CBC Pensioners Association, Maritime Region Newsletter

Volume 3, Issue 1                                                                    Spring, 2002


By Jack Brownell

In our last newsletter (fall of 2001), I gave a report on the progress of restructuring the health care coverage. We had received a report from the Committee formed to study the plan and we had received phase 1 from Buck Consulting. The National Executive decided, because of the cost and risk of proceeding down the road of establishing our own plan, that it might be just as effective to modify our existing plan using the recommendations made by Buck and our Committee.
It was decided to approach CBC and Mercers (the actuary) to see if they would work with us. The first meeting went so well, it was decided to continue this process. Since then several more meetings have been held which have proven to be worthwhile.
Some of the changes that we might expect: Elimination of private/semi private room coverage 2) Elimination of dispensing fees coverage 3) Provision for an optional multi-tier system 4) A variety of caps on pharmaceuticals, physio etc. 5) A national plan administered by one carrier 6) There will be a card that will reduce the need to pay cash. By including the Maritimes (500 members) in a national plan (5000 members) there should be a reduced risk and a reduced administrative cost.
We know that the cost of medical services will continue to rise 12 to 15% per year and our goal is to provide the best coverage while keeping it within your ability to pay in the foreseeable future. This is a very complicated subject, which is made more so by the variations in subsidy by each Province. It is not expected that we will have a plan to present for your approval until late this year. I would ask everyone to be patient and give our Executive the opportunity to achieve the very best possible plan. I would like to remind you, if not for this Association, there would be no attention paid to this issue.
I have just returned from the spring meeting in Ottawa. To keep it brief I will only mention a few of the many items which were dealt with:
1) Membership ID cards are in the mail as we go to press. They will be mailed directly to members.
2) CEO Steve Cottsman reports the pension surplus is $660 million. The fund lost less than 2% from the recession over the past year or so.
3) We approved the projected budget for 2002-2003. In it is included $20,000 to get actuarial and legal help on a variety of pension related items. Survivor benefits, cost of living, surplus payments and other concerns will be analyzed, costed, and with appropriate commentary, put into a report for our use in setting objectives for the association.
On the Local/Regional scene, there are a number of items worthy of mention: Congratulations to Bill Harper for having just completed a photo Journal history of CBHT in Halifax. (Details elsewhere in this letter)
We have begun a membership drive, which is Maritime wide. The committee responsible for this is headed by Tom Pottie. The plan includes a mail out to all non members. There will be a follow-up phone call 10 to 14 days after the mailing. Our phone committee under Keith Delong has been expanded to handle the extra load. There will be a phone committee formed in Moncton to canvas the Francophone pensioners in New Brunswick. It is my belief that if all Pensioners are properly informed about the Association and the role it is playing for their benefit, they will understand the importance of joining. To date we have gained about two dozen new members.
Recently I was invited to make a presentation to Pensioners in Sackville, New Brunswick. This is the site of the Transmitter for the International Service. I accepted with pleasure because back in the 50s I spent a number of years working in that plant. I was pleased to see people I hadn’t seen in more than four decades.
I was very impressed by the interest shown in the Association. There were about two dozen pensioners and spouses at the meeting and I had the opportunity to answer many questions over a two hour session.
I particularly want to thank Alf Walker and Mickey MacWilliams for organizing the meeting. I truly enjoyed the whole thing. In closing, I would like to thank all the volunteers whose expertise and hard work have made this Region of the Association so successful. Have a great summer, take care of yourselves and we'll begin a new season in September.


By Nil d'Entremont

On March 14/02 CBC Moncton honoured 3 new retirees. Reid Parker, who had been on long term disability for a number of years, is now a pensioner. The others are Jocelyne Boudreau and Valmond Léger. We welcome them to join our association. Recently several Moncton area pensioners have joined the Association and we hope many more will sign on as a result of our membership drive. We have plenty of enrolment forms available.
Sometimes our telephone committee encounters problems with change of addresses or phone numbers. In order to keep our records up to date, we ask you to advise us of any changes. Members of the phone committee are: Yvonne Cormier (389-1051) Louis Elsliger (856-6011) Nil d'Entremont (384-7459) and Denise Thellab (855-7935).
On a sad note, Eileen Nadeau, wife of Herman Nadeau, passed away in March 2002. We donated to a charity on behalf of the Moncton Chapter.
We held our annual general meeting on May 29/02 at the Moncton Press Club with a disappointing turnout of only 20 members. However, a lively discussion ensued about items mentioned in the president's report. These included the next pension surplus, spousal benefits, cost of living allowance and supplementary health coverage. In the absence of Frances Porelle, vice-president Louis Elsliger reported that as of March 31 we had $986.00 in our account. A motion was passed to donate $100.00 yearly to the "Tree of Hope" fund for the fight against cancer. Have a good summer and we’ll meet again in the fall.


BURNS, Charles Arthur - 67, Lower Sackville, died May 27, 2002, in hospital in Halifax. He was born in Maitland, Hants Co. He worked at CBHT Halifax as a technician and supervisor for nearly 40 years, retiring in 1996. He is survived by his wife Sally, three sons and grandchildren and great grandchildren.

BUSHELL, Norman Harrington "Bim" - 70, of Dartmouth and Canso, died January 15, 2002. Born in Guysborough Co, he joined the CBC as a technician in 1960. He is survived by his wife, Geraldine, two sons, and a daughter, and three granddaughters. Two sons predeceased him.

CROWTHER, Maisie Jane - 59, Maitland East, Hants Co., died December 7, 2001. A native of Grand Bank, Nfld., she grew up in Mahone Bay. Maisie was a switchboard operator at the CBC for several years and worked at a number of government departments. Later she earned two degrees from St. Mary’s and spent a year teaching in China. Survivors include six grandchildren.

DEXTER, Reid Vincent - 86, died at home in Halifax, February 24, 2002. He was a meteorologist in Gander, Moncton and Halifax, and was widely known for the 13 years he spent as a freelance weatherman on Information Morning in Halifax. He is survived by his wife, a son and daughter and 5 grandchildren.

MILLER, John P. died June 1 in Saint John. A native of Cornwall, Ont., he worked at the CBC for many years, retiring as Senior News Editor. He is survived by a son, Christopher, a brother, James, and two nephews of Saskatoon.

SHERWOOD, Mary Margaret - 81, died at home in Halifax on May 21, 2002. She was born in Saint John, N.B. She is survived by four daughters and a number of grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Peter, who worked for many years in the Design Department.

STRACHAN, Hugh Douglas - 77, Halifax, died April 18, 2002, in hospital in Halifax. He was born in Montreal, but grew up in Winnipeg. He served with the R.C.A.F. during and after the Second World War. He was a news editor in the Halifax Radio Newsroom for many years. He is survived by his wife, Aileen, and a sister, Shirley, and her family in Winnipeg.


CBC Pensioners Association (Maritimes)
    Statement of Revenue and Expenses at                                             December 31, 2001.

Yr to Date
Bank Balance at December 31,2000

Bank Balance at October 31, 2001

Add:    Members Dues Allocation  Nov.-Dec.
             Bank Interest
Total Revenue


Special Presentations - Floyd Eisan
Stationery and Supplies
Special Meeting Expense
Christmas Dinner Expense
Memorials (Hope Cottage, Phoenix House and Ward 5 Community Centre in memory of deceased Pensioners)

Donations, Phoenix Youth Program
Donation, Ward 5 Community Centre
Travel Expenses
Dues Allocation - Moncton
Newsletter Expense
Total Expenses

                                                   Bank Balance at December 31, 2001                                           


If you’re not a member of the Pensioners Association, you’ve been getting this newsletter as a courtesy. However, beginning with our next issue the newsletter will be sent only to members.
If you are a non-member, by now you will have received a letter inviting you to join the Association. You will have also received a follow-up telephone call, again inviting you to become a member.
To stay in the loop, please take a moment to join. We are dedicated to representing your interests on issues we negotiate with the CBC, such as spousal benefits, health insurance and responsible distribution of pension surpluses. You can get in touch with us by telephone at (902) 453-0269.


by Audrey Sampson

At our Christmas Party last December 5, there were approximately 150 retirees and spouses in attendance. They came from PEI, Sydney and other points near and far in NS.
Each person received a ticket for the bar as they checked in.
Our Association President, Jack Brownell, welcomed everyone and Treasurer, Tom Pottie, made several announcements and gave a financial report.
Before the meal there were draws for prizes which were won by Peter Loucks, Audrey Sampson and Vel Ibsen.
A presentation was made to Floyd Eisan in recognition of his untiring efforts in forming our present Association and his persistence in pursuing the initial work, along with his team, regarding the Pension surplus pay-out. Floyd's wife, Harriet, was presented with flowers in appreciation of her generous support throughout these early undertakings.
The Legion ladies prepared an excellent turkey dinner.
It was a pleasant time and lots of fun exchanging news with friends and former work colleagues. There were lots of comments that we should "do it again." Plans are already underway.


By Bill Harper

In 1998 CBC Management suggested that it would be nice if the retirees would do a brief history of the Bell Road studios. We formed a committee and began tossing around ideas and looking for photographic and other visual support. We were given access to files and photos and a temporary workspace that was totally unsuitable.
From the outset it was our intention to begin at the beginning; that is, almost two years before the Bell Road facility was opened, when 30 of us gathered in what had been Grades 1 and 2 classrooms at the College Street School to learn to make television programs. In telling the story there were several false starts and a complete rewrite of the manuscript before it was accepted by Nimbus Publishing.
CBHT went to air in 1954 and in September of that year the CBC booth at the Lunenburg Fisheries Exhibition had Max Ferguson and Rube Hornstein with a wooden mock-up camera, a map of our proposed coverage area and a little sign that promised, "A Picture By Christmas."
From there the story relates the trials and tribulations of our earliest days in the College Street School studio. There’s a lot about the facilities in the old school and the programs that came out of that studio in the first 22 months we were on air, then the move to the "real" TV station on Bell Rd. in 1956.
The official opening of the new facilities in Oct. '56 was followed immediately by the first Springhill mine disaster and the beginning of the Don Messer show locally, then on the Maritime Network, then full network 1969. From the mid 50's on, it's mostly about programs and people, the move from film to videotape, the changes in News and Current Affairs programming, and the burgeoning Variety Department programming culminating in a rash of new shows in the late 70's and early 80's.
The final words in Chapter 18 sum it all up: "...the shows are long gone, but then so are many of the people who were the pioneers of television here. The list is long, and growing each year, but those of us who remain look back with fondness on those formative years, when our biggest complaint was the perceived "fourth floor bureaucracy." How lucky we were then, and are now to be onlookers only, as the continuing financial constraints and other factors propel the processes which seem to diminish the value of our old Mother Corp."
The book is expected to be available in the fall.


The Maritime golf tournament will be held at the Truro golf club on Thursday September 5th at 12 o'clock. The cost is $35 for green fees plus the cost of your meal.
This is a central location available to Pensioners from all three provinces.
Please reply to Ray Fralick at if you plan to attend.