38th SVSACS Members Meeting Minutes
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Call to Order
The 38th regular monthly meeting of the Southeast Vancouver Seniors Arts & Cultural Society (SVSACS) was called to order at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 17, 2011, at Champlain Heights Community Centre.
The following members were present:
Tom Chin, Bert Massiah (CCS), Lorna Gibbs (Chair), George Grant (VFK), George Anderson, Des Burke, Tim Williamson, Margaret Homonnay (CHCC), Philip Mah, Manfred Hagen (CHCC), Lorraine Huamali & Aman Dhillan of Huamali & Associates, Barbara Warner, Victoria Carrasco, Wendy Enslander, Denise Gaflo (guest).
Regrets: Pat Deibert, Leah Dalton, Keith Jacobson (KCC), Margaret Vasicek (CHCC), Donna Davies, Joan Wright (SVNH), Gail McKay (SVPC), Charito Gailling (VCH), Jukka Vuorma (SCC), Kamlesh Sethi, Florence Fung, Const. Heather Brown (CPC), Mohinder Sidhu, Louise Seto (SVC), Chris Podlecki (KCC), Amarjeet Gill, Linda Hagen, Joh Pawluk, Helen Pawluk, Jagit Kaur Mann, Harjinder Hothi, Mabel Leung, Rajinder Pendakur, Jean Gilbert, Joyce Leong, Jody Gunderson (CHCC), Jean MacPherson, Mike Gong, Jim Lin, Abdul Shaikh, Pres. (CHCC), Arleen Cave.
Motion to Approve Agenda
Motion to approve the agenda was made by Des Burke. Seconded by Manfred Hagen. Carried.
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Motion to approve February 17 Meeting Minutes was made by Manfred Hagan. Seconded by Philip Mah. Carried.
Lorna introduced Lorraine Huamali and Aman Dhillon of Huamali & Associates, CGA, who spoke about income tax. An overview of their talk is attached. The minimum OAS and GIS available to a qualifying individual B.C. pensioner (April - June, 2011) is $1,191.85 per month plus $57.50 each quarter in HST rebate. Persons and families in B.C. with family incomes below $22,000 per year do not pay medical service premiums.
Lorraine and Aman recommended the use of electronic filing of income tax. This method is mandatory when professionals prepare tax returns. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) normally provides tax refunds in five working days when electronic filing is used. Electronic files are reviewed by the CRA and reassessments may occur. Before filing, make sure you have all T4 and T5 income information tax slips.
Splitting of pension and RIFF income is available to qualifying pensioners. Form T1032 must be filed annually. A maximum of 50 per cent of qualifying income may be transferred to a spouse. The amount transferred depends on individual circumstance. Canada Pension Plan income may also be shared. Income from overseas jurisdictions must also be declared. Tax treaties may mitigate taxes owing.
Disability and caregiver credits may be available and can be carried back ten years. Changes to the Income Tax Act have extended these credits to more people.
Tax records must be retained for seven years (current year plus the past six years). Individuals can refill back three years if it is to their advantage.
Huamali & Associates, who are SVSACS' treasurer, provide tax services for individuals at competitive rates and may mitigate fees under special circumstances.
Electronic filing software is available from many sources and at varying costs.
President's Report: Lorna Gibbs
Lorna reported on the continuing effort to secure funding for a seniors centre at Killarney Community Centre. Lorna is contacting all MLAs to keep them informed of our quest for funding. SVSACS delegations made presentations to: MLAs Adrian Dix, Mable Elmore, and Kash Heed, as well as MPs Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh and Don Davies, and to Wai Young of the Conservative Party of Canada. The election of Premier Christy Clark has resulted in cabinet shuffle and the anticipated meeting with Mr. Guy Cookson, Executive Director of Infrastructure has not materialized. New contacts must be and will be sought. The change of government leadership reinforces the need to keep government aware of the need for a seniors centre.
Tim and Lorna met with Ms. Bev Pitman of United Way to seek the funds to build a model or an artist rendering of the seniors centre. The Park Board has made floor-plan drawings, but no concept sketches. They also discussed support for our Bus Buddy program and community shuttles.
SVSACS has taken a membership in the Cross Cultural Organization. All SVSACS members are invited to participate in the organization. Meetings are held on second Monday of each month at 10 a.m. at South Vancouver Neighbourhood House.
The Mixing Bowl cookbook is at the printers. The book launch will be at Sunset Community Centre at 6810 Main Street 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 8, 2011. Committee volunteers please contact Lorna by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 604-325-0163. A launch planning meeting will be held March 21, 2011 at SVNH at 3 p.m.
Aman Dhillan of Huamali & Assoc. reported that SVSACS financial information is up to date. Filing of necessary federal tax forms will be done after current year end, March 31.
Tim Williamson spoke of his continued investigation of the public transportation needs of seniors. Tim and Lorna will meet with TransLink’s Peter Hill March 31 to discuss our Bus Buddy plan. TransLink must change their policies, which are difficult to alter.
- Victoria-Fraserview-Killarney (VFK) CityPlan Committee: Next meeting, March 24, 2011, 7:30 p.m., Killarney Community Centre (Room 202).
- Free Feature Movie: Up, Friday, March 25, 2011, Champlain Heights Community Centre, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. (Tea and talk from 1 p.m.)
- The Mixing Bowl Book Launch: Friday, April 8, 2011, at Sunset Community Centre, 6810 Main Street, 1 - 4 p.m. Price: $25 per copy. (Limit two copies per customer.) A second printing will be considered if there is sufficient interest.
- Earth Day Vancouver 2011: Event on Saturday, April 30, 2011. Tim is chair. Joint VFK/SVSACS display. Volunteers needed to staff.
- South Hill Festival: May 28, 2011. SVSACS will display. Volunteers needed to staff.
- Victoria Street Festival: Still in the planning stages. Date to be set in August or September. Victoria Drive BIA is lead on this proposal.
- Digital Camera Workshop: Stephen Tang,The Mixing Bowl project photographer, has offered to host free workshops on using digital cameras. Six people expressed interest. Victoria Carrasco will let people at South Vancouver Neighbourhood House know about the proposal. Times and space need to be determined.
It's been suggested that the free movie day be moved to Tuesdays. SVSACS requests input on this possible change. Send your thoughts to SVSACS by e-mail at: email@example.com
SVSACS members present contributed over $100 for earthquake relief in Japan, for which we sincerely thank you. The monies will be sent through the Red Cross. A news release about the appeal is attached.
Currently dates for the April and May meetings conflict with long weekends. April's meeting guest speaker Alison Moody-Stuart, of Marlin Travel at Champlain Mall is only available Tuesday, April 19. If space can be found, the next meetings will be Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 10:30 a.m., and Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 10:30 a.m.
The meeting adjourned at noon.
Joan Wright, Recorder
Lorna Gibbs, Chair