CLC Terms of Reference

In December, 2006, the Vice-President Research, University of Saskatchewan announced the intention to create a permanent Community Liaison Committee (CLC) to help ensure open and accurate communication with the community in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Canada relative to the level 3 bio-safety facility InterVac (International Vaccine Centre).

The role of the CLC is to provide information to the public with regard to safety and security at the U of S InterVac research laboratory, thereby creating a basis for and maintaining an atmosphere of public trust and confidence between InterVac and the community in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Canada. While the CLC has no authority over the operations of InterVac, the CLC, through a transparent process, has the authority to oversee InterVac activities and information that are of public interest.

The Community Liaison Committee is established to provide an ongoing opportunity for discussion and sharing of information between InterVac at the University of Saskatchewan and the community of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Canada.

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

Role and Responsibilities of Members:
The CLC will be responsible for seeking information on incidents or activities related to real or perceived community concerns, monitoring issues related to safety, and providing feedback to the InterVac governance committee on appropriate actions to address such issues or concerns.

Role and Responsibilities of InterVac
The Director of InterVac and the InterVac governance committee shall ensure that CLC members are provided with appropriate assistance, information and instruction as well as timely access so as to be able to properly fulfill their stated objectives.

The primary accountability of the CLC is to the community of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Canada. The CLC communicates directly with the InterVac governance committee through its chairperson for the purposes of insuring public confidence in InterVac and InterVac’s safe and optimal performance. The CLC will maintain a good working relationship with InterVac and their governance bodies to provide transparent information and services to the public. At the conclusion of each year, the CLC is responsible to produce and publicly distribute an annual report of committee activities.

The CLC has the authority to direct concerns via the Director/InterVac to the InterVac governance committee. The InterVac governance committee has the responsibility to advise the CLC to what degree such concerns are warranted, the circumstances affecting such concerns, and the nature of the appropriate response and the ongoing status of any action taken.

If the response and action taken is considered insufficient, the CLC, via the committee’s Community Co-Chairperson or designate, will convey to the Vice-President Research and/or the President of the University its continuing concern in an effort to effect a satisfactory resolution. The CLC may, via the Community Chairperson or designate, raise issues of concern with appropriate government and regulatory officials including but not limited to, the Chief Medical Health Officer of the Saskatoon Health Region, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, and the President, Canadian Food Inspection Agency. If, in the opinion of the CLC, there are still overriding public concerns, the CLC has the authority to directly communicate with the public at large.

Committee Membership and Structure:
The CLC will comprise 8 to 12 participants with expertise that reflects a cross-section of relevant sectors across the community. Government and elected official representation on the committee has not been sought in order to avoid the perception of partisan involvement or influence.

The committee will include two co-chairpersons: one from the community and the other the Director of InterVac. The term for the community co-chairperson will be two years with an option for re-election.

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 Director of InterVac. The CLC will invite nominations from the community for new members and after review of nominations will recommend the nomination of members to the Vice-President Research at the University of Saskatchewan.

The frequency of meetings will be quarterly at a minimum or more frequently as normally determined by the Chairpersons. The community chairperson may call meetings independently from the Director of InterVac.

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

The CLC committee will submit an annual budget to the University of Saskatchewan for review and approval. The budget will include an itemized request for secretarial, administrative and communication support services, education, travel, website, answering service, refreshments for meetings and events. Services will be provided at no cost to committee members.

The Committee will supplement InterVac and the University of Saskatchewan ongoing communications and interaction with the community, stakeholders, media and regulatory agencies.

The Committee will provide guidance on appropriate and effective ways of communicating with the community. This information will be provided to InterVac’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.

Members are volunteers and do not receive any remuneration.

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