Governance, Communications and Human Resources Committee (GCHRC) - July 21, 2020

Tuesday, July 21, 2020
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Event description

Archived meeting. See Agenda and Minutes below. 

Public Agenda

8:30 - Chair’s Remarks

Action: Information

Pre-read: Verbal

Presenter: Chair

8:35 - Consent agenda

Approval of Public Meeting Agenda

Action: GCHRC Approval

Pre-read: Agenda

Presenter: Chair

Chair’s Poll re: Conflict of Interest

Action: Declaration

Pre-read: Agenda and Conflict of Interest Policy

Presenter: Chair

8:40 - Tenant Engagement Update

Action: GCHRC & Board Approval

Pre-read: GCHRC:2020-18

Presenter: Chief Operating Officer


Public Meeting Minutes

The Governance, Communications and Human Resources Committee (“GCHRC”) of Toronto Community Housing Corporation (“TCHC”) held a public meeting on July 21, 2020 via WebEx commencing at 8:43 a.m.

Committee Director in Attendance:

Brian Smith, Chair

John Campbell

Councillor Paula Fletcher 

Ubah Farah

Committee Directors Absent:

Debbie Douglas

Management Present:

Kevin Marshman, President and Chief Executive Officer 

Sheila Penny, Chief Operating Officer

Darragh Meagher, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Ceilidh Wilson, Assistant Corporate Secretary (Acting)

A quorum being present, the Chair called the meeting to order and Ms. Wilson served as recording secretary.

Item 1 - Chair's Remarks

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. The Chair noted the Acknowledgement of the Land and notified everyone that due to the need for social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19, TCHC is holding this meeting online.

Virtual Meeting

This meeting is being conducted virtually using an online platform that provides for continued effective governance and decision making. None of the Committee members are in the same room.

Special Deputation Process

Members of the public were able to follow along with the meeting virtually via the live stream on TCHC’s YouTube channel. 

Members of the public wanting to depute on an agenda item had the option to do so by either submitting a written or video deputation, which were circulated to the Committee members, or being teleconferenced into the meeting to orally depute to Committee members.

All deputation submissions will be made public after the meeting is held. Oral deputations will be part of the audio video record of the meeting through TCHC’s YouTube channel. Written and video deputations will be posted with the meeting minutes. 


The Chair reiterated the Board’s support for TCHC’s frontline staff who are in buildings, offices and communities across the city, as well as employees who continue to work from home to keep the business running. 

Item 2A - Approval of Public Meeting Agenda

Motion carried

ON MOTION DULY MADE by Councillor Fletcher, seconded by Mr. Campbell and carried, GCHRC approved the public meeting agenda.

Item 2B - Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The Chair requested members of GCHRC to indicate any agenda item in which they had a conflict of interest, together with the nature of the interest. None were declared.

Item 3 - Tenant Engagement Update, GCHRC:2020-18

Written deputations were received from Ayan Yusuf, Carmen Rayner, Christina Luta, Denise Bishop-Earl, Don Warden, Faye Stanley, Gerald Schamerhorn, Jody Swindells, Kwame Anane Frempong, Laurie Grant, Lise Gervais, Lorna Colquhoun, Mabel Ernest, Paul Hall, Robert Rayner, Sagal Duale and Zamani Ra.

Video deputations were received from Treshanna Williams, Lesley Oduro, Nichola Bynoe, Leon Carpenter, Rick Parsons, Mustafa el-Haddad, Kaydeen Bankasingh, Mohamed Hadi, Mohamed Ali Aden and Kwame Anane Frempong.

Verbal deputations were received from Cathy Birch, Issaq Ahmed, Dahlia Advocacy, Ayan Yusuf, Alisha Griffith, Laura Hammond and Valerie Shearman. 

After hearing deputations, the Committee took a break from 10:16 a.m. to 10:21 a.m.

The GCHRC had before it the above-captioned report (GCHRC:2020-18), which was circulated prior to the meeting. 

The Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Penny, provided the GCHRC with a PowerPoint presentation. Highlights of the presentation included:

  • A timeline of TCHC’s tenant engagement system, including the decisions made by the Board of Directors.
  • The mandate of the City-Wide Tenants-Staff Engagement Advisory Group (“CWTSEAG”). 
  • The methodology for tenant participation in the tenant engagement refresh design in 2018, including building and community meetings, lobby and community intercepts, Tenant Experience survey, and community forums.
  • In 2018, 16,631 tenants were involved in the design process. 
  • In 2019, 6,552 tenants participated in community action planning meetings.
  • 1,952 tenants participated in open call/information session meetings. 36% of communities still need to be engaged in this type of meeting.
  • From 2019-2020, 18,484 tenants were engaged through various activities during the implementation process.
  • The average participation rate was 21%. 
  • The approved tenant engagement system aligns with TCHC’s restructuring and includes representation at the building or townhouse level, hub level, community level, and city level.

Ms. Penny was available to answer questions from the GCHRC. Topics discussed included:

  • The difference between tenant Directors on the Board of Directors and the city level of tenant representation. 
    • Action: Management to confirm there is no conflict between the mandate of tenant Board Directors and the mandate of the city level tenant representation group.
  • The option to conduct elections online or hold socially distanced in-person voting.Communities are at different stages of establishing their tenant engagement model.
  • Community Services Coordinators (“CSC”) for engagement were in place prior to the restructuring and are in the same communities working on the tenant engagement refresh.
    • Action: Management to confirm offline whether the revitalization CSCs were involved in setting up engagement refresh meetings in communities.
  • Whether there was a discussion with or advice from the Shareholder regarding ending tenant representatives’ terms in 2019.
  • The portfolio of contract managed buildings has been aligned with the new regional structure and receive the same supports via the CSCs. 
  • Where communities have tenant associations that operate independently of TCHC, this was the option elected by the tenants when canvassed by CSCs. These associations have access to the same portfolio-wide resources through their local CSC, e.g. tenant funds.
  • Since COVID started, engagement with communities has been reduced in some areas (e.g. holding events), but drastically increased in other areas (e.g. door knocking, wellness checks).
  • Service quality indicators (“SQI”) will be developed with the tenant representation once in place to know if the system is working effectively.
  • Ensuring a process is put in place to reconfirm each community’s engagement model, every four years is important. 
  • Whether tenant Board Directors should be part of the city level engagement group.
  • Ways to ensure those without access to technology can still be involved in voting, e.g. dropping ballots door-to-door.

Motion carried

ON MOTION DULY MADE by Councillor Fletcher, seconded by Mr. Campbell and carried, GCHRC resolved to:

  1. Receive the information in report GCHRC:2020-18 for its information and forward it to the Board for its information along with the following information:
    • confirmation whether TCHC staff consulted with Tenants First staff in relation to:
      • the decision to permit prior tenant representation to lapse; and
      • the decision to initiate virtual voting in order to facilitate the tenant engagement process;
  2. Provide direction to management to:
    • forward this report to the Shareholder to request advice on proceeding with online elections for the refreshed tenant engagement model and report to the Board meeting and any other advice that the Shareholder may wish to give on the proposed tenant engagement model;
    • based on the chart provided in the report, the COO recommend to the Board of Directors which communities listed are ‘ready to proceed’ as sufficient tenant involvement, internet access and inclusion have been well met; and
    • report to the Board on the Shareholder’s comments with respect to this matter. 


GCHRC resolved to terminate the public meeting at 11:31 a.m.

Sonia Fung

Committee Secretary