DCF Board Meeting - December 13, 2017

DCF Board Meeting

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

5:00 ET


Present: Oliver Kent, Doug Massey, Karl Bélanger

By Telephone:
David McKenzie, Dave McGrane, Diane O’Reggio, Gerry Barr, Calinda Brown, Rebecca Blaikie

Adoption of Agenda


  1. Adoption of minutes

Minutes from June, 30 2017 Board Meeting


  1. Correspondence

There was a spike of interest in the DCF putting together more scholarships at different universities.

There was a letter from the Broadbent Institute to update the DCF about the Change the Game project. Papers have been published and events held. The second installment of the grant is due this year. The Broadbent Institute is looking for other partnership possibilities. Unclear what is happening with the video.

  1. President’s report

KB: Foundation had trouble with its AGM last year, we needed two takes. We need a strategy to bring in new blood. There is a request in with the new leader for a meeting to brief him on the DCF.

  1. Executive Secretary: Anne is absent. There is a small uptick in membership. Mouseland has been useful in recruitment but more can be done.



  1. Treasurer’s Report:

Down $2000 in donations year on year (mostly because of drop in bequest).

Investments with Scotia McLeod has been good. We have a new financial advisor.
Products sales are up as well.

Funds awarded: 
$28000 to Broadbent Institute, Canadian Roots Exchange $1000, Share $5000,
Waiting for the Universities to transmit their scholarship request

We spent $66000 more this year than last year, mostly due to Mouseland.



  1. Scholarship’s Report

    We received a letter from University of Toronto to thank us for the scholarships.

David Lewis Memorial Prize awarded to Sebastian Salomon Ballada, who is graduating with a double major in Political Science and Sociology.

Ann Marie Hill Scholarship awarded to Esther Esau, who has almost completed the Certificate in Human Resource Management.

Ontario Woodsworth Memorial Foundation Scholarship went to Sarah Bear, who is graduating with a double major in English and History.


  1. Grants request review

David McKenzie:  3 projects have been received and reviewed

  1. Canadian Center for Men and Families:

    The CCMFO requests “upwards of $7,540.00 for facilitator fees in support” o therapist-training and hiring clinical expertise to address domestic abuse and violence experienced by men in the Ottawa area. The supporting documents sent with the request summarize the various services the CCMFO plans to offer. The therapeutic ‘hub’ they are setting up is modelled on a three-year-old Canadian Centre for Men and Families in Toronto.

Recommendation is to turn down this request.


  1. College Public Interest Research Group:

    The College Public Interest Research Group (CPIRG) requests a contribution of $10,000 from the DCF in order to begin a nation-wide student organizing project committed to guiding “students back to the values of social justice and anti-oppression”, through various actions in support of campus-based unions and other labour organizations in the community.

Recommendation is to reject the request.


  1. Les Communes/The Commons

Les Communes/The Commons is an initiative administered by the registered non-

profit organization Projet Reformiste, based in Montreal. The submitters request

$20,000 from the DCF to support a project which seeks to encourage a dialogue

among the “different nations and communities across the country” toward

reforming the Canadian Constitution, and more widely, toward examining

democratic structures and decision-making practices to make them more

responsive to “current challenges like the rise of identity-based nationalisms, rising

inequality, exclusion from the labour market and the democratic deficit of certain

Institutions.” Their plan is to hold events across the country.

Recommendation is to support the project at half the amount request.

Motion by KB:

BIRT the DCF Board support the proposal from Les Communes/The Commons in principle, further to receive clarification on the corporate structure, for grants to be awarded in multiple installments to total no more than $10000 over the next year.  


  1. Officers election

President Karl Bélanger
VPs  Diane O’Reggio, Etienne Gratton
Treasurer Doug Massey
Secretary Anne Scotton

  1. Staffing

KB: The long term plan is to eventually have enough work and funds to have a full time staff person. The Board is expressing its wish to repatriate staffing in Ottawa in the short to medium term.


  1. Bequest proposal


Discussions regarding the Stokoe bequest proposal are ongoing. The amount would be significant but there is a wish for that money to be directed towards Workers’ ownership research and Commonwealth Cooperatives.


  1. Joint Initiative with Broadbent Institute


Joint initiative on climate change in British-Columbia. A request would be made to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to get it started. The plan is to hold educative events highlighting environmental leadership - from business leaders to local community organizers;  to conduct training amongst organizers and provide skill development around engagement organizing; and to conduct research in this field. Conversations with both BI and RBF are ongoing.



  1. Other business


Mouseland is going well, we purchase the rights for it to be duplicated digitally and shipped to different users.


  1. Adjournment



Latest posts

DCF Board Meeting - February 27, 2020

DCF Board Meeting 

Thursday, February 27th, 2020 

19:00 ET 


By Telephone 


Karl Bélanger, Melissa Hunter, Mohammad Akbar, Rebecca Blaikie, Jon Weier, Derek De Vlieger, Diana Idibe, Chirs Markevich. 

  1. Adoption of Agenda 


2. Adoption of minutes 

Minutes of the July 23rd, 2019 meeting 


3. President’s report: 

Hope everyone is well. Mayor of Ottawa has asked people to stay home because of the coronavirus, thankfully we can hold our meeting by phone. 

Transition has been happening. Our new treasurer will give us an update. 

The group “Nos Communes, Our Commons” appears to have gone dormant. We were wise to set conditions to go along with the grant approval. 

Work has been done to update our registration with Industry Canada. No progress has been made on the Stokoe bequest. 4Executive

4. Secretary’s Report: 

Anne Scotton is unable to join us and send her regrets. 

5. Treasurer’s Report: 

Transition has been happening. Priority now is on issuing tax receipts. We have to handle a few manually. We have a lot of different systems which are more or less

compatible with each other, but things seem under control. We are issuing cheques to catch up on some accounts due. 

5. b) Fee structure at Scotia McLeod 

Good discussions with Scotia McLeod about our assets. They remain healthy. 

Their proposed new fee structure, SM would be much more nimble in the markets as there are no commission minimums on trades. Currently, the commission minimum is $175. That does limit profit taking opportunities and specific positions when considering weighting in the portfolio, which we must do as our assets are now stock-heavy. 

Motion: BIRT the Board authorizes ScotiaMcLeod to move the Douglas-Coldwell Foundation wealth management account into a Partnership Plus account, which modifies the fee structure from a Per Transaction formula to an annual fee based on the DCF assets. 


5 c). Adoption of Treasurer’s report. 


6. Progress Summit 

The Progress Summit will be held in Vancouver. We will have a booth. Looking for volunteers, so if anyone is attending, please let us know. 

The next TDI Institute will be held in May. Theme is Our City & the Green New Deal. We have been invited to take part once again. 

7. Office Space 

Mohammad Akbar has raised the issue of the DCF securing a new permanent space by buying a building. The CFS building is no longer on the market. Board members express general interest in doing so sometime down the road. 

8. DCF 50th Anniversary 

Next year is the 50th anniversary of the DCF. It is a good opportunity to complete the reboot of the DCF and move forward with the plan adopted by AGM two years ago. We should have a year of activity of events, maybe a gala? Jon Weier volunteers to coordinate the DCF planning.

The Institute for Change Leaders (ICL)’s proposal to create a multimedia project that tells the story of progressive campaigns, driven by Olivia Chow, is moving forward, with Tim Harper on board. Another application will be forthcoming at the next board meeting. Board members expressed once again their support in principle for this proposal.

9. Next Meeting 

Board members agreed to look for a suitable date in late April/early May. 

10. Other business 

The Institute for Change Leaders (ICL)’s proposal to create a multimedia project that tells the story of progressive campaigns, driven by Olivia Chow, is moving forward, with Tim Harper on board. We are still awaiting their next application. 

We have received news from Beryl Young that Tommy's Dream, a children’s book that tells the story of how Tommy Douglas's childhood experience with his own health inspired him to work toward establishing universal health care, is now going to be published by Louis Anctil, the publisher of Midtown Press in Vancouver. Target is the spring of 2021. An update application will be forthcoming before the next meeting. 

11. Adjournment 


DCF Board Meeting - July 23rd, 2019

DCF Board Meeting

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2019

6:00 ET


By Telephone


Karl Bélanger, Melissa Hunter, Mohammad Akbar, Rebecca Blaikie, Diane Idibe,
Jon Weier, Amy Boughner, Jay Ramasubramanyam, Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah.
Non-board member: Josh Bizjak

Adoption of Agenda


2. Adoption of minutes

Minutes of the previous meeting are read and adopted.



3. President’s report:

Karl mentions that there was a significant turnover of Board Members at the AGM, which is interesting and challenging.

The two committees charged by the previous AGM to review governance issues and the DCF by-laws made limited progress.

The DCF received a nice letter from a scholarship recipient and was read. The DCF needs to revisit its links with the different universities to strengthen the relationship and increase awareness.

4. Financial Report: No official report as the position is vacant, following the resignation of Emilie Taman. Karl gives a general overview of the financial situation. Our assets remain healthy. The DCF raised more money in the past year, thanks notably to a generous donation from the Flanagan Institute.

Minimal progress has been made on the transition. A full audit needs to be conducted before the end of the year.

Karl had a meeting with Scotia McLeod about our assets. They are proposing a new fee  

structure, in essence moving to a fee-based structure from a per transaction cost. With the fee-based structure, our investors pledge to make himself available for board meetings and consult on the construction of a new investment policy statement. With a fee-based structure, we would be much more nimble in the markets as there are no commission minimums on trades.

Motion moved to ask the new treasurer to review, met with Scotia McLeod and report to the Board on a recommendation for the proposal.


5. Election of officers


President: Karl Bélanger

Vice-President: Rebecca Blaikie, Derek DeVlieger

Executive Secretary: Anne Scotton in abstentia, pending her acceptance;
Mohammad Akbar as alternate.

Treasurer: Melissa Hunter

6. Staffing

Chris Markevich has moved on from his position but has been elected to the Board, which will be helpful for institutional memory. Josh Bizjak has been helping out on a volunteer basis.


Motion moved to regularize Josh Bizjak’s situation by compensating his work on a similar contract as previous assistant, to be negotiated with the President.



7. Correspondence

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