Meeting the Challenges of These Times

Many things have changed over the past few months, but one thing that has not changed is our association’s commitment to serve the needs of retired educators. In this issue of Connections we see how BCRTA Committees, Board and staff are adapting to the circumstances to deliver value to members.

AGM TO BE HELD ONLINE

The BCRTA Annual AGM is being held online. We will use technology to hold a Conference Day on October 2nd and the AGM on October 3rd, 2020.

The decision was shaped by these circumstances:

  • Meetings of over 50 people are not allowed
  • It would be impossible to physically distance in our hotel (just imagine the elevator!)
  • There are fewer flights available
  • There is a significant possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall which is also flu season.
  • Our membership is the most vulnerable to major consequences if we are exposed to COVID-19

Organizing the event will be a very different experience but we will stay close to the conference and AGM format that we have done in the past.

Branch presidents have been sent information on the number of delegates they may elect or appoint to represent their branch.

Branches will still have the same number of delegates eligible to vote, and we will meet all our obligations for reporting and good governance. Preparations are underway to provide delegates with a quality connection to the proceedings, including the ability to conduct secure voting on motions and elections.

The conference day promises to be informative, with presentations by Seniors Advocate Isobel McKenzie who will address the needs of seniors in these times. Also lined up are two UBC professors and thought leaders: Dr. Steve Young, an expert in public health policy, who will address the prospect of universal Pharmacare and related issues; and Dr. Roger Wong, an internationally-recognized geriatrician who is familiar to BCRTA members for his regular column in PostScript magazine.

Other important elements of our usual conference and AGM will continue, including the Membership awards presented to branches, reports and updates from committees and staff, and the PostScript Excellence Awards, recognizing the achievement in print of BCRTA members who contribute to our quarterly magazine.

For a number of years BCRTA has worked closely with the Vancouver Airport Hilton in Richmond. When it became apparent that no meeting would be possible under the current guidelines, it was gratifying to see the hotel waive any cancellation fees, and when restrictions are lifted we expect to return to that location in years following.

Our greatest regret is that the online experience will not provide the usual social interactions we enjoy in meeting new and old friends.

Delegates will receive more information on the AGM in the coming months. Connections Newsletter will provide full reporting on the proceedings in the fall.