Regional Director’s Report – January 12, 2021 – Regional Executive Meeting

Home of the PIPSC’s Legacy Cup!

Period: November 17, 2020 to January 11, 2021

“The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many [people] who feel a kind of twisted pride in cynicism” Teddy Roosevelt (1910)

The above is a lesser known passage from Teddy Roosevelt’s famous “Citizenship in a Republic” (The Man in the Arena) speech which has more recently been made famous by Nelson Mandela. As a member of the Board of Directors it resonates with me in some areas of our own organization.

Unfortunately, current mass media, social media and modern political discourse is almost entirely based on selling cynicism and negativity. Often, the only thing that unites us is what we are against. Frequently, those who most strongly cast aspersions seldom offer a better alternative or have viable ideas for improvement (beyond clichés).

Let’s be absolutely clear, leadership is not:

  • being against everything in an organization;
  • always casting suspicion, doubt and skepticism; or
  • at every turn constantly suggesting conspiracies.

PIPSC needs leaders, not cynics.

To build on the incredible success and untapped potential of an organization like PIPSC, we truly need the type of leaders as portrayed by Teddy Roosevelt’s “Citizen in a Republic”, rather than those who face life with a sneer or take pride in their cynicism. PIPSC, as a champion of evidence-based decision making and scientific integrity, needs to hold all of its “leaders” in this organization to such a standard. 

We must not accept a negative statement as a truth just because we harbour some dissatisfaction. We need to challenge such statements with thoughtful rigor and objective enquiry. 

Further, those who take such negative positions should also equally put forward sound, practical and viable alternatives.  Proposed solutions, in attempting to solve one perceived issue, should not create several new problems with their implementation.

In the end, would you rather take advice from a leader or a cynic?

The consequences and costs of poor decisions can be felt for many years and by many members. 

Together, let’s set that bar high.


Unfortunately, it will still be some time before we are able to safely and comfortably host in-person events in our Region. During the fall of 2020, we successfully hosted our virtual Steward and Better Together Sessions for our stewards, activists and volunteers. In addition, PIPSC hosted its first ever 100% online Basic Steward Training.

Planning for 2021 is well underway. The following online virtual sessions are currently scheduled:

  • Advanced Training – 2.5 hours sessions on April 22, April 29, May 6, May 13, 2021
  • Virtual Basic Steward Training – Starting Feb. 22, 2021 (two days a week over four weeks)
  • Regional Council – Saturday, May 29, 2021 (1/2 day only)

In addition, we will be implementing a number of follow-up Steward and Better Together Sessions during 2021.


National / Board Initiatives

Pursuant to the Board mandate letters, and additional assignments, my national focus over this last period has included:

  • Chair, Executive Compensation Committee (ECC):  The ECC is continuing its work on: implementing the decisions from the Sept. BOD meeting; the performance review process and complaint process for the position of the President; the Triennial Review for the COO&ES, Chiefs and Excluded Employees; and, updates to various policies.  
  • Innovation / Building Trust / Life Insurance Trust:  The Building Trust continues to look at options to optimize the value of its various parking areas in light of the on-going redevelopment of the neighboring properties.    

Let me know if you have any questions or comments on my Board appointments (elected) and the specific portfolios assigned by the President / CEO. The Board mandates are on the PIPSC website.

Events Attended

  • Regional Meetings / Events / Calls:
    • Regional Executive Meeting – Nov. 17
    • Reg. Office Meeting – Nov. 17; Dec. 15
    • BC/Yukon AGM Caucus – Dec. 2
    •  Meeting with New Stewards – Dec. 3
    • Reg. Exec & Branch/Group Presidents Update – Dec. 14
  • Board Meetings / National Events / Calls:
    • Board of Directors – Nov. 20; Dec. 11 & 12; Dec. 23
    •  ECC – Dec. 15
    • AGM Financial Forum – Nov. 21
    • Test AGM Session – Dec. 4
    • National AGM – Dec. 5
    •  Building Trust – Dec. 10
    • Reg. Directors – Dec. 10.
    • Broadbent Institute's Progress Gala – Nov. 19

As we enter 2021, I hope everyone is able to maintain their vigilance and resiliency. Stay safe, be healthy and make sure you are able to take care of yourself and those around you. More than ever, it is so important that you take time for yourself so you are able to take care of others.

Our PIPSC website ( has a lot of information / updates on such matters as COVID and 699 Leave; Phoenix; and, your union. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please feel free to contact me at 236-888-8739 or .

In Solidarity,


Robert K. MacDonald, B.A., MRM
Director, BC/Yukon Region