Archives for BACI

Top Ten Tips on How to Prepare for a Meeting


*updated 2012*

  1. Research the applicable regulations and policies. Do research on the people you are meeting with.
  2. Know the pecking order of the organization. It will help you make appropriate decisions if you have to go up the ladder as you advocate.
  3. Think clearly about what you need to achieve and develop an agenda. Prioritize your agenda items and be prepared to communicate them clearly and concisely.
  4. If it is appropriate, try and establish the agenda with the other party in advance of the meeting. One way to do this is write a letter a week or so before that outlines what you want to discuss at the meeting. There might have to be a negotiation about process and agenda items before you get to the content of the meeting.
  5. Be self aware. Think about how you respond to conflict. Know what your triggers are and think about what you might do if your buttons are pushed. Will you react? Or will you keep your eye on the prize?
  6. Express collaborative intent from the start. This can be done in the agenda letter, at the start of the meeting, or at strategic times throughout the meeting.
  7. Take notes. It helps to have a record of the meeting and it demonstrates to the other party that you take this discussion seriously.
  8. Take a witness and have them take notes. It is helpful to have support.  Your witness is less emotional about the meeting and will help you remember what occurred.
  9. Have a plan B. What will you do if you do not achieve your goal? Work to develop a stronger plan B.
  10. Either follow up with a thank-you letter that outlines what was discussed and what you have agreed to, or write a letter to launch further advocacy. In that letter outline what is the common ground and what sets you apart. Think about where to go next.

How to Handle Yourself at a Business Meeting

If you are a member of a non-profit society then one way to influence how people are served is becoming active in the business sessions of your organization.
If you want to be able to be effective at a General Meeting or a Business Session then you need to know a little about parliamentary procedure.
The rules of order allow a meeting to proceed within in a democratic structure of rules. The rules ensure that the minority gets heard, but the majority rules. In my view, the rules should be used to encourage debate, but some use it to stifle debate. In any event, it allows the membership to crystallize its collective thought into action, by putting forward a motion.
"I move that…," is a very powerful phrase when it comes to business sessions. When something is moved like, "I move that the walls be painted green" it is called a "motion on the floor." A motion must be seconded by another member in good standing. The Chairperson will ask: The motion has been moved and seconded – is there is any discussion? If there is some discussion, the chair will recognize the speaker. The speaker must address the chairperson. After all discussion is done, both pro and con, then the chairperson must "put the question." This means that the motion will be voted upon. The vote could be won by a simple majority or any other percentage of the total vote but it will be stated in your constitution.
Get to know your Constitution! It is the backbone for any non-profit organization. Constitutions tell us how we are structured, how many meetings we will have and when, who does what, and how to change the constitution. A constitution will tell us some rules of order for meetings. Often a constitution will refer to some basic rules and then point to Robert’s rules or Bourinot’s rules of order when the Constitution is silent. Non-profit organizations are governed by "The Societies Act." Please check out the links and attachments to learn more about the Constitution and the meeting rules.

How To Get to Know Your Equality Rights Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Section 15 – Equality Rights
Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
This section of the Charter makes it clear that every individual in Canada – regardless of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, colour, sex, age or physical or mental disability – is to be considered equal. This means that governments must not discriminate on any of these grounds in its laws or programs.
The courts have held that section 15 also protects equality on the basis of other characteristics that are not specifically set out in it. For example, this section has been held to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that the purpose of section 15 is to protect those groups who suffer social, political and legal disadvantage in society. Discrimination occurs where, for example, a person, because of a personal characteristic, suffers disadvantages or is denied opportunities available to other members of society.
At the same time as it protects equality, the Charter also allows for certain laws or programs that favour disadvantaged individuals or groups. For example, programs aimed at improving employment opportunities for women, Aboriginal peoples, visible minorities, or those with mental or physical disabilities are allowed under section 15(2).
For the complete Charter of Rights and Freedoms use this link

How to get information from public institutions

If you are unable to get the information you need from a School, Municipality, Provincial government or any other public entity you may be able to use the Freedon of Information Act. Go to to get more information and the forms required to request information under the FOI Act. The forms are easy to fill out. Be specific and detailed about what the information you require.

Where to find a playground that is accessible for children with special needs


Variety Club Playground is an accessible playground at Central Park in Burnaby. This play area provides fun and challenges for children of all ages and abilities.

Where to find step by step lifeskills education


Life Skills, Rick Hansen Foundation with BC school board

The BC Life Skills Program enables teachers to help grade K-12 students to understand and use the skills essential to successful, well-rounded personal lives and careers. The program is designed to provide students with opportunities to learn about seven critical life skill areas, including:

  1. Understanding Oneself
  2. Communicating and Relating to Others
  3. Accessing and Using Information
  4. Solving Problems and Making Decisions
  5. Living with and Initiating Change
  6. Setting Goals, Making and Enacting Plans
  7. Career Development

All the information can be downloaded from

Where to access financial help for rent in BC


The Rental Assistance Program through BC Housing provides eligible low-income, working families with cash assistance to help with their monthly rent payments.

To qualify, families must have a gross household income of $35,000 or less, have at least one dependent child, and have been employed at some point over the last year.

  • The maximum income level has been increased to $35,000
  • The maximum rent ceiling has been increased
  • The maximum benefit has been increased
  • There is a minimum benefit amount of $50/month or $600/year
  • Families whose youngest children are over 19 may now still qualify for the program, if the child is under 25 and enrolled in full-time attendance at school, university or vocational institution or if the child of any age is acccepted as a dependent for income tax purposed to mental or physical infirmity.

For more information on the Rental Assistance Program, call BC Housing at 604-433-2218, or 1-800-257-7756 outside the Lower Mainland. Email inquiries can be sent to

Who to call at Children’s Hospital if you want to talk to another parent who knows the hospital “system”


Call the Partners in Care Parent Line at 604-875-3500, your call will be returned in 24-48 hours. They are available to help navigate the hospital system, direct you where to take complaints and compliments and provide more information about the partners in care committee.

Who to talk to if you have a concern about personal interactions with staff at a specialty hospital


For specialty hospitals such as BC Children’s and BC Women’s you can send a letter or fax to Provincial Health Services Authority, CEO at:

700-1380 Burrard St.
Vancouver, BC
V6Z 2H3
or fax 604-708-2700


The complaint/comment will be reviewed and if the CEO feels that it is appropriate they will refer the complaint/comment to the executive of the hospital to respond.


Where to call if you have an ambulance bill and you are lower income


If the family is on premium assistance on the date of the ambulance service there should be no cost.

Contact ambulance billing services at 1-800-665-7199. They will ask for the reference number on the bill or the care card number for the person who used the ambulance service. If you are premium assistance the bill will be cancelled.