Vancouver SP Sub Group AGM

Date: Monday January 27 2020  

Time:  5:00 – 8:00 PM

Location: White Spot Restaurant, 405 Dunsmuir St, Vancouver BC 


SP Sub Group Executive:

Tanya Evans (Jan 2020) - President - regrets

Denis Semail (Jan 2021) – Vice President

Timothy Powers (Jan 2020) – Treasurer - regrets

Kathy Kerr (Jan 2021) - Secretary  

Sammy Li (Jan 2021) - Member at large

Eric Crawford (Jan 2020) - Member at large – regrets

Judy Hartman  (Jan 2021) – Member at large 


  1. Confirmed quorum present and Call to Order @ 17:35 hr

*Denis Semail conveyed apologies and disappointment by our sub group President, Tanya Evans, that she was not able (at the last minute), to attend tonight’s meeting,. Denis, our sub group’s Vice President, will be covering for Tanya this evening. 

*Denis Semail introduced (and thanked) each of the members of the SP Sub Group Executive; 

*Denis Semail conveyed apologies by  one of our guest speakers, Elizabeth Ptasznik, of SP Group Executive, who is not able to attend tonights meeting. Denis introduced our 2 guest speakers for tonight’s meeting:

  • Dr. Robert Nissen – Air Quality Scientist, Environment Canada; 
  • Rob MacDonald, BC Regional Director;

*Denis Semail – introduced the Elections Committee for tonight’s AGM, comprised of Denis (as Chair) and Sammy Li and Judy Hartman. 

*Denis made the first call for nominations from the floor for positions on sub group Executive.  

Nominations were put forth from the floor for: Tanya Evans, Timothy Powers, Eric Crawford. Denis advised that Tanya, Tim, and Eric confirmed (in advance) acceptance of being nominated at tonight’s meeting .

  1. Approval of Agenda  -m/s - Carried 
  1. Approval of Draft Minutes of:  SP Sub Group Jan 28 2019 AGM (no corrections) – m/s - Carried
  1. Business Arising from the Minutes:  None 

*Denis encouraged participation on Executive and then made second call for nominations from the floor for positions on sub group Executive. 

  1.  Report of the President 

Denis Semail read the report by our Sub group President, and opened floor for questions. 

Motion to accept President’s report– m/s – carried

  1. Annual Financial report: 

Denis confirmed that everyone had a copy of:

  • “Financial Statement –Jan 1 to Dec 31 2019”; and 
  • “2020 Budget” 

(prepared by our Treasurer, Tim Powers) 

Denis’ reviewed the Financial Statement and Budget (for 2020), and asked for questions.  He answered all questions that were posed. 

* Motion to accept the Financial Statement – Jan 1 – Dec 31, 2019  m/s; Carried 

*Motion to accept the 2020 Budget m/s: Carried 

Denis made a 3nd and final call for nominations from the floor; 

 7.  Report of Elections Committee:

Denis (as Chair) provided the report of the Elections Committee:

(1) After three calls for nominations, following three members were acclaimed at tonight’s meeting:

Tanya Evans, 

Timothy Powers, 

Eric Crawford. 

(2) He introduced the new SP Sub Group Executive (as of tonight’s AGM):

Tanya Evans (to Jan 2022) 

Denis Semail (to Jan 2021) 

Timothy Powers (to Jan 2022) 

Kathy Kerr (to Jan 2021) 

Sammy Li (to Jan 2021) 

Eric Crawford (to Jan 2022)

Judy Hartman  (Jan 2021) 

Denis explained that as per past practice, the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and members at large will be decided at first meeting of the new sub group Executive. 

Tanya Evans will contact the new Executive for date & location of the first meeting of our sub group Executive. 


Presentation by Dr. Robert Nissen:

He completed his graduate studies at U of T, and noted that his expertise includes cloud studies and wildfire forecasting. He works with Meteorological Service Canada.   His presentation included information about ‘plum detection – weather radars – and air quality science. And discussed the overheads, which included (photos) of wildfires in Elho Valley (north of Vancouver in 2015); Fort McMurray in 2016; Wildfires in BC in 2017-2018; and major fires in Alaska and Yukon and Northern Alberta and Saskatchewan.  He emphasized that smoke impacts air quality.  And there is a need for accurate wildfire plume forecasts, so that people are able to prepare. Forecasting wildfires is a challenging task. 

Presentation by Rob MacDonald, BC Regional Director

Rob McDonald has been with Transport Canada for 32 years.  He is the Regional Director for our PIPSC BC Region.  One of the best things he ever did was join PIPSC, and become an active member. He urges members to relay and share stories (Better Together), to challenge myths about the Public Service. He noted that the collective Agreements recently signed were revolutionary.  It is the first time ever that domestic violence is covered by a collective agreement. Hopefully members will not need to access those provisions. But those provisions are there in the Collective Agreement, should the need arise.  The definition of family (for bereavement leave) has been expanded.  The leave for family related care has been expanded as well to include non-blood relatives.  Travel (extended to 15 hours).  Consultation on Workplace 2.0 is now embedded in the Collective Agreement. The Collective Agreement, including the new provisions, are rights that have been negotiated and agreed upon.  There are provisions for PC’s (personal development).  The only group in PIPSC that has not settled yet, is the CS’s.  Rob described the bargaining process.  And that dental and medical benefits are negotiated by the NJC (National Joint Council of all unions), not by individual collective agreements.  Same as Travel Allowance (it is negotiated by the National Joint Council).  Rob provided a summary of the benefits of the “new Employee Support Wellness Program” (proposed to replace the existing system for Sick leave).  He outlined highlights of the new telework directive.  Rob answered questions from the floor. 


  1. Adjournment @ 20:00 hr (8 pm)