Options Newsletter: Winter 2011

2010-11 Organizational Change and Directors Update

Since the June 2010 AGM, there have been new Director appointments to the ACER-CART Board by some member associations. Welcome to the new Directors: Geraldine Wall (RTANL), Randy Holmsdale (RTO-NSTU), Sonia Roy (SERFNB), Mildred Urquhart (NBSRT), Joan Murphy (RTO/ERO); George Georget (STS), and Marlene Reddekopp (ARTA).

We were very disappointed to learn that the executive of our largest Quebec association (AREQ) has decided to withdraw from membership in ACER-CART, stating that they wish to pursue other priorities. We asked them to review this decision but they did not change their opinion. The 2011 AGM will have to accept the resignation for it to become effective.

ACER-CART 2010 AGM Action Update

Almost all of the motions adopted at the 2010 AGM have now been acted upon. Support by member associations in contacting their federal MPs by phone, letter, or email to advocate for these motions was much appreciated. The items that lent themselves to lobbying the Government of Canada were:

  • to change tax legislation in such a way that charitable donations up to the amount of $1200 be accorded the same tax credits as those of political contributions;
  • to improve the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), …particularly the automatic inclusion of eligible pensioners; and
  • to increase CPP/QPP, OAS, and GIS benefits and to take other measures to ensure that seniors are able to avoid living in poverty.

In addition, ACER-CART asked CNSO members to pursue lobbying the federal government on the issue of investment fraud against seniors. We also expressed concern regarding the loss of the long form census survey. The government is in the process of preparing its next budget. There is still time to let the politicians know about these concerns.

ACER-CART Executive Director Boudreau Honoured

Norbert Boudreau received District 27’s RTO/ERO Exceptional Service Award at the  Nov 18, 2010 AGM. Norbert was also acclaimed to the RTO/ERO provincial executive. Boudreau-Cert-Service2010

Congratulations, Norbert!

Committee Reports

Reports on the activities of the ACER-CART committees are a regular feature of the AGM and indicate the effort expended during the previous year to advocate and publicize the positions proposed by the national organization.

Pension and Retirement Income Committee  (Arnold Hull, Chair)

The committee has been reviewing various sources of information and that which member associations were able to provide us concerning retired teachers in poverty. A report on this is being prepared for the 2011 AGM.

Communications Committee (Vaughn Wadelius, Chair)

The website is a good source of information about our national organization. Links to all member associations are an aid for those looking for comparisons among the members,  updated member association contacts, and annual general meeting locations and dates.  On December 21 the website registered 7800 visitors since September 2004. One new feature inaugurated in January was a website page dedicated to information about the Congress of National Seniors Organizations (CNSO) of which ACER-CART is a member. Links to federal reports and CNSO issues will also be featured on this page.

Health Services and Insurance Committee  (Thomas Gaskell, Chair)

Tom continues to monitor various issues related to national health care and drug plans.

Legislation Committee  (Helen Biales, Chair)

As a result of the withdrawal request of AREQ, the Bylaw and Articles are being reviewed for changes that may have to be made. In addition, a review of the process and parameters for accepting new organizational members is being undertaken.

2011 AGM Deadlines

Nominations are being accepted for the 2011-12 positions of President, and Regional Representatives (Atlantic, Ontario, Québec, West). Nominating forms are available on ACER-CART’s website and should be returned with a CV of the nominee by April 22 to Executive Director Norbert Boudreau. Director reports are also due by April 22. A simplified format for the report is available on the website. The April deadline date this year is to ensure that AGM documents are translated and sent out to the delegates well in advance of the AGM.

The President Comments

wadelius-vaughn-west (1)Vaughn Wadelius

We will be celebrating our 20th anniversary as ACER-CART when we meet at the 2011 AGM. A Strategic Planning seminar session was suggested as a way to review and redevelop our goals and action for the future. Please submit your annual AGM reports on time. I look forward to seeing the new and returning delegates at the 2011 AGM.

My second (and last) year as your President is flying by. The loss of AREQ has been a sad development, for they were a founding member of ACER-CART. I hope they will return some day. On the bright side, our association with CNSO continues to strengthen. Three additional national associations have joined CNSO this year, making our collective voice even louder at the national level.

Lobbying action taken by several groups (including us) seems to have prompted the government to consider whether the “no application” option for obtaining the OAS and GIS. While there are problems with initiating this, it is  a move that could save time, administration costs, and help to ensure all qualifying seniors are included.

Have a great New Year!