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Minutes of the Meeting of the CIRA Board of Directors held via teleconference on May 13, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. ET

Directors attending: Iris Almeida-Côté, Colleen Arnold, Ryan Black, Don Bowman, Andrew Escobar, Matthew Gamble, Jill Kowalchuk, Tyson Macaulay, Helen McDonald, Crystal Nett, Bill Sandiford, Rob Villeneuve

Advisors: John Demco, Byron Holland, Charles Noir

Corporate Secretary: Brigitte LeBlanc-Lapointe

Guests: David Fowler, Maureen James

Recording Secretary: Lynn Gravel

  1. Approval of Agenda                                                          

It was moved by I. Almeida-Côté and seconded by M. Gamble that the agenda for the meeting be adopted as presented.

  1. Chair’s Remarks

The Chair did not have any remarks.

  1. Approval of the Draft Minutes of the April 8, 2020 Board of Directors’ Meeting

Be it resolved that the draft minutes of the April 8, 2020 Board of Directors’ meeting be approved as presented.

(Moved: B. Sandiford, seconded: M. Gamble, motion unanimously carried)

  1. Community Investment Program Applications

The Co-Chairs of the Community Investment Committee proposed a different approach to the program this year due to the unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Typically, the Committee would submit to the Board of Directors a definitive list of initiatives for approval.  However, the Committee recommended that the Board of Directors agree to a larger group of projects, which were ranked by the Community Investment Evaluation Panel with a pre-pandemic mindset, with the proviso that staff would follow up with top-ranked applicants to determine their ability to deliver projects as planned.

The Co-Chairs were therefore recommending that the Board approve the 27 top-ranked projects recommended for funding consideration, totaling $1.45M. The Co-Chairs will then finalize the project selection and grant budgets after determining the applicant’s ability to execute and deliver based on updated information provided by applicants in a follow-up questionnaire. The follow-up will be complete when the maximum of $1.25M in grants is reached.

Staff reported that a total of 108 eligible applications were received, including first time ever applications from all three Northern territories, and eight Indigenous-led proposals. The target beneficiaries from the new CIP Strategy were well represented in this year’s applications: 83% of the projects target students; 51% target Indigenous communities; 49% target rural communities; and 34% target northern communities. Across the 27 recommended projects, 85% of projects target students; 56% target Indigenous communities; 41% target rural communities; and 26% target northern communities.

The Co-Chairs noted that two initiatives over $100K had been reviewed but they were not included in the final recommendation, and that one of the initiatives was substantially impacted by COVID-19.  It was further noted that overall the submissions for the larger initiatives had greatly improved as compared to the previous year. The Co-Chairs noted that the Community Investment Committee will discuss the approach for granting larger projects and any other improvements for the next round. The Co-Chairs and Staff responded to various questions from board members.

It was therefore resolved that the Board of Directors:

1. Approve the full disbursement of $1.25M for Community Investment Program grants;

2. Approve the 27 submissions as outlined, with the understanding that the CIC Co-Chairs will make the final project selection determination based on validation of applicant’s ability to execute, in ranked order; and

3. Approve honorariums for independent non-Directors of the Committee in the amount of $2K each in addition to their meeting fees and expense reimbursement.

(Moved: R. Black, seconded: T. Macaulay, unanimously carried)

The Chair of the Board thanked the Committee for its work and recognized the significant contribution from Staff.

  1. Other Business

There was no other business to discuss.

  1. Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Board will be held via Webex on June 9 and 10, 2020.    

D. Fowler, B. Holland, L. Gravel and M. James withdrew from the meeting.

  1.  In-Camera Session

The Board of Directors held an in camera session.

  1. Adjournment

There being no further business, on motion by B. Sandiford and seconded by M. Gamble, the meeting was concluded at 3:47 p.m. ET.