Education | Action | Advocacy
Women Helping Women for a Better Future
CFUW Ontario Council News
In this Issue

  • Ontario Council President’s Message
  • Upcoming Speakers Series on Nov 27th
  • Recap of Last Speakers Series on Oct 2nd
  • Advocacy Action by Ontario Council
  • Notes from Queen's Park
  • New Ontario Council eClub
  • Climate Action Corner
  • Club News & Events

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Ontario Council President's Message
President's Message

“The good that we do does not stay with us, but is mysteriously connected to those around us.” Carrie Gress

Walking on a sunny autumn day allows us to reflect on the important work that we do everyday as Ontario Council women. And though we may not think it matters-- our individual efforts-- it does. Whether we are writing letters to our representatives or giving to a food bank or driving a neighbor to a medical appointment, these actions contribute to a greater cause, a purpose.

This past month has been no exception with the number of actions supporting our purpose – to help women and girls for a better future. Under the editorship of Teri Shaw, Advocacy Co-Ordinator, we published an advocacy newsletter filled with news, suggestions, background research, and leads on a variety of issues. We hope you and your club have taken advantage of the areas which need our attention. I wish to thank all of the Ontario Board of Directors for their input to the newsletter, specifically created for your information and action.

In fulfilling our purpose, we did send a number of letters this past month to different ministry leaders. From child care to regulations for LTC homes, to acknowledging partnerships for hygiene products for young women, our work continues as we make those connections. I was pleased to receive a personal note from the MPP Jane McKenna, associate minister, instead of standard email response! (You may remember she was on our panel of female politicians a few years ago.) We also received a note of gratitude for our support from Senator Marilou McPhedran, regarding the Independent Senators Group (ISG) hearing.  (The Senator resigned from the ISG prior to the scheduled hearing, but still very much an active independent working member of the Senate.)
Relationships matter. Connections matter.

Ontario Council clubs are in full operating mode! Our club members are connecting in the interest groups, general meetings, and rallies – either online or in person (following public health precautions of course.) Club programs are offering dynamic speakers raising awareness and education – from protecting yourself from cybercrime to learning your family tree to knowing Indigenous history and traditions. And thank you for offering your invitations to other clubs in other regions….
November is an important month as we will raise awareness on gender based violence.   We will once again feature the “Sixteen Days of Activism,” with messaging you can share with your club members.   Our November 27 Speakers Series will feature lived experiences with Opioid usage and how it has affected lives of women and families.  Please share the invitation with your networks!

The good we do is mysteriously connected around us.

Sandra Thomson, President, CFUW Ontario Council President

Speakers Series on November 27th
The Opioid Crisis
Registration is now open for OC's second Speakers Series of the 2021-22 year. This session’s topic is The Opioid Crisis, and the event will take place on Saturday November 27th from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The speakers are Amber Fritz, who is with the Réseau ACCESS Network, and Shawn McLaren who is with St. John Ambulance.

Please click here to register

The opioid crisis is a complex public health issue that has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many communities across Canada reporting record numbers of opioid-related deaths, emergency calls and hospitalizations. Both Amber and Shawn provide critical support services. 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. 

The Speakers Series is free but advance registration is required. Please note that the start time indicated on your registration confirmation will be 9:30 a.m. which is when the meeting waiting room will be open. Other than speakers and moderators, attendees will not be admitted to the meeting until a few minutes before 10 a.m. The plenary will be begin at 10 a.m. sharp. The extra 20 to 25 minutes are needed to resolve any technical issues before 10 a.m. Please plan to connect to the meeting a few minutes before 10. All attendees will be admitted to the meeting at about 9:55 a.m.
Senator Marilou McPhedran
Protect, Elect and Respect
Canadian Women in Politics
The Speakers Series on October 2nd was informative, eye-opening and disturbing. If you missed it, the session was recorded. Please contact Ingrid Sproxton to obtain the recording link and password.

The October 2nd event featured three compelling speakers. Our keynote speaker was Senator Marilou McPhedran. Senator McPhedran was joined for a panel discussion by Michelle Foxton and Roberta Abbot, who were both candidates in the 2021 federal election. The topic of the day was Canadian women in politics. As well, Advocacy Committee Chair Teri Shaw provided an overview of CFUW policy regarding women in politics.

Shortly after Senator Marilou McPhedran spoke to us, we were saddened to hear of her fight with the Independent Senators’ Group (ISG) which led to her resignation from the group on October 18, 2021. She now sits as a true independent. As noted in Sandy's message from the President, OC sent a message of support to Senator McPhedran regarding the ISG hearing. To view the OC message and Senator McPhedran's response, as well as a recap of the October 2nd session, including Teri's presentation and the Standing Committees' report, please go to October 2, 2021 Speakers Series Report | CFUW Ontario Council (
Advocacy Action by Ontario Council
Early Learning and Child Care
A letter was sent to the Honourable Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, with copies to the Premier, Andrea Horvath and Bhutila Karpoche, NDP Critic, Early Learning and Childcare, pointing out our position and the benefits, including the need in rural communities. Read more.

Education and Period Poverty

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. As well, a copy of the letter was sent by e-mail to the Honourable Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children & Women's Issues. To read the OC e-mail and Minister McKenna's response, please click here.  

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

CFUW Kitchener-Waterloo brought to our attention the loss of Private Member’s Bill 172 concerning FASD. An email has been sent to MPP Kathleen Wynne asking if she or one of her colleagues will be re-introducing this.  Read more.

Long Term Care Homes

Continuing on our campaign concerning the lack of quality of long term care homes in Ontario, a letter was sent to the Hon. Rod Phillips, Minister of Long-Term Care asking about the new legislation, enforcement of the current one, and the future proclamation of the section concerning administrative penalties. Read more.
Notes from Queen's Park
The Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Hon. Monte McNaughton, has introduced Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021.  This includes, among other things, the removal of many barriers  that internationally trained individuals face when wanting to practice within non-health regulated professions here in Ontario. This is one of the frustrations of many of the university-trained women who immigrate here to Ontario. Sadly it does not include the health industries – as yet.
OC e-Club
Sandra Shaw, Chair of the OC Status of Women & Human Rights Standing Committee, is proposing an Ontario Council 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. To learn more, read the eClub communication from Sandra.
Climate Action Corner
As Canadians watching the crucial COP26 negotiations ongoing in Glasgow, we have a lot of responsibility and agency. We are one of the worst per capita polluters and have lagged in meeting promised targets. Yet we have the potential to be climate leaders showcasing climate solutions. One such solution, deemed most important by the acclaimed Project Drawdown, is refrigerants. There is currently little reporting on refrigerant use, leaks, and plans for retrofits to adopt climate friendly refrigerants. We can be part of a climate solution by looking at the labels in refrigeration and freezer units in local supermarkets and sharing that information on the website below. By raising awareness and shining a spotlight on this issue through citizen data collection, we can play a role in Canada adopting more transparent and proactive practices around refrigerant management. 

Club News & Events
CFUW Aurora-Newmarket Launches GEN NEXT

CFUW Aurora-Newmarket is focused firmly on the future with the launch of GEN NEXT, a new virtual community specifically designed for young women 18+. “Our GEN NEXT vision is to empower women in their lives through friendship, through education, through outreach and advocacy. Our members are active in many disciplines: public affairs, working to raise social, economic and legal status of girls and women, as well as improving education, the environment, peace, justice and human rights. Our goal is to get younger women engaged in this vision that we all share.” Read more.

CFUW Kanata Scholarship Fundraiser

Save the date! January 25, 2022 at 7 p.m. on ZOOM, author Elizabeth Hay in conversation with CBC host Alan Neal. Tickets are $20 and will be available at CFUW Kanata - Home after November 25th.

CFUW Leaside-East York Outdoor Group is meeting again!

On September 14, the Outdoor Group met in-person for their first walk in many long months. This photo was taken beneath a bridal archway in Edwards Gardens.

CFUW Muskoka Orange Shirt Day

More clubs became involved with Orange Shirt Day in recognition of the horrors and deaths related to the residential schools.

With thanks to CFUW Muskoka, recognizing Orange Shirt Day along with daily life. 
CFUW North Toronto - Members of Ontario CFUW Clubs are invited to join a Zoom presentation at the CFUW North Toronto November 9th GM meeting, starting at 7:15 pm. This is the Club's guest night, and the speaker is Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Executive Director, ONWA (Ontario Native Women’s Association). She will be talking about “Fifty years of Indigenous Women’s Leadership”. Ms. McGuire-Cyrette recently received the prestigious Women’s Executive Network WXN Mercedes-Benz Leaders Award.
Please contact Moira at CFUW North Toronto if you would like to join the event.
CFUW Oakville
On a rainy October 5th Monday, a hardy contingent walked in downtown Oakville in support of the province wide events for the cause #CareCantWait and #PuttheTLCinLTC. Thanks to the Ontario Health Coalition, AWH, RTO and volunteer organizers from CFUW Oakville. Watch the videos posted on Facebook.

CFUW Orangeville & District Person's Day Celebration with Senator Karen Sorensen. Senator Sorensen, who is a former resident of Orangeville, was serving her 3rd term as Mayor of Banff when she was called to sit in the Canadian Senate in July of this year. Read more.

Invitation from CFUW Oshawa & District to attend their virtual Speakers Series on November 10th at 7 p.m. The speaker Jake Farr, pflag Canada, Durham Region, will tell his personal story of transition, and provide some education on sexuality versus gender. The ZOOM link can be requested by e-mailing [email protected].

Women Helping Women
Our vision for Ontario Council can be summed up in the following key words: 
Education. Action. Advocacy.
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Speakers Series on November 27th
The Opioid Crisis