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BC Federation of Retired Union

BC FORUM News - From The Advocate, Spring, 2022


A time for new things


By Sam Wiese, Interim President, BC FORUM

A time for new things By Sam Wiese Interim President, BC FORUM Spring has always brought thoughts of plant shoots poking their heads through the earth, birds flitting about gathering materials for nests, and ever increasing hours of daylight and temperatures. In short, a time for new things. Never has that been truer than this spring for BC FORUM as we forge ahead without Diane Wood at our helm. That’s right, folks, Diane made the hard decision to step down as president at the beginning of the year. Thankfully she remains on the Board of Directors representing the BC General Employees Union and will continue to represent BC FORUM at the Council of Senior Citizens Organizations of BC (COSCO).

Diane spent in excess of ten years in her executive position at BC FORUM, spending untold time meeting with and fighting for not only BC FORUM members but all seniors and their families. She has been our torchbearer on issues such as Universal Pharmacare and Dental Care, pension protection, improvements to the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Support. Her words of wisdom and challenge have brought the issue of pension protection to workers young and old. Her compassion for others has manifested itself in the countless hours she devotes to improving the care of those in need of home care or who reside in long term care facilities. She is never hesitant to wade into the waters of regional, provincial, national and international politics without a care of the depths. She is a “femtor” to many, an icon to more and to me, I am lucky to say, she is also a friend. Diane is small in stature, but those shoes – WOW – they definitely can never be filled. That doesn’t mean the BC FORUM Executive and Board of Directors are not aspiring to those lofty heights. We have been working hard to ensure we have capacity to continue on in our endeavours to make this world a more just, healthier, happier place and will always call on you, our members and colleagues, to assist and support us.

Like our most recent winter edition of The Advocate, this spring edition is another first; one wherein I am providing initial words to you as interim president and a first with our new editor, Aliza Nevarie.

Aliza brings with her over 25 years of union activism, holding office in many capacities, culminating in president of CUPE Local 391. She currently works as Commuications support at FPSE, and as a freelance graphic designer. This work is supported by a BFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University and classes in Design at Emily Carr University. Aliza looks forward to bringing her love of unions together with her love of the printed word and graphic design as editor of The Advocate.

We are ever appreciative of the time that Joan Bech has given us providing access to Soren’s files to assist Aliza in familiarizing herself with our publication. This along with the cooperation of Mitchell Press and the work of our ever efficient office administrator, Theresa Couture, is what gives us the ability to provide you with an informative and enjoyable periodical.

I am confident that you all join me in welcoming Aliza and thanking her for taking on this work for BC FORUM.

Happy spring and I wish you enjoyment in your perusal of this edition of The Advocate.


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