Last chance to complete this survey and enter the draw for a Google Mini.
Take our survey for a chance to win a Google Mini
The Canadian Council of the Blind’s GTT program has teamed with Blind Beginnings and Canadian Assistive Technology to produce an online survey to determine future offerings and training possibilities. If you or someone you know is blind or partially sighted, fill out the survey below to be entered in a draw for a Google Mini!
Deadline for your email to be entered into the draw: June 14th at 4:00pm. Don’t miss out!
Good luck in the draw.
Albert A. Ruel, GTT Coordinator
Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)
Get Together with Technology Program (GTT)
Hello, it sure has been a busy couple of months and I’m looking forward to the long days of summer – hmmm as long as they’re not too hot– hmmm I know some like the hot weather, but I like it just right and not hot hot, it’s hard to keep everyone happy – even me! But seriously, let’s keep in mind this hot weather and do our part to prevent those forest fires that have been plaguing us over the past few summers.
Please continue to have patience with me – I have a question for you sent to me by one of our Chilliwack members Denis Bessette –
Why don’t they play poker at the zoo?
Please check the end of this newsletter for the answer.
And now back to business…
I would like to thank those Chapters who sent a delegate to our 2019 Triennial Conference in Chilliwack this year. Later in this newsletter you will hear some of our members’ thoughts and views regarding the conference. And here is a link for the newspaper article in the local Chilliwack Progress…
Following are the results of the Division 2019 elections…
-President Ann McNabb from Chilliwack
-National Representative Geraldine Braak from Powell River
-1st Vice President Pat Chicquen from Comox Valley
-2nd Vice President Bill Conway from Sechelt
-Director Kelvin Adams from Campbell River
-Director Brodie McKenzie from Port Coquitlam
-Director Vern Short from Kamloops
-Director Iris Thompson from Coquitlam
Speaking for our new board, I know we are looking forward to working together over the next three years. – growing our Division and membership.
At this time, I would like to thank Lori Fry, Linda Hall and Kathy Sanness for their time on the Board. I know I can count on them for advice and support; and have already called on them for help.
Please stay safe and have a wonderful summer. And please do not hesitate to email or call me or any other Division Board Member for more information or clarification on any matters concerning the CCB BC-Yukon Division.
Ann McNabb, President
We encourage you to send in pictures of your Chapter events – with a detailed description and who is in the picture for labeling – to
Kelvin Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Brodie McKenzie at Brodster.email@example.com
and they would appreciate any comments or suggestions you have to offer regarding the CCB BC-Yukon Division Website – http://www.ccbbcyukon.com
– submitted by Pat Chicquen
I sure hope everyone at our recent Conference had a great time. I know I did. The baby goats are so cute and cuddly. I will be contacting all our Chapters making sure we have the correct information for your President and contact person.
How to find new members… If you spot a person with a white cane, introduce yourself and ask them if they would be interested in hearing about the CCB. I recently did this and said “hi, my name is Pat and I belong to our local White Cane Chapter.” He then said “My name is Roy and I also belong to the Chapter.” We both had a good laugh. Just proves “A Lack of Sight is not a Lack of Vision”.
Chapter Call in Sessions///
Calling All Chapters… Having the opportunity to share and have open discussion and communication is important to your Board of Directors. Periodically events happen that are out of our control and we cannot always be second guessing ourselves. These Call In Sessions give members the opportunity to share their news and views in an open environment. It is the chance for you to share your ideas and opinions. It allows us to learn more about each other and what’s important to us.
Your next Chapter Call In Sessions are Friday June 21st, Thursday October 17th and Friday November 15th at 10:00 AM. Before each call, President Ann will send out a reminder with the call in instructions. We hope to hear you on this call. And please feel free to email or call if you have any questions or would like to suggest discussion topics – contact information is at the top of this newsletter.
Penticton Tries Again!///
– submitted by Lori Cyra
A White Cane Club was formed in Penticton in the mid 1990’s, it operated with some success until September 2018 when it folded due to a lack of new members. Lori Cyra, the first BC/Yukon Division Member At Large, spear headed the initiative to form the club at that time.
Cyra moved to Vancouver Island in 2004 but has recently returned to Penticton. Now fully blind she has decided to attempt to attract new members and revive the club once again aiming for a fresh start in the coming September.
“We’ve been offered support from Ann McNabb, BC/Yukon Division President, Pat Chicquen, BC/Yukon 1st VP and Membership Chair and Albert Ruel,CCB GTT Specialist”, said Cyra, “So we feel confident we can get it started again. I’ll also have the help of my CNIB volunteer Vision Mate and guide, Terri Chambers, who has agreed to be our Treasurer,” she said. “Furthermore, former Club President, Irene Warlow, will remain with us as our Immediate Past President”.
According to Cyra As well as traditional methods, technology such as Facebook will be used to attract new and younger members. If the revival is successful, the club will become the South Okanagan Chapter of the CCB.
Book of Honour 2019 Recipients///
At this year’s Triennial Conference, the CCB BC-Yukon Division presented Amy Amantea with the Blind/Partially Sighted Book of Honour Award and Rose Pokeda with the Sighted Book of Honour Award. Congratulations to them both and thanks to everyone who sent in prospective candidates. Following are Amy’s and Rose’s stories included in the Book of Honour.
Amy Amantea is from the CCB Vancouver Arts and Culture Lovers Chapter. Amy lost her sight about twelve years ago, she was twenty four years old, and was forced to reinvent herself in order to get her life back. The CCB was the first organization that she encountered in those first few years. Amy started volunteering right away, not being able to return to work she also didn’t want to sit still and let life pass her by. Amy regularly spends almost sixty hours a week volunteering in the sight loss community.
She has been and is still currently on the board of many not for profit organizations in the disability community. She is now a staff member of the VocalEye Descriptive Arts Society and also working for Blind Beginnings and volunteers with Soapbox Radio in Vancouver doing a weekly movie review for Accessible Media Inc. Amy has been focused on accessibility and has consulted with many local organizations and businesses.
For the last seven years she has organized and hosted the largest WCW event in BC at Park Royal Mall. There is no end to her ambition and her goals to share resources, connect people to the site loss community and to assist in independent living. It takes many hours to put together the events she has organized as a dedicated volunteer.
In 2018 Amy was awarded the CNIB’s Century of Change award and the News 1130 Everyday Hero Award.
Amy wants those who are blind or partially sighted to live full and independent lives and to achieve this goal with as few barriers as possible.
Rose Pokeda is from the CCB Comox Valley Chapter. Rose has been a dedicated volunteer of our club for four years. She has been our valued treasurer for three years. Rose is a CCB BC-Yukon Division member. Rose assists with all our regular and frequent club activities, whether it is business or social. Rose is continually advocating for education and awareness on behalf of the blind community. Rose spends hours selling 50/50 tickets, attending White Cane Week events, regularly volunteering at our picnics, car washes and Christmas luncheons. She has been to many locations on Vancouver Island assisting the chapter driving when needed for social events or on club business.
Rose has recently voluntarily served on the 2019 CCB BC-Yukon Division elections nominating committee. She has also driven to Campbell River to take members to a GTT meeting. Rose is known by everyone to be a very kind, happy and helpful person, never saying no to anything asked of her. Rose is a dedicated registered nurse and retired two years ago. She always enjoyed nursing because of her strong desire to help people. Her in kind hours for our chapter for 2018 are in excess of four hundred. We would be lost without Rose and thank her for her time and energy over the years.
Sports and Recreation///
Western Blind Curling Association (WBCA) 47th annual championships
– submitted by Fraser Hiltz, WCBCA President
This year the Western Blind Curling Association Championships were hosted by the Province of BC through the West Coast Blind Curling Association, held in Kamloops, March 20th to the 24th at the city of Kamloops Curling Club. Kamloops was the host city for this event four years ago when it was the province’s turn to host the event and a return visit was again well received. Lori Fry and her hard working committee did a terrific job as she did four years ago, many thanks for a job well done! Blind Curlers particularly enjoyed the venue in the city of Kamloops, the Curling Club is just minutes away from the Hotel and other amenities are close by and accessible.
The Championships is made up of two teams from each of the four western provinces, from BC to Manitoba, eight teams in total competing. This year marked the 47th annual event and we are all looking forward to going strong heading for the milestone 50th Championships, just three years away!
This year BC was proud to have its two teams finishing in the top three positions in the competition. Prince George won it all with an undefeated record, close by in second was the Alberta number one team and in third position was 100 Mile House. All curlers enjoyed the Championships and the great competition as well as the social aspect of the sport! We look forward to the next hosting province, Saskatchewan, welcoming us all to their great province.
Intercity Bowling Tournament
– submitted by Linda Hall and Ann McNabb
On May the 25th CCB Kamloops Chapter hosted a 5 pin Bowling Tournament at Falcon Lanes. CCB Chapters Kamloops and Chilliwack played 3 games. All bowlers were good sports- rooting for one another, at times with congratulations for spares or strikes, at times with encouragement for bed posts or when only the 5 pin went down and at times with sympathy for gutter balls – especially when there were 3 in a row!
Competitively, we are happy to report Sara Peters from Chilliwack won for Most Over Average, Vern Short from Kamloops for Highest Over Average and Ann McNabb (believe it or not) for Rail Bowler.
All bowlers enjoyed a banquet, where the awards were given out. All in all it was a fun day for all in attendance. And the hope is in time for more Chapters to get involved and participate in this tournament.
Blind Golf in BC
* 2019 BC Provincial Invitational Blind Golf Championships on July 5th & 6th at Creston Golf Club in Creston BC
* 2019 Western Canadian Open Blind Golf Championships from July 8th to 10th at Bootleg Gap Golf in Kimberley BC
* CCB-VIBE Ice Breaker Tourney on July 11th in Cranbrook
* 2019 ISPS HANDA Canadian Open Blind Golf Championships on July 12th & 13th at St. Eugene Mission Golf Resort in Cranbrook BC
Players from Canada coast to coast, USA, England, Scotland, Ireland, Israel and South Korea will be present at these tournaments.
CCB Chilliwack Chapter///
As of April, our Chapter is now enjoying chair yoga weekly with Candice Baldwin; some of you would have met and participated with Candice’s chair yoga demonstration at the CCB Triennial Conference – Candice is a great instructor with lots of patience – thank you BC Blind Sports for giving us this wonderful opportunity. This summer some of our members are considering trying golf now that 5 pin bowling is finished. We would like to thank CCB Kamloops for their hospitality and hosting this year’s Intercity Boling Tournament – a great time was had by all.
The Division’s Conference was held in Chilliwack this year and we were happy to host the “Making Connections” Meet ‘n Greet. Our Friends Heidi, Ray and Riley entertained us with music we could sing along to and dance to; and of course the food and drink were tasty too. Our Chapter had good attendance throughout the Conference. Here are comments from some of our members…
Maisie: “liked meeting all the people from other chapters”
Donna: “appreciated the sense of community”
Chuck: “no fantasies were fulfilled, but he did like dancing with Elaine”
Elaine: “liked it too”
Donna: “surprised what everyone does in the blind community”
Our Chapter hopes everyone had a great time because we know we did!
CCB Comox Valley Chapter///
– submitted by Pat Chicquen
We had our 4th annual car wash on May 25th. We sure washed a lot of cars and did very well; and I might add the cars were very clean when we were done with them – the crew did a great job. The car wash is great for letting people who have not heard about us, know who we are. Our annual picnic is on July 9th. Hope everyone has a great summer.
CCB Kelowna Blind Curlers Chapter///
– submitted by Bill Mah
We held our wind up meeting and pizza party back on April 14th. We currently have 9 VIP curlers and 1 person who is our sighted volunteer, but doesn’t assist us on the ice. At our win up we acknowledged our guide and our sighted coach will be leaving us at the end of this year, 2019. This has put our group in an active campaign to find a sighted guide and coach for this fall.
Our Club will be hosting the 2020 provincials next January from the 10th to the 12th.
“The Way It Was” Written by Louise Kennedy///
CCB Kamloops 93 year old member and great grandmother, Louise Kennedy wrote “The Way It Was” – a children’s Book about growing up in northern Alberta on a farm. Louise tells stories about berry picking, gardening, going to school and more… The book is $15. If you would like to hear more about this book, please contact Louise at 250-554-1992.
CCB Provincial Book Club Chapter///
– submitted by Kathy Sanness
Our Provincial Book Club meets by teleconference on the 4th Friday every month except for July and August. Each month we discuss a different book – recommended by one of our members or their friends; and we discuss various ways to find books and the available technology for blind and partially sighted readers. We read mostly Audiobooks narrated by a person, but sometimes the book is read by a digital voice – sources include CELA, Bookshare etc. Sometimes we share books through a Dropbox account, which Albert Ruel oversees. When we cannot find a book, Albert usually can!
Our book for May was “Warlight” written by Michael Ondaatje and the book for June is “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman.
If you need any information, please call me – Kathy Sanness at 778-484-2298 or my cell at 250-395-0395 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
CCB Get Together with Technology (GTT) Corner///
-from the May 28, 2018 GTT blog
Government of Canada investing in teaching digital skills to Canadians who need them most
Albert Ruel posted: “*Note: This program is only available to British Columbia and Nova Scotia residents.
Canadians needing fundamental digital skills training to benefit from this investment Digital skills widen Canadians’ access to a world of possibilities. All Canadians should have the necessary skills to get online by using computers, mobile devices and the Internet safely and effectively. That is why the Government is putting in place initiatives to ensure no one is left behind as the world transitions to a digital economy.
Today, the Honourable Joyce Murray, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced an investment of $1.3 million in the Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s (CNIB) Connecting with Technology initiative. This initiative will deliver fundamental digital literacy skills training to participants in British Columbia and across the country.
CNIB’s Connecting with Technology initiative will be targeted at seniors who are blind or partially sighted. This initiative will reach about 750 participants, providing them with training in digital literacy and offering required assistive technologies.
This investment is being provided through the Digital Literacy Exchange program, a $29.5-million program that supports digital skills training for those known to be most at risk of being left behind by the rapid pace of digital technology adoption: seniors, people with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, Indigenous peoples, low-income Canadians, and individuals living in northern and rural communities.
The program aligns with the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create good jobs and ensure Canadians have the skills to succeed.
Views on the CCB BC-Yukon Division 2019 Triennial Conference///
– submitted by Brodie McKenzie
Back In 2016 when I and my mom from the Poco CCB chapter attended the conference in Kamloops, it was our first try annual conference it was amazing to meet everyone. This year was even more wonderful getting reconnected with old friendships, and making new ones was the best part of the conference.
The hotel was a great choice by the conference committee, the staff were great and the accommodations were very good.
First part of the day we all met together and got on to a charter bus enjoying a fantastic tour guided by Daren Kennedy a man who knows Chilliwack inside and out. With his families stories for us all to enjoy. And fun trivia questions involving Chilliwack’s history. The breathtaking smells of Chilliwack 🙂 it was a beautiful day. First stop was fantasy farms with farmer Garry, and his wife who gave us a description of the farm, and the farms wonderful events throughout the year. Farmer Garry split us into two groups one group stayed and enjoyed beverages plus snacks, while the other group got on a tractor train to tour the farm and see a family of goats with their babies, they were adorable. Got a couple of pictures with a little goat named Sunny, it was a real treat to hold a goat. It was time to eat so everyone got on the charter bus and we all enjoyed more touring presented by our great tour guide describing Chilliwack and its history, we were heading to the next stop at the royal Heritage hotel located in the town. As we got into our seats at the tables we were all listening to the historic stories from the haunted past with the hotel, and its family ownership. We all enjoyed the meals and refreshments. Afterwards all of us got back on to the bus again with the last part of the guided tour on our way back to the hotel. As we were all together I was thinking to myself listening to everyone so positive, happy, and comfortable all chatting together laughing and enjoying everyone’s company. The tour of Chilliwack, having a chance to enjoy fantasy farms with Garry and his family, enjoying the royal heritage hotel and company with its spooky past. Every part of that day was very memorable for myself. The 2019 conference was my second big conference and I’m so glad I attended. The bigger conference is a real delight with multiple days including workshops, chair yoga, and speakers presenting their experience with the CCB. The best part having the camaraderie of everyone from each chapter, there was positive vibes from everyone. This year was a very good year because myself along with other members got voted in as new directors to help with the Board of Directors for the BC and Yukon CCB division. Lastly I am looking forward to assisting with the board members, and most of all looking forward to the next conference for the years to come.
Always walk in warrior mode faith, strength, courage.
Highlights – 2019 CCB BC-Yukon Division AGM in Chilliwack///
– submitted by Charles & Muriel Reid
Some of the testimonials from the Directors throughout the Division touched our hearts with the struggles that some of them shared about their personal journey with loss of vision or blindness. It is encouraging to know that we are not alone and have strength in numbers.
It was great to hear about the Provincial Book Club that stays connected across the province through a teleconference. There was a business component that included voting for board members and it was a good example of community governance at work. Additionally, we went on a historical bus tour of Chilliwack that was fun, informational and showcased beautiful scenery. The Conference ended with a gala dinner, dancing and an opportunity to connect with fellow members.
It was our first time attending and we felt welcomed by all.
Mary Brown Receives Certificate of Appreciation///
A Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Mary Brown from Dogwood Chapter (Coquitlam) at this year’s Division AGM. Mary has been a member for more than 25 years. When Mary first attended Chapter meetings she came only to give another member a ride, but she quickly got more involved and became Dogwood’s treasurer. Mary still continues to share newspaper and CCB newsletter articles with her Chapter, so that information is shared and helps proof submissions to the CCB for clerical errors. Mary chauffeurs members allowing fellow Chapter members to get to CCB events and volunteers during White Cane week. She is always on the look out for new members and shares information about the CCB with people she meets. Elaine Harris, who is the original founder of Dogwood Chapter, often mentions the group likely would not have survived for as many years as it has without Mary’s contributions. The CCB owes Mary a huge amount of gratitude for her service and dedication and support of the CCB and its members.
2019 Division 50 50 Raffle Draw///
Dave Daley from Kelowna won $4,466 in our 2019 CCB BC-Yukon Division 50 50 Draw on May 1st. Dave is a chef at Freedoms Door – a recovery center for men where CCB Member and Lioness Kathy Sanness volunteers. Dave bought multiple tickets and we congratulate him for his win. Dave was skeptical, when President Ann first called and did not return the call immediately, for fear it was a prank; when Ann assured him it was legitimate, he was happy and excited as we were for him. Our thanks to everyone who supported this year’s Division 50 50 raffle!
Ruff Ruff Corner///
By Bill Conway
First of all, I wish to acknowledge the delegates to our 2019 Tri-annual AGM, who elected me as your 2nd Vice President. I truly thank you for the trust you have bestowed upon me.
Proposed Bill C-81, Accessible Canada Act
On May 22, 2019, the Federal Government announced by email and Twitter that it will vote to approve all the amendments to Bill C-81, the proposed Accessible Canada Act, that the Senate passed earlier this month. The debate in the House of Commons on these amendments is expected to begin next week according to the Federal Government. Next week also happens to be National accessibility Week in Canada (May 26th – June 1st). To read the text of the Senate Standing Committee’s amendments to Bill C-81, and a good explanation of them by the ARCH Disability Law Centre, visit;
or for more enhance information;
Passenger Bill of Rights
The federal government has rolled out its air passenger protection regulations on the eve of the summer travel season setting out what compensation airlines must pay for failing to provide adequate services to passengers. The new regulations announced May 24, 2019, will be launched in two phases. Some regulations come into force on July 15, while others will not take effect until December 15.
Funding for Accessibility Events & Projects Available
SPARC BC is pleased to announce that this year, the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program — Disability component as well as the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction have made $500 in funding available to municipalities and community-based disability groups who are holding local accessibility events. If you are planning an event, please do not hesitate to reach out to share your ideas and to request this funding. We know that by building accessibility we are creating stronger and healthier communities. Email abattalova1sparc.bc.ca
Also, on Monday, May 27, 2019, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, announces that grants, totaling $500,000 for community projects that improve accessibility. The funds will be distributed through grants administered by Disability Alliance (DABC). A call for proposals will be posted on the DABC website in summer 2019, and grants will be awarded by the end of the year.
Dog Guide Walk Day
On Sunday May 26th, 24 communities, across this province, took part in the National Day of Fundraising for Lions Foundation of Canada. The Dog Guide walk raised funds for the training facility located in Oakville, Ontario. The school trains dogs for 6 different disabilities, which are; Dog Guide, Hearing Dog , Physical Disability Dog, Seizure Alert Dog, Balance Dog and Autism Dog. We thank Pet Value for being our corporate sponsor.
The Sunshine Coast Lions Club entered into the national walk for the first time. The club raised over $3,700 for our first walk. We had 25 walkers to walk the 1.2 mile circuit. We plan to make this event bigger next year.
CCB BC-Yukon Board of Directors///
In this and following newsletters your elected Division Board of Directors will be individually featured. Allowing you the opportunity to know who is overseeing the CCB BC-Yukon Division…
Director Brodie McKenzie///
Brodie McKenzie was born in 1986. A Saskatchewan boy now living in Port Coquitlam, beautiful British Columbia. It was the summer of 2012 at the age of 25, when he started losing central vision, from a rare genetic eye condition called Leber‘s hereditary optic neuropathy Or LHON. At the time, he was working as an electrician and now Brodie is still putting the spark in his life being active with The Poco VIP CCB chapter, also a member with BC Blind Sports on the ice playing blind hockey, competing in dragon boating festivals and on the court with blind tennis.
When Brodie is playing Blind Sports or together with CCB members, he is enjoying the camaraderie, and most of all he feels freedom letting go of all emotions, enjoying activities with great friends.
When this Blind warrior, and cancer crusader is not active with The Poco VIP CCB chapter or blind sports, he is strengthening his spirit for a powerful positive outlook with his human experience. Sending supreme strength, and powerful positive vibes to the Canadian Council of the blind family. Brodie’s message to everyone is “To be true to yourself no matter what obstacles come to you, we need to understand we are powerful light warriors. If we focus and keep headstrong we can achieve anything”.
Your Division Board of Directors Contact Information///
-Ann McNabb, President – 604-795-7230 – email@example.com
-Gerry Braak, National Representative – 604-485-5028 -firstname.lastname@example.org
-Pat Chicquen, 1st Vice President – 250-339-3904 – email@example.com
-Bill Conway, 2nd Vice President – 604-740-5896 – firstname.lastname@example.org
-Kelvin Adams, Director – 250-895-9835 – email@example.com
-Brodie McKenzie – 604-942-4255 – Brodster.firstname.lastname@example.org
-Vern Short – 250-376-4493 – email@example.com
-Iris Thompson – 604-939-1258 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Answer to President Ann’s question///
because there’s too many cheetahs
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.
NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF MEMBERS
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,
CANADIAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND (“CCB”)
2019 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD AT 100-20 JAMES ST. OTTAWA, ON
12:00 pm EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME
JUNE 26, 2019
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.
The Canadian Council of the Blind
2018 Annual General Meeting
June 27, 2018
Bronson Centre, Ottawa, Ontario
In Alphabetical Order by Last Name
Ryan Van Praet
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:
Ryan Van Praet
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.
Louise Gillis gave her official welcome. A print copy of the report is attached to these minutes.
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
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.
Calling All Chapters…
Please remember the next Chapter Call In session is Thursday May 16th at 10:00 AM – hosted by Kelvin Adams and Ann McNabb. To participate dial 1-866-351-5099, when you hear the voice press the pound (#) key and punch in or say the one time participation code 282.
This is an opportunity to share your Chapter happenings, give your opinions and offer your ideas and suggestions – we look forward to speaking with you.
Ann McNabb, President
CCB BC-Yukon Division
I am happy to announce that Dave Daley from Kelowna won $4,466 in our 2019 CCB BC-Yukon Division on May 1st. Dave a chef at Freedoms Door – a recovery center for men where CCB Member and Lioness Kathy Sanness volunteers – bought multiple tickets. Congratulations Dave and thank you to everyone who supported this year’s Division 50 50 raffle!
***Ann McNabb, President
CCB BC-Yukon Division
Results of the 2019 Triennial Conference elections for the CCB BC-Yukon Division.
President Ann McNabb from Chilliwack Chapter
National Representative Geraldine Braak from Powell River Chapter
1st Vice President Pat Chicquen from Comox Valley Chapter
2nd Vice President Bill Conway from Sunshine Coast Chapter (Sechelt)
Director Kelvin Adams from Campbell River Chapter
Director Brodie McKenzie from PoCo VIP Chapter (Port Coquitlam)
Director Vern Short from Kamloops Chapter
Director Iris Thompson from Lower Mainland Chapter )Coquitlam)
Hello CCB BC-Yukon Division Members and Friends, there’s been a few questions regarding the hockey tournament; my apologies for not thinking to provide the article from our last Division Newsletter for you.
Thanks and appreciation for your interest, Ann
CCB Port Coquitlam Visually Impaired People (VIP) Chapter
– submitted by Brodie McKenzie
Hello BC-Yukon Division Chapters, it’s Brodie the LHON warrior and cancer crusader giving you information about the upcoming 2019 national Canadian blind hockey tournament held in Toronto. Below is the info from the email that was sent out from Matt Morrow the executive director of Canadian blind hockey…
Blind Hockey community: it is time to GET EXCITED! The original, the biggest, and the best Blind Hockey Tournament in the world begins in only six weeks, when the adapted puck will drop at the seventh annual Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament. As always, the tournament is at Ryerson University’s world-class Mattamy Athletic Centre – the former Maple Leaf Gardens – in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The event takes place March 22 – 24, 2019, and is presented by AMI – Accessible Media Inc. and brought to you by CNIB.
The 2019 Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament will be by far the BIGGEST event in the history of the parasport of Blind Hockey. We are expecting between 100 and 125 participants who are blind or partially sighted, who will be competing in a record five different divisions including: Children, Youth, Low Vision and Development, Open, and Select Blind Hockey Divisions. Speaking of exciting news, the 2019 Select Division will also be our biggest yet, and will feature the top 50 Blind Hockey players on the planet representing Canada East, Canada West, and USA Blind Hockey. These star-studded teams will compete in a double round-robin and provide Blind Hockey fans with eight unbelievable games throughout the weekend!
From four-year-old boys and girls who are just beginning their Blind Hockey journey, all the way to the seasoned All-Stars from across North America, the 2019 Canadian Nationals will showcase just how far the parasport of Blind Hockey has come. Whether you are a player, coach, key volunteer, partner, donor, sponsor, or just a big Blind Hockey fan: the 2019 Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament promises to be our best event yet and is not to be missed!
2018 was a monumental year for the growth of Blind Hockey. We had our first-ever European participants compete, we introduced the Children and Youth Division to Canadian Nationals, and we partnered with USA Hockey to put on the words first-ever International Blind Ice Hockey Series in Pittsburgh in October. There has never been a better time to get involved with the sport, and we are looking forward to the many exciting developments that 2019 is sure to bring, beginning with the Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament.
There are currently an all-time high of 22 Blind Hockey programs established across North America, and the exciting beginnings of Blind Hockey programs in England and Finland. If you are interested in learning more about the parasport of Blind Hockey, and how you can get involved, please email
to be connected with a program near you.
Canadian Blind Hockey programs include: the Toronto Ice Owls, Les Hiboux de Montreal, the Calgary Seeing Ice Dogs, the Edmonton SeeHawks, the Vancouver Eclipse, the Nova Scotia See-Kings, the Newfoundland Eye-Landers, GTA Youth, ASRAB Calgary Youth, and the Canadian National Blind Hockey Team.
USA Blind Hockey programs include: NY Nightshade, Chicago Blackhawks, Washington, Pittsburgh Penguins, Hartford Braillers, NY Metro, Colorado Visionaries, St Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild, Indiana, Seattle, and the USA Blind Hockey Team.
Here is the Canadian blind hockey YouTube link to enjoy the tournament with live streaming…
And the 2019 Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament Schedule will be sent to your inbox very soon.
Myself and members of the Vancouver eclipse blind hockey team are gearing up and practising with extra ice times before the tournament we are all getting pumped up for a great weekend meeting new friends, and seeing old friendships. This is my fifth tournament now and my fifth season with the Eclipse every minute I’m on the ice, and every moment I’m in the tournaments there’s a huge smile on my face with positive vibes flowing. I love being Canadian and I love hockey.
Giving all Canadian Council of the blind chapters’ supreme strength, and powerful positive vibes.
Always walk in warrior mode faith, strength, courage.
Keep your head held high, with confidence in your stride.
2019 CANADIAN NATIONAL BLIND HOCKEY TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
THURSDAY MARCH 21
8:00 PM 8:50 PM Canada East Practice
9:00 PM 9:50 PM Canada West Practice
10:00 PM 11:00 PM USA Blind Hockey Practice
FRIDAY MARCH 22
10:30 AM 11:45 AM Children & Youth Balancing Practice
11:45 AM 12:00 PM Opening Ceremonies
12:00 PM 1:30 PM Select Series: Canada East vs Team USA
1:30 PM 3:00 PM Open Division Game 1 / 3
3:00 PM 4:30 PM Low Vision and Development 1 / 3
4:30 PM 5:30 PM Children’s Division Game 1/ 3
5:30 PM 6:30 PM Youth Division Game 1 / 3
6:30 PM 8:00 PM Select Series: Canada East vs Canada West
SATURDAY MARCH 23
9:00 AM 10:00 AM Children’s Division 2 / 3
10:00 AM 11:00 AM Youth Division 2 / 3
11:00 AM 12:30 PM Select Series: Team USA vs Canada West
12:30 PM 2:00 PM Open Division Game 2 /3
3:30 PM 5:00 PM Low Vision and Development 2 / 3
5:00 PM 6:00 PM Open Skate and Try Blind Hockey Session
6:00 PM 7:30 PM Select Series: Team USA vs Canada East (2)
7:30 PM 10:00 PM Canadian Blind Hockey Banquet
SUNDAY MARCH 24
8:00 AM 9:00 AM Children’s Division 3 / 3
9:00 AM 10:30 AM Select Series: TBD
10:30 AM 11:30 AM Youth Division 3/3
11:30 AM 1:00 PM Low Vision and Development 3 / 3
1:00 PM 2:30 PM Open Division 3 / 3
2:30 PM 4:00 PM Select Series: TBD