Dates & Data News from Ontario Council 

  May 13-14 AGM & Conference at Hockley Valley  


CFUW Ontario Council Newsletter







Dear CFUW Ontario Council Members
Welcome to the D&D issue containing reports from the May 13-14, 2016 AGM & Conference and Ontario Council updates REVISED to include CFUW NEPEAN as they celebrate their 25th Anniversary in 2016!
We invite your comments:
President's Message
June 2016 

Success is when you move
Out of your comfort zone
And try something new.

Congratulations to CFUW Orangeville & District for hosting an outstanding Ontario Council Annual General Meeting and Conference. The 2016 AGM & Conference hosted at the Hockley Resort with the Theme: Building Bridges - Making Connections delivered on an excellent combination of program and speakers along with the attractive venue.
The Leadership Workshop facilitated by the OC Regional Directors, drew over fifty attendees for engagement in learning and development for club presidents. The Friday Reception followed with drumming and guest artist Cathy Elliot who entertained with music and stories. S'mores and folk songs brought back memories of past camp fire nights.
The Saturday morning Ontario Council Business brought in a new OC Resolution on Age Discrimination in Ontario Employee Benefit Programs.

Tara Benson Williams lead the assembly in a Team Building exercise as we explored what it means to be on an executive. Conversations on team building are encouraged for executives as you begin a new year. What does it mean for you to be on a club executive? What is important for an executive to work in a collegial, collaborative manner?
"A group becomes a team when each member
is sure enough of herself and her contribution
to praise the skill of the others."   N. Hidle
I would like to highly commend the Chair, Ingrid Sproxton and the Local Arrangement Committee. For it is in the preparations and hard work that success is achieved. Thank you for giving so generously of your time, expertise and creativity. Thank you also, to the many volunteers from CFUW Orangeville & District who provided support for the timing, the tellers, the recorders, photo taking and session hosts.
"CFUW takes you places you may not think to go."
I am grateful for the opportunity to have met you and members across Ontario and the country.   To have visited your clubs, celebrated your anniversaries, and joined in your fundraisers. Your invitations have been most welcomed.
I have appreciated the opportunity to work on your behalf to promote our OC advocacy policies, meet with provincial ministers, policy advisors, participate in provincial consultations and prepare briefs and letters on issues of concern.
Thank you for the opportunity to represent Ontario on the CFUW National Board, be a voting delegate to the IFUW Triennial 2013 in Istanbul and represent CFUW at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York this year.
Thank you to the Ontario Council Executive, the Ontario Council Clubs, to each of you as CFUW Ontario Council members. It has been an honour to serve you as your CFUW Ontario Council President for the past four years.
CFUW opens doors to friendship, numerous possibilities for participation, and growing personally and professionally.
May we continue the legacy of a strong, vibrant organization that stands out as one of the foremost women's organizations that promotes the Status of Women and Social Justice, and Education for Women and Girls.

Conference Highlights and Summary  

The theme for the 2016 OC AGM & Conference was Building Bridges - Creating Connections, and every meeting and session during the event was focused on developing bridges and connections-between CFUW members, between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians, and between Canadians of all economic levels.

On Friday the connections began with a screening of FrontRunners: Niigaanibatowaad, a film on truth telling and reconciliation. CFUW member Laura Robinson is the film's creator; it is the story of the ten teenage boys who carried the torch for the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. Nine of the ten young men chosen were from Aboriginal residential schools. Niigaanibatowaad is about the segregation of the Aboriginal athletes and the despair and abuse suffered in the residential school system. Frontrunners is a story of survival, hope, reconciliation and a dream for a new beginning that transcends hatred and racism.

After the film screening, creating connections continued when the Regional Director from Ontario West, Cheryl Ambrose, hosted the Leadership workshop and provided an overview of the newly revamped CFUW National and CFUW Member Resources websites.

And the highlight of Friday evening, the Welcome Reception, when the AGM & Conference was officially opened. First, we recognized First Nations lands:

"We acknowledge the lands of the First Peoples of Turtle Island and the many First Nations that lived on the lands we now call home today."

Then we started our weekend journey to build bridges and create connections with a traditional drum ceremony, led by Cathy Elliott, First Roots Aboriginal Program Associate for the DAREarts Foundation for Children and a member of the Dufferin County Cultural Resource Circle. Cathy was joined by Deb Egerton from CFUW Orangeville & District and Carol Tyler from CFUW Guelph.

"The Drum represents Earth, Mother, Creation. It is made for or by a person and belongs to that person until it is gifted to someone else.  The life force of the animal that gave its skin is honoured whenever it is played. There are different approaches all over Turtle Island, different systems, beliefs and protocols. Not all Nations on Turtle Island use a skin drum. Some use hollowed out trees, bark, and at times, the ground itself. The drum is still a universal voice. When you feel the vibration of a Big Drum hit your chest, you can't help but feel something familiar ... your heart beat."

The drum ceremony was followed by welcoming remarks from two Dufferin-Caledon dignitaries, the Member of Provincial Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon Sylvia Jones and the Warden of Dufferin County and the Mayor of the Town of Mono Laura Ryan. Then Ontario Council President Brenda Robertson delivered Ontario Council's welcome message and awarded 17 anniversary and fall gathering certificates. The speeches were followed by a wonderful presentation by Cathy Elliott that included a
photographic display on a circular screen and 4 beautiful songs about Cathy's experiences working with First Nations youth in remote communities.

On Saturday, we kicked into high gear with four exciting and informative sessions:
  • OC business meeting - AGM and voting on the OC Age Discrimination in Ontario resolution
  • 1st plenary Building Bridges - Creating Connections to Honour the Truth and Reconcile for the Future
  • 2nd plenary Building Bridges - Creating Connections to Reduce Poverty
  • 2 concurrent break-out sessions focused on education and learning to become an ally to an indigenous Canadian or to someone living in poverty 
Apart from the Ontario Council business meeting, the goal of the Saturday sessions was to increase awareness of the issues facing indigenous Canadians and Canadians that are struggling to overcome poverty.

The speakers for the 1st plenary session were Jodie-Lynn Waddilove and Dr. Susan Dion. Jodie-Lynn is an Anishnabe (Ojibway) and Lenni Lenape (Delaware) lawyer currently acting as Legal Counsel with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, Aboriginal Justice Division. She shared her life story with us including growing up on a small First Nation-Munsee Delaware-in southwestern Ontario, and later attending the University of Sheffield in England where she received her M.A. in International Criminology and Law. After returning to Canada, Jodie-Lynn obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Ottawa. She was called to the Ontario bar in 2004 and the Alberta bar in 2006. There was no school or library in the Munsee Delaware community-indeed there still isn't-so Jodie-Lynn, her brothers and the other kids had to travel out of the community each day to attend school. There was plenty of racism from both teachers and fellow-students-all of the Munsee Delaware kids experienced it. For many, the stress of being subjected to a different culture with no respect for their own traditions, was an obstacle too great to overcome. In Munsee Delaware, as in many First Nation communities, it is still a big accomplishment to graduate from high school and to go on to obtain a post-secondary education. Jodie-Lynn made up her mind that she was going to become a lawyer-she felt that by so doing, she could obtain the education and skill set she needed to help her community. She has accomplished that and much more.

Dr. Susan Dion is an indigenous scholar (Potawatami/Lenape) with York University. Unfortunately, because she was late arriving, her presentation had to be cut short. However, she was able to share with us the film stories of two young indigenous Canadians that illustrate the challenges of building bridges across the indigenous/non-indigenous divide

The speakers for the 2nd plenary session-Building Bridges - Creating Connections to Reduce Poverty were Karen Glass and Laura Cattari.

Karen Glass is the Executive Director for the Poverty Reduction Strategy Office in Ontario and has over 20 years of experience in social policy. Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy - Realizing Our Potential, aims to be a comprehensive and flexible approach to reduce poverty in the province. At this plenary Karen gave us an update on objectives achieved and goals established since the initiative was introduced in 2014. Karen reviewed the 4 pillars of the current strategy: breaking the poverty cycle with a stronger focus on families; employment, income security and support of meaningful work; ending homelessness; and evidence based policy development. The evidence based policy development combines experience, expertise and evidence, and is implemented through cross ministry collaboration and coordination.

Laura Cattari was our second speaker in this plenary. Laura is a writer and community advocate, and Vice President on the board of Canada Without Poverty - an organization calling for sustained action to combat the structural causes of poverty in Canada. Laura was nominated in 2013 as a Woman of Distinction in Hamilton, Ontario.  Laura continued on the subject of evidence based policy development and human rights. She reminded the audience that the International Convention on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights was ratified by Canada on May 19, 1976.
Economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) include the rights to decent work, an adequate standard of living, housing, food, water and sanitation, social security, health and education. ESCRs are thus as essential as the freedom of expression or the right to a fair trial for ensuring human dignity.

Laura then outlined Bill 185 Ministry of Community and Social Services Amendment Act (Social Assistance Research Commission), 2016. Bill 185 aims to form a standing research committee to define regions of Ontario on the basis of economic geography and determine the cost of living in different parts of Ontario. The Commission will be composed of 9 experts, including one person with lived experience of Ontario Works, and another person with lived experience of the Ontario disability Support Program. Laura has been invited to be one of these experts. She closed by saying that she will stay in touch with CFUW and will ask for our support in the adoption of Bill 185.

At the Truth and Reconciliation break-out session, 4 CFUW clubs-North York, Owen Sound, Southport and Vaughan-presented ideas and actions they have taken to educate themselves about indigenous issues and to reach out and advocate. Jodie-Lynn also joined this break-out and contributed a number of ideas including support for cultural competency training for anyone who works with indigenous Canadians, celebrating Orange Shirt Day in September, and visiting a residential school. Each presenting club compiled a resource list, as did CFUW Orangeville & District. These lists will be made available to all Ontario clubs.
At the Poverty Reduction break-out session, we learned about the Circles program in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph. The Circles program matches low-income leaders-Canadians who want to break out of the poverty cycle-with middle or upper-income allies. The goal of the program is not to reduce but to eradicate poverty through community. "The opposite of poverty is not wealth but rather community." A resource list to educate ourselves about poverty was compiled by CFUW Orangeville & District; the list will be made available to all Ontario clubs.

And finally, I'd like to mention the infographics that were on display throughout the AGM & Conference, just outside the main meeting room. The infographic displays were created by four young women who are attending two local secondary schools and participating in the Dufferin Historian Program, which was created and developed by teachers Neil Orford and Asher Kirk. Each of the students created one display for four different topics-Violence Against Women, Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Indigenous History in Ontario and Poverty in Dufferin.

Ingrid Sproxton
Chair, Local Arrangement Committee 
Ontario Council Presidents'
Leadership Workshop


The 2016 CFUW Ontario Council Leadership Workshop was held in conjunction with the 2016 AGM and Conference at Hockley Valley Resort. In an hour and a half, we covered a lot of ground.

Our Communications Chair, Teresa Habs, CFUW Barrie, reviewed the Ontario Council website, covering locating and subscribing to  Dates and Data, Ontario Council's newsletter. The newsletter is automatically sent to OC board members, club Presidents, Vice Presidents, CFUW liaisons, newsletter editors, and Issues Group convenors or Advocacy chairs. Clubs are reminded to send updated contact information for new executive members to Dates and Data is published 7 times/year, preceding and following the 3 Standing Committee Meetings, as well as a Notice of Meeting 6 weeks prior to the Ontario AGM. Proceedings of Standing Committee meetings are posted on the website following the meetings and are a source of excellent information on a range of topics. Teresa also emphasized the Club Resources link which provides access to all manner of information that clubs may need through the membership year, from Accessibility and Insurance to Club Development and Advocacy Tools.

Cheryl Ambrose, Regional Director (RD) Ontario West, gave a brief demonstration on accessing the password protected CFUW membership website that is used to collect important information about your club, including executive contact information, club membership numbers and scholarships, awards and other financial support offered by clubs. Outgoing Treasurers and Presidents are encouraged to review the use of this site with replacements following their AGM. If you are an incoming President or Treasurer and would like support on using this site, please get in touch with your RD or email Member Services The other password protected site is the CFUW - FCFDU Member Resources Website, Username "viewonly", Password "cfuw4321".
This site is similar to the Ontario Council Club Resources section in that it contains all manner of information that clubs will want to refer to throughout the year.

Sandy Thomson
, RD Huron, reviewed the wide range of Advocacy tools available on the Ontario Council and CFUW National websites. Her quiz on "who does what?" served as a good reminder that no matter how long we have been involved in our club's advocacy work, sometimes a little refresher is a good thing! Do you know how to handle writing to your MP regarding an issue of concern that is not covered by CFUW Policy? Sandy also talked about the recent changes to the Policy Book,  which can be found under Member Resources, and explained the resolution process. In the Presidents' Packages that were handed out at the AGM, or will be mailed to those Presidents who were unable to attend, we have provided a few advocacy resources that will help jumpstart the advocacy process.

Leila Metcalf, RD Ontario East, reviewed the contents of the Presidents' Package, with particular focus on the duties of outgoing and incoming Presidents at this critical time of year. Contents include: 1) Ontario Council and your Club Executive 2) Act on it Locally 3) Ontario Council enclosure 4) Suggested Job Description for Presidents 5) Suggested President's End of Term Checklist 6) Club Resources 7) Tracking Sheet of Clubs and Issues and 8) CFUW Calendar 2016 - 2017. These are living documents and subject to regular updates.

Pat Joyce, RD Ontario Central, gave attendees an overview on working with their RDs, the role of the RD within and outside their Region.

Ontario Council Advocacy 
  • Letter sent to Premier Wynne regarding the passing of Bill 66 Great Lakes Protection Act amendments
  • Material on Early Childhood Education and Child Care from the Atkinson Foundation sent out to Ontario clubs
  • Advocacy material sent to clubs on the Grandma Asked Me to Vote campaign
  • Received letter from Ministry of Education re: OC submission to consultations on the new Physical Education and Health curriculum
  • Advocacy material sent to clubs on consultations by provincial government on Gender Wage Gap
  • Attended consultations on Gender Wage Gap.
  • Ontario Council sent in written submission  on Gender Wage Gap
  • Attended two day provincial Summit on the government's strategy "It's Never Okay" Sexual Violence and Harassment in Toronto November 19-20, 2015
  • Ontario Council response sent on A Blueprint for Change: A Proposal to Modernize and Strengthen the Aggregate Resources Act policy framework (EBR #012-5444)
  • February 2016: Ontario Council made a submission for the Ontario pre-budget consultations
  • February 2016: Ontario Council signed on with the Environmental Law Association and other signatories to submit a letter to Premier Wynne outlining our concerns regarding the process that Ontario has established to review Waukesha's water diversion proposal
  • Ontario Council signed on to
    Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care letter to Premier Wynne and will be sending an Ontario Council response to concerns
  • Letter sent to Premier Wynne, cc to Minister of Education re: Proposed Regulatory Changes under the Child Care and Early Years Act
  • Letter received from Premier Wynne
  • Meeting with Ontario Women's Directorate June 7
Club Anniversaries in 2016
      St. Catharines         1921          95
      Welland & District   1941          75
      North Bay                1941          75
      Windsor                   1946          70
      UWC North York      1951         65
      St. Thomas               1951         65
      Scarborough           1961         55
      Brampton                 1961         55
      Georgetown            1971         45
      Grimsby                   1991         25
      Kincardine               1991         25
      Nepean                    1991        25 
      Northumberland      1991        25
      Owen Sound & Dist. 1991        25 
Standing Committees Meetings
Enter these Date on Your Calendar Now!

September 24, 2016

January 21, 2017

March 25, 2017 

Fall Gatherings 2016
October 22, 2016
Ontario East
Hosted by CFUW Kanata

November 5, 2016
Ontario South Fall Gathering
Hosted by CFUW Burlington
"Challenging the Future:  The Power of Change"
Burlington Golf and Country Club
Registration begins at 9:00 a.m.
Program begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m.

November 12, 2016
Ontario Central
Hosted in Toronto by Central Region Clubs  
2017 Ontario Council AGM   

CFUW Ontario Council
Annual General Meeting 2017
Stratford Ontario 
More news on this Event to follow! 

2016 CFUW AGM and Conference
CFUW AGM and Conference
"Growing Toward a Renewed Tomorrow" 
June 23-25, 2016
St. Catharines, Ontario