2017 AGM Minutes

MINUTES of the Annual General Meeting of the members of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (“CIRA”) held at the Infinity Convention Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, on September 19, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

1.   Call to Order and Approval of the Agenda: Susan Mehinagic, the Chair of CIRA, called the meeting to order and acted as Chair of the meeting. Paul Havey, Vice- President of Corporate Services and Corporate Secretary, acted as Secretary of the meeting.

     The Chair declared that in accordance with CIRA’s By-law No. 1, notice of the meeting had been duly given to all CIRA members in good standing: there was a quorum present and the meeting was duly constituted for the transaction of business.

  1. Verification of the 2016 Annual General Meeting Minutes: There being no corrections nor additions to the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held September 22, 2016, the Chair noted that the minutes stood as approved.
  2. Report of the Board of Directors:

The Chair of the Board reported on the fiscal year just completed. CIRA has completed the first year of its new corporate strategic plan, which runs from 2017 to 2020.  Guiding CIRA’s strategy is an overarching goal to build a better online Canada. CIRA’s strategy was developed during a time of change, where the global domain market was evolving rapidly. New generic domain options had come to market and growth levels of country code top-level domains like .CA were levelling off after previous years of double digit growth. Further, the security threats in our market have never been larger and more persistent.

With this in mind we knew that we needed to take actions to allow CIRA to remain relevant, and more importantly, to continue to effectively steward .CA on behalf of all Canadians. This included actions around how we ensure that .CA remains a safe, secure and stable platform for all Canadians, how to get .CA into the hands of more Canadians, how we ensure we have the revenue needed to manage the organization with excellence, and finally, how we give back to our community.

The strategy laid out three strategic pillars to act as guide posts toward building a better online Canada. They are operate, innovate and donate.

Within operate, CIRA’s efforts go toward the stewardship of .CA and a commitment to a safe, secure and stable registry and underlying domain name system.  CIRA set out to promote .CA to Canadians so they could brand themselves Canadian online.  CIRA also maintained strong relationships with the registrars who sell .CA to Canadians. This past fiscal year CIRA surpassed 2.5 million .CA domain names registered overall. This is an exceptional success within a market that is maturing.

In the face of a maturing market and introduction of new domain extensions, it is important for CIRA to innovate to remain relevant in our industry and to safeguard the long-term financial stability of the organization. Innovation is a key component in CIRA’s strategy. New products have been developed and have gone to market and we are seeing positive results.

Included in our strategy around innovation is ensuring we are part of global internet landscape. As we developed our strategy we knew then, as we know now, that we could not effectively progress the Canadian internet without actively engaging in the global internet. Our goal is to build a better online Canada and that doesn’t mean we only look inward at domestic internet issues and opportunities. The internet is global and connects us all, across the street and across the ocean. Issues that impact our peers overseas naturally affect us as well and global points of presence help protect the Canadian internet.

Fulfilling our mandate requires this whole-world view on our industry. Given the changing environment we’ve been experiencing since the inception of our strategy, innovating in the areas where we have expertise is the most prudent path forward for our organization’s long-term financial stability and our ability to operate at the level of excellence we are known for.

On the donate side, giving back to the Canadian internet is ingrained in CIRA’s corporate culture and our objectives.

Whether it is investments in the Canadian internet ecosystem through new Internet Exchange Points, helping Canadians test and understand their internet speed and performance or CIRA’s Community Investment Program, CIRA is making a difference for all Canadians.

Now in its fourth year, CIRA’s Community Investment Program announced the latest round of grant recipients this past June. To date CIRA has supported 100 projects with Canadian not-for-profits, charities and research institutions with over 4.2 million dollars. These organizations are doing good things through and for the internet.

They are building infrastructure and testing new technologies to get more Canadians online. They are enhancing the digital literacy of Canadians of all ages. And they are taking their services online to reach more Canadians than they could have otherwise. And every .CA registered goes toward this program.

Thank you to CIRA’s staff for their unwavering commitment to the organization and its goal.  A knowledge-based organization like CIRA is only as good as its people and our people are among the best in their fields.

Thank you to my fellow board members. I have served on the CIRA board for the past six years and as its chair for the past four years but have decided to step down at the end of my term in October.  I would like to thank all of the board members whom I have had the privilege of working with over these two terms - it has been an honour to serve with you and work alongside you.

Lastly, I’d like to thank all of you here today, particularly CIRA Members. Your support of our organization is imperative and we don’t take it for granted. You represent both our customers and our organization so your involvement and voice is incredibly valuable in helping guide us to a successful future.

We developed an ambitious strategy for our organization with a goal that motivates us all – to build a better online Canada. Whether this is by fulfilling our mandate around a safe, secure and stable registry and domain name system, or through products and services we offer that align with our expertise and make the internet stronger and safer, or by giving back directly to actions that get more Canadian online and able to benefit from what the internet has to offer – we are clear in our path forward. Our efforts every day lead us in this direction; a direction we know is the right one for CIRA and for Canada’s internet.

  1. Report from the President and CEO:

Byron Holland, CIRA’s President and CEO, reported on the past year’s progress.

Fiscal year 2017 has been a good year for the organization. Effective stewardship of .CA has been maintained and our innovation agenda has advanced.

Facing a continued maturation of the domain market, fiscal year 2017 began with a clear goal: implement programs to ensure .CA continues to grow, bucking the global market’s declining rate of domain name growth. The domain market is transforming, with slowing demand and increased competition and we knew that we must find a way to retain CIRA’s value and encourage more Canadians to choose .CA to brand themselves online and stake out their piece of digital real estate.

We have a responsibility to ensure CIRA’s long-term sustainability as a key part of our mandate to operate the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians. We are committed to providing a safe, secure and stable registry and we take this responsibility very seriously. We need adequate resources to deliver on this commitment with the level of excellence Canadians deserve and expect from us. I’m pleased to report that fiscal year 2017 was a success.

Alongside our partners, CIRA set out to register 460,000 new .CA domain names last year. As of March 31, 2017 we had 504,761 new registrations and surpassed the milestone of 2.5 million registered .CA domain names overall. This is only the second time in CIRA’s history that we have exceeded 500,000 new registrations in a single year. It’s proof that when we put our collective efforts toward something, we can achieve it.

In addition to building awareness among Canadians about .CA, a significant component of our strategy is to innovate and diversify the organization’s revenue stream to mitigate the risk of relying solely on one product line. On the innovation front, last year we completed the initial stage of work on our next generation registry platform called Fury. With higher quality and more robust functionality than our previous platform, Fury was built to enhance our ability to steward .CA. In fiscal year 2018 we began the process of transferring .CA to Fury.

Fury was also part of our product diversification efforts. We showcased it to our peers and the response has been universally positive. In fact, Fury caught the attention of the .kiwi team who became our first customer to use the platform to manage their registry.

In 2017 CIRA further exhibited its ability to identify market needs and stay ahead of them. Cybersecurity is a great example. Rarely a week goes by where issues related to digital security, online privacy and cyberattacks aren’t in the media. And top of mind for us is the 2016 attack on U.S.-based Dyn and its DNS, a threat that CIRA is not immune to.

We’ve stayed on top of cyber threats to our systems, further exhibiting our commitment to a safe, secure and stable .CA registry and DNS. We are well-equipped to understand and respond to attacks and to support Canadians with technology and education on these issues. In fiscal year 2017 our customer base for D-Zone Anycast DNS grew, emphasizing its value in helping Canadian organizations and subsidiaries optimize and secure their DNS.

In fiscal year 2017 our innovation team, CIRA Labs, conceived of a new DNS firewall service to protect Canadian organizations from malware and ransomware. This service went into production in early fiscal year 2018 and the need for it couldn’t be greater.

This builds on CIRA’s continued work to support Canadians by investing in Internet Exchange Points (IXPs). These exchange points, when used by governments, telecommunications companies and businesses in Canada, can reduce costs, increase speed and help ensure that Canadian data stays in Canada.

Through our Internet Performance Test (IPT) and our City IPT program, we’ve worked with several municipalities, including Ottawa, Kitchener and Surrey to encourage citizens to test their Internet speeds. This data will help cities with their smart community strategies, support investments in infrastructure and attract business growth.

There have been many other successes at CIRA. Our products and services add value for organizations in Canada and abroad, our investments in the Canadian Internet ecosystem are improving Internet access and reliability and our contributions to building a better online Canada, including through our Community Investment Program are positively affecting thousands of Canadians, consistent with the strategy and purpose of the organization. It’s been an excellent year and I’m proud of the results.

As we move ahead in fiscal year 2018, and further along in our 2017-2020 corporate strategic plan, we will continue to strive for greatness. At CIRA we celebrate our successes but we never stall in our efforts to remain a leader within the Internet community in Canada and in the global ccTLD community. Building a better online Canada and supporting the development of the Internet globally requires nothing less.

  1. Summary of the Financial Statements for fiscal year ending March 31, 2017:

Rowena Liang, CIRA's Chair of the Audit Committee, presented the financial statements for the fiscal year March 31, 2017, a copy of the Auditor’s Report and the financial statements can be viewed on CIRA’s web site at https://cira.ca/fiscal-year-2017-annual-report-members/financial-statements-and-disclosures.

  1. Appointment of Auditors:  It was moved by Marita Moll, seconded by Helen McDonald, that KPMG be appointed as Auditors of CIRA, to hold office until the next Annual General Meeting, or until their successors are duly appointed, and that the Board of Directors be authorized to establish the remuneration of the Auditors. Motion carried.
  2. Questions from Members:

Questions from Members can be found at https://youtu.be/v1ojalJzjd0.

  1. Adjournment

On motion by Tim Denton and seconded by Paul Andersen, the meeting was concluded at 2:00 p.m.