December 12, 2023 – Message to the Membership

Posted on December 12, 2023 in

December 12, 2023 – Message to the Membership

After a record four-day budget deliberation recently that resulted in one whole percentage point reduction in the increase to the mill rate (it went from roughly 7 per cent to 6 per cent), you would think that I could wax on about that. But no, not today. 

You might think that a motion made by Mairin Loewen and seconded by Hilary Gough to radically adjust the non-residential tax ratio from 1.59:1 to 2:1 during those budget deliberations without any forewarning or due process whatsoever would be the topic for discussion today. But no, we’re not going there either (thankfully some common sense prevailed and the motion was defeated 9-2). 

Or you might think that the topic du jour could be regarding the City’s Transportation Committee choosing to bring forward to Council the asinine proposal to put a bike lane on Avenue C, particularly through the intersection at 42nd Street and northward, instead of killing it last week in committee as it should have been. 

Or one would be forgiven if they thought that we would discuss the province’s Complex Needs Shelter that is being slated for the old liquor store on Idylwyld Drive, which again, had a lack of consultation and advance notice to those in the area that will be the most impacted by this shelter. But no, we’re not going there either.  

And that’s because all of these have some form of negativity to them, and today we want to talk about something positive. You see, recently I was asked to do a thing. And it turns out it’s a pretty big thing. And the best part is that you can be involved. In fact, I strongly encourage you to be involved. 

This might be old news for some, because there’s a social media posts out there, so you might have heard that I’ve been selected as a celebrity dancer in the upcoming Swinging With the Stars fundraiser on January 27, 2024 at TCU Place. That’s right, I’ll be Swinging With The Stars, baby! 

I bring up the date and location because that’s where you get involved. Come on out and watch me embarrass myself in front of a packed house at TCU Place. I mean who wouldn’t want to see that? Friends, enemies and frenemies would all have a keen interest in it, I would think. 

Tickets are on sale now at 

OMG, I shouldn’t have posted the link because I checked to make sure it’s active (which it is), but the absolutely bone-chilling aspect to it is that it has a countdown to showtime on the top of it, down to the second. (Gulp!) 

Over and above that, I can see by the ‘Meet the 2024 Celebrity Dancers’ page that I’m the old fart in the mix. (Double Gulp!!) And I shouldn’t have looked at the countdown to showtime banner again. I can feel my breathing getting shallower and my head getting a little more faint as I write this…. 

But let’s remember, this is about much, much more than me making a fool of myself. It’s a terrific fundraiser for the City Hospital Foundation, which is a place near a dear to me. Regular readers – and even irregular readers – may know (because that particular post received exponentially more readers than the usual fare) that the City Hospital’s Eye Centre is where the miraculous Dr. Moness Masri saved my eyesight in my left eye. 

City Hospital Foundation CEO Steve Shannon said to me the other day that the other hospitals (RUH and St. Paul’s with their specialties and services) save your life but City Hospital is where they give you your life back. 

And from my perspective, I can attest to that, after spending a weekend being completely blind in one eye. For those unaware, I had a hemorrhage in my left eye, which filled my eye with blood. Despite this scenario, which disrupted vision both into and out of the eye, Dr. Masri detected the source of the leak and sealed it with laser surgery.  

In spite of the repair, however, it took several weeks for the blood to dissipate from my eye, and the first few days left me unable to see due to the blood in my eyeball. Point being, it didn’t take a lot of imagination on my part to think of what it would be like to be blind, especially in one eye.  

But thanks to the City Hospital’s Eye Centre, its staff and its equipment, my vision was completely restored. It gave me my life back. 

The other point is, changes in life happen in a blink of an eye (pun intended). And next time it might be you who needs the life-restoring surgery. 

This SWTS experience is a competition, both the dance portion as well as a fundraising portion. So when you buy your table, please note that you’re supporting yours truly. 

An even bigger challenge that I have for the business community (because I brag about you all the time about how philanthropic and community-minded you are) is to support me through sponsorships. Of course it’s eligible for charitable tax receipts, so if you’re looking to reduce your revenue in 2023 and support a good cause, you can still do so.  

Or you can wait until the sponsorships go live on the website in the new year and have those deductions applied to 2024. Either way is fine by me, but just make sure you’re supporting good, ol’ Twinkle Toes here. 

Thank you for your consideration, and we’ll see you at Swinging With The Stars, baby! 


Keith Moen

Executive Director


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