Calgary Area Human Rights Committee Meeting Minutes (November 16, 2021)


Lindsey Sparks- PSAC Staff

Kathy Ajram- Chair UTE (30022)

James Huang- Treasurer CEIU (30856)

Ade Fayemiwo- AGR (30048)

Mayfred Gyamfi- Secretary UTE (30022)

  1. Call to order @ 18:09 upon meeting quorum 
  2. Land acknowledgement 
  3. Review and adoption of agenda
    1. Unanimously agreed
  4. Approval of last meeting minutes 
    1. Unanimously agreed 
  1. Report from the chair:  Since we last met some important things have happened such as the Regional Triennial Convention, in addition there has been several meetings that our REVP has held  with all the committees in the region which have been really informative. On the human rights front the first ever Truth and Reconciliation Day took place on September 30 . This was formally Orange Shirt Day and an important day to reflect on what the Indigenous have gone through in the course of history, how we can do better for future generations,  and we hope that everyone took the time to reflect. The committee also received correspondence from Marianne’s office advising us that our budget package for the year 2020 has been approved. There were a couple of recommendations that Marianne’s office had provided to us and we are moving on them. One of the recommendations was in regards to the two outstanding payments owed for the expenses incurred by 2 members last year. In that regard we will endeavour to get those payments to the individuals as soon as possible. 

6 Report from the Treasurer 

James advised that the only transaction is the 1.95/monthly for the bank fee and that the balance in the account is currently 39.36 based on last statement. REVPs office sent a cheque for $200 and current balance to date with deposit is $237.41. 

New account with TD – when we opened the account we paid $175 for a chequebook to be mailed to the RO. Upon Recommendations sent to committee to pay members outstanding payments, we asked the PSAC staff at the regional office to locate the chequebooks, but they were not found. Kathy consulted with TD in person and over phone and they advised they do not send cheques registered unless they are sent through rush/priority request. TD provided advice that the account should be closed and a new account will need to be opened because there are cheques missing. Committee agreed this was best course of action. Action: Kathy will arrange an appointment for the committee signatories to discuss with TD sand resolve in person. 

7. Convention/ Training: Convention took place from June 24-27, 2021. During which time we debated and voted on resolutions. Many resolutions that were debated on and that were passed will result in positive outcomes for our membership and the function of the region as a whole. Our committee also benefits from one specific resolution that dealt with ongoing budget for training committees. In the last meeting that Marianne held, she enquired if there was interest among the committees in receiving a training sessions on what the roles and responsibilities of the members of the executive are and interest was expressed. Kathy advised that there will likely not be a training session in 2021 but possibly look forward to a session in 2022.

8. National Equity conference:

Unfortunately none of the members will be attending. The conference deals specifically with the equity seeking groups. There is a specific component for racialized workers, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+, indigenous people and women. Although we will not be in attendance Kathy advised that we will be informed of the resolutions that are passed that deals specifically with human rights. Jennifer Che Ho, chair of Winnipeg HRC, might be putting together and information session regarding the resolutions that will be discussed at the conference. Although we may not be able to attend the conference attending the information session would give an insight of all the resolutions being championed. Our committee has also put forward a resolution this year regarding membership cards and gender designation that should make its way to  National Convention in 2022. The Winnipeg human rights committee has made available some online movies for free that deal with human rights issues throughout the month of November , Kathy advised that anyone who is interested in the movies should reach out to her  and she will forward the link. 

9. HRC Brochure

The Brochure is modelled after Winnipeg but it can be modified to reflect Calgary. We may amend the events to align with what Calgary HRC generally commemorates, based on the committees recommendations. We should be able to send out the brochure virtually including the aforementioned events for AGMs that happen until we go back to an office setting, and they could be printed for the regional office for when members can return to the office. Hopefully this will aid in membership. 

Action: Kathy will share the sample of the brochure via email with the group and everyone can work on the wording or suggestions and send it back to Lindsey with our final draft. 

10. International Human Rights Day

It is on December 10, it is a very important day. It is not just commemorated in Canada but Internationally.  It is recognized by the United Nations, and although we cannot commemorate the day in person we can do something virtually. It was suggested that the committee send a virtual card to the membership with and ask the question “what does human rights mean to you” that we can share with the people and get their input. Once the responses are received we can compile a collage of the answers into the Regional office to show people’s thought on the meaning of human rights, and the members suggestions on how to attain and fight for those rights. The committee agreed to proceed with the idea and to have the virtual cards sent out by the end of the month and give individuals one week to respond so that we will have enough time to compile the response and have the collage ready for our next meeting. 

11. Black History Month

We will most likely have an AGM before February and may have a new executive, nevertheless, the committee should have a plan in advance to celebrate Black History Month in February. The committee has began to compile some short videos relating to black history and culture that can be shared virtually. The committee is entertaining the idea that we do an infomercial in February that includes the links to the family friendly videos. The committee members will search for other videos that could be added to the list. Lindsey offered to lead a presentation on notable black individuals in Canada and their contributions as second option in addition to what was previously suggested

Next Meeting: December 14, 2021 

Meeting adjourned @ 6:55 pm