National Capital FreeNet / Libertel de la Capitale nationale

Chris Cope - Candidate

Candidate to be re-elected
to the National Capital FreeNet Board of Directors


Biography Chris Cope is Director of SmartCapital Special Projects at the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI) where he holds the additional titles of Executive Director of EduNET and Executive Director of ORCnet. EduNET is a not-for-profit partnership of Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, La Cité collégiale and OCRI, while ORCnet is a grass-roots organization of rural champions, supported by the City to aggregate broadband demand in Ottawa's rural communities.

Chris is a director and holds the position of Vice President of Telecommunities Canada, an organization that represents and promotes the Canadian community networking movement at the national and international level. He is on the steering committee of The Millennium Learning Centres, a community access network with 20 public sites and a Director of Volunteer Ottawa, where he chairs the Technology Committee. Cope is past Chair of the Nepean Environmental Committee, a citizen advisory committee of the former City of Nepean.

Chris has been directly involved with community access since joining the National Capital FreeNet in 1995. 


He was employed as NCF's Executive Director from early 1997 until the end of 2000. As ED, Chris was directly responsible for day-to-day operations including staff management, volunteer coordination, and liaison with corporate and community partners to deliver and enhance NCF's services.

Chris joined NCF's Board in the spring of 2001. He was elected as NCF's President and Chairman of the Board by his fellow Directors in April of 2001 and has continuously served in this position until the present

Cope has been a member of both the Executive and Audit Committees since being appointed President, and in 2002 and 2003 he was NCF's AGM Chair.

Skills to contribute Chris' experience both as a previous Executive Director and more recently as President of NCF equips him well to serve on NCF's Board of Directors. He offers a great deal of sensible continuity to NCF's ongoing operations.

Cope is well acquainted with both the culture and the process of NCF and has already put considerable time and effort into mapping NCF's future, This experience together with a seasoned business career developed in his professional positions equip him to offer reasoned input, based on direct experience and excellent community networking exposure.

Cope's business experience prior to being NCF's Executive Director spans a variety of management situations giving him additional business savvy, and the business acumen to make a strong contribution to NCF's Board decision-making capability.

NCF is deeply involved in several outstanding community projects. Several of these were based on a vision he had of NCF's opportunities and future and came about because of his leading the then-current management team through the proposal stage. Because of his understanding of these projects, he can not only help bring new Directors up to speed, but also can play an important role in ensuring that the Board provides informed and stable stewardship as these projects unfold and begin to bear fruit.

He has a wealth of community and private sector contacts and can assist FreeNet in positioning itself well in our community. He can assist with the necessary liaison and networking with our community partners.

In his present position he continues to be involved in projects that connect our community and will undoubtedly learn about many new collaborative opportunities available to NCF. IN Cope's own words. "I hope to bring exciting new opportunities to NCF."


What Cope thinks is important In 1990 Cope authored a document called "Opportunities, Challenges and a Sustainable Future."  A review of this document will give the reader a good sense of Cope's priorities when it comes to NCF's future.

NCF has made tremendous progress in the last several years and now that membership is increasing, Cope's philosophy is still founded on making NCF a grass roots community where everyone is welcome and where everyone can find a useful way of communicating and developing community.

Here are the things that he laid out then and continues to believe in in terms of what NCF needs to focus on doing for its members:
  • Focus on providing affordable, reliable, up-to-date Internet access.
  • Make getting and using a FreeNet membership something that is easy and fun, and work on ways to continue to stimulate membership growth.
  • Focus on people management and community issues, and not be so preoccupied with technology issues.
  • Continue with the mentoring and training which we are well known for, and helping people get online - and finding new ways to offer help to "Newbies."
  • Rekindle the sense of community and "pride in NCF."
  • Understand our niche, know and believe in our purpose, and focus on helping the people who need us most.


Why he wants to continue to contribute to NCF's Board The National Capital FreeNet is important to its members and is a vital part of Ottawa's community fabric.. Cope believes that he can help NCF to flourish through his contribution to the Board and in so-doing, help keep FreeNet relevant, useful and solvent.

Cope says; "I want to contribute my time to something that I believe in; something that creates opportunities for the citizens of Ottawa; through my participation in an organization that enhances quality of life in our community.

I want to help!"