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

In this Issue

  • Message from the Ontario Council President
  • A Special Happy Birthday!
  • January 8th - Teresa's New Year's Levee!
  • Report from the November Speakers Series
  • #16Days of Activism
  • National Day of Action for Early Learning and Child Care
  • Ontario Council Business
  • Scholarship Survey
  • Vacancy: SWHR Chair
  • Bylaw Amendments
  • Club News & Events

If you are having problems viewing this e-mail, click on the View as a Webpage link in the top right corner.

Message from the Ontario Council President

Dear CFUW Members and Friends:


2023 is drawing to a close and we are in the midst of the holiday season and planning events celebrating the Yuletide with the anticipation of good times ahead with family and friends.

Thanks to you and your commitment to CFUW we had another successful year!

Membership increased in Ontario in 2023, and judging by all the Club Newsletters I receive, still doing important work in our communities and internationally. You have forged alliances locally, and nationally as well. You have given your time and support to each other and women everywhere, both personally and financially.

At OC, our Advocacy Committee has brought you two excellent Speaker Series and the third on Artificial Intelligence is planned for February! Stay tuned for more info on a topic that will pose many questions (and some answers) around what’s ahead.

I am happy to report that our AGM 2024 CFUW Windsor LAC is well on their way to planning the AGM on May 24/25. You will want to attend! Please send your delegate in person despite the distance some of you will have to travel. We haven’t seen each other in person since 2019 and it’s time we did! Stay tuned for more information on AGM 2024!

In November I asked you to ‘Save the Date’ in January 2024 for a New Year’s Zoom Party OC is hosting on January 8 at 4pm - 5pm. We’re going to toast in 2024 exactly one week from New Year’s Day in the spirit of the first Levee held in Canada in 1646. The term ‘Levee’ originated in the “levee du soleil” (rising of the sun) practice of King Louis XIV. The first Levee in Canada was held on January 1, 1646 hosted by the Governor of New France. The affair was a time to wish a happy new year to the citizenry and to inform them of significant events in France. It was also a time for allegiance to the crown and the English carried on the tradition. Levees were a male only event until WW2 when women officers were allowed to attend. Today the Levee is a Canadian tradition hosted by federal and provincial governments, while Municipalities and Legions host local Levees.

Two guest speakers will briefly focus on women engaged in their communities as CFUW visualizes it. Realizing potential. For All Women. We’ll celebrate the best things that happened in your clubs in 2023 and look ahead to what your club is passionate about! We want to hear from everyone, especially the Club Presidents and Advocacy Chairs so please come with your good news! And bring a cocktail to toast in 2024!

The Agenda is in this newsletter. Please register and plan to attend!

My wish for all of us: Enjoy all those who are able to be present with you this holiday season, as you remember joyfully those who are unable to celebrate with you.

Teresa Habs, CFUW OC President, 2022-2024

A Special Happy Birthday!

On December 26th, Marg Chambers will be celebrating her 103rd birthday. Marg graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1942.  She then moved to Ontario to help with the war effort, working in Oshawa inspecting gun and weapon parts, checking their calibrations, and also did map reading.  Marg met her husband at the boarding house she lived and they were married in 1945.  In 1949 she and her husband moved to Sudbury and she joined CFUW Sudbury that same year.  She has been a member ever since! The photo shows CFUW Sudbury member Chris Tworo with Marg on a recent visit. Happiest of birthdays to Marg!  

January 8, 2024

Ontario Council New Year's Levee!

Ontario Club Presidents, Advocacy Chairs and

All Interested Members!

You’re invited to join us in a TOAST to

MONDAY, JANUARY 8, 4 – 5pm

Guest Speakers

Hon. Charmaine Williams, MPP Brampton Centre,

Associate Minister Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity

“Investing in Women’s Futures”


Lia Grimanis, CEO Up with Women

“Success Belongs to Everybody”


Time to Share a Look Back and a View Into 2024:

“What’s the Best Thing that Happened in Your Club in 2023?

What is Your Club Passionate About for 2024?

Bring a Cocktail to Toast CFUW Ontario Clubs – YOU!

PLUS: A Peek at Ontario Council Advocacy for 2024!




Report on November 25th Speakers Series

INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE: Ontario’s Unacknowledged Epidemic and Its Impact on Women and Children and the launch of IPV Is An Epidemic Toolkit.

If you were unable to attend this informative and insightful event, please contact [email protected] to request the link to the recording.

A small but powerful group of impassioned women were assembled for this Speakers Series event which fell on the first day of the ‘16 days of activism against gender-based violence', November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Mayor Andrea Horwath and Councillor Nrinder Nann of Hamilton City Council opened the event with descriptions of how Hamilton moved forward with its declaration of IPV as an Epidemic.

Erin Lee, CEO of Lanark County Interval House (LCIH, a shelter located in Carleton Place for people dealing with domestic abuse), was the impetus behind municipalities declaring IPV as an Epidemic by persuading Lanark County to be the first to do so. She described the work that LCIH does to support women, children and gender diverse people.

Pam Cross, Advocacy Chair for Luke’s Place spoke last. Pam is a feminist lawyer and is a respected expert on family violence and the law. Pam immediately noted that work in this area is being undertaken by women who are not being paid and the support of organisations like CFUW Ontario Council is critical to providing the critical mass to effect change. Pam described the origin and services of Luke’s Place (for a full history, please go to and then concentrated on the legal issues and the laws surrounding IPV.    

Following questions, Advocacy Chair Sandra Shaw outlined the Ontario Council ‘IPV is an Epidemic’ Toolkit and called for all Ontario Council Clubs to be active in calling out IPV as an Epidemic and to continue the work of Erin and Pam in fighting for the eradication of IPV.

The Toolkit can be found on the Ontario Council website here. Sandra is available to any and all Clubs which would like a presentation of the rationale for the Toolkit and how to use it. Contact Sandra at [email protected].

To read the complete Speakers Series report, please click here.

To see whether your municipality has declared IPV to be an epidemic, please click here to view the map of Ontario municipalities that have declared IPV an epidemic.

Spotlight on #16Days of Activism

CFUW Georgetown

As part of the 16 Days of Activism, we held a draw at our December meeting for Gift Baskets with the proceeds going to Halton Women’s Place. We also had a ceremony naming the victims of the Ecole Polytechnique Massacre.

CFUW Peterborough

On December 6th, CFUW Peterborough held a vigil on the steps of City Hall. During the ceremony, Mayor Jeff Leal presented President Carol Sproule with a Proclamation recognizing December 6th as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, and declaring intimate partner violence to be an epidemic in their community. Read the complete article in the Peterborough Examiner here. 

CFUW Welland

Demonstrating the power of community partnerships, CFUW Welland & District was involved with several events in their community and the Niagara region for the 16 Days of Activism, including Wrapped in Courage flag raisings in 11 towns and cities, and three illuminations on November 25th: Niagara Falls from 10 to 10:15 p.m.; the Port Colborne Town Hall cupola at dusk; and the Welland Main St. Bridge at dusk. The Club also created red dress displays in various locations in Welland, Pelham, Port Colborne and Wainfleet, to acknowledge gender-based violence against MMIWG2S+, to remember those who died, and to honour those who survived and their families. Read the complete article in My Niagara Online here.

CFUW Ontario Council

IPV Is An Epidemic Toolkit

On November 25th, Ontario Council launched the IPV Is An Epidemic toolkit. The toolkit is dedicated to all the women and children whose lives have been cut short or irrevocably altered due to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and to those who still live in fear and under the threat of violence. To view/download the toolkit, please click here.

November 25th Facebook Post

Today marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. CFUW Ontario Council calls on everyone to UNITE to invest to prevent violence against women and girls. Canada is not immune to gender based violence. More than two out of every five women in Canada have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both, at least once in their life. Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive human rights violation worldwide. The 2023 UN campaign Invest to Prevent Violence against Women & Girls calls on citizens to show how much they care about ending violence against women and girls and calls on governments worldwide to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.

December 6th Facebook Post

Thirty-four years ago, on December 6, 1989, 14 mechanical engineering students were murdered in their classroom at Ecole Polytechnique because they were women. At first, some considered it an isolated incident but it came to be seen as emblematic of an anti-feminist sentiment. The attitude toward the violence changed from “tragic event” to anti-feminist attack. In 1991, Canada declared the date, December 6, to be a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. In remembrance, individuals wear a white ribbon and thus the day has become known as White Ribbon Day. The unease felt by many citizens led to the formation of the Coalition for Gun Control whose actions led to Bill C-68, federal firearm control legislation in November 1995. Bill C-68 required registration and licensing for all owners of firearms. Ammunition sales were also regulated. Yet misogyny continues. Violence against women has not abated, but rather has grown. Today is a date to remember the loss of these fourteen young vibrant women and to continue to work towards a Canada that is safer for women.

November 30th was the

National Day of Action for

Early Learning and Child Care

Child Care Now is non-profit, membership-based and regionally representative. They advocate for a publicly funded, inclusive, quality, non-profit child care system. The Ontario affiliate is the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC). The Toronto Caucus of CFUW clubs have responded to OCBCC's request for letters of support and have sent an open letter from Child Care Now to their members. You may view the letter here and sign it at your discretion. Club Presidents, please feel free to forward the link to the letter to your members who may not receive OC News.

Scholarship Survey

Many thanks to the Clubs who submitted their responses to the Scholarship survey. There were submissions from 44 of 49 clubs, a tremendous response! Thank-you!  We have begun reviewing and analyzing the information submitted and hope to have a report ready for clubs in the late winter.

In search of: SWHR Chair

CFUW Ontario Council is looking for a chair for our Status of Women and Human Rights Committee. The mandate of this Committee is to be a forum for Ontario Council members involved with advocacy issues related to the Status of Women and Human Rights (SWHR), in Ontario.

The job description for the chair can be found here and the

terms of reference for this committee are here.

If you would be interested in filling this position or if you know someone who would be an excellent asset to our team,

please contact: Teresa Habs, OC President.

There will also be other positions coming available. Please consider getting involved in Ontario Council and putting your name forward for one of the positions up for election at the 2024 AGM.

Member Proposals for Bylaw Amendments

Each year CFUW members can propose bylaw amendments for consideration at the AGM. This year, proposals must be received by CFUW Ontario Council by January 15, 2024, in order to be considered at the AGM May 24/25.


Timeline for Member Proposals and Articles & Bylaws Process for AGM 2024


January 15, 2024: Deadline to Submit Member Proposed Bylaw Amendments.


Forward all motions to OC Governance and Bylaw Chair Helen Robb. [email protected]



CFUW Ontario Council Bylaw Amendment Process


January 31, 2024: Notice of any member proposed bylaw amendment received and board bylaw amendment proposals


March 31,2024: Amendments to the Amendments are due.


April 15, 2024: Proposed amendments will be published.

More Club News & Events

From CFUW Georgetown

CFUW Georgetown members are busy these days attending information sessions about OPG's proposed expansion of the Halton Hills Generating Station. Municipal approval is needed for the gas plant expansion to proceed and the Club has sent a letter to their Town Council saying NO to the Gas Plant Expansion and voicing their concern about the increased pollution that would result from the expansion.  

December 13 - CFUW Oshawa & District - The Underrepresented Women Composers

A free in-person meeting from 7 to 8 p.m. with Eleanor Gummer, the founder of the Whitby School of Music. All guests are welcome. No fee to attend and no need to pre-register. Click here for all the details.

January 25 - CFUW Nepean Speakers Series on ZOOM

Rosella Bjornson will discuss her life growing up on a Canadian farm followed by her life as the first woman Canadian commercial airline pilot. Click here to get a ZOOM link.

February 14 - CFUW Etobicoke's 10th Annual Stop the Violence Fundraiser

Please join CFUW Etobicoke at their 10th annual Stop the Violence Fundraiser in support of Women’s Habitat.  Kathleen Wynne, former premier of Ontario, will be the speaker. To learn more and to register, please click here

February 15 - CFUW Nepean Speakers Series on ZOOM

Ottawa Police Constable Martin Riopelle will speak about scams and fraud systems directed to seniors. Click here to get a ZOOM link.

You can get all the details about upcoming club events on the OC website at Club Events | CFUW Ontario Council (

And catch up on the latest club news at Club News!

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.
Click here for information and submission deadlines
Click here to join our mailing list

January 8, OC New Year's Levee!


Please share your club's social media posts to

Ontario Council's Facebook and Instagram accounts!

Facebook  Instagram