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2014-05-14 Annual GMM Report

Our 2014 Annual General Meeting was held May 14, 2014 at the Royal Canadian Legion, Kingsway Branch, 14339 – 50th Street, Edmonton, AB. Our AGM’s were previously held at our September meetings, however we have moved them to our May meeting for this and future years so that our Audited Financial Statements can be presented to and accepted at a General Membership Meeting in time to meet reporting requirements to National Office.

Social Hour: We opened one hour earlier than usual to allow members to have some extra time to socialize with their friends and colleagues ahead of the dinner and meeting. Arriving early was, of course, optional. When, at the end of the meeting, we asked how many appreciated the extra hour before the meeting to socialize, the vast majority of members indicated they did.

Communications Access Realtime Translation (CART) was available for the first time for deaf and hard of hearing members. With CART, everything that is said is “captioned” live for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The CART captions were displayed via a projector on a large screen. The CART provider quickly typed into a stenotype machine using machine shorthand, and the computer software translates that shorthand into realtime captions, matching the shorthand against what is in a specialized shorthand dictionary stored in the computer. The process is so fast that there is hardly any lag time between what is said and what the deaf or hard of hearing person is able to read. When asked at the end of the meeting, about 10 members indicated they attended because CART service was available. However when the members were asked how many found that the CART service was of benefit to them during the meeting, more than half of those present indicated it was.

There were 155 members present  including Board Members:  Brian Emdin, Ross Gillespie, Lillian June, Bill Karpo,  Clay Kolstad, Bill Lundquist, Mahir Mansi, Doreen Morton, Dalton Philip, Dave Riffel and Gwen Rutherford, along with and Special Guests:  Roy Goodall (Prairie District National Director elect) and Larry Sakaluk (AB/NWT RSO).

The meeting was called to order at  7:10pm by President Brian Emdin.

Our Guest Speaker was Eric Storey from the Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE). His presentation was on life transitional situations, especially programs available to help seniors stay in their homes, and information about the different levels and types of seniors assisted living accommodations and costs for these, etc.  He briought a variety of handouts and answered several questions from members.

Following the Approval of the Agenda and of the Minutes of our previous General Membership Meeting, Brian Emdin gave his President’s Report, discussing the latest Advocacy events, including, in concert with other Alberta Seniors organizations, achieving success in delaying income testing for Alberta Seniors Health Care, and noting the partial success achieved by FSNA’s national “Honor Your Promise” Campaign.  It is considered to be very successful.  FSNA for first time mobilized 100,000+ of its members to take action. The end result included the elimination of the annual, deductible saving members approximately $10M per year, plus 3 improved benefits as of Oct.1/2014 (1. vision care now provide some coverage for Lazer eye surgery, 2. the is provision for aerotherapeutic devices repairs, and, 3. psychological services coverage will be increased to $2000 per year).

There were copies of our audited financial statements available on all tables. Treasurer Clay Kolstad asked for questions or comments from the members present. None were received and the report was accepted as presented.

Elections: Larry Sakaluk, Regional Services Officer (RSO) for Alberta/NWT conducted our elections with the following results.  Brian Emdin was re-elected for a two year term as President by acclamation; Clay Kolstad was re-electedfor a two year term as Treasurer by acclamation; and Gwen Rutherford was elected by acclamation as Secretary for one year (the position is normally filled for a 2 year term in odd numbered years.  There were two nominees for 2nd Vice President, Mahir Mansi and Lillian June . Lillian June won the election.  Following the election, Larry Sakaluk (RSO) conducted a swearing in ceremony for all board members.

Under New Business Bill Karpo and Lillian June, two very long serving members of our branch and board, were made Honorary Life Branch Members. In addition to the recognition, the branch will pay their annual dues for as long as they are members.

Special Guest, Roy Goodall, who is one of the two National Directors Elect for the Prairies District will be leaving the Provincial Advocacy Officer (PAO) position.He spoke briefly, noting that FSNA still needs to advocate in partnership with Public Interest Alberta (PIA) because, although income testing for Alberta Seniors Healthcare has been delayed, is is not “off the table”.

Committee Reports

Member Services: Gwen Rutherford reported on up coming changes to the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP), Medical Tax Deductions, new Affinity Partners (Shoppers, Via Rail, Chartwell Retirement Residences),  and the expected September launch of the new FSNA National Website.

Websites: Ross Gillespie gave updates on the Edmonton website (which you are on), and on the new AB Branches Website .

Draws were held for two Door Prizes and for the 50/50 draw creating four happy winners.

The meeting adjourned at  8:36pm

The next General membership meeting will be a luncheon meeting held on September 10, 2014. Click on UPCOMING EVENTS for more information.