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

  • Ontario Council President’s Message
  • Feb 26th Speakers Series Post-Meeting Report
  • OC Annual General Meeting May 13-14
  • Elections
  • Ontario Leaders' Debate on EQUAL PAY DAY
  • Notes from Queen's Park
  • Current Education Highlights
  • Opioid Public Health Emergency Presentation
  • The Carolyn Day Award for Environmental Action
  • Committee for the Status of Women/Human Rights
  • Climate Action Corner
  • Contest - Win $300 for your Club!
  • Club News & Events

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Ontario Council President's Message
President's Message

Hello Ontario Council Members!
Let us welcome Spring! But as we all know, Mother Nature can be fickle and unpredictable so early in the season…so we will not be daunted or surprised!

Spring is a harbinger for what is to come.... reconnections, renewals and reinvigoration – all rolled into one at the Ontario Council AGM set for May 13 and 14, 2022. Reconnection: re-establish a bond of communication or emotion. Renewal: an instance of resuming an activity or state after an interruption.  Reinvigoration: give new energy or strength to.
The Local Arrangements Committee (LAC) of CFUW Kitchener-Waterloo had these three elements in mind when planning the theme of this year’s annual general meeting. After two (and seems to be very long) years of restrictions/isolations/distances and virtual meetings, the LAC have assembled an amazing program to fulfil those elements.

Our Friday evening will feature the return of an OC RD workshop, with this year’s program entitled, “Leadership Succession-Recruitment and Development” – a must attend! Following the dynamic workshop, the program features awards – Club Anniversaries, the Carolyn Day Environmental winner or winners and the lucky recipient club(s) of the Membership contest – with entertainment to round the night. (Has your club submitted applications for the awards???  Time to do so is now!)

The Saturday breakfast speaker (a first!) will kick off our activities, followed by the OC Business meeting with the much anticipated elections for the new biennium! Our keynote speaker, Sharon Johnston, will not disappoint, nor will the array of workshop speakers and topics. Many choices to choose from!

As of writing this message, the registration is now open for an in person experience of reconnecting renewing and reinvigorating live in Kitchener-Waterloo at the Double Tree by Hilton. This is in anticipation of continuing excellent reports of high vaccination rates and low, decreasing contractions of the virus. We have already stated that delegates, individuals and guests will need to have a minimum of two doses of the vaccine. And we are encouraging masking for individual comfort levels. We are also continuing to monitor and will revolve if need be.

The LAC have made it very simple to register with an online process. We hope to see many of you at the AGM. Let us Reconnect. Renew. Reinvigorate. 

Sandra Thomson, President, CFUW Ontario Council President
Speakers Series on February 26th
Children, COVID & Beyond:
Social Determinants to Education
Post-Meeting Report
Submitted by Wendy Taylor
Our guest speakers were Dr. Tracy Vaillancourt, University of Ottawa, and Mohamed Ahmed and Shanaz Ali from Success Beyond Limits. Highlights of their presentations included:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health problems for many individuals including children
  • Canadian children's hospitals experienced a 60% increase in admissions related to eating disorders
  • Worldwide, family violence increased 10% to 50%
  • Success Beyond Limits (SBL) is a collaborative youth-led community based program in the Jane/Finch area of Toronto
  • SBL provides students with supports to successfully complete high school and to continue with their post-secondary education

To read the complete report, please click here.

The February 26th Speakers Series was recorded. To request the recording link and password, please contact [email protected].
2022 CFUW Ontario Council Annual General Meeting
Registration Is Now Open!e
Reconnect and Renew
past and present
friendships while
Reinvigorating our clubs to
actualize their missions and goals
An in-person conference hosted by CFUW Kitchener-Waterloo
in celebration of their 100th anniversary!

Friday May 13
  • 4 to 8 p.m. Registration
  • 6:30 to 8 p.m. Workshop Leadership Succession - Recruitment & Development
  • 8 to 11 p.m. Evening social - entertainment by Silvia Dee & the Boyfriends
Saturday May 14
  • 7 to 8:15 a.m. Breakfast Speaker - Heather Keller, PhD So Now What? How do I eat to optimize my health and quality of life as I age?
  • 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Annual General Business Meeting
  • 10:45 to 12 noon Keynote Speaker - Mrs. Sharon Johnston, PhD The Exceptional Strength of the Protagonist Woman
  • 12 to 12:45 p.m. Lunch
  • 1 to 3:15 p.m. Speakers Series
  • 3:30 to 4 p.m. Wrap Up
Get all the info and register online at CFUW Ontario Council 2022 AGM. Full registration $150. Friday only registration $40. Saturday only registration $110. Accommodation information is available at the Registration website.
Ontario Council has prepared an Election Toolkit:
Part 1 contains information to help prepare you for the election. 

Part 2 contains information about issues of concern - Affordable Housing, Child Care, Climate Crisis, Environmental Assessments, Gendered Based Violence, Home Care, Human Trafficking, Indigenous Peoples Welfare, Long Term Care, Poverty.
Much more information about these can be found on our Elections page.
Interested in getting involved in the municipal elections this fall? Some places to look for help:
  • The website is up and running with lots of good information. This site is a collaboration with Guelph, Wellington and Oxford Counties. Guelph Is planning an in-person session but the date is yet to be announced.
  • Many municipalities, regions and counties have virtual information sessions “So You Want to Run for Council” led by a former municipal solicitor. This is geared for both the candidate and to family members as well. Check with your municipality about its availability.
  • Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, Municipal Elections
  • Ontario School Trustees, their Elections website
  • Association of Municipalities of Ontario, Municipal Elections
For the first time in Ontario, and only the second time in Canada, the leaders vying for election will debate women’s economic issues.
On Equal Pay Day, April 12, 2022, Ontario Equal Pay Coalition will be hosting a debate with three of the leaders, Andrea Howarth (NDP & Official Opposition), Steven Del Duca (Liberal) and Mike Schreiner (Green Party). Premier Doug Ford has another event.

LEADERS’ DEBATE April 12, 2022 @ 7pm-9pm

This will be live streamed over multiple video-streaming services. Equal Pay Coalition ask that you register. Just click the previous line.

The event will also be found on their Facebook page at
“We are thrilled that these three party leaders have made this commitment to show up for women in advance of the June election,” says Fay Faraday, Equal Pay Coalition Co-Chair. “Women’s employment rates have fallen to levels not seen since 1994, while working women continue to face significant gaps in their earnings and working conditions. Now is the time for our leaders to take action.”
CFUW has been asking for equal pay since 1922! 100 years!
And look where we are – not there yet!
More about the campaign can be found at
Notes from Queen's Park
Child Care
STILL WAITING!!! At time of writing, we are still waiting for Ontario to sign onto the federal early learning and childcare agreement. (Copied from the December newsletter!!)
But at least as of mid-March the two governments are negotiating. Let’s hope that Ontario does not miss out on $1 billion.
Along with affordable high-quality child care, we are hoping for two essential features:
  • Early Childhood Educators and staff being paid, with benefits, commensurate with their education and responsibilities.
  • The special needs of rural communities being recognized, and programs developed for those needs 
Ontario Budget 2022
Latest word is that the Ontario Budget will be on April 30th, with the official start to the election campaign on May 4, 2022.
Current Education Highlights
Educational Losses due to Covid
The Ontario government is offering funding this summer for the Learning Recovery Action Plan to help students with reading and math, plus mental health supports, starting in April until December 31, 2022.
People for Education has an analysis and critique of the plan.
Online courses
Students will be required to complete two on-line learning courses for graduation starting in the year 2022/23. The Ministry of Education in partnership with TVO, TFO and school boards will develop and offer courses for students.
  • New legislation to change the Education Act is coming this spring to make remote learning part of the Ontario curriculum.
  • This includes offering remote learning on snow days
  • School boards will have to pay TVO/TFO on a per student fee for access to the online courses.

Note: Ontario Council commented on this legislation in 2021.
Science and Technology
The Ontario Government has introduced a new Science and Technology curriculum to ensure students have the skills and knowledge to ensure the necessary skills for todays and the futures job market.
The Opioid Public Health Emergency
On March 21st, CFUW Perth & District hosted an outstanding presentation on opioids, followed by a panel discussion. The panelists were social service worker Amber Fritz, who was one of the speakers at the Ontario Council Speakers Series in November, David Somppi, Chair Carleton Place Municipal Drug Strategy Committee, and Chris Dobler, Detective Staff Sergeant, OPP. You can view the Youtube video here.
The Carolyn Day Award for Environmental 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. What started as a concern about Walkerton turned into a passion and an extensive knowledge base. During her time, she wrote more than 40 briefs and letters, attended many meetings on our behalf, and was even called 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.
Click here to find the application form
Please complete this Word document and email Sandy Thomson at [email protected] copied to your Regional Director by April 15.
United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
The Commission on the Status of Women was held this year from March 14 until March 25. The theme was “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes”.
The Review theme was “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work “.
At time of writing the CFUW members were in the middle of all the sessions – about 700+ to choose from the NGO-CSW, and another couple of hundred from the United Nations Side Events.
The main product of the Commission on the Status of Women is the Agreed Conclusions signed onto by members of the Commission. At this time, discussions are on the second draft. When there is an agreement, hopefully by March 25th, it will be found on under Session Outcomes.
Committee for the Status of Women & Human Rights
Gender Based Violence Takes Many Forms

Despite watching cyber forensic science and murder mystery television shows, acknowledging online bullying has taken lives, consulting my son-in-law regarding emails I have received that state that I need to pay the sender or my homemade porn movies will be released, and reading about and hearing of online harassment of female politicians and candidates, I have given little thought, if any, to the fact that these are actually forms of Gender Based Violence (or Violence Against Women and Girls).

The UN defines the above acts and others as digital violence: specifically an act of violence perpetrated by one or more individuals that is rooted in gender inequality and gendered norms and that is committed, assisted, aggravated and amplified in part or fully by the use of information and communications technologies or digital media (online or ICT facilitated violence), against a person on the basis of their gender.

Digital violence is increasing, in part due to Covid which moved so many of us online. It affects women’s personal lives, relationships, mental health, as well as employment.

Please click here to read the rest of the article. For more SWHR info, go to Status of Women and Human Rights (SWHR) | CFUW Ontario Council (  
Climate Action Corner
Consumerism is a culturally sanctioned coping strategy”. This statement by J.B. MacKinnon, author of The Day The World Stops Shopping, is one of many thoughtful observations and documented examples of how our ever-expanding consumerism is contributing to increasing GHG, despite the past few decades of treading more lightly upon the earth. A study of economic downturns and the recent pandemic has shown how reduced shopping can make a vital difference, not only in emissions, but in the well-being of people and the planet.

The Day The World Stops Shopping” by J.B. MacKinnon, ISBN 9780735275539( hardcover) 2021 Random House Canada
Recognizing Membership Successes!
Win $300 for your Club!
To all OC Club Members:

Normally we are encouraging clubs to participate in the annual Ontario Council Recognition Awards by filing an application. For this year, the OC Membership Committee would like to hear from clubs about their successful recruitment and retention strategies – in recognizing how important members are to the CFUW OC!

To make it an engaging and challenging exercise, the committee is sponsoring a contest! During the last 2 years, many Ontario Council (OC) clubs have used a number of strategies to attract and retain members and the OC Membership Committee is looking to discover what has worked, and what can be shared with all OC clubs. There are two contest categories--recruitment and retention--and a prize of $300 is up for grabs in both categories. it's simple to enter. Answer 5 questions for recruitment and/or 5 questions for retention in 250 words or less for each category. Create a Word document with your answers and send in your response to Anne Cordon by April 15, 2022. Click here for the complete brochure!
Club News & Events

CFUW Barrie Coldest Night of the Year
CFUW Barrie's CNOY team--the Warmhearted Sisters--walked in support of Youth Haven in Barrie.
CFUW Barrie - International Women's Day

CFUW Barrie and District Advocacy and Membership Chairs, Anne and Carolyn, celebrate IWD with Teresa and the club's newest member Christina! Christina met us through Carolyn and a local book club, then joined the Club on the spot! It really shows what growing the club's public profile can do!
CFUW Etobicoke Celebrates its 70th Anniversary!

It was in March of 1952 that a group of 25 committed and dedicated women met for the first meeting of what was to become CFUW Etobicoke. Now in 2022 our club membership is more than ten times that original number. Times were different then: fewer women pursued post secondary education and universities were the only avenue to post secondary education; fewer women worked outside the home and
most families had at least 2 children; Etobicoke was not part of Toronto and there was no subway link into the city; the city did not have the rich diversity that is now so valued. What has stayed the same is the commitment of our members to advocacy, to the support of young women’s education through our Club’s Charitable Trust, to our support of local women’s shelters and other community organizations and to our own on-going lifelong learning with monthly speakers and more than 40 interest groups. Congratulations on the big 70!
April 5 @ 7:30 p.m. CFUW Georgetown Lecture Series Hummingbird Migration

Guest Speaker: Richard Tofflemire

CFUW Georgetown in partnership with the Halton Hills Public Library invite you to explore the fascinating world of the one of the largest families of birds. Hummingbirds are tiny little guys that will surprise you, make you laugh, and leave you pondering the question that has left scientists stumped for years: just where did hummingbirds come from? Richard Tofflemire joins us to discuss how this beloved backyard bird overcomes the hardships that they must endure every day. Please contact [email protected] to obtain the link.
CFUW Kanata-CFUW Nepean-CFUW Ottawa Tackling the Environmental Crisis - Together We Can Webinar Series

Canada and the world are facing devastating environmental problems that make us feel overwhelmed and unsure about what to do and where to start.

To learn what we might do and encourage others to do, join us to hear practical advice from three inspiring speakers who will focus on how individuals can take action.

  • April 6th: REBECCA PRINCE-RUIZ, Australian co-author of Plastic Free and founder of the global Plastic Free July challenge that in 2021 helped an estimated 140 million participants in 190 countries (including 900,000 in Canada) to reduce single-use plastic. Learn how to be part of the solution to plastic pollution.
  • April 13th: DIANA BERESFORD-KROEGER, author of To Speak for the Trees. Trees are essential elements of our environment that enable and sustain life on our planet. Respect and nurture of our forests is critical to our own survival. Diana will be in conversation with BILL STEER, Director of the Canadian Ecology Centre.
  • April 20th: SETH KLEIN, author of A Good War; Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency. Seth shows us a bold, practical policy plan for a zero-carbon Canada. Support change that creates jobs and reduces inequality while tackling our climate obligations.

All three Webinars begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Registration is required. For further details and to register, please go to:

CFUW Orillia Coldest Night of the Year Walkers - Highest CFUW Team in Canada!
The CFUW Orillia Team knocked it out of the park this year for the Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) event. They raised an astounding total of $26,624 for The Lighthouse. The Lighthouse has been serving Orillia’s homeless and vulnerable since 1992.

CFUW Orilllia Walkers Team Members included: Mary Silk, Heather Lewis, Chris Lewis, Marta LaForest, Marcia Stephen, Liz Riley, Sheila Marner, Linda Patton-Cowie, and Beverley Tyndall.
Once again the CFUW Orillia Walkers well surpassed their goals of the amount raised for The Lighthouse Centre. Thank you to the thoughtful, caring, and motivated team members and to the many people who donated to our team and contributed to this wonderful success. CFUW members showed strong financial support for our team and that is appreciated.

In her note of thanks to our team, Charlene Taylor, Lighthouse Board Director wrote, “The CFUW once again demonstrated their compassion for the vulnerable and their ability to work as a strong and motivated team to fundraise in support of CNOY!”

With your help, the team placed 7th in fundraising all across Canada, first for CNOY Orillia and first in CFUW teams across our country. Heather Lewis and Mary Silk were CNOY Orillia’s top walkers, placing first and second respectively.
April 13 @ 7 p.m. CFUW Oshawa April Virtual General Meeting - Rouge Urban Park
Threatened by housing projects and highway expansion, the Rouge River watershed in east Toronto has now been preserved as Canada's first National Urban Park. Join us on April 13, as Pauline Browes, former MP and Chair of Friends of Rouge National Urban Park, tells us the story. Guests welcome. Email [email protected] by April 12 for a ZOOM link.
You can get all the details about upcoming club events on the OC website at Club Events | CFUW Ontario Council (
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
  • To help you help us, click the link below for all the information you need about our publication schedule, submission deadlines, and preferred format.
CFUW Ontario Council AGM