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The mandate of the Political Advocacy (PA) Committee as stated in the Policy Handbook is as follows:

  1. Develop and recommend actions to accomplish goals and objectives established by the Board.
  2. Monitor political issues and advise the President and/or the Board on emerging issues relevant to RTAM.
  3. Plan and organize political advocacy, if so directed by the Board.


Committee Chair & Member/s


John Sushelnitsky
Portage la Prairie
  • Guy Hansen
  • Vicki Hooke
  • JoAnne Hoyak
  • Julian Hoyak
  • Norm Wiebe
Committee Report to the Last RTAM AGM

Respectfully submitted by John Sushelnitsky, Chair (Portage la Prairie)

Members: Linda Blair (Winnipeg), Ralph Cibula (Gladstone), Guy Hansen (Winnipeg), JoAnne Hoyak (MacGregor), Julian Hoyak (MacGregor)

In the spring of 2018, the Political Advocacy (PA) Committee took the lead in organizing a very successful Meet and Greet with Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). It was later decided that the next such event would be in 2020, the year of the scheduled provincial election.

On October 1st, the PA Committee promoted the United Nations’ Day of the Older Persons by encouraging Chapters to organize a local event emphasizing the contributions of seniors to their communities.

Updates were brought to the Board on the progress of selecting a candidate for the RTAM Indigenous Bursary. The selection was made by the University College of the North, centred in The Pas.

Prior to the last federal election, candidate Justin Trudeau said that this would be the last “first by the post” and that a form of proportional representation (PR) would be used in the future. However, Prime Minister Trudeau had second thoughts. Nevertheless, the PA Committee closely followed the PR referendum held in British Columbia and reported the results to the Board.

The disparity of economic wealth that occurs in Canada and the rest of the world was studied and submitted to RTAM readership in KIT by Julian Hoyak. The second disparity based on gender income and promotion opportunities continues to be a serious issue.

The topic of “ageism” was also examined in a detailed report by Linda Blair. RTAM’s connection to the Manitoba Seniors’ Coalition is a fundamental building block in our outreach to the wider Manitoba community.

The Board assigned two issues to the Committee which will be ongoing into the next term. Firstly, the Committee was to establish what might be the ramifications of the amalgamation of school divisions, and secondly, the committee is to track the progress of The Manitoba Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education K-12, due to report in February 2020.

The topic of the Education Review was discussed with the Minister of Education and Training at a meeting of RTAM representatives in February. The Honourable Kelvin Goertzen made it clear that the review would welcome submissions from RTAM as an organization and from retired teachers individually. He also said that defined benefit pension plans, teachers’ salaries and the raising of finances were not in the parameters of the review.