All posts by afmccmemadmin

Pharmacare: A Plan for Everyone

Today, we are one step closer to universal pharmacare – and Canada’s unions couldn’t have done it without you.

In the federal budget, the government has committed to implementing a plan for universal pharmacare. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s former Health Minister, has resigned from his former post to become chair of the new Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare tasked with reporting back on the issue by 2019.

This is welcome news to the over thirty thousand people – including you – who have signed our pharmacare petition. It’s welcome news to the over 3.5 million Canadians who can’t afford their prescription drugs. And it is welcome news to nine out of ten Canadians who believe it’s time for universal prescription drug coverage.

We MUST keep up the pressure.

If you haven’t yet emailed your Member of Parliament, do so now, using our easy tool to let them know you want pharmacare now.

We’ll be visiting over 25 communities as part of our national pharmacare tour and hope to see you at one happening near where you live. Find out more here,

Together, we can improve the lives of millions of people.

Hassan Yussuff


Canadian Labour Congress

Musicians’ Pension Fund

March 5, 2018

Dear Local officers, administrators and staff,

By now, you are all aware that I am retiring at the end of this year, 2018.

I’m extremely confident that all will go very well going forward without me.

For the last five years we have had a succession plan in place which we have been tweaking and implementing.

I am now asking your assistance in this final transition year. You can be a part of a successful transition by sending all correspondence and phone calls that you would normally direct to me to Jill Giustino whom as you know is now Executive Director Designate.

As I ease myself out of the office I will be spending these last months as her backup not the other way around.

Thank you everyone for your support in the past, now and in the future.


Ellen M. Versteeg-Lytwyn (Mrs.) (Almost Retired)

Executive Director

Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada


Chers dirigeants syndicaux, administrateurs et membres du personnel,

Vous êtes maintenant au courant que je prends ma retraite à la fin de cette année, 2018.

J’ai une très grande confiance que tout se passera très bien à l’avenir sans ma présence.

Depuis les cinq dernières années, nous avons mis sur pied un plan de relève que nous avons peaufiné et mis en vigueur.

Je vous demande maintenant votre assistance dans cette dernière année de transition.   Vous pouvez faire partie d’une transition réussie en acheminant toute la correspondance et tous les appels que vous m’auriez adressés à Jill Guistino qui est, comme vous le savez, la directrice administrative remplaçante désignée.

À mesure que je me délaisse de mes fonctions, je consacrerai ces derniers mois dans un rôle de soutien pour Jill.

Je vous remercie de votre soutien dans le passé, maintenant et à l’avenir.


Ellen M. Versteeg-Lytwyn (Mrs.) (presque retraitée)

Directrice administrative

Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada


CBC is no longer accepting hard copy CDs to the music library. How can you share your music with CBC audiences? There are two ways to do so!

1. Via the CBC Music Library by emailing
Please indicate the specific CBC Radio 2 or CBC Radio One program you want your submission to be considered for by indicating in the subject line of your email: “Attention: [Program Name]”

You can submit electronically directly to the Music Library with the following:
·  Attached digital file (WAV format preferred) or downloadable links with album art, and liner notes that list artist, composer and production credits
·  Artist biography and/or media kit with contact information

Once the Library receives your submission, it will be reviewed for possible future programming on the relevant programs. Your submission will also be made available to all other CBC Music producers.

2. CBC Music Artist Pages
To get your music heard across CBC Music platforms, create a profile and upload your music to the CBC Music artist pages

* Please note that the exclusive purpose of is to make your submitted music available to CBC Radio One and CBC Radio 2 programs for consideration. The account will not reply to requests for radio play or to questions concerning radio play.

Musical Instruments on Airlines

Through the lobbying efforts of the CFM, Bill C-49: The Transportation Modernization Act contains language mandating ALL Canadian airlines to implement a fair policy for musicians flying with their instruments.  The Bill has been passed through the House and is now before Senate. Once passed by Senate, we hope it will align Canadian regulations with those the already in place in the United States.

We anticipate this Bill to move quickly and receive Royal Ascent by this summer.  Thereafter, Transport Canada will be tasked with establishing the regulations, a process we expect will take most of the rest of the year.  We have already held discussions with Transport Canada to ensure CFM is involved in the regulatory process. If all goes according to plan, we might see Canadian airlines implementing musical instrument friendly policy by early 2019.

CATSA has prepared an informational pamphlet (available through your Local) with regard to the security screening process. If you are concerned about taking instruments through security, the best suggestion is to ask for a private screening room. The security process will take longer, but, musicians with fragile instruments will be closer during the search process which might alleviate some anxiety of the searching of fragile musical instruments.

If you have any questions please, email Allistair Elliott, International Representative,

For more information please visit us at | CFM on Twitter|CFM on Facebook.

Breakout West

Dear Members:

In early December, the West Coast Music Alliance (WCMA) sent out a notice that it will start accepting submissions on January 8th, for performance opportunities at its annual festival: BreakOut West (BOW), an event which features an industry conference, an opening day concert and various live performances in public venues.

WCMA/BOW remains on the AFM’s International Unfair List for the reasons detailed below.  All members are notified now, that they are not to apply for, nor, accept any performance at BOW 2018.

Since May of last year, the union has been reporting its attempts at negotiating a successor agreement with the WCMA.  Unfortunately, the WCMA continues to refuse to bargain. Without a collective agreement in place, you, the musicians, on which the Festival is based, are not guaranteed reasonable fees and pension.  Additionally, there is no language preventing the WCMA or broadcasters from recording, broadcasting or otherwise exploiting your performances without proper remuneration.

Despite receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in combined subsidies from government grants and corporate sponsors, WCMA have stated that musicians should not consider Breakout West a gig; they should consider it a ‘networking opportunity’ – however sound/stage crew receive guarantees.  Ticketed events, in public venues, are not showcases, they are gigs – if the sound person receives a guarantee, so should you!

The CFM is affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), and we have simply asked the WCMA to meet the CLC’s national push for “$15/hr and Fairness”, based on a 4-hour minimum call, which would see musicians earn at minimum $60 (each) for their performance, noting that certain headline musicians performing the concert portion of the festival are paid high guarantees.

All Canadians deserve to be paid for their work and this must include professional musicians.  This is a simple matter of social justice and WCMA’s continued reluctance to meet this minimum standard is unacceptable.  We continue to ask, as should you: Where is all that money going? Musicians have to eat, like everyone else.


Vice President from Canada

Equal Status for Women in the Indian Act

We are Senators and Indigenous women leaders with a long history of advocating for equality for Indigenous women in Canada. We write to you today to request your support for the full and final removal of sex discrimination from the Indian Act. We ask you to sign on to this letter to Prime Minister Trudeau by November 7th. Shocking as it is, Indian women still do not enjoy the same entitlement to full Indian status and the same ability to transmit their status to their descendants as Indian men. This discrimination has existed since the Indian Act was first introduced in 1876. We believe that 141 years of sex discrimination is enough. We write to you now because the Government of Canada is poised to pass Bill S-3, a revision to the Indian Act, which will, one more time, remove discrimination for some, but leave the core of the sex discrimination in place. On June 1, 2017, the Senate of Canada unanimously passed an amendment to Bill S-3. This amendment, which has been dubbed the ‘6(1)(a) all the way’ amendment, would, for the first time, entitle Indian women and their descendants to full 6(1)(a) Indian status on the same footing as Indian men and their descendants. The Government of Canada has rejected this equal status amendment and wants the Senate to pass Bill S-3 without eliminating all the discrimination against First Nations women and their descendants. As Indigenous women, we need you to help and support us. Indigenous women cannot be successful in this fight alone. We need the support of our non-Indigenous sisters and allies, as well as of our Indigenous brothers and communities, and we need it now. The Government of Canada wants to pass Bill S-3 before December 15, 2017. Please join us in fighting to end discrimination against women in the Indian Act. Here’s what you can do:

  • Sign on to this letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Canada asking him to remove the sex discrimination from the Indian Act now; to sign on send us an email at with your name, if you are signing as an individual, or the name of your organization, and/or the name of all the individuals at your organization that would like to sign on. Please send your sign on by November 7th. We will keep a continuous list and post it on our website.
  • Contact your Member of Parliament directly, and ask him or her to support removal of the sex discrimination from the Indian Act now. Go to this website to find your MP’s contact information and follow this link for a sample email to send to your Member of Parliament.
  • Contact Senators from your province or territory and ask them to hold firm on their support for the ‘6(1)(a) all the way’ amendment. Go to this website to find Senators’ contact information and follow this link for a sample email to send to Senators from your province or territory.
  • Share this email with your membership lists and with your friends and allies. Ask them to sign on and call or write to their MPs and Senators.
  • Find background information on Indian Act sex discrimination and Bill S-3 here and follow this link to register and watch the webinars hosted by the Canadian Women’s Foundation and FAFIA on the Indian Act.

Here’s who we are:

  • Senator Lillian Dyck, Chair of the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, which heard testimony on Bill S-3 and initiated the ‘6(1)(a) all the way’ amendment.
  • Senator Sandra Lovelace-Nicholas, Member of the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, Petitioner to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Lovelace v Canada, which resulted in the 1981 ruling that the sex discrimination in the Indian Act violates the rights of Indigenous women to their culture.
  • Jeannette Corbiere-Lavell and Yvonne Bedard, plaintiffs in Lavell, Bedard v Canada, which resulted in the now infamous 1973 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that the sex discrimination in the Indian Act did not violate Canada’s Bill of Rights.
  • Sharon McIvor, Plaintiff in McIvor v Canada, which resulted in the 2009 British Columbia Court of Appeal ruling that won status, or improved status, for about 35,000 previously excluded Indigenous women and their descendants.
  • Dr. Lynn Gehl, Plaintiff in Gehl v Canada, which resulted in the 2017 ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal that the unstated paternity policy of the Registrar of Indian and Northern Affairs was unreasonable.

Not one of us, to this day, is entitled to full 6(1)(a) status under the Indian Act. Please help us to achieve equal status for Indian women and their descendants now. Learn about the Famous Six and read their message here





AFM Hurricane Relief

October  5, 2017

The AFM has set up a link on our AFM website for Hurricane Relief donations and a link for downloading the application to apply for assistance.


To receive assistance:

  1. The applicant must be a member in good standing of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada;
  2. Prior to Hurricane Harvey, Irma or Maria, the applicant must have resided in, or been employed as a professional musician in the affected counties of Texas, Florida or municipios of Puerto Rico that FEMA has identified as a “major disaster declaration” area as a result of Hurricane Harvey, Irma or Maria; and
  3. The applicant must have suffered one of the hardships listed on the application as a result of Hurricane Harvey, Irma or Maria that is not reimbursable by insurance.

President Hair and I believe that AFM Locals are an essential part of the application process (similar to the Petrillo Fund application process). All applicants for AFM Hurricane Fund assistance will be submitting their application and supporting documents to their Local for initial review by the Local. The Local should forward only those applications the Local supports for hurricane relief assistance to:

Hurricane Relief Fund c/o American Federation of Musicians Attention: Nadine Sylvester 1501 Broadway, Suite 600 New York, NY 10036

Thank you in advance for your participation in this process to provide assistance to our AFM members during this very challenging time of hurricane recovery. If you have questions, please call me at (212) 869-1330 x1-224.

Fraternally and sincerely,


Ray Hair                                                                       Jay Blumenthal AFM International President                                     AFM International Secretary-Treasurer



Canadian Federation of Musicians labour dispute intends to end exploitation at Western Canadian Music Alliance’s BreakOut West Festival

Toronto, Canada – Monday, September 11, 2017 — The labour dispute between the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) and the Western Canadian Music Alliance (WCMA), the entity which operates the BreakOut West Festival (BOW), has not been resolved. The BOW conference, which begins on September 13th, in Edmonton, Alberta, the vast majority of festival musicians do not receive payment for either their live performances or for the festival recording their shows.

The CFM, a union within the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), views this as a slap in the face for Canadian workers, and are asking the festival to meet the CLC’s national push for $15/hr and Fairness, based on a 4-hour minimum call.

“While certain headline musicians performing concerts at the festival are paid, most receive no fee,” explains Alan Willaert, Vice-President from Canada of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. “All Canadians deserve to be paid for their work and this must include professional musicians. This is a simple matter of social justice and WCMA’s reluctance to meet this minimum standard is unacceptable”.

“I am grateful for AFM and CFM’s support and fight on behalf of the interest of musicians”, said Claire Ness, an independent artist from the Yukon who is scheduled to perform.

“This event is all about the musicians, yet they are the ones being exploited”, continued Willaert. “The Provincial and Federal Governments should be ashamed that Canadians’ tax dollars (including musicians’ taxes) are being misused to sponsor an event that acts more like a sweatshop than a music festival.”

The Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) is the Canadian National office of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM). The CFM provides vital resources to Canadian musicians at all stages of their careers, on any platform, from live concert to recorded performance, broadcast and film scoring. The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) is comprised of 200 local offices across the United States and Canada, collectively representing a membership of approximately 80,000 professional musicians. The AFM/CFM has been representing the interests of U.S. and Canadian musicians for 121 years, as the representative of professional musicians in a broad range of collective bargaining and legislative actions.

For more information please visit us at ׀ CFM on twitter ׀ CFM on Facebook.



Victoria Lord, VLPR Inc.

T: 1-416-484-9047 | E:

P2 Visa Processing Update

Regular Processing: Submit your P2 package to CFM at least 75 calendar days prior to first performance. US Immigration reports a processing backlog for Regular Processing

Premium Processing: Submit your P2 package to CFM at least 30 days prior to first performance.

NOTE: When you submit a P2 application; you do so at your own risk. AFM does not have control over the decisions U.S. Immigration makes on their processing times. Therefore, USCIS processing times may increase/decrease at any time, without notice. The AFM’s suggested processing timelines are based on an internal weekly, observance of the average turnaround time from submission of application to receipt of approval.