Terms of Reference

Central Experimental Farm Advisory Council


The Central Experimental Farm (CEF) was designated a National Historic Site on February 4, 1998 in a joint announcement by Parks Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). This designation is symbolic of agriculture's important contribution to Canada's social and economic development and the remarkable role that the CEF continues to play in agri-food research.

Over its 112 year history, and particularly in recent years, the scope and type of activity taking place on the CEF has changed significantly. These changes, combined with the additional management responsibility associated with the national historic site designation, led the Department to launch an extensive public consultations process on February 11, 1998.

Engaging both the local and national public on their perceptions of the site, public access, and possible future uses of non-mission lands, the consultations were designed to assist the Department in the development of a management framework to guide future decision-making. The public input was constructive and there was strong support for:

  • AAFC's announcement that all CEF lands would remain in public ownership;
  • restrictions to public access in order to ensure the continued operation of the Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre;
  • that the Department's consolidated headquarters would remain on site;
  • that AAFC would continue to preserve, and find suitable tenants for, all federally-designated heritage buildings;
  • and that the Agricultural Museum would continue to operate and expand its mandate.

The public also recognized the increased complexity of the management environment in which AAFC operates as steward for the CEF. The management challenges are many as the site remains a functional research facility of national significance; offers valuable greenspace in an urban environment; and, is important to a broad range of stakeholders with specific interests and concerns. Consultation participants identified the need to formulate a set of planning and management principles to guide future decision-making, and noted that these decisions should be shared in a manner that allowed a broad range of interests to participate.

Having re-affirmed its commitment to act as steward for the CEF, AAFC is seeking to engage the public more fully in the future management of the CEF site. In order to do so, the Department has made the decision to establish an Advisory Council.

Roles and Responsibilities

The CEF Advisory Council will serve as an important means of obtaining public input and will provide advice and recommendations in order to assist AAFC in its stewardship role.

Specifically, the Advisory Council will:

  • monitor the management and operations/maintenance of the CEF National Historic Site according to the objectives for the designated place as contained in the Commemorative Integrity Statement;
  • provide advice in the development and implementation of Management Plans and other strategic planning matters;
  • provide advice and make recommendations on matters referred to them by either AAFC management or stakeholders including land-use proposals for non-mission lands, revenue generation initiatives, introduction of/or changes to fees, major changes to operations, initiatives to increase efficiency, partnerships, sponsorships;
  • recommend ways of improving client and stakeholder satisfaction; and,
  • provide assistance to AAFC in on-going communications with the public, as required.

Advisory Council members are expected to actively solicit the views and opinions of their sector and organization's membership so that they may provide informed advice and recommendations to AAFC.

AAFC and Agriculture Museum management will keep the Council informed of other significant issues which could impact on the Council's deliberations.

Relationship with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Advisory Council will advise the Deputy Minister, through the Assistant Deputy Minster, Corporate Services Branch, on matters outlined under the Roles and Responsibilities.

Advisory Council Membership

The size of the Council will be restricted to a maximum of eleven (11) members and will include representation from each of the following:

  1. Friends of the Central Experimental Farm;
  2. Fletcher Wildlife Garden;
  3. Federation of Citizens Associations;
  4. Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa;
  5. Canadian 4-H Council;
  6. University of Guelph, Kemptville Campus;
  7. Canadian Society of Landscape Architects;
  8. Canadian Institute of Planners;
  9. Heritage Canada Foundation;

A representative from both Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the National Museum of Science and Technology Corporation (NMST) will be present at all Council meetings in an advisory capacity. In addition, an AAFC official will attend all meetings as an Executive Secretary to the Advisory Council. Other departmental employees will attend by invitation of the Council.

In order to assist in carrying out its mandate, the Advisory Council may invite a representative from the National Capital Commission, City of Ottawa, or other organizations to address a specific issue being considered at a Council meeting. Such invitations are issue specific, and should not be used to extend Council membership on an on-going basis.


The Chair position will be held by a member other than a representative of AAFC.

The Chair's term of office shall be for two years from the date of appointment irrespective of the time remaining in the individual's term of office as a representative of a member organization.

Central Experimental Farm Advisory Council (CEFAC) members may recommend the extension of the chairperson's term by up to one year over and above the two-year term.

The Council will elect a Chairperson as soon as the members deem it practical to do so.

The Chairperson will establish the Agenda for each meeting following communication with Council members and AAFC.


Because conflicting responsibilities and commitments can restrict the availability of members for meetings, any CEFAC member wishing to do so can identify an alternate to represent their organizations/constituents at meetings for which the CEFAC member is not available.

When attending a meeting on behalf of the regular member, the alternate will carry the same authority and responsibilities as the absent CEFAC member.

Term of Appointment

  • The term of office for a CEFAC member will be at the pleasure of the member organization they represent.
  • When a member organization wishes to change their representative, it is the member's responsibility to advise the CEFAC chair of their intention.
  • If CEFAC wants to add/remove/replace a group(s) represented on CEFAC a recommendation from the full council for the change has to be proposed to the Minister of AAFC.
  • Any proposal to add/remove/replace an organization on CEFAC can be initiated by any member by submitting it as an agenda item at a CEFAC meeting.
  • If a member misses 3 meetings they will be contacted by the CEFAC secretary to determine if they still want to serve on the council. If the member no longer wishes to serve on the council the organization they represent will be approached and asked to appoint a replacement.

Conflict of Interest

Council members shall perform their duties and arrange their private affairs in such a manner that public confidence in the integrity, objectivity, and impartiality of the Council is conserved.

Council members shall not solicit or accept transfers of economic benefit on a direct personal basis in the process of fulfilling their duties on the Council.

Frequency of Meetings

The Council will hold two (2) general meetings a year, but may meet on other occasions at the call of the Chair to discuss matters of an extraordinary nature. General meetings shall be open to members of the public.

Administrative and Other Arrangements

AAFC will provide administrative support for the Advisory Council

Minutes shall be kept of all Council meetings.

Membership on the Council is voluntary and not subject to payment of per diem allowances. Out of pocket expenses will be paid if claimed.

The cost associated with meetings shall be borne by the Department.

The Council may develop and implement various operating procedures beyond those set out in these Terms of Reference. Establishment of such procedures shall be through a formal motion at a council meeting. Procedures that may conflict with other procedures or items in the Terms of Reference will require the agreement of AAFC before implementation.

Conduct of Council Meetings

  • Council meetings will be open to the public.
  • A maximum of 30 minutes at the beginning of every meeting will be set aside for any questions and responses, issues or presentations that non-members may want to raise:
    • A maximum of 5 minutes per person and/or group will be allowed;
    • After the 30 minute question period all non-members will be observers for the balance of the meeting.
  • For the purpose of decision making, a quorum is 50% + 1 of the total council members:
    • Six (6) is a quorum for a full council (11 members);
    • If a council position(s) is vacant (for example an individual(s) has resigned from the council) the quorum would be re-calculated based on the filled council positions;
    • If a council member(s) is absent the quorum does not change - it is calculated based on the filled council positions regardless of attendance.
  • A press release will be sent out two weeks prior to each meeting announcing the date, time and location of the meeting.
  • Formal motions at council meetings will be required for:
    • decisions involving funding issues;
    • decisions that might be challenged at a later date;
    • recommendations to AAFC;
    • establishment and implementation of operating procedures beyond those set out in these Terms of Reference

Election of the Chair

  1. At the Fall meeting of the Committee, a Chair in their first year of office will announce the call for nominations for the Incoming Chair - Elect. The deadline for nomination will be the last weekday of the month of January in the next calendar year.
  2. The nomination will involve the proposal of a candidate's name supported by a seconder, a curriculum vitae, a letter indicating the willingness of the individual to stand together with an indication of their suitability for the position and a letter of support from the organization they represent on council. The proposer and seconder will come from the membership of the committee.
  3. At the beginning of February the nomination papers for each candidate will be circulated to all members of the committee together with details for an electronic ballot.
  4. The ballot will be completed by the last working day in February and the results announced at the end of the first week in March.
    • 4a. In the event of a tie, a new ballot will be held involving the candidates involved in the tie. The details of the new ballot will be announced at the same time as the results of the first. The new ballot to be completed by the end of March and the results will be announced by the end of the first week of April.
  5. At the spring meeting, the Chair will introduce the Incoming Chair - Elect.
  6. At that point, the appointment of the Past-Chair will end.
  7. At the beginning of the spring meeting marking the end of the second year of the Chair's tenure (or third year if the Chair has been requested to extend their term of office by Council), the Chair will hand over to the Incoming Chair - Elect and become the Past-Chair. The tenure of the position of Past-Chair will be for one year.
  8. The Past-Chair will act as the Chair of the Nominations Committee for the election of the Incoming Chair.