital technology and its potential to transform society. I believe that being part of CIRA’s Board presents an opportunity to shape policies and strategies that ensure a safe, secure, and inclusive digital environment for all Canadians.

I would contribute to the Board’s functions with my broad financial acumen, enhanced by my CPA, CMA designation, and MBA. My experience in managing complex organizations’ financial aspects would enable me to provide insightful fiscal oversight, crucial for CIRA’s sustainability.

With my deep understanding of cybersecurity in a business context, I can bring valuable insights to discussions about risk and threat management. In an era where cyber threats are a significant concern, this knowledge would be crucial in protecting CIRA’s integrity and the .CA community at large.

Furthermore, as a seasoned leader, I’ve fostered a culture of collaboration and innovation in past roles. I would employ this experience to contribute to the Board’s consensus-driven approach, and promote creative problem-solving in addressing CIRA’s strategic challenges.

My extensive experience in board governance, coupled with my commitment to ethical standards, also make me a qualified candidate. I’ve served in various capacities on multiple boards, promoting corporate governance practices aligned with strategic goals.

In conclusion, my desire to join CIRA’s Board is fueled by the opportunity to combine my passion for digital technology with my leadership, financial, and cybersecurity expertise to create a better digital future for Canadians.

3. What do you think are the top 3 challenges and opportunities facing CIRA in the next 3 to 5 years? What approach would you take to address these issues?

In my opinion, the top challenges are as follows:

  1. Cybersecurity Threats: The escalating landscape of cybersecurity threats represents a significant challenge for CIRA. Ensuring the .CA domain and associated services remain secure is critical. My approach would involve pushing for continuous investment in cybersecurity infrastructure, monitoring, and incident response systems. Additionally, I’d advocate for partnerships with government agencies and private cybersecurity firms for knowledge sharing and threat mitigation
  2. Expanding Digital Inclusion: As more services move online, ensuring that all Canadians have equal access to a reliable and secure internet is paramount. CIRA can take advantage of this opportunity by expanding its initiatives to underserved communities. I would propose focusing on partnerships with government and private entities to increase the reach of the internet infrastructure, as well as investment in digital literacy programs to ensure the effective use of digital resources.
  3. Maintaining .CA Domain Relevance: With the emergence of new generic top-level domains, maintaining the relevance and attractiveness of the .CA domain can be a challenge. However, this also presents an opportunity to reaffirm the .CA domain as a trusted, reliable, and uniquely Canadian digital identity. To address this, I would promote a marketing strategy that emphasizes the benefits of a .CA domain and targets Canadian businesses, particularly SMEs and start-ups, to adopt it.

View Wade Leslie’s CV