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December 6, 2023

Resilience and Mindfulness for the upcoming Holiday season

Holiday festivities bring joy, laughter, and love. It may also bring stress, chaos, and a feeling of being overwhelmed. This holiday season, prioritize your own moments of quiet reflection to nurture a resilient spirit with resources on gratitude, resilience and mindfulness.

By embracing the present moment, we fortify our resilience against the inevitable stresses of the season. Mindfulness invites us to savour each joyous occasion, foster a deep sense of gratitude, and acts as a grounding force, allowing us to navigate challenges with grace amid the hustle and bustle.

On December 13th at 11 a.m. ET the Ask the Expert web with Dr. Christopher Willard PsyD, Clinical Psychologist and Author, will be on Mindfulness Techniques for the Holidays

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

Please note: At the General Council Executive meeting in November, the Executive approved the termination of the current LifeSpeak contract. Plan members will still have access to the LifeSpeak resources until December 31, 2023.


Resilience isn’t only about bouncing back – it’s also being able to thrive through challenges. When you pair that with a mindful attitude, it allows you to approach situations with acceptance, curiosity, and in a non-judgmental way. These articles highlight the importance of incorporating resilience and mindfulness in your everyday life:

There are also great articles on general emotional well-being under the health & well-being section.

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November 2, 2023

Let’s Celebrate World Kindness Day!


In a world where chaos and turmoil often dominate the headlines, taking a day to celebrate kindness can serve as a reminder of the inherent goodness that resides within us all. World Kindness Day, celebrated on November 13, is a global reminder for everyone, to practice compassion for others. This day was first introduced in 1998 and is now celebrated in many countries around the world. Kindness is essential, as it costs nothing, but it binds us together and bridges gaps.

Despite our busy lives, it’s important not to overlook the significance of self-compassion. World Kindness Day serves as a reminder to reflect on the importance of being kind to ourselves and nurturing our well-being to create a positive relationship with our own selves.

Self-compassion involves treating ourselves with the same kindness and understanding that we would extend to a friend, employee, or family member. It’s about acknowledging our imperfections and embracing them with empathy, rather than self-criticism - which is easier said than done!

Here are some resources from LifeSpeak experts to give you some ideas on how to bring more kindness – for yourself, and others – into your daily life:

On November 20th at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web with Janna Comrie MA, Registered Psychotherapist, will be on Living with stress and strengthening your resilience

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

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November 1, 2023

GreenShield Cares’ Women’s Mental Health Program

Therapy isn't a one-size-fits-all model. That's why GreenShield Canada is offering two free hours of virtual therapy for women to explore their mental health needs with a therapist who understands. This program is open to Canadians, 18 years and older, who are women, transgender women, women-identifying, non-binary and gender non-conforming, including people from racialized and/or marginalized groups who are underserved by the current mental health system.

This program is also open to friends and family who hold these above-named gender identities. The participant does not need to be a GreenShield plan member to use this service.

People who sign up for GreenShield Cares’ Women’s Mental Health Program, will receive two free hours of culturally sensitive talk therapy sessions and a complimentary subscription to online coach-assisted therapy (iCBT). The two hours of complimentary talk therapy expire on December 31, 2023.

Talking to someone who understands people’s unique and diverse needs can be immensely helpful for one’s healing journey.

GreenShield’s program offers a personalized counselling matching tool with over 50 matching options, including culture, race, language, and religion, to ensure people can find a mental health professional who shares and/or can relate to one’s identities and lived experiences. Hundreds of their certified practitioners identify as Indigenous or racialized so that people can find the right supports. If the certified mental health professional is not the right fit, that’s ok. It’s possible to book a consultation with another certified mental health professional, or they can help manually match participants to ensure finding a good fit for one’s journey.

The professionals recognize and acknowledge the intersection of race, Indigenous identities, individuals living with a disability and a range of gender identities, and aim to provide programming that is inclusive and accessible.

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GreenShield Cares featured articles:

Book your two free hours of talk therapy here.

October 5, 2023

Substance Use, Gambling, and Mental Health


Conversations about, or acknowledging your own substance use or gambling can be challenging. However, by increasing our understanding of these issues, we can effectively reduce stigma and gain valuable insights into the connection between these behaviors and mental health.

When we create safe spaces and engage in meaningful dialogue around these topics, we open opportunities to reflect on how substance use and gambling impact our lives.

If you are contemplating your relationship with a habit, or supporting someone who might be struggling in one of these areas, LifeSpeak’s experts can help. They will guide you through a series of educational resources designed to equip you with the tools to make small, yet impactful changes in your own life and / or assisting those you care about.

On October 25 at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web with Dr. Jonah Paquette PsyD, Clinical Psychologist, Author, Speaker, will be on strategies to protect your mental health.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".


Our Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) on the workhealthlife site has an entire section dedicated to addictions – whether it be for you or a supporting a loved one. Here are a few articles that could help make those difficult conversations, a little less daunting:

There are also great articles on mental health, and emotional well-being. EFAP is a support service that can help you take the first step toward change, and provides immediate and confidential assistance for any work, health or life concern.

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September 20, 2023

Honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30 is the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, honouring and promoting reflection and understanding of the ongoing injustices faced by Indigenous communities.

LifeSpeak experts examine these impacts to help us better understand the intergenerational trauma that contributes to the mental health and wellbeing of Indigenous People. Explore allyship, empowerment, and how decolonizing our minds and practices can help us all create a more culturally safe environment in which Indigenous community members can reconnect with their cultural identities and heal intergenerational trauma.

Click on the following resources to learn more:

On September 20th at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web chat will be on improving your sleep, one tip at a time.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

Learn more about Indigenous Justice with these books! 

Check out our UCC Orange Shirt Day Action page at

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September 1, 2023

Investors Vote on Scrutiny Proposal at Alphabet

Amid widespread reporting about the risks of artificial general intelligence, Alphabet (formerly Google) shareholders voted on June 2 on a proposal, filed by SHARE on behalf of the Pension Plan of The United Church of Canada, requesting third-party scrutiny of the company’s targeted advertising system.

The proposal calls for the company to undertake a human rights impact assessment and states the growing concerns surrounding Alphabet’s advertising infrastructure’s heavy reliance on technology, including artificial intelligence, which has not been subject to a robust human rights due diligence process. This kind of assessment would identify, address, and prevent the potential adverse human rights impact of targeted advertising technologies.

“Alphabet’s targeted advertising business represents about 80% of the company’s revenue, which means that until a rigorous assessment is done, its shareholders are exposed to a litany of regulatory, legal and reputational risks,” said Sarah Couturier-Tanoh, Associate Director Corporate Engagement and Advocacy at SHARE. “Ultimately, the lack of clear oversight puts investors’ long-term value at risk.”

Proxy advisory firms Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services, and large U.S.-based pension funds CalPERS, CalSTRS, New York City pension funds, and Norges Bank all agreed with SHARE’s perspective on the matter.

The proposal received 47% support from independent shareholders and 18% overall. The sharp difference between these two figures is explained by the multi-class stock structure conferring 10 votes for 1 share held by Alphabet’s management. SHARE opposes multi-class stock structures as a general principle of good corporate governance.

While our shareholder proposal ultimately did not pass, the nearly 50% support of independent shareholders is a strong signal to Alphabet management that there is great concern about, and now scrutiny of, their targeted advertising system. Often corporate engagement is a process of incremental gains requiring persistence. Persistence is something that the Pension Fund of The United Church of Canada has in abundance when it comes to investing responsibly!

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July 31, 2023

Psychological Wellness in the Workplace

Psychological wellness doesn’t just make us feel good—it makes us more resilient. It helps us overcome challenging situations and stay connected to others. As some of us will return to work after the Summer break, LifeSpeak experts are sharing some tools along the topic of health and safety at work, creating a mentally healthy workplace and much more. Discover the resources to learn more.

On August 22nd at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web chat will be on navigating the back to school transition.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

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July 10, 2023

How to Read Your 2022 Annual Pension Statement

Annual member statements for the 2022 plan year will be issued to active, deferred, and retired members of the pension plan at the end of June 2023.

Remember that if you have a spouse they will automatically receive any pre-retirement death benefit as per pension legislation. However, you should also designate a beneficiary in case your spouse pre-deceases you.

If you need to declare a spouse or designate a beneficiary, please scan the QR code to fill out the secure form that will be submitted directly to the Benefits Centre. If you have not received your statement, please contact to ensure the address on file is correct.

If you have not begun receiving your pension, the statement will contain a box that looks something like this:

Your Pension Your Future







+ 15,679

MAXIMUM C/QPP BENEFITS (in January 2023)


+ 8,292

MAXIMUM OAS BENEFITS (April to June 2023)





(excluding other employer pensions or personal savings)

THE AMOUNT YOU HAVE EARNED ALREADY - is calculated based on your pensionable earnings and years of credited service.

YOUR PROJECTED ANNUAL PENSION TO AGE 65 – is an estimate based on the assumption that you continue to work in the same job category until you reach age 65. If you stop working before that, or if your pensionable earnings change, this amount will also change.

MAXIMUM C/QPP BENEFITS – The amount shown as an example on your pension statement is the maximum amount payable under the Canada Pension Plan. Not all Canadians receive the maximum possible payout from the Canada Pension Plan. Please note that the average annual amount of CPP paid to new recipients in 2022 was $8,433.

In order to determine your personal benefit under the Canada Pension Plan, you can request a Personal Access Code (PAC). You can use this code to register for My Service Canada Account, which will provide access to your personal record of contributions and benefits earned under the Canada Pension Plan.

MAXIMUM OAS BENEFITSOld Age Security is a pension you can receive if you are 65 years of age or older and have lived in Canada for at least 10 years. The amount you receive depends on your income and how long you lived in Canada or specific countries after the age of 18. If your net income (line 23600 of your income tax return) exceeds an income threshold ($79,845, for 2023) you have to repay some or all of your OAS pension.

When planning for retirement, all of these sources of income, as well as your personal savings and any pension from previous employers should be considered. We recommend that you consult with a financial planner to help with the financial aspects of your retirement planning.

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June 28, 2023

Embracing You – A Journey of Self-Discovery

Everyone is unique – we all have qualities that make up the very fabric of who we are as people. Through talents and traits, we all revel in our triumphs in diverse ways. In other words, how you view your own success is up to you. So, are you ready to cultivate your strengths to enhance your overall wellbeing?

Self-care takes many forms and finding what works best for you is the key to putting your best self forward. In this campaign, our experts will lead you through comprehensive practices in prioritizing and investing in yourself. From building stronger connections with others to exploring creativity and the power of positivity, you will unlock personal strengths to elevate your own growth and development.

On July 19th at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web chat will provide you Self-Care Tips to Boost Your Performance and Reduce Stress.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

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