KIT Magazine - Spring 2022

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Vol. 33 | No. 4 | Spring 2022 106-1780 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B3 | 204-889-3660 | Toll Free: 1-888-393-8082 | |


Holiday Inn Winnipeg Airport West, 2520 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB Cover Photo: Roland Chartier RTAM Photo Contest Entry

KEEP IN TOUCH Vol. 33 No.4 • Spring 2022

Published by



Photo by Ellen Paxton RTAM Photo Contest Entry

CONTENTS President's Message................................................................................................3 ACER-CART Pensions............................................................................................ 4 2022 Annual General Meeting Documents.......................................... 5-11 Political Advocacy Report.................................................................................. 14 Letter Writing Campaign.....................................................................................15 Student Success Portfolio Program............................................................. 16 Committee Highlights......................................................................................... 18 Calgary Chapter Report.......................................................................................21 To Join Or Not To Join – That Is The Question......................................... 22 Trip Merchant Has Partnered With RTAM To Provide Two New Contests...................................................... 22 Okanagan Chapter Report................................................................................ 23 Student Awards Over The Years.................................................................... 25 RTAM Photo Contest Entry Form.................................................................. 27 Book Review: The Gate And Other Poems On A Life’s Journey by Doug Jordan..................................................................28 A Family Can “Fight…”..........................................................................................30 Notices and Coming Events..............................................................................31

106-1780 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B3 Phone 204-889-3660 • 1-888-393-8082 Email: • Editorial Committee: Chair: Beth Smith Members: Rosalie Bornn, Joan Dawson, Joan Goble, Doreen Sage E-mail: Office Administrator: Denise Bellesia Email: Member Services Coordinator: Dianne Casar Email: Board of Directors 2021-2022 President: William Cann Vice -President: JoAnne Hoyak Secretary: John Sushelnitsky Treasurer: Pat Bowslaugh Directors-at-Large Linda Blair Jack Fraser Guy Hansen Alison Logan Ken Malcolm Dave Najduch Peggy Prendergast Linda Scott Beth Smith Design: Gayl Punzalan Creative Director, Blue Ink Media Email: Website: Images : Adobe Stock, FreeePik & Pixabay except the ones provided by the contributors. Copyright © 2022 by RTAM

All materials for the next issue of KIT must be emailed with no formatting to and received by May 11, 2022 5:00 p.m. Materials published here do not necessarily represent the policies or views of RTAM. The Editorial Committee reserves the right to print, reject and/or edit for clarity, all materials received. 2 n

RTAM KIT Spring 2022

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: RTAM, 106-1780 Wellington Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B3

President's Message

Bill Cann RTAM President 2021 - 2022




any important developments have transpired since the last edition of KIT. I remain indebted to the Executive Officers, Office Staff, individual Directors and Chapter Presidents for their valued assistance in successfully addressing emergent issues and moving our organization ahead. RTAM continues shifting to a more focused political advocacy stance. On Nov.22, 2021, a registered letter was sent to Premier Stefanson containing the Five Requests for Action document. On December 2, a press release was sent to media outlets and to the leaders of all three political parties supporting the Liberal Caucus Private Member’s Bill (#208) which recommended that RTAM be given a seat on the TRAF Board. In the next two months, RTAM needs to effectively mobilize our 10,000 members to contact their local MLA and urge them to support this Private Member’s Bill (#208) which will be voted on in the Spring session of the Legislature. To that end, RTAM will

use ACER-CART’s New Mode software to initiate an electronic letter writing campaign to all MLAs. RTAM has also engaged a professional lobby firm, Prairie Sky Strategy, to develop more effective strategies to achieve our political and pension goals. Michael Juce, Vice President of Prairie Sky Strategy, has already provided valuable guidance. Solutions to the Board Succession/ Leadership Crisis remains a major focus for RTAM over the next three months. In addition to appeals to Chapter Presidents and current RTAM Directors, I will start personally lobbying over 20 potential Director candidates in February and encourage them to run for election at the May 2022, AGM. Effective January 14, 2022, the RTAM Board terminated the contract of Executive Director, Gordon Fardoe. This termination is a confidential personnel issue. In the meantime, the Executive was authorized to initiate the search for and hiring of a new Executive Director. In addition to a Winnipeg Free Next page →

Photo by Donna Gamache RTAM Photo Contest Entry RTAM.MB.CA n 3

ACER-CART Pensions JoAnne Hoyak, RTAM Vice President / ACER-CART Director Dear Members, Our teacher pension plans are under review in some areas. It seems to be a cyclical situation. Our members are often not able to explain the benefits of our Defined Benefit plans. On the other hand, members and politicians are unaware of the differences between Defined Benefit, Defined Contribution and Target Benefit Plans. There is a potential impact on retirees and the overall community if any DB plan is attacked in any part of the country. The document “Better Bang for the Buck” points out the advantage of Defined Benefit Plans and

may be useful to you if you need to defend your pension arrangements. We encourage you to share this document or use the ideas it puts forward to enlighten people who attack our plans. Martin Higgs ACER-CART Chair Pension and Retirement Security Committee

To read the document “Better Bang for the Buck” which points out the advantage of Defined Benefit Plans, go to this link n

President's Message . . . continued from previous page Press advertisement, the RTAM Executive has hired Pinnacle, a professional head-hunter firm to help find a suitable new Executive Director on or before April 1, 2022. At its last meeting the Board resolved the long outstanding issue of finalizing our Employee Benefits package. The Board’s unanimous decision provides a 50% cost sharing of Johnson’s single Extended Health and Dental Plan coverage as well as an annual contribution to employee self-directed retirement investments. JoAnne and I met with MTS President, James Bedford and Vice President, Nathan Martindale for our regular bimonthly RTAM/MTS Liaison

meeting on January 21, 2022. Unfortunately, the MTS Provincial Executive was not prepared, at this time, to recognize RTAM as the official voice of all retired teachers in Manitoba. RTAM was encouraged to resubmit the proposal with a letter of understanding formalizing the relations between our two organizations. MTS generously donated the Owl technology to facilitate hybrid meetings of the RTAM Board, the Chapter Presidents and committee meetings. On January 22, 2022, RTAM hosted a virtual meeting for retired substitute teachers to voice working condition concerns to President Bedford for future Provincial Bargaining. n

Photo by Edmond LaBossiere RTAM Photo Contest Entry

4 n

RTAM KIT Spring 2022

2022 Annual General Meeting RETIRED TEACHERS’


Registration Form

WEDNESDAY MAY 4, 2022 Holiday Inn Winnipeg Airport West, 2520 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB 204-885-4478, 1-800-665-0352 (toll-free) ALL RTAM MEMBERS ARE INVITED AND ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND Advance Registration Fee, if received on or before April 8, 2022 is $15.00 Registration Fee, if received after April 8, 2022 is $25.00 The registration fee includes the pre-AGM Johnson Inc. presentation and evening reception (cash bar) for the member and a guest on May 3 and the AGM (lunch included) on May 4. REGISTRANTS MUST MAKE THEIR OWN HOTEL RESERVATIONS. The Holiday Inn Winnipeg Airport West is offering a reduced rate for reservations made on or before April 12, 2022. Refer to Reservation Group Code RT5. PLEASE PRINT. Name: Address: (include postal code) Email: Date Tues. May 3

Phone: Event & Time Refer to Agenda for complete details

Attending (Y or N)

Guest (Y or N)

Advance Registration Fee

Registration Fee After April 8



Johnson Inc. Presentation 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Cocktails 5:30 p.m. Dinner 6:00 p.m. Program 7:00 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Wed. May 4

AGM 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch (Buffet) Noon - 1 p.m.

Total Fees


Enclose cheque made payable to RTAM in the amount of the Total Fees.

*Circle the applicable registration fee. If a guest is joining you for Lunch at the AGM, please enter $10.00 in the applicable Registration Fee column and include it in the Total Fees. Guest Name:

Please identify any health-related dietary accommodation required for you or your guest. Mail to: RTAM AGM, 106-1780 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B3 by April 22, 2022. This form may be copied or downloaded from

2022 Annual General Meeting RETIRED TEACHERS’


Call For Nominations

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2022 Holiday Inn Winnipeg Airport West, Winnipeg, MB

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS 2022 – 2023 RTAM BOARD OF DIRECTORS Nominations for the Officers and Board of Directors of RTAM will be accepted up to and including Friday April 8, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. Nominations may also be made from the floor of the AGM assembly. The term of office for a Board position is one year. In addition, most Board Members also serve on one of the Standing Committees. Board Meetings are held monthly from September to June on the third Thursday of the month. The exceptions are April, when the Board meets on the second Thursday of the month and May when the Board Meeting coincides with the AGM, usually held in the second week of May. Committees generally meet within the first two weeks of the month before the Board meeting. Nominees and nominators must be full RTAM members in good standing. Nominees must be sufficiently conversant with current communication methods as to be capable of participating in, and assisting with, the work of the board including access to and working knowledge of email. An individual can nominate themselves. Any RTAM member may be nominated for one Officer position and one Director position. An unsuccessful candidate for the Officer position has the right to stand for a Director position if they have so indicated on the nomination form. Nominees who meet the nomination deadline are invited to submit a biography (no longer than a half page) and photo to be included in the AGM Elections booklet no later than April 15, 2022. The positions open to election on May 4, 2022, are: OFFICERS: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer DIRECTORS: up to 10 Directors may be elected Nomination Process: Nominations will be received by the Elections Committee up to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 8, 2022, via completed Nomination Forms. Nomination forms must be signed by the nominee, or accompanied by a signed statement from the nominee, to acknowledge their willingness to accept the nomination. There will be an additional opportunity to nominate from those present in the AGM assembly. Any nomination from the floor will require the endorsement of ten (10) full RTAM members who are in attendance. There will be a minimum thirty (30) minute time frame from the time nominations from the AGM floor open to when they close. Please note: Only FULL RTAM members in good standing may hold office, vote, endorse or sign nomination papers. ASSOCIATE RTAM members may not hold office, vote, endorse or sign nomination papers.

____________________________________________________________________________________________ Questions? Contact RTAM at 204-889-3660; 1-888-393-8082 (toll-free) or This information may be copied or downloaded from

2022 Annual General Meeting RETIRED TEACHERS’


2022-2023 RTAM Board Nomination Form MAY 4, 2022

2022 - 2023 RTAM BOARD NOMINATION FORM ALL FULL RTAM MEMBERS ARE ENCOURAGED AND INVITED TO NOMINATE THEMSELVES OR BE NOMINATED FOR A BOARD POSITION. We always need new ideas and enthusiasm! DEADLINE: Friday, April 8, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. As a Full RTAM member, I, ______________________________________, nominate the following Full RTAM member: Name of Nominee: Address: (include postal code) Email:


for the position of: (check one Officer position only (1. to 4.), then check Director for nomination as a Director, if unsuccessful in the Officer position, or check Director (5.) for nomination as a Director only): 1. President

Or Director

2. Vice President

Or Director

3. Secretary

Or Director

4. Treasurer

Or Director

5. Director The signed permission of the nominee: ______________________________________________________ Or, attach a signed statement of permission from the nominee. Nominees are invited to submit a biography (no longer than half a page) and photo to be included in the AGM Elections booklet no later than April 15, 2022, to Mail, hand-deliver or courier the completed Nomination Form to: RTAM – Nominations 106 – 1780 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B3 Nomination Forms must be received by 3:00 p.m., Friday, April 8, 2022. There will be a meeting of the newly elected board from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Thursday, May 5, 2022, at the RTAM Office, 106-1780 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg, MB _____________________________________________________________________________________________ This form may be copied or downloaded from

2022 Annual General Meeting RETIRED TEACHERS’


Volunteer to Become an RTAM Committee Member

VOLUNTEER TO BECOME AN RTAM COMMITTEE MEMBER All RTAM members are encouraged and invited to volunteer on a Committee. As with any organization, RTAM is always in need of volunteers with diverse skills, creativity and innovative thinking to keep the organization moving forward. Committee work gives everyone the opportunity to get to know more about RTAM and each other as we work toward making our organization better. The term of office for a Committee member is one year. Each Committee is chaired by a Board member. Most Committee meetings are held monthly from September to June, on the Wednesday of the third week of the month with the exception of April, when meetings are held on the Wednesday of the second week of the month. Meetings can be held in person or via Zoom, at the discretion of the Chair, in consultation with the committee member(s). Personal expenses incurred by committee members for attending committee meetings or distance participation are reimbursed at approved RTAM rates. Volunteers must be sufficiently conversant with current communication methods as to be capable of participating in, and assisting with, the work of the board including access to and working knowledge of email. Please submit your name, tell us a little bit about yourself and indicate the committee you would be interested in joining. If you plan on standing for election, or have been elected, to the Board of Directors and are interested in chairing a committee, please indicate so. For more information about the Committees, visit our website at The Board tries to accommodate as many requests as reasonable and possible as we constitute balanced committees within the parameters of our bylaws and policies.

Name: Address: (include postal code) Email:


Indicate below which of the Committee(s) you are interested in as a Member and/or Chair Member Chair COMMITTEE COMMITTEE ü ü AGM

Political Advocacy


Public Relations


Student Awards

Bylaws & Policy

Student Success Portfolio

Editorial Committee (KIT)


Membership & Chapters

Wellness Advocacy

Member ü

Chair ü

Pension Provide a short reflection of your relevant skills or experiences:

Submit this form to the registration desk at the AGM, e-mail this form or include the relevant information in an email to, NO LATER than Friday, May 27, 2022. This form can be copied, downloaded from or picked up at the AGM

2022 Annual General Meeting RETIRED TEACHERS’


Distinguished Service Award

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD APPLICATION FORM A Distinguished Service Award may be presented to an individual whose service to RTAM, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, has been extraordinary. Selection criteria: 1. The nominator must be a full member of RTAM for at least five years; The nominee must have served on the RTAM Board and/or RTAM Committee for at least five years. 2. A written composition explaining why the nominee is deserving of the award. The nomination shall include a comprehensive description of the nominee’s involvement and service to RTAM. NOMINATOR'S CONTACT INFORMATION (PLEASE PRINT) Full Name: Mailing Address: City/Town:

Province & Postal Code:

Phone Number:

Cell Number:

E-mail Address: Nominator’s Signature



Province & Postal Code:

Phone Number:

Cell Number:

E-mail Address: SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS MARCH 15, 2022 FORWARD NOMINATIONS TO: Attn: President Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba (RTAM) 106-1780 Wellington Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B3 AWARD PRESENTATION: • The Award shall consist of a framed certificate signed by the RTAM President. • If possible, the Award(s) shall be presented at the evening reception before the AGM (Annual General Meeting). RTAM shall assume all travel and accommodation expenses, incurred by the recipient(s) to attend the AGM, on the same basis and rates allotted to Chapter Presidents.

2022 Annual General Meeting RETIRED TEACHERS’


Chapter Member Distinguished Service Award

CHAPTER MEMBER DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD APPLICATION FORM A Chapter Member Distinguished Service Award may be awarded to a Chapter member whose service to the Chapter has been extraordinary. Selection criteria: 1. The nominator and the nominee must each have been full members of RTAM for at least five years. 2. The nomination must include a comprehensive description of the nominees’ significant contribution to the Chapter and why the nominee is deserving of the Award. NOMINATOR'S CONTACT INFORMATION (PLEASE PRINT) Full Name: Mailing Address: City/Town:

Province & Postal Code:

Phone Number:

Cell Number:

E-mail Address: Nominator’s Signature



Province & Postal Code:

Phone Number:

Cell Number:

E-mail Address: SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS MARCH 15, 2022. FORWARD NOMINATIONS TO: Attn: President Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba (RTAM) 106-1780 Wellington Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B3 AWARD PRESENTATION: • The Award shall consist of a certificate duly signed by the RTAM President and the Chapter President • The Award will be presented at the Chapter’s AGM

2022 Annual General Meeting RETIRED TEACHERS’


Hotel Reservation Information

The RTAM AGM will be held on Wednesday May 4 at the Holiday Inn Winnipeg Airport West 2520 Portage Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3J 3T6, Canada


Reservations can be made directly with the hotel the following ways:

Traditional room two queen beds or superior king bed accommodations: Single rate: $119.00 / Double rate: $119.00

Direct: 204-885-4478 Toll Free: 1-800-665-0352 Email:

Please ensure to quote the group code of “RT5” to ensure that you are attached to the block and that you get the group rate. Rooms must be booked prior to the cut-off date of April 12.


Important Dates (Updated) Chapter Reports.........................................March 30 Committee Chair reports............................March 30 RTAM DSA nominations.............................March 15 Chapter DSA nominations..........................March 15

Director and Executive Nomination Form ����������April 8 Bios for Director & Executive Nominations......April 15 AGM Registration ......................................... April 8 Committee Member Volunteer Form ������������May 27


106 - 1780 Wellington Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B3

February 2022 Dear RTAM Plan Member: The RTAM Benefits Committee and the Plan Administrator, Johnson Inc. have completed the annual group insurance renewal for the travel, extended health and dental care plans renewing on April 1, 2022. The review is based on numerous factors, including plan utilization, changing costs of health services and currency fluctuations. Despite the uncertainties we are all currently facing, we continue to focus on providing our members with comprehensive coverage at a great value. As such, we are pleased to inform you that the Core Health and Prestige Travel rates will renew with no change for the 2022-2023 policy year.

EXTENDED HEALTH CARE (EHC) PLAN – CORE AND ENHANCED PLANS Rates: There will be a 0% increase to Core (EHC) Plan rates effective April 1, 2022 Core (EHC) Enhancements: NEW

1. The Plan prescription drug maximum will increase from $600 per insured per policy year to $900 2. Ambulance coverage changed from $350 per occurrence to 100% coverage with no maximum

Enhanced (EHC) Plan: To meet the needs of more RTAM members, the Plan design of the Enhanced (EHC) Plan has been changed. Below you will find a plan comparison between the Core and Enhanced (EHC) Plans; EXTENDED HEALTH COVERAGE (EHC) PER INSURED

Overall coverage level


CORE (EHC) 80%, unless otherwise indicated


80%, unless otherwise indicated

Overall maximum per calendar year



Prescription Drug coverage per policy year

80% up to $900

90% up to $1,800

• $6 Dispensing Fee Cap • 8% Maximum Mark-up to Manufacture’s list Price • Manitoba Pharmacare Formulary • Mandatory Generic substitution pricing (LCA)

• $6 Dispensing Fee Cap • 8% Maximum Mark-up to Manufacture’s list Price • Manitoba Pharmacare Formulary • Mandatory Generic substitution pricing (LCA)

Vision Care per 2 calendar years



Hearing Aids per 5 calendar years



Paramedical services per policy year, per Practitioner Acupuncturist, Athletic Therapist, Chiropractor, Dietician/Nutritionist, Massage Therapist, Naturopath, Osteopath, Podiatrist/Chiropodist, Physiotherapist, Psychologist, Speech Therapist



Accidental Dental per policy year



Medical Aids and appliances per 2 calendar years

$1000 Internal limits apply

$1000 Internal limits apply

Private Duty nursing per 3 calendar years



Ambulance per occurrence

100% no maximum

100% no maximum $300 Lifetime

Health Education program

$300 Lifetime

Orthotics per calendar year



Orthopedic shoes per calendar year



If you are currently enrolled in the Core (EHC) and would like to increase coverage to Enhanced (EHC), please send your request by email to If you are currently not enrolled in the Extended Health Coverage (EHC) and would like to apply, applications can be found at, medical evidence may be required. CORE EHC PLAN MONTHLY RATES


Single Coverage


Single Coverage


Family Coverage


Family Coverage


DENTAL CARE PLAN Rates: There will be a 3.9% increase to rates effective April 1, 2022. DENTAL PLAN MONTHLY RATES Single Coverage


Family Coverage


12 n RTAM KIT Spring 2022


PRESTIGE TRAVEL INSURANCE Although the world continues to be challenged by the pandemic, we all look forward to travelling beyond our own borders. Please remember your new policy won’t start until April 1, 2022, and you can cancel up to 60 days from the first premium deduction for the new policy year with a full refund, provided no claims have occurred. So as the world slowly re-opens rest assured that you’ll have coverage with Prestige Travel Insurance. With Prestige Travel Insurance, coverage is available for COVID-19 medical emergencies, even where travel advisories due to COVID-19 are in effect for your destination or cruise. However, no trip cancellation or interruption benefits are available for a trip cancelled, interrupted or delayed due to COVID-19. Be sure to read your policy in full, to ensure you have an understanding of what it covers, and what it doesn’t cover. Although coverage for eligible medical expenses is available, we strongly encourage members to review the Government of Canada travel advisories before booking and traveling. Return transportation options and availability of medical care may become very limited outside of Canada. Be sure to monitor applicable Government of Canada websites and visit this website regularly for the most current information. Highlights of Prestige Travel Coverage:


Unlimited number of trips within Canada (outside your province) of any duration Unlimited number of trips outside Canada of up to 62 or 93 consecutive days, depending on your Base Plan selection Emergency Medical Insurance benefit maximum of up to $5,000,000 per insured, per policy year Trip Cancellation/Interruption/Delay benefits of up to $8,000 per insured, per trip1 Baggage and Personal Effects benefits of up to $1,500 per insured, to a maximum of $3,000 per family

A new 62-day or 93-day Base Plan policy will be provided each April 1 based on your prior plan selection. Prestige Travel Insurance Supplemental Plan coverage must be applied for each policy year. If you have the 62-day Base Plan coverage and would like to increase coverage to the 93-day Base Plan, or you would like to purchase a Supplemental Plan, you must contact Johnson Inc. by phone (1-877-989-2600 Option #2) or by email ( A 93-day Base Plan is required in order to purchase a Supplemental Plan. Rates: Rates will remain unchanged for the April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023 policy year. However, other factors may impact your premium, such as your age or plan selection. AGE Base Plan Option Annual Rates 62-day Base Plan

0 - 54

55 - 64





65 – 75



76 - 80




81+ Single











93-day Base Plan Supplemental Plan (Total Trip Duration)* 5 Days (Total 98)































14 Days (Total 107)










$3,820 $6,463

29 Days (Total 122)










44 Days (Total 137)











59 Days (Total 152)










$11,744 $14,384

74 Days (Total 167)










89 Days (Total 182)











104 Days (Total 197)











119 Days (Total 212)†






$10, 482


$16, 977



* Supplemental Plan trips duration are based on the date you first leave Canada for a period of more than 93 consecutive days until the date you return to your province or territory of residence. A 93-day Base Plan is required in order to purchase a Supplemental Plan. † Some provinces restrict the time allowed out of province to less than 212 days. Contact your provincial health care provider for details. NOTE: Rates shown do not include sales tax. For more information on applicable sales taxes, please contact Johnson Inc.

BASE PLAN DISCOUNT OPTIONS Please note: only one discount option can be selected Opt Out of Trip Cancellation, Interruption and Delay benefits $1,000 Deductible per Claim $5,000 Deductible per Claim

20% discount 20% discount 45% discount

If you chose to opt out of trip cancellation, interruption and delay benefits, or select a deductible, these options also apply to your Supplemental Plan. Discounts only apply to your Base Annual Plan premium. For Prestige Travel Insurance, requests to change, add or remove a discount option, downgrade to a base plan, or cancel your policy must be received within 60 days of your first premium deduction. For more information about trips outside of Canada, visit For specific questions about your personal benefit plan(s), including the Prestige Travel Insurance discount options and Prestige Travel Insurance Supplemental coverage, please contact Johnson Inc. toll-free at 1 877 989 2600 Option #2 or by email at Johnson Inc. #100, 17203 – 103 Avenue NW, Edmonton AB T5S 1J4 • Phone: 1-877-989-2600 Option #2 • Email: Yours truly,

William Cann, President Encl. Johnson Inc. is a licensed insurance intermediary. Johnson Inc. administers the EHC Plan and the options for Prestige Travel Insurance and Dental Care (“Options”). The EHC Plan and Dental Care Option are underwritten by Desjardins Financial Security (“DFS”). Coverage under the EHC Plan is subject to proof of enrolment in the applicable Provincial Pharmacare program. Prestige Travel Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada (“RSA”). Valid provincial/territorial health plan coverage required. Travel assistance is provided by Global Excel Management Inc. Eligibility requirements, limitations and exclusions may apply and/or may vary by province/territory. The eligibility requirements, terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions which apply to the described coverage are as set out in the policy. Policy wordings prevail. Johnson Inc. and RSA share common ownership. Coverage for Trip Cancellation begins the day of booking your trip provided your insurance is in effect. If a trip is booked prior to Trip Cancellation insurance being in effect, coverage for that trip will begin the day that the insurance premium is paid and the policy is issued. Trip Cancellation, Interruption & Delay Insurance benefits apply only to travel arrangements booked prior to departure.




Political Advocacy Report RTAM's Requests For Action John Sushelnitsky, Political Advocacy Committee Chair


hen Premier Pallister resigned and opened the door for new leadership it seemed like a great opportunity to once again place RTAM’s priorities, our wish list, in front of the government. In some respects, it is not a new list having been presented to Ministers of Education, Wishart, Goertzen and Cullen (and NDP Ministers before them). On Nov. 3, 2021, the PA Committee reported that there had been no response to the request for a meeting with either leadership candidate for the PC Party. It is hoped that the new premier will take notice. After discussion at the Board and Committee levels, the Political Advocacy Committee was tasked with the creation of the current Requests for Action (“Asks”). This resulted in the Five Asks and accompanying rationales, a letter of support from 2011 and RTAM’s position on Bill 64. The list of five “Asks” are being printed in KIT for the information of our membership as to RTAM’s current priorities and actions. The other political Parties will be contacted once a meeting with the government has taken place. Some of these documented Requests for Action (Asks) go back to 2011. Since 1989 RTAM has been a strong collective voice representing over 10,000 retired teachers in the following areas: • Pension support and political advocacy • Extended Health, Dental and Travel Insurance Plans • Social connections and activities • Health and Welfare seminars and webinars • Communications, website and quarterly magazine • Member of the Manitoba Seniors Coalition • Student Awards and Indigenous Bursary programs As the new Premier of Manitoba, would you consider supporting the following proposals of the Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba (RTAM)? 1. Recognize in legislation, the role of the Retired

14 n RTAM KIT Spring 2022

Teachers’ Association of Manitoba (RTAM) as the organization which speaks for and acts on behalf of all retired teachers in Manitoba? Rationale: In the beginning stage, retired teachers were aided in the creation of their organization by the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS), to which all active teachers belong. Membership in RTAM was and remains voluntary. Today RTAM has over 10,000 members and continues to grow. The interests and pursuits of the MTS and RTAM are not identical and so it is time to recognize the growth and independence of the Retired Teachers’ organization. Currently, seven of ten provinces give legal recognition to their Retired Teacher organizations. 2.

Create a seat for RTAM on the Teachers’ Retirement Allowances Fund (TRAF) Board. Rationale: Currently, the TRAF Board is comprised of three persons and a Chair nominated by the Government and three persons nominated by the MTS. Most provinces in Canada provide some representation for retired teachers on their respective pension boards.


Agree to an action plan that will ensure a fair income adjustment in the face of growing inflation. Rationale: The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) has not kept up to the rise in inflation. The value of the dollar earned has decreased dramatically since 2000. While the cost of all goods and services has increased the value of pension dollars has decreased, resulting in extreme economic hardship for elderly retired teachers, particularly so for those who retired in the 1970s. RTAM proposes to work with the Government, MTS and TRAF to seek solutions to alleviate this hardship.

COMMITTEE REPORTS 4. Establish a seat for RTAM on the Minister’s Council of Education Stakeholders. Rationale: As teachers in the classroom and as administrators with organizational experience in getting things done, members of RTAM can logically be acknowledged as educational elders with the stored experience necessary to counsel the Government in its decision-making. RTAM’s publicly stated position on Bill 64 demonstrated the wisdom and constructive outlook of retired teachers. Moreover, retired teachers constitute approximately 80-85 % of the supply chain for substitute teachers in rural Manitoba.


Place a RTAM nominated member on the Government’s Pension Task Force. Rationale: Pensions are critical to all Manitoba retirees. Having contributed to a pension throughout their working careers, teachers are entitled to input on the design and the outcome of pension strategy. It is important that retired teachers have a voice on the Board which sets guidelines for Manitoba’s public pension plans. n

The Editorial Committee apologizes for the omission of the second half of this article in the last edition of KIT.

Letter Writing Campaign RTAM Seat On The TRAF Board Bill Cann, RTAM President RTAM members are encouraged to send a letter or email to their local MLA. For many years gaining a seat on the TRAF Board has been a top advocacy priority of RTAM, and just a few minutes of your time by sending an email/letter can greatly help the campaign and retired teachers everywhere. To send an email to your local MLA, follow this link: and fill in your Name, Email, and Postal Code. The program will use your name and Postal Code to email a letter signed by you to your local MLA. If you don't have a local MLA, the email will go to the Premier. The letter itself is in the blue box below where you put in your information. The letter has been crafted by the RTAM Board, but you can make changes to the letter if you wish to. Thank you for your support!

I am writing to you as one of your constituents to ask you to support Private Member’s Bill #208. I am also one of the 10,000 members of the Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba (RTAM). RTAM has been seeking a seat on the Teachers’ Retirement Allowances Fund (TRAF) Board for over 20 years.

TRAF is the governing body which sets the investment policy and pays out our individual pensions each month. The TRAF Board currently is a seven-person board nominated by the Government and by the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS). A Private Member’s Bill #208 has been introduced in the Legislature which would provide RTAM with a seat on the TRAF Board and maintain the current Board’s balance. Similar legislation has been introduced in the past. Most provinces in Canada provide some representation for retired teachers on their respective pension boards. The proposed solution does not cost the Government any money. I sincerely hope that each MLA will vote on the merits of the legislation. The private members bill provides retired teachers through RTAM with a voice on the board which controls and pays out their pension. Bill #208 is about fairness, equity and not about political philosophy or ideology. I urge you to support this Private Member’s Bill when it is debated and voted on during the spring Legislative session. Thank you for your support. A member of the RTAM Executive would be pleased to meet with you or provide further information. Contact n



Student Success Portfolio Program February Discussion Starters Joan Zaretsky, Chair, Student Success Portfolios

Choosing the Funding Source for You When discussing the funding applications which fit your merits and your needs, we often use the terms scholarships, bursaries and awards interchangeably. In reality, they are based on different criteria for selection and as such, necessitate you to look closely at the match between your strengths and needs and the application requirements. So let’s review each of these. 1.


Scholarships are presented based on academic merit. The main source of information and requirement is your transcript which presents your marks throughout your high school experience. For students with top marks, this offers you a real opportunity to shine for your intellectual achievements. Generally at graduation ceremonies, you will see a few top students winning all the scholarship money. Award selections are more broad based and request a variety of specific criteria depending on who is the sponsor of the award. Our RTAM Student Awards are presented on the basis of four criteria: your transcript, your reference letter, your school related activities and your community involvement. Each of these four criteria is given equal value as we review the applications. We are searching for well-rounded individuals who will excel in their future endeavors in our selection. Check out the criteria and your portfolio entries to determine your best match when applying for awards.


Bursaries are based on financial need. Tuition is expensive but also is living arrangements if you are moving out of your family home. As such you may need to explain why you need financial help and where your need is greatest. You may also be required to give your academic information.


Loans are simply requests for funding which involve repayment with interest. Your academic and financial history plus the financial information of your parents or guardians may be required. When you are in Grade 12 and anticipating

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graduation in June, the months of January and February are good months to start reviewing available scholarships, awards and bursaries to select the ones which best fit your achievements. Check out the two websites found on the back of our pamphlet for funding sponsors in Manitoba and Canada. Ask yourself the following questions: 1.

Are my marks in the top ten percent (90’s) for most of my high school years and will they continue to be there in June? Does my International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement courses or other specialty courses improve my chances of receiving a scholarship?


What are the specific requirements for some of the specialized awards? Do I have the experiences, accomplishments and/or academics to apply for the awards based on their criteria? Be sure to check out the local awards offered by organizations in your town and area where you live.


What bursaries are available and do I meet the financial standards required for this financial assistance?


If I have applied for any of the above and not been a successful candidate, where should I go for the best loan rates to be able to afford my post-secondary schooling?

There are many companies and sources of funds which report they have no applications submitted year to year. Look for some of the very unique sponsors and submit your application. Even if the funding seems insignificant to the amount you require, recognize 3 or 4 successful applications for $500 can combine to meet your need of $2000 for example. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain if you are the only student applying for a specific funding opportunity. Best of luck in finding the funding source which fits your needs and talents! Your portfolio is your source of your successful entries to be used selectively in applying for your support. n

When you are in Grade 12 and anticipating graduation in June, the months of January and February are good months to start reviewing available scholarships, awards and bursaries to select the ones which best fit your achievements.






Committee Highlights

Benefits Committee Dave Najduch, Chair The Committee met from September through to December of 2021 to review and discuss each of the plans currently being provided for RTAM members. As a result, the fees for each plan were set and some changes to certain coverages took place. These were forwarded to the RTAM Board for consideration and approved. The renewal is set to be sent out to members who are currently paying their premium through bank deduction in February. Those that are paying premiums through Pension deductions will not receive the renewal notice until March. The information will be sent out in the form of a letter from RTAM President Bill Cann outlining the fee structure and services that will be provided in the 2022-2023 year. If you are interested in looking at the changes, a copy of that letter is also included in this month’s edition of KIT for member information. Benefits at a Glance / Reminder If you visit the RTAM web site and click on “Members” at the top of the page, a drop-down menu which includes “Benefits at a Glance” will appear. When you click this heading a two-page table providing a comparison of the RTAM, MTS and WTA plans that are currently available will then appear. This document reflects the benefits and fees as they exist and will be updated in the months to come as new information is made available for the 2022-2023 year.

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I would like to thank Jessica Simpson and the staff at Johnson for their efforts on behalf of the membership and, also thank the RTAM members who serve on the committee for their input and ongoing support.

Communications (KIT Editorial Committee) Beth Smith, Chair The Board reviewed the process of how KIT is put together. Deadlines for KIT MUST be adhered to in order to get the magazine to the printer on time. If we miss our printer time, the magazine does not go out! All KIT submissions should be sent to kit@ During our KIT committee meetings, we have been looking at some software that could help with the editing process.

Communications (Public Relations Committee) Guy Hansen, Chair During recent meetings the committee reviewed/ considered the following: • Debriefed the November 11th, 2021, wreath laying held in Birtle, MB and outlined possibilities for 2022. • Reviewed a letter submitted by a committee member on the advantages of being an RTAM member. • A motion by the Political Advocacy Committee to secure funding for the Indigenous Bursary through the University College of the North (UCN). • Strategize how to advance new membership

• Promote a Meet and Greet night at the Legislature. • Promote an AGM guest speaker.

Communications: Website Committee Paul Harland, Chair • The website committee met on December 6th, 2021, and January 10th, 2022. • The Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS) and RTAM are discussing links to each other’s websites. • We are pleased that the webpage is updated and that items seem to have stopped disappearing. • An Instagram account has been created and we will be linking our Facebook and Instagram accounts to our webpage. Announcements will be posted onto our two social media accounts. We are also looking at other ways to get members engaged in RTAM events and issues.

Executive Committee

• Michael Juce of Prairie Sky Strategy presented a proposal for political lobbying services to the January 10th, 2022, Executive meeting. The Board approved hiring this firm to assist with lobbying efforts and strategy. • The Executive and Board approved the hiring of a professional head-hunter firm to conduct the search for a new Executive Director.

Membership and Chapters Committee Beth Smith, Chair • Chapter Initiative Grants (CIG) are available for Chapter engagement. The amount of the grant is $250. The application form can be found on the RTAM website, • A second Pre-Retirement Seminar was held via Zoom on Saturday, November 20, 2021, with 21 participants. A third Pre-Retirement Seminar will be offered via Zoom, on Saturday, March 5, 2022, at 9:30 a.m.

Bill Cann, RTAM President

Pension Committee

• After researching a number of small Non-Profit organizations, the Executive is recommending two motions to formalize the contributions to Employee Benefits and Pension plans.

Alison Logan, Chair

• Jeff Norton, TRAF CEO, outlined a proposed legal agreement to formalize the relationship between our two organizations and warned RTAM that it could not depend on TRAF to provide the current level of services in perpetuity.

• The Pension Committee has had four meetings this year, with Jeff Norton and Brad Prokop, of TRAF, attending two of them. In addition, they presented the Annual Briefing Session to the Board in December 2021. • The focus of Committee meetings has primarily been improving COLA and the pursuing of a designated seat at the TRAF Board for RTAM. Next page →


The Pension Committee remains steadfast in working toward improvements, including monitoring pertinent information. The following highlights may be of interest to retired teachers. Canadian Defined Benefits pensions in stronger positions to withstand challenges ahead: reports • A report by consulting firm Mercer found that the pension plans were well-funded despite an uncertain end to the year. • Sixty-one per cent of pension plans were in a surplus position at the end of the fourth quarter, compared with 53 per cent at the end of the third quarter. • “As DB plans’ financial positions continue to improve, many plan sponsors are now finding themselves in the enviable position of having DB surpluses,” said Ben Ukonga, principal and leader of Mercer’s wealth business in Calgary in a news release. • While Omicron added uncertainty to end the year, equity markets continued their upward trajectories, said Nathan LaPierre, partner, wealth solutions, Aon. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2022. Free Press published Jan. 4, 2022.

Political Advocacy (PA) Committee John Sushelnitsky, Chair • Liberal MLA Cindy Lamoureux gave first reading to a Private Member’s Bill proposing that RTAM be given a seat on the TRAF Board. This is not a new request on RTAM’s part. RTAM has been negotiating this issue with the leaders of Manitoba political parties since 2005.

• The PA Committee also heard a presentation from the firm Prairie Sky as a possible support to RTAM’s efforts to obtain a seat at the TRAF pension table.

Student Success Portfolio Ad-hoc Committee Joan Zaretsky, Chair • We are happy to see the interest growing in our project as we currently have 20 members and their sponsors participating in building portfolios. KIT highlighted a number of Student Success Portfolio articles which we believe led to the increased awareness and participation. • Andrew Augustyn, our researcher, has reported on three interviews he completed and letters will be sent out mid-February for the remaining seven to complete the research required for our Grant.

Wellness Advocacy Committee Linda Blair, Chair • The committee met on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, and reviewed evaluation forms received after recent presentations and began planning for presentations to start the 2022-2023 term. • The recent webinar presentations held were, “Retirement Well-being”: held on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, and “Decluttering” on Tuesday, January 25, 2022. The final online presentations for 2021-2022 are: 1.

Prostate Cancer facilitated by Patrick Feschuk Tuesday, February 22, 2022, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Deadline to register is Friday, February 18, 2022, at 12 noon. Hard of Hearing facilitated by Rosalyn Sutley Tuesday, March 22, 2022, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Deadline to register is Friday, March 18, 2022, at 12 noon.

• A registered letter was sent to Premier Stefanson, requesting a meeting to discuss RTAM’s Five Requests for Action.


• After a review of the points made at the Ad Hoc meeting to look at the long-term funding of the Indigenous Bursary, the Political Advocacy Committee plans to propose a motion at the RTAM AGM to ensure continuous funding for the Indigenous Bursary support through the University College of the North (UCN).

We are now planning for the 2022-2023 term. Please submit any ideas for future presentations by emailing the RTAM office. n

20 n RTAM KIT Spring 2022


Calgary Chapter Report

idelined by COVID-19 for two years, the Calgary Chapter finally met on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 for an in-person preChristmas luncheon. Turkey dinner with all


the trimmings was enjoyed by all. In spite of COVID-19, our Chapter has grown. Six new members introduced themselves at the luncheon. n

An ongoing theme at Calgary Chapter events has been connections made by ‘strangers’ at our get- togethers. At this luncheon, Joan Murash (second from right in photo) and Bob Weller (far right) reconnected, 50 years after teaching together at Greenway School, Winnipeg! Other new members from left: Bev Stebner, Cindy Levesque-Brown, Vicky Komosky, Vic Wieler

Bill Cann, RTAM President, brought greetings and news from RTAM. Bill opened his remarks with comments about Dennis Kozak’s participation via Zoom on the RTAM Political Advocacy Committee. Post Covid, RTAM will continue to facilitate committee meetings held in-person and online. This format allows for greater participation for members in Chapters located in other provinces.


To Join Or Not To Join – That Is The Question JoAnne Hoyak, RTAM Vice President/ACER-CART Director


ome years ago I dropped in to the RTAM AGM, then being held in Portage La Prairie, as my concern for the maintenance and security of our defined benefit pension plan was and still is a paramount issue for us. The late Marvin Krawec approached me and suggested it would be good to become involved in the organization. I assumed it would be at the committee level and was surprised to realize he had installed me as a Director. The satisfaction and fulfillment I have experienced as a result, I owe to Marvin. I have been enlightened by the work RTAM does in terms of advocating for the well- being of retired teachers specifically and older persons generally. I have come to appreciate the expansion of our mandate to include issues of concern in the wider community including youth through scholarships,

indigenous students through our bursary support, seniors through various wellness opportunities and the Seniors Coalition, government through meetings with politicians, teachers through the strong partnership developed with MTS and national connections through many stakeholders related to ACER-CART—our national organization. But above all, I appreciate beyond measure the professional and especially personal relationships developed through my work with RTAM. These exceptional people who are and have been my colleagues on the RTAM Board and committees will always be remembered with respect and affection. This, in itself, is the invaluable reward that will continue on after I “retire” as these folks are my forever friends. So, join, join, join – that is the answer. n

Trip Merchant Has Partnered With RTAM To Provide Two New Contests


ach contest offers the prize of a $500 Trip Merchant travel voucher for a trip anywhere in the world. It has no expiry date and can be gifted to a RTAM member’s relative. Final date for both contest entries is April 15, 2022. Contest winners will be informed by the RTAM office, announced at the May 4, 2022, RTAM AGM and posted on the RTAM website. CONTEST #1: Each RTAM member who switches their subscription to KIT magazine from paper format to digital/electronic format will have their name entered into the first contest draw. By switching to a digital subscription, you will receive KIT approximately 1-2 weeks faster, help RTAM reduce both printing and mailing costs and help the environment by reducing our carbon

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footprint. To enter, email or phone the RTAM office at, 204-889-3660 or 1-888-393-8082. CONTEST #2: Each RTAM member who signs up for the digital/electronic Trip Merchant newsletter will have their name entered into the second contest draw. The Trip Merchant newsletter offers current information and webinars about travel opportunities in Canada, North America, and the world. Trip merchant guarantees that your email information is secure and will never be shared with another organization. Every three months, Trip Merchant, also offers a contest for a free trip for two (usually 7 nights). Sign up for your travel e-newsletter at: https://rtam.tripmerchant. ca/#subscribe n


The St. James-Assiniboia crew: Lorna, Lorne, Elenore, Ken, Sue, Barry and Bill.

Okanagan Chapter Report Nancy Kostiuk


unset Ranch Golf Club in Kelowna was the picture-perfect setting for our Christmas Luncheon, December 14, 2021. Twenty-six members and guests attended, arriving from Oliver, Penticton, West Kelowna and Kelowna. It was wonderful to meet as a group after the previous restrictions. The chef prepared a delicious holiday meal for all to enjoy. Lorne and Sue Lisik prepared a huge Raffle Basket which raised $220 for the food bank. A gift exchange was conducted by Sue Lisik

following a unique COVID-protocol story, provided by Margaret Ingebrigtson, where all remained seated after choosing the initial gift bag. Lorna Rothwell read the greetings and news sent from the members who could not attend. Thank you, Susan Forsyth, Roy Lycar, Betty Cameron, Ken Ferg and Lorna Rothwell for the photographs. Thank you to RTAM for the Chapter Initiative Grant that helped to facilitate this event. It is much appreciated by our wide-spread chapter. n

Top: Ken and Gene Ferg, Lorne and Sue Lisik. Bottom: Doris T., Doris H., Lenore, Roy, Glenn & Sue, Roland, Linda & Robert

Top: Seven Oaks twosome, Gene and Glenn. Bottom: Betty Cameron and Jack Fonseca, The Pas-Kelowna connection


RTAM STUDENT AWARD APPLICATION FORM The Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba (RTAM) awards annually four (4) post-secondary STUDENT AWARDS of $1,000 each to relatives of RTAM members.



Criteria for selection (the applicant must be): 1) 2) 3) 4)

A relative of an RTAM Member (child, grandchild, niece or nephew) Involved in school and community activities A Grade 12 graduate Entering the first year of a post-secondary education program (University or College)

Submissions to include the following:  Student Award Application Form  Applicant’s comprehensive written description of school and community activities (one page)  One (1) letter of reference/support from a non-family member (one page)  Final official high school transcript of marks (copy only) If further information is required, please contact the RTAM office (see below).

APPLICANT’S INFORMATION (PLEASE PRINT) Full name: Mailing Address: City/Town:


Phone Number:

Postal Code/ZIP:

Cell Number:

E-mail Address: Year Graduated:

School Name (Graduated from Grade12): School Street Address: City/Town:


Did you receive an RTAM Student Success Portfolio?

 Yes

Postal Code/ZIP:


Post-Secondary Plans Program




Phone Number:

Postal Code/ZIP:

Cell Number:


I confirm that the applicant

, has the following relationship to me

RTAM Member’s Signature:


Applicant’s Signature:


THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS JULY 29, 2022 by mail/drop-off at 4:00 pm or by email at 11:59 pm

Office/Voicemail Phone: 204-889-3660 Manitoba Toll Free: 1-888-393-8082 Fax: 1-204-783-2011

24 n RTAM KIT Spring 2022

Email: Website:

106 – 1780 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B3

Student Awards Over the Years Peggy Prendergast, Student Awards Committee Chair


ongratulations to this year’s Student Award winners, their RTAM sponsors and to a participant of the first Student Award Program in 2013. During the past nine years over 400 students and 400 RTAM sponsors have filled out applications for this program. An award winner from 2013 has continued to follow his chosen path in the theatre as he continues with his University studies. I congratulate Anthony Ferens, now nine years later, this year’s winner of the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Award. I recently read of his hard work Anthony Ferens and successes in the local Free Press Community paper as he strives for excellence in the theatre through experience and further education to live his dream. In support of your efforts as an RTAM member to assist your young relatives, RTAM’s Student Success Portfolio ad hoc Committee is providing you and your young relatives with a way to keep a record of all the extra support provided by that student in their school and their volunteer time provided to the community in which they live during their time in high school, as well as giving you a further chance to support and encourage your young relative. An application form and full program explanation is available on the website: The RTAM Student Award Program began in 2013 when an RTAM Endowment Fund of $50,000 was established with the Winnipeg Foundation. Criteria for distribution of the awards was established by RTAM and the first year saw four students, each sponsored by an RTAM relative, receive $500 from the fund. With compound interest

and the investing expertise of the Foundation enlarging the fund each year, and the further generosity of individual members over these nine years donating $7,000.00, the fund has provided four awards each year, increasing each year from 2013 to the present, from four awards of $500 the first year, to $1000 each the past two years. The market value of the fund as of September 2021 stands at $70,000 plus. Thirty six young relatives have received awards over these years but over 400 students have applied and thus 400 RTAM members have been sponsors. As RTAM moves forward, you as RTAM members, can expect the awards to increase in amount and number. These students come from all parts of Manitoba and across Canada with different goals and dreams for their post graduate education. Many benefits await the students but the benefit for you, the older adult, is the relationship that evolves as you engage with, and strengthen your connection with, your cherished relative. I think all of us as retired teachers have found along the way that: “the more you learn, the more you earn,” but the relationships we have built with children, grandchildren and now a great grandchild for me, are indeed priceless. By checking the website:, you can find ways to donate dollars to keep the endowment fund growing faster, so help is available to more of our young student relatives, as well as the opportunity to you, the older adult sponsor, to develop a stronger life-long relationship with this young person, a priceless benefit for the rest of your lives. n





WINTER 2021 PHOTO CONTEST The two categories are: 1. Candles: Capture the wondrous glow of candles as they light up your life. 2. Water: take a picture of the ocean, a lake, rain, ice or any surface with water drops. Judging by Gayl Punzalan Creative Director of Blue Ink Media Full contest rules and entry forms available at and at the RTAM office. All entries to be sent by mail, email, or delivered to RTAM no later than 4:00 PM, April 6, 2022.

26 n RTAM KIT Spring 2022


RTAM Winter 2021 Photo Contest Official Entry and Release Form


A copy of this form must be completed for each entry submitted to the photo contest. Photos cannot be entered into more than one category. Complete Photo Contest Rules are posted on the RTAM Website (see below).







❏ Candles

❏ Water

Capture the wondrous glow of candles as they light up your life.

Take a picture of the ocean, a lake, rain, ice or any surface with water drops.

I hereby grant permission to the Retired Teachers’ Association (RTAM) to use / edit / reuse my photograph in any and all of its publications and on its website. • •

I agree to abide by the RTAM Photo Contest rules as set forth by RTAM and posted on the RTAM Website and in KIT.

By signing this release form, I acknowledge that I have completely read and understand what this permission signifies.

There is no time limit on the validity of this release. I confirm that I am a member in good standing of RTAM.


Name in Print / Signature / Date Signed

April 6, 2022 at 4:00 PM

RTAM Photo Contest Rules Submission Requirements: Print Entries: • All entries sent must have an image which is no smaller than 5” x 7” or larger than 12” x 12”. Square formatted images will be accepted provided that they are not smaller than 7” x 7” or larger than 12” x 12”. Panoramic photos will not be accepted. • Matted or framed photos will not be accepted. • Photo titles are mandatory, must be written on the back of prints and match the title on the Contest Official Entry Form. • Send to 206-1555 St. James St., Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5

Electronic Entries: • Electronic photos can also be emailed to The covering email or file name must include the photo title which must match the title on the Contest Official Entry Form. Electronic photos will be printed by RTAM for judging purposes. Please read the full contest rules at photo-contest


The Gate and Other Poems on a Life’s Journey by Doug Jordan Book Review by Margaret Shaw-MacKinnon, with photos by Sidney Shapira


here is something grand about the person who chooses the heroic, courageous, creative approach to the difficult and exhilarating journey through life to death. While all of us experience the vagaries of life—we live, struggle, love—only some are moved to reflect on life through artistic creation. We find ourselves grateful to those generous souls who strive to hold onto and name individual and universal experience to enrich us all. Such a person is Doug Jordan, retired teacher, and lawyer, who, in his book The Gate and Other Poems on a Life’s Journey, brings us into his whimsical, endearing, uplifting, profound and engaging existential expedition through life. Another such person is Sidney Shapira, retired teacher, and principal, who enriches Doug’s collection with his compelling accompanying photos and thoughtful book design. It is with delight that I contribute this brief review to spark reader’s curiosity, as long ago, when I was in Junior High at Laidlaw School in Winnipeg, Doug Jordan—renowned for his kindness, humor, and shrewd insight into kids—became one of my favorite teachers, and Sidney Shapira was one of the friendly kids in those fondly-remembered school days. The collection consists of thirty-four poems, written between 1965 and 2021, a span of 56 years that reflects in a fascinating way our rapidly changing world and the evolution of the poet from the Blakean innocence to experience. Readers are sure to be touched by the poet’s deepening wisdom,

28 n RTAM KIT Spring 2022

as we move through one poem after another—from the speaker in the opening poem, “The Poet’s Lament (1965),” the comical young man who pokes fun at himself, at his own youthful hubris and desire for acclaim, to the mature speaker of the later poems who has bravely faced the death of his beloved (“The Gate (2019)”) and the onslaught of Parkinson’s Disease (“Research Blues (2019)”). Reader’s will likewise appreciate the poet’s themes: perseverance despite broken dreams; the heroic and humorous life-affirming response to the deepening sadness of life; appreciation for beauty; the value of love, friendship, and selflessness. For retired teachers, Jordan’s book offers a great read—fine poems reflecting a life lived passionately and with love. Shapira’s photographs of beautiful Winnipeg along with those he chooses from Jordan’s personal collection, richly enhance the reading experience. For teachers thinking of publishing their own work, whether poetry, memoir, or fiction, consider Doug Jordan’s and Sidney Shapira’s book as an inspiring model for how to act on creative dreams! For Doug Jordan’s friends, colleagues, family, former students, and poetry afficionados, The Gate and Other Poems on a Life’s Journey will become a treasured keepsake, not to mention a guide on how to live life consciously and with meaningful engagement. n

Margaret Shaw-MacKinnon, October 25, 2021 Margaret Shaw-MacKinnon, B.F.A., M.A., is a writer and visual artist.

In Memoriam September 2021 Joan A. Butler – Stonewall, MB John R. Calder – Ste. Anne, MB

Natalie Board | Adobe Stock

October 2021 Mabel Agar – Kamloops, BC Louis O. Bourbonnais – Winnipeg, MB Ruth W. Breckman – Winnipeg, MB Peter Brown – Winnipeg, MB Steven L. Daun – Winnipeg, MB Allan W. Delavau – Winnipeg, MB Doreen Demare – Winnipeg, MB Shirley E. Drinkwater – Saskatoon, SK Judith A. Foubert – Beausejour, MB Earl F. Gibbs – Winnipeg, MB Kathleen R. Harvey – Winnipeg, MB Phyllis M. MacGranachan – Russell, MB Norma A. Nevison – Winnipeg, MB Mona C. Nickle – Steinbach, MB Jacob Peters – Winnipeg, MB Agnes C. Remias – Headingley, MB Helen A. Sigurdson – Winnipeg, MB November 2021 Robert W. Arnason – Gimli, MB Beryl Bingham – Winnipeg, MB Albert P. Bryski – Winnipeg, MB William P. Chrustie – Winnipeg, MB Sachiko Guilbert – Winnipeg, MB

Nestor R. Guspodarchuk – Winnipeg, MB Judith J. Hattie – Whitemouth, MB Celine A. Houde – Winnipeg, MB George Lysak – Stonewall, MB D. Barry McLachlan – Neepawa, MB Daniel J. McLellan – Winnipeg, MB Melvin P. Penner – Blumenort, MB Michael Storoschuk – Winnipeg, MB Donald B. Suderman – Winnipeg, MB Stephen Woloschuk – Winnipeg, MB December 2021 Judith L. Broeska – Winnipeg, MB Sharon A. Chanas – Winnipeg, MB Gerard J. Desharnais – Winnipeg, MB Conrad G. Erickson – Brandon, MB Kenneth W. C. Harvey – Winnipeg, MB Gregory M. Kibsey – Anola, MB Claudette A. Lambert – St. Georges, MB Louisa J. Loeb – Winnipeg, MB Lawrence Overby – Winnipeg, MB Anita C. Peters – Winnipeg, MB Lilian M. Queen – St. Rose, MB Wayne H. Sherwood – Prince Albert, SK Margaret E. Stephen – Winnipeg, MB Esme L. Stewart – Winnipeg, MB Jean M. Taillefer – Winnipeg, MB Richard C. Williams – Winnipeg, MB

Life Members (Presented at age 90 to RTAM members)

October 2021 Metro Burym – Winnipeg, MB Helen Tomlinson – Saskatoon, SK November 2021 Thelma M. Enns – Winnipeg, MB Bernice G. Grunenke – Winnipeg, MB C. Glen Hanna – Brandon, MB Shirley Maurice – Winnipeg, MB Walter Shurraw – Winnipeg, MB Hillel A. Taylor – Winnipeg, MB December 2021 Olga Blixt – Sprague, MB Genevieve Ferg – Penticton, BC C. Velma Snitka – Dauphin, MB A. Hal Sveistrup – Rivers, MB Anne Wiens – Gimli, MB


A Family Can “Fight…” Bob Davies


hat a wonderful opportunity it is to write about the beginnings of a career, especially a teacher’s career. Every week, a teacher has a myriad of stories both humorous and heartwarming; and these are often shared with colleagues across a table in the staff room and then promptly forgotten. When asked, I thought of so many stories I could relate: I could talk about the interviewing process, my first hiring, life working on Lake Manitoba Reserve, or the challenges of my first year in the School District of Mystery Lake and the political environment around that time. So many things. My first union experience was a pivotal experience that has guided my thought process until the present. Now, how somebody comes to get involved in union work is varied. I came to Thompson in the late eighties, during a very politically charged atmosphere. I was very blue (small c conservative) because, really, I had lived my entire life inside the perimeter of Manitoba’s two largest cities. I didn’t understand the disparities that existed between urban, rural and northern Manitoba—sure it was covered in Social Studies with Ms. Neelin, but you have to experience it to really appreciate it. In my first career as a commercial artist, I worked in a unionized print house; and, although going to a couple of meetings, I really didn’t take an active part – I reaped the benefits of a union, but I

didn’t actively engage in it. So, when I was asked in Thompson if I was going to a union meeting, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. “We will get together and there will be the meeting part where we discuss issues affecting teachers,” my colleague invited. “After that, there will be food and a beer.” Well, I loved a good meeting, and I was definitely up for the refreshments. I showed up at the meeting at Saint Lawrence Hall, found a table of colleagues (two of whom I knew from the high school and six other teachers to whom I introduced myself). Paper reports were handed out and quickly scanned. A couple of waves from other high school buddies from around the room at different tables, and the meeting was called to order. You have all gone through the basics: adoption of the agenda, then the minutes of the previous meeting. Then the good stuff. It was nice to hear about the issues that I wasn’t aware were happening in the district, and I became informed – maybe even enlightened. At one point, a topic was introduced and an aggressive debate ensued; it was obviously contentious because people had come prepared. I was amazed at the passionate arguments these gentlemen were placing in front of their union brothers and sisters. I was raised by family and friends who engaged in CALM debate, where logical and polite argument was very acceptable and actually quite enjoyable. This was not the case here. Each side argued hotly, and I

At the core, labor unions (we) are working men and women, unified as one force. Despite any personal differences that may exist between us, we have banded together to protect and improve the lives of workers. We rise up together for the greater good. We defend one another like family. –SUE CARNEY 30 n RTAM KIT Spring 2022

almost felt it was at times inappropriate. Most who were arguing were high school teachers I had come to know; I never saw any of this rude disposition on display in the staff room and definitely not in the classroom. The debate ended. With the arguments heard, a vote was taken and the decision was made. We moved on and completed the agenda. Wow! This display was not what I had been taught or, at the very least, expected at a meeting. My assumption was that these men would be frustrated and upset with each other for months to come. There might even be tiptoeing around each other in the staff room. With the agenda done, we settled into the refreshment part of the meeting, including a choice of beer and plates full of fried chicken for all of the association members present. That wasn’t what caught me by surprise. All the debaters, who moments before were yelling at each other from across the floor, had filled a plate, got a beverage, and gathered around a common table. No doubt they were debating the finer points of the earlier head-to-head; but, within minutes, they were laughing and enjoying themselves with the company at their table – as if all animosity was forgotten. During 31 years of classroom teaching in Thompson, I sat on the executive of the Thompson Teachers’ Association in various portfolios for 25 years. I learned many things, but the image of intense debate; followed shortly after by comradery gave me a clear vision of what a union family is all about. I was taught by some of the best! n


RTAM AGM May 3-4, 2022 The Retired Women Teachers' Association (RWTA) to host RTAM's AGM on May 3 - 4, 2022 at the Holiday Inn Winnipeg-Airport West, 2520 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB The Retired Women Teachers' Association is pleased to invite all members to register with RTAM and join us for this special event.

Transcona Collegiate and Murdoch MacKay Collegiate Reunion 2022 TCI and MMCI Grads and Staff from 1971 to 1974 are invited to join the class of ’72 as they celebrate their 50th graduation anniversary. When: Saturday. May 14, 2022 Location: Masonic Temple, 420 Corydon Ave. Tickets: $30.00 (plus admin fees) available for purchase on EventBrite. For more information join the Reunion Facebook Page: Transcona Collegiate & Murdoch MacKay Reunion 2022 Or email: 2022tci.mmci.reunion@

Golf Anyone?

alphaspirit | Adobe Stock

Now that you’re retired, would you like to golf a little more but need to expand your list of playing partners? Perhaps over the years your "group" has dwindled, some have moved away or perhaps stopped playing all together. Maybe you would just like to find others like yourself who want to play when and where you do. The survey (see link below) is designed to allow you to submit some information about yourself (such as skill level, course preferences and preferred days and times to play) and then search for similar golfers. After completing the survey, check the website again (toward the end of March and after) for results and to search for compatible golfers. There are more details at


Education Professionals


Johnson Insurance has worked closely with RTAM to provide access to helpful services and products that take care of your insurance needs. With Johnson, RTAM members have access to: •

Extended Health Care

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Dental Care

Term Life Insurance

Prestige Travel with Trip Cancellation

Home Insurance

Additional Stand Alone Trip Cancellation

Contact Johnson today 1.877.989.2600 |

© 2022 Johnson Inc. A member of Intact Financial Corporation. Johnson Insurance is a tradename of Johnson Inc., a licensed insurance intermediary, and operates as Johnson Inc. in MB. Johnson administers the EHC Plan and the options for Prestige Travel and Dental Care (“Options”). The EHC Plan and Dental Care Option are underwritten by Desjardins Financial Security (“DFS”). Coverage under the EHC Plan is subject to proof of enrolment in the applicable Provincial Pharmacare program. Prestige Travel Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada (“RSA”). Valid provincial/territorial health plan coverage required. Johnson and RSA share common ownership. Travel assistance is provided by Global Excel. Eligibility requirements, limitations and exclusions may apply and/or may vary by province/territory. Home insurance is available through Johnson Inc., a licensed insurance intermediary. Policies are primarily underwritten by Unifund Assurance Company. Eligibility requirements, limitations and exclusions may apply. 0210_20