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COMMITTEE REPORT TO THE 2020 RTAM AGM can be found in each committee's page. Click on a committee on the lefthand side, the report will show on the right. However, if you want to view and download all/any of the reports, CLICK HERE.

March 2021 Highlights

The RTAM Executive continues improving its relationships with outside organizations. Both the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS) and the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents (MASS) provided great support advertising RTAM’s Pre-Retirement seminars and are largely responsible for significantly increasing the number of active teachers who attended.

On March 2, the RTAM Executive held a Zoom meeting with New Democratic Party MLAs: Wab Kinew (Leader of the Opposition), Nello Altomare (Education critic) and Uzoma Asagwana (Health critic). They were very supportive of RTAM’s concerns, especially a TRAF Board seat, COLA, Long Term Care facilities and Universal National Pharmacare. Unfortunately, a similar meeting with Minister of Education, Cliff Cullen and Progressive Conservative Party MLAs, originally scheduled for March 11th, was cancelled at the last minute. RTAM has requested that the meeting be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity.  

At its March 8th meeting, the Executive finalized prioritizing agenda items for the meetings on March 11th and 25th as well as planning a meeting with TRAF CEO, Jeff Norton, to discuss issues related to the annual COLA grants paid to retired teachers.

On March 17, I will address the MTS Local Association Presidents on RTAM’s new Free First-Year Membership initiative as well as the benefits of joining RTAM to access our Prestige Travel Insurance. The proposed RTAM agenda items of our fourth Joint MTS-RTAM Liaison meeting (March 25) was finalized at the March 8th Executive meeting.

The Executive approved in principle a contract proposal for website services and the printing of KIT with Gayl Punzalan of Blue Ink Media. 

March 2021 Highlights

A ZOOM meeting of the Coalition was held on March 4. Some of the representatives of the Coalition and the Provincial Government officials in Covid-19 vaccine distribution met to discuss Coalition suggestions made to the Government in a December 9, 2020 letter. From recent announcements it appears there has been some positive government response.

Two ZOOM meetings, one national and the other specifically with three Manitoba MPs were held during the month, the first about Income Tax and the second dealing with fraud and scams. Deb Schulte, the Minister for Seniors, spoke and answered questions at both meetings. Letters sent by her on both issues have been posted on the RTAM Website.

Income Security - Income Tax Tips

Tax season is coming soon.  The Income Tax slips started coming this week in the mail.  A letter sent recently by Canada’s Minister of Seniors, Deb Schulte, to RTAM states at the outset “Filing taxes is important to make sure individuals get all the benefits they are entitled to, especially low-income seniors.”


Letter to Premier Brian Pallister

December 9, 2020

Premier Brian Pallister
Manitoba Government
204 - 450 Broadway Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8


The Manitoba Seniors Coalition is a coalition of Manitoba organizations interested in the spectrum of issues affecting older adults in Manitoba. Though each organization has individual priorities and mandates, collectively we aim to ensure that older Manitobans thrive and age well.

In June, the Manitoba Seniors Coalition shared a list of priorities that are important to support older Manitobans. Many support healthy aging, while others ensure that there are adequate supports in place for when aging independently isn’t possible.

The urgency of some of these issues has been spotlighted and exacerbated by the second wave of Covid-19 in Manitoba. It has been particularly evident in the high mortality rate amongst older people.


If you have ideas for seminars, workshops, presenters, etc. please pass on your information to the office. Our committee may be able to use your information to put together that event.
Remember there is a Wellness grant. If your Chapter needs funds to proceed with a Wellness event, here is a grant that may provide these funds.

Committee Chair & Member/s


Linda Blair

  • Meryl Orth
  • Joan Rink
  • Maureen Recksiedler
  • Peggy Prendergast
Pharmacare Free Webinar

Canada-wide Free Webinar, Thursday, June 3.

June 3rd webinar event Poster English

March 2021 Highlights

On Wednesday, February 24th, there was a presentation entitled Creating Certainty for Your Future: the importance of a well-structured estate plan by Candace Landry and Madison Kinzel from IG Private Wealth Management. A booklet entitled Estate Planning - Personal Records Organizer was emailed in pdf to all registrants. Additional handouts were also forwarded to participants. A total of 64 participated with 3 being from outside the province and 11 being non-members.

The two Photography Workshops by Gayl Punzalan, Founder & Creative Director of Blue Ink Media, are scheduled for Thursday, June 17 and Friday, June 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. The Workshops will be held online, and the cost to each participant will be $50 per workshop. There will be a limit of 20 participants per day. 

The Post-Mountaintop Conversation with Hazel Venzon, the Assistant Director of Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, is scheduled as an online event for Thursday, March 11 at 1:30 p.m.

The Wellness Advocacy Committee along with the Political Advocacy Committee is encouraging everyone to register with MTC to attend The Bridge on Saturday, March 18 – 21.

Committee Report to the 2020 RTAM AGM

Membership: Linda Blair, Chair, Meryl Orth, Joan Rink, Maureen Recksiedler

Throughout 2019-2020, our committee was able to function through the use of email, physical meetings and Zoom. We had a total of five events planned. Three events were held, and two events had to be cancelled for various reasons. The feedback through completed Evaluation Forms from participants indicated a great appreciation for our events.

On September 20, over 40 participants gathered at Assiniboine Park to attend a Photography Workshop hosted by Gayl Punzalan and her assistants. Gayl helped us learn more about using our cell phone camera as well as digital cameras to produce quality pictures. She showed us the composition rules that make pictures more visually appealing. Then we were off to the English Gardens to practice our new skills. Gayl gave us specific pointers in reference to our newly produced pictures, and we departed with a renewed enthusiasm. Our picture taking skills had been enhanced.

On October 18, about 25 participants met to learn about Extreme Winter Driving Conditions. The amount of space needed to stop in various driving conditions was remarkably different. No matter how good or bad the driving conditions are at the time, we need to recognize the laws of physics that determine the limitations of our stopping power. Hopefully we all drove home with much more awareness of the physics at play when we stop and go.

Our Safety for Seniors Seminar scheduled for November 26 was cancelled and then rescheduled for March 10. Unfortunately, the seminar was once again cancelled. We were unable to hear the presentation prepared by the Community Police Officer. He would have given us information on current scams and other threats to our safety as well as how to protect ourselves.

The Wills, Power of Attorney, and Health Directive to help prevent Elder Abuse by Sharon Tod was held on February 13. About 25 participants listened to Sharon as she informed us of the various documents that we need to have in place now. The reasons for having to do so as well as the fallout that is possible when these documents are not in place were well covered.

The Health Seminar scheduled for March 20 was cancelled. The webinar by Heart & Stroke would have given us the up to date information on heart health research. Researchers are discovering how female heart health is different than male heart health. Females present differently. More research is now focusing on the female heart issues. Also, the Victoria Lifeline presenter planned to give us information regarding our health in reference to Successful Aging and Fall Prevention. She had various pointers to give us.

Our committee has used our RTAM Website and KIT to keep our general membership abreast of our events. As deadlines permitted, we also used the advertising in KIT.

In future, we plan to use the RTAM Website and KIT more effectively by noting any deadline dates, in particular.

Thank you to all our committee members as well as our Website and KIT workers for helping make our committee function successfully.

Prime Minister announces supports for Canadians with disabilities

Le premier ministre annonce du soutien pour les Canadiens en situation de handicap

COVID-19 has created a myriad of new challenges while highlighting existing barriers for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. 

Today, during National AccessAbility Week, the Prime Minister made a significant announcement regarding financial support available to Canadians with disabilities in response to the pandemic.


RTAM Wellness Initiative Grant Application Guidelines

The RTAM Wellness Initiative Grant (WIG) is available to chapters to promote member engagement. Chapters are urged to develop a project and/or activity that meets the unique needs of their individual membership. Once the plan has been formulated, an application form (attached) should be completed and sent to the RTAM office. Each chapter is eligible for a subsidy of up to $250 per fiscal year to assist with their project. Be aware that funding is limited.  Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing.

The criteria used for evaluating the WIG application are as follows:

  1. The initiative must promote member engagement.
  2. Describe the initiative to be undertaken.  Project descriptions should be complete enough to indicate how "member engagement" will be promoted and what activity/activities are involved to facilitate this.
  3. Indicate the itemized expenses and estimated costs.
  4. Indicate the date or the period of time the initiative will take place.  Completion dates may be projected at the time of the grant application.
  5. Activities for which funding is requested must take place after the application date.
  6. A description of how RTAM will be recognized for its contribution should be in the application.
  7. The exact same initiative should NOT be repeated yearly.
  8. Initiatives should avoid the direct transfer of funds received from RTAM to another organization where there is no additional chapter member involvement.
  9. A report must be sent to RTAM after the completion of the Chapter’s initiative.
  10. Initiative reports are to be received no later than 2 months after the initiative’s completion date. 
  11. Reports from a previous grant must have been received by RTAM to be eligible for another WIG.
  12. Priority will be given to first-time applications if a choice needs to be made due to budgetary constraints.

Please contact the RTAM office if you have any questions, by phone at 204-889-36601‑888‑393-8082 (toll-free) or email to

Due date for applications is April 15, each year.


Advancing Inclusion And Quality Of Life For Seniors

Report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons, with Disabilities

Bryan May, Chair


Health System Transformation

The Manitoba government is confident that better health care is within reach and is making bold changes to the health system that will make it more patient-focused, operate more efficiently and ensure it is safe, affordable and sustainable in the long term.

This includes the creation of a provincial health organization, Shared Health, which will enable provincial planning and integration of services, improve patient care and provide coordinated support to regional health authorities across the province - including the recruitment and retention of health professionals - and establish provincial standards of care for all Manitobans.


Towards Implementation of National Pharmacare Discussion Paper

A Message from the Minister of Health and the Minister of Finance

Canadians are proud of our publicly funded health care system, which is based on need and not ability to pay. However, prescription drugs are not covered in a consistent way across the country, and too many Canadians cannot afford the medicines they need.

In Budget 2018, the Government established an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare (“the Council”), led by Dr. Eric Hoskins, to provide independent advice on how to best implement national pharmacare in a manner that is affordable for Canadians and their families, employers and governments.


Promoting the Labour Force Participation of Older Canadians

The Forum of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors (FPT Seniors Forum) recently released a report entitled, Promoting the Labour Force Participation of Older Canadians, that highlights promising labour force initiatives to address specific workforce challenges facing older Canadians. In developing this report, the FPT Seniors Forum collaborated with federal, provincial and territorial stakeholders including private sector organizations, employers, and non‑government organizations.

The FPT Seniors Forum discusses issues of importance to seniors, shares information on seniors’ well-being, and undertake initiatives to advance issues of common concern.

We are pleased to share this report with you on behalf of the FPT Seniors Forum and encourage you to share and discuss this report further with your networks.


Seniors and Healthy Aging Branch / Direction des personnes âgées et vieillissement en santé
3078 -300 Carlton Street / 300, rue Carlton, bureau 3078
Winnipeg MB R3B 3M9 / Winnipeg (Manitoba) R3B 3M9
Phone: 204 945-6565 / Téléphone : 204 945‑6565
Toll-free: 1-800-665-6565 / Sans frais : 1-800- 665‑6565
email: / Courriel :
website: / Site Web :

Extortion scams


Extortion scams refer to any person who unlawfully obtains money, property or services from a person, entity or institution through coercion. Scammers come up with new reasons why you urgently need to pay them money.


Hostage Scam

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is receiving reports from Canadian companies who are being scammed. The companies receive emails followed up with phone communication from suspects misrepresenting themselves/impersonating legitimate organizations, such as "National Defence" or the "Minister of Public Safety". The communication is an attempt to obtain ransom for employees through hostage-taking scams or proprietary information. While the ransom demand is real, the actual hostage-taking is fake.

The emails are using generic domains, such as They are well-constructed to appear to come from the Canadian Government or a person/company that may be known to the recipient. The suspects are targeting various levels within the company and often try to reach key executives to further the ransom demand.

The Little Black Book of Scams 2nd edition - Competition Bureau Canada


Photography Workshop 2019 - A Huge Success

RTAM, through the Wellness Committee held a Photography Workshop at the Park Cafe, Assiniboine Park. Click below to watch the video.