Annual General Meeting 2018

Arboretum Centre
Thursday, 14 June starting at 10:00 am
Refreshments will be served from 9:30am


10:00 am- Start of Business Meeting

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the Agenda
  3. Approval of the Minutes of the June 2017 AGM (see the minutes online at
  4. Reports for the Executive Committee
  5. Appointment of the Financial Reviewer
  6. Election of the 2018-2019 Executive
  7. Adjournment

11:15 am – Address by Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Charlotte Yates

2017-18 UGRA Scholarship winner

Congratulations to Mariel Burnside, winner of this year’s UGRA Scholarship. Mariel’s grandfather is Ted Burnside, a well known emeritus professor and UGRA member.  Mariel is in her 3rd year of the B.Sc.(Hon) Plant Science – Statistics program. She has also worked with UoG researchers on botany projects.

Mariel Burnside -UGRA 2017-18 Scholarship Recipient with UGRA President and Scholarship advocate
Mariel Burnside with UGRA president, Peter Kevan, and scholarship advocate, Frances Sharom

Winter 2018 Newsletter published

The Winter 2018 Newsletter has been published and has been mailed to most UGRA members (unless you requested it not be mailed). You can download a PDF copy of the Fall Newsletter by clicking: Newsletters.

…BTW, if you appreciate reading the online PDF version of the newsletter, you can help reduce mailing costs by letting us know you do not want the paer copy mailed to you.

Also, Colleges and Universities Retiree Associations of Canada (CURAC) recently published their Winter newsletter. You can find it on the CURAC websiteSee a summary here.

CURAC Annaul Conference (reminder)

CURAC Annual Conference
Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
May 23-25

The UGRA is a member of the Colleges and Universities Retiree Associations of Canada (CURAC). The conference is an opportunity for college/university retirees to get together and hear presentations from researchers/practitioners on topics of interest to retirees and to discuss opportunities to strengthen the role of retiree associations. All UGRA retirees are welcome to attend.

You can register, read the provisional program and find information on accommodation options at


UoG INVITATION ANNOUNCEMENT ……..  Free Admission | Open to All

The Dept. of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph will host the following event:

March 14, 2018, 1:30-3:00 pm
Rozanski Hall, Room 102 – 98 Trent Lane, University of Guelph campus 

A Panel Discussion Featuring Honoured Guests:
Grand Chief Abram Benedict (Mohawk Council of Akwesasne)
Chief Ava Hill (Six Nations of the Grand River)
Grand Chief Patrick Madahbee (Anishinabek Nation)
Deputy Grand Chief Gordon Peters (Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians) 

Discussion will be moderated by Professor Brady Deaton, Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (McCain Family Chair in Food Security).  Contact Professor Deaton with questions:

A Bumpy Road to Pension Reform

An article from our upcoming Winter 2018 Newsletter, available in February

The University of Guelph is continuing to move toward participation in a new multi-university sector Jointly Sponsored Pension Plan (JSSP).  Progress however, has not been easy.

The University Pension Project was formally launched in 2014, led by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), with the goal of creating a multi-employer, jointly-sponsored pension plan.  The University of Guelph has been an enthusiastic participant, with representation from the administration, the Faculty Association and other bargaining groups.

As of last August, a tentative agreement had been reached between three universities: Guelph, Toronto and Queen’s to move forward with a new JSPP.  The tentative agreement included the three faculty associations and the United Steelworkers union.  It has not been an easy negotiation process however. Several universities in Ontario did not take part in the initiative and numerous bargaining groups in each of the remaining universities withdrew from the discussions.

The target date for implementation of the new JSPP is July of 2019.  The participants are now entering the “communications” phase.  Current employees of each university will have to vote in favour of proceeding.  Although retirees are not significantly affected by the move, we also have a voice regarding the proposal.  Please stay tuned; UGRA is prepared to assist the University in communicating information to Guelph retirees.

Doug Badger, CPA CGA (Retired), member of the UGRA Exec

UGRA Fall Forum

Food for Thought… and for Health!

 Arboretum Centre
Thursday, November 16, 1:00–3:30

Doors Open and Refreshments at 1:00 (note earlier time)
Program begin at 1:30


Introductory Remarks
Peter Kevan, UGRA President

Excellence in Food and Nutrition: University of Guelph Innovations
Andrea Buchholz (FRAN)

Vitamins and Minerals from A to Z
Janis Randall Simpson (FRAN)

Functional Foods for Healthy Aging
Alison Duncan (HHNS)

UGRA Travel – Churchill Adventurers

Didn’t we have a time!  The UGRA Churchill Adventure, August 2017

Twenty-four intrepid UGRA adventurers (and at least as many cameras) explored the Churchill area from August 22 to 29th on an expedition brilliantly planned by Peter Kevan and expedited by Vikki Tremblay’s travel planning.  We flew to Winnipeg and then took Calm Air to Rankin Inlet in Nunavut before continuing to Churchill and the Churchill Northern Science Centre (CNSC). It was actually a course on Environmental Studies on the Boreal-Arctic Transition, but it was also a “whale” of an UGRA trip. We needed bear guards when we were outside – and saw enough polar bears to realize the caution was warranted (12!). In their move to the coast in late summer in wait for seals once the sea-ice forms, some come into town and end up doing time in “bear jail”.  One morning our CNSC driver spotted a helicopter delivering a bear to the “hoosegow”, so we got a front row seat …from a safe distance.

There were hundreds of beluga whales in the Churchill Estuary, not to mention caribou, tundra swans, ptarmigans, bald eagles, Sandhill cranes, tiny wood frogs, snow geese, Canada geese and the Hudsonian godwit.  Plant life too – plumes of mountain avens and red fireweed, reindeer lichen, blueberries, brilliant orange rock lichen, and the characteristic coastal evergreens facing the wind with branches flying like flags.

Our days were packed. We explored the massive rocks on the coast, the taiga inland, got our boots wet in the peat fens and stayed up a night for the Aurora Borealis. There were visits to the old rocket range, to town and Itsanitaq (Inuit) Museum and to the old fortifications at Cape Merry and Fort Prince of Wales to hear the history of The Hudson’s Bay Company trading posts in the 1700s. We saw the Port of Churchill and went beluga watching (and listening) by ship, took dog cart rides and had a day out in a tundra buggy.  There were talks at night that helped us understand more about sea ice, polar bears and the disturbing story of the relocation of the Sayisi Dene people.  We were fortunate to be at the CNSC for its 40th anniversary gala and a talk by Sheila Watt-Cloutier, author of The Right to be Cold.

There was so much more – just ask us!  And when UGRA sets up another adventure, you will want to be there!

Roz Stevenson

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