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Customers transitioning to Bell's national 4G LTE network, which now reaches more than 99% of the Canadian population.
On March 7th, Bell introduced a new Retirement Income option for Defined Contribution (DC) members.
Our chapter recently conducted a survey of new members to determine what recruitment channels are working best.
Julie Dupuis and a group of volunteer members of the BPG Ontario Central Board were at Creekbank on March 20, 2019 to spread awareness of BPG. We had an information table at 5099 Creekbank and we also went to visit employees at 5025 Creekbank. Folks we spoke to did not initially understand what BPG is all about. Once they understood our mission, they were quick to sign up; Membership is only $20 per year to protect your pension.
The past few months have been a busy period for your Pension Committee, with advocacy work proceeding on many fronts.
The long-awaited federal consultation on retirement security was launched last fall; BPG provided a written submission, contributed to a written submission by the Canadian Federation of Pensioners (CFP) and met with the bureaucrats who were leading the consultation process.
Did you know?
BPG is a founding member and has a seat on the board of the Canadian Federation of Pensioners (CFP). CFP was created to give DB Pensioners a much larger voice when lobbying the government and it has been effective.
Federal 2019 Budget
The Federal 2019 Budget is out and has created a lot of conversations and controversy. Every news source is carrying articles.
The Ontario Central Chapter (OCC) Board of BPG is seeking interested volunteers to join our team. With 3,200 members, we are focused on all aspects of membership.
Advocacy Day - Update:
Dave Palmer and Denis Henry from BPG attended an Advocacy Day on Parliament Hill in February. For that day, both CFP and NAFR (National Association of Federal Retirees) had brochures designed to address pension protection, and a couple of other issues near and dear to our retirees’ hearts. An example of the work we are doing with our partners. Do you know that between CFP and NAFR they represent 2,000,000 retirees? That’s a loud voice! More details to follow with the President’s report at the AGM. Stay tuned!
Advocacy Day - Feb 20, 2019:
The National Association of Federal Retirees has organized an Advocacy Day for February 20th at Parliament Hill.
The good news is that your 2019 pension payments reflect a full 2% increase for the COLA clause. This is calculated on the increase of the CPI for the 12 month period ending October 31. See your Annual Pension statement for further details.
As Bell Defined Benefit pensioners, we are in a good place. Bell topped up our Pension plans increasing the solvency ratio to 99% as of December 2017 and 2018 brings another top up.
Bell Let’s Talk promotes mental health awareness, acceptance and action built on 4 key pillars: Fighting stigma, improving access to care, supporting world-class research and leading by example in workplace mental health.
On Bell Let’s Talk Day (January 30th), the entire nation spoke up. Your actions resulted in Bell committing more money to mental health. Many people joined the conversation to help Bell surpass a billion total messages of support for mental health and $100 million in total Bell funding. This has helped us come one step closer towards creating a country that’s stigma-free.
We are pleased to announce the dates and locations for all our upcoming 2019 Meetings so please mark your calendar
“You Gotta Have Heart” as the song goes. And boy, do these ladies have heart .... in spades! In fact, last year they made 1,281 heart pillows for the Trillium Hospital, bringing their total production since 2008 to a whopping 9,269. But hey, who’s counting??
These beautiful red heart-shaped pillows are received and distributed to grateful patients who undergo heart surgery. By holding the pillow against their chest while coughing after surgery, patients get some relief from pain.
We at BPG are focussed on awareness and recruitment. It is important that all Defined Benefit Pension holders know that BPG is their advocate, and their voice.This year at our Ontario Central Chapter members’ meetings, we decided to ask some of our members and board volunteers along with Patte Seaton, the President of BPG, their thoughts
Your Chapter & Corporate Boards
Patte Seaton discusses BPG Board's role and values of membership
Camie discusses her experiences as a BPG member and role on the board
Lynn and Wendy Discuss their reasons for Joining BPG
Are you booking a hotel or renting a car this holiday season? If you are then why not take advantage of a Bell Corporate Discount.
For those who were unable to attend either of the Fall members meetings on November 7th or November 14th here are links to the presentations.
Meet Eleanor Marshall, Bell VP, at our Oshawa Meeting
Registration begins at 11 AM, Oshawa. Unifor Meeting Hall, 1425 Phillip Murray Ave.
On November 14th, Eleanor Marshall will give the keynote address for Bell Canada. This will be her first appearance at an Ontario Central Membership Meeting. As the VP of Pension & Benefits and Assistant Treasurer, Eleanor is the key player on the Bell side from a BPG perspective. She has made positive changes since coming into this role and an engaging speaker. Eleanor’s impressive bio follows.
Kerry Arbour, Bell VP, speaks at our Mississauga Meeting Mississauga. Burnhamthorpe Community Centre, 1500 Gulleden Drive.
Registration begins at 11 AM,
We are pleased to have Kerry Arbour present the Bell Canada update at our Mississauga Meeting on November 7th. Kerry is a very passionate speaker, as we can attest from previous BPG Membership Meetings. He is also a supporter of BPG and a man of his word, quick to follow up on membership questions and issues. Find out more about Kerry’s inspiring career and contributions outside of work from his bio below.
Since many of our members are unable to attend the Annual General Meeting or the Barrie meeting we are pleased to provide a video of the President’s Message as well as the various presentations made at the AGM. Of course it’s no substitute for being there but given our geographic footprint we hope that our members can have an opportunity to read and listen to the messages.
“The Canadian Federation of Pensioners of which BPG is a member has analyzed the platform of the parties for the upcoming Ontario Provincial Election with a focus on the impact on pensioners. The articles have been reviewed and edited by our own Pension Committee. This is provided for information purposes as one element of the factors that will go into your own personal decision. It is not an endorsement of any specific party or platform. Note that only the BCE plan is affected by Ontario regulations however the Ontario legislation as do other provincial legislation may affect future direction of Federal legislation that impacts the Bell Pension Plan which covers the majority of our members.”
Located in Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Scarborough and Toronto, the clubs organize various activities, including member meetings, cultural and touristic outings, and volunteerism. Info: www.telcocommunityvolunteers.com.
BPG is a volunteer organization and as such we often get questions from members about our pension plan. After much consideration our team has put together a document that details everything a member should know about their Bell pension.
You know we have been fighting hard to ensure pensions are protected in insolvency. You don’t need to be reminded of how Nortel and Sears pensioners saw significant reductions in their pensions.
Scott Duvall (NDP MP for Hamilton Mountain) has authored Bill C-384 which reflects BPG’s position: Any deficit in the funding of defined benefit pension plans when companies are insolvent should be classed as “super-priority” so that those deferred wages (pensions) can be fully paid out.
One week ago, we launched the Ontario Facebook page with great success. Since then, we have had 2,859 page views, 793 followers and 698 total likes which is absolutely fabulous. Two people have expressed reservations as it is their preference not to use any Social Media sites.
In light of the recent breach and exploitation of data from Facebook, the following article and links provide information about Facebook and the various features. Hopefully, this information would allow users to make better use of the site and also protect themselves by making informed decisions of what should and should not be posted, thereby keeping your personal information private.
In the budget presented on Feb 27th 2018 the Minister of finance promised to obtain feedback
from pensioners, workers, and companies and. will take a whole-of -government, evidence-
based approach towards addressing retirement security for all Canadians.
BPG, with your support, has been active in advocating for pension security in front of the federal and provincial governments. Canada’s legislative and regulatory framework for pension protection is weak when compared to many other developed nations.
To all BPG Pension holders this note is to advise you that Bell has sent out your annual personalized pension and benefits statement. You may have received the document already or you should receive it in the mail shortly.
Bell will donate more towards mental health initiatives in Canada, by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view and use of our Facebook frame or Snapchat filter.
A Bell pensioner has commenced a class action on behalf of all Bell defined benefit pensioners.
For those unable to attend the most recent General Meetings in Oshawa and Mississauga, we have attached the presentations.
Halloween 1986 ……Way too cute to be scary!
Recognize any of these happy faces? These are some of the “characters” from the Ontario Regional Performance group celebrating Halloween just a few years ago. Oh, how times have changed.
Photo kindly submitted by Bruce Aikman, former Senior Director Revenue. From left to right:
Front row, seated: Donna Boutet, Diane Obuchi, Pat Doschok
Kneeling: Ken Aay
Middle row: Helen Rambo, Francis Romangola, Jackie Detlor, Marino Casiani
Back row: Jim Diodati, Russ Tyndall (in blue), Dave Jarrett, Mart Batcheon, Doug Huckwith
The current Sears situation should be a wakeup call to everyone on a Defined Benefit pension as it seems likely that Sears pensioners will not see their full pensions paid due to the ongoing pension deficit of the Sears plan. Here is a link to a recent radio show on the CBC that explains why we should all be concerned.
Give a listen.
We have just been advised that due to construction delays at the Burnhamthorpe Community Centre the meeting date has been changed from November 2 to November 9th. Please adjust your plans accordingly. We apologise for this inconvenience.
Through our involvement with the Ontario Securities Commission we now have access to a number of their resources and for those members interested here is a helpful link to Investment Advice https://www.getsmarteraboutmoney.ca/
A group of volunteers and members of the BPG Ontario Central Board visited Creekbank on September 28, 2017. We set up information tables at 2 locations, #5099 and #5025.
Carol Ann Cole has been a long-time supporter of BPG serving on our Board of Directors and supporting BPG in numerous ways including encouraging former staff to join. As we share the news of Carol Ann’s first novel we wanted to also acknowledge her contributions to BPG and in other ways as well.
Thanks to CARP for this following recent article which provides and excellent reason to be a mamber fof the Bell Pensioners Group.
Every day, businesses make decisions: expand or retract, rent or buy, fix purchase prices or take their chances on the open market. For better or worse, once they’ve made decisions, and signed contracts, they’re locked in. Our laws and law courts make it so – and with good reason. If businesses could walk away from their contractual obligations, chaos would rein, and our economy would literally collapse.
Unfortunately, there appears to be one notable exception to this rule. When it comes to employees and their pensions, businesses have been all too ready to walk away from pension commitments, and out courts have been all too willing to let them.
Thank you for your continued support of BPG, and in particular the Ontario Central Chapter - your membership is vital to our success. And thanks for receiving your communications electronically - our annual dues have remained unchanged at $20 for over 20 years thanks to the widespread use of emails for communication.
If you have been trying to use the Bell InTouch link you will know it has been down for a while. The good news is that Bell advises that there is a new temporary site.
The following is a summary of a presentation made at our 2017 AGM and this excellent presentation will be repeated in Barrie, Oshawa and Mississauga so if you missed it the first time we really encourage you to attend this presentation at one of these upcoming events.
Protect Your Money presented by representatives of the Ontario Securities Commission
Most people simply take their prescription to their usual pharmacy without much thought about the various charges assuming that they are all similar. However now......
The winter months have been marked by significant changes and renewal of your chapter board.
Remember 2008? A global financial crisis and the impending privatization of Bell Canada?
For the past 5 years, Alice held the position of Meeting Coordinator, attending to every minute detail required to successfully hold about 20 AGMs and General Membership meetings.
A very good question and one we, on the BPG board, ask ourselves continuously.
A Christmas tradition continued as the Fieldway Retirees’ Club held their gala luncheon at the St. George’s Golf and Country Club on Dec 14th, 2016.
The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) on our pension is based
We know that all Bell retirees have a wealth of skills and dedication honed during their professional careers.
We’ve got some good news.Prime Minister Trudeau listened.
One of BPG’s most significant Governmental lobbying effort has been about the introduction of Target Benefit Plans and enabling legislation.
Bell has sent out the annual personalized pension and benefits statement to all pensioners.
No problem......we have the summary right here for your viewing pleasure........
BCE made a $400 million voluntary pension plan contribution in December 2016,
The BPG Board of Directors currently has 20 members, including six Chapter Chairs representing members in Ontario and Québec.
Some of you have inquired about what happened to the CARP/Zoomer discount for BPG members that was introduced a few years ago.
In an effort to expand our membership we need every member to help us explain our position to other potential members. The following was created to help all members in this regard.