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Terms of Reference
Operating Principles
Vision and Values
Meeting Minutes

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National Volunteerism Initiative Joint Table Terms of Reference

Proposed Mandate
Recognizing that volunteering is integral to Canadian identity and experience, the proposed mandate of the National Volunteerism Initiative Joint Table (NVI-JT) is to make recommendations to the government and voluntary sector, which will result in the development of policies and tools to strengthen volunteer efforts, promote volunteering, and enhance the capacity of the sector to better manage volunteers and provide beneficial experiences to them. The NVI is intended to be a Canadian "legacy" following the celebration of the International Year of the Volunteer during 2001, which will have a sustained and significant impact on Canadian society. The NVI Joint Table will also recommend and advise on the implementation of selected pilot projects consistent with the objectives of the initiative.
Relationship between the NVI-JT and the Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC)
The NVI-JT is one of the component initiatives of the Voluntary Sector Initiative.

A Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) will provide overall coordination to the component initiatives/projects and Joint Tables of the Voluntary Sector Initiative (VSI), and help manage the collaborative process on behalf of the government and the voluntary sector, including the National Volunteerism Initiative (NVI).

In the case of the NVI project, this may include: advice on issues such as the timing, process and scope of any NVI given that other are also being planned; the need for consistency of messaging so that the NVI project is properly situated as one part of a larger initiative; and, linkages which might affect other initiatives, particularly research.

The NVI Table will also develop close linkages with other Joint Tables and mechanisms, in particular the Joint Table on Capacity, the Joint Table on Awareness and the IYV Coordinating Group.

Following the model established in the Joint Tables Process, the NVI-JT will be composed of an equal number of government officials and sector leaders, and will be jointly co-chaired.

Size of committee

The number of members will be 14, including two co-chairs.


Colleen Kelly, Volunteer Vancouver, will co-chair the Table along with Tom Ring, Canadian Heritage.

Governmental representation

Government members would be nominated by the ADM Steering Committee, and will include, but not be limited to, representatives from the Departments of Heritage and Human Resources Development.

Organizational levels of members

The majority of government officials and sector representatives would be at the executive level. Attendance would be non-substituted.

Nomination process for voluntary sector participants

The procedure followed for the NVI-JT will be the same procedure used in regard to the JCC and other joint tables, designed to bring to these tables a good cross-section of voluntary sector participants.
Operating PrinciplesOperating Principles
The Table members, at their first meeting, will develop operating principles to guide their work in such areas as translation, quorum, and confidentiality (see attached list of Operating Principles).
Roles and Expectations
Members should be accountable for their accessibility and responsiveness, and to each other as members of a team for participating, collaborating and doing their best to advance the joint process in good faith. As senior persons with wide experience, they will apply their best judgment on behalf of the sector, the government and of the country.
Conflict of Interest GuidelinesConflict of Interest Guidelines
Federal employees are responsible for complying with the Treasury Board Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for the Public Service and 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 the NVI-JT:

  • will act with honesty, integrity and openness in advancing the joint process;

  • will not use their position at the Table to benefit materially from the process or the outcomes;

  • will not be eligible on an individual basis for contract research or other paid work commissioned by the table on which they also sit;

  • will not use their position to assist other members of the voluntary sector in their dealings with the federal government where this would result in preferential treatment to any person or organization; and

  • in the circumstance where discussions are taking place to commission NVI-JT work to organizations whose current employees or Board members are sitting at the NVI-JT, those persons must excuse themselves from the selection/decision process.
Time frame and MeetingsTime frame and Meetings
The NVI-JT will be constituted for a maximum of two years, commencing in December 2000. Recommendations, resulting from the work of the Table, will be delivered to government within the first year.

The NVI-JT would meet at a frequency to be determined by the co-chairs, using face-to-face meetings, retreats, facilitated workshops, conference calls and/or electronic correspondence.

The NVI-JT will review its Terms of Reference at the end of the first year and may revise them for the second year as required.

Secretariat and Funding
Canadian Heritage will provide the Secretariat to the NVI-JT and will be responsible for: planning and budgeting JT expenditures; paying for expenditures associated with the organization, conduct and follow-up of meetings; and, paying eligible travel and out-of-pocket expenses (per Treasury Board Guidelines) of all participating members, in relation to NVI-JT duties as approved by the Table.

In cooperation with the Co-Chairs, and with the approval of the Joint Table, Human Resources Development Canada and Canadian Heritage will be responsible for arranging the planning, finalizing and monitoring of any contribution agreements required by the NVI-JT, consistent with the federal funding approved for that purpose.

Relationship with VSTF and VSI SecretariatRelationship with VSTF and VSI Secretariat
Representatives of the Voluntary Sector Task Force (VSTF), Privy Council Office, and the VSI Secretariat will attend meetings to advise and provide support on issues referred by Table members, which are consistent with the mandates of the VSTF and the VSI Secretariat.


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Last Updated: 2019-08-19