Political Action Committee

Minutes of the Political Action Committee

December 1, 2005

Ottawa, Ontario

Participants

Kent MacDonald, Chair
Nick Stein, Co-Chair
Annette Melanson, Presidents’ Representative

  1. Review of Client Service Delivery Strategy Briefing
    The information and deck presented by the employer to the Committee on November 30, 05 was reviewed.  The employer’s strategy has moved from one of appointment only counter service to one of pilot projects where service will be provided simultaneously by appointments, self-service and in-person service.
    The planned cuts to counter staff of 25% in 2006-2007 and an additional 25% in 2007-2008 are still forecasted.
    UTE’s message to the members and the public will focus on;
    • -as a result of the political pressure exercised by UTE in it’s campaign against the proposed ERC cuts, the employer has relented from it’s original position of counter service by appointment only;
    • -the planned counters cuts of 50% by 2008 still represents a cut in service to Canadians;
    • -the employer is planning these cuts before the results of their pilot projects are known. 
       
  2.  Letters for Council Members
    The committee drafted letters for executive council members to send to the CRA’s Board of Management members to request meetings to discuss the Agency’s planned Expenditure Review initiatives.
     
  3. Discussion on making an ATIP request
    The Committee discussed whether UTE should make a request through Access to Information to obtain statistics on actual counter usage.  The Committee felt that all such a request would produce is the same information that is available in the Agency’s Corporate Business Plan.
     
  4. January 23, 2006 Federal Election
    Immediately following the federal election, UTE should issue congratulatory messages to UTE-friendly MPs and messages outlining our concerns to newly elected MPs.
     
  5. Follow-up Action with the OFL
    UTE’s resolution to the Ontario Federation of Labour calling for action to oppose the Agency’s expenditure review initiatives passed at the OFL Convention. Nick will draft a letter for OFL President Wayne Samuelson to use to send to the Minister of National Review, after the Jan.23/06 election.
     
  6. UTE’s Communication Strategy
    Louise LaPorte, PSAC, joined the Committee to discuss UTE’s next steps in it’s communication strategy, which will be: 
    • Louise will draft a press sheet for immediate release, focusing on the cuts to service, and the fact that the Agency is cutting these services before the results of the pilot are known.
    • the PSAC is preparing issue sheets for the federal election on several broad issues that will be posted on the website and sent to the Regional Offices.  Louise will develop an issue sheet on the ERC service cuts. 
    • All remaining postcards have been given to UTE.  After the election, UTE will orchestrate a nation event where public signatures will be   solicited and the postcards returned to UTE for presentation to the  Minister and/or the Commissioner.
    • Louise gave the Committee lists of newspapers across the country and costs associated with placing full and half-page ads in them. The costs for the National Capital Region and the Greater Toronto Region were unclear. Kent will clarify this with Louise.  One newspaper from each of the other eight regions was selected to place an ad denouncing the CRAs  proposed service cuts. These selections were made based on the best value for the dollar, given the circulation of each newspaper in each region. A selection for the NCR and the GTA will be made after Kent clarifies the cost with the PSAC.
       
      Region City/Publication Circulation Cost
      Atlantic St. John’s Express 40,964 $1108
      Québec Chicoutimi/Jonquiere, Le Reveil 70,187 1250
      Montréal Rouyn-Nor/Citoyen Abitibi-Ouest 27,065 1200
      Nor/East Ont Thunder Bay’s Source 48,000 1275
      SWO London/The Londoner 101,081 1535
      Prairies Regina Sun Community News 80,497 1585
      Rocky Mtns Lethbridge Southern Sun Times 23,524 1327
      Pacific Kelowna Capital News 52,478 1036