Rotary Club of Kitchener


June 14, 2021

Meeting Recording

A recording of Today’s Meeting can be found here.

President's Comments

Ernie Ginsler received a letter from the University of Waterloo thanking us for our ongoing contributions to the Peace Scholarship program.  Here is the text of that letter.
Dear Ernie,
I hope that you and your family are well.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for all of your tireless efforts over the last six years in raising funds for the Rotary Peace Scholarships.  The impact of these scholarships has been truly remarkable, and you and your Rotary colleagues have much to be proud of. Over a period of 6years, you have raised more than $150,000.  These funds have supported more than 20 highly-talented students in the Master of Arts in Global Governance and Master of Peace and Conflict Studies programs, some of whom otherwise would not have come to the University of Waterloo.  And the majority of alumni who have received scholarships are now working in careers in the fields of cybersecurity, human rights, social justice, and humanitarian assistance.
Your impact goes well beyond the scholarships.  The "peace integration" specialization that was approved by the Province of Ontario last year is a direct product of your efforts and vision.  Thanks to you and Rotary, five graduate programs are collaborating in news ways, and the result is a truly novel and interdisciplinary approach to how we teach and study matters of peace that is unparalleled anywhere else in the world.
We understand that the pandemic has been a difficult time for Rotary, and that many clubs have decided to devote their limited funds to local charities and causes that are in desperate need of support.  This is as it should be.
We look forward to connecting with you and your Rotary colleagues again once the pandemic is over and we return to some semblance of normal.  Until then, we wish you all well and want you to know how grateful we are for all that you have done for us.
Sheila Ager, Dean of Arts, University of waterloo
Marcus Shantz, President, Conrad Grebel University College
We have also received a letter from Stephen Jackson CEO of Anishnabeg Outreach in record to the discovery of the unmarked grave at the former residential school in British Columbia.  The full text pf the letter follows.
Reconciliation requires that a new vision, based on a commitment to mutual respect, be developed.” (Executive Summary, pg. VI, TRC, 2015)
Section I - 215
It has been a long and challenging week at AO which is the primary reason for this delayed email. Many leaders have reached out to express profound feelings, condolences and offers of support. First, I want to thank all of you for reaching out, your thoughts, kind words and offers of hugs and support. I apologize that one comprehensive email will be given to all but, this will have to suffice as I simply don’t have enough weeks to write individual emails to all who reached out.
In terms of last week, on one end of the spectrum, we have the traumatizing impact of 215 children discovered in unmarked graves at a former residential school site. At the other end of the spectrum, we held 4 Indigenous vaccination clinics last week which means we provided about 600 second and first doses to Indigenous youth and adults. This was on top of our already fully packed work week and anyone who knows AO, knows how busy we are in any given week.
It has been an extremely challenging week for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people across the country. Some of my words may seem darker today but, words do not suffice to adequately reflect my feelings on the harm done and re-traumatization this will cause Indigenous people across the nation. Many non-Indigenous are also suffering from these traumatizing events.  As an Indigenous leader, I can honestly state, it has been even more challenging for me. Almost all of the time, I look forward to the future and I spend most of my time building the future. This past week, my eternal optimism was being challenged. Other sites are starting to be examined and as those sites are examined, I know we will find many more missing, abandoned and unacknowledged children. And many more, we simply won’t find. But know, this will become many thousands and we are in for a long haul of reconciliation-based trauma.
Last Sunday, I responded to a couple of leaders before the flood of emails. In my response, I named it genocide because that is what this is. I see that PM Trudeau and the government are now also using this term. Personally, I am profoundly saddened by this discovery. The truly sad part of this genocide is that it was vehemently denied. Indigenous people knew but were not believed. It seems that unless there is video, voice or physical evidence, Indigenous people are ignored and not take for their word. In reality, Kamloops is just the tip of this iceberg. I have heard there are another 6,000 or more spread across the country at other sites. I have also heard there are many more thousands more south of the border. This reality was also in the USA.
Section II – Relationships
While news of the 215 bodies made its way through media outlets, many individuals and organizations across the country set up vigils and memorials. Some organizations have put on regalia, drummed and sung. From an Indigenous perspective, it took until 1950’s for regalia to be accepted and legalized. It was illegal. If an Indigenous-led organization wishes to do this, that is one thing, but to highlight and showcase this single image of Indigenous solidarity as the only source of information, is often troubling. Unfortunately, these images make the news because the news wants Hollywood Indians to put on a show. These images perpetuate a contemporary stereotype that is finding its way in media and is becoming more mainstream. Many of us do not have the teachings or ceremonies and as Indigenous, we are much more than regalia, drumming and trauma. At AO, we are not Hollywood Indians. When it comes to media events, we don’t don jingle dresses or regalia, nor do we drum.  Seldom do we offer public ceremony for non-Indigenous. We did not create a guilt-ridden memorial but rather, we chose to continue to honour the children by doing our part to soothe the hurt and doing the work to transform future. We held a private pipe ceremony for the dead and for the living: just our staff and a couple of invited partners, with whom we have relationships. We support all of our partners at least as much as they support us because that is what it means to partner with us. Relationships from our perspective is one that is grounded in mutual understanding that as an Indigenous led organization, we are our own ‘sovereign’ entity that has our own ways of doing, working and governing. Far too often, our sovereignty is forgotten when building relationships.
I am deeply saddened that this is Canada’s history and current situation. A blight on our nation. I am sad and frustrated that very few settlers and eurocentric organizations have done anything to change the future for Indigenous people. The statistics are still astounding and the outcomes have not changed. For reconciliation, we have to enable those opportunities to soothe from the traumas and then strive towards healing. Reconciliation will only happen in partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous – individuals, organizations, companies and communities. It is a model that can be used to build a new future.
I don’t believe reconciliation has moved much, if at all, beyond a few tokenistic gestures related to actionable items which were only meant to be a starting point. The entire report including the Executive Summary and the Principles highlight the importance of relationships and the onus of reconciliation is on non-Indigenous. The action items have been published since 2015 and I would ask, has even a single organization looked at Action Item 92.ii in the Section “Business and Reconciliation”, which “Ensure that Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects.” From my extensive corporate background, this basically means removing barriers to all talent management (HR) policies/processes and corporate processes and programs. This means starting with policies and then HR practices and eventually looking at culture. Which organizations have achieved equity from an Indigenous representation perspective?  It has been 6 years and what has been done? From an HR perspective, it only takes 1-3 years depending on the company size to transform all talent management policies, processes and practices. I know this because I used to do this work for large organizations both internally and as a consultant. This work isn’t all that hard. It just takes time and thoughtful leadership. It is simply transformative projects with some change management thrown in. Ironically, there are massive corporate cost savings to be found if this work is undertaken because many HR processes are inefficient. There are huge improvements to corporate performance outcomes when Indigenous and racialized talent pools are given an opportunity to contribute and thrive. In terms of opportunity for equity (Indigenous or racialized group), look at your corporate turnover (including retirements) and growth rates. Some organizations are at 5%, others 10 – 500% turnover and growth combined per year. In other words, there has been an incredible opportunity to move the needle on equity using just growth and turnover rates by establishing equity and Indigenous reconciliation a priority. Getting equity groups into your organizations is easy enough but, unless you fix your talent management system and culture, retention will be impossible. Believe me when I say I am extremely disappointed that no organization in the region has leveraged their growth or turnover rates to achieve equity in their organizations.
If there is any silver lining to this traumatizing reality. I hope this becomes the galvanizing moment, when we as a society say no more atrocities against Indigenous people. While we have the past to reflect on, I hope these events that are in mainstream media becomes the impetus for people and organizations in Canada to embrace reconciliation in a way that helps Indigenous people heal and helps to remove barriers which prevents their economic independence. As leaders and individuals, you can advocate or lead change to help move the needle on reconciliation. I challenge you, as organizations, to lead the change. “Reconciliation is not an Aboriginal problem; it is a Canadian one. Virtually all aspects of Canadian society may need to be reconsidered”. Executive Summary of Truth and Reconciliation Commission
This excellent article written by our Board Chair, Tammy Webster, was recently published in The Record and highlights the same sentiment.
Section III – Next steps
I am happy for the friendships and relationships I have built. I am thankful for the support I have received for AO. I am thankful for all of those organizations and individuals who have partnered with us and helped us lead reconciliation-based change and for everyone who has helped us move the needle on reconciliation. I am thankful for the impact we have been able to achieve to date and the significantly greater impact we will be able to achieve from a healing and economic perspective, as we continue to build more partnerships. I know what we need to overcome and I am happy that we have a vision to repair and build our reconciliation-based solutions. It is also equally significant that non-Indigenous do their reconciliatory and relationship building work. We are always open to more partnership and offers of support.
In the three years of AO’s expansion, our outcomes and achievements are a direct measure of partnerships and relationships that have contributed in a multitude of ways to achieving reconciliatory goals. Tech companies continue to donate laptops to our new mentoring program and are helping us build our LMS system. Other organizations are helping to build programs with us.
Our newly launched Sports Program, which provides sports equipment and online tutorials to families was a result of corporate funders and growing partnerships. Our commercial freezers, fridges and freezer truck were courtesy of Covid-19 related funding to support our Spirit Bundle home deliveries. Our EarlyON offers online supports, programming and has reached out to many families with at home kits (e.g., art, sports, learning). Every contribution made to AO is amplified to support the programs as well as to establish legacy programs. Financial contributions through our charity continue to grow so we can help move the needle on healing and economic independence.
Individuals have also stepped up to make a difference. One couple offered to purchase bikes on KIJIJI, repair them and donate them to our bike lending library. Three young girls from a family in Guelph, reached out through their mother. After extensive ideas, which were unattainable due to COVID, they finally decided to go to neighbours to offer their services by performing small jobs like walking dogs, cleaning yards, taking out garbage, etc. A woman is going to start a social media campaign in Guelph to raise money for our reconciliation-based programming. And same for a hardware store. We still receive regular donations and contributions for our Spirit Bundles, such as children’s clothing and housewares. We received plants for our gardens and many small items of appreciation (fresh eggs, woodworking). I thank all who have helped us move the needle.
To guide this relationship building piece and to reduce the barriers and challenges that non-Indigenous organizations would encounter as they rebuild their systems and processes, AO is in the initial phases of building a consulting arm and will use our thought leadership to build corporate tools, processes and strategies to help organizations achieve reconciliation and equity. We will provide consulting on reconciliation, EDI and Talent Management. We continue with our mentorship program to provide skills, knowledge in IT fields. We are in the early phases, of building our learning management system called “The Nest”. “The Nest” will host all of our mental heath programming for self-directed and supportive healing, our sport program’s coaching videos so children and youth can be part of the team, and our education, tutoring, mentoring and employment program to help Indigenous people achieve meaningful employment.
Relationships of networks, education and professionals also build the common groundwork that is needed for sustainable reconciliation. All acts of kindness, great and small has helped us evolve and move the needle on reconciliation. Be it small or be it large, I ask you to find a way to make a difference for Indigenous people in whatever capacity you are able. Together, we can build a comprehensive solution that delivers on reconciliation.
If you wish to begin or continue a conversation or just learn more, please let me know.


Nick Burke, Director of Development and Acting Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications for the KWSP Humane Society, our guest presenter
Teaghan Blackmore, Director, KWSP Humane Society
Sheryl Petricevic, guest of Cheryl Ewing

Happy Jar

Neil Swayze is happy that their new windows and doors will finally be arriving and installed this week and is also delighted that he now has an appointment for his second COVID Vaccination later this week.
President-Elect Adrian DeCoo was pleased to be able to report to us live from the RI International Convention in “Taipei”.  Actually he was in his home office enjoying the conference virtually.  He says there have been outstanding sessions and speakers and it is a terrific Rotary experience.
President Louise is happy to be celebrating her 65th birthday this week and is looking forward to time out golfing and a BBQ with girlfriends and a family dining out excursion on Friday

Club Announcements

President Louise let members know that our club website is in the process of being redesigned. Many of the information pages have been updated and the new look should be in place by the end of June – keep watching!
Catch The Ace Lottery: The Ace has not been caught as of Jun 9 2021 the progressive jackpot is now almost $40,000 - 13 out of 52 cards from which to pick - your odds are getting better!
We need your Input!  We are continuing to write stories for our 100th Anniversary Book.  We are planning to have brief commentaries for 100 of our past events.  If you have specific memories, and better still pictures, of past Rotary events, please contact Martin Jones or Howard Pell.  We will be happy to interview you and write something up.

Program Highlights

Our guest speaker today was Nick Burke from the Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth Humane Society.  He was introduced by his future mother-in-law, President Louise.
Nick Burke is the Director of Development and Acting Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications for the Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth. He has been with the HSKWSP for 2 years. He leads a team that plans events, both in person and virtually, manages social media and public relations and the financial portfolio for donations and granting.
Prior to the Humane Society, Nick worked for CTV & Bell Media as an Account Executive working with national accounts. He spent time with the LPGA Tour in Business Development and Operations and has over 10 years’ experience in sales and relationship management.
He adopted his dog Fitz after working for the Humane Society for less than 3 months and has a passion for golf and hockey after spending 18 years as an on ice official in leagues across North America.
Nick provided interesting background information and facts about the newly joined Kitchener Waterloo and Stratford Perth Humane society through a PowerPoint presentation
Who We Are
Mission Statement
At the Humane Society, we are leaders in animal welfare in our communities, focusing on the responsible treatment of animals through education, compliance, advocacy and care.
The Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth works to create communities that value and respect animals
K-W Humane Society History
  • The Kitchener location was founded in 1927 as the Twin City and North Waterloo Humane Society. 
  • In 1942 it was incorporated as the Kitchener, Waterloo and North Waterloo Humane Society, and later became the Kitchener Waterloo Humane Society.
  • KWHS’ in-shelter veterinary hospital opened in 2014.
Stratford Perth Humane Society History
  • The Stratford location was formally established in 1972 as the Perth County SPCA – a branch of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
  • It was 100% volunteer run for many years, including volunteer cruelty officers.
  • In 2016, the shelter moved from it’s Douro street location to it’s brand new facility on Griffith Road in Stratford.
  • It operates a satellite veterinary clinic on-premise, with a public low-cost spay neuter clinic which opened in March of 2019.
KWSPHS History
  • The two organizations have operated under one charity number since the 2012 amalgamation.
  • In 2018, the organization was formally renamed The Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo and Stratford Perth. 
  • Today we are one of the largest humane societies in Ontario.
KWSPHS by the Numbers (from 2019)
  • 90+ Years of Service
  • 350 Volunteers
  • 2,921 Animals Rescued
  • 1,844 Animals Adopted
  • 665 Animals Returned Home
  • 30,000+ Students reached through education Programs
  • Active on Social media
  • Twitter – 5,000 followers
  • Facebook – 31,000 followers
  • Instagram – 13,000 followers
KWSPHS: Funding
  • KWSPHS does not receive any level of government funding. 
    • We have fee-for-service contracts but no government funding of our community programs and services.
  • We rely on the generosity of our donors, community members and community businesses to fund our efforts in animal welfare.
  • We host a number of fundraising programs and annual events including Homeward Bound, Paws in the Park and our newest SP Event….Paws for Laughs.
Supporting the Community: Adoptions
  • KWSPHS has a comprehensive adoption process including adoption survey, meet-and-greet, and adoption counselling session.
  • Adoption fees include: spay/neuter, microchip, vaccinations and parasite treatment.
  • Our end goal: to ensure that animals are going to loving, forever homes.
Supporting the Community: Animal Control & By-Law
  • KWSPHS currently provides animal control, animal by-law and pound services to the following locations:
    • KW area: City of Kitchener, City of Waterloo, Township of Woolwich, Township of Wilmot
    • SP area: City of Stratford, Township of Perth East, West Perth, Perth South & North Perth
  • To assist community members, KWSPHS has a comprehensive break down of services by municipality, animal type, and time of day on our website, so residents know what services they can call us for.
Supporting the Community: Education
  • KWSPHS has a comprehensive education program that is delivered to over 30,000 elementary and middle school children every year.
  • We currently have three educators and three education dogs that work in local schools, teaching lessons that adhere to Ontario curriculum.
  • We also offer educational programming to other groups and ages though our school tours, interest group tours or visits, seniors presentations, corporate lunch-and-learns and more.
  • Currently developing high school programs that address more complex topic like animal cruelty, puppy mills, animals in entertainment and more.
Supporting the Community: Community Programs & Events
  • KWSPHS has a fantastic offering of community programs for both youth and adults.
  • Youth programs include: summer camps, Vets in Training, PD day camp and holiday camps, movie nights, Meet Make Yoga, birthday parties and more.
  • Adult programs include: Yoga with the Animals, paint nights, Dog Talks, Pet First Aid and more.
  • KWSPHS Events include Bake for the Animals, Paws for Laughs, Homeward Bound Gala, Dash & Splash and many more
Supporting the Community: Veterinary Services
  • KWSPHS is fortunate to have a fully accredited animal hospital in KW and a satellite clinic in SP.
  • Through our clinics we offer the following veterinary services to the public:
    • Spay Neuter Clinic – low-cost spay neuter services open to the public.  No income or geography restrictions.
    • TNR (Trap Neuter Return) – services for feral/community cats and barn cats. No income or geography restrictions.
    • Drop-in Microchipping services – low-cost drop-in services Mon in SP. Just $30 per pet.
    • Rabies and microchip clinics – held twice per year in each location.  Low cost and no geography or income restrictions.
    • Community Vet Outreach – assisting homeless, or those in transitional housing with veterinary care to keep people and pets together.
    • After life services:
      • Cremation services
      • Memorial gifts
      • On-site colabarium (available in KW for all residents)
Trap-Neuter-Return Program (TRN)
  • Helps control over population of feral & stray cats
  • Estimates over 20,000 feral cats in Kitchener Waterloo
  • Trapped, treated & released to their community or colony.
  • Program includes sterilization (spayed or neuter), vaccinations, microchip, ear-tipping
  • Program cost: $35 to public ($75 subsidized by private & corporate donors)
An unsprayed female cat, her mate, and all of their offspring producing 2 litters per yaer, with 2.8 surviving kittens per liter can total:
1 year:  12
2 years: 67
3 years: 376
4 Years: 2,107
5 years: 11,801
6 years: 66, 088
7 years: 370,092
8 years: 2,072, 514
9 years: 11,606, 077
Community Veterinary Outreach Program (CVO)
  • It allows homeless, at risk of being homeless and vulnerably housed pet owners to access timely and professional health care for their pets.
  • It addresses the need for disease control among these pets and provides them the opportunities to further access treatment including spay and neuter services.
  • It provides pet owners with peace of mind that their pets are healthy, potentially freeing up limited financial resources for other much-needed expenditures and in some cases, protecting their best and only friend.
  • 4 clinics per year minimum
  • Each pet receives:
  • Medical exam
  • Vaccines
  • De-worming & flea prevention
  • Treated for minor medical issues
  • Referred for further services if needed
  • Services are 100% free for participants
  • 20% of Homeless or Vulnerable Housed have pets
Volunteer Program
  • KWSPHS has a group of 350+ active volunteers that are a part of our:
    • Animal Care Team                              Reception Team                                 
    • Dog Walking Team                             Clinic Team
    • Events & Fundraising Team                And more!
  • KWSPHS is always looking for new volunteers and we
    welcome people to apply through our website.
  • Opportunities for group volunteer events
  • The City of Waterloo
  • The City of Kitchener
  • The Region of Waterloo
  • Waterloo Regional Police
  • University of Guelph
  • Kitchener Waterloo YW
  • Supportive Housing of Waterloo
KWSPHS: Spreading Our Message
  • KWSPHS is looking to community members to help spread our message!
    • Bring friends and family by our centres if they’re looking to adopt, or just to visit
    • Join our social media network and share information: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and our blog
    • Attend our community events or programs
    • Share our happy adoption stories
  • Being an advocate means you’re helping animals in your community!
For more information on any of the KWSPHS programs or to volunteer, you may contact Dick directly at

Closing Remarks & Reminders

President Louise thanked Nick for his presentation and reminded members about upcoming events. 
Jun 14, 2021 12:00 PM
Director Kitchener Waterloo Perth Humane Society
Jun 21, 2021 12:00 PM
Our chance to meet some new members
Jun 23, 2021 4:00 PM
Volunteer opportunity for Members and Friends of Rotary - Registration Required
Jun 28, 2021 12:00 PM
Celebrating Canada Day
Jul 05, 2021 12:00 PM
President Turn Over Meeting
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Candi Harrington
June 1
Bill Krohn
June 10
Louise Gardiner
June 17
Cheryl Ewing
June 18
Angela Olano
June 22
Betty Bax
June 24
Darren Sweeney
June 26
Ray Taylor
June 30
Join Date
Bill Proctor
June 1, 2002
19 years
Gary Parker
June 1, 1994
27 years
Martin Jones
June 1, 2009
12 years
Rohit Kumar
June 13, 2016
5 years
Neil Swayze
June 22, 2015
6 years
Ernie Ginsler
June 30, 2002
19 years
Ray Taylor
June 30, 2002
19 years