Minutes of the 2005 CNCC Committee Meeting

(June 14-15, 2005, Hampton Inn, Ottawa)

The meeting came to order at 19:30 h with Louis Delbaere (Chair), Suzanne Fortier (former Chair), Stan Cameron, James Britten, Marie Fraser, Lachlan Cranswick and Joe Schrag in attendance.

Agenda Item 1. Selection of Canadian delegates to the IUCr General Assembly

The first order of business was to name delegates to the 20th General Assembly of the IUCr in Florence, Italy. The number of Canadian votes at the GA is based on the number of unit contributions made by an Adhering Body. One unit contribution is 2000 Swiss Francs. Canada has three votes and three delegates to the GA based on the contribution of CHF 6000 made by NRC, the Adhering Body for Canada. Although partial support for travel for delegates has been available from NRC in the past, the CNC traditionally chooses delegates who will attend the GA in any case and who are willing to attend the GA sessions. It is also necessary to name at least one delegate with experience in IUCr activities. Often in the past the Chair of the CNC has been the Chair of the Canadian delegation to the GA.

Delegates named to represent Canada at the GA

  • Louis Delbaere, Chair
  • Stan Cameron
  • Suzanne Fortier
  • Lachlan Cranswick, Alternate

Last fall and again in January David Rose had expressed his willingness to serve as a delegate, but was uncertain whether or not he would be able to afford to attend the GA without the travel support from NRC. David was selected as a delegate contingent upon his plans to attend the GA. If David does not serve as a delegate, Suzanne Fortier will replace him and Lachlan Cranswick will serve as the alternate.

Note: Subsequent follow-up with David Rose indicated that he had decided that he could not afford to attend the GA, but might be able to with partial support from NRC. Inquiry at Corporate Affairs as to the amount of support for this GA revealed a change in the NRC travel support policy resulting from budget constraints at NRC. Only one delegate now receives partial support for travel expenses. The support for this GA in Florence ranges from $1200-1700 depending on the point of departure. The possibilities were again put forward to David for a decision as to whether or not he will be able to attend the GA and the GA sessions.

Follow up: June 22, 2005. David Rose decided that he would not be able to attend the GA, so Suzanne Fortier will serve as a delegate to the GA. Lachlan Cranswick will be the alternate. Thus, the Delegates are Louis Delbaere (Chair), Stan Cameron and Suzanne Fortier with Lachlan Cranswick as the Alternate. These names were forwarded to Mike Dacombe, executive secretary of the IUCr.

Agenda Item 2. Consideration of items in the agenda for the General Assembly of the IUCr.

Because of the timing of the meeting of the CNC, a draft agenda was provided by Mike Dacombe, executive secretary of the IUCr. The final agenda should now be available. Note: The final agenda was received via e-mail from Mike Dacombe, Executive Secretary of the IUCr, 4 July 2005. Hard copies will be received by regular mail.

The CNC considered the agenda items for which a vote is likely.

  • Appendix 3, Applications for membership of the Union,
  • Appendix 4, Withdrawal of Adhering Bodies
  • Appendix 5, Changes in Names of Adhering Bodies
  • Appendix 6, Changes in Category of Adherence of Adhering Bodies

Canada will consider the recommendation of the executive committee on these issues. Since there is little impact on Canada for any of the proposed changes, Canada will likely follow the recommendations of the Executive Committee.

Appendix 20, Proposals for new commissions. A new commission, Commission on Mathematical and Theoretical Crystallography, has been proposed with arguments in support presented in the agenda. The CNC recommends that the Canadian delegation vote in favor of creation of this new commission.

Appendix 26, Confirmation of date and place of the Twenty-first General Assembly
The CNC feels that is essential to ensure that the congress “comprise an opening day and seven subsequent days (total eight days).” Establishment of this time period was a Canadian initiative in response to the trend toward longer and longer conferences with the associated increase in the cost of the General Assembly. Since this policy is just coming into effect, the CNC feels that it is necessary to try it for some time to see how it works before any adjustments are made and that the Canadian delegation should resist any moves to change this policy. The CNC supports the decision of the 19th GA to hold the next GA in Japan.

Appendix 27, Preliminary consideration of date and place of 22nd GA.
Any votes necessary on the location of the 22nd GA (2011) will be determined by the Canadian delegation at the GA based on the affordability, quality of facilities available, preparedness of the organizers and security. The only current proposal to host is from the Czech and Slovak Crystallographic Association to host in Prague, Czech Republic.
Note: The new agenda received 4 July 2005 now includes a proposal from Spain. This proposal will be evaluated by the Canadian delegation in Florence.

Appendix 30, Budget estimates for period to 21st GA: determination of unit contribution.
No changes in unit contribution are proposed. The IUCr finances appear to be in good shape and given the budget constraints at NRC as the Adhering body, the status quo for unit contributions is good news.

Appendix 32, Elections
The CNC strongly supports C. Lecomte and C. Gilmore for election to 6 year terms as ordinary members of the Executive Committee. Other votes will be determined by the Canadian delegation at the GA. Since only one candidate has been put forward for each of the President, Vice-President, and General Secretary and Treasurer, votes on these offices will depend on possible nominations of other candidates from the floor. The CNC considered the possibility of nominating Canadian crystallographers from the floor, but decided that Canada was not in a strong enough position for this to be viable. Instead, the CNC will work at nominating Canadian representatives through the IUCr nominating committees. Nominations of Canadian crystallographers will be considered again by the CNC at next year’s meeting.

Agenda Item 3. IUCr Newsletter Guest Editor

Bill Duax, President of the IUCr, circulated to each National Committee a request for information on membership, by-laws, and to identify a guest editor to take responsibility for preparation of a report on activities of the crystallographic community that they represent for an IUCr Newsletter dedicated to that country.

Lachlan Cranswick agreed to take on this responsibility. The CNC will suggest to the IUCr that the article on Canadian crystallography issue of the Newsletter be timed to coincide as closely as possible with the commencement of operations of the crystallography beamlines at the CLS, perhaps sometime in mid 2007. The content would include some historical background of crystallography in Canada highlighting some of the distinguished Canadian crystallographers as well as a description of current activities, including the Millenium Chairs held by crystallographers, and new facilities and directions, including of course, the CLS. Input from the crystallographic community will be sought and encouraged.

CNC business

Agenda Item 4a. Organization and membership renewal

This meeting of the CNC is one in which the membership is in transition. Members retiring from the Committee are Suzanne Fortier, Frank Hawthorne, Jean-Pierre Charland and Francois Brisse (retired in 2003). Each of the these members have served well beyond their initial 3 year term, and the CNC appreciates all of the years of service and all of the efforts they have put into representing Canadian crystallographers. New members who have agreed to serve are James Britten, Marie Fraser, Lachlan Cranswick and Andre Beauchamp. Louis Delbaere has taken over as Chair of the CNC and Stan Cameron and Joe Schrag are continuing as members of the CNC.

Selection of new Officers

Suzanne Fortier moved that Jim Britten be elected Vice-Chair of the CNC and that Marie Fraser take over responsibilities of Treasurer. The motion was seconded by Lachlan Cranswick and received unanimous approval.

The current executive of the CNC is Louis Delbaere, Chair, Jim Britten, Vice-Chair, Marie Fraser, Treasurer, Joe Schrag, Secretary.

Agenda Item 4b. CNC website

NRC is the Adhering body for many International Unions and as such pays the membership dues for each of the National Committees. Because of budget constraints, NRC is trying to make sure that Canada is receiving the most from its participation in the International Unions and that the National Committees are active. NRC recommended that National Committees establish a website that serves as a resource for communication of information to both the crystallographic community and to NRC.

Lachlan Cranswick volunteered to serve as webmaster for the CNC website and has constructed a website, http://www.cins.ca/cncc/. The CNC discussed the information content of the website and decided that information related to CNC activities and decisions should be as open and complete as possible.

Information to be included on the website:

  • All information regarding the Larry Calvert fund including a brief history, a description the travel awards for which it is used, the names of winners of the travel awards and the abstracts submitted, how the fund is managed, names of contributors to the fund, the current balance, plans for future growth of the fund and supported activities. The issue of listing names of donors to the fund was considered carefully, since the CNC does not wish to make donors targets for solicitation by others. The CNC decided that listing names and without contact information should minimize this possibility and decided also that donors would have the option to not have their name listed on the website.
  • Links to meetings and workshops in Canada
  • Link to the CLS website
  • Names of all Canadian crystallographers : This was discussed at some length. The CNC decided that listing of names, but no contact information, should not make people targets for solicitors. In addition, the option to have their name removed from the list would remain with the individual concerned.
  • Links to the IUCr website

NRC Corporate Affairs had long ago suggested that the CNC adopt its own logo to distinguish the difference between NRC and the CNC, which is intended to be a committee for the crystallographic community rather than a NRC committee.

Stan Cameron suggested the Escher type diagrams depicting Canadian symbols designed by Francois Brisse and utilized during the 1981 IUCr General Assembly in Ottawa. The choice of such a diagram was supported enthusiastically by the CNC. Subsequent to the meeting, Stan has obtained permission from Dr. Brisse to use the publication, to use the maple leaf diagram as the logo of the CNC, and constructed the logo for the website from the publication. Lachlan Cranswick obtained permission from the publisher to include the complete journal article on the website.

Agenda Item 4c. CNC role in promoting IUCr General Assembly in Canada

In the past several years the convention centers have approached Joe Schrag with proposals to host an IUCr General Assembly. Quebec City pushed for the 2008 GA to coincide with other celebrations during that year and the Palais de Congres in Montreal has approached once for the 2008 GA and more recently for the 2011 GA. Each time they were told that one would have to identify a local champion to commit to leading the organizing committee in order to put together a viable proposal. NRC Corporate Affairs has also suggested that the CNC become involved in organizing a GA somewhere in Canada, originally aiming at 2011. The subject was presented to the CNC in a teleconference call in February and most members thought that a GA in Canada is a good idea. Everyone expressed a willingness to help, but no one wanted to commit 6 years in advance to taking on the responsibility of leader. NRC has continued to encourage the CNC to try to move this forward. After consideration of several sites, the CNC decided that Montreal was a logical choice since 1) Montreal is considered to be an attractive destination around the world 2) No safety issues are likely to be a problem anywhere in Canada and Montreal’s reputation as a safe place to visit serves it well 3) the most highly attended ACA meeting was the Montreal meeting and 4) the Palais de Congres has expanded its facilities and that area is developing nicely around it. After some discussion, the CNC decided to contact a group of people to form a “proposal committee”, comprised of Andre Beauchamp, David Rose, Yvon LePage, I. David Brown, Zongchao Jia, and Joe Schrag, with a mandate to 1) identify a “champion” for the project and 2) to have initial discussions with representatives of the Palais de Congres to begin to put together a proposal to present to the IUCr. Aiming for 2011 was deemed unrealistic and the target date was chosen to be the 2014 GA. The proposal committee will report the progress to the CNC by the next annual meeting (June, 2006) to decide on how to proceed from that point. The process anticipated would be 1) With a champion identified and an initial proposal prepared, the support of the ACA and the US National Committee would be sought and 2), with that support in place, begin the process with the IUCr of preparing a formal bid.

Agenda Item 4d. Advocacy role for CNC in promoting crystallography within Canada.

The role of the CNC in representing the views of Canadian crystallographers to the IUCr is clear, but the role of the CNC in representing these views within Canada is not clear. What can the CNC do to promote funding of crystallography, teaching of crystallography, and promoting national projects (like the CLS) that impact crystallographers in Canada? The CNC decided to consult with Corporate Affairs at NRC to restrictions NRC policy might have on CNC advocacy within Canada.

Follow up by Joe Schrag: Telephone call, 21 June 2005

Hamid Jorjani of Corporate Affairs at NRC indicated that the only consideration for NRC is that the actions of the CNC not compromise the position or reputation of NRC and that providing NRC with information regarding CNC plans for advocacy or fund raising would allow NRC the opportunity to comment and express any concerns.

The meeting was adjourned for the night at 10.30pm.

The CNC meeting reconvened Wednesday morning, June 15, 2005 at 9:50.

In attendance were Louis Delbaere, Jim Britten, Stan Cameron, Marie Fraser, Lachlan Cranswick, Jean-Pierre Charland, and Joe Schrag

Agenda item 4e, the Larry Calvert Fund

The transfer of responsibility for the account will be worked out by Jean-Pierre and Marie Fraser, who is assuming the responsibilities as treasurer. The responsibilities include handling of contributions to the fund, filing income returns with Revenue Canada, and paying out travel awards and poster prizes. Jean-Pierre presented hard copies of a report on the current status of the fund. Projections of the expected balance at maturity of the GIC were discussed. In an effort to ensure that the principal continues to grow in order to generate sufficient interest to support the travel awards and poster prizes, Stan moved to spend no more than 50% of the interest generated by the fund, with the other 50% to be reinvested with the principal. The motion was seconded by Jim Britten and received unanimous consent. Similarly, Lachlan moved that donations to the fund by default be divided 50% to be invested with the principal and 50% to be used for awards The donor, however, has the right to specify a different distribution between awards and investment and these preferences will be respected. In addition, donors names, but not amounts, will be listed on the CNC website unless they specifically request that their name not appear. The motion was seconded by Stan and received unanimous approval.

As mentioned before, all information related to the Larry Calvert fund will be accessible on the CNC website in an effort to promote the existence of the fund, to inform the crystallographic community of how the fund is managed and how the funds are used, and to garner support for expansion of the travel awards and poster prizes. The hope is that openness will promote interest in the fund, participation in the activities supported by the fund, and contributions to expand the activities that can be supported.

The CNC would like to support student travel to other meetings including the annual ACA meetings and perhaps support travel to synchrotrons to conduct experiments. In order to do this, the principal of the Larry Calvert fund must be increased dramatically. The CNC would like to solicit corporate support and perhaps support from other government sources to accomplish this goal. Two questions were raised – 1) How does corporate support or contributions affect the status of the fund as a Charitable trust? And 2) Does NRC have any policies that would conflict with this approach?

Jean-Pierre agreed to check with Revenue Canada to determine what is possible relative to the charitable status of the fund and Joe Schrag agreed to check with NRC for any restrictions.

Follow up by Joe Schrag: telephone conversation June 21, 2005 with Hamid Jorjani, Corporate Affairs at NRC.

NRC encourages CNCs to get corporate support and support from any other sources for projects with the only restrictions being that the plans be made known to NRC and that the reputation and interests of NRC not be compromised in any way. By sending a letter detailing the planned projects to the sponsoring institute (in this case BRI) and to Corporate Affairs, any concerns that NRC might have can be expressed and plans modified accordingly if necessary.

The CNC agreed to meet in Montreal in June of 2006. The choice of Montreal is to linked to the need to discuss the progress of the IUCr General Assembly proposal committee and possibly to meet with representatives of the Palais de Congres.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30am.