President’s Message February 2022

A Letter From The President


Date:  February 16, 2022

Greetings to all.

This message is going out to all members of the RCMP Veterans Association, and contains an update on what is happening, and what we hope to happen over the next few months.

RCMP Quarterly: I really wish to encourage everyone to subscribe to our RCMP Quarterly. If you have not yet done so, you are missing out on a whole lot of interesting stories related to our RCMP history. The Quarterly is more interesting than ever before. Although the regular Division dispatches continue, most, if not all, now contain really interesting investigative stories, and histories of some of our most colorful members of the past. Gavin Gibson from Alberta has gathered dispatches to Government from the Commissioners, dating back to the Force’s beginning, many of which will be included from time to time. You can learn more by going into https://rcmpva.org/commissioners-reports-1875-1920/ or through the menu on our website at rcmpva.org – Association – History – Commissioners’ Reports 1875-1920. If you want to be kept up to date on promotions, Last Posts, and retirements, the Quarterly has it all.

Naming of the new Virden Manitoba 7th Avenue Bridge: Back in September of 2021, after receiving information from Ralph Mahar, I wrote a letter to the Mayor of Virden, Manitoba, supporting the initiative of Virdenite, Connie Hay, who proposed the naming of the new 7th Avenue bridge after former Constable Dennis Onofrey, Regimental Number 32104, who gave his life while performing his duty on January 23, 1978. Cst. Onofrey was stationed at Virden at the time of his death.

I am pleased to be able to share with you, the Town of Virden recently advised it has unanimously supported the initiative to name the bridge in memory of former Constable Dennis Onofrey.

E-Post: I am advised E-Post will be discontinued as of December 31, 2022. This is a Canada Post decision. The RCMP has identified a new resource and is working closely with that company to ensure a smooth transition. Additional information will be released during the summer months, if not earlier.

RCMP Regimental Headstones: As many of you are aware, current RCMP policy states the details of a pensioned member’s spouse cannot be included on an RCMP Regimental Headstone. About 6 months ago, I reached out to the RCMP Director General, Compensation Services, asking if this policy could be changed to allow spouse details. The DG was sympathetic to my request and after consultations with Treasure Board, she advised the policy will be changed. In the interim, the RCMP will not object to pensioned members including spouse details and eventually the policy will be amended to reflect this approval. She advised the entire section related to death benefits will be examined and updated. Rather than sending out notices of changes, piece by piece, she favours doing a complete update, and then the notices of change will be circulated. As I stated earlier, in the interim, folks can go ahead and have spouse details included. Additional costs, at least for now, are the responsibility of the pensioner or his/her estate. I cannot say whether or not the costing requirement will be changed when the Chapter update is finalized. Treasury Board will be involved in that decision and regardless, I am very pleased this change has finally come to pass.

Medical and Personnel Files: I continue to receive inquiries about how our membership should request their Medical and Personnel Files. This information has been shared previously by Mike Duffy, our Chief of Support and Advocacy. For those who are not aware, if you wish to receive your RCMP Medical or Personnel file, the request must be made to the Health Services unit of the Division from which you retired.

Supporting Frontline Members: Thank you and congratulations to our Lethbridge Division for demonstrating your support for serving RCMP members who are working the roadblocks in southern Alberta. Members of Lethbridge have provided coffee and refreshments to the members working in the cold Alberta winter and no doubt their caring has been greatly appreciated. I must also note, Lethbridge reached out to K Division management for permission before doing so. Good on you, folks.

The 2022 Meeting of Members: Commonly referred to as the AGM, this planned in-person event will be taking place in Calgary in June of this year. I, for one, am really looking forward to getting together with old and new friends. A whole lot of work has been put into this and accommodations at the Delta, Bow Valley in downtown Calgary are excellent. Visitations to Banff as well as other Alberta locations have been arranged for those folks attending along with the Association members.

If you haven’t yet sent in your registration form with the registration fee of $50 per person, you should get this done as soon as possible. Westjet is providing discounted prices and for further information, go to info@calgaryrcmp.ca. The annual general meeting term is referred to in the Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act as the “Annual Meeting of Members”.

Marriage over Sixty: Our attempt to have the “Marriage over Sixty” legislation removed from our Pension Act continues. As I had reported a couple of weeks ago, the first reading of the Private Members Bill to have it removed took place just before Christmas, but neither the Conservative or Liberal party has agreed to support it. Seems politics is more important to our Federal Parties than fairness, so this certainly is an uphill battle.

A petition to be submitted to the House of Commons that includes the implications of the current legislation has been initiated, and last week I sent the information package with links, to all Association Division Presidents for distribution. A whole lot of our fellow veterans who either remarried or married for the first time after turning 60 years of age need our help, and a petition with a significant number of signatures will go a long way towards making this happen. Messages to your respective Members of Parliament would no doubt have impact as well.

National By-laws and the Association Manual: Work is well underway to update both the Association Manual as well as our National By-laws, and two Committees have been tasked with the responsibility. The By-laws will be completed in time to be presented at the Calgary AMM, with the Association Manual coming later. A whole lot of work has been put into the preparation of these important documents, and both Committees have been working tirelessly in getting this done. Thank goodness for volunteers.

Board of Directors Meetings: We continue to look for and implement efficiencies to manage the Association and its services to the membership. Under the leadership of Vice President Sandra Conlin, a committee, referred to as the Association Governance Committee (AGC), has been formed to support the Board of Directors. This support centers around researching important issues and concerns and then providing this research with recommendations to the Board of Directors for decision. The AGC, consisting of the Association officers, (VP, Treasurer, Secretary and Chief Administration Officer) is planned to meet six times per year, (every second month) with the Board of Directors planned to meet six times per year on alternating months. This significantly increases the focus of the BOD meetings in support of more effective management of the Association as a whole.

Division Presidents Participation in BOD Meetings: In the interest of being more transparent as well as ensuring we are addressing needs and interests of all Divisions, we are asking Division Presidents to participate in each of our 6 Board of Directors meetings. We normally invite three different Presidents to each meeting to gain insight from a cross section of divisions. Minutes from each BOD meeting will continue to be circulated throughout the Association by our Secretary, once approved.

Dues: Our online payment process continues to improve with a significant number of our members using it to invest their dues into the membership for 2022. For those not comfortable with the online process, you can continue paying your membership fees to your respective division treasurer.

Benefits: We continue to seek out special discounts for you as well as sponsors, and we will provide you with information as arrangements are finalized.

I likely have missed out on other issues and initiatives, so if there is anything you wish to ask or question, please let me know at your convenience. I can be reached at: association.president@rcmpva.org

Kindest regards to all

 

A.P. (Sandy) Glenn,
National President
RCMP Veterans Association
Members Helping Members and Their Families

 


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