The New Brunswick Women’s Institute Provincial Convention met on June 1, 2019, at the Ramada Inn. The theme was “Inclusivity”.
The meeting opened with the President, Sandra Day, introducing the dignitaries. The meeting opened with “O’Canada”, a Salute to the Flag, God Save the Queen and Mary Stewart’s Collect.
President Sandra Day welcomed all to the meeting. She introduced the Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Ross Wetmore.
The Minister thanked the assembly for inviting him and spoke about Home
Economics, the funding by the Department of the NBWI, the W. I. Home and the number of scholarships that were awarded each year.
He also talked about the importance of local food in public institutions. The Dept. of Agriculture has a five-year local food and beverage initiative in its early stages. Minister Wetmore also spoke on agriculture in the classroom, the support for new and existing farmers and the exciting career choice of farming for young people in the Province. He mentioned an initiative in Presque Isle for grades 9 to 12 that is currently being reviewed to see if it can be emulated here.
He ended by thanking the NBWI again for inviting him and commented on how privileged he was to have a job that allowed him to get out and visit farms all over the Province.
Sandra then told the assembly that the Patroness of the NBWI, Mrs. Jean Irving, had been invited but had been unable to attend due to ill health. She has graciously donated $2,000 to the organization.
The Ouigoudi District held the Memorial Service with three readings.
Motion: to change agenda if needed, moved by Sherri Smith and seconded by Sue Carmichael. Motion carried.
Sherri was named as the Chair of the Courtesy Committee and was asked to acquire helpers.
Acceptance of Reports
The following reports were moved for acceptance as included in the Convention booklet:
- Angela Scott moved the acceptance of the Past President’s Report and the Finance Report.
- Sharron Adams moved the acceptance of the President Elect’s Report.
- Jacquie Cleveland moved the acceptance of the Secretary’s report.
- Madine Keenan moved the acceptance of the Northern Area Director’s Report.
- Susan Northrup moved the acceptance of the Royal Area Director’s Report.
- Noreen Cooper moved the adoption of the Eastern District Area Director’s Report.
- Rose D’Amour moved the acceptance of the Office Report, plus the Home and Country Report.
- Holly Hersey moved the acceptance of the FWIC Report with a correction and apology to Marjorie Goddard (there were 5 delegates to the FWIC Convention). She also added that this is the FWIC’s 100th Anniversary and to please let the Office know if you are doing anything to celebrate this event.
- Jacquie Cleveland moved the acceptance of the Scholarship Committee Report.
- Sandra Day moved the adoption of the President’s and the ACWW Report. She added that the 2022 meeting of the ACWW will be held in Malaysia. She also mentioned that there was an ACWW Display from this year’s meeting and that she and Holly would be available to discuss the items on display there.
- Joan Hall seconded the motions.
Discussion: Glenna Porter asked that the names of the Branches be published by the names of the successful Scholarship recipients. This was agreed that it would be a good idea and would be done in the future.
There was also a request that the Convention Report be available ahead of time so that people had a chance to review the material properly. The Minutes went out but not the Reports. Holly clarified that accepting the Motion to approve the reports indicates acceptance that the Report was filed; not necessarily acceptance of the material contained within the Report.
Angela Scott, Past President then proceeded to go through the Finance Report as Chair of the Finance Committee. She reviewed the 2019-20 Budget on p.25 of the Convention booklet.
She mentioned that the President’s Fundraiser for 2019-20 was a Gift Card Tree and asked each Branch to donate Gift Cards to hang on it. Tickets would be sold on the Tree in time for Christmas.
Angela also mentioned that Jennifer Gyuricska had been appointed as the Public Relations Officer to the Board and had been given a $1,000 budget which would be used for web site upgrading and training.
Angela reviewed a Bar Chart graph sheet that showed that we would need 1,500 members to pay $30 to cover the costs of the NBWI operation. With the 571 members that we currently have, it would require an Assessment fee of about $80 to cover the costs. She encouraged individual members to make charitable donations to the Office and they would receive receipts in return that could be used when filing taxes. She also mentioned that Rose MacLelland is being appointed the Chair of a new Fundraising Committee and that would be formed after the Convention.
Angela added that six Branches have not paid their Assessment fees for last year.
Angela moved the acceptance of the Finance Report. Kelly Estabrooks seconded the motion.
It was noted that the acceptance of the Finance Report did not include the details of the Special Project; that this would be managed by a Project Committee of the Board.
Sharron Adams presented the Resolutions:
Resolution 1: The painting of a yellow centre line on all secondary roads in New Brunswick.
Submitted by the Murray Corner WI and moved adoption. Edith Ann Boudreau seconded the Motion.
Discussion: Rose MacLelland presented that she had done some research on this and that the current rule for the yellow line to be on secondary roads was that there should be more than 350 cars per day. She asked that the Motion should be returned to Murray Corner WI for rewording and submittal next year.
Resolution 2: Roadside cutting of bushes and trees.
Rose MacLelland also asked that this Resolution be returned to the Murray Corner WI for further work because new facts had been found on this topic.
Sharron then introduced Maranda VanGeest from the Elgin WI Branch to bring an Emergency Resolution from the floor. This had been accepted as an Emergency Resolution because there were pressing time issues as legislation is currently being considered on this topic.
Maranda moved the following resolution:
Whereas we support the inherent right of farmers to freely save, reuse, select, exchange, condition, store and sell seeds, and
Whereas restrictions on farmers’ traditional practices are harmful to farmers, citizens and society in general, and
Whereas amendments to the Plant Breeders Rights Act passed in 2015 downgraded farmers’ right to save and plant seed from their crops to a mere “farmers’ privilege”, which is now in danger of being restricted and/or eliminated by regulation,
Therefore be it resolved that the New Brunswick Women’s Institute make it known to the federal government and opposition MPs that we oppose any regulations that would restrict or eliminate the “farmers’ privilege” under the Plant Breeders Rights Act.
Be it further resolved that the NBWI also calls upon the federal government to enshrine in legislation the rights of farmers and other Canadians to freely save, re-use, select, exchange, condition, store and sell seeds.
Submitted by Elgin Women’s Institute. Signed by Hazel Anna Carter, President and Secretary, Elsie Steeves – April 18, 2019. The motion was seconded by Helen Clark.
Q. When is the law likely to pass?
A. It is being discussed in the House right now
Q. Has the bill been written?
A. The current discussion will amend an old bill.
Q. Why haven’t the Provinces been consulted on this?
A. This issue has been kept low profile.
It was commented that information on this issue can be found on the National Farmers Union website under Save Our Seeds campaign.
Lynn Moore from the Dept. of Agriculture spoke to the fact that this bill only applies to certain varieties of seeds – it does not apply to all seeds. Maranda commented that this is a beginning to restrict farmers’ rights and it is growing. A stop needs to be made to the whittling away of farmers’ rights and we should be supporting this because 95% of farmers worldwide are women. There was a vote to accept the Resolution. It was passed with one abstention. Motion carried.
The W. I. Home
Luann Adams then spoke on the W. I. Home. She reported that there are now 14 ladies in the Home. She reported that a meeting of “100 Women Who Make a Difference” was being held on June 8th and the Home had applied to present in hopes of securing a donation.
Luann also mentioned that the roof has been replaced. Two toasters have been purchased with the Canadian Tire money that was donated.
The rent at the home is now between $1,200 and $1,300. Luann stressed that the finances are running in deficit and that donations are welcome.
Debbie Thomas, New Brunswick Association of Community Living
Jacquie Cleveland introduced Debbie Thomas, of the New Brunswick Association of Community Living, as the afternoon speaker.
Debbie gave an excellent presentation including three videos about the goals of the NBACL and how they operate. She told the group how the collections of clothes and small items are sold to Value Village based on weight.
Families support the organization based on donations only. She spoke on four programs:
- Early Intervention, for including children with disabilities;
- Transition to work, with 56 High Schools;
- Family Support, for families who are raising children and need support; and
- Estate Planning, for families with children who may outlive their parents.
The presentation was well received and there were many questions from the members.
Sandra Day asked each branch to donate a gift card to put on the tree as the
President’s Fundraiser this year. She asked that they be provided by August 1, 2019.
The draw will be done around Christmas for the tree.
Bring Back Home Economics
Angela Scott gave a brief history of the Bring Back Home Economics Project. She reviewed a letter that will be taken to the Provincial Government and will lead to the program being offered eventually to the schools.
Angela was asked how many years did she expect this project would take and what were her eventual goals. She replied that she would like to see one school with the program in one year and all schools with the program within 10 years. Middle schools would be the target.
Some concern was expressed by the membership that the project wasn’t going fast enough.
Angela moved that we continue with the Bring Back Home Economics Project. Seconded by Barb Cormier. Motion passed.
Holly gave a brief review of the situation with NBWI Scholarships. The current policy awards 5 NBWI Scholarships, a WI Member’s Scholarship and 2 Alma J. Porter Scholarships each year. She explained that, with the current awards, the money used to fund the scholarships will be gone within 7 years. There was a discussion about three possible options:
- Make no change to the scholarship awards program.
- Keep the 5 NBWI scholarships and the WI member scholarship and eliminate the Alma J. Porter scholarship. (It was mentioned that the money funding these scholarships had run out some time ago.)
- Eliminate all scholarships.
It was moved by Holly Hersey, seconded by Carol Gilmore that we keep the 5 NBWI Scholarships and the WI Membership Scholarship and eliminate the Alma J. Porter Scholarships. Motion carried.
Holly encouraged members to consider making donations to the scholarship program because there are still financing issues to be resolved.
Sandra then drew some more door prizes.
Jacquie Cleveland and Holly Hersey introduced a new Members-at-Large Policy. Jacquie described the two main changes:
- More detail around the Members-at-Large who do not belong to a branch but are aligned with a District.
- The introduction of an Associate Member who pays dues to a branch but is unable to attend regular meetings.
Motion that the new Members-at-Large policy be adopted. Moved by Jacquie; seconded by Joan Hall.
There were questions about why the Member at large couldn’t vote in the Provincial Election. This is because they don’t represent a branch. It was explained that individual branch members cannot vote either – the voting cards belong to those representing the branch.
There were also questions about how the Members-at-Large are part of a District. It was explained that the District Policies would determine how they could participate.
There were also questions about whether the Member-at-Large could hold office. It was explained that a Member-at-Large could hold a District Office (subject to District policy) or Provincial Office (subject to Provincial Policy).
Motion carried with 25 for and 5 against.
There was a request that a list of Members-at-Large be provided to NBWI members. This would be followed up by the Board.
2018 President’s Fundraiser Winner
President Sandra Day drew for the Quilt she donated for the 2018 President’s fundraiser. It was won by Stacey Carr.
Online Auction Fundraiser
Jacquie announced the Online Auction which would be held in September if enough items were provided by the end of June. She emphasized that the Online Auction is intended to showcase NB items so people and organizations should be approached that made items here. Letters seeking support for this initiative were available at the Registration Desk.
Fidget Quilt Project
President Sandra Day presented the project that was being made possible by the New Horizons for Seniors Federal Government funding. Rose D’Amour had completed the application in 2018.
Unfortunately no awards were made that year; instead, the project was approved in May 2019. The project is to supply 150-200 fidget quilts using workshops and determining how they should be distributed.
The project will also supply pamphlets and they must be bilingual to meet the project criteria. She mentioned that we had one year from May 2019 to complete the project. Sandra wanted to know if the members supported the project. There were a few questions but no objections.
Sandra stated that there were some details to be sorted out and a Project Committee would be formed.
Sandra announced the results of the exhibits for this year.
First: House # 10, no name provided
Second: Butterfly, Jean Folkins, Kennebecasis Valley
Third: Penguin, Mary Folkins, Berwick, Mt. Middleton
First: Joan Richardson, Annabelle Gay
Second: Sheri Cullins, Coldstream
Third: Margaret Mountain, Blackville
First: Carrie Weaver, Blackville
Second: Brenda Dunfield, Berwick, Mt. Middleton
Third: Judith Thompson, Lakeville Corner
Exhibits for 2020 NBWI Convention
- 5”x7” photograph, framed of your choice
- Shortbread cookies, a plate of 7; one for the judge
- A Beanie/Chemo cap head covering; any material
Keep an eye on this space for 2020 Provincial Convention dates!