CBC Pensioners Association, Maritime Region Newsletter

Volume 3, Issue 6                                                                                                                    Fall,2004


The Pensioners Association is taking legal action in an effort to win its fair share of the latest surplus in the Pension Fund. As explained in the Communiqué from Don Waterston, our case is based primarily in contract law, and a Statement of Claim was filed with the Ontario Superior Court on Nov. 10.
In the early 90s, the CBC formally committed to a process of sharing surpluses, and the commitment has been consistently applied by three presidents since then. That ended last year when the CBC used the entire amount of the Dec. 31, 2002, surplus allotment to fund a contribution holiday for itself. We feel this was a breach of the commitment to pensioners and employees.
We are represented by Murray Gold, a leading expert in Canadian Pension law. Next February he will begin by asking the Court to recognize our Association as a legitimate representative of all CBC pensioners.


By Jack Ingram

Jack IngramThe Board of the CBC Pensioners National Association met in Halifax on Oct. 17 and 18th. This is the first such meeting of the Board outside of Ottawa or Toronto. It was held here to honour our chairman, Jack Brownell, for his contribution to the Association over the years. Jack was able to attend the first half day of the meeting and was suitably recognized.
The Board discussed the possible need to establish an alternate dues collection system. A plan was settled upon if and when such action becomes necessary.
Our executive director, Howard Simpson, has tendered his resignation. However, he has indicated that he will be available to fill in until a suitable replacement is found.
The Association continues to grow and now has more than 4,800 members. The Maritime Region continues to have the highest percentage membership of all the Regions.
Richard LeBlanc of the CBC and a representative of Mercers discussed the supplementary health care programs that Pensioners participate in. The administration of our Atlantic Blue Cross Plan will be taken over by Great West Life effective January 1, 2005. This will result in a reduction of costs and I can confirm that there will not be any increase in our premiums next year because of this. For those of you in the plan, a formal notification of this will be sent to you shortly. A second release will follow, before the end of the year, to provide you with a new plastic card.
A new lapel pin bearing the Association Logo has been produced. You will receive one enclosed with the next national news letter.
The upgrading of the national web site was discussed and appreciation was expressed for recommendations supplied by John McKay.
Plans to support a national pharmacare program were discussed. The national office will make overtures to other organizations to determine the most effective way to proceed.
The Board had the opportunity to hear George C.B. Smith, senior vice-president, Human Resources and Organization, review the activities of the Corporation.
The next meeting is scheduled for May 15, 16, & 17 at a location to be determined.


Don WaterstonThe Halifax Pensioners group got a full briefing on the work of the National Association when President Don Waterston attended our October meeting. In a 20-minute presentation, Don outlined the many activities the Association is involved in, and praised the contribution of Jack Brownell. He said the national executive was meeting in Halifax to honour Jack and the great work he has done on behalf of the Association. Don said it's very hard to find people who will make the effort and do the work that Jack has.
After he finished his remarks, Don took questions for 75 minutes until people ran out of things to ask. More than 50 people attended our meeting held on Oct. 16th , the eve of the national meeting, that ended at noon on Oct. 18th. Later that afternoon the national directors and regional executive and spouses gathered at the Brownell residence in Fall River for a chance to get acquainted, discuss Association business, and enjoy the Brownells hospitality. This included fresh lobsters cooked on the spot by Jack's children and served by his grandchildren.
After that it was time to pay tribute to our hosts and Don Waterston made the presentation.
Claire Brownell
Claire Brownell accepting a gift from the National people
During the get-together, many issues were discussed informally and regional and national people came away with a better understanding of the ins and outs of our various problems.


ALLISON, Catherine “Cathy” died on July 10, 2004 in hospital in Halifax. Born in Halifax, she was a daughter of the late Spencer Guy and Kay (Smith) Guy. Cathy worked for the CBC in various positions for more than 25 years, retiring in 2002. She is survived by her husband, Bob Allison, Halifax; stepmother, Marnie Guy, White's Lake; sister, Victoria Spencer Guy, Halifax. She enjoyed cooking, working at various crafts and caring for her three cats.

ATKINSON, Shirley Gwendolyn - 68, Pugwash, died October 3, 2004, in the North Cumberland Memorial Hospital, Pugwash. She was a daughter of the late Harold and Blanche Atkinson. She retired from CBC Halifax after 31 years as a market publicist. Surviving are sisters, Margaret Smith, Grand Falls, NL; Eileen Allanach, Moncton, N.B.; Jean Smith, Amherst; Allouise (Stan) Smith, Goldie (Dave) Killam, both of Riverview, N.B.; Jessie Gormley, Chatham, Ont.; brothers, Chesley and Willis "Bill", both of Pugwash; sister-in-law, Lil Atkinson, Margaree. She was predeceased by a brother, Norman.

DOCKRILL, Reg, 89, died in late October, 2004. Born in Halifax, he was a poet, sculptor, and painter and served in the army in the Second World War. He held memberships in many political, social, religious and charitable organizations. He worked in the Design department at CBHT and was president of CUPE for many years. He is survived by his wife, Laura Josephine (MacKay) daughters, April and Laura; sons Peter, Chris, Michael, Brian, Perry, Mark and Martin; 17 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

WAUGH, Jean, 88, died suddenly in late July, 2004, after complications from emergency surgery in Vancouver. Born in Toney River, she was the daughter of Murdock and Emma MacCuish. She worked at CBC Halifax for many years. Jean was the mother of Richard (Glenda) Waugh, Wallace and Ian (Elizabeth) Waugh, Edmonton, Alta.; sister of Earle (Marianne) MacCuish, Santa Barbara, Calif. and five grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Stanley Waugh.


Members and their spouses or guests from around the Maritimes are invited to the association's fifth Christmas party, to be held on Dec. 8 at the Canadian Legion at Hillcrest Street & Main Ave. in Fairview.
There will be a reception from 12:00 to 1 p.m. followed by a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. We're encouraging everyone to wear name tags again this year. You'll get one, as well as a complimentary bar ticket for you and your companion. There will be a number of prizes given out as we've done in the past. Louise Fredericks and Rosalie Stoneman are the Co-Chairs of the event.
There is no charge for members and their guests, and the price for non-members is $20.00 per person. In the past we've had quite a few participants from outside Halifax. If you're traveling a long distance, why not check with a few of your former colleagues and offer them a ride?
We need to know who is coming so we can let the Caterer know. The deadline for confirming attendance is December 1st. If you plan to attend please contact Louise Fredericks, by phone at (902) 454-4359 or by Email at


Tuesday, December 14 4:30 – 8:30 pm.

Seasons Bistro, Holiday Inn Select, 1980 Robie St.

Buffet style food (free) Cash bar (reasonable prices)

Cab slips available All CBC Pensioners invited.


The Christmas Food Bank collection will be held this year on Friday, Dec. 17, at the Radio Building at the corner of Sackville and South Park Streets in Halifax. Any Pensioners interested in helping out are asked to contact Melissa at the CBC - 420-4301 before Dec. 1.


By Maurice Olsen

Our fall membership meeting in early November was attended by 21 pensioners. On the agenda, Blue Cross again. A comparison chart was presented showing that coverage for the Moncton Chapter is more comprehensive than elsewhere in Atlantic Canada, and that seeking lower premiums will also lower coverage. The matter rests for now.
All members showed great interest in having a golf outing in the spring and a lobster party next June. Four members offered to set up these events.
The meeting unanimously supported a motion advising the National Executive to take CBC to court in order to have their fair share of the pension surplus paid out to pensioners.


By Maurice Olsen

This fall the Capitol Theater (Moncton) was filled for the 50th anniversary of French radio in Acadia. A grande soirée it was, of music, humor and nostalgia. On Feb. 20, 1954, Acadian radio aired its first shows from the new studios on St. George St., Moncton, producing news, live school broadcasts, and it gave a collective voice to the Acadian community.
It was a turning point. At first, there was a staff of 14.

Léo Cormier produced « Soirée acadienne » :  here, with Paul Gagné, technician.
A notable series was “Soirée acadienne”, 48 shows which brought radio staff everywhere, into parishes, into houses filled with neighbors. It was a big party for the folks, to tell stories, laugh, dance and joke.
In honor of the beginnings of public radio in Acadia, SRC has transferred the whole series to CD and donated it to the Center for Acadian Studies at the University of Moncton.


By Bill Harper

Author of “A Picture By Christmas”

 CBHT’s First Location on College St., Halifax  The Staff Reports for Training, Nov. 1, 1954.  

My God, was it really fifty years ago that we gathered in the old gray school to learn something about television?
To those of us who were there on the first day of November, 1954, it really does seem “just like yesterday,” that we took the first tentative steps on those old floors that had felt the footfalls of generations of Halifax children in the College Street School. Like them, we too were there to learn, but ours was a subject that they never could have imagined.
Television came to Canada two years earlier with CBC outlets in Toronto and Montreal. Nova Scotia’s first station, CJCB-TV Sydney, went to air in October with us to follow in December …the date uncertain but a promise had been made that there would be “A Picture by Christmas.”
In the seven weeks leading to December 20 we learned almost enough to go to air successfully. There were glitches, but we accomplished what we’d set out to do: bring to our audience a variety of national programming, and reflect the community to itself through our local programs.
If we look at that picture of the first staff members, we see many who are now dead, others who’ve moved away, but, surprisingly many others … fifty years older yes, but still harbouring those wonderful memories of a happy time.
There’ll be no “official” celebration marking this 50th Anniversary, but from the earliest pioneers to the latest retirees we can look back with pride at what we contributed to local, regional and national audiences.

Copies of “A Picture By Christmas” are still available at CBC prices at Frame Plus Art in Halifax.

 The new Bell Road Building nears completion in 1956  The College St. location after the fire in 1959

French translation By Maurice Olsen