Annual General Meeting 2008-2009
Coast Plaza Hotel and Suites,
Friday, February 20, 2009
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Present: Peter Frampton
Simon Emmanuel Roux
Fernando Portella Rosa
Chair : Gareth Shearman
1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF THE 2007-2008 AGM
A copy of the minutes of last year’s AGM was circulated.
Motion: That the minutes of the 2007-2008 AGM be approved
Moved: Bev Collins; Seconded: Darlene Thompson.
2. FINANCIAL REPORT
President Gareth Shearman reported that the bank balance was stable at approximately $5000 with no money coming in and very little going out over the past year.
Motion: That the financial report be accepted
Moved: Bev Collins; Seconded: Peter Frampton
The President reminded all members to please pay their membership dues of $25.00.
3. APPOINTMENT OF AUDITOR
The President reported that our current auditor is no longer available so we need to find another auditor.
Motion: That we leave the matter of appointing a new auditor to the Board.
Moved: Marita Moll; Seconded: Clarice Leader
4. PRESIDENT’S REPORT
This has been an interesting year. Formed in 1993 and formally constituted in 1995, TC has been representing the Canadian experience in networking for 16 years. The movement that supports Community Access Program projects (CAP) joined TC a few years ago so that we have representation from across the country. Since then, TC has been a leader in keeping CAP alive by providing all networks with a forum for discussion and action.
Over the last few years, we have become very active internationally. Two years ago, TC, working with other community networking organizations across North America (NA), became one of the grass roots organizations associated with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). At that time, several of us were invited to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to form the North American Regional At Large Organization (NARALO). Darlene Thompson was elected and remains the NARALO Secretary.
ICANN has divided the world into 5 regions. Those five regions each elect two members to form the At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC). About one month ago, one of the NA members to this committee stepped down and, as TC representative, I was asked to step in to fill that position on a temporary basis until fall, 2009 when a formal election will be held. Then, I would be able to run for a two-year term.
Motion: That the President’s report be accepted
Moved: Marita Moll; Seconded: Garth Graham
5. DIRECTORS’ REPORTS/ ISSUES AND CONCERNS
Over the past year, we have been trying to raise our profile at the national level. In the last few years, funding for CAP, CAP Youth Initiatives (CAPYI) and broadband infrastructure programs has been decreasing and the government departments dealing with these programs have also had their funding cut. Some have been disbanded (BRAND, IHAB). Others have moved (CAP). The vision of a highly connected nation appears to have been lost. With the current buzz around infrastructure spending, there could be a window of opportunity for action around the need for a national strategy on broadband and ICT access issues.
In December, TC sent a letter of introduction to Tony Clement, expressing our concern about the fact that Canada has been falling behind other countries with respect to broadband quality and access and requesting a meeting. In January, TC had a letter published in the Globe and Mail suggesting that broadband was an infrastructure issue. (http://www.tc.ca)
Also in January, a group of five TC members from Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario met with Zoe Addison, a senior policy advisor to Industry Minister Clement. We presented our positions and left her with a briefing package. Many of the current staff at Industry Canada are fairly new and don’t realize that there is a national organization representing community networking in Canada. We need to continue to make our make our presence felt there. To that end, we are pursuing a meeting with Industry Canada staff in the new Broadband, Spectrum, IT and Telecom Sector.
TC also participated in the Alternative Federal Budget co-ordinated through the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. All of the proposals to fund a visionary broadband infrastructure program were incorporated into the final document. (http://www.policyalternatives.ca/reports/2009/01/reportsstudies2079)
In order to support community internet access projects, Communautique, together with TC, decided to pursue an initiative that was broader than CAP called Internet for Everyone. Launched in October 2008, this website addresses various on-line issues – access, inclusion, openness and innovation (www.internetforeveryone.ca). The site is completely bilingual. Hundreds of organizations and individuals have joined this campaign. This same initiative in the U.S. had a huge impact on the Obama campaign. We might have had some impact on the Canadian election given that the Conservative Party of Canada did put out a press release just before election day which recognized broadband deficiencies in some areas and promised some spending.
In March, 2008, we produced a National Inclusion Strategy document. The intention was to take this document to the prime internet carriers. Working through local meetings, a number of us attempted to influence the infrastructure stimulus package. We doubt that we actually succeeded in having anybody realize that internet must be viewed as a part of vital infrastructure. We realized that linking broadband with productivity, though, did generate interest. We still aren’t sure what the key in the lock is. We need to get Canadians to talk about a national strategy on the uses of ICTs for socio-economic development. (http://www.tc.ca/digital_inc3.pdf )
This year, TC is again sponsoring several sessions during the current Vancouver Summit – one debate on the net neutrality issue and a consultation on the elements of a national broadband strategy. TC is also a member of the Canadian Internet Registry Authority (CIRA) and, through Bev Collins and the Pacific Community Networks Association (PCNA), continues to be active in the iMalls project.
Motion: That the directors’ reports be accepted
Moved: Peter Frampton; Seconded: Darlene Thompson
6. ELECTION OF DIRECTORS
The following directors have agreed to stand for another term: Fred Campbell, Bev Collins, Chris Cope, Peter Frampton, Garth Graham, Michael Gurstein, Simon Roux, Marita Moll, David Murdoch, Marie Prebushewski, Gareth Shearman, Darlene Thompson, and Jesse Fiddler.
Motion: That the aforementioned slate of directors be accepted
Moved: Garth Graham. Seconded: Darlene Thompson
Peter Frampton nominated Norah Fountain (in absentia) as a director.
Motion: That the President contact Norah Fountain about serving as a director
Moved: Peter Frampton. Seconded: Bev Collins
It was also noted that we still have some room for expansion on the Board. Volunteers are more than welcome. Upon request, interested parties may also be added to our “Advisors” list.
Motion: That the meeting be adjourned
Moved: Peter Frampton. Seconded: Marita Moll