Education | Action | Advocacy
Women Helping Women for a Better Future
CFUW Ontario Council News
In this Issue
  • Ontario Council President’s Message
  • 16 Days of Activism Campaign Updates
  • Advocacy Action by Ontario Council
  • Notes from Queen's Park
  • The Opioid Crisis
  • Climate Action Corner
  • New eClub
  • ZOOM Facts & Tips
  • Ontario Council Governance Updates
  • Club News & Events
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Ontario Council President's Message
President's Message

Another holiday season is upon us. A season marked by preparation – for our family and friends – to spread joy and cheer. It is a season of hope and faith in the goodness of humanity.  It is a season of love, by showing kindness to those we don’t know…. Even though these are difficult times, let us nevertheless reflect on the beauty, peace and solemnity that will surround us.

On behalf of the Ontario Council Board of Directors, I wish you and yours all the magic during these last days of December, 2021 and look forward to a bright 2022 New Year!!

Sandra Thomson, President, CFUW Ontario Council President
#16Days of Activism Campaign
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until December 10th, International Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

This year, from November 25th to December 10th, Ontario Council messaged its members daily, via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail, facts, figures and responses to eliminating gender-based violence and violence against women in politics. To view all Ontario Council's #16Days posts, click here.

Several Ontario clubs ran their own #16Days campaigns. Thank-you for submitting your information to OC News. Please read on!
CFUW Leaside-East York & CFUW North Toronto

From WNHHN, Women's National Housing and Homelessness Network: "Intimate partner and/or family violence is a key pathway into homelessness for women and girls." To add to this, once homeless, women are more vulnerable, and at risk of abuse.
On National Housing Day, Nov. 22, members from CFUW Leaside - East York and North Toronto attended a rally in support of much needed social housing. Advocates and local residents assembled in downtown Toronto East by empty lots where low income housing was demolished more than ten years ago. We want the City of Toronto to expropriate these lots and build social housing for the displaced residents who call this part of the city 'home'. If the City doesn't act, there will be yet another luxury condo.
CFUW Muskoka

To raise awareness in the community, CFUW-Muskoka publicly endorsed the Muskoka Women’s Advocacy Group (MWAG), a volunteer-run, charitable organization that operates two, 24-hour crisis shelters for abused women and their children providing community education programs and around-the-clock crisis support services. Members of the CFUW Muskoka Executive attended a Memorial event on December 6th, the National Day of Remembrance. The event is hosted by a number of Muskoka women's advocacy groups. CFUW Muskoka also put an ad in their local newspaper and are involved in writing a news release about gender-based violence and the 16 Days of Activism which will appear shortly. 
CFUW Orillia

Members attended the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women event sponsored by Green Haven Shelter for Women, Monday November 29th at the Orillia Opera House. A flag was raised by Orillia Mayor, Steve Clark, in honour of the day. Interest Groups leaders were asked to read a "Remembrance" document with their groups who were meeting during the 16 Days. The text was prepared by Heather Lewis (CFUW Orillia VP). You can read the "Remembrance" document here. The CFUW Orillia Advocacy Chair wrote an op-ed piece that was published in the local paper - Orillia Matters. And finally, members attended the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, arranged by the Ontario Provincial Police Headquarters in Orillia. Those in attendance were requested to wear purple scarfs in support of the event.
CFUW Welland & District

Members of CFUW Welland & District attended, wearing orange, the flag raising ceremony held by Niagara Region on Nov. 25th) to acknowledge the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism. The Club also put up a display of Red Dresses in front of the Meridian Community Centre in Pelham which remained visible for most of the campaign. More Red Dresses were displayed in Chippawa Park in Welland including signage to explain the display. Members also attended the raising of a flag at city hall in Port Colborne acknowledging the 16 Days and the lighting of Bridge 13 in Welland in orange to also signify the beginning of the Campaign. And finally on Dec 7th, the Club hosted a ZOOM talk by Kayla Mayer, Anti Trafficking Team Lead at the YWCA in St Catharines who brought the Club up to date regarding Trafficking in the Niagara area. 
Advocacy Action by Ontario Council
16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (GBV)
Thank you to all the clubs and all of you who joined Ontario Council and National CFUW in participating in the 16 Days campaign. Thank you as well to all of you who have contributed to your local women’s shelters and rape crisis centres. GBV has been part of our culture and our lives for many, many years, but pushing back, acknowledging it, supporting and believing the victims rather than hiding will continue to help to lessen this scourge.

As I write this, the Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, the chief of the defence staff and the National Defence deputy minister is delivering a formal apology to victims of military sexual misconduct. Another start to right wrongs.

Elections 2022
Look for our Election Toolkit concerning the June 2nd Ontario provincial election coming the end of January.


No Ontario Council resolutions have been proposed for 2022. However, a number of Ontario clubs are working on national resolutions.
Notes from Queen's Park
At time of writing, we are still waiting for Ontario to sign onto the federal early learning and child care agreement.

The Legislature has closed for the holidays, reopening on February 22, 2022.

Bills that were adopted in the final days include:
The Opioid Crisis
On October 21st, the CFUW National Advocacy committee hosted a webinar entitled “CFUW Group Training - Managing Opioid Overdose & Naloxone Training”. The presenter was Mark Barnes, an Ottawa Pharmacist and the Director of Community Outreach for Respect RX Pharmacies.

As you know, one of the four resolutions passed at the 2021 Virtual AGM and Policy Session related to Canada’s Opioid Crisis. One of the five action items detailed in that resolution reads: “improving access to harm reduction treatments, such as: (a) easier access to Naloxone for emergency use . . . “. The presentation by Mark Barnes was a first step in addressing that action. We learned these startling statistics:

  • There were 22,828 apparent opioid toxicity deaths in Canada from January 2016 to March 2021
  • The majority of the deaths were in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario and increases have been seen in other areas
  • Most apparent opioid deaths were among males and individuals aged 20-49 years
  • Fentanyl and fentanyl analogues continue to be major drivers of the crisis

Read more here.

The recent Ontario Council Speaker Series on November 27th also focused on the opioid crisis. The topic was Tackling The Opioid Crisis in Ontario, and the speakers were Amber Fritz, who is with the Réseau ACCESS Network, and Shawn McLaren who is with St. John Ambulance. Amber has worked on the frontline of the drug poisoning crisis on several initiatives including overdose prevention education and naloxone and harm reduction distribution. As Chief Learning Officer for St. John Ambulance, Shawn has launched an Opioid program focused on the reduction of stigma and promotion of harm reduction. A recording for the November 27th session is available. To request a link to the recording and/or to view both speakers’ bios, click here.
Climate Action Corner
Climate change solutions are often slow to be accepted. Convincing others to make climate mitigation or adaptive choices can depend on their gender. Women tend to be more in touch with climate issues. They are the motivated accessibles, or what Stanford professor BJ Fogg in the CBC news article below refers to as "dolphins", rather than “crabs” or “ clams” . Also women suffer more from climate change effects, and they can influence the opinions of the men in their lives.
New e-Club
Sandra Shaw, Chair of the OC Status of Women & Human Rights Standing Committee, has proposed a virtual club whose purpose aligns with CFUW and CFUW Ontario Council to improve the status of women and to promote human rights, public education, social justice and peace. The eClub would meet monthly or bi-monthly via ZOOM to support and develop advocacy initiatives for equal rights for women and girls in Ontario, Canada and globally, including and especially the right to education at all levels for women and girls. The official name of the eClub is Assembly of Remote and Rural Ontario Women (ARROW). To learn more, read the eClub communication from Sandra. If you are interested in becoming a member of ARROW, please send an e-mail to
Clubs' Use of OC ZOOM Account
Facts & Tips
Ontario Council ZOOM Account

Ontario Council is happy to share our Zoom account with those clubs who wish to hold meetings, fundraisers, etc. for their club members. However, we would like to bring to your attention that for every event where it is anticipated that more than 100 participants will be in attendance, it is an additional $75 CAN. Also, if the virtual event is to be in a webinar format, that cost is $106.
OC has multiple licenses. With the last two Speakers Series, the add-on of 100 participants was not correctly applied to the principal account. As such, not all registered individuals were able to gain entry to the programs. This situation has now been rectified and we apologize to those ladies who received the message that the event was full.

ZOOM: Our Ongoing Reality (thanks to CFUW Etobicoke)

Zoom continues to be a part of our lives. Here are some tips to enhance your ZOOM experience:
  • Any sounds in your household audible to you will be broadcast to the whole group, so please mute your microphone unless you have been called on to speak.
  • Please do not send chat comments or questions during a speaker's presentation. The chat will show up on all screens and cause a distraction if you have not used the "private" option.

For those who phone in to any virtual meeting:
  • Please ask the host to rename you. 
  • Please remember that you can mute or unmute yourself by using *6. Note: Some older cell phones will mute you but you may not be able to unmute yourself.
  • Using *9 allows you to raise your hand, so hosts will see that you want to ask a question, make a comment, or cast a vote.
Ontario Council Governance Updates
Ontario Council Bylaws Amendment Process for 2022
Any proposed amendments to the CFUW Ontario Council Constitution and Bylaws must be compliant with the following process:

  1. In 2022, final submissions for proposed Amendments (Form 1) or Amendments to proposed Amendments to the Bylaws (Form 2), must be fully completed and submitted by email to All proposed amendments or amendments to the amendments must be properly received, on or before March 15, 2022, or they will not be considered. This is the 60-day deadline prior to the AGM on May 14, 2022.
  2. We request that proposed Amendments to the CFUW Ontario Council Bylaws (Form 1), be submitted by email to on or before January 31, 2022.
  3. A package of the Proposed Amendments received by January 31, 2022, will be sent to Clubs, and members of the CFUW OC Board of Directors for study and evaluation before Feb. 11, 2022. Members will be invited to submit Amendments to the Proposed Amendments (Form 2) on or before March 15, 2022.
  4. At the AGM, only proposed amendments and amendments to the amendments properly received and deemed compliant, will be allowed from the floor. Bylaw elements that are legally required by the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act must be instituted and any amendments to these clauses must be legally consistent.

If you have any questions, please contact the Ontario Council Bylaws Committee, at The OC Bylaw Amendment Process and Form 1 may also be downloaded from Club Resources on the OC website at Club Resources | CFUW Ontario Council (

OC Membership Committee Terms of Reference
The purpose of the OC Membership Committee is to research ideas, best practices and strategies related to recruitment and retention of membership. The committee will share strategies with clubs to help strengthen their recruitment efforts and find ways to engage diverse women and women of all ages and educational backgrounds who have goals and interests aligned with those of CFUW. The Terms of Reference (TOR) for the OC Membership Committee have now been published on the OC website. Click here to view.

Risk Management
Thank-you to CFUW Oakville member Myra for an article that provides an excellent overview of risk management entitled It's Risky to Ignore Risk Management! You can read the article on the OC website here.

Ontario Council Board 2022 - 2024
Elections for the Ontario Council Board for 2022 - 2024 will be held at the AGM being held May 14 - 15, 2022. Nomination forms will be available on the OC website in January.

Club News & Events
CFUW Kanata Scholarship Fundraiser

Save the date! January 25, 2022 at 7 p.m. on ZOOM, award-winning author Elizabeth Hay (Alone in the Classroom, Late Nights on Air, All Things Consoled) in conversation with CBC host Alan Neal. Enjoy a warm and spirited dialogue with two engaging Canadians who share a passion for excellence in their professions. Tickets are $20 and are available at CFUW Kanata. All proceeds support the CFUW/Kanata Scholarship Trust.
CFUW Etobicoke's 8th Annual Stop the Violence Breakfast

You are cordially invited to attend CFUW Etobicoke’s 8th annual Stop the Violence Breakfast on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 at 9 am via Zoom. This year we present a conversation with award winning author Donna Morrissey. Many of us remember lively book club discussions around titles like Kit’s Law and Sylvanus Now. We laughed and cried as Donna brought the east coast of Canada alive for us. Donna’s latest book is called Pluck and is autobiographical. In her conversation with us, Donna will be sharing intimate details not included in the publication. You will leave inspired by the power of female friendship and courage. Tickets are $30. Please see for more details.
Women Helping Women
Our vision for Ontario Council can be summed up in the following key words: 
Education. Action. Advocacy.
Ontario Council News is a newsletter for and about our Ontario Clubs.
  • Because Ontario Council includes close to 50 clubs, we are not able to publish club meetings, AGMs, scholarship winners and other charitable giving.
  • Club newsletters are published on the OC website under Club Actions & Events
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And save the date for our next
Speakers Series February 26th
Education Issues - At Risk Students/Child Care