OPTIONS – Winter 2015

To Member Associations of ACER-CART

Since the June 2014 AGM, the Executive of ACER-CART has been actively working on your behalf. Whether it is to build a common front with the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Health Coalion or to launch Phase II of the Canadian Teachers Association’s “Choosing Wisely’ or their “Camp Vox” program, President JoAnne Lauber and other members of the executive were present. They were also present to meet with other likeminded Retiree Associations to discuss what seniors want and need.

The Political Advocacy Committee chaired by George Georget, met three times to prepare a political advocacy pamphlet. This is after all an election year! The next PAC meeting is scheduled for February 9, 2015.

ACER-CART will have a new and improved Website for the June 2015 AGM. Executive Director Roger Régimbal is in close communication with Jenna Glenn, Parter with Karma Creative Solutions who is creating this user-friendly website for ACER-CART. Webmaster Vaughn Wadelius and Communication Chair Norbert Boudreau are involved in the transition.

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Greetings, Members of ACER-CART!

It is still winter across our beautiful land, but here on the West Coast, the unmistakeable signs of that hopeful season of new beginnings and the harbingers of nature’s new year are already in clear evidence. It is as the poet says, “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

It is natural for us at the beginning of nature’s new year to contemplate the events of our temporal world as they may unfold in the coming months.

Your Executive has been seeking to fulfil the mandate set for us: to guard the welfare and promote the interests of retired teachers. Accordingly, to strengthen our actions, we have been reaching out to confer with and to collaborate with other organizations whose concerns are also those of ours. In doing so we have had personal conversations in face-to-face contact with the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Health Coalition, the National Pensioners’ Federation, the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada, and the National Association of Federal Retirees.

Our conversations have sought to develop strategies to address the need for a national seniors’ care plan, a national pharmaceutical plan, and a new era of discussion between the federal, provincial and territorial governments to protect, reform and enhance our public health care system. We have sought also to defend with vigour the security accorded Canadians through defined benefit pension plans.

These issues, of concern not only to us as retired teachers but to all Canadian citizens, are at the fore of ACER-CART advocacy as this year unfolds and we anticipate speaking to candidates who seek to represent us in the Parliament to be assembled after the coming election.

Our newly constituted Political Advocacy Committee, along with the Communications Committee, is working to empower ACER-CART members so that our voices may be amplified as we meet with leader hopefuls. We are assembling background information that reflects ACER-CART’s policies and translates them into issues and questions we can pose to federal candidates as we engage them in the months to come.

We look forward to civic engagement by our members across all provinces and territories as we seek to elect a government that responds to our needs with wisdom, integrity and justice.

May the vigour and hope of the newness of the year inspire our efforts in 2015 to become truly involved and to work for the greatest good of all Canadians.

JoAnn

25th ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED NATIONS DAY OF THE OLDER PERSON

On January 22nd, First Vice President, Brian Kenny and Ontario Regional Representative Norbert Boudreau attended a meeting sponsored by the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada (CURC) in Toronto. The purpose of the meeting was to plan nation-wide activities to occur on October 1, 2015, to celebrate the UN Day of the Older Person. While there, they had the opportunity to hear from several different associations presenting their plans for advocacy prior to the coming federal election.

WORKING TO ACHIEVE A CARING, CONSULTATIVE AND COMMITTED CANADIAN PARLIAMENT

The Political Advocacy Committee in concert with the Communications Committee continues to work to respond to last June’s AGM resolutions to prepare for the up-coming federal election.

ACER-CART is preparing a pamphlet and other documents that will amplify the voice of retired teachers and to focus the attention of candidates of each political party on the critical issues pertaining to seniors now and in the future.

This work is being guided by the policies of ACER-CART established by its member associations and on-going input from members and leaders representing retired teachers from all provinces and the Yukon. Housing and health care for seniors, pharmaceutical and formulary matters and retirement income/pensions are among the leading aspects of the voice that is to be amplified and carried in each and every constituency of our country.

ACER-CART is committed to ensuring that each political party will be engaged in communications and that appropriate support will be extended to each of its member associations and their respective organizations. The Parliament of Canada and Government following the election must be committed to providing leadership and support to the provinces and territories so that their constitutional responsibilities are coordinated and together in accordance with the Canadian Constitution. Then, Canada can realize a truly national approach to addressing the realities of seniors throughout the country.

ACER-CART Political Advocacy chairperson, George Georget

COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE REPORT

Communications Committee Members: Roger Régimbal, Executive Director, Vaughn Wadelius, Webmaster, Norbert Boudreau, Chair

The following is a chart showing the usage summary for the ACER-CART Website:

 

The Communications Committee met three times to discuss updating the format of the website and thus creating a user – friendly website for ACER-CART

Financial Details:

Web Design and Development: $1950.

Web Hosting Services: $99/year

Total investment: $2049 (13% taxes not included)

Executive Director, Roger Régimbal contacted KARMA Creative Solutions who through one of the partner, Janna Glenn presented a proposal.

To briefly summarize a Karma Creative Solutions document, prepared by Janna Glenn, “Creating a user-friendly website for the Canadian Association of Retired Teachers” it will have a public page-who we are, etc., a Directors’ page for internal documents, i.e. Associations reports to the AGM and an Executive page where agendas for conference call could be posted. The domain name would not change nor would the logo. A list of the website’s content was developed to facilitate decisions on a protocol to decide what has to be retained from the old website and what has to be transferred. It will take about four months to build and transfer the existing content to the new site.

The ACER-CART website is presently hosted on the Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) who will continue to host the website until the launch of the new website in June. Koallo.ca will host the ACER-CART domain after June 5, 2015.

The organization owes a debt of gratitude to the present Webmaster, Vaughn Wadelius who has done a yeoman’s job to keep us informed via the present website.

Respectfully submitted by Norbert Boudreau, Communications Chair

THE NATIONAL PENSIONERS FEDERATION

The National Pensioners Federation, an organization of thousands of retirees, is looking for person who might be interested in participating in the Housing Committee’s work. The Committee has been newly formed, so there is ample opportunity for input into the Federations’ policy, including the formulating a position paper regarding housing for seniors. Currently, the committee consists of two people, one from Nova Scotia and one from BC. The Chair is looking for representation from other areas of the country. If you are invested in this very important seniors issue, please contact Bernie LaRusic at bernielarusic_392@hotmail.com.

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