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
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
more stable than Skype.
Agency on perceived excesses. Discussions on ways to reduce or earmark the funds for
– 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
– 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.