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5 Questions for Bernard Turcotte, President – CIRA

Bernard Turcotte
_CIRA is the not-for-profit organization mandated to operate the dot-ca top-level domain. As President of “Canadian Internet Registration Authority”: (CIRA), Mr. Turcotte is responsible for ensuring that all technical, organizational, and financial goals and processes are in support of CIRA’s mandate._
*One Degree: I understand that you are working with “FUSE Marketing Group”: to develop a marketing strategy to sell people on the idea of registering dot-ca domains. Why did you select FUSE?*
We wanted to give as many firms as possible the opportunity to work with CIRA so we posted an open call for proposals on CIRA’s website and in Marketing Magazine. All the submissions we received from interested parties reflected a great deal of competence and expertise. Our decision was a difficult one, but we selected FUSE because they seemed to have the best understanding of our current needs and corporate direction.
*One Degree: The development of a marketing strategy suggests that marketers aren’t always aware of the value of a dot-ca domain. Why do think is the case?*

Since 2000, we have seen tremendous growth in the number of dot-ca domain names used by marketers in various campaigns across practically all sectors of Canada’s economy. Canadians and Canadian business are increasingly aware that a dot-ca identity can help Canadianize a brand, service, or product. What CIRA needs to do now is focus resources and highlight/promote dot-ca’s value to marketing professionals and their clients.
*One Degree: When would you say it makes sense for a company to register and actively use a dot-ca domain extension?*
Organizations should register dot-ca domain names that may be of interest to them as soon as they can think of a name they may be interested in using. Domain names are registered on a first-come-first-served basis so it makes sense to register them now and address usage at a later time if one is not totally prepared. Dot-ca names are inexpensive. This enables Canadian businesses to take advantage of multiple registrations as a defensive measure.
*One Degree: CIRA is seeking Member and public input on proposed revisions to its corporate governance framework. Why was this consultation originally called for and are you satisfied with the response so far?*
The amendments proposed to CIRA’s governance structure will result in a more open, accessible, and inclusive organization. We expect to see a wider breath of interests, views, and expertise at the Board level after the changes are implemented. This will benefit the long-term development of the organization itself and the dot-ca domain. We decided to consult the general public and CIRA Members to ensure our direction is on the right track with our Members and the public. We are delighted with the level of response as over 600 individuals took the time to share thoughts on the matter.
*One Degree: I don’t see a lot of Internet Marketers on the CIRA Board. Why is that and do you see it as a shortcoming of the current board?*
The governance changes now being proposed are designed to bring a wider range of professions and interests to the CIRA Board. We are hoping to see greater involvement and representation from Internet marketers, marketing and communications professional, and other professional disciplines. The Internet is used by Canadians working in all sectors of the economy, so it makes sense to see broad representation at the CIRA Board table.