Advocacy Spotlight: Cornwall volunteers rally to save branch

December 17, 2021
Read our latest advocacy spotlight!
With passion and perseverance, Federal Retirees’ Cornwall branch was able to inspire a new crop of volunteers to get involved! (From left to right: Veronica Britton, treasurer; JoAn Halliday, president; Gérard Piette, vice-president; Michael Griffin, secretary.)

Running a branch of the National Association of Federal Retirees during the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been easy. Many volunteers are feeling disengaged or disconnected from their communities, including their branch community.

Branch communications have also been impacted by the pandemic. Without in-person events, it has been more difficult to get in touch with branch members.

There’s a communications adage that’s survived the test of time — repeat, repeat, repeat — and it’s held true through the pandemic. There are often important branch messages that require repeating. And that’s exactly what the Cornwall branch, led by president JoAn Halliday, did. The branch executive — with the invaluable help of then member-at-large (now vice president) Gérard Piette — sent three emails to all branch members reminding them of a critical meeting needed to hold elections for their branch volunteer executive.

This was an important meeting for the Cornwall branch. If they were unable to get enough members to attend, and then fill all the executive positions, the branch would fold. Halliday appealed to members, saying “if you value having a local branch please step forward.” 

Happily, these emails were successful. The meeting was held, quorum was achieved, and a full slate of executive members were elected! 

With a new mandate for the Cornwall branch, this executive is now meeting regularly and planning advocacy activities for the upcoming Ontario provincial election in June 2022. 

Halliday credits Cornwall branch members for responding and keeping the branch going. She also thanks Association staffer Alex Charette as her “go to guy” for helping to get the email messages out on time.

The Cornwall branch executive are firm supporters of Association advocacy and Reach 338  activities at the branch level and are already holding planning meetings for the provincial election. “Candidates want to connect with constituents who will vote in their ridings,” Halliday said.

“It is wonderful to see the energy and enthusiasm the Cornwall executive members bring to our efforts to mount an effective provincial election campaign,” applauded Sheila Ducarme, advocacy program officer for north and east Ontario.

Congratulations to the Cornwall Branch for rallying together to ensure members continue to have a local branch, and ensuring that MPs, MPPs and candidates hear about Federal Retirees priorities from their own constituents!


About Advocacy Spotlight

Advocacy Spotlight showcases successful initiatives and projects put forward by our dedicated volunteers and supporters.

The National Association of Federal Retirees has a proud history of advocacy on behalf of our members and all retirees. In collaboration with our volunteers and supporters from coast-to-coast, we continue this tradition of strong, smart advocacy campaigns focused on improvements to the financial security, health and well-being of our members and all Canadians.

Our success is not only measured in policy changes and legislation, it grows with every meaningful discussion with parliamentarians, and with every email and letter written. Together, we are achieving and surpassing our strategic advocacy goals and targets every day.