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Strategic Management and Coordination Committee (SMC)
Terms of Reference

1.0 Preamble

The Canada Volunteerism Initiative (CVI) is the result of a year-long effort by the National Volunteerism Initiative Joint Table. Composed of representatives from voluntary sector organizations and the Government of Canada, the Joint Table's task was to develop proposals that would sustain and enhance volunteerism in Canada and serve as a lasting legacy of the International Year of Volunteers 2001.

1.1 Goals and Expected Results

The goals of the Canada Volunteerism Initiative are to:

  • Encourage Canadians to participate in voluntary organizations;
  • Improve the capacity of organizations to benefit from the contribution of volunteers;
  • Enhance the experience of volunteering.

The expected results of the Canada Volunteerism Initiative are:
  • Increased awareness of the value of volunteers and voluntary organizations to
    Canadian society;
  • Improved capacity of voluntary organizations to deliver programs and services for
    the benefit of Canadians; and
  • Increased participation in Canadian society through volunteering.

2.0 Strategic Management and Coordination Committee

2.1 Roles
Provide overall leadership, coordination and oversight of the Canada Volunteerism Initiative.

2.2 Expected Results

  • Overall coherence of CVI design, implementation and results
  • A clear demonstration of strengthened partnership between the voluntary sector and the Government of Canada.

2.3 Activities

SMC activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • strategic planning for CVI;
  • advising on and influencing the direction and scope of CVI, as well as identifying potential gaps and overlaps in its implementation. This advice will be based on the sharing of information by all members, including periodic activity reports and annual workplans of the three National centres;
  • liaising with and sharing information with the Joint Steering Committee, ADM Steering Committee and Voluntary Sector Forum, via the Community Partnerships Program and/or the three National Centres, including reporting on progress against established goals and ensuring appropriate linkages with continuing work of other joint tables;
  • identifying emerging trends and issues with respect to volunteerism and disseminating that information via appropriate measures;
  • acting as an assessment body where necessary; and
  • supporting an annual information-sharing forum on issues related to volunteerism in Canada; the objectives and results of CVI; and to share best practices. Participants will be one member from each of the local networks; members from the three national centres; Canadian Heritage and HRDC; other members of SMC; and other invited guests upon approval of SMC co-chairs.

2.4 Accountability

SMC will be accountable to the Ministers of Canadian Heritage and Human Resources Development Canada.

2.5 Linkages

SMC will keep linkages with the advisory bodies overseeing the implementation of work initiated by the Capacity, Awareness, and IM/IT Joint Tables, through the Community Partnerships Program.

3.0 Membership

3.1 Composition
Following the model established in the Joint Table Process, the SMC is composed of members of the Government of Canada and the voluntary sector. The Committee will comprise:

National level of the voluntary sector:

  • one member from each of the organizations managing the National Centres;
  • a member from another national organization in the voluntary sector, upon approval of the co-chairs.
Local level of the voluntary sector:
  • one member from three of the local networks, to be selected bi-annually by the SMC on a rotational basis;
  • upon exception, other members from the local level may serve on the committee, upon approval of SMC co-chairs. These members may have voting privileges.
Government of Canada:
  • one member from Canadian Heritage. In addition, the Programs and Planning
    Manager of the Community Partnerships Program will be a non-voting, speaking member of SMC
  • one member from Human Resources Development Canada.

Other members or guests may be identified by consensus of the committee. This could include experts, academics or other voluntary sector representatives who may attend meetings as presenters, advisors or observers because of their knowledge of the subject, of the sector, or as part of another Voluntary Sector Initiative mechanism; they will have rights to participation, without voting privileges.

3.2 Attendance

Substitutional attendance is permitted for the national centres provided the co-chairs approve and that the substitute members possess the relevant expertise and skill sets.

3.3 Quorum

The quorum will be a simple majority of sitting SMC members. However, there must be representation from both the voluntary sector and the Government of Canada.

3.4 Role of members

SMC members will contribute their expertise in a variety of areas: public support and credibility; knowledge of the voluntary sector and its strengths and needs; knowledge of the machinery of government; resources; preservation of the democratic process; and various points of view. SMC members are to work for the greater interests of CVI; they are to serve on the committee as individuals presenting different perspectives, not as representatives from specific organizations.

4.0 Timeframe and Meetings

4.1 Timeframe

SMC is constituted for four years, commencing in fall 2002. It will review its terms of reference and mandate annually.

4.2 Meetings

Meetings are comprised, mainly, of face-to-face communications, and, where necessary, conference calls and electronic correspondence. Working groups and/or sub-committees may be established. Meetings will be held, at a minimum, annually, in a location to be determined by the committee.

5.0 Operating Principles

5.1 Ethical Guidelines

Members will act with honesty, integrity and openness in advancing the work of SMC.

5.2 Confidentiality

SMC members are expected to be open and candid in discussing items before the committee; for this reason it is important to maintain confidentiality. Committee members are committed to respecting the personal privacy of committee participants and agree not to disclose any personal information or views expressed by individuals during meetings. Deliberations should remain confidential until there is general agreement and consensus to make them public. At no time will the opinions or judgments of any member be attributed to that member so as to identify him or her, in either oral or written communication.

5.3 Accessibility

To ensure the active participation by any members who may have accessibility requirements, committee meetings will be held in facilities that are barrier-free. Where required, technical aids, anthropometric equipment, attendant and other specialized services will be provided to accommodate the needs of committee members with disabilities. Request for assistance must be made to the SMC Secretariat prior to the event.

5.4 Indemnification

The voluntary sector representatives on the committee are considered volunteers and are therefore subject to the Treasury Board’s “Volunteer Policy”; they are extended the same risk management principles as public servants when it comes to matters of liability and insurance.

5.5 Conflict of Interest Guidelines

Government of Canada employees are subject to the Treasury Board “Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Policy” and with any relevant departmental policy on conflict of interest; outside activities; gifts; and hospitality. They are also subject to the application of paragraph 121(1)(c) of the Criminal Code with respect to receiving, directly or indirectly, a benefit of any kind from a person or an organization with ongoing dealings with the Government.

Voluntary sector members of SMC will not use their position on the committee to benefit materially from the process or the outcomes, nor will they be eligible on an individual basis for contract research or other paid work commissioned by the committee. They will also not use their position to assist other members of the voluntary sector in their dealings with the Government of Canada where this would result in preferential treatment to any person or organization. Where discussions are taking place to commission SMC work to organizations whose current employees or Board members are sitting at SMC, those persons must excuse themselves from the selection or decision-making process.

5.6 Reimbursement of Travel Expenses

For those who will be on travel status, the Government of Canada, through Canadian Heritage, will pay for expenses according to the Travel Directive set out by the Treasury Board.

5.7 Official Languages

All members will be encouraged to participate in SMC deliberations in the official language of their choice. Simultaneous translation will be provided at all meetings as required. All official SMC products will be produced in both official languages.

5.8 Reaching agreement

Members will seek to reach consensus whenever possible. If, for whatever reason, consensus cannot be achieved, members will proceed to a vote acknowledging that the decision will be made by a numerical majority of its members.

6.0 CVI Governance Structure

Canadian Heritage, via the Community Partnerships Program, is responsible for implementing the strategy recommended by the NVI Joint Table. Canadian Heritage will adhere to the principles outlined in the Accord recently signed by the Government of Canada and the voluntary sector. As the funder, and a major partner of CVI, Canadian Heritage will seek the advice of SMC on an as-needed basis in aspects of policy development, program planning, implementation, evaluation and monitoring. Ultimate authority for the implementation of any recommendations or advice from SMC, to the Government of Canada, rests with Canadian Heritage. In turn, the department will also share information about its activities with SMC as they relate to CVI implementation.

The Community Partnerships Program will act as the Secretariat for SMC. The duties of the Secretariat include organizing, planning, and convening all SMC meetings including preparation and distribution of records of discussion.


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Last Updated: 2019-10-21