Photo by Della Ho, member of the CALL Digital Photography Interest Group
‘In the spring I have counted 136 different kinds of weather in 24 hours’ – Mark Twain
I didn’t know that Mark Twain lived in Calgary, where we know how unpredictable spring can be. With spring here and the COVID restrictions slowly easing, the urge is to go outside, go camping, travel… but we still can’t do everything we want to.
CALL is filling some of that gap. About 40 Interest groups are active with many planning to go through the summer.
Thanks to CALL members who have set up and continue to run these groups and to all those who support the programs.
If you have any questions or comments about any of these programs please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
All members are welcome to join us. You can participate in almost every way except vote. Our next meeting is on June 15 at 9.30 am using Zoom technology. What do we talk about? This was our agenda for May’s Board meeting:
Welcome to any guests (& introductions) format/rules for meetings
If you would like to join us, please email email@example.com so that we can invite you via Zoom. Enjoy the rest of the spring and I hope you enjoy your CALL experience!
In these Covid-19 newsletters we are focussing on Interest Groups available to CALL members. Listed on the website currently there are almost 60 Interest Groups in addition to the Speakers Series. The number and nature of Interest Groups is fluid because they are based on the interests, curiosities and shared enthusiasms of CALL members. Some groups have been in place for several years; some split off to new groups as new members want to join. Some groups last for a specific length of time – for example six weeks, then may be offered again at a later time for another six weeks. And some activities, for example Lunch and Learn, occur on an occasional basis when the organizers can find a venue. CALL volunteers provide a support structure to assist in the formation of Interest Groups. The Program Committee assists with organizing; the Information and Technology Committee posts information on the website; Operations and Venues Committees find possible venues and times for meeting. This ‘grassroots’ structure of Interest Groups is unique to CALL.
One Interest Group that has been in place for a few years is Not So Common Law. The facilitator, CALL member Jim Conway, presents the historical and social background of some intriguing, interesting and important legal cases.
Jim is a retired lawyer who practised law for 40 years, mainly in the areas of criminal law, civil litigation and personal law. He was also a sessional instructor at the University of Calgary and was one of the founding members of Calgary Legal Guidance, which provides general legal information to the public together with legal advice and representation to low income Calgarians who do not qualify for Legal Aid.
Most recently the topic explored was Extradition – the legal background to the extradition hearing of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. The day after a decision was handed down in the Meng case, Jim sent an update to group members. He has given us permission to share with the wider CALL membership so we can all impress our friends and relatives in our next Zoom virtual dinner party!
There will be numerous media reports today regarding the decision of Justice Holmes of the British Columbia Supreme Court in the Wanzhou Meng case. Since we discussed this case in our CALL session on Extradition I thought you might be interested in some followup on this topic.
Wanzhou Meng is facing extradition from Canada to the United States for criminal prosecution in the United States, based on allegations she made false statements to HSBC Bank in order to secure financing for the Chinese telecom corporation Huawei, which put the bank at risk of violating US economic sanctions against Iran. Ms. Meng is the Chief Financial Officer for Huawei and daughter of the founder of the company.
Ms. Meng applied to the British Columbia Supreme Court for a court order discharging her from the extradition process on the basis that, as a matter of law, the “double criminality” requirement in Canadian law for extradition could not be met in her case.
This application was a pre-hearing motion, not the actual extradition hearing itself. However if Meng had been successful, the extradition process against her would have been ended, she would not have been sent to the United States for criminal prosecution, and she would have been free to leave Canada.
Meng’s argument was that the conduct alleged against her, namely, making false statements to HSBC bank regarding Huawei’s relationship to an Iranian based corporation, could not have amounted to bank fraud in Canada because such conduct related entirely to the effects of US economic sanctions against Iran, and at the material time, Canada was not party to such sanctions. In other words, her alleged conduct could not be considered to be a crime in Canada since such conduct amounted only to a violation of US sanctions which would not be a criminal act in Canada. Hence the double criminality requirement could not be met.
The Attorney General of Canada, acting on behalf of the United States of America pursuant to our treaty obligations with that country, argued that the essence of Meng’s alleged conduct was not violation of US sanctions against Iran but, rather, deceiving a bank in order to obtain financial services for Huawei.
by Carrol Jaques, Chair of the Operations Committee
The CALL Board of Directors is attempting to plan for the 2020/21 year in uncertain and changing times. We followed the guidelines from Alberta Health Services by cancelling all CALL Spring Events on March 15. With the help of our skilled Web Team, we gravitated to virtual meetings for any program that could be delivered through platforms such as Zoom. Some bridge groups successfully use BridgeBase Online.
As planning for Autumn 2020 progresses, the Board will continue to adhere to the guidelines set out by Alberta Health Services, as well as the guidelines being developed by cSpace and the community centres and churches where we rent space.
The situation will evolve over the summer, but currently the guidelines limit gatherings to fewer than 15 in indoor settings, with social distancing of 2 metres. Community Centres are closed until August 31 and cSpace has not yet decided when they will re-open.
When these venues open to the public, they will be subject to strict guidelines. One important issue is that of sanitation (including bathrooms and kitchens) in buildings that might have groups of all ages coming and going throughout the day. Room 310 will have to be sanitized between uses at CALL’s expense. The Board will discuss this with cSpace, other tenants, and the cleaning company to coordinate costs and schedules. Activities where items like cards are passed from one to another are problematic.
With this in mind, the CALL Board expects that most of our fall programming will continue on ZOOM etc. There is also the possibility that some groups could expand and continue virtually. Others could stay on Zoom for the winter to avoid bad driving conditions. The Program Committee and the Web Team are exploring the possibility of making Speaker Series and the CALL Cafés available virtually. This is a work in progress, so bear with us as we all adjust to the new reality.
Whatever the future holds, CALL will be there. Please renew your membership for 20/21 to ensure that we can continue to offer the excellent programs that you have come to expect.
by Judy Hamill, Lead Coordinator, Current Issues
I am very happy to announce that Adrienne Kertzer has answered the CALL!
She is our new Coordinator of the Current Issues portfolio of 11 Interest Groups, and will take over as Lead Coordinator when I make my planned move to Kelowna this summer.
Adrienne is a Professor Emerita of the U of C’s English Department, following a distinguished, 39-year career as an award-winning scholar, researcher and teacher of children’s literature, women's writing and Holocaust literature.
She was the first female Head of the English Department, an Associate Dean in two faculties, and Advisor to the President on Women's Issues.
When I asked her why, after only a year in CALL, she volunteered to step into the Coordinator’s role, she replied, “I’ve often asked myself why I persist in the service work I do.
"The truth is, it isn’t just that it gives me immense pleasure. Doing this work keeps me optimistic that the world, if only my small part of it, could be better. And doing service is the best way I know of making it so."
I hope you’ll soon have the chance to welcome Adrienne, whether in a Zoom meeting or in person, in the not too distant future.
Thursday, June 4, 6:00–9:00 pm
Zoom link details will be provided in event registration confirmation email.
An ‘open mic’ which started in January 2020 will hold its third session June 4. From 6 to 7 is a social "meeting" in smaller rooms for snacks, drinks and chat, all zoomed. The open mics have frequently featured original compositions by a few members.
Tuesday, June 2, 2:30–3:15 pm
Zoom link details will be provided in event registration confirmation email.
An opportunity to use your guitars, bass, ukuleles and enthusiastic singing to highlight the potential of music as a resource for health and social care during these pandemic times.
Here are some helpful links to information about Covid-19 responses and resources:
Age Friendly Calgary Covid-19 information and resources for seniors: http://secure.campaigner.com/csb/Public/show/cgw5-20pmia--pvfl8-6rgsm247
City of Calgary Covid-19 Information: https://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/cema/Pages/Response-to-Coronavirus.aspx
The CALL Nominating Committee is inviting people to support CALL by taking a turn serving as a board member. They are looking for volunteers to fill the following positions. To discuss these positions or to get more information, contact Barbara Murray firstname.lastname@example.org
The main role of the Vice President is to learn the President’s role and also, in the event of the absence or incapacity of the President, to carry out the role and responsibilities of the President. The Vice President is an Officer of CALL together with the President, Past President, Secretary and Treasurer. The Vice President is also on the Executive Committee which carries out emergency and unusual business between Board meetings, and looks after issues relating to liability and insurance.
The Chair of the Program Committee calls and attends the meetings of the Program Committee and reports to the Board on its activities. The Chair (or a delegate) attends all Board meetings and brings any Committee questions which require Board approval to the Board. The Program Committee’s primary function is to develop, nurture and sustain CALL programs. This includes overseeing existing programs and developing new programs plus recruiting and supporting program Coordinators and Facilitators.
The Marketing Committee is a new committee this year which will be responsible for developing and implementing a marketing strategy for CALL. The Chair of the Marketing Committee will be responsible for creating the committee which will then write the terms of reference for the committee. Thereafter the Chair will call and attend the meetings of the Marketing Committee and report to the Board on its activities.
The CALL Newsletter is our way to communicate what is going on in our community. Usually we communicate to members about upcoming events, however, since all CALL gatherings are postponed for an undetermined period of time, we decided to use the newsletters as a way to ‘peek behind the curtain of CALL’, to give some general information about CALL groups and members.
You are invited to send your ideas and suggestions for future issues to email@example.com. Let us know what your Interest Groups are doing and your strategies for coping with this situation in which the whole world finds itself. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity; not every submission will necessarily be published.
Meanwhile, be well, stay well in every sense of the word.
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