Autumn 2020 Report for the Association

Autumn 2020

Greetings to all

This message is going out to all Association members

It’s been a few weeks since I last communicated to everyone so I thought it might be a good time to bring everyone in the Association up to date with what is going on and also to address some of the many concerns and recommendations I have been receiving after asking Division Presidents to send me their ideas.

Firstly, a few weeks ago I asked for Presidents to consider becoming a part of an advisory group to assist me and the Board of Directors in ensuring our Association is doing it’s best to serve everyone. I had hoped to have ten or so volunteer and I am pleased to announce there are, in fact ten current Presidents who have positively responded. Division Presidents have a closer ear to the ground and their counsel will be greatly appreciated. This advisory group will also assist in the formulation of this forthcoming year’s Strategic Plan and a virtual meeting is being planned for mid to late November to get this developed. The reason for the delay in preparing the Strategic Plan is we are just completing the search to fill the position of Chief Administration Officer. We did find a suitable candidate and I anticipate a contract will be signed within the next couple of weeks. Many thanks to our Immediate Past President, Steve Walker who has done an amazing job in coordinating the search and viewed over 180 CV’s. Note also the original position carried the title of Chief Executive Officer but we felt it more appropriate to change that to “Chief Administration Officer”. Steve advertised the position in various media outlets including the RCMP Veterans Association, RCMP Mates, Linkedin and others, with a terrific number of responses resulting.

WEB SITE: You have recently been advised our new Website provider has been contracted to replace our previous supplier, Gambit. Gambit was no longer interested in performing this role so we examined a fairly extensive group of Website designer/managers to see just what was out there that could potentially meet our needs. After an extensive search, including reference checks, it was determined the company, SignalFlare was by far the best qualified. As a matter of interest, SignalFlare is the Website provider for the Ontario-based Police Pensioners’ Association of Ontario (PPAO), and members of these veterans police associations spoke highly of their performance. In actual fact, the cost difference between what we were paying Gambit and now, SignalFlare, is minimal and we will be receiving far more benefits.

BOD MODIFICATIONS: I now want to provide a brief description of modifications we are implementing to the current Board of Director structure. As most of you are aware, a traditional Not for Profit BOD mandate is to implement policy and procedures, provide direction to the CAO, and generally oversee operations. Over the years, because of clear operational requirements, members of the BOD had to take on roles that should normally be performed by employees who would normally fall within the direction of the Chief Executive or Administration Officer. Larger Not for Profit organizations most of us are familiar with such as CAA, NFRA, Corps of Commissionaires, etc. have adequate finances to hire salaried staff to perform an extensive list of functions. We simply do not have the funds to do this so our Board members, all of whom are non salaried volunteers, through necessity have taken on these support roles. This hybrid version we adopted many years ago often found itself being directly involved in duties that normally would have fallen under the purview of the CAO. On one hand, these board members would have reported to the CAO, yet the CAO reports to the Board. The true and ideal role of the BOD would ideally not involve direct operational duties, thus the need for change.

SECRETARIAT: As of this week, we decided to form a Secretariat, operating outside the Board and consisting of Directors with specific functions, reporting to the CAO. We have already taken the first step to formally establish two distinct Director positions with measurable functions, they being the “Director, Support Development” and the “Director of Strategic Engagement”

The Support Development function’s primary goal is to assist Divisions in formally establishing a comprehensive program designed to assist all former RCMP members and employees with a wide variety of support mechanisms. This would include such aspects as knowledgeable assistance with VAC claims, establishing general counselling assets including a network of traditional medical, psychological, and legal professionals.

We often hear the question “what’s in it for me” and one proven benefit is the provision of the very needed resources to assist us in a time of need. Forgive me for again using the Nova Scotia model, but this province is one of the smallest in Canada with less than 800 H Division serving members, yet membership in the Association has now surpassed 900. The Support Team often responds yearly to over 400 calls for assistance and this year, due to the mass murder and other unfortunate situations, that number will increase. The word has quickly spread showing the Association is out there to help and as a result, applications continue to come in, even though there is little opportunity to hold social gatherings. The Support team has established trained Association member counsellors located in all regions (NS Division is divided into 8 geographical Regions) and counsellor training and updating is provided at least twice per year. Full one-day support workshops for all interested former and serving RCMP members, employees, and spouses are held twice per year in Regions, usually on a rotation or as needed basis. This to me is a true benefit.

James Brown will be the new Support Development Director and will be reaching out to you with the goal of assisting in developing, or in the case of those Divisions who already have a program, extending the Support benefits and expertise.

The Strategic Engagement Function is one that has been sorely needed for years. Al Treddenick is the new Director and although the role is still expanding, he is responsible for interactions with other Not for Profit organizations, likely to include the Royal Canadian Legion and numerous Canadian police veterans’ organizations, Canadian Corps of Commissionaires as well as others. Al will also be actively seeking financial support from key organizations in the form of advertisements on our new web page and major events such as the AGM. He is full of great ideas and has already started to connect. He will also be available to assist individual Divisions in their interactions with other Associations and in particular, those hosting future AGMs.

 

TAXABLE INCOME: Another important topic I wish to share with you is we, the BOD have been discussing with all Division Presidents, our concerns about adherence to the Canada Income Tax Act as it pertains to our operations as a “Not for Profit” Corporation. A very important point is the Canada Revenue agency does not look at our individual Divisions. To them, they are simply a part of the RCMP Veterans Association which is viewed as a single entity. Therefore, only the total RCMPVA financial numbers are relevant to them and that includes how finances are raised. If a “for profit” entity exists, they may look at the RCMP Veterans Association revenue as being taxable. A few weeks ago, we hired Blumberg Segal LLP to provide us with a legal opinion on our various fund-raising exercises across Canada and an interpretation of their response was provided to every Division President. Earlier we had intended to discuss fund raising methods with the Division Presidents, however, we now have decided to wait until our financial report is in the hands of Revenue Canada which will happen shortly. As a matter of interest, I have received comments about large organizations such as CAA, NAFR, Corps of Commissionaires, to name a few who are all “Not for Profit” organizations and indeed, they certainly make profits, some being quite substantial. However, they also pay taxes on profits. The bottom line is “Not for Profit” organizations can make profits in some circumstances but they also can be required to pay taxes and that’s something we are hopeful we can avoid.

FINANCES, GENERAL: I have lots more to share with you, however, two pages is already stretching our limits. Having said that, I do want to talk about finances in general. Firstly, I am pleased to say there will be no increase in dues for this upcoming year. The cancellation of our 2020 AGM and the upcoming 2021 AGM being a virtual exercise means significant savings. That certainly will change in 2022 and even more so when a full AGM is hosted by Ottawa Division. If any Division is interested in seeing our financial reports, please let us know and a copy of the most resents will be provided. We do have substantial costs as an Association but thankfully, most of our National office positions are non salaried volunteer roles. We do have salaries for the CAO position as well as two part time Administration functions. One other paid resource is for our book keeping task involving preparation of reports to our Auditors, Deloitte and Touche, who in turn make the final submission to Revenue Canada and they also have fees. It would be unreasonable and indeed unfair to ask this work to be performed by a volunteer, being almost a full-time requirement. Our Treasurer is busy enough without taking on that task. As you are aware, Corporate Canada requires an extensive financial report each year and believe me, this must be a very thorough document. Our Expenses from January 1 through to September 30 comes to $172,610.52 with three months to go. Fortunately, the AGM travel and related costs do not apply this year. Insurance is fairly steady at about $10,000 and we are hopeful that will not change by much for 2021. Again, if you wish to see our full financial reports, please have your respective Presidents or Treasurers contact our national treasurer, Don Belke and it will be provided. Sorry for being so long winded but I believe it’s important we, as your representatives, know what we are doing. There is much more such as the various committee reports but I will leave that for a subsequent message.

Kindest regards to all,

Sandy Glenn, National President

 

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