Education | Action | Advocacy
Women Helping Women for a Better Future
CFUW Ontario Council News
Hello everyone, there were a couple of errors and incorrect links in OC News Issue 33, which you received earlier today. These errors occurred under Advocacy Update - February 14 - Petition e-4185, and under Club Advocacy Corner. The errors have been corrected in this resend.

In this Issue

  • Message from the Ontario Council President
  • Feb 25th Speakers Series Post Meeting Report
  • OC Annual General Meeting May 13th - Registration is now open!
  • The Carolyn Day Award for Environmental Action
  • Contest - Win $300 for your Club!
  • Ontario Council Bylaw Amendment Process
  • Advocacy Update
  • Club Advocacy Corner is here!
  • 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 Ontario Council President
Message from Teresa Habs, President 2022-2024

With St Patrick’s Day celebrations well under way, and the spring equinox just around the corner on March 21, I think of the colour green – the colour of Spring. Green is associated with nature, health, growth, and hope for a better future, and in recent years it has become a verb. It’s the colour of balance and renewal, mostly associated with success. There is no better description to represent the Clubs of Ontario Council!

Spring also reminds us that the biggest event of our CFUW year, AGM 2023, is less than two months away! On April 3 we will be publishing the official Call to Conference which will be held virtually on May 13. Although we’ve decided to meet this way again for 2023, I hope that every Club in Ontario will register their delegate or Proxy for the AGM, so please mark your calendars! Registration will be available on our website and in our OC Newsletter! It’s free and observers are welcome too!

Here are some of the highlights of AGM 2023:
  • We just started the business of Amendments to Bylaws with an E-Blast announcement last week, and more details are available in this edition.
  • We did not receive any resolutions for the AGM, our mechanism for holding our provincial government accountable, but through the newsletter, our website and social media we know so much work goes on in the clubs!
  • Within the Annual Report you will once again be amazed by the activities going on across the province – members engaging in advocacy, in life-long learning and just plain good fun!
  • Our Business and Finance Booklet will detail the strength and success that you, the clubs, have built for Ontario Council members!
  • We’ll look ahead with confidence and hope for growth and success when we hear about the recipients of the Club Retention and Recruitment Awards.
  • We will be awarding Clubs for their work as we continue to honour Carolyn Day, our esteemed policy advisor on the environment. In this edition you will find information on how your club can apply for these awards that have some $$ attached to them!
  • Many Advocacy initiatives will be highlighting the work done by your OC Advocacy Committee and the Clubs.
  • There will also be Club Anniversaries to celebrate!

So please plan to join us virtually for AGM 2023 on May 13!

Teresa Habs, President, CFUW Ontario Council
Speakers Series February 25
The Affordable Housing Crisis:
Two Working Solutions
Post-Meeting Report
Submitted by Helen Robb

Affordable housing is a worry to many lower, and even medium income, families and is a topic of interest to concerned citizens, such as the members of CFUW. It is one of the foci of the Advocacy Committees of various clubs, including Barrie and District.

The first speaker, Melissa Stewart, Operations and Development Manager of Barrie Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation, provided a well-illustrated overview of the types of housing available: low rise walk-up, high-rise buildings, and townhouses for a total of 953 units. It has a mix of Rent Geared to Income and Low End Market Rent for singles and families. Those who wish to live in one of the units must apply to Simcoe Housing which keeps lists of qualified applicants waiting as long as long as ten years.

The second speaker, Rob Cikoja, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Huronia, pointed out that affordable housing is defined as housing which costs not more than 30% of the family’s income. He outlined the mission of Habitat for Humanity--creating safe, affordable homes, purchased without a down payment or interest bearing loan. To date, Huronia has built 47 houses and has almost completed the current build of 5 townhouses.

To read the complete post-meeting report, please click here.
The February 25th Speakers Series was recorded. To request the recording link and password, please contact
2023 CFUW Ontario Council
Annual General Meeting
The executive of CFUW Ontario Council wishes to notify you that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Ontario Council will take place virtually on May 13th, 2023, from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

Registration is now open for the 2023 AGM. Registration is a 2-step process. First, click here to register for the ZOOM meeting. Please answer all the questions on the registration form. Second, download the Assignment of Delegate Form as a fillable Word document or as a fillable PDF document. Complete the Assignment of Delegate form for your Club and forward to the OC AGM Credentials Chair and to your designated voting delegate. Please note that, in order to vote at the AGM, each Club needs to complete the Assignment of Delegate form. All attendees and voting delegates must register in advance, on or before May 10, 2023. One voting delegate per Club, but non-voting members are welcome to attend. Formal notice for the AGM will be issued on April 3rd.

2023 Carolyn Day Award for
Environmental Action
Applications for the Carolyn Day Award 2023

Applications from clubs for the Carolyn Day Award for Environmental Action are now being accepted. This award for environmental action was created in honour of Carolyn Day who was OC's policy adviser for many years. You may download an application form from the OC website here. Complete the application and e-mail it to Applications must be submitted on or before April 19, 2023. This year, the Carolyn Day award also includes a $500 grant!

Carolyn Day Award recipients will be recognized for their work at the AGM on May 13, 2023.
Membership Challenge
Win $300 for your Club!
The OC Membership Challenge is back! Your Club could win $300 for Recruitment or $300 for Retention. It’s simple to enter. You just need to answer 5 questions for recruitment and/or 5 questions for retention, in 250 words or less for each category. The 5 questions are:

For recruitment of new members:
  • What was your single most effective strategy?
  • How did it work?
  • How did you measure your success?
  • What would you do differently?
  • Have you tried this before?

For retention of new, recent and long-term members?
  • What is your primary strategy?
  • How did you measure your success?
  • What are the results of engaging new members?
  • Would you do anything differently?
  • Why is it successful?

Download the Membership Challenge brochure and follow the instructions to submit your Club’s application! Applications must be submitted on or before April 15, 2023.
2023 CFUW Ontario Council Bylaw Amendment Process
We request that proposed Amendments to the CFUW Ontario Council Bylaws (Form 1), be submitted by email to, on or before April 13, 2023. A package of the Proposed Amendments received by April 13, 2023, will be sent to Clubs, and members of the CFUW OC Board of Directors for study and evaluation. Members will then be invited to submit Amendments to the Proposed Amendments (Form 2) on or before May 1, 2023.
The Bylaw Amendment Process and Forms 1 and 2 can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.
The documents are also available on the Club Resources page of the OC website. The Ontario Council Bylaws may be viewed/downloaded via this link: 2022 OC Bylaws 2022 AGM APPROVED. The OC Bylaws are also available on the Ontario Council Governance page of the OC website.
February 14 - PETITION e-4185 to STRENGTHEN BAIL LAWS was presented in the House of Commons

Recently Jackie Street, UWC North York, and Nancy Pigden, CFUW Orillia, travelled to Ottawa to witness Adam Chambers, Conservative Member of Parliament for Simcoe North, read Petition e-4185 in the House of Commons.

This journey began when Jackie was appalled when she read how our Justice System, despite 2019 amendments to the bail provisions, was continuing to fail many victims of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) by letting repeat offenders out on bail enabling them to terrorize, assault and even kill their victims or drive them to suicide. UWC North York submitted a detailed Resolution to CFUW and, after receiving valuable input from CFUW clubs across Canada, the Resolution was rewritten and passed unanimously at the August 2022 AGM meeting. 

In the fall of 2022, the CFUW Orillia Advocacy Committee decided to focus on the issue of Gender Based Violence. Karen Baldock (President CFUW Orillia) and Nancy Pigden (Advocacy Chair) contacted Adam Chamber’s office. The well-researched information for the Resolution was presented. The importance of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women was also discussed. Adam offered the idea of the
e-petition. The online petition went live on November 8 and by December 8 when it closed there were 972 signatures from across Canada. The signing of the petition was a collective effort from members from CFUW.

Nancy and Jackie went to Ottawa. Paige Inglis (National Advocacy Coordinator CFUW-FCFDU) and Elizabeth Malcolm (Membership Engagement Coordinator CFUW-FCFDU) all met at the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill. Kyla Canzanese, Legislative Assistant, escorted the group to the West Block for a tour of the new building. Security was evident. The group met Adam Chambers before the presentation of the petition. It was an exciting moment when the petition was read aloud in the House of Commons.

You can watch a short video of the reading in the House of Commons here.

You can read Nancy's complete report here.
Feeling the Pinch at the Grocery Store? Finding Affordable Housing Getting You Down?

Both affordable housing and food prices are on the top of everyone’s minds these days. Statistics from where my Club is located (CFUW Perth and District, Lanark Leeds Grenville) show just how desperate the situation is in rural communities in Ontario. These statistics, representing averages, are from June of 2022!

Family of four consisting of 2 adults (1 male and 1 female each between 31 and 50 years), a female aged 4 - 8, and a male aged 14 - 18
Average monthly income

Average monthly food bill

Average monthly rent

Remainder for all other expenses*



*Expenses including hydro, transportation, insurance, basic phone and internet, childcare, clothing and footwear, household supplies, toiletries, and over-the-counter medications, extracurricular activities for children, minimal recreation and entertainment, and school supplies
Source: Lanark, Leeds, Grenville Public Health Unit

Food insecurity is not just a food issue. It is also an income and affordable housing issue.

Submitted by Sandra Shaw, Advocacy Chair
Upcoming Dates of Significance
  • Equal Pay Day – April 12
  • Elder Day – May 4
The new Advocacy Corner page is now available! Check it out to find out what other OC Clubs are doing in terms of Advocacy. To get your Club's advocacy activities listed on the AC page, download the Excel form to enter your Club's advocacy issues (please click here), complete the form and e-mail it to
Club News & Events!

CFUW Orillia celebrated IWD 2023 with an event that was open to the community. 93 people attended including 36 CFUW Orillia members and 57 community members. The panel discussion on the theme Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Unconscious Bias: Embracing Equity was moderated by a CFUW Orillia member and included Lorraine McRae, the head councillor for Chippewas of Rama First Nation, Dr. Linda Rodenburg, one of the founding faculty members at Lakehead University’s Orillia campus, and Debbie Singh, the vice president of people strategy and chief human resources officer for Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. The event also featured a display of local artists who are members of CFUW Orillia and the Orillia & District Arts Council. To read the entire article and see all the pictures, please click here.
March 28 to April 18, CFUW Hamilton - Spring Fundraiser!

CFUW Hamilton invites you to join them for their spring Scholarship Fundraiser, the Transformative Power of Movement, Mindfulness and Mirth! Watch 3 great online video presentations anytime between March 28 to April 18. Tickets are $25, to purchase go to CFUW Hamilton. Tickets are available until March 28th. For all the details, click here.

CFUW Kitchener-Waterloo invites you to join them on April 13th for dinner and a wonderful conversation with Lisa LaFlamme. Tickets are $125. To purchase a ticket please contact A $40 charitable receipt will be issued after the event. Proceeds will support the education of women and girls locally and internationally.
April 21 & 22, CFUW Kitchener-Waterloo Giant Used Book Sale

CFUW K-W would like to invite you to their upcoming GIANT used book sale. It will take place on April 21, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and April 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at First United Church, 16 William St. West in Waterloo. Books and other donated items can be dropped off at the First United Church on April 19-20. Proceeds fund scholarships for local students. For all the details click here.
April 28 & 29, CFUW Renfrew
Book Sale

CFUW Renfrew invites you to their upcoming book sale. It will take place on April 28, 4 to 9 p.m. and April 29, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, at Renfrew Collegiate Institute, 184 Bonnechere St. S. in Renfrew. Proceeds used for scholarships for area high schools. For all the details click here.
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 always able to publish club meetings, scholarship winners and other charitable giving. However, Club newsletters are published by month on the OC website under Club Actions & Events--to have your Club's newsletters published please e-mail your newsletters and other club news to To help you help us, click the link below for all the information you need about our publication schedule, submission deadlines, and preferred format.
May 13, 2023
2023 OC Annual General Meeting
Save the Date!