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Several months ago, Judy and I found it necessary to launch an investigation into alleged financial irregularities involving the use of CUPE National funds. We took action to protect the financial integrity of our union and to ensure that members can have confidence in how we manage their hard-earned dues. Because of its seriousness, this matter has now been referred to the police.

We have terminated the employment of Cam Masse, former Managing Director of Finance and Administration. We are still discovering new information. The investigation continues. We recognize that there are many issues here. There is the obvious question of illegalities. The police will deal with those.

There is also the critical question of ethics. Everyone in CUPE must abide by our National Constitution. We must operate at the highest ethical standard. We often call upon institutions and corporations and politicians to operate ethically. That automatically puts our actions under public scrutiny. Above all, our members expect CUPE leaders to operate ethically. If we let them down, we lose credibility in their eyes. Our elections must be run ethically. They must belong to CUPE members.

We have improved CUPEs financial systems and controls. We are committed to disclosing information to members. We owe it to our members to run a transparent organization.

A task force has been appointed to recommend new election conduct rules to apply to all candidates for future elections for National Executive Board positions.

Despite these unfortunate events, Judy and I are concentrating on what is happening on the front lines of our union. We are leading the union. We are doing what we were elected to do.

The offices of the National President and National Secretary-Treasurer are working closely with each other. We share a new vision for our union. Together, we are examining everything we do to improve services to members. We are creating long-term plans that will help our union operate more efficiently and effectively. We are discussing ideas with members and staff in every province when we attend meetings, conferences, conventions and of course, when we walk picket lines.

We know that we will be able to measure the positive results of changes we are beginning to introduce. We are looking at every area of CUPE to see how we can do things better, including technology and communications and education and organizing. We are concentrating on building a better union.