COSCO meeting September 2019. Some very good information. Read the entire minutes.



SEPTEMBER 20, 2019



1. 2ND Vice-President John Wynne called the meeting to order at 10 a.m.


2. Add to the Agenda: report from the Jewish Seniors Alliance of Greater Vancouver

M/S/C that  the agenda be adopted as amended


3. Guests/New Members
Dennis Isnikawa – BCGREAJudy O’Dine – BCGREAShaun McCracken – IAM Retirees
4. M/S/C that the minutes of the June 14, 2019 meeting be adopted as circulated


5. Business arising from the minutes – nil


6. Reports:

a.     President – Gudrun Langolf (Attached)
Gudrun’s report is attached and is self-explanatory.   Gudrun is unable to be here today as her mother is ill.


b.     First Vice-President – Sheila Pither (Attached)
Sheila spoke briefly to her report and advised it has been a busy summer.

c.      Second Vice-President – John Wynne
John advised that he and Jerry Gosling had attended a Hope4Homes housing conference in Langley.   Jerry spoke briefly to the Conference

d.     Treasurer – Betty Bolton (Attached)
that the June Financial Statement be adopted as circulated
M/S/C that the July/August Financial Statement be adopted as circulated.

e.      Membership – Linda Forsythe
Our final numbers as at June 30th are 71 Affiliated and 103 Associates.
Membership renewals will be sent out in November.
The Policy Book is presently being reviewed for consistency by Annette O’Connor, Navin Goburdhun and Linda.   The new/reviewed policy book will be available to everyone.

f.       Communications – Betty Bolton – no report

g.      Health – Kathleen Jamieson
Kathleen advised that she had good news – the new regulations for assisted living will be coming into effect December 1 and reflected a couple of issues that the Care Providers’ Association had spoken against:  CPR being available on site and the fact that a member of staff should be available on site 24 hours a day.   She sees this as a huge victory.
With regard to the NPF Convention. There had been three speakers on health issues prior to her speaking and they all addressed much the same issues as she had planned, so she made a change to her presentation.   She asked a friend to play ‘Staying Alive’ and then spoke to the importance of the quality of life for seniors.   When she was first on the Executive of the NPF 5 out 6 members were male, now 5 out of 6 are women.
Discussion then followed on the need for ‘one-stop shopping’ for health.   The BC Health Coalition has a working group addressing community health services:  there are different models and funding is an issue as is the availability of transportation, but community health services work best with high needs populations and requires a Community Board.   COSCO is represented at the BC Health Coalition and is involved in these discussions.   Sheila pointed out that the Ministry of Health regularly invites COSCO (through Gudrun) to participate in announcements re improved health care facilities.   Urgent Care Centres are being provided to help relieve the situation in Hospital Emergency Departments.

h.     Housing – Barb Mikulec  (Attached)
Barb spoke to her report.   Housing was definitely a priority at the NPF Convention.   CMHC has agreements with each individual province/territory.   Barb reminded delegates to vote and to be aware of the issues.
Linda advised that subsidies to low income renters have been extended to 2029 from 2020, but does not know if it is only for existing recipients or if it is also extended to those currently on the waitlist.   Most of the available supply is at market rates – not where the demand is – affordable and near transportation.


i.       Income Security – Linda Forsythe
A current election promise is for a 10% lift on OAS at age 75 for those with income below $70,000.   Last year NPF passed a resolution for OAS to be $2,000/month.
A potential problem is the distribution of a T5007 form to recipients of subsidized bus passes as it has to be recorded as income.   At present, GIS is not affected, but it is possible that it could affect the GST rebate.   (Marion Pollock reported that to date it has not affected the GST rebate and will not affect SAFER.)

j.       Strategic Planning and Policy – Leslie Gaudette (Attached)
Leslie spoke to her report.   A retreat for the Board is being planned for the end of November.   In October delegates will be asked for their priorities.


k.     Health and Wellness Institute – Barb Mikulec (Attached)
Barb spoke to her report.   They now have presenters who speak other languages so that is helpful.   The Jewish Seniors Alliance is presenting a fall symposium ‘Privacy and Security in the Internet Age’ and Floyd Smith will be making a presentation.   There are now approximately 40 facilitators and 40 workshops.   They have received donations from some organizations who have been the recipients of the workshops.   They have applied for a New Horizons Grant with regard to the translation of workshops and hope to hear by January.


l.       Seniors’ Advocate Advisory Council – Jerry Gosling
The Advisory Council will meet October 6 and 7.   Leslie and Mohinder are no longer on the Advisory Council and new Council members will be named shortly.

m.    BC Government Retired Employees’ Assoc. – Wayne Dermody
Wayne reported that, in June, he had spoken on the concern about getting Executive members for branches.   He is pleased to report that both Kelowna and Abbotsford now have branch executives.   The BCGREA Executive will meet next month in Richmond.


n.     BC Old Age Pensioners’ Org. – Jerry Gosling (Attached)
Jerry spoke briefly to his report.   The Vancouver Island Regional Meeting will be hosted by Cumberland Br. 51 on October 30th.


o.     BC Retired Teachers’ Assoc. – Barb Mikulec (Attached)

Barb spoke to her report.   Three additional issues regarding pensions have arisen:  reducing accrued pension, reducing commuted values, and crown corporations pushing employees and retirees to change from defined benefit plans to Target Benefit Plans.   This will be front and centre at the Convention and she hopes to have more information next month.

p.     BC FORUM – Diane Wood (Attached)
Diane reported that her report had been written two weeks ago, so she had some additional items.
The latest edition of The Advocate has now been published and several pages are devoted to election issue so readers go to the polls as informed voters.
With regard to the NPF Convention she is pleased to report that Sam Wiese of BC FORUM was elected to the Executive as were some COSCO delegates (Annette as Secretary and Barb as 3rd Vice-President.)   With the decision to hold the Conventions every two years, she is more optimistic about the future of the NPF.
Two new Labour Council members have been appointed to the BC FORUM Board.
Seniors Centres are hosting a Candidates’ Meeting on seniors’ issues at the Holy Trinity Church on West 12th Avenue on Friday, September 27th.
The ACER-CART handouts are good reference documents reelection issues.

q.      National Pensioners’ Federation – Kathleen Jamieson
Pat Brady did not run for office, so he is no longer on the Executive.   She is in the 2nd year of her two year term as an Executive Member-at-large.   55-60 delegates attended and they have had good feedback.   A summary report will be prepared by Sam Wiese of BC FORUM.   Pensions, National Pharmacare and Housing were all major topics discussed.   The President of the Canadian Medical Association, a Whistleblower on Pharmacists from Marketplace (re kickbacks to pharmacists) and a representative from big Pharma were all on the agenda.
Joanna Lauber has produced an extensive report on the targeted funding for home care and mental health that was provided to the provinces and territories so that we can make governments accountable on the distribution of these funds.   Accountability statements in the agreements vary.
Annette said she had to comment on Pat: he has been on the Executive for the past nine years and chose not to run; he has to be thanked for his service. (Report Attached)
Further discussion was held on the Convention with the concern being expressed on the fact that not all provinces and territories are represented.   Kathleen advised that two years ago an effort was made for cross country representation and much work still has to be done.

r.       Conference 2020 – Sheila Pither
Sheila advised the next planning meeting will be held in October   40 letters were sent out to trade unions asking for donations.   The Conference is to be dedicated to the memory of Lorraine and Art.   Right now, depending on funding, the project is ‘iffy’.   The BCRTA has pledged $10,000.   All donations, big and small, will be welcomed.

s.      Other Reports
International Day of the Older Persons – Agnes Jackman (Attached)
Agnes advised that Gudrun has pursued the Provincial Government and had been successful in obtaining a Proclamation re the IDOP – Proclamations have to be renewed each year, while Declarations are ongoing.   163 invitations were sent to municipalities, cities, districts to join us.   Events should be posted to the Seniors Voice Website.
Various reports – Annette O’Connor/Sheila Pither (Attached)
Annette spoke briefly to the report.   They are also fundraising for the Driving workshop.

Jewish Seniors Alliance – Serge Haber
Serge advised that they had been busy and were focused on 2 areas:
– outreach programs and
– the magazine and website
The JSA Peer Support Services has been in touch with seniors in the Japanese, Indigenous, LGBTQ, and Kerrisdale Seniors Centre Communities to assist them in helping isolated and lonely members of their communities.   The educational program is intense and is recognized by Coastal Health and the City.   23% of Vancouver seniors are recognized as lonely and socially isolated.   There is no charge for the service and the program is offered to the general community.   They are not professionals, but are seniors who are trained to work with others.   The success of the program depends on how many senior volunteers they have.   A police record check is a requirement for volunteers.   They are also applying for funding.   At present they have 67 volunteers and help 200 families.   They hope to triple their capacity in the next two years.   The number to call is:  604-732-1555
Les Rowe thanked the Alliance for their work and the universality of the service provided.

Sunshine Coast – Ted Motravitz
Ted advised he has had some health issues, but that he hopes to have more to report at the next meeting

7. New Business:

a.      Barry Jones advised Fred Girling of SOAR had been working with Fraser Health and a meeting was organized for October 8th with other activists with regard to parking fees at hospitals.   He will bring back a report.   This has now become a national issue.

8. Announcements:

a.      Barry advised the CN Pensioners Travelling Road Show at the PNE had been very successful.   CN Pensioners worked the show, providing historical and interactive activities.   Everything was free and well attended.

b.     VOBS will be hosting a housing workshop on Tuesday at the Bill Copeland Centre with feedback from the Mayor’s Report on Housing

c.      Federal All–Candidates Meetings will be held in two Langley Ridings on October 7 and 9.

d.      2 COSCO tables – Oct. 1 at the Delta Wexford o 56th and Oct. 3 at the BCRTA AGM at the Hilton in Richmond.

e.      Oct. 1 – 1 p.m. – 411 will be hosting Seniors Podcasts by Seniors

9 Correspondence:


10. Good and Welfare


111. Adjournment 12:00 noon




Next Meeting:  October 11 at 10:00 a.m. at Hastings Community Centre