Talk:Wikimedia Canada/Archive 2007

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Anything going on here?

I see lots of chat last year, but nothing really new on this page in quite a while.

Is there still interest in this? Are the organisers still hanging about somewhere?

v:User:Historybuff 08:19, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

About two, three months ago, I launched a mailing list, hoping that would reignite things... , it didn't.
What we really need is someone to write incorporation papers, without them, there's no legal Wikimedia Canada to give tax receipts for donations, buy servers to help host the content, start partnerships with museums... so we're stuck. -- Zanimum 17:01, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
What we really need is a purpose/goal. "Wow, you get a tax deduction" isn't going to cut it for most people. I have some things in mind for a Canadian branch, but am interested to know if there was any thought in this already. I don't mind doing paperwork -- is there funding for whatever we need to do though, from WMF? v:User:Historybuff 04:37, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
I've posted to the mailing list; I'm going to start knocking on more doors. Delphine from the chapters committee has chimed in; now it's up to us to start moving forward v:User:Historybuff 05:20, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
In response to your message, Historybuff, I've signed up for the mailing list. I have no idea how to draw up incorporation papers, but I'm still interested in working on this project. --Padraic 18:32, 13 April 2007 (UTC)


I got a message on my talk page in Wikipedia saying I had signed up for something. I don't remember signing up for any other Wikipedia services although I just recently signed up for Wikimedia. But what is Wikimedia, it's purpose, etc. I would like to know before I would considering helping to start up the project and just for knowledge even though it's on my Wikipedia talk page, I am a Canadian, living in Peterborough, Ontario. Also I will say that my time is more devoted to working on Wikipedia. I don't know how much time I would be able to spend but I will see. Almost forgot any answers to my questions should be left on my Wikipedia talk page not my Wikimedia talk page because otherwise it might be awhile before I respond or have a chance to read it. Xtreme racer 21:23, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

As a longtime participant of Wikipedia, I am interested. I've actually asked Zanimum for information about WM Can. and I've just seen the message on my talk page at wikimedia. Just as Xtreme racer has quoted, would I be informed of the actual purpose, details and progress of Wikimedia? Ktsquare 03:45, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Starting back up with by-laws

This project is pretty dead right now, as far as I can see. I would like to help it start back up. The step-by-step chapter creation guide says that the first step is "gather the people." How needed this is at the very beginning, I don't know, and how we could do this, I don't know. Maybe a notice on the the news section on the main page about a WMC overhaul (though I won't do that if I am the only one "overhauling," and we probably need a better name than overhaul).

The second step is write the bylaws. Some people have already started this and I have a question about it (though I know absolutely NOTHING about law). What are Officers and Directors, what do they do (differently from one another), and which one has more power?

Let's hope that this gets going! Greeves (talk contribs Wikipedia) 02:28, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

I've been trying to understand more from reading the by-laws more. I was wondering if we could simplify it by working similar to the way that the Wikimedia Foundation does. The members could elect a board of about five people who vote amongst themselves to who among them is the chair, vice-chair, treasurer, and executive secretary. What do you think? Greeves (talk contribs Wikipedia) 21:30, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Let me respond -- I took (1) to mean we needed interest and at least a few people that believed in the project. I managed to solicit 10 people to go and sign up on the mailing list, and with 100+ people who are "supporters", I think we can call this one "done". We really need some legal beagle to help with the law stuff. I'm actually on this, but WM Canada hasn't gotten lots of my cycles in the last while. I'll follow up on it. I'll answer the question about the directors and the officers, which I think is accurate. Directors are the "board", and they set the policy of an organization. Officers are the people who actually implement and carry out that policy. The board usually meets periodically, whereas the officers are usually doing things on a daily basis (more like employees). I think 5 is a good number to start with -- as long as we can adjust it a bit in the future. Historybuff 15:25, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Due to personal crises, I'm not as available to translate en<>fr. I'm trying to take things a bit easier these days because otherwise the stress is far too much for me. I'll try to see what I can do in the next few days, though. Arria Belli 16:49, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

I forgot to mention it here, but please see User:Greeves/WMC bylaws. Partially copied from the foundation's bylaws, I think that these might work with modifications. By the way, in case you hadn't figured it out yet, I know nothing about law, so maybe someone who knows more than me could look at this. Thanks! Greeves (talk contribs Wikipedia) 20:08, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

I'll look at your proposals on the by-laws to see what I can add to the drafts that I started a couple of months ago. What has been most disappointing has been the lack of interest from people about their vision of Wikimedia Canada, and how it should operate. When people know what they want it's much easier to convert that into legal language. A Federal corporation can be set up by any three people who can get their act together, and are willing to front the incorporation costs. I would very much prefer that the potential problems be considered before incorporation, rather than trying to guess for myself about that structure. From what I have read of the views of the Chapters Committee I don't see much problem in coming to terms with them. If you have any views on by-law provisions please express them on the relevant talk page for the clause.Eclecticology 05:06, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
You said: "When people know what they want it's much easier to convert that into legal language." Well, from all that whatever I wrote in my userspace, I thought (a) maybe the board would be similar to that of the Foundation, (as in, among themselves they elect officers) but with only five members, (b) limit membership as written in the original bylaws, (c) though I did not mention this, all paperwork, etc, should be in both official languages (as hard as that sounds). Any other thoughts? Greeves (talk contribs Wikipedia) 03:53, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments
(a) At the beginning I have no problem with a small, five member board, but there is a concern about regional representation as and when provincial sub-chapters become operational. The current WMF Board has 3 US members, and 4 from EU countries. Some people have expressed concern that this leaves other geographical areas unrepresented. Our by-laws should have some flexibility for dealing with this. Electing officers from among the directorship at large has the advantage of a more effective matching of jobs with skills.
(b) I'm not too sure what you intend here. We don't yet have "original bylaws", only drafts for people to comment on.
(c) I have no problem with using both official languages, but this is not legally necessary, and even discouraged. Maintaining legal documents in both official languages can be a problem if you haven't developed the discipline to keep up with the paperwork. Also, ambiguous translations can cause problems when the two versions effectively give conflicting rules.
I'm leaving for Taipei in three hours, where I hope to sit down with Notafish to discuss some of these issues, and see if we can come up with practical solutions that will get this project on the road. I strongly prefer a democratic approach to developping a Canadian chapter, but the lack of interest does not inspire me. It may very well mean going ahead with the incorporation with the minimum required three people, and sorting out the technicalities later. Eclecticology 04:03, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
By the "original bylaws," I meant the original drafts that you had. With the bilingual thing, it would be hard to do it, though if it was just done in English, the French Canadians wouldn't be happy. I think that having it bilingual would be the best approach as I do not think that there should be separate English and French chapters. However, maybe we can operate primarily in English though provide translations of all text and translators at the meetings for the French Canadians. So for the rules, in case of a conflict between the languages, the English is used as it was the language originally written. Greeves (talk contribs Wikipedia) 23:11, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
I was skimming through the Canada Business Corporations Act only to find section 102.2 (if that's what you refer to it as). It says "A corporation shall have one or more directors but a distributing corporation, any of the issued securities of which remain outstanding and are held by more than one person, shall have not fewer than three directors, at least two of whom are not officers or employees of the corporation or its affiliates." I'm no lawyer, but would that mean that my idea (having a board of five members, including the chair, vice-chair, treasurer, and secretary) would not work as that would mean we would only have one member of the board that meets the criteria? Greeves (talk contribs Wikipedia) 02:59, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Being a "distributing corporation" does not apply to a not-for-profit corporation since it does not issue shares. Eclecticology 22:41, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I didn't see that part. :-( Greeves (talk contribs Wikipedia) 23:25, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

WMC - now with 120 "participants"

I know that being in the participants list does not grant you formal membership when WMC is formed, but there are currently 120 "participants". I think that maybe we should erase the whole list, but send everyone a message regarding their removal and invite them to re-add it. Thoughts? Greeves (talk contribs Wikipedia) 22:58, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I removed myself from the list, if that can help. Asclepias 03:38, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
As I stated on list, I heavily advise against this. :-) Cbrown1023 talk 00:07, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Just joined... / Nouveau venu...

Greetings, I've just joined... How can I help/collaborate? Pierre / CielProfond The preceding undated comment was added at 21:15, 9 August 2007.

Bonjour, Je viens de me joindre à vous... Comment puis-je aider/collaborer? Pierre / CielProfond The preceding undated comment was added at 21:15, 9 August 2007.

Well, Wikimedia Canada is a chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation currently in planning. We intend to help out the Foundation within Canada. Right now, the project is pretty dead. We do have an inactive mailing list (Wikimedia-ca) and an IRC channel (#wikimedia-ca) which I'm usually the only one in there.
Looking at the Step-by-step chapter creation guide, the first two steps are Gather the people and Write the bylaws. By you showing interest in helping, that helps step one. In another discussion on this page, Starting back up with by-laws, the second step has already started. If you are a lawyer or you have a background in Canadian law, you would be perfect right now!
In short, how you can help, is to just discuss start up issues with us and recruit more Canadian Wikimedians! Thanks for your interest! Greeves (talk contribs Wikipedia) 16:09, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
I can offer some advice because I assisted the formation of Wikimedia Hong Kong this summer. OhanaUnited 18:56, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
OK Maybe you could answer this question - what is so difficult about this "writing the laws" stage that this project has languished on for a year? I don't see what kind of fancy laws would be required for the Canadian chapter.
Let's face it - the only reason most everyone wants a Canadian chapter is simply to allow tax deductions of Wikimedia donations. So, why can't the goals and laws of the chapter just be geared toward that simple purpose? Make the goals and "laws" as simple as possible to get this ball rolling. (Aside - why are bylaws required for a chapter anyway? What if you don't want any?) From my point of view, all this "organizing meetups" stuff is nice and fine but I don't see why the creation of the chapter has to be complicated with such things. If people want to organize a meet up they don't need official chapter status to do so. So if these are kinds of rules (which to me sounds more like an informal user group than anything) holding thins up just skip them and pursue it later, or outside of the chapter creation process.
It really hurts me that I can't donate to Wikimedia because of this kind of foolishness. User:None 07:15, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
There is nothing difficult about writing by-laws. What is difficult is getting people's opinions about the contents of those by-laws until the whole situation is in a time-limited panic. It's very easy to write by-laws when someone wants to be completely dictatorial, and doesn't give a damn about what others might think, or what potential members might want to do with the organization over the longer term.
Tax deductions are important, but that's not the only reason for a Canadian chapter. There are such things as protecting names in Canada to prevent squatting by those with other agendas, or negotiating open source arrangements with official bodies, or taking legal responsibility for contracts. There are legal implications to all this. If you as an individual agree with suppliers to provide goods or services for a meetup you are the one who is legally responsible if things go wrong, not a non-existent Wikimedia.
If we are going to put together a legally responsible chapter there are legal requirements to be followed, and one of those requirements is to have by-laws where certain issues must be considered. Please don't feign being hurt about being unable to donate. You can still donate to WMF any time that you want; you just won't be getting a Canadian tax receipt until we have met the legal requirements. Eclecticology 07:49, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I am not "feigning" anything. I am not rich, and when I donate to charities around this time of year, I like to know that 50% of my donation isn't taken away by the government. If I can donate $100 to Wikimedia or $150 to Amnesty international and have both donations cost the same out of my pocket, guess who I am going to donate to? I know I am not the only person in this boat. Lots of people in Canada will not donate to a charity if they don't get a tax receipt. Not only does it provide the tax advantage but it also provides a sense of legitimacy for the donation. User:None 18:16, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Montreal MediaWiki Users Group

Hey everyone,

After a flood of participants adding their names to the list almost drowned the project, plus my own personal plans having changed since then, I was wondering if there would be any interest for a MediaWiki User Group in Montreal ? I know there's a lot of MediaWiki webmasters out there and if we start by getting people together on a related issue, then in might be easier to find people willing to take this to the next level...

Anybody reading this at any point in time is welcome to contact me as this idea (Montreal User Group) is not likely to go away any time soon...

Stéphane Thibault 07:51, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Salut tout le monde,

Après avoir été innondés par le nombre de participants ayant ajouté leur nom sur la liste, au point de ne plus voir les vrais participants, mes plans ont un peu changé et je me demandais s'il y aurait de l'intérêt pour créer un groupe d'utilisateurs MediaWiki à Montréal. Je sais que plusieurs webmasters utilisent MediaWiki et si on parvenais à regrouper du monde au même endroit sur une base régulière, ce serait peut-être plus facile ensuite pour quelques uns des participants de s'impliquer dans un projet comme Wikimedia Canada.

Si quelqu'un lit ce commentaire à tout moment dans le futur, n'hésitez pas à me contacter puisque l'idée d'un groupe d'utilisateurs à Montréal n'est certainement pas sur le point de diparaître.

Stéphane Thibault 07:51, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Keeping us updated?

Can someone make a section about the status of Wikimedia Canada (if work is taking place) and keep us updated? The information here are not detailed. OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:25, 4 November 2007 (UTC)