Branch Messages

Message From the President

Your correspondent is writing as the last of the snow is disappearing under a steady rain. In mid-March. The only people around here who have had a shorter winter season than the skiers are the ice-fishers. The snowmobilers gave up years ago, at least down here in wine country. And being able to use the words, “wine country” in reference to the Quinte region is the most striking indication that the climate, she is a-changing.

So as I pack away the skis and take a first look at the golf clubs, I contemplate the TV weather spots, which are going the way of the news shows and becoming more like entertainment than information. Seeing the continent-wide swoop of the highs and lows, troughs and ridges, and that evil jet stream makes an old guy hark back to Percy Saltzman and his blackboard and chalk on the old black-and-white CBC News.

As you have seen in the Sage magazine and the Federal Retirees internet posts, the Association is more engaged than ever in advancing our cause and making sure the government takes us into account when devising future policy. This is certainly obvious in the engagement of our Federal MPs, but why stop there? We have a clear interest in communicating with our Provincial MLAs for health care and seniors’ issues. And more – our local civic politicians should also be aware of us and our issues. A recent success in the health care arena is the beginning of construction of the Health Hub in Trenton, and the campaign for a dialysis unit, both of which are aimed directly at the needs of us retirees. This is not directly a Federal Retirees campaign, but is supported by many of us. I urge everyone to follow the local health care issue, and lend support to the push to improve the hospital and medical facilities across the region.

At this point it is not at all clear how the COVID-19 pandemic will unfold, except that it will get worse. So when you read this you will know if the June Annual Meeting of Members went as planned, or if we had to use modern magic to do it remotely. I very much enjoy the Annual Meeting, talking with branches across the country, and do not much enjoy “webinars,” so you know how my vote would go. It is a characteristic of our Association members that we have lived in many other parts of the country during our careers and have a national outlook, and it is energizing to chat and compare notes with the rest of Canada and see how people from Labrador to Yukon are dealing with the issues that affect us all.

Along with debating whether to start carrying my own hand sanitizer and face mask, I am wrestling with the annual decision: when do I put away the snow blower? The jet stream is swooping northwards today, and there is more rain in the forecast, so I guess it will be safe. Mother Nature doesn’t really wait for rubes like me to go into spring mode to dump a ton of snow, does she? And I do have a shovel as backup, so ….

Ask me at the Annual Meeting at the Trenton Legion how it worked out. It is always good to see everyone and find out how you are doing. Especially with a virus that’s been given an all-caps name wafting around. Stay healthy and stay safe.

Tom Kupecz