Branch Messages



I am writing this while looking out at bright sunshine on new snow, as the last of winter (hopefully) has graced us with an unexpected dump of the white stuff. Thinking glass half full, I see a beautiful day and the promise of warm weather, and the prospect of putting the snow blower away for a few months. And bringing down the outdoor Christmas lights, which I traditionally put up during the first snowstorm of the season, but remove in the warm waft of Spring. 

For some of us the view is obstructed by huge wind turbines or sprawling solar farms. These installations are producing green energy to reduce the carbon footprint of the energy sector, an effort to be lauded, but at what cost? The energy used in manufacturing them is not green, and they have a short lifespan of a couple of decades. What then? Nobody has said what will be the cost of refurbishing or disposing of them. Enter the cause for nuclear power, which occupies much less real estate, lasts for many years, and produces power steadily and reliably. The byproduct is a relatively small quantity of radioactive material, which requires only a small standoff distance to be harmless. The doomsday fears held by some are unfounded, given our strong technical and engineering expertise in dealing with storage of these materials. To date the few hundred people ever harmed by nuclear incidents contrast with the millions killed yearly by pollution and the effects of climate change. The debate rages on. 

Sorry, got off on a tangent there. What I want to say is that although I will be unable to attend the Annual Meeting of Members in Gatineau this spring, we will be ably represented by Ted Kasprzak, who will report on the proceedings and give us a view of the mood of the Association. Ted is responsible for bringing in guest speakers, as he did in February on the topic of Income Tax, and is very able to represent us at the National Convention.

Your Association is thriving across the country, though some of the smaller Branches are dealing with shrinking enrollment and challenges in getting volunteers. In the last year, for instance, the Oshawa Branch has closed for want of volunteers for the Executive, and consideration is being given to how to provide services to its 600 – odd members. I am happy to say that we are so far in good shape, with a strong Executive, though we welcome anyone who feels the urge to join us in providing services to the Branch. 

So although our Branch is strong, in order to avoid the fate of other Branches we need to bring in more members and have more members volunteer for the Executive. The Association is working hard to attract members, but it is up to us to persuade those retirees who are waffling to step up and pay the paltry dues needed to keep us strong in Ottawa. And we need people to take the hour a month to come out to executive meetings and join in the business of the Branch. The workload is small and the rewards are considerable, as we enjoy a finger on the national pulse and meet many interesting, active people. 

See you at the next meeting,

Tom Kupecz