Terms of Reference Community Liaison Committee Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health

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Background

On August 10, 1999, the Ministers of Health and Agriculture and Agri-Food announced the intention to create a permanent Community Liaison Committee (CLC) to help ensure full and open communication with the community in Winnipeg relative to the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health.

Purpose

To create a basis for and maintain an atmosphere of public trust and confidence between the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health and the community.

Mandate

The Community Liaison Committee is established to provide an on going opportunity for discussion and sharing of information between the Canadian public and the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health (CSCHAH).

Objectives

The objectives of the Community Liaison Committee (CLC) are:

Role and Responsibilities of Members

The CLC is responsible for seeking information on activities related to real or perceived community concerns; reviewing all activities, incidents and programs, and providing feedback on appropriate actions to address concerns.

The CLC is responsible for providing accurate information to the public through an open and transparent process.

Reporting

The authority of the CLC is to direct concerns to the Laboratory Executive Committee for the appropriate
action and to be advised of the status of this action. Should the response prove to be insufficient the CLC, via the two co-chairpersons, will convey its opinion to the Chief Public Health Officer and the President, Canadian Food Inspection Agency. If, in the opinion of the CLC there are overriding public concerns, the CLC may directly communicate with the respective Ministers and/or the public at large.

The direct accountability of the CLC is to the Laboratory Executive Committee of the CSCHAH to support the optimal performance of the Centre. However, the overall accountability is to the public community of Winnipeg, of Manitoba, and of Canada. At the conclusion of each year, the CLC may produce an annual report of committee activities as required.

Committee Membership and Structure

The CLC will comprise a balanced representation consisting of at least 12 and no more than 18 participants from each of the following stakeholder groups:

Terms of Appointment

The term of each participant is to be three years with one third of the membership to be replaced or re-appointed every year starting with the third year of operation, with the exception of the NML and NCFAD Directors, CSCHAH. Unless specific members are designated as ongoing representatives of a particular organization, term renewals will be limited to two (i.e. nine (9) years of service in total).

The CLC will invite nominations from the community for new members. After reviewing the nominations, the committee will recommend the nomination of members to the NML Vice President for concurrence. The Chief Public Health Officer and the President of PHAC, along with the President of CFIA, are to be advised of the appointments. Renewals do not require approval.

If a member is absent for more than three consecutive meetings, the community co-chair will contact them to assess their ongoing interest in participating as a member of the committee. Membership can be terminated at the call of the two co-chairs when they jointly deem it to be appropriate, including for extensive absences.

The committee has two co-chairpersons: one from the community and the other being the NML Vice President. The term for the community co-chairperson is two years with an option for one renewal.

When the community co-chairperson’s first term is approaching expiry, they will notify the Committee by email to indicate their intention to either continue for a second term or to retire. Should they wish to continue, a ballot vote will be held at the next Committee meeting to approve the continuation or to record objections (majority rule). Should they opt to retire, Committee members will be invited to self-nominate, and a ballot vote of all candidate(s) will be held at the next Committee meeting (majority rule). 

When the community co-chairperson’s second term is approaching expiry, they will notify the Committee by email and invite Committee members to self-nominate. A ballot vote of all candidate(s) will be held at the next Committee meeting to confirm the succeeding community co-chairperson (majority rule).

Operations

The frequency of meetings are quarterly as a minimum or more frequently as determined by the Chairpersons.

Meeting quorum will comprise at least four participants from the community and any vote will be determined on the basis of a simple majority.

Secretarial, administrative and communication support services to the Committee will be provided by the CSCHAH at no cost to the CLC.

Scope

The Committee will supplement the ongoing communications and interaction with the community, stakeholders, media and regulatory agencies of the CSCHAH and the JC Wilt Infectious Diseases Research Centre.

The Committee will provide guidance on appropriate and effective ways of communicating with the community.  This information will be provided to the Centre’s Executive Committee, to stakeholder organizations and to the public, through an open and transparent process.

The process and operation of this Committee is considered public information and will be communicated openly.

Compensation

Members are volunteers and do not receive any remuneration.

Security and conduct: 

Community representatives on the CLC are not required to obtain a security clearance.

Last revised by Committee vote – March 2, 2021

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