Education | Action | Advocacy

Women Helping Women
For A Better Future

For more information, contact:
Teri Shaw
Ontario Council Chair, Standing Committee on Advocacy

In this newsletter:
  • Education Advocacy Action for CFUW Ontario Council
  • October - Women's History Month, Sisters in Spirit, Orange Shirt Day
  • Take Action from Ontario Council - Child Care, Human Trafficking, Climate Action, Ontario Council Resolutions Intent
  • Take Action Requests from Ontario Council Clubs - Afghanistan, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Long-Term Care, Poverty
  • Elections - Report on the October 2nd Speaker Series with Senator Marilou McPhedran, How to run an All-Candidates Meetings, even over Zoom, Running for Office, Which level of government is responsible for what
  • Notes from Queen's Park - Speech From the Throne, Ontario Government Consultations, Government Resources
  • Ontario Council Advocacy Resources
  • Coming Up
EDUCATION | ADVOCACY | ACTION
For CFUW Ontario Council
 
EDUCATION is –
Lifelong learning with the OC Speaker Series, clubs’ monthly meetings and interest groups, support to further education with the scholarships provided by clubs, public forums
Advocating for a strong, equitable public education system.


ADVOCACY is
Tracking and commenting on current issues, pushing for our concerns:
The Care Economy including child care and early learning, long term care, health care. 
The environment with the upcoming Glasgow Climate Change Conference in November, and here in Ontario concerns about environmental assessments.
Education as students returned to schools and universities still facing Covid, online learning and budget cuts.
Human Trafficking with the adoption of the Ontario Council resolution.
Upcoming elections for both the province and municipalities.

ACTION is
Social action support to women’s shelters, community groups, volunteer organizations, bringing public awareness to issues, running for political office – women helping women and the community
OCTOBER
October is a special month for women as we recognize and honour our history, honour and commemorate Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls, and cheer on the Girl Child.
 
 
The theme for Women’s History Month 2021 is Women Making History Now. There are so, so many right here in Ontario from Donna Strickland, 2018 Nobel Laureate in Physics, to Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister, to Margaret Atwood, author, to the incredible nurses, doctors, caregivers, teachers and all the others who have worked to help the rest of us live our lives who are ‘making history now’.
 
The highlight of Women’s History Month is Persons Day, commemorating when the Privy Council of Great Britain ruled that Section 24 of the BNA Act – “qualified Persons to the Senate; … should apply equally to women and men. The women who fought for this, the Famous Five, were from the West, but it was an Ontario woman, Cairine Wilson who became the first female Senator a few months later.
 
Some interesting resources for you to look at, a couple just for fun. Some of these women may have come from or are living in your community. Click on the link:
 
Research done by members of CFUW Ottawa has created an extensive list of events and achievements. Towards Equality for Women: A Chronology of Change and Achievement, from the 1870s to 2010
From Canadian Living in 2017, These 16 Canadian Women are our Heroes. Like the other lists, many are from Ontario.
 
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG)National Day of Remembrance.

This is the day that we honour and remember the lives of the indigenous women lost to violence.
 
 
 Learning Resources
Some suggestions:
Five ways Canadians can be an ally to Indigenous communities right now. An interview with the Executive Director of the National Association of Friendship Centres.

CFUW National’s Indigenous Peoples Sub-committee https://cfuwadmin.org/take_action/indigenous-peoples-sub-committee/
We now feel that we start October on September 30th with the newly designated National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, or more commonly called Orange Shirt Day. Many clubs celebrated with members wearing orange.

From CFUW Orillia:
TAKE ACTION FROM ONTARIO COUNCIL

"Communities are at the root of change. Politicians at all levels know this, which is why they respond best to local pressure, particularly from respected community groups."

Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
CHILD CARE ACTION
The Ontario Government is discussing the Child Care Agreement but still needs a push.
 
Two requests:
 
1.   Sign the petition! Found on the Ontario Council for Better Child Care website
 
“TELL FORD AND LECCE TO SIGN THE CHILD CARE AGREEMENT”
 
2.   Send letters either as a club (to your MPPs) or as an individual (not representing CFUW, just as a mother, grandmother, aunt)
 
Talking Points:
Read Suggested Talking Points. Do use a personal story if you have one.
 
What we would like to see:
Affordable, accessible, quality early learning and child care (ELCC) delivered by Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) who are compensated according to their qualifications.

Why:
Benefits to children:
  • The child is more school ready through the early learning provided by a curriculum from a trained educator
  • High-quality ELCC is truly the first stage of a child’s education, giving children both numeracy and literacy skills along with social and behavioral skills

Benefits to parents, in particular mothers:
  • Allowing for higher labour force participation, thus raising family incomes.
  • Allowing women to continue earning and working, thus counteracting part of the penalty mothers pay with their life-long earnings

Benefits to the economy:
  • The economy needs educated, well-trained women in order to rebound and to deal with the upcoming generational changes in the work force
  • In March 2021, Quebec had the country’s highest level of labour force participation among women aged 25 to 54. In Quebec, the male-female gap in labour force participation was 4.7 percentage points, nationally gap is 7.5 percentage points. (The Globe and Mail, April 22, 2021)
Benefits to society in the promotion of equality.
 
Some interesting resources:
HUMAN TRAFFICKING with the adoption of the Ontario Council resolution.
 
The Government of Ontario has anticipated some of our concerns in issuing Policy/Program Memorandum No. 166, Keeping Students Safe: Policy Framework for School Board Anti-Sex Trafficking Protocols, which asks schools and boards to develop a protocol to raise awareness and prevent sex trafficking.
 
This protocol is being developed now by the schools and Directors of Education. For those that want to work on this, two items have been developed and are available on the OC website:
October 17, 2021 – Ontario Council sent a letter to the Honourable Stephen Lecce regarding the Ministry of Education’s decision to ensure equitable and free access for menstrual supplies. Read the letter ...
CLIMATE ACTION CORNER
 
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Glasgow, Scotland between October 31-November 12.
 
To both prepare for this, and then to discuss priorities and actions afterwards prior to the 2022 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) whose topic will be climate change, CFUW National is sponsoring two Think Tanks:
 
  • Climate Emergency, Climate Change and the Environment Town Hall Wed. October 20th at 7pm. Flyer with registration, found here
  • Climate Change Town Hall Post-meeting November 20 & 23. Look for registration information in National’s Club Action Newsletter
ONTARIO COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS TIMETABLE

The date for the intention of a resolution is now October 30th with the resolution submission date now November 30th. The Schedule at the beginning of the Resolution provides up-front information but it is important that you read the whole document if your club is submitting a resolution. E-mail your questions to resolutions@cfuwontcouncil.org.
 
The Guidelines and Schedule:

TAKE ACTION REQUESTS FROM OC CLUBS
AFGHANISTAN
 
Clubs and members are concerned about the situation in Afghanistan. CFUW Ottawa has a group, University Women Helping Afghan Women (UWHAW) which has done amazing work supporting schools, girls and women in Afghanistan.
 
They have a website available and also a Facebook page which is updated constantly. For those of you who were involved in the Walk To Kabul last year, that page also has postings.
FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER

FASD or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is now widely recognized as the most prevalent developmental disorder in Canada.
 
FASD is one of the topics being pursued by the Advocacy Committee of CFUW/Kitchener-Waterloo. Presently we are focusing on FASD in the K-12 Ontario Education system. Recent scholarly research shows that at least 50 thousand Ontario students have FASD.  It is more common than all of the other developmental disabilities affecting student success put together. Currently, most Ontario students with FASD are never diagnosed, recognized or effectively supported as having the permanent brain damage caused by PAE or Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. 
 
To remedy this situation MP Kathleen Wynne introduced Private Member’s Bill 172 – an Act in relation to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) on February 18, 2020, getting past Second Reading forwarded to the Standing Committee on Social Policy, dying on the Order Paper with the Proroguing of the Legislature.
 
We would like to get this, or a similar Bill, reinstated.
 
Is there any action you suggest to the clubs to take?
  • Contact your own sitting MPP or MPPs and find out what they know about FASD. Ask them to tell you about FASD.
  • Ask your sitting MPP if they would be prepared to support a bill like FASD Bill 172 soon. Why? Or why not?
  • The bill can be found at: https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-172 (Next time around we will probably still build from this base. We knew this would probably happen to a Private Members Bill.)
  • As the June 2022 Ontario election starts to take shape in the near future investigate any other candidates similarly.
  • Bottom line – if we are going to get our students with FASD educated effectively we need MPPs who understand FASD.
  • More information available at FASD ONE. https://fasdontario.ca/service-areas/education/.
LONG TERM CARE - CFUW Kitchener-Waterloo:

To coincide with the opening of the Ontario Legislature, Waterloo Region had a protest at noon on October 4th, at Waterloo Town Square, to protest the abysmal conditions in Long-Term Care in Ontario. Other communities across Ontario were also gathering at that time for the same purpose.
 
The local protest was organized by the Waterloo Region Health Coalition, with its Co-Chair, Jim Stewart, as the key speaker. There were several members of the CFUW K-W club who attended in support of the event.
 
As a society, we have ignored the care of these vulnerable citizens who need assistance and depend on the shamefully undervalued work of personal support workers and Long-Term Care nurses. Good pay and working conditions coupled with ongoing education help to attract and retain these health care workers and are essential for improving the quality of life for these Long-Term Care residents. 
 
We are advocating for:
  • Unscheduled inspections, with consequences.
  • Accountability for the irresponsible operators of LTC homes
  • Appropriate wages & benefits for staff
  • Smaller home-like settings; improved design
  • Families and caregivers to be allowed full access
  • Minimum of 4 hours daily care per resident NOW
  • Not profit driven

Quality of life for the frail elderly is a non-negotiable objective.
Long Term Care Committee, CFUW Kitchener -Waterloo
LONG TERM CARE - CFUW Oakville:
 
October 4 CFUW Oakville organized and joined 17 Ontario communities and the Ontario Health Coalition to protest living and working conditions in long term care. Fifty people participated in Oakville despite light drizzle. We walked for the people who could not join us—the LTC residents, their families and the over worked, underpaid staff that risk retaliation.
 
Peaceful protests may show the government that seniors and their families want improvements to community care, home care and LTC and a restructuring of the care continuum.
Politicians react when the public leads.
 
An update:
  •  Funding announced for an additional $270 million for long-term care homes to increase direct care for residents up to 3 hours per day by hiring 4000 more workers by March 2022
  • Legislation to be introduced for minimum standards of four hours per day of care.
  • Staffing shortages are accentuated by low pay, lack of respect, limited full-time work--$3 per hour bonus ends at the end of October
  • Ontario Council clubs have called for full time jobs with benefits including sick days, on-site unannounced inspections with consequences for failing to meet requirements, not added contracts. 
  • Support the study Investing in Care, Not Profit: Recommendations to Transform Long-Term Care in Ontario
  • Support the government’s study Long-Term Care Staffing Study Report
 
Will this be enough?
 
CFUW Oakville 
POVERTY
 
On March 24th, the Government brought in a budget with no cost-of-living raise to social assistance for the third consecutive year.
Ontario’s Public Health Units undertake an annual survey - the Nutritious Food Basket (NFB) - of the cost of food and accommodation in their communities for different family types.
Between 2018 and 2019, the inflation rate for nutritious food in Toronto was 7.6%. Main expenses for an individual receiving $733 per month from Ontario Works (41% of Canada’s poverty line) are: rent (an average bachelor apartment = $1,089) and food (the NFB = $307.12) leaving them $663.13 short (Report by Toronto’s MOH to the Toronto Board of Health, October 16, 2019). Social assistance rates did not change.

The value of social assistance cheques has steadily diminished since the rates were cut by 21.6% in 1995. Getting Covid-19 under control has been undermined in large Ontario communities with many people living in crowded accommodation, dependent on public transportation and needing to work. 
On October 18th, a town hall meeting, Still Frozen in Time: Ontario's Social Assistance Rates, was conducted with multiple speakers from universities, hospitals, social planning and community groups, including those with lived experience, hosted by Sandy Shaw, MPP Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas and Tom Cooper, Director, Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.
 
CFUW Hamilton
ELECTIONS
Report on the October 2nd Speaker Series with Senator Marilou McPhedran ...

Protect, Elect and Respect Canadian Women in Politics
Our season started off with a call to arms for CFUW OC women to support women running for or in politics!  Senator Marilou McPhedran presented her own challenges with politics, stating that she personally never ran for political office outside educational institutions, citing an extremely negative and misogynistic experience as Student President in University as one major factor contributing to her decision.  After this encounter, the Senator stated that she did not have the courage to run, an interesting self-observation given her life’s activities and accomplishments, instead she focused on finding other ways to serve her communities and country. Read the complete report, including discussions with Michelle Foxton and Roberta Abbot, and Recommendations for Action. If you weren't able to attend on October 2nd, or would like to view the session again, please send your request for the link to view the recording to communications@cfuwontcouncil.org.   
The 43rd Ontario general election is scheduled for June 2, 2022 or, judging from the current federal elections, perhaps before.
 
The municipal elections will be held Monday, October 24, 2022.
All Candidates meetings
 
Many clubs organize these. In case your club is thinking about it and want some advice, we have suggestions online from at least 3 clubs.
Running for Office
 
Federally, now have 103 female members accounting for 30.5% which ties us with Viet-Nam world-wide.
 
Ontario currently has 49 female members, making it 39.5% of the 124 total.
 
To check female representation in local councils, check out your community in the survey done by the Toronto Star. They studied 441 municipalities.

If you're thinking of running the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) has information. See So You Want to Run for Council? Online Course on the linked page, the course is listed near the bottom of the page. 
 
Equal Voice holds an online campaign school. Next session is listed for 2022, but it is suggested that those interested check their website.
 
Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is funding Canadian Women in Local Leadership (CanWILL) Inclusive Community Initiatives with applications due November 5, 2021. “ICI projects will serve to strengthen the capacity of communities to support women run for, assume or remain in leadership position.” 
 
CFUW Orangeville received funding from a similar FCM programme to run their campaign school in October 2020 in conjunction with Orangeville and Equal Voice. This programme done with Equal Voice might be an option for clubs who want to run something similar.
 
Resources (thanks to CFUW Orangeville):
 
Equal Voice's "Getting to the Gate" self-directed guidebook and activity book
 
Dr. Betsy McGregor's book "Women on the Ballot" for inspiration and wisdom
 
The Status of Women Standing Committee of the House of Commons produced the report, Elect Her: A Roadmap for Improving the Representation of Women in Canadian Politics. While giving an overall look at this, it also contains some practical advice.
Which government is responsible for what?
 
With elections coming up it’s important to know which level of government is responsible for what:
 
Our three levels of government have very different responsibilities and each is indebted to the other either for its existence or for its service to its community. This document gives a short list of who does what.
 
The role of the municipal government is actually the most important one for our daily living, yet it is the one that we ignore.
NOTES FROM QUEEN'S PARK
Speech from the Throne Protecting Ontario’s Progress Oct.4, 2021
Highlights:
  • Economic recovery as priority
  • No mention of child care
  • Re-announcement of monies for Long-term care
  • Upcoming legislation for long-term care standards
  • Monies for hospital capacity
Ontario Government Consultations:
 
The Ontario government has a website dedicated to public consultations. There are many running at the same time. Please contribute freely as an individual, but if you are answering for your club, please remember to use your location name as well as CFUW and please follow CFUW policy.
 
There are currently 8 open for comment. It has been suggested that this one might be of interest to everyone, not just Eastern Ontario.
 
Some suggested websites concerning the Ontario Government:
 
Government of Ontario           https://www.ontario.ca/page/government-ontario
Ontario Legislature                 https://www.ola.org/
Members of the Legislature     https://www.ola.org/en/members/current
Finding a bill                           https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/current
Finding older legislation: E-Laws         https://www.ontario.ca/laws
Finding an employee: INFO-GO          http://www.infogo.gov.on.ca/infogo/home.html
Government ministries                                  https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministries
Ontario Newsroom, press releases from the province https://news.ontario.ca/en
Ontario Consultations            https://www.ontario.ca/page/consultations-directory
Environmental Registry of Ontario      https://ero.ontario.ca/page/welcome
ONTARIO COUNCIL ADVOCACY RESOURCES
The CFUW Ontario Council Advocacy Handbook involves a number of ‘chapters’ which include topics like partnerships, advocacy campaigns, writing letters and CFUW policy. 

And check out the new advocacy pages on the OC website:
COMING UP
November – dealing with the other two pandemics:
           
November is Woman Abuse Prevention Month, which leads into the International Day of Violence Against Women on November 25th.The purple scarf is a symbol of the courage it takes a woman to leave her abuser. The United Nations has designated November 25th (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) as the first of 16 days of Action to eliminate Violence Against Women across the world.

November 27 - OC Speakers Series, The Opioid Crisis
Save the Date! November 27th
November Speaker Series on November 27 will deal with one of the other pandemics, The Opioid Crisis. Watch for more details on the Ontario Council website and in future OC News.
October Club Events

October 20 @ 7 pm - CFUW Orangeville & District
ZOOM Persons Day Event with Senator Karen Sorensen
FROM THE ORANGEVILLE DQ TO THE CANADIAN SENATE

October 27 @ 7 pm - CFUW Barrie & District
ZOOM Speakers Series with Jane Kovarikova
LIFE AFTER FOSTER CARE: CREATING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

For all the details go to Club Events on the OC website.
About CFUW Ontario Council
CFUW Ontario Council is committed to:
  • The pursuit of knowledge
  • The promotion of education
  • The improvement of the status of women and girls
  • An active participation in public affairs in a spirit of cooperation and friendship.