Chapter Update—Growing and Engaging the Network

Susan Eng and Ida Chong, BC Minister of Healthy Living and Sport

CARP Action not only takes place in the Parliament Buildings, Legislatures and City Council Chambers through our Advocacy work, but also through a network of local Chapters across Canada, who are making a difference in their own communities by personifying CARP’s ‘New Vision of Aging’.

This spring, CARP took to the road to tap into the energy and organizing power of CARP chapters. If you’re not already active in your local CARP Chapter, please consider getting involved, in any way you can. And if there isn’t a Chapter in your area, please contact us to find out how easy can be to start a Chapter in your community.

Here’s a brief update on the travels.

Brantford, Ontario

Under the guidance of Chapter Chair Terry Little, the Brantford Chapter held their 4th annual Lifestyle Show, which gets bigger and better every year; attracting over 1000 people to the one day event. Gail Goldman, CARP’s Chapter Liaison, was on hand to help with new member registration. Chapter Chairs, John Thompson of Kitchener-Waterloo and Carlos Duchesne of Hamilton attended the event, picked up some great tips, and are planning their own Lifestyle Expo for next year.

Barrie, Ontario

CARP Chapter Chair Gwen Kavanagh hosted a Financial Forum in April, with two noted financial planners who offered advice and answered questions of local members on the best ways to protect wealth in current economy. Gail Goldman was on hand from the National Office helping generate new members, and helping Gwen formalize a new Board of Directors for the Barrie Chapter.

Windsor, Ontario

Susan Eng kicked off her travels with a stop in Windsor where the Windsor-Essex chapter hosted spirited discussions about public pensions and the politics of improving the financial security of older Canadians. The discussions ranged from the gaps in the public pension system, such as the exclusion of single women from the OAS spousal allowance, to the urgency of CARP’s call for political action to fix Canada’s retirement income system by establishing a Universal Pension Plan. When Susan asked about their ballot box participation, not a single CARP member there reported missing a voting day. This level of political engagement coupled with the Windsor chapter’s outstanding community organizing abilities signals the potential for CARP chapters to sit in the driver’s seat of progressive social change for Canadians as we age.

North Bay, Ontario

Moses Znaimer, Leanne Wright and Ross Mayot travelled to North Bay for the AGM of the North Bay Chapter. Moses was the feature speaker at the sold-out event. In introducing Moses, Chapter Chair, Ron Farrell outlined the dynamics and phases associated with ‘Change Management Theory’ that Moses has put into practice since taking on the leadership of CARP. Following his video presentation of A New Vision of Aging, Moses engaged in a vigorous Q&A session, during which members identified a number of issues of particular concern in Northern Ontario, including the environment, health care services and employment opportunities. After Moses explained the importance of attracting younger Zoomers to become CARP members, a member enthusiastically took up the cause, urging those in attendance to buy gift memberships for their adult sons and daughters. TV Star, Don Harron’s alter ego, Charlie Farquharson, regaled the audience for over an hour with his array of mangled “Farqhuarsonisms”. Local MP Anthony Rota and North Bay Mayor, Vic Fideli, were in attendance and both praised the Chapter for its service to the community.