Terms of Reference

Community Liaison Committee

Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health



On August 10, 1999, the Ministers of Health and Agriculture and Agri-Food announced the intention to create a permanent Community Liaison Committee (CLC) to help ensure full and open communication with the community in Winnipeg relative to the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health.



To create a basis for and maintain an atmosphere of public trust and confidence between the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health and the community.



The Community Liaison Committee is established to provide an on going opportunity for discussion and sharing of information between the Canadian public and the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health (CSCHAH).



The objectives of the Community Liaison Committee (CLC) are:


  • to seek information and share mutual understanding on issues of public concern;


  • to provide an ongoing forum for public input and a sustained information exchange;


  • to provide lab directors with an external local community perspective to support the continuous improvement of the CSCHAH’s processes and protocols;


  • to serve as a vehicle proactively to seek and provide accurate information to the community in order to foster a greater understanding of the activities of the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health;


  • to monitor safety for the community and for the employees of the CSCHAH.



Role and Responsibilities of Members:

The CLC will be responsible for seeking information on activities related to real or perceived community concerns; reviewing all activities, incidents and programs, and providing feedback on appropriate actions to address concerns.


The CLC is responsible for providing accurate information to the public through an open and transparent process.



The authority of the CLC is to direct concerns to the Laboratory Executive Committee for the appropriate action and to be advised of the status of this action.  Should the response prove to be insufficient the CLC, via the two co-chairpersons, will convey its opinion to the Chief Public Health Officer and the President, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  If, in the opinion of the CLC there are overriding public concerns, the CLC may directly communicate with the respective Ministers and/or the public at large.


The direct accountability of the CLC is to the Laboratory Executive Committee of the CSCHAH to support the optimal performance of the Centre.  However, the overall accountability is to the public community of Winnipeg, of Manitoba, and of Canada.  At the conclusion of each year the CLC may produce an annual report of committee activities as required.


Committee Membership and Structure:

The CLC will comprise a balanced representation consisting of at least 12 and no more than 18 participants from each of the following stakeholder groups:


  • the provincial government;
  • the City of Winnipeg;
  • the agricultural community;
  • the medical community;
  • the academic community;
  • the veterinary medical community;
  • from the community at large;
  • the Executive Director of the National Centre for Animal Diseases (NCAD);
  • and the Scientific Director General of the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) who will act as co-chair for the facility.


Terms of Appointment:

The term of each participant is to be three years with one third of the membership to be replaced or re-appointed every year starting with the third year of operation, with the exception of the NML and NCFAD Directors, CSCHAH. Unless specific members are designated as ongoing representatives of a particular organization, term renewals will be limited to two (i.e. nine (9) years of service in total).


The CLC will invite nominations from the community for new members and after review of nominations will recommend the nomination of members to the Chief Public Health Officer and the President of the Public Health Agency of Canada for appointment. The ministers of Health and Agriculture and Agri-Food, along with the President of CFIA, are to be advised of the appointments. Renewals do not require approval.


If a member is absent for more than three consecutive meetings, the community co-chair will contact them to assess their ongoing interest in participating as a member of the committee. Membership can be terminated at the call of the two co-chairs when they jointly deem it to be appropriate, including for extensive absences.


The committee will have two co-chairpersons: one from the community and the other being the Scientific Director General of NML.  The term for the community co-chairperson will be two years with an option for re-election.



The frequency of meetings will be quarterly as a minimum or more frequently as determined by the Chairpersons.


Meeting quorum will comprise at least 4 participants from the community and any vote will be determined on the basis of a simple majority.


Secretarial, administrative and communication support services to the Committee will be provided by the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health at no cost to the CLC.



The Committee will supplement the ongoing communications and interaction with the community, stakeholders, media and regulatory agencies of the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health and the JC Wilt Infectious Diseases Research Centre.


The Committee will provide guidance on appropriate and effective ways of communicating with the community.  This information will be provided to the Centre’s Executive Committee, to stakeholder organizations and to the public, through an open and transparent process.


The process and operation of this Committee is considered public information and will be communicated openly.


Compensation: members are volunteers and do not receive any remuneration.


Security and conduct:  community representatives on the CLC are not required to obtain a security clearance.





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Revised February 2017