CIRA unveils its new look

The newly elected board of directors at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority is set to begin working on Canada’s Web domain woes.

With the polls for CIRA members closing June 28, the election of nine board members marks a stark change for the committee that doles out dot-ca domain names. Previously, board members were nominated by the three CIRA founders.

“It was always the intention that CIRA – as a not-for-profit corporation – to ask its members to elect the board,” said Bernard Turcotte, president and CEO of the Ottawa-based company. He said board members will be elected in batches of three on a three-year rotation beginning next year; nominations are open to anyone who has the support of at least 50 CIRA members.

While CIRA has more than 90,000 members, Turcotte said nearly 3,300 participated in the week-long, online vote. Although he agreed the numbers seem poor, he said he was proud of the turn-out. “Some people would say, ‘out of 90,000 members, only 3,000 people voted’. But if you look at the annual general meetings for non-profit organizations – even if they’re very large – you won’t find 3,000 people who show up,” he said.

With the first board meeting slated for mid-August, Turcotte said the first thing on the agenda is to look at an alternate dispute resolution (ADR) plan. CIRA plans to set-up a process where members can appeal the dot-ca – short for dot-Canada – domain allocation that would not involve the judicial court system, as is the case now.

Turcotte said the proposed ADR system would be a quicker way to process negotiations and complaints. He said the ADR system was an issue that has been avoided in the past. “The nominated board did not feel it had the authority to deal with certain issues properly because it wasn’t elected.”

CIRA in Ottawa is at