2012 Special General Meeting


Thursday, April 19, 2012

University of Victoria


The President opened the meeting noting that according to the CURAC Constitution, annual general meetings may only be held after May I, therefore, the current session is a Special General Meeting.  Those present were also reminded that only 1 vote is allowed per member association.  A count of voters revealed that 21 voters were in attendance.  Finally the President reported that papers pertaining to the Special General Meeting were provided in the conference package with one additional sheet – an activity report on Conference Planning.

1.Adoption of the Agenda

Moved by P. Huber, seconded by K. Gowrisankaran that the agenda be adopted.  Carried.

2. Approval of the Minutes of the 2011 Annual General Meeting

The President noted that the minutes were posted on the website.

Moved by E. Williams, seconded by A. Scott-Prelorentzos that the minutes be approved.  Carried.

3. President’s Report (See also Appendix A)

The President reported that Laval had joined CURAC but then had dropped away.  We must renew our efforts to attract members from Quebec.

A new federal act had been passed affecting the regulations governing non-profit corporations.  Organizations are given 5 years (to 2014) to submit a revised constitution and by-laws.  These will be presented for approval at the AGM in Newfoundland in 2013.

The President noted the need for two-way communication on pension and benefits issues.

The Secretary of CURAC retired and the responsibilities associated with this position had fallen on other members of the Board.

Moved by P. Huber, seconded by D. Creelman that the President’s report be accepted.  Carried

4. Treasurer’s Report (See also Appendix A)

The President reported that the Treasurer, J. Panteluk had broken her wrist and was unable to attend the conference.  In her absence, J. Meyer presented her report.

A correction was noted on page 4 of the report.  The figure should be minus (-) $3640.66 in the 2011-12 column.  The minus sign was misplaced above the figure. [Note: This has been corrected in Appendix A.]

Moved by J. Meyer, seconded by J. Boan that the audited statement with the above notational correction be approved (pages 4 and 5).  Carried.

Moved by J. Meyer, seconded by J. Boan that the estimates for 2012-13 and 2013-14 be approved.  There was a question regarding the drop in dues revenue and the large decline in total revenue.  However, taking the cash in hand into account as well as other accounts receivable reveals no big drop in overall revenue.  E. Williams called the question.  Motion carried.

Moved by J.Meyer, seconded by P. Huber that the auditor, Brian McDonald be reappointed.  Carried.

The President announced that travel subsidies were available for delegates or directors.  Those eligible should complete the requisite form and hand it into the President who would provide cheques at the end of the conference.

5. Report of the Nominating Committee (See also Appendix B)

J. Meyer presented the report of the Nominating Committee.  The following individuals have been nominated for two year terms: E. Williams (Secretary), J. Panteluk (Treasurer), Joan Cunnington (Newsletter Editor), Kohur Gowrisankaran and P. S. (OCRA).  Two ex officio appointments were reported – J. Meyer (Past President) and B. Lucas (Chair of the Local \Organizing Committee for the 2013 Conference).  The President introduced the two new Board members, K. Gowrisankaran and B. Lucas.

E. Williams asked when it would be appropriate to give a vote of thanks to the retiring members of the Board

6. Activity Reports (See also Appendix B)

P. Huber spoke to the Pension Committee Report.  E. Williams suggested that the report be forwarded to association members and placed on their websites.

J. Stager presented the report of the Conference Planning Liaison.  He observed that the conference gets better every year.  He acknowledged the helpfulness of the Manual prepared by the York group outlining the details, logistics and management of the conference.  He extended the thanks of all to John Schofield and his team for mounting a terrific event.  J. Schofield thanked J. Stager for his kind words, help and advice and also thanked his support system.

The President noted that due to the illness of T. Ghose, there would be no formal report on health care policy.  However a session on this topic was on the agenda for tomorrow’s program.

H. Fink presented an oral report on the activities of the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Committee.  He remarked that in the negotiations of First Nations with the provinces and the federal government, there was no mention of post-secondary education.  H. Fink anticipated that discussions would be reopened this spring.

Moved by K. Gowrisankaran, seconded by J. Cunnington that the activity reports be accepted.  Carried.

7. Input from Delegates

J. Meyer opened this discussion with a presentation of the survey results.  He noted that visibility was a top priority for association members which could be achieved through better communication – e.g., publicity, mutual engagement, list of experts, information on protection of pension and benefits.  He also alerted the assembly to capacity issues; the financial and human resources of the organization are limited.  Thus, it is essential to establish or identify the top three priorities for CURAC.

K. Rea commented that he had seen this list 7 or 8 times in the past.  Nothing gets implemented.  To wit, there was no report from the Communications Committee.  Frequent and consistent communication to member associations is required.  Use of Skype technology which is free, might be a useful means of contacting the President.

J. Constaedt expressed concern about going to individual members versus association members.  Would be useful to prepare a two-pager on wellness and distribute it to associations so that the information goes beyond the conference attendees.

J. Schofield stated that each presenter had been asked to provide a one page summary of their comments.  These summaries could be put together to form a succinct document to post on the CURAC website.

The President noted that CURAC does not have a data base of individual Association members.  The best we can do is to send information to member Associations and hope that the Associations will send the information out to their members.

E. Williams suggested that delegates could write up reports on the meeting and distribute this report to their members.

T. O’Shea observed that there is an opportunity for CURAC to assist in the formation of retiree associations at universities (perhaps Athabasca and Northern BC).  We need to develop a package of materials which describe how to go about forming a retirees’ organization – a template or workbook of sorts,

J. Meyer noted that AROHE has just such a package and added that we need more ambassadors to contact associations.  We need to revitalize and restructure committees.

J. Cunnington noted that St. Clair College has a package.

P. Huber observed that efforts had been made to try and persuade other institutions in the Atlantic region (e.g., UCCB and St Francis Xavier) to form retiree associations and these efforts had been unsuccessful.    Some people simply don’t want to associate with the university after retirement.

H. Fink reported that he and Tarun Ghose had visited lots of universities and invited them to join CURAC including Carleton, 4 Maritime institutions and Laval.  Even Laval is not a closed book.  Ambassadors provide a personal touch.

E. Williams raised the question of whether CURAC should do more advocacy, especially on health care issues.  Should we develop position papers.  P. Huber responded that the Pension Committee has made advocacy a major activity.

E. Williams reported that the program committee for the Newfoundland conference is looking for ideas and input from CURAC members would be most welcome.

8. Adjournment


Appendix A


Special General Meeting 2012




Reports of Officers


President’s Report  ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..    6

Treasurer’s Report  ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..   7


President’s Report

Your Board of Directors has met five times during the past year, twice face-to-face at Annual Conferences and three times by teleconference.  The unexpected resignation of Secretary François Gallays in the fall meant that the essential duties of the Secretary had to be assumed by other Directors.  Since I still had the membership files from my days as Secretary, I continued to maintain them as Membership Renewals were received.  I am very grateful to Vice-Preesident Sandra Pyke for agreeing to prepare Minutes of the Board Teleconferences for the remainder of the year. I look forward to working with our new Secretary after the election to follow the presentation of the Report of the Nominating Committee.  The remarks to follow will add material normally presented by the Secretary to my remarks as President.

On the membership front, I regret to have to inform you that the Association des retraités de l’université Laval has decided not to renew their membership for 2012-13.  Their President, Mathieu Leclerc, wrote that as their funding becomes more and more restricted, they felt unable justify the cost of CURAC/ARUCC membership.  This is obviously a setback to our efforts to attract more members from the francophone institutions in Québec.

This withdrawal reinforces the desire of the Board to find effective ways to improve our service to you, our Member Associations, and to the individual members of your Associations.  The discussion will be a major item at our Board meetings before and after this Conference, and we will welcome your input later in this Special Meeting.

On a personal note, I must apologize that family and personal business has occupied too much of my time over the past year, delaying my posting of material from several Associations to our web site.  The sharing of information among Associations is a major priority of CURAC/ARUCC and a major part of this Conference.  We want to be able to expand the reach of this sharing beyond those able to be present here to Associations across the country, and offer you all the opportunity to highlight your successes as well as to learn from others. Happily, I was able to participate in the very successful Fifth CURAC Atlantic Regional Conference in Halifax in October, a summary of which is on the “Conferences” section of our web site. Planning for a First Ontario CURAC Regional Conference for Fall, 2012, is under way.  Whether Regional Conferences should alternate with National Conferences is a topic of discussion by the Board.

In the coming year we also need to update and share information on non-pension benefits, both the benefits received (or not) by Associations from their institutions as well as the benefit packages offered to individual retirees. A major  Board activity in the coming year will be revising our Constitution to meet the requirements of the new federal Not-For-Profit Corporations Act. The revision will have to have your approval before it is submitted to Ottawa.

We also need to collect and share information about changes (positive or negative) to pensions and benefits of post-secondary retirees.  If things are changing at your institution, please share that with any of our Directors.  Their names and email IDs will be posted on our web site (old.curac.ca) as soon as I return home.

Respectfully submitted,

George Brandie, President                                        George.Brandie@Queensu.ca





Treasurer’s Report


CURAC/ARUCC Financial Report for 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012


The financial report for 2011-12, when taken in conjunction with the Account Receivables Totals, indicates a positive balance. Several major revenue payments arrived in March (Regina AGM and Waterloo Insurance), but as I was out of the country, these payments could not be deposited prior to the end of the fiscal year (March 31st).


Dues have been received from 34 member associations and 1 associate member. Dues from 2 associations and 1 affiliate are listed under Accounts Receivable. The Regina CURAC/ARUCC Conference generated a tidy profit, one-half of which returns to CURAC/ARUCC, and we have received a payment from Waterloo Insurance. This payment is based on premiums of policies sold to CURAC/ARUCC retirees and has increased by one-third over the last year.


Overall we are maintaining a positive balance in our accounts. The projected estimates for 2012-13 assume that expenditures and costs will not change substantially from this year.


Respectfully submitted,



June Panteluk,


April 12, 2012






Annual dues



Conference surplus


Mercer/York contribution


Mercer/Regina contribution


Waterloo Insurance contribution








Delegate/board member travel subsidies



Board travel



Forwarding Mercer contributions


Transfer of working capital re: Atlantic Regional Conference


Conference calls



Post office box



Printing costs


Secretarial/Treasurer expenses



Postage and copying expenses





Bank charges



Retirement gifts



Annual Industry Canada fee











Accounts Payable 1 April 2012 Accounts Receivable 1 April 2012
Treasurer expenses       56.59 Cash 31 March 2012




Dues receivable 2011-12


Regina Conference, share of surplus


Waterloo Insurance payment


Queen’s working account


Auditor’s Statement:
I have examined this statement of Revenue and Expenditure for the fiscal year April 1, 2011, to
March 31, 2012. My examination included the Books, accounts and relevant documentation
including bank statements, invoices and receipts. In my opinion this Financial Statement fairly
presents the financial operation of the CURAC/ARUCC.
Place: Edmonton, Alberta
Brian McDonald, BComm, MBA
Assoc VP Academic, University of Alberta (retired)






Annual dues



Conference surplus



Waterloo Insurance









Delegate/board travel subsidies



Communication, secretarial, and treasurer costs



Annual fees



Board travel



Queen’s working account



Bank charges












Appendix B

Special General Meeting 2012



Activity Reports


Nominations  …………………………………………………………………………………………………..    12

Pensions  ….. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………    14

Conference Liaison ……………………………………………………………………………………………    17

Report of the Nominating Committee

Nominations for the CURAC/ARUCC Board of Directors


1.    Nominations to Replace Retiring Directors/Directors Whose Terms are Expiring


  • Edgar Williams (Memorial) is nominated for a second two-year term as Director and is also nominated to become Secretary
  • June Panteluk (Alberta) is nominated for a further two-year term as Director and Treasurer
  • Joan Cunnington (OCRA, Seneca) is nominated for a further two-year term as Director-at-Large and Newsletter Editor
  • Kohur Gowrisankaran (McGill) is nominated for a two-year term as Director-at-Large
  • P. S. (OCRA, Seneca) is nominated for a two-year term as Director-at-Large


2.    ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Ex Officio Appointments

  • John Meyer (Windsor) automatically became Past President when his successor was elected.in 2011
  • Bob Lucas (Memorial), Chair of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2013 Conference, is appointed a Director ex officio until the end of 2013 AGM.

3.    Continuing Directors

These Directors and Officers, elected at the 2011 AGM, have terms of office continuing to the end of the 2013 AGM:

President:  George Brandie (Queen’s)

Vice-President: Sandra Pyke (York)



  • Jack Boan (Regina)
  • Paul Huber (Dalhousie)
  • John Stager (UBC)




Respectfully submitted,

John Meyer (Chair, Nominating Committee); David Lubell, Sandra Pyke, John Stager, Geraldine Thomas)


NOTE: This is a list proposed by the Nominating Committee. Other nominations are welcome provided that nominations are presented appropriately (i.e. with the consent of the nominee and before nominations cease at the SGM).

Report of the CURAC Pension Committee

Paul Huber, Chair, and Howard Fink

April 2012

Recent years have witnessed a major surge of interest in pension issues.  Starting in 2007, reviews of pension legislation were scheduled in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta and Nova Scotia.  Subsequently, new rounds of consultations took place (or are taking place) by the Federal government, and in Quebec and New Brunswick.  Many published submissions to these reviews were thoughtful and professional.  Some were candidly or less candidly self-serving.  Behind the scenes, intense lobbying by the financial services industry doubtless occurred, aimed at averting loss of control over (and fees from) very large amounts of retirement savings.  Concurrent with this fermentation, interest rates on government and corporate bonds sank to unprecedentedly low levels as the extended bull market in equities imploded, causing misery for pension fund investment management.  As noted below, both active and retired pension plan members will be affected.

As this increasingly potent brew cooled, the Federal and provincial governments came to realize that many Canadians had no pension schemes and were saving less toward their retirements than the minima thought necessary.  But disagreements prevailed among them regarding the appropriate solutions; consequently no genuine actions occurred in this respect.   (PRPP accounts will do nothing in my opinion to remedy the situation.)  Concurrently, some self-styled pension “experts” asserted ever forcefully that the pensions received by retirees from the public sector were undeserved and far more generous than those paid in the private sector to ordinary employees.  The right-wing press was delighted to amplify these claims.   (Outsized earnings and ‘golden handshakes’ received by senior people in the private sector have been conveniently overlooked.)  Politicians, who have established their own lavish pension arrangements, were the primary target; then the pensions of firefighters, policemen, schoolteachers and the military; and now the pensions of former college and university employees.  Public perceptions have unfortunately become polarized against the interests of CURAC pensioners.

As reported last year, the Pension Committee made submissions to four of the consultations mentioned above.  Over the course of the past year, members of CURAC’s pension committee tried to counter the negative propaganda in the Globe and Mail and elsewhere and have also been active at the local level seeking to influence legislation and regulation.  We have been trying hard and possibly enjoying some slight success.


Last year, the annual report of this standing committee noted that the life expectancy of Canadians at age 65 had been increasing about one year every decade over the past half-century and that this demographic trend would likely continue.  The result will be an expanding share of those over 65 in the population and a disproportional increase in the burden of supporting them, concurrent with a relative reduction in the size of the working population that ultimately provides that support.  An OECD study claimed that, “[public] pension systems [in developed economies may] not be sustainable” and that people would either have “to work longer or . . . [have] their pension benefits [cut].”  These developments – welcome or unwelcome – provide context for assessing recent budgets and their associated statements of legislative intentions, as well as actions at various institutions of higher learning to reduce pension costs.  Consider government initiatives.

The recent Federal budget proposes to raise the “retirement age” for OAS from 65 to 67 effective eleven years hence.  Despite the (often false) outrage expressed in some quarters, no one should have been surprised by this proposal, since many other countries will have completed the phasing-in of higher retirement ages while Canada is just beginning.  This is the second step in starting to adjust to current demographic realities; the first was to end mandatory retirement.  The next steps will be to alter provincial and Federal pension legislation to increase the specified age of retirement – something already taking place in the Federal public service – and do the same for CPP.  Probably further similar adjustments will again become appropriate in another twenty years as life-expectancy continues to increase.  Since OAS is a strictly Federal programme – unlike CPP which requires provincial agreement – it is politically the easiest programme to change.  Hence that is likely the reason it was the first.  Eckler Partners (a leading actuarial firm) claims in a recent Special Notice that this change to the OAS programme will likely put pressure on older workers to work longer.  However, a CIBC survey suggests that over two-thirds of middle-aged Canadian were planning to work after retirement anyway.  (What ever happened to “Freedom 55″?)

The Federal budget also signaled a move toward equal employer-employee contributions in the Public Service Pension Plan and the Ontario budget a similar change in pension plans of publicly funded universities.  This has already been the thrust of jointly-sponsored pension plan [JSPP] legislation in respect of defined benefit pension plans in several provinces, based on the pension report of Harry Arthurs in Ontario.  Since the higher pension contributions of employees in JSPPs will frequently if not generally be offset by higher salaries, the only real effect of this initiative is to transfer risk from employer to employee.  Why governments should find this a socially desirable change and how they can believe that plan sustainability is thereby improved are mysteries.  Perhaps these changes are intended as eyewash for the broader public, who sense – incorrectly – that oxen are deservedly being gored.

In Ontario, temporary solvency relief measures to private sector pension plans were recently extended.  Manitoba has brought in regulations to allow relief in respect of solvency payments.  In Nova Scotia, the new Pension Benefits Act – closely modeled on the recent Ontario act – received royal assent in December but remains to be proclaimed.  It, too, will alter the solvency rules.  However, an order-in-council in March 2012 introduced permanent solvency relief for defined benefit plans at four universities in the province.  Similar relief has already been provided in most other provinces to defined benefit plans of universities and colleges.  Ontario also intends to amalgamate small university pension plans or at least force them to pool their investment functions.  If such a change were implemented, pension arrangements for some universities in Ontario might come to approximate those that exist in Alberta and British Columbia, which might prove beneficial to retirees through generating higher investment returns on the pension funds, thus enabling better or more certain indexation of pensions.


Respectfully submitted

Paul B. Huber, Chair


Report on CURAC – Conference Planning Liaison 2012

Well before the Regina meeting took place in May 2011, interest was expressed that the next Annual Conference might move to the west coast for 2012. The B.C. Member Associations jointly considered that information. As UBC and SFU had been hosts for CURAC 2005, the University of Victoria Retirees’ Association accepted the host role and the Association Board extend its invitation to come to Victoria. This was accepted by CURAC, and planning began early in January 2011.

Almost immediately after, a Planning Committee was struck, with membership as follows:

Chair: John Schofield; Vice-Chair and Secretary: Joanne Thomas; Treasurer:

Kathy Harris; Members: Melvin Klassen, Lyle Robertson, Winona Pugh, Peter Liddell; Mark Thompson (UBC), and Len Evenden (SFU).

It quickly transpired that an earlier date than the usual May meeting time would be better served by an April meeting with the traditional early spring in Victoria, and the favourable hotel rates then available. The dates April 18, 19 and 20, 2012 were fixed.

Throughout the process of planning, close contact and exchange was maintained between the Chair and President George Brandie, and Conference Link, John Stager. Information from past conferences was made available, and elements of help on both the general direction and specifics were always aired and resolved. There could not have been better co-operation.

The meeting as it unfolds will show that the themes and presentations are fresh and resonate with the mandate of CURAC and its members. The success of the program, and the logistical and financial details testify to the excellence of the planning process.

Future meetings can be helped by advice or comments by those in attendance.

We express grateful thanks to John Schofield and his Committee, and the many volunteer who are helping as hosts and helpers.

John Stager: Conference Liaison