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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bill 138: An Offer You Should Refuse

So a little while ago I did a blog comparing the HRPA to communism and saying that we would all be 'fucked' if Bill 138 passed. (edit: as of March 2013 - Bill 32 is the new name)

Apparently I am not allowed to use one of those words... At least I think that is what the HRPA is referring too... I got the following (somewhat vague) email:

I have since edited it to say 'screwed' as my choice of words first time round may not have been the most professional... My apologies to anyone I may have offended.

As for my choice of the F-word, I still believe that Bill 138 would be horrible for our profession, the companies we work for, and is nothing more than attempt at gaining more (unnecessary) power over us from the HRPA... This I stand by.

I also stand by the fact that the approach of creating Bill 138 was not democratic... Many (paying) members still don't know about it, and are not happy when they become aware.

Not only do I stand by it, but I think it is the only reason my blog got the attention it did.  The HRPA does not want people to oppose Bill 138... They want it to pass under the radar... Too bad.

Remember the email I posted from the THRPA Board?

This is the key take away from the tactics used:

The THRPA Board of Directors was extremely disappointed by the manner in which HRPA decided to conduct the meeting on November 29th. HRPA had already decided BEFORE the meeting what the intended the outcome would be. This mischievous and egregious action cannot be accepted. We expected an open dialogue where we could explore our mutual interests for our members and the HR Profession, instead the HRPA Board of Directors threatened to remove us as your elected board representatives of THRPA if we refused to sign certain agreements immediately that evening. As HR professionals we would never advise our employers or clients to force anyone to sign a letter with these requirements and under duress. Why would HRPA dare to choose such an approach? We felt their actions were not merely disrespectful but potentially illegal.

Why didn't they just say give 'em an offer they can't refuse?

But this isn't the first time a comparison to gangsters that can be made about the HRPA... Remember the Capranos video?

The so-called 'promotional video' for our profession? The one promoting violence along with gender, racial, and ethnic stereotypes?

There was also a statement in the email from the THRPA regarding this video:

This promotion of violence posted officially on the internet and advertised to Chapter Presidents as HRPA official communication was unacceptable. We were disappointed by the response and the subsequent efforts to rectify the situation.

What would the THRPA be so upset about?

Well, here are some screenshots from a discussion about the video from the HRPA Members LinkedIN group:

In all fairness, there was a variety of responses to the video - some liked it some didn't... with any form of self-expression (like a blog for example) this can be misinterpreted. 

Good thing the HRPA's Manager of Membership and Chapter Relations is on top of things!

It looks like everyone learned their lesson, the video was pulled from YouTube, and will no longer be distributed... all is good again!

Meanwhile, on Twitter...

Copies are still available?

I know I'm not supposed to use the F-word anymore... but this sure looks like a big middle finger to the THRPA Chapter president to me.

Do you see a big middle finger? I do!

Want another example? Let me pick one!

As a believer in National Unity, I think all provinces should work together whenever possible.  To me, the CHRP designation is becoming increasingly de-valued as a national designation due to the lack of national unity.

I believe that a national designation should have a national standard... There's logic to that right?

So, I posted a discussion about it on the HRPA Members LinkedIN group:

I got the following email from the HRPA:

Kind of a rude response for a guy that is responsible for Member Relations don't you think? 

But am I involved with Canadian HR Press? Google my name... You will find that I have maintained study blogs that have helped thousands of people (nationally) succeed on the CHRP exams. 

In no way does this mean that I am not allowed a personal opinion... That is my right as a Canadian!

On the actual LinkedIN discussion board Mr. Falvo asked me the same question so I responded:

Basically got told to shut up... Not something like "Hmmm... an awful lot of our paying members/customers seem upset, let's look into this!"

But rather more of a "This is our decision - live with it!"

Making comments on this thread has been disabled... surprise surprise. 

Want another example?

This past month (about a week ago) I started blogging about Bill 138 and like clockwork the harassment  from HRPA started again... The subject line was "Last Time I Ask"... I'm not a customer service expert, but I think something along the lines of "Hello" is generally more appropriate.

Want one last example?

Okay... But I think I spoil you.

Here is an email that came out  a few days ago from the HRPYR (York Region) Board... a Board whose president was threatened similarily to the THRPA president about not opposing  Bill 138...

December 23, 2010

To: ALL HRPYR Members

“As the leaders of your Chapter Board, we believe it is our duty and responsibility to look after the interests of our Chapter members – YOU.” We have three issues to share with you.

First, you may be aware that HRPA has suspended the HRPYR Board pending the outcome of an investigation regarding the recent nomination process. While we are confident that the complaint will be dismissed as unfounded, no-one disagrees that an investigation should take place to clear the air.

BUT, after asking the HRPYR Board to keep the investigation confidential, the Chair of the GNC himself emailed all of you - 1300 members of HRPYR - advising you that the ENTIRE Board was suspended. In our personal opinion that action was contrary to the HRPA's own Code of Conduct, which states:

A Director must not engage in conduct ...... likely to prejudice the business of HRPA or a Chapter.... or likely to harm defame or otherwise bring discredit upon HRPA or a Chapter....

There was no need to suspend the Board; it was gross overkill. It alarmed us and you all and certainly brings discredit to HRPA.

You should know that there are 7 Directors (while only 5 are required) whose terms continued (past November 30th 2010) to November 2011, so even with the newly selected Directors being delayed from taking office there are more than sufficient to keep HRPYR operating. And there have been no issues surrounding the rest of HRPYR's operation. In fact, both the audit conducted by the HRPYR auditors and the HRPA auditors in 2010 concluded that the financial and administrative functions of HRPYR were in good shape.


By now you are likely aware that HRPA has attempted to withdraw the right of THRPA to represent Toronto members, a move that THRPA is fighting on the basis that it is illegal. It is OUR belief that the reason that HRPA took this action had very little to do with those stated by HRPA in its communication to members, and far more to do with eliminating expected opposition to Bill 138.

You should know that HRPA demanded that each member of the THRPA Board sign a letter acknowledging that they would not oppose Bill 138. They have also threatened others IF they chose to oppose the Bill. We believe that this is completely inconsistent with the principles of democracy in Canada. Nor is it the actions of an Association that is willing to consult, discuss or collaborate.

3. BILL 138

The proposed Bill 138 has many issues of concern. To list just a few:

* HRPA sent a first draft of a Bill to the Ontario Government WITHOUT any attempt to communicate or to consult with Chapter Executives or the Membership regarding the detail. In our view, if a new Act is so important, surely it was worth the time to consult.

* There is an official Chapter consultation policy and there are regular Chapter Presidents’ conference calls and meetings, but beyond saying that we needed a new Act, Chapter Presidents and Boards received nothing from HRPA.

* HRPA itself claims that Bill 138 is imperfect, but that we should all accept it just so we can ‘play with the big kids’ as a Tier 1 profession. The articulated reasons for HR to be "Tier One" are not compelling. All other Tier One professions have licensing authority. HRPA does not and claims not to want it; now. Accepting an imperfect Act seems to be a compromise that seems ill-advised at best. Especially when most provincial associations seem to do just fine with no Act at all.

* Do HR professionals really manage trusts, estates and wills? Bill 138 covers that (including any personal wills/estates you may handle).

* Do we really want our Association to be able to come into our workplaces and homes to investigate WITHOUT WARRANT? Bill 138 allows that!

Question: If this Bill is a positive step for our profession, as HRPA claims, then why the secrecy and threats? And why not invite open dialogue about it? What a terrible foundation on which to begin!!

We believe that the (secret - names of Committee NOT published to Membership) HRPA GNC exceeded its authority with respect to the suspension of the HRPYR Board, and that the HRPA Board exceeded its authority in attempting to withdraw the mandate of THRPA. Both actions are clearly likely to prejudice the business of HRPA, and of HRPYR and THRPA, a contravention of the Board Code of Conduct.

Are you and we honestly being asked by HRPA to believe that these events are unconnected? HRPA is targeting the Chapters most likely to raise questions about Bill 138. THRPA and HRPYR are consistently the two Chapters that communicate most to their members, and the two Chapters that most frequently and openly ask "why" when confronted with HRPA’s lack of communication and openness. Of note: HRPYR and THRPA are also the two Chapters most likely to ask HRPA to consult with Chapter Boards and members on important issues, to bring innovation to the association and generally the first to support HRPA’s directives.

Our preference is to try to work collaboratively with the provincial body. For example – HRPYR was one of the first to adopt HRPA’s requirement to change our fiscal year, and to attempt to bring our Bylaws in line with the template requested by HRPA. We have also been proactive with respect to Government Affairs.

It is our opinion that the communication from HRPA is a diversion, to take your attention away from the Bill. We urge you to take the time to read through the Bill for yourselves (click here).

Regardless of what happens with Bill 138 these incredibly heavy-handed actions by HRPA will not be forgotten.

As an HR practitioner this has everything to do with Bill 138 and YOUR future.

With apologies for raising serious issues at what should be a joyous time of year,

Ian J. Turnbull & Bridget Carter
President (suspended) & Past President & Director (suspended)
Human Resources Professionals of York Region (HRPYR)

Overall, I'm not claiming to be perfect... far from it.  But to be called out for "using obscenities and particularly defamatory language and tone in a public forum" from the HRPA hardly seems fair given the history of their intimidation tactics, bullying, and lack of respect for the very profession, chapters, and members that support them.

But this isn't about me using obscene language... This is about me opposing Bill 138.


  1. Nice blog, but the content of the text is very small size..
    HR Templates

  2. Thanks Madhu!

    Just click the pictures and you will be able to read the text.

  3. Vote NO on Bill 138 by simply signing the petition:

  4. Read TPPA’s most recent audited financial statements

    The Chapter's net assets are now approximately $20,000. This is down from $365,000 at the end of FY07 - a drop of 94% in just 3 years. Our events lost almost $200K in FY10, almost double the loss from a year ago. In particular, revenue from events rose by $32,000 year-over-year, while expenses rose $117,000. Toronto’s overall deficit for FY10 is $180,000, compared to a deficit of $110,000 in FY09, and a deficit of $53,000 in FY08.

    This document was handed out at TPPA's AGM by their board. After reading this, would you trust any of these board members to run your board or even better yet handle your funds? Their emails are full of spin toward Bill 138 to draw attention away from this. TPPA you have no credibility to be in the position you are trying to represent.

    Enjoy the Facts: Link to Audited Financial Statements by TPPA's Accountant.

  5. Dear HR Facts - how glad I am to find you once again on another blog spreading lies. You have not understood and unfortunately you will never understand the financial investments, not losses, made for the benefit of members. If you were at the TPPA AGM you would have heard everything about the financial statements. Are you even a member of HRPA or the Chapter? Stop hiding behind an alias while you continue to distort the facts and fail to understand that the chapter exists to provide value to members. If you continue to spread lies and slander the TPPA you will be subject to a libel suit - oh I guess that is why you don't use your real name. - how clever of you...
    By the way why does HRPA have such a large reserve - close to $6 million ( which is $1.5M more than the previous year)? Perhaps we should closely audit their financial books and their use of membership are members able to see the full audit report - not the condensed version posted on the site?