What Happens In The Canadian Domain Space?

It’s always interesting to see how they do things in other ccTLD spaces (country code domains). Places like New Zealand, the UK and Canada (which are also Commonwealth countries).

I’ve written previously about how enlightened Canada is when it comes to dealing with their registrants.

One interesting angle to look at is the Canadian domain space. CIRA is their auDA. Membership is free if you are the holder of a domain. It is not automatically foisted on people – it is an opt in process by simply ticking a box. However, they do have approximately 15,000 members! And these members get informed of everything to do with the evolution and growth of the .ca space – and they ultimately get to vote on change. That’s the way it should be.

My Two Bug Bears

When I say “my”, I know lots of other domain investors feel exactly the same way!

  • Fellow Names Panel members, auDA Directors, anyone who attended last year’s auDA AGM; and readers of this blog will know that I have passionately advocated for auDA to consult with all of their registrant base. Particularly when it comes to wanting to implement massive changes (like direct registrations) to the .au domain space that will affect every registrant out there.
  • The push by “supply driven organisations” to have these direct registrations implemented without proper consultation. As I wrote yesterday, that push extends (in my opinion) to the auDA Board. I truly believe that certain Directors have a “perceived or potential conflict of interest”. This needs to be addressed promptly.

So What Does Canada Do?

As to the first bullet point above, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) takes their responsibilities very seriously. As I wrote in my intro, every single registrant can automatically opt in to be a member, and thus be notified and consulted about any potential changes to the Canadian domain space. Plus, membership is FREE!

As to “conflict of interest”, I am indebted to a reader of Domainer for providing me with CIRA’s policy.


It’s an easy read, and it’s simple and to the point. auDA would be well served having something similar in my opinion. It gives confidence to their constituency.

Here are a few excerpts that appealed to me (bolding is mine):

(f) Not be influenced by self-interest, outside pressure, expectation of reward or fear of criticism;

(g) Act with honesty and integrity and conduct herself in a manner consistent with the nature and the responsibilities and the maintenance of public confidence in the conduct of the Board’s business;

(k) Ask the Directors to review a decision, if she has reasonable grounds to believe that the Board has acted without full information or in a manner inconsistent with its fiduciary obligations, and, if still not satisfied after such review, ask that the matter be placed before the membership;

3.03 Definition of Conflict of Interest.

(a) A conflict of interest refers to situations in which personal, occupational or financial considerations may affect, or appear to affect, a Director’s objectivity, judgment or ability to act in the best interests of the Corporation and includes conflicts as described in subsection 3.04 hereof.

(b) A conflict of interest may be real, potential or perceived in nature.

(e) A perceived or apparent conflict of interest may exist when a reasonable, well-informed person has a reasonable belief that a Director has a conflict of interest, even if there is no real conflict.

(f) Full disclosure, in itself, does not remove a conflict of interest.

What do you think? I always appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.


Disclaimer 2

5 thoughts on “What Happens In The Canadian Domain Space?

  • April 30, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    i think that sounds like a very open and fair for all parties set of guidlines, also i like their membership numbers and the fact it can be referred back to membership should there be an issue.


  • April 30, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    FREE AUDA MEMBERSHIPS. Why is Auda still charging in Australia?? They have $10 million in the bank.

    Canada does not charge for memberships and all members can vote for board members. 1 Vote per registered domain name


  • April 30, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Do they have our weird supply side / demand side representation or are they free of that mandatory minority influence.

    • May 1, 2016 at 7:00 am


      It seems they do things in a very democratic fashion. As a member, you can put your name forward to become part of the Nomination Committee. This group then basically comes up with an approved list of potential candidates for members to vote on. Read more here.

      The nomination committee’s role is to seek and select qualified candidates for the nomination committee slate of CIRA’s board of directors election. Its focus is to select professional candidates for CIRA’s board of directors that represents a wide range of views and interests, ultimately contributing to the strategic direction of the organization.

      As a member of the nomination committee it’s your responsibility to:

      Solicit experienced Canadians who can help guide CIRA in its goal of building a better online Canada.

      Develop and provide to the board a list of skills, experience and demographic criteria for directors.

      Provide CIRA’s Board of directors and Members a slate of candidates from which the Members will elect directors.

      Identify, interview, and check references of prospective candidates.

      Commit up to five days for candidate review and selection, depending on the number of applications received.

      Select candidates at a meeting in Ottawa in July. (Travel expenses will be reimbursed.)

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