ACFamily Network
ACFamily News
For Air Canada Employees & Retirees
Issue #1 - February 18, 2010
Featured Web Sites
Save our Pensions
We need your help
Featured Web Sites

ACFamily Network

Air Canada Pionairs
  Associated Airlines

Air Canada
Trans-Canada Air Lines
Air Canada Jazz
Canadian Airlines
CP Air
(more to come)
Quick Links...

Welcome to the reinstatement of the ACFNews Mail List. This list has been dormant for a few years and has just been re-activated to send this special message to the 17,528 members of the ACFamily Network. Hopefully, you are receiving this because at one time or another you had registered to either the ACFamily Network or The NetLetter. Please rest assured you were not just randomly added to this list. Everyone receiving this has at some time registered for either the ACFamily Network (since it came on line in 2001) or have subscribed to the The NetLetter which has been active since 1995.

If you are getting this email in error or do not wish to receive it, please unsubscribe and you will never receive another email from us. We can't add you back on once you unsubscribe, but you can do so yourself. We do apologize for the intrusion if you are getting this in error. We hate unwanted email as much as you do and we are here to inform you, not annoy you.

We only ask three things;
  1. Give us a chance - This first newsletter was created a bit prematurely because of the importance and time sensitivity of the "Save Our Pensions" campaign deadline. A week can make a lot of difference. We have been rebuilding the ACFamily Network from scratch and will be offering many new features that I'm sure you'll want to know about. The full details will be announced here in future ACFNewsletters. We will also be informing you of AC related events, reunions and other items of interest to both active and retired AC employees.

  2. Save Our Pensions - Please read the information below and take action if you wish to participate in protecting your pension (if retired) or protecting your future pension (if not retired). If you've already submitted your email then we thank you and appreciate your help.

  3. The NetLetter - If you are a NetLetter subscriber, please don't unsubscribe to this list as we will be moving the NetLetter list to be a part of this overall list and you will be able to control what you want to receive (you could choose only the NetLetter for example). Directions for doing this will be in a forthcoming email.

Alan Rust & the ACFamily Network Team
Save our Pensions  Backgrounder
The following is the background information to the events leading up to the present campaign initiated by the Air Canada Pionairs Pension Committee.

Pionairs ACFN Logo
Last summer, the Air Canada Pionairs and Unions reached an agreement with the Company by which it was granted a 21 month moratorium on past service contributions to the pension fund as well as reduced contributions annually through the year 2013. This Agreement permitted the Company to avoid making a major payment which was due and avoided the possibility of having to file a second time for bankruptcy protection under CCAA (Companies Creditors' Arrangement Act). While the Agreement provided the company with additional financial survival time, it significantly increased the risk to retirees that they will receive less than their full pensions in the event of the company declaring bankruptcy or entering CCAA.

While the Pionairs have made significant progress with Government in bringing about reform to the Pension Beneficiary Standards Act (PBSA), these reforms have yet to be proclaimed by parliament and they provide little security to the Pension Trust Fund should the Company enter CCAA or proclaim bankruptcy under provisions of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA). In these events, any assets will accrue to bondholders and shareholders of the company and the likelihood of the Pension Trust Fund receiving any asset funding under these scenarios is negligible.

To rectify this situation, it is necessary to have the Government enact changes to the BIA so that instead of pensioners being last or not even considered as creditors, (e.g. able to receive asset value when the company is sold in Bankruptcy), they are on a level playing field with other creditors. With the current volatility of the Air Transport Industry and the examples of Nortel and others, there is a very urgent need for retirees to seek changes to the BIA to provide security to the future to their pensions.

It is critical that you voice your personal concern and request assistance, not through government Bail Outs but by requiring that in the event of pension wind up that the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act be amended to give preferred status to pensioners, long term disabled and severed employees' claims in bankruptcy over unsecured creditors.

We urge everyone, active and retired employees, to write/e-mail Prime Minister Harper, Industry Minister Clement, Finance Minister Flaherty, Minister of State (Seniors) Ablonczy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance Menzies and your local federal MP, as well as to visit those MP's and request their help to bring about urgent reforms to the BIA.

Please feel free to circulate this to your friends in your email contact list and others to convince them to contact their elected officials as well.

This is not just a retiree issue, it's everyones issue.
We Need Your Help
We need your help in getting an urgent message to the Federal Government!

It's important that the they know that Air Canada employees and retirees are concerned that nothing has been done by our Government to give preferred status to pension plan funds, in the event that the company has no option but to enter into bankruptcy.

As it now stands, other creditors are considered first, while pensioners risk being considered last, or even not at all.

In order to raise our status so pensioners can be on a level playing field with other creditors, it is vital that the Federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act be amended to give pension plans preferred status. The Government will soon deliver the 2010 Budget, so our goal in launching this letter-writing campaign through this web site in conjunction with the Air Canada Pionairs is to have this matter addressed in their Budget Speech on March 3rd, 2010.

Please join us and write to our Government Leaders and your M.P.  Please visit this link on the ACFamily Network where you will find further links to three possible letters (in French and English) which you may wish to use as well as a "Self Submitted" Letter Form.

We suggest you read them all and either choose the one that mirrors your thoughts or use them as a template to write your own email. Also, please consider speaking to your Member of Parliament and send in your concerns to the Prime Minister so he has an opportunity to address our needs when Parliament reconvenes March 3rd, 2010.

After completing and submitting the form it will be submitted electronically to the following;
  • Your Member of Parliament
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper
  • Industry Minister Tony Clement
  • Finance Minister Jim Flaherty
  • Minister of State (Seniors) Diane Ablonczy
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance - Ted Menzies
  • The Pionairs Pension Committee

ACFamily Network
Air Canada Pionairs

Our next issue (if you are still with us) will detail some of the new features coming for the ACFamily Network as well as upcoming events from ACRA, Pionairs, Canadian Maple Wings and the Canadian Aviation Historical Society.  We also have a new feature coming that will utilize the combined knowledge of our unique group.

We hope to send our next ACFNews within a week or so. Future issues will be only be once or twice a month.

Thanks so much for reading this far!


Alan Rust
ACFamily Network