Why Become a Member of the Bell Pensioners Group?

Why Join BPG?     FAQ Sheet …                                                                  November 2015

 

Q1:  Why do we need BPG?   I’m getting my pension and Bell is a successful Company …

Answer: Agreed, Bell is currently very successful, and we believe that this will continue.  But companies such as Nortel and Blackberry once seemed invincible too - in a technology driven world disruptors can quickly change the future prospects for successful organizations.  The reality is that there are insufficient funds in the pension plan on a solvency basis to provide all pensioners with their full pensions if Bell were to face a critical financial crisis. BPG will be there to represent pensioners in the event of this type of crisis; as importantly, by ensuring that company performance on pensions is monitored regularly and issues addressed, we can help limit potential exposure up front.

Q2. So what does BPG do for pensioners?

Answer:  We monitor the state of the pension plan, and support our Pension Information Committee (PIC) representatives to ensure that they pose the right questions to the Company. We monitor Federal and Provincial pension legislation, and developing trends.  We review information issued by financial regulators and various pension advisory and interested organizations which attempt to influence Government decisions and legislation. There is a growing tendency for corporations to attempt to de-risk pension plans and shift the burden of financial performance to plan members; we work to ensure that Bell pensioners are not put at further risk. We also act as a conduit for benefit issues which cannot be resolved through normal escalation processes.

Q3. How can a relatively small organization like BPG influence governments and powerful Corporations?

Answer: We have a strong and talented volunteer team that are willing to dedicate hours of time to researching legislation, lobbying government and partnering with like-minded organizations, enabling BPG to be very effective. This means that the limited financial resources from members’ dues can be put to work hiring expert legal and other consultants to provide advice. We can also call upon our members to exercise influence on politicians.

Q4: What does BPG do with membership dues?

Answer: Annual dues have remained unchanged at $20/year for over 20 years. These funds go towards research, consultants and legal expertise, as well as covering newsletters, our website, and other communications, including member meetings (our Annual General Meeting, and 2 or 3 others).

Q5:  Are my dues providing post-retirement paid employment for Board members?

Answer: Absolutely not … all Board members are volunteers, who freely contribute their time and talent for the good of all pensioners.  No Directors’ fees or honoraria are paid.  Members benefit from a highly committed group of people, who frequently work long hours on BPG business.

Q6: You spend money on hosting member meetings, but I live far away and never attend, so what’s in it for me?

Answer:  Most importantly, by simply belonging to BPG, you increase our strength and voice … protecting your pension is our primary raison d’être, and that’s really “what’s in it for you”.   Currently 30% of Bell’s 30,000 retirees belong to BPG, and the more we can grow that percentage, the more influence we have.  Yes, member meetings are popular with those who attend, and a great way to meet and catch up with former colleagues … but we have many members who for various reasons cannot (or choose not to) attend.  And although member meetings do indeed represent a cost to the organization, most of your membership fees go towards our core monitoring and lobbying activities.  Plus, we do ensure ongoing communication with all members by sending out 4 newsletters each year, and maintaining a website (which includes our President’s general meeting addresses) to keep members informed.  

Q7: Why doesn’t BPG Ontario Central host more meetings across the province?

Answer:  We typically hold member meetings at various GTA locations, but do attempt to get out to other locations, within volunteer and financial resource constraints, and subject to sufficient member interest.   Given our resources, we effectively can only host our Annual General Meeting plus 2 or 3 additional member meetings annually.    We do also try to send individual representatives out to talk at pensioner-organized events where invited;  so feel free to contact us if you have an event that you’d like a Board member to attend.

Q8.  Why do you keep trying to get members to recruit others?  Can’t you simply contact all the Bell retirees and get them to join to help share the costs and provide strength in numbers?

Answer:  Bell does not provide us with a list of all retirees and employees, citing privacy reasons, so we put BPG links wherever we can (e. in “InTouch” and on UNIFOR sites, but our most effective recruitment tool is word-of-mouth. We depend heavily on YOU - our current members - to help spread the message and to help recruit others.

Q9. Why don’t you work with organizations such as Pioneers, Telco Volunteers, COMTECH and UNIFOR to recruit members?

Answer:  In fact we do work with all these organizations, and some are among our greatest supporters.  They will often help promote BPG, but generally cannot provide list of names and contacts. Due to privacy concerns. Our most effective and best recruiters are our members who can approach former friends and colleagues directly.

Q10. I enjoyed my career at Bell and do not want to be part of an organization that has an adversarial position with Bell.

Answer: Bell was and is a good employer that enabled most retirees to enjoy successful careers and retirement.  BPG maintains a professional and constructive relationship with Bell built on mutual respect.  We do not go out of our way to be adversarial – but do push where necessary to get answers to questions about the pension plan and benefits for our members.  We believe that by asking questions and understanding the state of our pension and Bell’s business we can help to protect our pensions in retirement. We want to be proactive rather than reactive;  a vibrant, “going concern” BPG will prevent a repeat of the after-the-fact scrambling that took place 20 years ago  when Confederation Life failed (the initial impetus for forming the BPG).



Become a member
  • Bell to complete shutdown of CDMA wireless network on April 30

    April 16th, 2019

    Customers transitioning to Bell's national 4G LTE network, which now reaches more than 99% of the Canadian population.

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  • Bell's New Retirement Option

    April 9th, 2019

    On March 7th, Bell introduced a new Retirement Income option for Defined Contribution (DC) members. 

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  • New Member Recruitment Survey

    April 9th, 2019

    Our chapter recently conducted a survey of new members to determine what recruitment channels are working best. 

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  • Spreading The BPG Story At Creekbank

    March 5th, 2019

    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.

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  • Federal Consultation with the Minister of Seniors

    April 9th, 2019

    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.

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  • 2019 Federal Budget

    April 9th, 2019

    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.

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  • The 5 W's of BPG

    April 2nd, 2019

    Take a look at the 5 W's of BPG to see why we need BPG and what we have to offer.

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  • Help Wanted - BPG Board Volunteers

    March 4th, 2019

    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.

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  • Update - Advocacy Day is February 20th 2019

    February 17th, 2019

    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. 

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  • Cost of Living (COLA) clause increases your pension in 2019

    February 22nd, 2019

    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.

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  • Latest Update on Bell’s Pension Plan

    February 13th, 2019

    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. 

     

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  • Mental health affects us all. Thank you!

    February 13th, 2019

    Growing the global conversation and supporting Canada’s mental health

    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.

    Read more ...

  • Mark Your Calendars

    February 6th, 2019

    We are pleased to announce the dates and locations for all our upcoming 2019 Meetings so please mark your calendar

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  • “You Gotta Have Heart”

    February 4th, 2019

     

    Heart Pillows – Fieldway Retirees’ Club

    “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.

     

    Read more ...

  • BPG President Patte Seaton, OC Directors and Member Interviews

    January 21st, 2019

    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


    Watch Video

    Camie discusses her experiences as a BPG member and role on the board

    Watch Video

     

    Lynn  and Wendy Discuss their reasons for Joining BPG

    Watch Video 

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  • Bell Corporate Discounts

    December 5th, 2018

    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.

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  • Now available - Presentations for the most recent Fall members meetings

    November 16th, 2018

    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.

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  • See Eleanor Marshall at our November 14th Meeting

    September 26th, 2018

    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.

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  • See Kerry Arbour at our November 7th meeting.

    September 26th, 2018

    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.

     

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  • UPDATE ON CLASS ACTION REGARDING 2017 PENSION INDEXATION

    July 19th, 2018

    Update

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  • May 16 2018 AGM Presentations

    May 23rd, 2018

    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.  

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  • Ontario Election Analysis

    May 29th, 2018

    “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.”

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  • Telco Community Volunteers

    May 9th, 2018

    Telco Community Volunteers

    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. 

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  • Understanding Your Pension ?

    April 11th, 2018

    Understanding Your Pension ?

    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.

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  • Help Support Bill C-384

    April 4th, 2018

    Help Support Bill C-384

    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.  

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  • Facebook in the news

    March 27th, 2018

    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.

     

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  • BPG Ontario Launches a Facebook site

    March 19th, 2018

    BPG Ontario Launches a Facebook Site

     

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  • Protecting Canadians' Pensions

    March 1st, 2018

     

    Protecting Canadians’ Pensions

    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.

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  • We need your help for the Day of Action February 21 2018

    January 31st, 2018

    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. 

     

    Read more ...

  • Bell Annual Pension and Benefit Statement

    January 30th, 2018

    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.

     

     

    Read more ...

  • Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 31, 2018.

    January 19th, 2018

    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.

    https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/

    Read more ...

  • Class action on Bell’s interpretation of the 2017 indexation

    January 17th, 2018

    A Bell pensioner has commenced a class action on behalf of all Bell defined benefit pensioners.

     

    Read more ...

  • Fall 2017 General Meeting Presentations

    November 10th, 2017

    For those unable to attend the most recent General Meetings in Oshawa and Mississauga, we have attached the presentations.

    Read more ...

  • Happy Halloween

    October 27th, 2017

    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

     

    Read more ...

  • Sears Pension Situation

    October 26th, 2017

    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. 

    http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-october-26-2017-1.4372687/better-protections-needed-for-pensioners-in-wake-of-sears-bankruptcy-retiree-advocate-1.4372778

    Give a listen.

    Read more ...

  • Mississauga Meeting Date Changed to November 9th

    October 17th, 2017

    IMPORTANT = The Mississauga Meeting Date has Changed to November 9th.

    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.

    Read more ...

  • Investment Advice

    October 11th, 2017

    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/ 

    Read more ...

  • Spreading The BPG Story At Creekbank

    September 30th, 2017

    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.

    Read more ...

  • InTouch Now Available

    August 11th, 2017

    The latest issue of Bell InTouch Magazine is now available by clicking this link

    Read more ...

  • Carol Ann Cole

    August 10th, 2017

    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.

    Read more ...

  • Pensions are Contracts Too!

    August 6th, 2017

    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.

    Read more ...

  • Members Needed

    August 5th, 2017

    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. 

    Read more ...

  • InTouch

    August 5th, 2017

    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.

    Read more ...

  • Protect Your Money

    June 3rd, 2017

    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

    Read more ...

  • Managing your Drug Costs

    April 13th, 2017

    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......

    Read more ...

  • Changing faces on the Board

    April 12th, 2017

    The winter months have been marked by significant changes and renewal of your chapter board.

    Read more ...

  • Feature Article Al Bowcott: At the helm in turbulent times

    April 1st, 2017

    Remember 2008? A global financial crisis and the impending privatization of Bell Canada?

    Read more ...

  • Feature Article - Alice Gould: A Founding Member

    April 1st, 2017

    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.

    Read more ...

  • How do we build up our membership?

    April 1st, 2017

    A very good question and one we, on the BPG board, ask ourselves continuously.

    Read more ...

  • Ontario Central BPG Board Members attend the Fieldway Retirees' Luncheon

    April 1st, 2017

    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.

    Read more ...

  • COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT FOR 2017 for Bell Pensioners will be 1%

    April 1st, 2017

    The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) on our pension is based

    Read more ...

  • WANTED!! Volunteers for Ontario Central Board Positions

    April 1st, 2017

    We know that all Bell retirees have a wealth of skills and dedication honed during their professional careers.

    Read more ...

  • Good News if you were Worried that the Federal Government Will Tax Your Bell Benefit Plan?

    April 1st, 2017

    We’ve got some good news.Prime Minister Trudeau listened.

    Read more ...

  • Remember the Target Benefit Plan Threat? We have some good news.....

    April 1st, 2017

    One of BPG’s most significant Governmental lobbying effort has been about the introduction of Target Benefit Plans and enabling legislation.

    Read more ...

  • Bell Canada has recently mailed your Notice of Annual Benefit Statement

    April 1st, 2017

    Bell has sent out the annual personalized pension and benefits statement to all pensioners.

    Read more ...

  • So you missed the latest BPG meetings in Oshawa and Mississauga?

    April 1st, 2017

    No problem......we have the summary right here for your viewing pleasure........

    Read more ...

  • BCE takes necessary measures to reinforce the solvency position of its (DB) pension plans

    April 1st, 2017

    BCE made a $400 million voluntary pension plan contribution in December 2016,

    Read more ...

  • Do you know our 2016-2017 BPG Board of Directors ?

    April 1st, 2017

    The BPG Board of Directors currently has 20 members, including six Chapter Chairs representing members in Ontario and Québec.

    Read more ...

  • The CARP/Zoomer Discount for Ontario Central is back!

    April 1st, 2017

    Some of you have inquired about what happened to the CARP/Zoomer discount for BPG members that was introduced a few years ago.

    Read more ...

  • Why Become a Member of the Bell Pensioners Group?

    February 2nd, 2017

    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.

    Read more ...

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