Information for observers/participants
Notices and locations
1. When and where are meetings held?
The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) meets at least once a year and conducts its business in both official languages (simultaneous interpretation is provided). CCBFC Standing Committees usually meet twice annually, in spring and fall, and conduct their business in English. Task groups, which are established on an as-needed basis, meet at the call of their Chairs. Their business is conducted in English.
Meetings may be held in person or by teleconference, videoconference, or other electronic media. In-person meetings of the CCBFC and its Standing Committees rotate between locations across Canada to encourage public attendance and participation by Code users. Information sharing, discussions, informal polling, balloting and other work are encouraged between meetings, to save time, and results are reported at the next meeting.
2. How can I find the meeting schedule?
The dates, times and locations of committee meetings that are open to the public are announced in advance, whenever possible, in the calendar on the Attend a meeting page.
Attendance and participation
3. Can I attend a meeting?
Non-committee members may attend as observers at CCBFC, Standing Committee and task group meetings, as well as at those portions of CCBFC Executive Committee meetings dealing with Divisions A and C of the Codes. Observers are asked to notify the NRC Canadian Codes Centre at least two (2) days in advance of the meeting so that seating can be provided.
4. Can I participate in a committee meeting discussion?
Participation in committee discussions is normally limited to committee members and assigned staff; however, invited guests may participate in discussions at the discretion of the Chair. Observers are subject to normal rules of order.
5. Can I submit written materials on a meeting agenda item?
People wishing to submit written materials regarding a meeting agenda item, for distribution to committee members, are encouraged to submit the materials to the committee secretary at least two (2) weeks prior to attending the meeting. Materials submitted during meetings may be distributed with approval of the committee chair.
6. Can I make a presentation to a meeting?
People wishing to make a presentation to a meeting on a particular subject must notify the committee chair or secretary in writing at least four (4) weeks before the meeting, describing the nature and scope of the subject to be addressed, stating the desired length of time needed to make the presentation, and providing a written copy of material to be presented.
Committee chairs may approve, reject or defer a request to make a presentation based on the subject’s relevance to the committee’s responsibilities and work. When such a request is approved, the committee chair and secretary schedule the presentation to suit the committee’s agenda, set a time period for the presentation and related discussion, and advise the requester.
7. Can I record a meeting?
Use of audio or visual recording equipment during meetings is not permitted.
8. Can I obtain a meeting agenda package?
For committee meetings that are open to observers, agenda packages, outlines and supporting materials are available to the public upon request, subject to the provisions of the “Federal Access to Information and Privacy Acts”. An agenda package may also be provided for use by non-committee members during a meeting to assist their participation.
Excluded are agenda supporting materials and meeting minutes of the CCBFC Executive Committee that do not deal with Divisions A and C of the Codes, the CCBFC Selection Committee, the Standing Committee Nominating Committee, advisory groups, and proprietary and personal information.
9. How can I find out what is on a meeting agenda?
Inquiries concerning subjects to be discussed at committee meetings should be directed to the committee’s secretary. Submission of information to the committee secretary well before meetings is encouraged so that the committee chair may rule on its inclusion in an agenda package.
Conduct of meetings
10. When can someone be asked to leave a meeting or a portion thereof?
Meeting chairs have discretion to determine who shall be heard and, when a person has become disruptive, may ask that individual to leave the meeting. The Chair may require that non-committee members leave for a portion of the meeting because of the nature of the subject being discussed, such as confidential information.
11. How are decisions reached?
Committee decisions are based on the “consensus” principle whenever possible. Consensus is substantial agreement of members, includes resolution of all significant concerns and technical disagreements. It implies much more than the concept of a simple majority, but not necessarily unanimity. Consensus requires that all opinions be considered and weighed and that any statement of committee agreement should be reached only after full and fair discussion of the issues involved. Negative opinions are given careful consideration by a committee.
12. Are there rules for voting and balloting?
During meetings, voting is done by show of hands or voting cards, unless a written vote is deemed necessary by the chair. Verbal options such as a roll call, or a call for anyone opposed to the motion, are used in teleconference meetings.
Between meetings, balloting is done in writing in hard copy or electronic form during balloting periods. Ballots are used to reach decisions on non-complex, administrative matters previously discussed at a meeting.
Records of meetings
13. Can I obtain a record of what happened at a meeting?
Minutes are prepared and distributed to members of the committee following meetings. Records of meetings, after approval with corrections noted, are available to the public upon request.
14. Where can I find more information?
For more information, please consult the CCBFC Policies and Procedures 2009 document, which is available on request.
15. Where do I submit a request to attend a meeting?
Send requests to observe or participate in a meeting to:
Canadian Codes Centre
National Research Council Canada
Building M-20, 1200 Montreal Road
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6
Telephone: (613) 993-9960
Fax: (613) 952-4040
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