Annual General Meeting 2019

The AGM of the Canadian Council of the Blind will be held on June 26th at 12:00, Noon EDT.

Below please find the official notice, agenda, and minutes.


June 26, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. EDT
Location: 100-20 James St. Ottawa, Ontario

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that an annual general meeting of the members of the Corporation will be held on the 26th day of June, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. EDT, at Ottawa, Ontario for the following purposes:
1. To approve the minutes of the annual meeting of the members of the Corporation held on June 27th, 2018;
2. To receive the following annual reports:
-Report of the President.
3. To receive the audited financial statements of the Corporation for the fiscal period ending December 31, 2018; and the report of the auditors thereon;
4. To appoint auditors (now called public accountants) and authorize the directors to fix the auditors’ (public accountants) remuneration;
The delegate voting system was eliminated at the time the Corporation continued to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. As a reminder, every Class “A” Active Member is allowed to vote, as long as all fees and dues owing to the Corporation were paid by April 30, 2019.
Not all documents are ready yet (the audit is still underway). We will send out another package to every Member, which will include (i) confirmation of the date, time and location of the Annual Meeting, along with any remaining documents necessary for the Members.
Please confirm, by email or phone, if you will be attending the meeting in person so that we can determine the size of the location we will need.
This Notice will be delivered to each Class A Active Member on the books of the Corporation as of April 30, 2019 by (i) electronic mail, and (ii) by regular mail.
DATED at Ottawa, Ontario, the 15th day of May, 2019.
By Order of the Board,


JUNE 26, 2019

1. Registration
2. Call to Order and Opening Remarks
3. President’s Welcome
4. Approval of Minutes of 2018 AGM
5. President’s Report
6. Executive Director’s Report
7. Presentation of Audited Financial Statements of CCB
8. Appointment of the Public Accountant and authorization of Board of Directors to fix remuneration of the Public Accountant.
9. Adjournment

The Canadian Council of the Blind
2018 Annual General Meeting
June 27, 2018
Bronson Centre, Ottawa, Ontario

In Alphabetical Order by Last Name
Stuart Barton
Christiane Bertrand
Carol Butler
Pierre Castagner
Paul Cottee
John Dawson
William Donahue
Judy Duguay
Theresa Dupuis
Larry Filmore
Pat Fowler
Ronald Gamble
Louise Gillis
Heather Hannett
Neven Humphrey
Marnie Johnstone
Jerome Kuntz
Lynn Kuntz
Christina Lewis
Dave Maxwell
Wendy McQuade
Sandra Poirier
Bill Rizzo
Gary Saxon
Surander Singh
Dwight Smith
Corry Stuive
Jim Tokos
Ahmad Vahdani
Ryan Van Praet
Gaston Verville
Mike Vrooman
Bill Watson
Shane Wheeler

Charles Hofley, CCB Lawyer

Jim Prowse, Executive Director
Becky Goodwin, Office Administrator
Janet McIvor, Admin Support
Casey Metcalfe, Registration
George Schweizer, Technician

Call to Order:
Louise Gillis called the meeting to order at 12:01 PM EDT and introduced the head table.

All present in the room registered at the door.
Members in Attendance were:
Stuart Barton
Christiane Bertrand
Carol Butler
Pierre Castagner
Paul Cottee
John Dawson
William Donahue
Judy Duguay
Theresa Dupuis
Larry Filmore
Pat Fowler
Ronald Gamble
Louise Gillis
Heather Hannett
Neven Humphrey
Marnie Johnstone
Jerome Kuntz
Lynn Kuntz
Christina Lewis
Dave Maxwell
Wendy McQuade
Sandra Poirier
Bill Rizzo
Gary Saxon
Surander Singh
Dwight Smith
Corry Stuive
Jim Tokos
Ahmad Vahdani
Ryan Van Praet
Gaston Verville
Mike Vrooman
Bill Watson
Shane Wheeler

Opening Remarks:
President Louise Gillis announced that the room we are in will only be available until 2pm and we are hoping the meeting will be over by then. She then began her opening remarks welcoming everyone to the 2018 AGM.

President’s Welcome:
Louise Gillis gave her official welcome. A print copy of the report is attached to these minutes.

President’s Report:
Louise Gillis spoke on the President’s Report which had been sent to all members before the AGM. A print copy of the report is attached to this agenda.

Motion AGM2018-06-01 Approval of the 2017 Minutes:

Moved by: Patrick Fowler
Seconded by: Theresa Dupis

The minutes of the 2017 AGM were presented. All voting will be done on the phone after the information part of the meeting to accommodate the CNCA’s requirement of one member, one vote.

The minutes of the 2017 Canadian Council of the Blind Annual General Meeting be approved as presented.

Motion: Passed with 56.3% (71 for, 55 against)

Executive Director’s Report:
Jim Prowse gave his Executive Director’s Report. A summary of the report is attached to these minutes.

Report from the Bylaws Committee:
Mike Vrooman spoke about the progress of the Bylaws Committee. A summary of the report has been attached to these minutes.

Presentation of Audited Financial Statements of CCB:
Jim Prowse presented the Audited Financial Statements of the CCB. These had been sent to all voting members prior to the meeting.

Motion AGM2018-06-02 Appointment of the Public Accountant:

Moved by: Corry Stuive
Seconded by: Judy Duguay

Wendy McQuade asked if there has ever been an audit bidding process. Jim Prowse said that there has not been a bid for the last 3 years as KPMG has kept the price consistent. Jim Prowse said that his verbal quotes have been.
Wendy McQuade delivered a letter with recommendation directly to Louise Gillis.
Louise Gillis stated that the recommendation would be looked at for the next year.
Gary Saxon said ‘point of order’ and why the firm was not going to be considered for this year. Louise Gillis explained that the board had approved KPMG so the recommendation. Members of the Ottawa chapter asked about the company that was in the letter. Jim Prowse read the name, Usley, Hanley, Chipsom, and Deep LLP Licensed Public Accountants, and said he wasn’t sure if it was a national firm, he said that we would look into them. Wendy McQuade yelled out that it was a national firm as it was used by her condo board.

We confirm the appointment of the auditors, KPMG LLP, for the upcoming year.

Motion: Passed with 59.8% (79 for, 53 against)

Motion AGM2018-06-03 Adjournment:

Moved by: Christina Lewis
Seconded by: Heather Hannett

The 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Council of the Blind be adjourned.

Meeting was adjourned at 12:26 PM EDT

Voting took place after the meeting by phone through a registered third party. All results are with the motions.

President’s Welcome June 2018

Welcome everyone on the phone and those who are present in the room to the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM).

We as a Board of Directors elected with a majority vote by the membership in June 2017 have worked hard over the past year even with distractions to improve the quality of the lives of those living with blindness and also in the prevention of blindness.

The By-Laws committee formed in 2017 have been working to make the necessary changes to comply with the Canada Not-For-Profit Act. When this work is complete they will be forwarded to the membership. This all takes time.

It is important that we all as members work in the interests of CCB ahead of any personal agendas. This Board has worked in that way by meeting with both Provincial and Federal Governments among others to set toward an Accessible Canada Act and a more equitable Pharmacare solution. This will require a lot of work into 2018 and beyond and as an organization we will be actively involved in the process.

CCB continues to support the GTT program which many of you take part in your areas as well as nationally. Our new program in 2017 CCB Health and Fitness as also helped a great number of members across the country.

As an organization we need to work together and therefore I ask for your patience and support as the By-Law committee works to make the amendments needed to comply with the Act. It is time to move past the differences that have continued to disrupt the organization.

Today we will proceed with the agenda to receive the reports and financial statements as well as approve the Public Accountant.

Louise Gillis, National President

President’s Report

I am pleased to report that 2017 has been a very busy year. The Canadian Council of the Blind has approximately 80 chapters and approximate 1500 members across the country.
In this yearend report I will provide information on the many other organizations and Government agencies, programs and events of CCB that we have worked with to improve the quality of those living with and the prevention of vision loss.

White Cane Week (WCW).
I first attended an Experience Expo sponsored by the CCB Toronto Visionaries Chapter. This was a very well attended expo with lots of information provided to attendees. Next was the AMI Canadian Vision Impaired Curling Championship (CVICC) in Ottawa. Again this was a very successful event with lots of fun and great competition. Chapters across Canada held a variety of events to promote awareness of CCB, prevention of blindness and what is available to those living with vision loss.

The World Blind Union (WBU)
North American/Caribbean Region (NA/C) the first meeting of the new quadrennial was held in Toronto on March 10, 2017, and hosted by CNIB. The Regional representation on all WBU committees were then confirmed, and both CCB delegates, Louise Gillis and Jim Tokos were given confirmed and defined roles. Louise being a representative of WBU Women’s Committee and Jim Tokos being confirmed as a member of the Nominations Committee for the region.

Reports were given on the Marrakesh Treaty, and there are now more than 26 Countries who have ratified. Representatives for the Marrakesh Treaty, as well as UN CRPD, are, from USA – Ron Tascarello, Canada – Diane Bergeron, and Caribbean – Kerrianne Ifil. Reports were provided by several of the other committees and can be found on their website.

The second meeting was held in Louisville Ky., and sponsored by the American Printing House for the Blind. President Mossop spoke on the filling of the 2nd Vice-President position with the Table Officers, thanking the Nominations Committee, and the ongoing search for a new CEO, as required by the retirement of Dr. Penny Hartin. President Mossop also spoke about the WBU adoption of the World Braille Foundation, amongst other issues such as discussion on Silent and Hybrid Vehicles, and positive changes to laws regarding increased noise levels.

I have been active on the WBU’s Women’s Committee through international teleconferencing and email. As the lead on looking at what are the barriers preventing women to take leadership positions, a questionnaire was developed and sent to member countries to disburse. Once results are tabulated the committee will try to see how some of the barriers can be overcome. With the revitalization of this committee a great deal of work is being undertaken.

The Regional representation on the WBU Technology Committee – Mark Nicol from CNIB was appointed at this meeting. It was decided that the next meeting will be held June 1 in Ottawa hosted by The Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) following the Executive committee meeting hosted by CNIB in Ottawa.

IFA International Federation on Aging (IFA).
A meeting was held regarding the Canadian Agency on Drugs and Technology in Health (CADTH) guidelines released in 2016 on the use of “off label” drugs in eye care. In Toronto I, along with Jane Barrett – Sect. General for IFA, and three very noted Ophthalmologists from Ontario met with the Ontario Health Ministry to ask them to reconsider their decision on the planned changes to eye care in the province.

Following this meeting IFA took the lead with new releases on the
EYE SEE YOU campaign which was very successful in getting out the message the eye health should not be compromised by a cost factor. This campaign will be run again in future years during Vision Health Month.

Best Medicines Coalition
(BMC) is an organization of a variety of patient groups that work on providing better medical care. BMC has strength and has connections with the Federal & Provincial Health departments. Therefore with that strength behind us CCB has more credibility when it comes to patient submissions for eye mediations/treatments.

Another important aspect to consider is the main focus of CCB is ensuring a good quality of life for blind/partially sighted Canadians as well as the prevention of blindness. By working with representatives from other disease groups who have members who are blind, or the disease can cause blindness, we get the opportunity to assist those groups through blindness issues while we learn more about their organization and disease so that we can all work to improving the quality of life for all.

Another meeting was held in Toronto on Biologics and Biosimilars regarding the use of each in treatments of many diseases that affect many of our members. These organizations bring concerns to the Government agencies as recommendations
BMC held two meetings during the year – their AGM and a workshop along with teleconferences and webinars.

Representatives from the CCB were in attendance. This organization assists with many different diseases which helps our organization in finding the best route to go when we need a direction to get the best results for eye care. It follows well with the Eye See You Campaign to help ensure the best medicines at the best time, and in the best place.
The “Demand a Plan” is a Federal initiative regarding drug costs is moving forward and people have been asked to write to the Federal government to encourage it to form such a plan to ensure all Canadians can receive the drugs they need at a reasonable cost.
The Canadian Transport Agency
(CTA) has an Accessibility Advisory Committee which takes advice from many disability organizations to better assist with changes to policy, procedures, purchase of new transportation equipment or renovations to existing planes, trains, buses, and ferries. An in-person meeting is held every June. Updates to their changes can be found on the CTA website.
Access Media Inc. (AMI)
To make television & radio more accessible to persons with disabilities AMI provide Described Video in TV programs on their station as well as a radio station and a French station. They work with a group of advisors to make this accessible. Thank you Jim Tokos for his work on behalf of CCB in this project.
CCB has submitted to the CRTC input that was received from members in regards to amount of data needed to use way-finding apps and suggested increasing available data at a more reasonable rate.
CCB continues to work with Media Access Canada with representation at hearings and letters of support to ensure the CRTC works toward accessible programming. Kim Kilpatrick represents our organization very well on this committee. Thank you Kim.

Consumer Access Group (CAG).
March was the annual face-to-face meeting of CAG. I attended this meeting in Winnipeg. Discussions were held on what the next steps would be for the status and use of position papers. Most members indicated the statements are useful documents and also agreed that CAG as a group should concentrate on certain ones and that the top three based on feedback from the organizations would be the ones to act on first.

Regarding the silent vehicles we obtained copies of the materials WBU has released on this issue which is available on their website. There was also discussion of how cyclists who do not use their bells can create a similar barrier for pedestrians with sight loss.
Barrier Free Canada (BFC).
BFC has been working to make Canada barrier free. Now that the government has commenced work on an Accessibility Act it is hoped that this organization can assist the province to develop their own acts in accordance with the national act.
BFC is undergoing some changes which we will hear about in the coming months. As to the future of BFC, it was indicated that BFC’s mission could be to oversee implementation of a Canadians with Disabilities Act, to ensure that people continue to support legislation and to provide the Government of Canada with additional input with future consultations.

Canadian National Standards for the Education of Children and Youth Who are Blind or Visually Impaired is an initiative that is being worked on by several groups with the intention that students across Canada will receive the same quality education.
CCB continues to have representation on Braille Literacy Canada (BLC) and that is Kim Kilpatrick and myself. The newsletter is available on their website. Braille Literacy Canada is a very active group with expanding the use of Braille.
Bank of Canada
Accessibility comes in many forms and CCB is also involved with the Bank of Canada in making money accessible. The unveiling of the new commemorative $10.00 bill took place at the Bank of Canada which I was pleased to attend and is now in limited circulation. Watch for another new release in late 2018.
In October and November CCB provided the phone line for the TeleTown Hall meetings on international advocacy. Any comments made by CCB members were that of their-own and not connected to CCB. This service will continue for a short time in 2018 when a wrap up meeting will be held to determine next steps.

I met with Craig Oliver and AMI to do an interview for Challenges and Change which was aired in November. The purpose of this interview was to promote CCB and let people know what is available for anyone with vision loss.

At the end of October (26-30) I was fortunate to be sponsored for “Advocacy Boot Camp” in Toronto. This was a very in depth camp to learn proper methods of good advocacy put on by Gail Attara and Louise Binder where we had to do a presentation of a project regarding an issue that needed to be attended too for the benefit of society.

Many chapters across the country attended Remembrance Day services at their local Legions on November 11th and some laid wreaths in honor of fallen soldiers. This is important for CCB members to do because it was veterans along with others who started our organization.
During the year CCB Executive Committee and Board of Director’s members held meetings by teleconference and in person with the annual meeting being held on June 21st, 2017. A new Board of Directors was elected at that time for the usual three year term.
One of the great things that the CNCA (Not for profit act) has provided for organizations such as the CCB is the one member one vote. This gives every member the opportunity to make their own choice on how they want to vote on items at the annual general meetings. This is an improvement over the delegate system where only a few people make those choices for everyone in the country so there is more opportunity to have your voice heard.

Due to a major waterline break our National Office received a great deal of damage and had to relocate to temporary space until September. I personally wish to thank all the staff for working in these cramped quarters and successfully attending to their work assignments during this difficult time.

CELA and NNLES are both library service providers. CCB continues to be actively involves with all library services providers to ensure that the service continues and is sustainable well into the future for all with print disabilities.

As in the past Jim Tokos continues to do financial audits of all books on a routine basis on behalf of the Board of Directors. This is an extra process to ensure all is in order with the finances.
Work continues with many of the advocacy groups that we partner with at the local and national level. Thank you to all the members who volunteer to do this great work to make Canada more accessible. I, in the role as President attended meetings with the IFA, BMC, CADTH, CTA, and CAG, all of which were very productive.

GTT across Canada is very active in many areas. Eastern Canada needs to become more involved, there is one group in Halifax. This program is for all persons with vision loss not only CCB members and it receives great praises from the attendees.
A brand new CCB Health and Fitness program was started this year, it is open to all. To date many of our members, from across the country have enjoyed and benefited from this program. The instruction, videos and other reference material is targeted to those who are elderly, might be new to a fitness routine and of course are blind or vision impaired.

The Mobile Eye Clinic was very busy during the year at several schools and retirement homes in the Ottawa area.
With the variety of programs membership continues to change with some growth in areas. We are always looking to find ways to attract and support people living with blindness as well as the prevention of blindness.

In the past year people in many provinces have experienced floods, ice and snow storms, draught and fires. Families, friends and strangers have come to offer help, food, shelter, and support as needed. CCB National has sent messages to our members who may have been in need of emergency assistance in any way that we could help find immediate care.

We are all so very fortunate to be living in the great country of Canada. Many times we complain about the weather, the government and life itself but for the most part things are generally good for us.

Executive Director’s Report
The report was brief to avoid restating items in the President’s Report. The council has continued to move forward with its programs, and has just about finished recovering from the flood. The GTT program is doing well and is expanding. The council is always looking for more leaders and participants for this program. Thanks were given to those currently involved in the program, Albert Ruel, Kim Kilpatrick, Gerry Chevalier, Ian White, and Pat Gates to name a few. As Louise mentioned Ryan is working on expanding the Health and Fitness program. We have been lobbying the government for better eye care and access to medicines. Public Health has consulted with us about the Mobile Eye Clinic and is considering using us and our methods across the province, but with the recent change in the provincial government it will be a wait and see to see if this meeting is actually beneficial. While the MEC program is great for everyone’s eye health it has been suffering from a lack of optometrists. We are working on this problem constantly. As the other programs continue to expand this year coming is a promising year.

Bylaw Committee Report
The Bylaw Committee has been meeting to examine the existing bylaws and to update them so they will be in compliance with the CNCA. During our review we have come upon several issues and in order to complete them we will be seeking legal advice before we proceed. The committee continues to meet during the summer and to this point, we have completed the review of everything up to and including section 5.04 and will continue meeting serval times in the summer and in September we will get back to our regular meeting every two weeks until we have completed the task.

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