On building a better online Canada: A message from CIRA’s board chair

Dear Member,

With another fiscal year behind us, along with several notable successes, CIRA is moving forward with confidence. CIRA’s annual report to members, which covers April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, showcases the year’s highlights and how CIRA has progressed in this first year of its FY 2017-2020 strategic plan. It also illustrates how the organization is progressing toward its primary goal to build a better online Canada.

To achieve this ambitious goal CIRA has three strategic pillars. The pillars reflect the need to operate, innovate and donate in order to meet our strategic plan objectives. All three of these pillars operate together toward the betterment of the Internet in Canada which is critical to Canada’s global positioning from myriad of perspectives including education, health, business and entrepreneurship as well as the broad range of the social, legal and cultural norms that define our society.

Operational efforts focus on efficiency and excellence. As a leading country code top-level domain (ccTLD), I’m proud of CIRA’s continued growth in .CA domain name registrations, along with its stewardship and commitment to a safe, secure and stable registry and underlying DNS.

Innovation ensures CIRA remains relevant in a changing global market. This has resulted in new products, stronger and more secure systems, as well as new opportunities to benefit the Internet ecosystem as a whole and Canada as a consequence. Innovation and new product development create opportunities for CIRA to ensure it has sufficient resources to maintain its mandate to steward .CA with the level of excellence it is known for.

Also important for stewarding the .CA domain and the Canadians who use it, CIRA enhances the Canadian Internet. The donate pillar of CIRA’s strategic plan is a valuable contributor to building a better online Canada.

The Internet connects people across Canada; individuals, enterprise and government alike. CIRA works with both domestic and international communities to support social, economic and cultural change. Within this area of focus, I’d like to highlight CIRA’s Community Investment Program.

In fiscal year 2017 CIRA announced its third round of funding. Grant recipients are Canadian not-for-profit organizations, charities and research institutions doing good things through and for the Internet. They are building infrastructure to get more Canadians online. They are growing digital literacy among Canadians of all ages. They are taking their services online for greater efficiency, impacting more lives than they could have otherwise. As of the end of fiscal year 2017, the program had affected the lives of over 400,000 Canadians. This is no small feat and every .CA registered contributes to this program and subsequent impact.

CIRA’s success and impact cannot be achieved without its talented staff. On behalf of the CIRA board of directors, I’d like to thank the leadership team and all of the CIRA employees for their commitment and energy devoted to building a better online Canada.

I would also like to thank you, the CIRA Members. Your engagement and contribution to CIRA, particularly in supporting our governance, guides CIRA’s future and influences the Canadian Internet. You play the dual role of representing the interests of our customers—all Canadians—while at the same time also representing CIRA itself. Your participation in our annual general meeting in particular, is invaluable to us. Thank you for your continued membership and support.

As I end my term as a CIRA board director, I would like to thank you, the members, for the opportunity to serve for these past six years. I would also like to sincerely thank my board colleagues over this time for their dedication to CIRA and the contribution of their diverse skills and attributes to the mission of building a better online Canada. It is with some regret that I step away from the board as CIRA is entering a period of significant and increasingly complex change, and evolving to meet the many new challenges that the developing global economic and political environments present. Canada is not isolated from these changes. This will be a challenging time but I have confidence that your board is strongly positioned to fulfill its role effectively into the future.

Sincerely,
Susan Mehinagic,
Chair, CIRA Board of Directors