The 18th Triennial Convention was originally scheduled for 2020 in Winnipeg, but had to be postponed due to COVID-19. The convention began today and is being held virtually.
At previous conventions, Executive Council and the Life Members were piped in. This convention we instead played a YouTube video of the Pipes and Drums of Canada performing.
Prior to the aboriginal land acknowledgement, National President, Marc Brière spoke about the recent discoveries of graves of the indigenous children who had died at residential schools. He said that we all stand with our indigenous Brothers and Sisters who had children taken away from their families. He then introduced Algonquin elder Albert Dumont, our indigenous speaker and member of the Grandparents Counsel for Well Living House. Brother Dumont spoke about how the Indian Act had affected his father. He spoke of the cultural genocide at the residential schools and that knowing that children were dying, there were no changes, no ‘plan B’. He also mentioned a current petition to remove the name of John A. Macdonald from the name of the parkway in Ottawa because of his role in creating residential schools.
A moment of silence was observed to commemorate the members who had passed since the last convention. Their names were displayed during this period.
Introductions followed including Life and Honorary Members, Executive Council members, and office staff.
Prior to convention, Executive Council met and passed three resolutions. The first was to donate $10,000 to Indspire.ca an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. The second was to donate $10,000 to the Red Cross British Columbia Wildfire Relief Fund to assist those affected by the devastating fires in BC. The third resolution was to donate $5,000 to the Ontario Red Cross to assist those affected by Ontario’s devastating fires. UTE National asked PSAC and other components to match the Red Cross donations.
The credentials committee reported that there were 150 delegates, 12 Council members and 130 observers.
National President Marc Brière spoke about getting our last contract and thanked the locals for the work they did in mobilizing the members. He also mentioned our big win, in getting the 3-year conversions for terms. He thanked our members who volunteered to help with the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Brother Brière spoke about our campaign against the single tax return and how we need to continue to push back.
After lunch, the credential committee reported 166 delegates, 173 observers, 13 Life Members, 1 Honorary Member and 15 guests.
The Chair of the Nominations Committee, Betty Bannon explained the nomination and voting process. She mentioned that the other members of the committee, Jean Bergeron and Marcel Bertrand will be present later in the week.
The Finance Resolutions Committee was called up with Doug Gaetz, 1st National Vice-president presenting. Their first item was the presentation of the proposed budget for 2022, 2023. There was a discussion about the number of members to base the dues income on. The budget was referred back to the committee with the direction to change the number of members to 30,000. There was a second referral to increase the regional education budget in 2022 from $140,000 to $260,000 and a third referral to increase the regional conferences budget from $400,000 each year to $700,000 each year. A fourth referral was ruled out of order.
The By-Laws Resolutions Committee was called up with RVP Ken Bye presenting. They started with their concurrence resolutions. Resolution 401 which would have eliminated regional Equal Opportunities (EO) conferences and used the funds for regional EO activities was defeated by secret ballot.