Science Advisory Committee Meeting (Draft)

Date: September 4, 2020

9:30am -4:00pm (EST)


Members in attendance:

Norma Domey, VP, Chair of the Committee
Simon Zhou, Friend of the Committee, HEALTH
Kevin Jacobs, Friend of the Committee, DFO
Deborah Danoff, Friend of the Committee, HEALTH
Guillermo Castilla, SAC Member, NRCAN
Pierre Morin, SAC Member, CRA
Mike Pauley, SAC Member, DOT
Violina Lozeva-Thomas, SAC Member, HEALTH
Krista Gill, SAC Member, AGCAN
Katie Beach, SAC Member, DFO
Michael Urminsky, PIPSC Research Team Lead
Eleanor McGrat, PIPSC Research Officer
John Anderson, PIPSC Research Officer
Yvonne James, PIPSC Research Officer


  1. Call to Order & Introductions VP Domey, All
    Norma explains that the meetings of the SAC should be 4 times a year but in this Covid19 pandemic, they plan to have more shorter meetings due to Covid19.
    Michael introduces Eleanor as a new Research Officer for PIPSC.
    The committee held roundtable introductions.


  1. Discussion of the Agenda All


  1. Adoption of the Agenda VP Domey


  1. Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting M Urminsky

    Action items from previous meetings (all completed):
  • Deborah to share information about non scientists supervising scientists
  • Yuri to send information to Committee about scientific expertises 
  • Mike to send scientific studies he worked on
  • Violina and Kevin to forward workplace surveys
  • Norma to forward sample of ads and tweets 
  • Norma to follow up with COO on how we are going to measure our response of Canadians to the ads 
  • Norma to bring up to discussion members desire to make covid PSHCP flexibility permanent going forward at her next PIPSC Executive Committee meeting 


Previous minutes approved by all and all completed.


  1. Business arising from previous meeting VP Domey


Norma conclude that everything is completed from previous meeting and that we can move forward to Scientific Integrity Update


  1. Action item: Marielle Nadon to take minutes of this meeting


  1. Scientific Integrity Update VP Domey/M  Urminsky
    1. Presentation by Norma
  • Norma gives a history and background presentation about the SI and how the scientific integrity (SI) model policy was developed
  • Maxime Gingras updated Norma on a regular basis and Michael took over this task.
  • Norma explains what is SI, guidelines and how PIPSC represents members.


  1. First Scientific Integrity Complaint
  • Michael briefed the committee on the first scientific integrity complaint in the core public service. 
  1. Science Integrity Focal Points Progress and Goals by Norma
  • Set up a Google Group and shared drive resources.
  • SI focal point calls.
  • Send another request for interest in SI focal point.
  • Develop an online guide for members and stewards.
  • Monitor first SI policy grievance DFO NFLD.
  • Operational monitoring program on SI within PIPSC.
  1. Protecting Public Science by Michael
    1. Developments & Engagement with OCSA on SI Provisions to protect science
  • Michael contacted the CSA.
  1. Case Study Development - Progress and Prioritization


Norma and Guillermo discuss the working group at his place.

Norma and Violina discuss new Health Canada guidelines and diversity in the Sciences department.

SI focal point has a Google Group - about 21 people

Deborah share that she has some problem accessing Google Group


2.Action item: Norma to recommend at the Board meeting (end Sept) to partner with CSPS to implement SI trainings

3. Action item: Michael to update shared drive for SI

4. Action item: Norma/Michael to share the email thread with Chief Science Advisor to Guillermo

5. Action item: Violina to share new Health Canada guideline with SAC Committee

6. Action item: Michael to find the name of the ERO working on the DFO complaint and send to Norma

7.Action item: Everyone to share with Michael/Eleanor if they hear about other complaints

8.Action item: Marielle to help everyone having PIPSC emails


  1. Updates on Science Strategic and Operational Plan
    1. Women and Science Project Updates (1 pm) Y James
  • Katie and Violina are active members of the WiS.
  • Main way to connect is Social Media.
  • WiS Learning Lab welcomed 20-25 people.
  • Participants had positive feedback.
  • Yvonne is still working on analyzing datas collected.
  • How can we continue this work virtually?
  • Toolkit is in translation at the moment.
  • Norma requested funds to the Board in order to have WiS Learning Lab - it has been approved.
  • Violina suggested having a Learning Lab by Zoom.
  • Violina suggested allowing mens to participate.
  1. Update on Government Relations E Watkins
  • Emily wasn’t able to join.
  1. Science Membership Survey Discussion E McGrath
  • Delays because of the pandemic
  • Full WiS survey taking place in fall
  • Should the list of questions be reduced?
  • We are looking to do the survey in house at PIPSC
  • COVID will impact on the question and answer
  1. Artificial Intelligence Research Update  (2 pm) J Anderson
  • Majority of people answered the survey.
  • Only half of the people at CRA use software developed internally.
  • We look at how new software is impacting your job.
  • Members in the majority were satisfied with new software.
  • Large group of people didn’t receive training last year. For those that received training, they were mostly satisfied.
  • Only few people know that they have training credits.
  • Next step: examining online solutions to access the training needs.
  • Possibility to expand survey to career intelligence.
  • Challenge would be the diversity of careers PIPSC represents.
  1. Other Updates - Data Collection M Urminsky
  • Research is developing a dashboard to move data for bargaining and policy support.
  • A series of dashboards should be available by next fall.
  • We already have a model for bargaining but need one for policy.
  • To discuss if it will be public or just for the executives.
  • Jordan McAuley is currently working on the project.
  • Kevin Jacobs, Deborah Danoff and Krista Gill joined the meeting and introduced themselves to the Committee.
  • Eleanor McGrath did a presentation on the Science Membership Survey.
  • Yvonne James joined to do a presentation on WiS.
  • John Anderson joined to do a presentation on Artificial Intelligence Research Update.
    Pierre shared some concerns at his workplace with John. They will get in touch by email for more explanations.


9.Action item: Michael to send evidence for the democracy report to everyone.

10.Action item: Norma to review the questions from the survey.

11.Action item: Yvonne to share the presentation to Michael and Norma.

12.Action item: Pierre to contact John for feedback at his workplace.


  1. New Business
    1. CSPC Attendance for SAC Members VP Domey
  • Get members to promote science.
  • Increase funding for public science.
  • We didn’t submit a request for a panel this year.
  • Violina, Kevin, Norma, Mike and Guillermo are interested in participating at some of the workshops.
  • Maybe some Researchers (Yvonne, Michael, Eleanor) would like to participate.
  • Norma initiated a roundtable discussion to know who would want to participate at CSPC.
  • Norma explained how we collected stories from scientists.
  1. Discussion of Science Member Stories All
  • Postponed
  1. Next Meeting Date


13.Action item: Norma to request the Board to cover salary replacement and registration fees for members who expressed interest to participate in CSPC (virtual meeting).

14.Action item: Marielle to update the spreadsheet with stories received verbally.


  1. Roundtable All
  • Norma initiated a roundtable discussion with each participant.
  • Guillermo and Pierre already gave their feedback during the meeting.
  • Krista’s workplace focused on diversity, inclusion, and started the process to reopen the Lab, (each site will present their plan).Update on the COVID and return to the office.
  • Simon’s projects have been delayed for a few months because of COVID.
  • Everyone is back to work at Mike’s office (NB) with distanciation. Nobody tested positive at the moment.
  • Violina workplace developing Health Canada science network.Update on the COVID and return to the office.
  • Katie updated on COVID, return to office and 699/sick leave.
  • Deborah sits on the Health and Safety Committee at her workplace.
  • Kevin’s workplace allows 25% of the staff to return to work (phase 1). He doesn’t know when the second phase would be. Many programs have been suspended at the moment.


15.Action item: Norma to send the latest news on paid leave to the Committee.

16.Action item: Violina to send Townhall recording to the Committee.

17.Action item: Kevin to check with Jay Krishnan for updates on Winnipeg Lab (vaccine).


  1. List of Action Items M Nadon

To be wrote during the minutes by Marielle

18.Action item:  Norma/Michael to work on proposal for CSPC and Canadian School for Board approval.


  1. Closing Comments & Adjournment VP Domey


Meeting adjourned at 4:00PM