BPSS Commander’s National Report

Commander’s Report

2015 National Conference

Location: Niagara Falls

XO Jennifer and I arrived at the Conference on Thursday October 22, 2015. After registering and

settling in with our goody bags, we attended the First Timers Reception to get acquainted with old and

new friends.

Friday morning saw us at the Squadron Commanders’ meeting that lasted until the Education

Department and Squadron Commanders’ Luncheon. In the afternoon we attended the combined

Squadron & District Commanders’ Joint meeting. Many issues were presented and discussed. I have

summarized those below.

Following these meetings, we attended two educational seminars and an update on the new Version 3

Association Server software.

The first seminar was entitled “Harmonizing Lifejacket Standards”. Canada and the USA have been

working on standardizing labelling and standards. We were told that the new Standard will be as good

as or better than we currently have in Canada. Old Jackets will be grandfathered. You should start to

see these Lifejackets in 2017.

The second seminar was entitled “Recreational Boating Accidents”. This was a statistical study done in

two boating areas in the USA. Four Factors were looked at; Human, Technology, Environmental and

Temporal (time). The study was done with the thought of determining were to put Educational and

Safety resources in specific areas. The study was done in only two locations and more work needs to be

done but training and education were key points to safer boating. In your Training, talk about these

factors ; resource allocation; be a ‘force multiplier’; local knowledge; risk analysis matrix and we are

here to serve & protect.

The final presentation of the day was from the IT department regarding the upgrade to Version 3

Association Server Software. In short, they are not there yet. They are only at the Staff Portal testing

stage due to staff shortages and the slow fixes from the software developers. The IT team was very

disappointed in having to report the slow progress. The timing being looked at now is going live with

the Staff Portal early in the New Year and then followed by the Members Portal. The WBAS name will

be retired and a new one to be determined. There is a contest on the new name.  It must be a bilingual

8 character acronym to be submitted by December 15th. The prize is a registration to the 2016

Vancouver Conference. There will be no new content to start with. The system will be easier to use,

have search functions and it will support all browsers including mobile devices.

After a short break, we attended the “Love Boat” themed dinner. Name tags were issued on your

arrival. XO Jenn was named ‘Lady Luck’ and I was named ‘Tom Cruise’. Mission Impossible but Jenn did

win at the Casino.

Saturday morning saw us at the AGM. There were 219 members in attendance and a number of

speakers and presentations from both CPS-ECP and USPS.

Outgoing Chief Commander Joe Gatfield received many accolades and was welcomed by all the Past

Chief Commanders. As a newbie to this club, it appears he was speaking too much, so as his

punishment, the P/C/C’s took him to a corner of the room to sit and be quite. It was a setup that Joe

took in stride and we all had a good laugh. New Chief Commander Robert Pepin and his Bridge were

sworn in. A few items of note from the meeting were:

– The use of ‘Go to Meetings’ as a way of holding meetings and even courses remotely.

– Ebooks and Print on demand books

– The National financial statements were presented which showed being ahead of budget by

– The Foundation presented P/C/C Joe a cheque to go towards purchasing 2nd & 3rd boating

– The Mandarin course collaboration with the Government of China is on hold due to

– The RVCC National awards were presented to PMD and Vancouver Squadron

We finally had a break in the afternoon and were able to walk over to Niagara Falls, albeit in the rain.

We attended the Chief Commander’s Gala Dinner & Dance were there were even more presentation

and speeches. P/C/C Joe gave a very emotional speech and received a standing ovation for all his work

and dedication to CPS-ECP.

After the Gala, the 2016 Vancouver Conference held a wine and cheese party to promote next year’s

Conference and committee. Chair Shirley Shea recruited Jen and I.

SUMMARY of Thursday meetings

Presentation of CPS-ECP Squadron Survey re Districts.

– Basically the status quo

– Go to Meetings is being found to be beneficial for people to partake remotely. It is much

– If you can’t train do you continue, merge or join others. Consider Regional/District satellite

– District deficits. Do you increase fees or lower costs

– Discussion regarding Surplus’ and what is believed to be the policy of the Canada Revenue

$73,000 for a small surplus of $14,000

simulator units.

bureaucracy.

more stable than Skype.

courses

Agency on perceived excesses. Discussions on ways to reduce or earmark the funds for

special purposes

– Coordinate joint activities by District

Presentation on Promoting the Squadron and in Class Courses

– National’s website keeps promoting “ONLINE.” Numerous overhead slides were shown as

examples. Reality is more people are going online but the site needs to direct people to

Squadrons and the benefits. We do not have contact with online students unless they click

the box saying ‘yes, call me’. A privacy issue that was discussed and some people

questioned. The privacy issue was sent back to National for review.

– Web site – Ensure it promotes the Squadron and is up to date. Review often.

Topics from the floor

– Can Boating essentials include information for boaters who operate in waters with few

– VHF is the most popular course but most students do not continue in CPS. Can we have a 10

– RVCC is very popular but is it generating interest in CPS courses? Are we doing the work of

marks, buoys, etc.?

minute video to show VHF students the benefits of CPS?

Transport Canada? The same can be asked of Safety equipment and education and the Flare

disposal program.

classes

– Many Squadrons are seeing reduced membership and difficulty having enough people for

– Timing of when to hold courses.

– Associate memberships were briefly discussed

– Calendar of events coordinated by Districts

– RVCC and Flare disposal. Some Squadrons thought it was helpful and others not

– USPS Sea skills mini seminar programs discussed

– Seminars in conjunction with a local Chandler

– VHF – one day courses is what people prefer

– Involve youth such as Scouts

– Promote training for youth as getting job experience

– Team up with New Professionals whose income is on the rise and merchants such as high

– Sell benefits through a 10 minute video

District Commanders meeting discussed

– Auto renew being looked at

– Different revenue streams such as donations

– Education component at conferences

All in all, the Conference was very eye opening and informative. I will endeavour to bring items

mentioned above to our Squadron.

end car dealerships.

Respectfully submitted

Michael Matich