National Capital FreeNet / Libertel de la Capitale nationale

NCF Board of Directors
Minutes of Electronic Meeting
April 28, 2020 


  • NCF office takes further mitigation efforts resulting from the covid-19 pandemic.
  • Executive Director interview by Canadian Press.
  • Newsletter out to membership.
  • Job postings continue.

Minutes of a meeting of the Board of Directors

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. with Chris Cope as Chair and Graeme Beckett as Secretary for the meeting.


Board members present:
Christopher Cope (bz787) Chair
Peter Chapman (fx720) 1st Vice-Chair
Peter MacKinnon (fr198) 2nd Vice-Chair
Sterling Jimenez (ga867) Treasurer
Graeme Beckett (aw958) Secretary
Andrea Holland (es170)
Michael Chan (ga869)
Anis Hanna (gb499)
Martin Dubois (al432)
Lauren Gardner (fy923)

Oliver Benning (ga678)

NCF Management/Staff present:
Executive Director: Shelley Robinson


Once around the table.
Informal pre-meeting conversation, with Directors taking turn offering personal views and commentary on interesting things that might not make it to the Agenda.

  1. Confirmation of Quorum

    Quorum was confirmed.
  2. Review of the Agenda 

    Motion: To adopt the agenda as circulated.
    Proposer: Peter MacKinnon (fr198)
    Seconder: Martin Dubois (al432)
    The motion was carried.
  3. Review of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting

    : To approve the minutes of the March 31, 2020 meeting.
    Proposer: Martin Dubois (al432)
    Seconder: Michael Chan (ga869)
    The motion was carried.
  4. Reports  
    1. Executive Director's Report (Shelley Robinson)

      Shelley distributed her ED report in advance of the meeting for both the open and in-camera sessions of the meeting. 

      Select Highlights from the public portion of the Executive Director's Report

      February 1/20: 3247
      March 1/20: 3239/2947 without CAF
      April 1/20: 3224/2929 without CAF
      April 21/20: 3222/2927 without CAF
      April 19 CAF: 295

      Apr 1/20 YTD in: 92
      Apr 1/20 YTD out: 105
      2020 YTD net DSL member growth: -13
      2020 YTD net CAF member growth: +4

      Apr 1/19: 3313/3046 without CAF
      Apr 1/18: 3320/3110 without CAF
      Apr 1/17: 3111/3030 without CAF
      Apr 1/16: 2990


      ●  More SmartRG 506 and 516 modems in stock
      ●  We extended the loaner modem period for those that needed it
      ●  We continue to offer members payment plans, if needed and as requested

      Communications and Advocacy:

      ●  Shelley was interviewed by Canadian Press about our price increase and COVID-19: was carried in Globe
      and Mail, Toronto Star and many others on April 3/20.
      ●  Sent out member newsletter at end of March re: price increases, job postings, updates to our COVID-19
      response plan etc.
      ●  We extended job postings from April 10 to May 1 and posted at Carleton, Algonquin, JobBank and
      Charity Village: lots of applications coming in – we are reviewing them on a rolling basis.
      ●  The new front-end website redesign continues: we’re still working to refine and translate the content,
      integrate and test the code from developers. New deadline: should be ready for beta-testing with
      members in June.
      ●  Work continues on developing an advocacy strategy/campaign – member interest after the note about
      the price increase and our ongoing issues with Bell went out.
      ●  Shelley attended a meeting with Ottawa Community Housing, City of Ottawa, Ottawa-Carleton District School
      Board and others re: emergency internet access for low income families/students: more to come.
      ●  Shelley attended a meeting of digital rights organizations (Digital Justice Lab, Open Media, Cybera MediaSmarts
      and others) about our work in the context of COVID-19: more to come.

      ●  NCF COVID-19 response:
      ●  We have a daily office cleaning checklist.
      ●  Plexiglass has been ordered for the front desk.
      ●  We now have a little hand sanitizer and gloves.
      ●  HelpDesk hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm.
      ● Office hours: Monday-Tuesday, Thursday-Friday: 10am-5pm.
      ●  Some members are using the lockbox (during and outside of office hours)
      ●  We encourage members with no payment method on file to use forms of payment that don’t require
      them to come to the office in person. As recommended by the Bank of Canada, we still accept cash.
      ●  Reduced modem shipping fee from $15 to $10 as a less expensive delivery method has been found.
      ●  DSL usage jumps 25% due to increased use during Covid-19.

      : To move in-camera.
      Proposer: Sterling Jimenez (ga867)
      Seconder: Peter Chapman (fx720)
      The motion was carried.

      : To move out of camera.
      Proposer: Peter Chapman (fx720)
      Seconder: Peter MacKinnon (fr198)
      The motion was carried.

      : To receive the Executive Director's report.
      Proposer: Martin Dubois (al432)
      Seconder: Sterling Jimenez (ga867)
      The motion was carried.

      : To authorize the Executive Director to obtain a Covid-19 federal loan and proceed with due diligence and contact the Executive when required.
      Proposer: Anis Hanna (gb499)
      Seconder: Andrea Holland (es170)
      The motion was carried.
  5. Ongoing Business
    1. AGM Planning and Nominations Update

      There are two board members with terms expiring and Oliver Benning has indicated he will be resigning for personal reasons. Proposed dates for the AGM were circulated to the AGM Chair, Nominations and Board. All were agreeable on the dates revolving around a June board meeting. Reports from the Executive Director, Chair and Treasurer will be made available for the AGM. The meeting with the auditor can be completed before the next board meeting. The Nominations Committee has updated the posting requesting new board members and discussed where to post this information.
  6. New Business 
    1. There was no new business.
  7. Announcements

    There were no NCF related announcements.
  8. Date of Next Meeting

    The next meeting is scheduled to be May 26, 2020.
    Location: Electronic meeting.
    NCF Offices are located at Suite 206 Richmond Square, 1305 Richmond Rd.
  9. Adjournment

    The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

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