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2015-09-02 General Membership Meeting Report

Edmonton Branch held a supper and general members meeting at the Royal Canadian Legion Kingsway Branch on September 2nd 2015. The main focus of this meeting was to meet and listen to our very special guest speaker Maria Fitzpatrick. Maria is one of our association members. On May 5, 2015 she was elected as the NDP MLA for Lethbridge East. To avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest, she resigned from the Board of Directors of the Southern Alberta (Lethbridge) Branch. Maria gave an informative description of the campaign process and the emotional experience of assembling in the legislature for the first time.

Branch Past President and Provincial Advocacy Officer, Dave Riffel provided an update on his plans for Edmonton Branch to host All Candidates Town Hall meeting for the Federal Riding of Edmonton Centre. The event was held at the Polish Hall on the 10th of September. Our District Director, Roy Goodall was moderator for the event. It was recorded by Shaw TV and will be/was broadcast at 10:00 AM September 24th, 4:00 PM September 25th and 8:00 PM September 26th, 2015. By early October it will ber/was available on Shaw’s Youtube channel. It was organized with support from our National Office staff. Dave did a tremendous amount of work and is to be congratulated on an outstanding effort.

Your 1st Vice President, Ross Gillespie, provided an in-depth report regarding our electronic communications and our web site.

Two new board volunteers were introduced – Heather-Anne Elliot-Martin (Membership Chair) and Rick Brick (Acting Secretary and Health Benefits Officer). It was pointed out that these two new volunteers are filling critical positions which require considerable effort.

President Brian Emdin provided an update regarding the significant changes at the national level with the coincident resignations of our CEO, National President, and National Vice President. The inaugural message to all Branch Presidents from Konrad von Finkenstein , the acting Chairman of the National Board (with the powers of the National President) was read to the assembly. This message articulated his vision (and that of the majority of the National Board of Directors including your Alberta Director, Roy Goodall) for our association. This message was very well received and introduced a new and positive direction for our association. Branches and volunteers will finally be listened to and treated as important partners in our association. Our advocacy and our association with partners will be transparently non-partisan. Future advocacy will be restricted to issues impacting upon our members and not “all Canadians”. Your Branch Directors felt very strongly about association members’ funds paying for advocacy such as CPP Expansion on behalf of “all Canadians”. This type of advocacy could adversely impact superannuates and future superannuates. The future of your association is looking significantly brighter.

The meeting closed with the awarding of door prizes and, as always, both halves of the 50-50 draw.