YOUR PIPSC ATLANTIC REGIONAL NEWSLETTER Winter 2023
From the Director…
Fall is in full swing as the leaves are changing and the air is getting cooler. Many of our members are still recovering from the impacts of Hurricane Fiona. I was fortunate enough to escape any damage to my home and had power restored within two days. Others were not so fortunate as they received extensive damage and, in several cases, did not have power restored to their homes for over two weeks. My heart goes out to each and every one of them.
As this is the first newsletter since I have become the Atlantic Regional Director, I would be remiss if I did not express my appreciation to Kim Skanes, the former Atlantic Regional Director and former Regional Executive member Marcel Journeay and their efforts in supporting the Atlantic Region. Both of you have helped me along the way and have made me a better person. For that I thank you both.
I continue to hear concerns and issues regarding return to the office. The Treasury Board has decided that return to the workplace will be determined by each department with some requiring employees to be in the office two days and others requiring employees to be in more often than that or not at all. For any Employer’s work plan it needs to be safe to ensure the health and safety of employees as COVID-19 is still circulating; flexible as most members do not want to return to the office full time and it has been clearly demonstrated that we can be as equally productive working remotely; fair as hybrid and virtual work arrangements be provided equitably respecting members preferences without bias with accessibility and accommodations being considered and; clear with any formal return to workplace policies must be provided in writing, and need to clearly articulate expectations.
As well after more than six years since its launch Phoenix pay issues continue to arise. Of concern now are recovery letters going out to members with little to no detail regarding the suspected overpayment. Even worse, some departments and separate employers are trying to recover overpayments beyond the six-year limit which is in violation of the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act. As a result, PIPSC has filed a policy grievance on this matter.
Regarding our New Brunswick Group members, the legal challenge regarding the pension change from a defined benefit plan to a shared risk plan is ongoing. This was a change that is very detrimental to our members as it considers the entire career of the employee as opposed to the best 5 years that the federal sector plan still enjoys. The changes made effected the plan so that the cost-of-living increase for 2023 was not obtained by the plan members instead only implementing 94% of the full amount which takes even more money out of the pockets of retirees. We need to support our provincial colleagues here as there are those who would like to do the same with the federal pension plan.
As always, I am here for you. I take privilege and pride in representing you. Take care.
Atlantic Regional Director
Basic Steward Training Sessions
The Atlantic hosted three basic steward training sessions during 2022. The first was April 28-30 in Halifax, NS which was facilitated by Max Way and Elissa McCarron. The second was September 22-24 in St. John’s, NL which was facilitated by Elissa McCarron and Simon Davenport. The third course was November 24-26 in Moncton, NB and was facilitated by Max Way and Cheryl Owens Carr. The April course provided the opportunity to present the newly updated basic steward course. Both courses were well attended and received positive feedback. While steward recruitment was low during the pandemic, we are proud to note that steward recruitment is on the upswing in the Atlantic Region. Welcome to our new stewards.
Atlantic Regional Training School
The Atlantic Regional Training School was held March 24-26, 2022 at The Lord Nelson in Halifax, NS and was the first in person training school to be held since the pandemic started in 2020. Many first time stewards and seasoned stewards in attendance. The courses offered this year were Advanced Grievance Handling, Consultation, Leadership Essentials, and Preventing and Addressing Workplace Harassment. The courses were facilitated by our regional ERO’s Cheryl Owens-Carr, Max Way, Elissa McCarron, and Simon Davenport. The Atlantic Regional Training committee and Atlantic Regional executive received positive feedback for all four of the training sessions. Our hospitality event was held at HaliMac Axe Throwing, where Michael Pauley was the champion. It was great to have face to face training and networking for our stewards again.
Atlantic Regional Council
The 78th Atlantic Regional Council commenced Friday afternoon May 27 and Saturday, May 28th in Halifax, NS. Friday afternoon, the delegates participated in a Write That Resolution training session that provided a mock AGM after their groups had written resolutions on various topics. The nominations for executive positions and the candidate’s addresses took place as well. The presentation of the Executive of the year award was also concluded.
Saturday morning the business got underway by the delegates at 8:30am, chaired by Emmanuel Costain with Scott McConaghy as the Parliamentarian. The morning concluded with the Regional Executive Elections conducted by Cathy Hebert. Carolyn Hynes, Gerald Hill, Jennifer Cantwell, and Yvonne O’Keefe were re-elected with new member Kimberley Keats joining the executive. Thank you to the previous executive members and to all those that put their names forward.
The afternoon continued with the resolutions that were debated on the floor. Branch President, Carolyn Hynes and Treasurer, Travis Kendall gave a very entertaining and informative presentation on the St. John’s, NL branch. Finishing the business was Gerald Hill tabling of the financials and budget for the Atlantic Regional Executive.
Atlantic Steward Council
This year’s Atlantic Steward Council was held October 21-22 at The Lord Nelson in Halifax. The Friday afternoon started with a presentation on Case Law and Trends from ERO Max Way followed by the Group Breakouts. Saturday morning, the stewards received two informative presentations from ERO’s Cheryl Owens-Carr and Simon Davenport; Return to Work and Mental Health. Atlantic Regional Director, Emmanuel Costain provided the council with an update from the President’s Office. The afternoon session started with Chris Roach and Craig Bradley presenting an informative session on Advisory Council and PIPSC Strategic Directions. Kelly MacKinnon presented the Institute Scholarship Award Recipients from the Atlantic Region. Finishing the steward council was a great presentation called “Reinvent Normal” from Motivational Speaker Paul Huschilt.
Atlantic Region Awards
The 2022 PIPSC Atlantic Regional presented their annual executive of the year award to Everett Scott. Everett has been the president of the Halifax DND Branch for over 15 years! Through his role of president he has organized several events, recruited stewards and assisted with members in the grievance process. Many members of the DND Branch in Halifax have become engaged with PIPSC due to Everett’s guidance. It was only fitting that upon his last year of work he was presented with this award. All the best Everett!
Our 2022 Steward of the year award was presented to Tony Chubbs. Tony has been a steward with the public service since 2008. Tony’s greatest achievement in mobilization was his leadership in founding the PIPSC Lake Melville Branch in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on June 24th, 2008 and becoming the Branch’s first president. As the smallest branch of the Atlantic region, of merely 16 members (2 of which are retired), Tony has ensured that Lake Melville Branch has thrived. He has been instrumental as a steward to his workplace over these past 14 years. Congratulations Tony!
At all the regional events, the regional executive holds a raffle with the proceeds going to a charity. At the Atlantic Regional Training School the participants purchased tickets and a total of $447 was donated to the North End Community Health Centre in Halifax. At the Atlantic Regional Council the raffle proceeds of $621.75 were donated to the Alice House.
At the Steward Council in October 2022, all attendees were given a Moosehide pin at registration. In her opening remarks Carolyn Hynes, Atlantic Region Training Committee Chair, provided some background on the significance of the pin. From the Moosehide Campaign website: The Moose Hide Campaign is an Indigenous-led grassroots movement of men, boys and all Canadians, standing up to end violence against women and children. This year, tickets were sold on a chance to win a Garmin Watch with a total raised of $1,055. To thank them for providing the pins at no cost to us, the proceeds of this year’s raffle were donated to the Moosehide Campaign.
Atlantic Young Professionals Committee
The Atlantic Young Professionals Committee (AYPC) was created in the spring of 2017 and has been focusing on getting young professionals engaged and participating in PIPSC events. Keep an eye on your emails for further information coming from the AYPC.
Following a call for expression of interest in June, the members of the Atlantic Young Professionals Committee are as follows:
Christine LeDrew - Chair NL 2 year term
Joel White NL 1 year term
Brooke Casey NB 2 year term
Kailey von Richter NB 1 year term
Erika Isenor – Secretary NS 2 year term
Jessica Wood NS 1 year term
Kathy McLellan PEI 2 year term
Craig MacEwen PEI 1 year term
Many thanks to the outgoing members Marcus Peck, James Vey, Evan Pemberton, and Simmone Savoury for their participation during the last few years.
103rd PIPSC AGM
The 103rd PIPSC Annual General Meeting was held on November 18-19th at Le Centre Sheraton Hotel in Montreal, Quebec. There was 694 delegates from across the country in attendance. The Atlantic delegates met Thursday evening for a discussion on the resolutions.
Friday began with two guests speakers; a video presentation from Bea Bruske, President from Canadian Labour Congress and a wonderful speech from Patty Coates, President from Ontario Federation of Labour. Our president Jennifer Carr addressed the delegates and held a Q&A period. Friday afternoon the business aspects of the AGM commenced where the resolutions were presented and debated. Over the two days, all resolutions submitted (even late ones on the floor) were presented and debated by the delegates. The Atlantic Regions resolution made it’s way to the floor and a healthy debate ensued and it was carried. President, Jennifer Carr awarded members from across the country with Life Membership awards, Institute Service Awards, and Steward of the Year awards. Stacy McLaren presented the two Legacy Cups; One for Group and One for Region with the Winners being CFIA and BC/Yukon. More information from the AGM can be found on the PIPSC Website.
Legacy Foundation Scholarship Fund & The Legacy Cup
Thanks to the fund-raising efforts of PIPSC members and our corporate partners, the Professional Institute Legacy Foundation Scholarship Find awarded 35 scholarships in 2022, worth $55,000. Half of these scholarships go to Institute members’ children or grandchildren, and half go to students associated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, who may not otherwise have an opportunity to reach their potential. Since 1999, the Legacy Fund has awarded $1.105 million in scholarships to 577 deserving students.
Three impartial Institute members served on this year’s Selection Committee and spent many hours reading and evaluating applications. The committee members are:
- Ole Jacobsen, a retired SP Group member from the Prairie Region;
- Joseph Cogné, a retired CP Group member from Quebec; and
- Kelly MacKinnon, an AFS member from the Atlantic Region.
Three students from the Atlantic Region received awards this year. They are:
- Brook Motty, who is pursuing a degree in Health Sciences at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She is the daughter of David Motty, a member of the I.T. Group at Employment and Social Development in Corner Brook, NL;
- Stella Murphy, who is also pursuing a degree in Health Sciences at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She is the daughter of Charles Murphy, a member of the I.T. Group at the Department of National Defence in Halifax, NS; and
- Anjali Singh, who is pursuing a degree in Biology at the University of New Brunswick. She is the daughter of Dr. Rabindra Singh, a member of the SP Group who works at the St. Andrews Biological Station.
The Atlantic Region's scholarship recipients are great examples of our outstanding laureates, who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement, impressive leadership skills and a tremendous amount of commitment to community service. Professional Institute members can be very proud of their children, who represent the future of professionalism in Canada.
For more information about the Legacy Foundation or the Scholarship Program, please visit
At the 2014 AGM, PIPSC launched a friendly competition among PIPSC Regions to see which Region could raise the most money per capita for scholarships during the year. The winning Region would earn the “Legacy Cup” plus an extra scholarship for a student in their Region.
The Atlantic Region won the Legacy Cup in 2017, taking it away from the BC/Yukon Region. In 2018, BC/Yukon took it back. And they kept it. We hope to win it back some day!
The Fredericton Branch has a long and proud if not checkered history. It was founded in September 1867 as part of the PIPNB (People Impersonating Persons of New Brunswick). The two founding members were Jedediah Pauley and Shamus McConaghy. Jedediah immigrated from South Carolina after having claimed to have invented turnips by smashing a sweet potato against a buttercup squash. Shamus sailed from Ireland after being encouraged to leave when an experiment went horribly a mis involving a sheep, a cow, and a bushel of potatoes.
In 1920 the Branch was expelled from the PIPNB and soon after joined the newly formed PIPSC. The branch was recognized through its first 50 years for pledging hundreds of dollars to worthy causes. Unfortunately, through the incompetents of branch treasurers no money was ever delivered to these causes. This not so proud tradition was revived in 2017, when Jedediah’s Great-Great-Grandson Mike Pauley presented a mock giant cheque to Fredericton’s Mayworks and no money followed. This was eventually corrected a year later.
Today the Fredericton Branch covers more than Fredericton. It is bordered by Grand Falls, to the North and Burton-Gagetown to the South. Most members reside in Fredericton and Oromocto.
It consists of 665 members of which 19 are retired and 44 Rands. It is the 4th Largest branch in Atlantic Region. It has an interesting split between Federal and Provincial members; 404 Federal 261 Provincial
The group break down:
151 NB EN 20 NB CP
112 IT 15 NRC
74 CP 15 CFIA
72 SH 12 NR
63 SP 11 NB VS
48 NB CC 9 NB LA
33 RE 1 AFS
26 NB AG
Currently the Presidents of the IT, SH and SP subgroups and NB EN are serving on the Branch executive. As with other branches, co-vid curtailed our activities. Before 2020 the branch was involved in Labour Day events and Mayworks. We have had pool nights, Axe throwing, tree planting and seasonal dinner which attracts close to one hundred members. On November 7th of this year the branch held its AGM with the NB Engineering group with fifty members in attendance.
Scott McConaghy – President, Mike Pauley – Vice President, Mike Taylor – Treasurer, Bruce Boyd – Secretary
Member-at-Large: Del Jenkins, Shane Heartz, Laura Lee Mullin, John White, Mitchael Dionne, Sheila MacLean, Marcus Peck
Getting To Know your Regional Executive
A little about me
Hi, I’m Emmanuel Costain though everyone knows me as Manny. I was born in Sudbury Ontario and lived there until I was 3 years old. My family name at birth was actually Amyotte until my step father had it legally changed at 4 years old after we moved to Miminegash PEI where I grew up, hence the accent I’m told I have (lol). I have lived in Summerside PEI since 1999 with my wife Christine and my two boys Zachary, aged 19 and Ryan aged 16.
Interestingly enough I am actually related to the Dionne quintuplets who were the first set of quintuplets who survived infancy. I was also an avid runner before injuries prevented me from running anymore. I did run a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon and subsequently ran in the 2012 Boston Marathon.
What I do for fun
Sports, sports and more sports. Baseball, football and Formula 1 racing are my favourites. I also enjoy going to trivia events.
Why I became a steward
I became a steward as a tribute to my uncle who was a steward for 35 years with the Steel Workers Union in Sudbury. I wanted to follow his footsteps and try to be the leader he was. I also wanted to help other and be the voice for those who were reluctant to bring issues forward.
A little about me:
Hi, I’m Kimberley Keats. I live in St. John’s, NL, where I work as a Senior Biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). I grew up in Lethbridge, NL, then lived in Sackville, NB, where I completed a Bachelor of Science at Mount Allison University. I moved back to NL and completed a Master of Science at Memorial University and have been living in St. John’s ever since. I joined DFO in 2016 and became a PIPSC Steward in 2017. I’m also President of the St. John's SP Subgroup, a member of the St. John’s Branch Executive and the DFO National Consultation Team, a friend of the Science Advisory Committee, and I’ve been very involved in the PIPSC Women in Science initiative. In my workplace, I represent PIPSC on a number of committees, including local and regional Occupational Health and Safety and Union Management Consultation Committees.
What I do for fun:
I love to cook, try new recipes, and experiment in the kitchen. During the pandemic, my online shopping consisted mostly of kitchen gadgets and fancy spice blends! I love to support local and explore new markets, restaurants, breweries, and music venues. I love the outdoors, especially anything that puts me on or near the water! I also love to read and have a weakness for used bookstores.
Why I became a Steward:
Unionism has always been a part of my life. My parents were both public servants and instilled strong values of integrity, respect, equity, and fairness. During graduate school, I served two terms as President of the Graduate Students’ Union at Memorial University, during which I really enjoyed the advocacy aspect of my position. Before joining DFO, I worked briefly in the private sector and had a few experiences that further strengthened my belief in the value of unions. At DFO, I observed a lack of women stewards in my workplace and I decided to help fill that gap. I’m happy to report there are now four of us who are PIPSC stewards! I’m also committed to increasing and advancing the involvement of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. It’s a privilege to work with and for our members and I’m happy to be serving on the Atlantic Regional Executive.
Calendar of Events
(Items are subject to change)
January 27, 2023 Atlantic Regional Training committee meeting
January 28, 2023 Atlantic Regional Executive meeting
February 9-11, 2023 Extra Steward Training, Moncton
February 17-18, 2023 AYPC meeting
March 24, 2023 Atlantic Regional Training committee meeting
March 25, 2023 Atlantic Regional Executive meeting
April 20-22, 2022 Regional Training School, Whitepoint
May 25, 2022 Atlantic Regional Executive
May 26, 2022 AYPC meeting
May 26, 2022 Branch and Provincial Group President’s meeting
May 26-27, 2022 79th Atlantic Regional Council, St.John’s NL
Paul Huschilt- Motivational Speaker
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from stress and adversity, into a new and improved version of yourself. Given that we are now almost in year 3 of a global pandemic, we all understand the need to be resilient.
There are so many approaches to resilience and wellness. There are self-help books, and YouTube clips, and 5-step programs, even inspirational graffiti, all proclaiming to have the right solution to being resilient. Mine is this: there is no right way.
There are many right ways. It all depends on the situation, the time, and you. Everybody is different. Every situation is different. And things around us are always changing.
So that I can be as right as I can be, I resort to my notebook or notepad app on my phone.
I make lists: things I need to do to manage my own stress. Just the act of writing it down, forces me to think about it, even if I never revisit my list.
So, before you go on to the next thing you need to do today, take 2 minutes and write down 1 or 2 things that would work for your own resilience. It could be as simple as getting to sleep earlier. Or not eating that second row of cookies - yet. You might be surprised how simple things can make a big difference.
Paul Huschilt is a speaker and Health and Wellness expert who believes that you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. He also believes learning needs humour, which has earned him a spot in the Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame. Paul's clients can be found across all levels of government and associations and charities. He presents in both English and French. Please visit www.paulhuschilt.com to learn more.
Atlantic Region Executive
Emmanuel (Manny) Costain
Chair of Training Committee:
Members at Large: