- A Message from the Chair
- Retired Members Division Executive Committee List for 2022 – 2024
- Retired Members Division Executive Committee 2022 – 2024
- IT TAKES A COMMUNITY
- OPSEU/SEFPO launches healthcare anti-privatization campaign with clear message to Ontario PC government: Our lives are not for profit – June 1, 2023
- Region 5 Retirees participating in Enough is Enough Protest June 5th in Toronto
- Ending Discrimination
- Ontario Federation of Labour President Patty Coates speaking up for Ontario workers at premiers’ meeting
- Region 1 Retirees Meeting Windsor May 23, 2023
- OPSEU RETIREES AT INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY EVENT IN TORONTO March 4, 2023
- Referendum: 98% against private, for-profit health care
- OPSEU/SEFPO Region 7 Retirees supporting Thunder Bay healthcare workers as they call on hospital to reject privatization and help defend public system on July 4, 2023.
- The Retirees Committee working hard planning our first Retirees Conference to be held October 25th and 26th at the Doubletree by Hilton Toronto Airport West
- Honorary Lifetime Membership Awards presented at Convention 2023
- World Blood Donor Day – Paid Plasma a Threat
- OPTrust Plan changes improve survivor benefits for dependent children.
- Summer spending can be as bad as Christmas. Here are six cash-burning temptations you need to watch out for
- Region 3 Retirees Helping OHC for Referendum
- Region 7 Retirees help ease food insecurity
- Make sure your estate plan considers your digital assets.
- OPSEU/SEFPO Region 4 Retirees in Solidarity with CUPE Education Workers in Brockville at Conservative MPP Steve Clark’s office with CUPE 5678
- Retirees walking in solidarity with Local 428 at information picket in Kingston.
- Notice of OPSEU/SEFPO Regional Retirees meetings Fall 2023 and other regional information.
- OPSEU Region 6 Retirees supporting the Ontario Health Coalition demonstration in front of Ross Romano office. Sault Ste. Marie
- Retirees Chair Gino Franche at a pro mic at OPSEU Convention 2023, Metro Convention Centre
- Why I joined SCAN! (and why you should, too!)
- In memoriam
- OPSEU/SEFPO Region 6 Retirees
A Message from the Chair
Food banks were always thought of the very last resort for the very poorest members of our society, but currently circumstances have changed to such a degree that in 2022 skyrocketing food bank use increased by 64% for first time visitors.
About 592,300 seniors, adults, and children access food banks in Ontario, an increase of 10% to 12% in each of the previous two years. Last year Ontario food banks were visited more than 4.3 million times, representing a 42% increase over the last 3 years. Two out of three of those visitors are on a government supplement (Ontario Works or ODSP) and still can’t afford their basic groceries, since grocery prices are up 11.4% from last year.
At a Canadian parliamentary committee meeting in early March of this year the CEO’s of the 3 major grocery chains all deny price gouging, but increased their profits in the first half of 2022, over the last 5 years.
Shortly after this I read in the Hamilton spectator my local paper, that in the same first half, Loblaws gross profits beat their best results by $180 million, which is equal to about a million dollars a day. Galen Weston, billionaire Chairman and President claims the extra profit came from financial services, apparel and pharmacy sales not from food sales. He also received a $1.2 million raise last year bringing his annual salary to $11.79 million.
Galen, PROFIT is PROFIT! That, along with your exorbitant salary shows, in my opinion, a lack of care or compassion for the starving and underpaid Ontario poor, some working and some not and likely some working for you!
Surely, as head of a large grocery chain, a several million-dollar donation to food banks across this province, on an annual basis, would bring joy and full stomachs to those who need it most and it may even improve your image, as the food guru Grinch.
Ed Faulknor, Chair
OPSEU/SEFPO Retired Members Division
Retired Members Division Executive Committee List for 2022 – 2024
(519) 978-3055 email@example.com
|Ed Faulknor –
| Dora Robinson
|Janine Johnson –
|Sandra Snider –
Retired Members Division Executive Committee 2022 – 2024
From left to right: Gino Franche (Region 1), Ed Faulknor (Region 2), Betty Cree (Region 3), John Hanson (Region 4), Yasmin Damani (Region 5), Janine Johnson (Region 6), Sandra Snider (Region 7)
IT TAKES A COMMUNITY
The Case for Municipal Support for Aging in Place
May 15, 2023
Municipalities are the frontline governments, closest to the people who elected them. As such, they are the ones who can work with their constituents to advance locally created solutions, in this case to elders’ desires to age in place.
There is a crisis occurring in towns and cities across Ontario, but because those involved suffer in silence, many municipally elected officials are unaware of it.
During the pandemic we saw the results of it in all of its horror, as thousands of elders died in long-term care institutions, but since then, attention has waned.
Older adults all over Ontario live in fear of being institutionalized. They dread the prospect that, because of a health crisis, they could be forced into a long-term care institution against their will because they are unable to receive needed support in their own homes and communities.
Municipalities could play an important role in addressing the fear and dread that many older adults experience every day.
The City of Pickering Stands Up to the Ford Government
At least one municipality, the City of Pickering, recently stood up to the Ford government’s wish to impose a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) to facilitate the building of a 15 storey Southbridge institution in its city. Council supported the families of those who died at Orchard Villa under Southbridge’s ownership and Extendicare’s management, and told the Ontario government it did not favor an MZO for this purpose (Howlett, 2023). This is an example of an Ontario municipality having had the courage, conviction, and compassion to advocate for its residents.
Time for Municipalities to Embrace the Alternatives to Institutions
- The next step needs to be coming up with combined residential, direct funding, and in- home support alternatives to address waiting lists for long-term care. Waiting lists do not automatically require more institutional beds. They require a range of creative solutions like:
- Paid Family Caregivers, which would also ease the staffing shortage;
- Eliminating the discriminatory access requirements for the Family Managed Home Care program so that it can serve people of all ages with disabilities, not just younger people;
- Creation of small, fully staffed residences in every community operated by municipalities or non-profit organizations;
- Hub and Spoke models like the one the government has already funded in Kenora where services are included in seniors’ housing so that services come to elders instead of elders having to be uprooted to receive services (Ontario Government, 2022).
Apparently the government knows what the right thing to do is, it just doesn’t do it. Here is a direct quote from its own press release about the initiative in Kenora:
“The Ontario government is investing $4.5 million to build dedicated spaces for health care at a new seniors’ housing complex in Kenora. The mixed-use complex will include 56 independent living suites for residents as well as dedicated health spaces to provide a range of specialized services and supports on site to ensure residents and the surrounding community can receive the right care in the right place, instead of in a hospital or long-term care home.” (Ontario Government, 2022).
Seniors for Social Action Ontario could not agree more. So why not fund that program instead of trying to force more institutions on municipalities in the form of MZOs?
The Ottawa Citizen had it right:
“The argument that Canada needs to expand the capacity of LTC homes misses the point…. Among seniors, there is actually little demand for LTC homes. The problem is the lack of alternatives and chronic underfunding of alternatives such as home care and community services…. Denmark, on the other hand, spends more on home care than institutional care. Remarkably, Denmark passed legislation in the 80s against developing new institutional LTC spaces. Spaces have been closed over time, and there has actually been a 30 per cent decline in institutional spaces.” (Laucius, 2021).
SSAO hopes that municipalities in Ontario will take their rightful place in standing up for the older adults in their communities by supporting all of us in our efforts to age in our own homes and communities rather than facing segregation, exclusion from community, and dehumanization in long-term care institutions. Cities, towns and regions across Ontario deserve a much more effective and responsive approach to long-term care tailored to their own citizens and communities.
Older Adults Are the Only Group Still Facing Mass Institutionalization
The public has been conditioned to believe that when people become old and frail they require an institution. Experience with others, including younger people with highly complex conditions, has shown us that this is not true. People who are medically fragile are now being cared for in small, non-profit, staffed residential settings in their own communities (Rygiel Supports for Community Living, 2022), and in their own homes.
Not so for older adults. They are either forced to use a rationed, unreliable and disorganized Home Care system (CBC News, 2022) or they are forced into institutions. Older adults are the only group, besides prisoners, who continue to be mass institutionalized, but they have committed no crime. If they develop dementia, they are relegated to the most inhumane setting possible – a locked ward in an institution. This kind of treatment used to be reserved for people with psychiatric conditions, but no more. It is now understood to be inhumane, yet we subject confused older adults to it.
We can do better. Other countries and jurisdictions do better.
Even in Ontario, under previous governments, agencies like Neighborhood Link have been funded to create community-based residential options for elders to keep them out of nursing homes (See: Jean Dudley House https://www.theneighbourhoodgroup.org/jean-dudley-house/)
Some communities in Ontario have organized community cafes to provide natural support systems to people with dementia and their caregivers. See: Memory Cafes, Alzheimer’s Society – https://www.memorycafedirectory.com/canada/ontario/)
Baby Boomers Do Not Want to be Institutionalized!
A Campaign Research Poll conducted in 2021 showed that 89% of older adults wanted to stay home and out of institutions with only 4% planning to move in with family or into a retirement residence (Herhalt, 2021). 44% say they dread having to live in long term care. Only 1 in 5 believes change is even possible (Angus Reid, 2021).
And so, older adults suffer silently, fearful every day that they may be forced out of their own homes and communities and into an institution at the most vulnerable time in their lives. It is a future that awaits all of us – eventually – unless those of all ages advocate for change.
Municipalities Could Play a Key Role
In countries with much more progressive community-based long-term care systems, municipalities do play a key role. In Denmark, for example, regions and municipalities get funding from the Federal government to deliver health services including long-term care.
“The national government sets the regulatory framework for health services and is in charge of general planning, monitoring care quality, and licensing health care professionals. The national government also collects taxes and allocates funding to regions and municipalities based on sociodemographic criteria and activity. The state does not have a direct role in the delivery of health care services. Five regions governed by democratically elected councils are responsible for the planning and delivery of specialized health care services and play a role in specialized social care and coordination.” (Tikkanen et al, 2020).
Canada does not have a National Home Care Program and it needs one. Ontario’s policy of funding Home Care divides it between a handful of non-profit and mostly for-profit providers. (CBC News, 2022).
Municipalities could be playing key roles in helping to organize both in-home and residential long-term care in ordinary homes in peoples’ own communities and in Hub and Spoke models in seniors’ and community housing. They could be working with non-profits like the Victorian Order of Nurses to deliver in-home supports and services across the province.
Instead, the Ontario government is trying to bully municipalities into submission with MZOs to build more institutions.
Perhaps it is time that the Federal government found a way, as Denmark has, to bypass the Ontario government completely and fund municipalities directly to provide 21st Century long-
term care services instead of the current 19th Century institutional approach based on a poorhouse model.
Is it time to talk to your Federal MPs and your municipal and regional councillors about this?
Editorial from Seniors for Social Action (Ontario) https://www.seniorsactionontario.com/
Region 5 – March 2, 2023 – In front of the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto. More than 15 Unions supplied Solidarity for Ontario Nurses Association as they fought for a fair collective agreement and of course OPSEU was always out in full force and so were our retirees!
Rt. Henio Nelson, OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick , Nancy Pridham Retiree Div. – Secretary and Yasmin Damani – Chair Retirees Div. Region 5
OPSEU/SEFPO launches healthcare anti-privatization campaign with clear message to Ontario PC government: Our lives are not for profit – June 1, 2023
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/SEFPO) has launched a province-wide advertising campaign called ‘Save Public Healthcare’ to warn against the Ontario Conservative government’s recent actions to expand private healthcare delivery.
The Save Public Healthcare campaign, which launched Monday on network TV, connected TV, website advertising and social media, is part of an ongoing fight by OPSEU/SEFPO members working in the healthcare sector to save Ontario’s public healthcare system.
The campaign kick-off video ‘Our lives are not for profit’, which is reminiscent of a Black Mirror-esque world, was viewed by over 700,000 members of the public in the first 24-hours of its release and has sparked widespread conversation.
“The Conservative government is trying to deceive the public by offering privatization as the solution to a crisis it created by starving public hospitals and cutting healthcare workers’ pay,” said JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President. “We needed a campaign to create discomfort and disrupt this scheme – to bridge the gap for those who don’t yet realize the damage that privatization will cause to our healthcare system and to communicate the urgency of taking action.”
The massive staffing crisis in public healthcare has lengthened wait times for essential surgeries and diagnostics, resulted in numerous ambulance code zeroes, and produced many hospital emergency room closures.
“A real investment in the public system – one that addresses decades of government underfunding – is the way to solve problems like long wait times and the severe retention and recruitment crisis. Our provincial health dollars must be spent on patient care; not on padding wealthy investors’ pockets,” said Joel Usher, OPSEU/SEFPO Ambulance Division Chair and paramedic. “Paramedics and ambulance communications officers want to deliver high quality, efficient service, but this government’s privatization agenda is only leading to more offload delays and fewer workers available to respond when lives are on the line.”
The union’s healthcare members warn that the Conservative government’s healthcare privatization legislation, Bill 60, will pull funding and staff away from the public system, worsen wait times in hospitals and ultimately hurt the public.
“What the PC government is not telling the public is that private clinics cost taxpayers significantly more. All Bill 60 does is prioritize private profits in healthcare, and private clinics will be finding ways to upsell and cut corners to make their profits,” said Sara Labelle, OPSEU/SEFPO Hospital Professionals Division Chair and medical laboratory technologist. “Our public hospitals are understaffed in hundreds of healthcare classifications. The focus needs to be on funding the public system; not draining it even more.”
To learn more about the Save Public Healthcare campaign and watch the ad, visit savepublichealthcare.ca
OPSEU/SEFPO Communications Officer
Region 5 Retirees participating in Enough is Enough Protest June 5th in Toronto
Left to right front row
Unknown, Donna Gray (special advisor to the President), OPSEU President JP Hornick, Reg 5 Retirees chair Yasmin Damani
Unions celebrate new Canada Disability Benefit
June 26, 2023
Canada’s unions are celebrating the passage of Bill C-22, the Canada Disability Benefit Act, after it received royal assent on June 22.
“We have stood in solidarity with disability activists and organizations who have lobbied for this benefit for years. Today is a historic moment to celebrate these efforts and reaffirm labour’s support to lift the floor on disability poverty from coast to coast.” said Bea Bruske, President of the CLC. “This win belongs to all the disability rights and justice activists who fought so hard to get us here.”
Bill C-22, the Canada Disability Benefit Act, was first promised in the September 2020 throne speech and proposed a new benefit program specifically targeting persons with disabilities in Canada. This benefit is to be distributed in addition to existing programs at the provincial and federal level that offer financial supports for persons with disabilities in Canada.
Once implemented, the new benefit would be the first federal-level guaranteed monthly income supplement aimed at people living with disabilities of its kind in Canada.
According to Statistics Canada, people with disabilities make up 41% of the low-income population in Canada, compared with 18% of the non-low-income population. Working aged people with severe disabilities face the highest rates of poverty in Canada. And while inflation has skyrocketed across the country, provincial disability benefits are not index-linked. This means people with disabilities who are already struggling to make ends meet and who face existing barriers to accessing the unique and often expensive supports they need, have been hit the hardest by Canada’s ongoing affordability crisis.
“We look forward to continued solidarity and collaboration with the activists and organizations who have led these efforts to pass C-22, and to work with the government to ensure that the implementation of the new Canada Disability Benefit is well-resourced in the next budget,” said Lily Chang, Secretary-Treasurer of the CLC.
From the Canadian Labour Congress web site
OPSEU/SEFPO Retirees Division Convention Delegates representing you!
Region 2 – Division Chair Ed Faulkner and Region 3 Alternate Ethel Lavalley on convention floor with Michael MacIsaac President CURC
Ontario Federation of Labour President Patty Coates speaking up for Ontario workers at premiers’ meeting
July 11, 2023 – Winnipeg — Workers and families are looking to Canada’s premiers to work with the labour movement for concrete action to fix health care, make life more affordable and ensure good, sustainable union jobs in a changing economy, Ontario Federation of Labour President Patty Coates said today.
Coates, who is joining labour federation presidents from across Canada at this week’s Council of the Federation Meetings July 11–12, said families continue to struggle through the health crisis while their budgets are stretched to the breaking point. And they need to see a secure, viable future as Canada shifts to a climate-friendly economy.
“Working people have shouldered huge burdens to get Canada through the challenges of the past three years. They need to see our premiers setting aside their differences with each other, and putting workers and families at the centre of their discussions this week,” Coates said, calling for action on:
Health care: “Across the country, patients are enduring long waits for treatment and hospitals are struggling to keep emergency rooms open. And with yet another summer of extreme staff shortages underway, health care workers must put in unsustainable hours under unacceptable working conditions.”
“It’s time for the premiers to listen to frontline workers, and work with health care unions to improve working conditions, recruit and retain workers, and ensure our cherished public health services are viable for the long term.”
Spiralling costs: “Rising interest rates are squeezing working families, prices for everything from housing to groceries continue to rise, and corporations and big banks continue to pull in record profits.”
“Enough is enough. We need urgent action from all levels of government to end this relentless economic attack on working people, and to take immediate steps to make it easier for families to make ends meet.”
Climate change: “Working people are on the front lines of the climate crisis: fighting wildfires and floods and coping with the fallout from climate extremes. This summer’s unprecedented wildfire epidemic shows how desperate the need for urgent climate action truly is.”
“Now is the time to make sure workers aren’t left behind as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy. My fellow presidents and I are calling on the premiers to work in close collaboration with labour unions, so we can develop a future-proof industrial strategy that puts workers and their communities first in every province, territory, and region of our country.”
OFL President Patty Coates will be available throughout the Council of the Federation meetings for media comment.
Region 1 Retirees Meeting Windsor May 23, 2023
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has stated that it will decide upon a permanent disposal site for all of its spent, high level nuclear waste by 2024. After over ten years, the two last sites being considered are in South Bruce, near the Bruce Nuclear Power station, and a more remote site in NW Ontario, just west of Ignace. However, citizen opposition is strong in both areas.
Politically, my concern is that Northwest Ontario will be chosen because it is remote, and its lesser population will be more easily outvoted. Yet, as one makes the effort to understand the real risks of nuclear waste, we should all be concerned. Nuclear waste disposal is not a Nimby issue – as it’s the most lethal waste humanity has ever created – and the most long-lived. As well, there are no functioning deep geological disposal sites for nuclear waste in the world. Thus, NWMO’s proposal will be an experiment, wherever chosen.
Personally, my experience goes back to the late 1970s when Ontario Hydro and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd first sought a solution to the nuclear waste problem. With others, we began a group called The Citizens Committee Studying Nuclear Waste. We reasonably petitioned for Open Hearings into the issue before any measures for nuclear waste disposal should be adopted. We formed committees and took our concerns East and West, linking up with other such concerned citizens. Our combined achievement was a regional petition more than twenty thousand strong, which was garnered from corner stores, gestetner machine newsletters, and town-hall style meetings. What followed upon the strength of our petition was a Thunder Bay plebiscite wherein 91% of voters declared that they were against nuclear waste disposal in “the City of Thunder Bay area”. With that we heard no more about nuclear waste for a number of years.
What revived the issue was the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act in 2002. Then, under Prime Minister Jean Cretien, the issue was allocated to the Nuclear Waste Management Organization — a conglomerate of the nuclear power companies across Canada. Their plan, developed after consultation with 14 urban focus groups, was for a Deep Geological Repository (a DGR) which the NWMO assures us will safely contain the radiation in perpetuity. Very significantly, they didn’t consult with the people and communities who might be at risk along the most probable transportation routes to the DGR, and downstream from the DGR in the watershed. Yet, the NWMO presumes to call this “Canada’s Plan”! After a period of time, not yet determined, the site will be abandoned. How, in view of the radioactive lifespan of nuclear waste, is this acceptable?
Transportation, Preparedness, Handling, DGR Construction, and Containment
Currently, the volume of stored nuclear waste, if transported, would amount to some 2-3 truckloads per day for 50 years. Other means of transport, such as rail and water haven’t been discussed by the NWMO as much as trucking. If the chosen DGR was to be in NW Ontario, the average transportation distance would be some 1,700 kms, through many cities and over major highways. The potential for accidents boggles the mind, and emergency preparedness is, at best, sketchy.
Handling is another matter. Nuclear waste must be removed from current storage, put into transport containers, extracted from those containers, and then deposited into the DGR. All such handlings are potentially dangerous because of the high degree of radioactivity.
Construction of the DGR is much the same as mining. The technology is known. It involves blasting, and precise tunnelling. But, as we also know, abandoned mines fill with water because of the invasive nature of the construction. Without ongoing monitoring, how can we be sure that nuclear waste will be contained for as long as an ice age – or even 1, 2, or 3 hundred years? If abandoned, who will understand the problem when it occurs, or even speak the appropriate language?
The NWMO further asserts that they will site their repository near a community who is willing to “host” it. In the case of the Northwest Ontario site, it would be the relatively small communities of Ignace, and neighbouring Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation. Ignace isn’t even in the proposed project’s watershed. How is that democratic in view of the hundreds of thousands of people actually at risk?
Besides the major concerns just mentioned, how are we to trust that the monies and ‘community gifts’ which the NWMO has dolled out so freely to potential DGR site communities hasn’t tainted their ability to choose?
Not just Fukushima, Nagasaki and Three Mile Island should make us wary and concerned when we are asked to trust the nuclear industry. In Canada, from mining in Saskatchewan and Elliot Lake, to reprocessing at Chalk River, and to refining at Port Hope there have been accidents and ongoing contamination. Why should we believe that a DGR for nuclear waste will be safe?
Another scenario must be understood in terms of Canada’s place in global nuclear development. A participant with the US and the UK in the Manhattan Project, Canada was instrumental in developing the nuclear bomb. Beyond that, Canada has widely sold the Candu reactor design, and has thereby been a ‘nuclear partner’ around the world. Could a remote site such as in NW Ontario be seen to be appropriate Interim storage for possible reprocessing into plutonium? The NWMO does occasionally mention above ground “Interim” storage at the DGR which could make reprocessing quite feasible. But they aren’t clear about it.
There is also the possibility that Canada might well negotiate the hosting of nuclear waste from other countries. In April, 2021, CBC news reported that past Prime Minister, Jean Cretien, was found to be negotiating with the US and the Japanese for an international nuclear waste storage site in remote Labrador. His rationale was that because Canada was a major supplier of nuclear fuel, we had a responsibility to store nuclear waste. So, could any “willing host” be an unexpected open door for both reprocessing and international storage?
A Reasonable Solution
We The Nuclear Free North has joined with others, nationally and internationally, to advocate for the “proximity principle”, whereby nuclear storage sites will be reconstructed and reinforced more vigorously, above ground, and sited within reasonable short distances from the reactors. If this were done, nuclear waste could be monitored for the long term. Then, if problems were encountered, they would be more likely remedied than to try to retrieve leaking radioactive waste from sealed and abandoned remote storage sites.
For more information, please explore the following website at https://wethenuclearfreenorth.ca/. There you can also access our facebook, and You Tube sites. If so, be sure to sign our petition at https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-disposal-of-nuclear-waste-in-northwestern-ontario. Please like, share, and comment.
Peter Lang, OPSEU Retiree, Region 7
OPSEU RETIREES AT INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY EVENT IN TORONTO March 4, 2023
Nancy Pridham Reg 5 Retirees Secretary and Tina Faibish OPSEU/SEFPO Campaign staff and MPAC Retiree.
Referendum: 98% against private, for-profit health care
The Power of a People’s Referendum
June 1, 2023
By Natalie Mehra, Executive Director
We know that the overwhelming majority of Ontarians do not want our public hospitals privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics. We know this because we hear it in our families, in our communities. The polls reveal that the opposition to the privatization of our hospital services is deep, it is everywhere, it crosses all political party lines.
So why, then, would we hold a volunteer-run referendum?
I think everyone who has volunteered over the last five months now has a deep understanding of the power of a people’s referendum. You all know, from the conversations you had in community groups, at the doors as you leafletted, on the streets at the voting stations. You know that the power of this kind of mass public outreach and education is undeniable. From the Ontario Health Coalition central office we distributed 1.5 million leaflets. There are some left over in the hands of volunteers and local coalitions but the vast majority of them have been distributed in communities across Ontario. That is astonishing.
When the Health Minister said, in February 2022 prior to the election, that she was opening Independent Health Facilities (aka private for-profit clinics) and the private for-profit hospitals to do surgeries, I was walking across the living room. The government’s press conference was playing on CP24 and I stopped dead in my tracks. I found the clip online and watched it over and over. Since there are only two remaining functioning private for-profit hospitals in Ontario, and very few IHFs that do surgeries, I found it inexplicable that the Minister would specify these sectors in the context of clearing the backlog of surgeries from the pandemic. There was just a tiny amount of capacity in the private clinics and hospitals, in the scheme of things. No Minister historically would have singled out private clinics or hospitals for specific comment.
We knew that the Ford government was close to the for-profit health care industry in long-term care, in the labs and virtual care (and Shoppers Drug Mart and more). By the time the Minister had made that statement, they already had privatized COVID testing, vaccinations, expanded for-profit virtual care and let them extra-bill patients with impunity. But the Minister’s statement was very specific, and it meant one thing. They were now coming for the public hospitals.
We held twenty press conferences across Ontario. The government sent out a spokesperson from the Ministry who did not mince words. They categorically denied that they were expanding the private clinics and hospitals and that they had any intention of doing so. This was two months before the election. Literally two months after the election they announced that they were moving forward with the exact privatization they had denied prior to the election. They announced plans to expand for-profit clinics, open more for-profit clinics and build new private for-profit outpatient hospitals.
Worse, in the time period in which the Ford government spokesperson was categorically denying that they were expanding private clinics, they actually doubled the funding to the private clinics.
They could never have won an election if they told the truth about their intentions. So they did not.
When faced with a profoundly undemocratic attack on the foundational public services in our local communities — services that we all paid to build over a century — we could not simply hold a small rally of a few hundred people, or even a few thousands people. In response to that kind of threat we have to build public awareness and power. We have to insist on creating democratic spaces when they take them away. We have to find a way to reach out to the public and make visible the deeply-held belief that our public hospitals should be just that — public. Not owned and operated to take profit out, but owned and operated in the public interest to provide care for our communities.
That is why we held a people’s referendum. It set a deadline. It requires massive public outreach. We would have to make it visible and do the deepest public education that we could. It would bring that massive public opposition to privatization out into the light for everyone to see. It would galvanize the forces of good and the public interest. It would capture the imagination of volunteers.
Could we do more? Yes, of course, always.
And we will!
But over the past five months, a core of perhaps seventy people organized almost half a million people to vote, recruited thousands to volunteer, put out thousands of pieces of communication on social media, built larger networks than we have ever had, got hundreds of businesses to support the campaign, put out thousands of lawn signs….oh, and distributed more than a million leaflets.
Anyone responding with contempt or dismissal has no idea of the power of this kind of movement but don’t worry. They will see.
Thank you all. I am so proud of us. It is the honour of a lifetime to work with all of you to safeguard our cherished public health care for all.
OPSEU/SEFPO Region 7 Retirees supporting Thunder Bay healthcare workers as they call on hospital to reject privatization and help defend public system on July 4, 2023.
OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick, Greg Snider and Sandra Snider – region 7 retirees chair
“The Ford government is intentionally underspending on healthcare by $21.3-billion, yet they’re sitting on $22 billion in ‘excess’ funds. They are ushering in privatization as a solution to a crisis they’ve manufactured, and we will all pay the price. Ford’s scheme is a slap in the face to every healthcare worker and every Ontarian, and we are here today to stand up together and say enough!” – JP Hornick, President of OPSEU/SEFPO
The Retirees Committee working hard planning our first Retirees Conference to be held October 25th and 26th at the Doubletree by Hilton Toronto Airport West
Left to right, Tara Masczczakiewicz – board liaison to committee, Yasmin Damani (Region 5), John Hanson (Region 4), Gino Franche (Region 1), Sandra Snider (Region 7), Pauline Tapping (Region 3), Ed Faulknor (Region 2) , Janine Johnson (Region 6),
It is with deep regret that the Retirees Division had to accept the resignation of Region 3 retirees chair Pauling Tapping for personal reasons. Pauline served Region 3 well and will be truly missed for her dedication, wisdom, and laughter. An election took place June 5th, 2023, and Betty Cree was elected the new Region 3 chair for the duration of the term.
Honorary Lifetime Membership Awards presented at Convention 2023
These awards were presented to retired members who have made significant contributions to their locals or to the union as a whole, presented by JP Hornick and Laurie Nancekivell.
Elaine Bagnall, Local 362
was endorsed via her local’s vote, for her 30 years of union activism at the OPS, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as the local president. Moreover, she contributed on the Ministry Employee Relations Committee, for 22 years, She served two terms on the P WC Rep , 1 term on PHRC and , 3 terms on the Resolutions Committee.
Patty Rout, Local 348
A medical laboratory technician, was OPSEU/SEFPO’s 1st Vice-President/Treasurer from 2007-2011. Rout served in every local executive role in Local 348. She was also an Executive Board member for Region 3. Locally, she was the Chair of the Lakeridge Health United Way Campaign, and the Director of the Ontario Health Coalition. She was also the Sector Chair of the Hospital Professionals Division, and a HOOPP Pension Trustee.
Leah Casselman Local 213
a correctional officer, a strong leader, a pragmatic thinker, and a committed trade unionist was the first female, president of OPSEU/SEFPO. She held the position for 12 years, leading 2 major strikes, days of actions, wildcat strikes, and demonstrations in the 1990’s, as a response to Mike Harris.
Additionally, Casselman directed and oversaw the merger of the Allied Health Professionals and the Ontario Liquor Boards’ Employees Union into OPSEU/SEFPO, and helped part-time community college employees gain the right to unionize.
Since her presidency in 2008, she became Executive Director of the Occupational Health Clinic for Ontario Workers (OHCOW), mandating protecting and improving workers’ health, identifying and acclaiming recommendations for the elimination of hazards in the workplace. In 2016-17 Casselman volunteered as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
Casselman received a standing ovation from the crowd at the awards night. She ended her speech by saying “The fight that you are involved with now, you must win. It is important for the workers looking for a union, they are looking at you. They are looking at your fiscal integrity, and at your moral integrity”.
From IN Solidarity convention report
World Blood Donor Day – Paid Plasma a Threat
June 14 2023
June 14 has been designated as World Blood Donor Day by the World Health Organization (WHO). The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), recognizes the critical importance of blood and plasma donation to our health care system. It’s raising the alarm due the grave threat that the expansion of paid-plasma collection represents to Canada’s voluntary system of blood and plasma donation.
CBS violates mandate
Canadian Blood Services (CBS) has been given the responsibility to manage our blood and plasma system. NUPGE believes that CBS has violated the terms of its original mandate by signing a 15-year deal with for-profit plasma company Grifols. The agreement’s terms are secret, but the information provided shows that, Grifols, working with CBS, intends to greatly expand paid-plasma collection in Canada.
This agreement flies in the face of the the original 1997 Federal/Provincial/Territorial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that led to the creation of Canadian Blood Services. CBS’ mandate is to maintain and protect its voluntary blood system donor base as it strives for self-sufficiency in the collection of blood and plasma.
NUPGE and Components work in solidarity against blood and plasma
NUPGE and our Components are strongly opposed to paid plasma and work in solidarity with public health advocates in Canada and around the world that recognize allowing payment for collection of blood and plasma critically undermines our voluntary system of blood and plasma collection.
Not only are members of the public concerned about the privatization of our blood services, but frontline workers are as well.
“NUPGE represents the majority of Canadian Blood Services (CBS) workers. Our members have clearly told us that they are concerned about the impact of paid plasma on our voluntary system,” said Bert Blundon, President. “NUPGE continues our call for CBS to stay this contract and recommit to expanding and protecting our voluntary blood and plasma collection system.”
WHO theme highlights voluntary donation
The theme this year is “Give blood, give plasma, share life, share often.” WHO states: Every year countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). The event serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.”
WHO is strongly opposed to payment for blood or plasma. This opposition has also been shared by 4 provincial governments that represent over 75% of Canada’s population. British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Alberta have all had bans on paying for plasma and blood collection. The ban in Alberta was repealed in 2020, and this has allowed expansion of paid-plasma clinics in that province. This also recently resulted in the takeover of Canadian Plasma Resources in Alberta by Grifols.
CBS knows the danger of paid plasma
CBS knows the danger paid plasma presents to the voluntary donation system. NUPGE has previously noted that, in a submission to the Senate of Canada, dated March 13, 2019, CBS stated:
. . . Purchasing raw plasma collected by for-profit, commercial plasma collectors who pay their donors is not aligned with the founding blood system principles that remain in force today. . . .
. . . We are aware of growing concerns in the U.S. that the continual expansion of commercial enterprises that pay donors is impacting whole blood collections from unpaid donors, a concern referred to as ‘crowding out.’
It is the emergence of large-scale commercial for-profit collectors that is the concern. Internationally, it has been discussed that when for-profit, paid plasma systems expand rapidly, they can reduce the ability of the not-for-profit blood industry to meet its blood collection targets.
NUPGE will continue to support our public blood and plasma collection
NUPGE believes that CBS must be called out for violating the terms of their own MOU, for violating the Krever Commission pronouncements on paid plasma, and for using this contract with Grifols to circumvent provincial law. NUPGE, with our members, and all Canadians who are committed to public health care, especially patients who need access to blood and plasma, will continue to advocate for a strong and safe blood and plasma system.
For more information: World Blood Donor Day: Ontario’s voluntary donation system under threat by for-profit pharmaceutical giant (OPSEU/SEFPO)
From NUPGE web site https://nupge.ca/
Region 3 Retirees Chair Ed Faulkner celebrating his 200th blood donation. Give blood or plasma if you can. It saves lives.
Thank you for joining the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada (CURC) participated with creating a unique national forest that will contribute to global and local efforts dealing with climate change.
Our members, union retirees, retirees, seniors, our families’, friends, neighbours are invited to participate in this project during the week of World Environment June 04, 2023. (Or at your convenience)
- Plant a tree anywhere. You are invited to simply plant a tree on property you own (back yard or farm) or on a family’s property. You can plant your tree anywhere, with permission of the owner to become part of the project.
- Enlist your tree with the CURC National Forest by clicking CURC-NationalForestReporting (to be activated June 04). We want to document the location of your tree, trees from coast to coast to coast. This link will contain questions about your planting and your postal code for location.
- You will then be welcomed to the CURC National Forest, as we evaluate and report on our progress. Our first objectives will be to produce a first national map, the impact we are having on contributing to the environment. Questions or info: firstname.lastname@example.org
- What tree(s) or shrubs should be planted. We are creating a forest. So, any tree or shrub type (large or small) that is currently growing in a forest nearest you is a suitable candidate. See our list of the most popular trees in Canada. There are many more trees to choose from, but you will be restricted by what is available in your area. At the very least, try to plant a tree that is native to your area and that adds to the existing mix of trees, to promote biodiversity.
Sent to us by CURC https://unionretiree.ca/
OPTrust Plan changes improve survivor benefits for dependent children.
April 1, 2023
Effective April 1, 2023, two significant changes were enacted to the OPSEU Pension Plan that provide improved survivor benefits for dependent children.
These changes are substantial improvements to survivor benefits and provide members with peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are financially secure in the event of their untimely passing.
The first change expands the definition of child to include disabled children. Previously only children under the age of 18 or those in continuous full-time attendance at a secondary or post secondary school (for up to five years immediately following secondary school) were deemed eligible to receive survivor benefits. Now, disabled children regardless of age and education, who meet specific eligibility criteria will be eligible to receive survivor benefits.
The second change impacts the order of entitlement for pre-retirement survivor benefits. Previously, when a member died before retirement, children were second to receive a survivor pension and only for service earned prior to 1987. With the changes introduced on April 1, if a member dies before they retire, a survivor pension for service after 1986 will be payable to eligible children if:
- The member does not have a spouse at the time of their death, or
- The member’s spouse has waived their right to a survivor benefit, or
- The spouse dies while they are entitled to a survivor pension.
For more information and to read more about OPTrust survivor benefits, please visit Plan changes improve survivor benefits for dependent children (optrust.com).
The OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust) invests and manages one of Canada’s largest pension funds and administers at the OPSEU Pension Plan, a defined benefit plan with over 100,000 members and retirees. OPTrust delivers retirement security to retirees in over 300 communities across Ontario and remits more than $1 billion in annual pension payments.
Summer spending can be as bad as Christmas. Here are six cash-burning temptations you need to watch out for
The patio meetup bonanza
Drinks, dinner, apps, desserts; when the summer heat and gorgeous patio lanterns are on, you’re tempted to order all the things. Stick to one or two drinks, split a few menu items to avoid individual orders, skip the dessert and appetizers and take advantage of happy hour specials versus peak times. The huge money-savers however, will be fewer patio meetups at less expensive places. Work these patio expenses into your budget.
Cramming too much into your calendar
Running groups, festivals, trips, book clubs, tennis lessons, car shows and camping. If your calendar is so full you’re already booking into mid-September, you might be heading toward some serious overspending — and possibly burnout. Every fun activity you have planned has a cost — time and money. Tally it all up to see what your crammed calendar is really going to cost you.
Need a quick fix? Reduce plans. Cut them in half and focus on the ones that will really fill your cup, and are also the most economical. Enjoy those to the absolute fullest and work them into your budget. Whatever you do, try hard to avoid last-minute bookings for activities and travel.
Overbuying fresh seasonal foods — then letting them rot
Believe me, I get tempted at the farmer’s market. It’s a sensory overload, and it also happens to be at the bottom of my street. The way to get around overbuying fresh produce? Stick to your weekly meal plan.
If you like eating well, especially during summer, set out to incorporate the seasonal foods into your meals buying only what you need. Take into account if you are travelling or going out; if so, buy less. Unfortunately, summertime fresh food waste tallies up to more than $100 a month for a family of four in Canada according to The National Food Waste Council and Second Harvest. That extra cash could go to better use.
Falling for the ‘I don’t have anything in my closet’ narrative
My closet is still a bit stuck in 2018 (pre-pregnancies and pre-pandemic). Slowly I’m swapping pieces out for the current styles and trends each season. A helpful book to check out is Ines de la Fressange and Sophie Gachet’s “Parisian Chic: A Style Guide,” which encourages investing in a better quality, more sustainable wardrobe; less fast fashion, and a focus on core essentials for every season. I’ve been following along with the suggestions to review what I already have, keep the great pieces, then slowly add the pieces I’m missing. In the process, I’m selling off and donating what’s no longer fashionable.
Before you blow the doors off spending at the mall, purge your closet. Go piece-by-piece to see what you’ve got. Organize it in a way that is easy for you to track. Get rid of things that don’t fit, are broken and anything uncomfortable. If you’ve got a designer bag you’re not using, sell it. Make a list of what you want to buy and focus on adding a few of those items, working these purchases into your budget. Taking time with this process will allow you to comparison shop.
Travelling way beyond your means
It is OK to go on vacation — in fact, you probably should. But be smart about planning your getaway. Make a budget for flights, car rentals, gas, hotels, camp sites, meals and entertainment. By planning in advance, you can use points to pay for some of these purchases, save up a little bit each week and take advantage of coupons and discounts. The “I’ll deal with it when the credit card bill shows up” approach is a surefire way to leave you deep in debt.
A few more quick wins to bring your vacation costs down are to reduce the duration of the holiday. Avoid peak times like weekends, focus on a blend of free and paid activities, skip the junkie souvenirs and pack as much of your own food and snacks as you can.
Going wild entertaining your kids
Camps, amusement parks, shopping and activities. Some families are planning to fork out hundreds (or thousands) to give their kids something to do this summer. Believe me, I’m a mom and I get the importance of enriching experiences — but not at the expense of your family’s financial wellness. My advice is to focus on a few key activities that your kids really want to do. Then, leave room for low-to-no-cost entertainment like swimming, books, picnics, park play and more. You’ll save money and you’ll all be more rested.
If you want to keep that amazing summer vibe high, mindful spending will ensure you aren’t worried about money.
This article was written by Leslie-Anne Scrogie for Toronto Star and was supplied to Autumn View by Leony deGraf Hastings of deGraf Financial Strategies 905-632-9900 www.dgfs.ca
Region 3 Retirees Helping OHC for Referendum
Marilyn Hinds (region 3 retiree) and Betty Cree (new region 3 chair) conducting one of the people’s referendum votes held provincially on May 26th and 27th by the Ontario Health Coalition to stop privatization of hospital services and open private clinics to do these hospital services.
Region 7 Retirees help ease food insecurity
Region 7 has a dedicated group of OPSEU/SEFPO retirees and there friends that are volunteering at the RFDA (Regional Food Distributuion Centre) which collects food to be distributed to Food Banks across Northwestern Ontario.
During November and early December we were meeting weekly sometimes twice a week to help to make 1300 holiday hampers for seniors in need. It took a massive amout of volunteers and we were glad to do our share. We have repackaged tea and sugar, made upcandy bags, packaged up potatoes and onions. Some of us helped distribute the completed hampers to those seniors unable to pick them up. The appreciation on there faces made it worth it.
The RFDA also gave us a giant box of wool which we distributed to volunteer knitters and crocheters who will be making hats, mitts and scaves for the SOS van that supports homeless people in the coldest months. If you are interested in helping out we have lots more wool.
For 2023 we have booked to volunteer at the RFDA every Friday, at 10 am. 570 Syndicate Ave S, Thunder Bay.
We never know what we will be doing till we get there. The RFDA is a very flexible place, they never know what or when they get things or what space they have available. Last week we were sorting bags of potatoes and carrots into garbage/ kitchen to be used immediately, or hampers.
Call, text or email me, Sandra Snider (numbers on back of the front page) if you would like to join us.
Janet Wright, Fay Monahan, Janet , Jan Pilley,
Maria Halter and Greg Snider photo by Sandra Snider
We have fun and occasionally go for lunch after. Just not on flour packaging days. You can be quite dusty. Also have a good chat and coffee with friends.
Everyone is welcome. On PD Days we often have grandchildren helping as well.
Sandra Snider – Chair Region 7 Retirees
Make sure your estate plan considers your digital assets.
One of life’s greatest problems is the password. I’m talking about computer passwords. Years ago, I used the same password for everything: “password1.” Yeah, I also thought it was pretty creative at the time. I had a friend whose name was Forrest (he heard a lot of Forrest Gump jokes) who used the password “1Forrest1.″ Now that was creative.
It occurred to me that, if I were to die tomorrow, my family would have a tough time accessing all my online accounts. And what about my growing list of digital assets? Would they know what those assets are? Do I even know what those assets are?
You’ve probably given some thought to who will inherit your home, your grandmother’s jewellery and your rubber chicken collection. But what about your digital assets?
Digital assets defined.
Digital assets, like tangible assets, may have significant value. And at the time of your death, you’ll be deemed to have sold any capital property you own, at fair market value – including digital assets. If those assets have appreciated in value, the gain could be taxable at the time of your death.
Your digital assets can include things such as cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), domain names, digital photos and videos, digital rights to literary, musical composition, motion picture or theatrical works, blog content, online video channels where your content is monetized or generating advertising revenue, online gaming avatars that offer goods or services that may be worth real-world money, digital online betting accounts, other accounts (such as PayPal) where you may have money or credits stored or even prepaid subscriptions to online content or goods and services.
If your estate plan hasn’t properly accounted for these things, your heirs may not be able to access these digital assets when you’re gone. Do you, and your executor, even know what digital assets you own?
Digital asset challenges
Even if your executor has a list of your digital assets, this doesn’t mean those assets can be accessed when you’re gone. Your online photos and videos could be inaccessible forever, your social media accounts might stay online indefinitely, and your heirs might not receive money or other valuable assets that you intended for them to have.
The first hurdle your heirs will face in gaining access to your digital assets is not knowing your passwords for information or those assets stored on your smartphone or computer, in online accounts or on the cloud. Some passwords (like the one to log in to your laptop) could be bypassed by experts, but others can’t (cryptocurrency keys, for example) and could mean the loss of those assets forever.
Furthermore, data privacy and criminal laws can prevent family members from accessing your online accounts and assets unless you give specific authorization to provide that access.
As an aside, for assets other than cryptocurrencies and NFTs, it makes sense to use a password manager app such as 1Password, LastPass, Dashlane or something similar. If your executor or family has the master password for that app when you’re gone, they’ll have access to all your passwords.
Digital asset strategies
If you want to ensure a smooth transition of digital assets when you’re gone, here’s a game plan:
- Document your digital assets.That is, understand what you own. And realize that there’s a difference between owning a digital asset and simply owning a non-transferrable licence to use the asset.
- Back up your digital assets.Make sure that all your online documents, data and assets are backed up to the cloud (there are many services, such as OneDrive, Drop Box, etc.). But it also makes sense to store these on a local computer or storage device so your family can access these with fewer obstacles.
- Leave digital assets to your spouse.You can avoid the deemed disposition at fair market value if you leave assets to your spouse when you die. In this case, there will be no tax to pay until your spouse dies or transfers the assets to your kids or others.
- Provide authorization in your will.Update your will to ensure that your executor is provided authorization to bypass, reset or recover your passwords. And by the way, if your digital assets are significant enough (perhaps the majority of your net worth), it might be wise to have a separate will to deal with those assets and to name an executor of that second will who has some acumen in digital assets.
- Check in regularly.Since digital assets are still a new thing for most people and the laws are changing quickly, talk to your lawyer regularly to update your wills and powers of attorney to reflect any changes in the law or your digital assets.
This article was written by Tim Cestnick for the Globe and Mail and was supplied to Autumn View by Leony deGraaf Hastings of deGraaf Financial Strategies 905 632-9900 WWW.dgfs.ca
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OPSEU/SEFPO Region 4 Retirees in Solidarity with CUPE Education Workers in Brockville at Conservative MPP Steve Clark’s office with CUPE 5678
Retirees walking in solidarity with Local 428 at information
picket in Kingston.
Local 428 represents crew on the Wolf Island ferry.
Notice of OPSEU/SEFPO Regional Retirees meetings Fall 2023 and other regional information.
Please confirm meeting dates, times, and location on the OPSEU website (www.opseu.org) closer to the date of the event. RSVP is possible as these events are catered. Lunch is included at all the meetings. If you have any dietary restrictions that require accommodation, please contact your regional chair or vice chair and they will try to accommodate.
Region 1 – meeting will be held October 11, 2023, at 10am at the London Regional Office – 1092 Dearness Dr and October 12, 2023 at 10am at the Windsor Regional Office – 3005 Marentette Ave.
Region 2 – meeting will be held October 16th, 2023, at 11am at the Hamilton Region Office, 505 York Blvd.
Region 3 – meeting will be held November 15th, 2023, at 11am, at the Oshawa Regional Office, 6 King Street West.
Region 4 – meeting will be held November 1, 2023, at 10am -3pm at the Ottawa Membership Center, 2525 St Laurent Blvd,
Region 5 – meeting is being held December 7, 2023, at 10.00am at the Regional Office, 31 Wellesley Street.
Region 6 – meeting will be held November 10, 2023, at 9:30am at the Sudbury Regional Office, 866 Newgate Ave – Unit 2.
Region 7 – meeting will be held December 5th, 2023 at 11am at the Thunder Bay Membership Center, 326 Memorial Ave. OPSEU Region 7 Retirees meeting will be a hybrid meeting. Meeting will be held in person in Thunder Bay. You can also attend via ZOOM from the comfort of your own home (check your time zone) but you need to call for the link
We want to be in contact with you but, notices of individual meetings can no longer being mailed. If you want further communication, reminders of these and other events, please email your regional chair your current email address.
OPSEU Region 6 Retirees supporting the Ontario Health Coalition demonstration in front of Ross Romano office. Sault Ste. Marie
Retirees Chair Gino Franche at a pro mic at OPSEU Convention 2023, Metro Convention Centre
Why I joined SCAN! (and why you should, too!)
by Barbara Linds, OPSEU/OPSSU retiree
I’ve been a union, NDP, and social justice activist all my adult life. I was privileged to work at OPSEU Head Office for almost 30 years. Since retiring I have continued to be involved in many organizations, struggles and campaigns.
I am also a grandmother. I’m devastated about the world we are leaving to our grandchildren and to the other young people in our lives.
We were told several decades ago that switching to energy efficient lightbulbs and composting would save the planet. We did all that. We have an electric car. We heat and cool our home with a heat pump. Taking individual action is not enough.
More than a year ago I went to an educational about Seniors for Climate Action Now! I found a home in SCAN!
Seniors for Climate Action Now! is a group of seniors compelled to take action on the climate emergency.
SCAN! members are retired activists. They are mostly from Ontario and come from almost every sector. They are organizers, campaigners, communicators and researchers.
A big part of the work of SCAN! is outreach. I was initially concerned that I didn’t know enough about climate science to be able to talk knowledgeably to my friends and others. I found that most people I reach out to do not need convincing. They are looking for a way to get involved.
SCAN! is informing and mobilizing seniors in an effort to prevent more climate catastrophes. We are in this for the sake of future generations and the survival of life on the planet.
Time is running out.
We have less than a decade to avoid locking in runaway climate change. Canada bears enormous responsibility for global warming. Canadian corporations’ climate disregard, and our Government’s failure to act, cause major problems both at home and around the world.
This summer, average worldwide temperatures are the hottest ever recorded. You don’t need to be a climate scientist to understand that we’re in uncharted territory. As I write this article Canada is in the middle of an unprecedented wildfire crisis and major heatwaves are scorching Ontario and Quebec.
We need decisive action. The planet couldn’t be sounding the alarm any clearer.
SCAN! collaborates with other groups, such as Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet (GASP), and 350.org. We have been part of large mobilizations including the recent OFL Enough is Enough rallies.
SCAN! has organized an ongoing Labour retirees’ group that meets to compare experiences and strategize how to bring climate issues into the work of union retirees’ organizations such as the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada (CURC). CURC President Michael MacIsaac participates in our work.
I’m currently living in Napanee. Last fall Kingston area members of SCAN! got together to focus on Kingston based actions. In the spring we collaborated with Queen’s University activists and others, including 350.org to organize a one hundred-strong rally in front of the main RBC branch. We’re continuing to mobilize this summer.
We need to expand the number of seniors mobilized for climate action in Ontario and across the country. That is why we are looking to form more local SCAN! groups around the province.
I encourage you to take a look at the SCAN! website and the SCAN! Statement of Purpose. I hope you get involved in this important struggle by joining SCAN!
John Andrew Region 3 December 22, 2022
Lorne Barchello Region 7 January 12, 2023
Vera Bobrowski Region 7 November 7, 2022
Keith Borland Region 3 January 3, 2023
Terry Benstead Region 3 November 4, 2022
Yvonne “Bonnie” Cole Region 4 February 5, 2023
Rob Congdon Region 6 February 27, 2023
Donald Davidson Region 4 May, 2022
Jim Fulton Region 3 January 15, 2023
Paul Gill Region 3 May 10, 2023
Patrick Glenville Region 5 November,2022
Roma Hampel Region 7 August 6, 2022
Susan Heatherington Region 2 January 17, 2022
Susan Lawrence Region 3 July 8, 2022
Michelle McLean Region 3 July 9, 2023
Janice Marie Miller Region 3 November 25, 2022
Carol Ann Patterson Region 4 May 12, 2023
Thomas Phillips Region 3 October 13, 2022
Mary Thomas Region 3 October 16, 2022
Annabeth Preston Region 3 July 8, 2022
John Reader Region 7 June 12, 2022
Hazel Rusnick Region 7 February 15, 2023
Randal “Randy”Somers Region 4 January 31, 2021
Rodger Stamler Region 3 September 10, 2022
Vern St. Louis Region 3 November 18, 2022
Wayne Triskle Region 6 January 9, 2021
John Wilson Region 4 December 27, 2022
Tim Woodhead Region 2 September 28, 2022
If your friend or co-worker who was an OPSEU/SEFPO Retiree was missed or has passed away since this publication, please notify your regional RMD Chair (see contact information on pages 2-3) or Sandra Snider at email@example.com so that they can be included in the next edition.
Autumn View welcomes articles, poems or cartoons written by our members. Please send submissions to your regional RMD Chair (see contact information on pages 2-3).
For a copy of the Retired Members Division Application Form and/or the Retired Members Division Information Change Form, please contact the Equity Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPSEU/SEFPO Region 6 Retirees
April 27th, 2023, OPSEU members at MP Anthony Rota’s Office, on Main Street, North Bay. They are there in support of striking PSAC Members. From left to right: Sue Brown, Alice Barnett and Brian Luckett and three additional members)
Autumn View is a special publication of the Retired Members Division of OPSEU/SEFPO.
Authorized for Distribution: JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President