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

In this Issue

  • Message from the Ontario Council President
  • November 25th Speakers Series - Intimate Partner Violence
  • Member Proposals for Bylaw Amendments
  • Proposed Resolutions for the 2024 AGM
  • Scholarship Survey
  • In Search of: SWHR Chair
  • UNCSW67 Report
  • Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care AGM
  • Report from the October 21st Speaker Series
  • Congratulations to Cindy Adams!
  • Spotlight on Club Advocacy
  • Club News & Events

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Message from the Ontario Council President

Message from Teresa Habs

Hello and thank you to all those who joined our October 21 Speaker Series Women on the Move! We heard from three women who have come from Ukraine, Nigeria and Iran. Thanks to Niki Carlan for her work in bringing this topic to us!


We all felt they were strong, vibrant women up for the hard challenge of creating a new life in Canada. Our country needs people like them! But what I also saw is CFUW women asking themselves “How can we help?” If your club is delving into this question, we all want to share your ideas and strategy! Or if your club has a ‘Diversity and Inclusion Committee’ let us know by sending a column for our next Newsletter.


With our November 25 Speaker Series, we will focus on INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE: Ontario’s Unacknowledged Epidemic & Its Impact on Women and Children”. We have two speakers that are truly front-line and devoted to the elimination of Violence Against Women!

November 25th is also the first of the Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. 

In addition to bringing IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) as an epidemic in Ontario (and elsewhere) to the attention of our members, we have chosen this day for the launch of the Ontario Council IPV as An Epidemic Toolkit. Stay tuned for that publication. A big thanks goes to Sandra Shaw and her Advocacy Committee for all their work!


As we move into the holiday season and 2024, we hope you will join us for a Zoom Party in early January 2024 to usher in the New Year. We are planning an event that will include a guest speaker, some discussion ideas, and lots of opportunities to ‘meet and greet’ each other over a toast to CFUW Ontario Clubs – YOU!


Last thoughts: The Call for Member Proposals for Bylaw Amendments and related dates are in this Newsletter. Thanks to Governance and Bylaws Chair Helen Robb for her proposals for updates in our Bylaws!

CFUW Windsor is well into planning for AGM 2024 so please save the dates May 24/25 and join us in Windsor, and a big thanks to the Windsor LAC!

Teresa Habs,CFUW OC President, 2022-2024

November 25th Speakers Series

Intimate Partner Violence


To register please click here!


This event will showcase Intimate Partner Violence: Ontario's Unacknowledged Epidemic and its Impact on Women and Children


Erin Lee from Interval House (Carleton Place) and the impetus behind Lanark County being the first in Ontario to declare intimate partner violence (IPV) an epidemic (following the Culleton, Kuzyk & Warmerdam (CKW) Inquest report and recommendations) and Pam Cross, Advocacy Director, Luke’s Place will be members of the panel. They will be presenting statistics on IPV in Ontario, discussing the social and legal issues of this scourge and addressing the impact of the CKW and Mass Casualty reports. 

This session will be chaired by Sandra Shaw, OC Chair, Advocacy.

Fortuitously, the date for this event, November 25th, is also the first of the Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. In addition to bringing IPV as an epidemic in Ontario (and elsewhere) to the attention of our members, we have chosen this day for the launch of the Ontario Council IPV as An Epidemic Toolkit.

Get all the info at CFUW Ontario Council Speakers Series. Please register by 5 PM on Friday, November 24th. To register, click here.

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.


Proposed Resolutions for the 2024 AGM

The deadline to file a notice of Intent to Submit a Resolution for the 2024 CFUW Ontario Council AGM was October 30th, 2023. Our Resolutions Chair is pleased to report that two intents were filed.

  • CFUW Muskoka is championing warming stations. They are asking that these be implemented by all municipalities across the province.
  • CFUW Windsor is proposing a regulation of the costs of medical appliances by the province.

Both of these resolutions would result in legislative change within the province. The proposers will continue to be work on their resolutions and final versions will be circulated to all OC clubs.

Scholarship Survey

Thank you to all of the clubs who have already completed their Scholarship Survey!

Please complete the survey by November 15th.

Ontario Council (OC) is exploring developing resources to support the work clubs are undertaking, with respect to Scholarships. All clubs should have received a survey to solicit information from OC Clubs regarding their scholarship, grant and/or bursary process. The objectives of the survey will be to:

  • take a snapshot of how OC Clubs manage the process
  • identify and share common concerns and best practices
  • explore potential opportunities for innovation
  • allow OC to recognize the work done by the clubs’ Scholarship Committees

The survey was distributed to OC Club presidents who would then pass it on to the most appropriate person in their club to complete. The survey is in Survey Monkey and should be completed on-line. We would also appreciate clubs providing us with a key contact should we have any follow-up questions. The information will be consolidated and formatted and posted on the OC website to be an ongoing resource for OC Clubs.

If you have any questions, please contact Joyce See

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.

UNCSW67 Report

Special Report on the 67th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW)

From Ontario Council Club Attendees

UNCSW 67 Priority Theme: Innovation and Technological Change, and Education In The Digital Age for Achieving Gender Equality and The Empowerment of All Women and Girls


UNCSW 67 Review Theme: Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls (agreed conclusions of the sixty-second session)

Every year, 20 members of CFUW Clubs from across the country attend UNCSW as CFUW delegates . Each delegate is asked to submit a report to CFUW National upon their return. These reports are then curated for distribution. This year, Ontario Council Advocacy has asked each of the Ontario attendees to condense their reports and/or review their notes from sessions they attended and provide information that they believe is important for Ontario Clubs. This information will allow Ontario Council members to gain knowledge from the experiences of our delegates, may provide the impetus for Clubs and members to explore our delegates’ insights further and will perhaps encourage Clubs to incorporate some of the issues identified by our delegates into their advocacy projects.

Please click here to read the Special Report.

Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care AGM

Report submitted by Margaret McGovern, Toronto Caucus.

On September 28 and 29, 2023 I attended the Annual General Meeting of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care on behalf of Ontario Council, CFUW via Zoom.

Much of the concern of members present was focused on adequate salaries and benefits for qualified Early Childhood Educators (ECE) and the pressing need for many more child care spaces. The Ministry of Education has not come forth. Of note, Ministry of Education staff who are invited to attend the AGM each year and usually attend, declined to this year.


Current wage examples: North West Territories $15.20/hr; Ontario $19.00/hr;Yukon $32.08/hr . Of concern, Ontario has the third lowest salary rate in the country.


Much action is required. Two of their strategies have been initiated and are being implemented. They are funded separately.

1. " Creating an anti-racial child care system in Ontario".

It has been observed in some centres that there seems to be a racialized bias. With our increase in immigration there is a greater need for child care spaces for other races. it has been noted that some centres have "White only spaces' for "cultural safety"!

2. "Organizing a Parent Network" , funded by the Atkinson Foundation.

Establishing 4-6 person groups in interested childcare centres. Interested parents with strong leadership abilities are encouraged to  participate. The main message? "Child care is more than babysitting!"

There is a need for more funding.


Sharing across the province.

- Some centres working together to share strategies are having success bargaining.

- With a new mayor in Toronto who is known to be supportive of child care there is some hope! In early stages of meetings with Councillors.


Morna Ballantyned, the Executive Director of Child Care Now, the national advocacy organization, shared details of a three year project to expand Not-For-Profit Child Care across the country. It is funded by the National Early Learning and Child Care program. At present the program is in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Manitoba. It will expand to the other provinces in 2024.


The demand is great across the country. An observation by Ms. Ballantyne? Some governments do not know how to increase the capacity. Focus of Child Care Now will be addressing the workforce crisis and the funding plan.

Sample letter for the clubs to use to write to their MPPs

I am forwarding a copy of the letter that the Toronto Caucus is recommending be sent to our MPPs. We would like to suggest that the other clubs in the province consider a similar one. Since the national bill recently received its third reading at the national level we believe this is a significant time to nudge the provincial government.


As well we understand the Ontario government has drafted a "strategy"


Margaret McGovern

Toronto, Caucus

For a copy of the letter to MPPs, click here. A reminder that as per CFUW OC policy, all letters such as these must be signed by and sent out by the Club's president.

October 21st Speaker Series

Our October 21st Speaker Series, Women on the Move, featured a panel of three women who have chosen Canada as their home. The event was organized by Niki Carlan, Chair of OC Legislation Standing Committee. Thank you, Niki for this excellent session. Here is her report:

October 21st Speaker Series: Women on the Move

Immigration policy is often the subject of heated debate. We often hear discussions about the policies which may be informed but are often uninformed. In fact, Canada is a top destination country and we select some of the most highly skilled and educated migrants. Upon arrival, many face challenges finding employment that matches their skills and qualifications.

In the last couple of years, we have accepted nearly 500,000 migrants each year. About 100,000 newcomers settle in Ontario. That amounts to about 1% of the population.  CFUW thought it would be a good idea to hear from some newcomers who can provide a more personal understanding of the immigration process. With that in mind, three women who have made the decision to come to Canada to shared their stories. They came from different parts of the world, Ukraine, Nigeria, and Iran. They have different professional backgrounds, health care, commerce and fine arts. And they all have families to care for.

  The session began with Nataliya Kachor who came to Canada from Ukraine about 10 years ago. When she came to our country she had just completed her residency in family medicine. She has not practiced medicine in Canada but is working at two jobs and raising a son as a single mom. She has used her boundless energy to help Ukrainian newcomers escaping the war to make their way in Canada.

Udoka Nwosu was the next speaker. The introduction on her Facebook page gives you some insight into this young woman. She wrote: “When Women Move Forward The World Moves With Them”. The mother of three young boys came to Canada to complete her studies which were started at the State University of Lagos. This is her final term completing with a Masters Degree in Management at the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor. Her other current activities include Business Development Director at Eudokas Beauty Institute, Program Coordinator at Women Capacity Development Initiative -WCDI, Alumni Ambassador at Global Women In Management(GWIM) and Creative director at Eudokas International.

Our last speaker was Maryam Safarzadeh. She left Iran three years ago and settled in Windsor, wanting a better life for her children. When she still called Tehran home, Maryam was never able to share her art the way she wanted to because any critical work could have subjected her to being targeted by the government for possible arrest. Now that she is in Canada, she recognized she had an opportunity to speak out safely and express herself through "protest art." "I have a duty," she said. "I should [give voice to] the women who are struggling."

Each woman shared stories of their struggles as newcomers and the satisfaction of settling in Canada. Most importantly their kids are very happy here living in a safe country. Canada is also a richer country recognizing what these women have brought to us,

Read more about the October 21st session on our website.

Congratulations to Cindy Adams!

CFUW Ontario Council congratulates Cindy Adams. Cindy is a member of CFUW Ajax-Pickering. We have just received news that Cindy has been appointed to the Order of Ontario.

We are all so incredibly proud of her extraordinary contributions and unwavering commitment to Scientists in School. Cindy is the founding Executive Director at Scientists in School. Over 30 years ago, under a starry sky, Cindy made the decision to commit her time and energy to science and education. The result? Together, we have engaged nearly 11 million young scientists in classrooms and communities across Ontario and Canada. Simply amazing!

Congratulations to all of the 26 incredible people appointed to the #OrderofOntario. Learn about their achievements, impacts, and legacies, here

Fantastic news! Congratulations Cindy on your well-deserved appointment.

Spotlight on Club Advocacy

Ontario Council would like to shine a spotlight on CFUW Guelph for their work in support of food insecurity and Guaranteed Liveable Basic Income.

For many years, CFUW Guelph has partnered with Food4kids Guelph. Under their Weekend Food Bag program, they are currently supporting over 450 students a week, providing the families with a basket of food to last through the weekend. You may read more about their program here.

CFUW Guelph is also a firm supporter of a national Guaranteed Liveable Basic Income. Through their advocacy committee, they have written a letter to their mayor and city councillors urging them to take decisive action to recognize the multiple benefits of a guaranteed liveable basic income and support this initiative. Here is a copy of their letter.

Perhaps other clubs would like to write a similar letter to urge their own government officials to support this imitative.

Club News & Events

From CFUW Orillia

On Thursday October 26th, members of CFUW Orillia met at Tudhope Park for a tree dedication celebration. A Horse Chestnut was planted to honour women who have dedicated 50 years of membership and service to CFUW. The women in this group have become our Golden members.

After unveiling the plaque beside the tree, CFUW Orillia Members went to Bayside to enjoy a muffin, coffee and companionship.

CFUW Orillia

CFUW Orillia Golden Members: Donnajean Jefferies, Isabelle Thiess, Myra Stephen (representing Marcia Stephen), Ruth Watt, Mary Town, Joan Gordon, Heather Gauldie, & Helen Murray.

Front Row: Ann Duncan (Membership Team), Sheila Marner (Membership Co-Chair) & Heather Lewis (President). 

From UWC Toronto

The Walrus magazine is presenting a talk on Gender Based Violence on Nov. 16 at 7:00 at the Isabel Bader Theatre at U of T.  You can register on the Walrus website, or google Walrus Talks and then it’s through Eventbrite.

The location is at Victoria College, on Charles St.(just east of University Ave.) just steps from the Museum Subway Station.

From CFUW Leaside - East York

On October 25th, CFUW Leaside-East York hosted a special event, BEYOND COVID, featuring a panel of three professionals from diverse fields. Dr. Cary Wu is the York Research Chair in Political Sociology of Health at York University. Dr. Janine McCready is an infectious diseases physician at Michael Garron Hospital. And Stephanie Bowman, MPP, is the Critic for Finance, Infrastructure, Food & Rural Affairs for the Ontario Liberal Party.

From CFUW Windsor

On October 26th, CFUW Windsor in partnership with the University of Windsor Law School hosted a session on the administrative justice system. If action was taken on this issue, there would be the introduction of an Administrative Justice Council.

Also, CFUW Windsor has offered to host our OC 2024 AGM! This is going to be an in-person event on May 24tlh and May 25th, 2024. Mark your calendar!

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

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
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See You at the November 25th Speakers Series!


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