Support | Action | Legacy

"Women Helping Women"

For more information, contact:
Teri Shaw
Ontario Council Chair, Standing Committee on Advocacy
CFUW Ontario Council Advocacy
Hello everyone,
Welcome to the new year and the new decade! Think about all the changes that have occurred in the past ten years – Netflix, the iPad, Instagram, Uber, the Internet of Things, Brexit, #MeToo, the Women’s March, pot parties, massive forest fires from Fort McMurray to California to Australia, the hottest decade on record, a married lesbian who became our Premier – twice, our Prime Ministers and their Presidents, Games of Thrones, and so much more.
It had been predicted by IBM that knowledge would double every 11-12 hours by 2020! Whereas prior to 1900, it had doubled every 400 years! What incredible changes!
Yet, every day we are reminded of the power of one person, of the power of the community – Greta Thunberg! Malala Yousafzai! Two young women exemplify Margaret Mead’s comment that challenges us all: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has!”
While the world may seem to be spinning faster and faster, sometimes life needs to catch its breath and give a helping hand. Something that CFUW members are very good at doing. Women helping women – thank you for that.
In this advocacy newsletter, you will find results of our November Survey, plus many Backgrounders to support you in your work, submissions that we have presented to the provincial government, first announcement about our day on Climate Change, and the application forms for the Ontario Council Recognition Awards and the Carolyn Day Award for Environmental Action. As well, you will find the Call for Nominations, including job descriptions and nomination forms, for the 2020-2022 CFUW Ontario Council Board. We do hope that you consider applying for one of these positions.
Thanking you all for participating in the Survey, and hoping you find these advocacy materials useful.
Teri Shaw
Chair, Standing Committee on Advocacy
2019 Ontario Council Survey
A survey of Ontario clubs concerning public policy issues was held in November, 2019. The following issues were ranked the top five:
1.     Health – Long Term care, Public Health cuts, Home Care
2.     Climate Change
3.     Poverty and Affordable Housing
4.     Education and schools – Increased class size, Funding, Mental Health support
5.     Women’s Rights – Pay Equity, Child Care.
The full report which also includes comments about the Speakers’ Series, and the reasons women belong to CFUW, can be found here . Hint about reasons for membership: it’s friendship and support, plus advocacy and interest groups!
2020 Letter Writing Campaign
Letter writing is a forceful form of advocacy. Those written in your own words are powerful and effective. For politicians they are a guide to local public opinion, and for advocates they are a simple way to start that conversation, to tell their story, to seek answers. Letters can be that first step.
Ontario Council has created a letter-writing package for clubs to use - hints about effective letter-writing, a Power Point created by Cheryl Ambrose for the November Speaker Series mini-workshop, and Backgrounders on many of the top five issues, as well as others.


All of these can be found on the OC website under Take Action , plus others created by National CFUW for the federal election.
Fall Advocacy Action

Thanks to Sheila Clarke of CFUW Stratford, two submissions were sent to the provincial government: 
  • Regulation on Water Extraction where we supported the proposed extension to the moratorium on water bottling permits, and called for a permanent end to further permits enabling commercial bottling water extraction, along with phasing out those permits now in place, and encouraged action to improve the health of marine ecosystems through a prohibition of single use plastic.
  • Regulation on Pesticides where we supported the retention of the neonic and cosmetic pesticide controls now in place, as well as the retention of the Ontario Pesticides Advisory Committee.

Thanks to CFUW Orillia and the Advocacy team of Karen Thorington and Pat Peloso, a meeting was held with Jill Dunlop, MPP Simcoe North and Associate Minister for Children and Women’s Issues, discussing a number of issues of importance such as human trafficking and women’s shelters .

A Letter of thanks was sent, and a response was received.
Current Consultations
January 2020 – the Ontario Government is currently consulting on “innovative ideas on how to reduce poverty” as part of the five year review of the next Poverty Reduction Strategy. Organizations and individuals can provide written submissions by email to  

An online survey has been posted on @ Or ganizations and individuals are encouraged to submit feedback . The deadline to participate is March 30, 2020.

The Finance Department is holding consultations concerning the 2020 Budget. Deadline is  February 11, 2020.  Click  here  for more information
March 28, 2020 Speakers Series
& Standing Committees' Workshops
2019 – 2020 Theme
“Women Helping Women”
Yorkminster Park Baptist Church
1585 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4T 1Z9
March 28, 2020
10:00 AM – 3:30 pm

Please register by March 20, 2020
Registration Desk is open from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
The meeting begins promptly at 10:00

Theme: Climate Change - Women Helping to Make a Change
On the recent Advocacy survey, the environment ranked as the second most important issue to OC members.

Morning Plenary: Guest speaker Dr. Karen Farbridge, adjunct professor in the Faculty of Environmental Science at York University, member of their Sustainable Energy Initiative, past Mayor of Guelph, will be speaking on climate change solutions to environmental and social issues as they affect our communities and what we, as women in our communities, can do.
Afternoon Workshops: The afternoon session will be an interactive panel discussion allowing Clubs to share their current initiatives related to climate change. If your Club has an ongoing or planned climate change initiative, please contact Legislation Standing Committee Chair Isobel Boyle.
2020 Ontario Council Recognition Awards
Recognition Awards
Applications for the 3 rd Annual Ontario Council Recognition Awards are available. Please tell us what you’ve been doing and what you’re proud of. Deadline for applications is April 15, 2020. 

Awards will be presented at the Ontario Council AGM in May.
The Carolyn Day Award for Environmental Action
For the 2 nd year, we will be presenting the Carolyn Day Award for Environment Action
Carolyn Day, a Past-President of Ontario Council, 1998-2000, was the Ontario Council Environment Policy Advisor from 2000 until her death in 2018. During her time, she wrote more than 40 briefs and letters concerning water and the environment, attended many meetings on our behalf, and was even called upon by government on some occasions. This award is created in her honour.
Tell us about your work to support the environment - locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. 
Ontario Council Elections
Call for Nominations
CFUW OC Board of Directors
The CFUW Ontario Council Board of Directors is inviting all the ladies of Ontario Council clubs to consider a very worthwhile opportunity to lead! Our 40 year history has exemplified our tremendous efforts in uniting and serving the women and girls in Ontario…

And you can continue this rich legacy! Support CFUW Ontario Council and take Action!
In addition, this opportunity allows for personal growth, enhancement of leadership skills, and a passionate commitment to serving the purposes and goals of Ontario Council.

The Nominations Committee, chaired by Pat McCutcheon, CFUW Southport, and joined by Judy Gay, CFUW Kingston, Lise Moras, CFUW Oakville, and Cheryl Taylor, CFUW Kincardine will welcome your nomination and application forms (fillable online pdf).
The Nominations period runs from:  February 4 to and including February 29, 2020. The role descriptions for each position – president, secretary, treasurer, chair standing committee on advocacy, committee chair of education, committee chair of legislation, committee chair of status of women and human rights, communications chair and six regional directors – are available on the OC website under Executive & Elections .

The CFUW Ontario Council Board will conduct elections for all director positions at our 2020 AGM, to be held May 22 and 23 rd , at Georgian College. So please mark those calendars! 
2020 Dates of Action
FEBRUARY 22 – JULY 30,2020
Ontario Council has joined with BPW Canada to support the Courage for Freedom’s PROJECT MAPLE LEAF, a campaign to bring attention to the horrors of human and sex trafficking – 95% of human trafficking victims are women, and most are Canadian.
For more information see #ProjectMapleLeaf on Facebook.
MARCH 8, 2020
A number of clubs will be celebrating IWD with special events. Please send them to for posting.
APRIL 2020
This is the day that we “celebrate” when women have finally made the same amount as men the previous year. To learn of the dates, and activities, please see the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition for the announcement. of the date.
OC Communications Chair
It was with regret that the Ontario Council Board accepted the recent resignation of Cheryl Ambrose as Communications Chair. We wish to express our gratitude and appreciation for all of her tremendous efforts in modernizing our communications channels, and creating and summarizing our recent advocacy survey. As you know, Cheryl also served as our National VP of Advocacy. Cheryl has graciously agreed to lend guidance to our newly appointed communications chair.

In filling the vacancy, we wish to announce the appointment of Ingrid Sproxton, CFUW Orangeville! Ingrid brings a great deal of skill and expertise, not only in communications, but project management as well. Please welcome Ingrid!

Sandy Thomson
President, CFUW Ontario Council
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.