Today's meeting, chaired by President Rod Morrison was enjoyed by approximately 40 members and guests (some notables included former Premier Kathleen Wynn, Syed Kabir from SHIFT, Bill Bartley (Canmore, AB) and Mark Tilbury (L.U.) It was great to see Past District Governor Paula Timmins back at our meeting! Bob Tomlinson was host, with co-hosts Kevin Holloway, Steve McCauley and Warren Philp. Many thanks all.

Guest speaker today was the distinguished political strategist, advocate, author, former Canadian Senator and current Principle of Massey College (U of T), Hugh Segal.

Mr. Segal was professionally introduced, and thanked by Rotarian Brian Walmark. For him and many others, Mr.Segal is an ideal role model working toward the public good and "speaking truth to power."

He focused on his passion for addressing the woes of the Canadian welfare system and it's management of Canada's poor (some 9% of the total or 3-4 million Canadians).

His arguments are detailed in his current book "Bootstraps Need Books" (from a famous quote by Martin Luther King). His analysis was cogent and sobering: the poor (including working poor) are badly served as far as equitable financial assistance is concerned; all exacerbating their individual struggles (in all aspects of living including health, incarceration rates and more).

The math was provided. We can do better. His work with former Premier Wynn on piloting the Ontario Basic Income Assistance program (4000 individuals in several communities including Thunder Bay) had early very positive results in encouraging people back to work and improving health outcomes. It was cancelled after the first year by the current government.

He reviewed the (political) objector rationale (the coal in the bathtub gang) and found it wanting.

The Q and A period was very relevant: Questions on management pre and post(Sars-2 Covid) pandemic included thinking on increasing liquidity over austerity measures the impact for indigenous communities: support by Canadians (close to 70%): comparisons with other locales re sustainability over and beyond a single political cycle, such as in Sweden, Stockton California and Kenya...were all very reassuring.

This presentation was very much appreciated by the Rotarians involved and guests (Mr Segal's own experience with Rotary is in his favourable memory bank). Thank you again Hugh!

Business and Announcements:

1. Wilderness Discovery now has charitable status and accepting cash donations (Brenda Winter)
2. Arpad Zolyomi is leaving as at May 28th (Matt Diegel)
3. Dew Drop Inn setting up for May 28th (Dave Silliman)
4. Club Indigenous Action Plan meeting upcoming
5. Fee renewals upcoming by 3rd week of June
6. Rotary Foundation donations encouraged ( by the end of June for this Rotary year (Jaro Kotalik)