The National Advisory Panel has been established by the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada to:
- sensitize the Association and its members to public concerns which relate to the chemistry industry and chemical issues;
- identify opportunity areas for enhanced information, dialogue and improved relations between Association members and the public;
- provide perspectives on such issues as:
- public information needs;
- issues related to chemicals and the safeguarding of the public;
- safe transportation, storage and use of chemical products as they may affect the public;
- risk perception;
- corporate responsibility as it affects chemicals and the public;
- interpretation of national public opinion data from a local perspective;
- other issues related to living safely with chemical products
- establish a continuing dialogue and information exchange between the Association and its members and key thought leaders at national, regional and local levels.
- offers advice on leading-edge issues so that the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada and its members can effectively anticipate, and be proactive in formulating, solutions and responses in tune with the public's requirements;
- responds to Chemistry Industry Association of Canada requests for advice on issues of concern, proposed plans and other areas of activity;
- introduces and broadly discusses topics of concern related to chemicals in society;
- assists the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada in clarifying public expectations of the chemical industry and the implications of those for a trade association operating a performance-based program;
- advises the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada on how it might expand the influence of Responsible Care® more effectively to users of chemicals;
- advises the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada on Responsible Care® matters such as codes of management practice, processes for monitoring and evaluating progress, revisions to codes and policies, and emerging views on environmental responsibility;
- assists the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada in evaluating the efficacy of lessons learned by other jurisdictions in their implementation of Responsible Care® and their possible application in the Canadian context;
- advises on the effectiveness of the compliance verification process and possible improvements;
- uses case studies (not specific to a single company) to illustrate general problem areas and suggest solutions. It is not a panel function to become involved in, nor to adjudicate, an issue between an Association member and other stakeholders.
The membership of the National Advisory Panel will comprise 12 to 16 individuals who have the background and experience to enable them to assist the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada in obtaining a broader understanding of the needs and concerns of the general public, especially at the local level. It is understood that panel members serve as individuals, not as an official representation of any groups of which they may be a member. The experience of panel members will likely include involvement with the community, the academic world, business, consumer, environmental, and other special interest organizations.
There will be a minimum of one member from both Atlantic Canada and British Columbia, and two each from Ontario, Quebec and the Prairies. The balance will be made up of members at large, the bulk of which will come from Central Canada. Although quotas will not be used, a continuing effort will be made to reflect the diversity of the Canadian population (see Appendix I).
Term of Office
Panel members will be appointed for, and make a commitment of, at least one year. Panel membership will be reviewed annually with a view to replacing between one quarter and one third of the membership to ensure the right mix of fresh perspectives and continuity. It is the facilitator's responsibility to follow up with members unable to attend meetings on a regular basis.
A maximum of a three-year period of involvement is felt to be optimal for most members. This does not restrict longer involvement if their interest and commitment remain high.
Confidentiality of discussion
Panel discussions are not confidential unless so designated beforehand. Comments made by panel members, and the identity of companies used for case study purposes, will not be attributed in the minutes, and panel members must undertake to respect that confidentiality when speaking with persons who are not members of the panel.
When confidential matters are brought before the panel, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (or other panel members) should make that fact explicit. Persons unwilling to respect the confidentiality of the item in question will leave the room for the duration of that discussion.
The existence of the panel is a matter of public record. Names of panel members are made known to the public as a matter of information, but are not used by the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada in any kind of endorsement process without specific permission.
Conduct and scheduling of meetings
The panel will meet on a schedule agreed upon by the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada and the panel. The panel meetings are run by an independent facilitator contracted by the Association. It is the facilitator's responsibility to ensure proper notice of meetings and to distribute to panel members information pertinent to the meetings in as expeditious a manner as possible.
Appendix II provides details on the operations of the panel.
Participation on the National Advisory Panel is a voluntary activity and its members serve without remuneration. All appropriate and reasonable expenses for attendance at panel meetings are reimbursed through an expense account system managed by the facilitator. In special cases where a panel member incurs a direct salary or wage penalty through attending meetings, that cost will be approved in advance by the Association as an expense.
Occasionally, panel members are asked to become involved in activities of a consulting nature which are time consuming and draw upon their knowledge of Responsible Care® and issues of public concern. In those situations, an appropriate per diem will be established by the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada.
Relationship with the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada is represented at the panel by the Vice-President, Responsible Care, or his delegate. The Vice-President, Responsible Care is responsible for the National Advisory Panel and will be the primary communications channel between the panel, the Association and its board of directors. It is the facilitator's role to allow full freedom of expression of views and opinions while maintaining a focus on the objectives of the panel, as described in the terms of reference.
In addition to the considerations tabled in "THE TERMS OF REFERENCE" there are a number of areas of involvement which may enhance the effectiveness of the panel. These include:
- AGRICULTURE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH/SAFETY
- CONSERVATION ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
- PUBLIC HEALTH ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM
- BIOLOGY CONSUMER ADVOCACY
- BUSINESS ECONOMIC (INDICATORS)
- MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT
- MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICS REPORTING
- FIRST NATIONS
Appendix II -- Panel Operation
The panel usually meets four times a year over a two-day period. The meetings involve an evening session on day one that includes dinner and a morning session on day two, concluding with lunch. From time to time an additional session is scheduled on the afternoon of day two. Additional meetings may be called by mutual agreement.
A plant tour should be scheduled once every two years as part of the meeting. This will likely include an opportunity to meet with local residents in some way through the existing community process. The facilitator is responsible for making these arrangements.
The meetings are generally timed in the period seven to 14 days before a Chemistry Industry Association Board meeting, to maximise efficiency in communicating ideas to the board for their consideration. The meeting schedule is established a year in advance. If there is no need for a meeting, it can be cancelled. Rescheduling remains a possibility if there is a need.
Occasionally, a meeting may be timed concurrently or back-to-back with the board meeting, to offer the opportunity for more direct dialogue with the board members either in a formal or informal setting.
From time to time, and for reasons of efficiency and timeliness, sub-committees of the panel may be convened by the facilitator to deal with specific items. The facilitator will submit a report to the full panel on the products of these proceedings.
Additional comments from all panel members, or a selection of panel members, may be gathered between meetings by the facilitator on any topic concerning subjects of interest to the panel. This process will be used to increase the efficiency of panel meetings, or to ensure that panel comments can be included in the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada decision-making process on matters arising and requiring resolution between meetings. The facilitator will submit copies of any reports prepared in this manner to the full panel.
When there is consensus on an issue before the panel, that fact will be noted explicitly at the meeting and in the minutes, otherwise it should be assumed that there is a range of views around the table on the topic under discussion. The panel should avoid the formality of voting in reaching consensus.
4.1 Case studies
The "case study" is a mechanism whereby an event or situation of importance to the public that involves the use of chemicals in society can be brought to the panel table for discussion. Information must be provided in sufficient detail to understand the relevance of the situation to Responsible Care® members. The panel attempts to draw broad conclusions about how such an issue might affect the public's view of Responsible Care®, and may suggest ways in which the Association might help its membership factor the public effectively into the resolution of such issues. The identity of the company shall be treated as confidential information.
Observers may be invited to panel meetings for specific reasons, and arrangements should be made through the facilitator.
Outside speakers from industry or other organizations will be invited on subjects germane to the agenda. The facilitator will co-ordinate external speakers.
The involvement of member company CEOs as participants in panel meetings is encouraged, and will be coordinated by the Vice-President, Responsible Care.
A record of panel meetings will be prepared by the facilitator and distributed to panel members and the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada. Comments made by panel members at meetings will not be attributed in the minutes. A brief abstract will be prepared for each set of minutes for easy reference to the contents. When there is consensus on an issue before the panel, that fact will be noted explicitly in the minutes.
There is no formal process for the adoption of minutes. Errors or omissions in the minutes should be reported to the facilitator directly, who will either issue a correction or raise the question for further discussion at a subsequent meeting, as appropriate.
4.3.2 Annual Report
The panel may choose to produce an item for the annual Chemistry Industry Association of Canada report (or for other Association uses) that reflects the activities of the group, and provide whatever summary statement is felt to be appropriate. The facilitator will be responsible for the production of this document under the panel's direction.
Agenda development is a joint responsibility of the panel and the Chemistry Industry Association. The facilitator will manage that process through planning sessions at the meetings themselves, and in between meetings. Any panel member wishing to propose an agenda item should feel free to contact the facilitator.
It is the facilitor's role to allow freedom of expression of views and opinions while maintaining a focus on the objectives of the panel, as described in the terms of reference.