Dates and Data: January 2003
From the CFUW Ontario Council President
From the CFUW Ontario Council PresidentWhen writing this message, I had a lively conversation with myself: -write about the superbly organised Ontario Council in Etobicoke - Thank Linda MacGregor and her team for a job well done. -There are members who think CFUW is non-political.- Tell the clubs about our presentation on high quality public education and education funding to the Ontario Equality in Education Task Force chaired by Dr. Rozanski. Thank Beth Haynes. -But there are members who think CFUW is non-political.- Write about our brief which is to be presented in the new year to the Ontario Government and which deals with health, education, affordable housing and poverty, youth in protective custody, water, cosmetic use of pesticides etc. Thank the Standing Committee Chairs, Teri Shaw, Marilyn Letts and Beth Haynes for it. -There may be many members who think CFUW is non-political.- But if you want to write about that you have to talk about the CFUW constitution. Do you want to risk that everyone's eyes glaze over, as soon as you mention the word constitution? -We have to talk about it.
A CFUW member wrote to me recently complaining that she thought that CFUW was getting too political and that involvement in politics was against the spirit of CFUW. I have heard similar comments before on occasions when CFUW policy was too ardently presented to the government of the day and the person expressing that criticism was a supporter of that government. Other members truly feel that since politics is "dirty business" CFUW should stay in pristine academic splendour, studying issues, creating flawless research backgrounds to resolutions, filling policy books with perfect resolutions. Why we would go through all this trouble if we are not to be "political" has always confounded me. It has been my strongly held traditional presupposition though, that we are an organisation that is non - partisan and non - sectarian in all our dealings. But non-political? Even our most innocuous activity, the awarding of scholarships, is political. When we award scholarships to women and girls, we are meddling in the social and educational systems, we are taking sides, for education and for women.
But when in doubt about appropriateness of beliefs and actions go to the source, in our case the National, Provincial and my own club CFUW/ Ottawa Club constitution. While the CFUW National and the CFUW Ontario Council constitutions say nothing about CFUW being non-partisan and non - sectarian, the CFUW/Ottawa constitution requires its members to "facilitate understanding, friendship and cooperation among university women, irrespective of race, religion or political opinion". So my concept of non - partisanship and non - sectarianism comes from my own club. How many clubs in Ontario have a similar article in their constitution? Most? All?
What I found in all three constitutions, however, is the thoroughly political and social purpose of our organisation: -University women unite! - Provide an opportunity for effectual concerted action! - Develop sound concepts of educational values! - See to it that public education in Canada is of high standards! - Encourage advanced study and research by women university graduates! -Take an intelligent interest in all aspects of public affairs! -Encourage active participation of qualified women in public affairs! -Feel responsible for your community! -Put your privileged education and professional training at the service of your community! - Be concerned with human rights! -Safeguard the economic, legal and professional status of Canadian women! -Improve the economic, legal and professional status of Canadian women!
The mothers of our Federation were not content with a local, provincial or even national focus of our activities only. Our "community" and our action is to include international fields: - Effect change at an international level! -Take action in concert with IFUW! -Encourage friendship, cooperation and understanding among university graduates world wide!
The Toronto University Women's Club will celebrate 100 years of its existence this year, our National and the International Federation of University Women were founded in 1919. For more than 80 years our members' sights have been on a wider circle of action than just personal and professional development. Non-political you say? Don't take my word for it, check out the CFUW constitution yourself.
This is the time of year when we make new year's resolutions. It
is not too early to resolve that when looking at your club programmes for
next year, that you will remember that wider circle of study and action.
- And what about bridge, and literature and gourmet groups, skiing and
hiking and fun and laughter? Well, did I not tell you? They are equally
essential. Without all these activities we would be very poorly balanced.
They make up the other firm leg our clubs stand on. May we always stand
on both legs.
With the very best wishes for the year 2003 to all CFUW members in
The January 18th meeting of the Legislation Committee will revert to its normal schedule - a speaker in the morning and discussions in the afternoon. Our guest in the morning will be Doris Grinspun, Executive Director, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, who will be speaking on the Romanow Report, Medicare reform and the nursing situation. Please visit their web page at www.rnao.org. The Association strongly supports the final report of the Romanow Commission, and is concerned that it will be relegated to a shelf. Public support will be needed if the provinces are to accept its proposals. After lunch, our discussions will include updates and feedback on letter-writing, as well as beginning preparations for the upcoming elections. Please think about your experiences with letter-writing, in particular, your problems. Your successes will be a joy, but your frustrations are where we can all learn. Getting ready for the election can be two-fold – encouraging women to vote (the Amean Association of University Women have a very sophisticated Voter Education Campaign) and preparing questions (and answers) for candidates. It should be a stimulating day.
Decision Making at Standing Committee MeetingsThe discussions of the resolution at the 2002 OC AGM, both publicly, during the business sessions and privately before and after the sessions have pointed to the need for clear deadlines for the resolution process and a more transparent democratic process by which we arrive at decisions during Standing Committee meetings.
With respect to the decision making process in Standing Committee meetings, common practice has been to decide by consensus of the members present. At standing committee meetings, if clubs send more than one representative, the decision process may be affected. Clubs that are able to send more than one representative have a stronger voice than those that can send only one representative. However, the democratic process used by Ontario Council for AGM is one vote per club.
The open discussion format of the standing committee meetings allows for the sharing of many different view points and allows for each member to be heard. Decisions are made only after the group has had an opportunity to fully discuss the issues and consider the merits of the different viewpoints. Therefore, to bring the decision process in line with that of OC AGMs, at Standing Committee meetings we will use the one vote per club method of decision making. Only those clubs present at a particular Standing Committee meeting will be entitled to vote.
ResolutionsThe Ontario Council Executive will continue to evaluate the timeline for Resolutions as well as the processes for submission and review. The formal date for receipt of resolutions of April 15th is set in the Constitution (By-law XI, 5, Constitution). If we receive any Intents (By-law XI, 4.a & b, Constitution) we will encourage the completion of the Resolution(s) earlier than the prescribed date, so that we in turn may be able to distribute the Resolution(s) to the clubs for study and analysis as early as possible.
Please remember that clubs may also sponsor a Resolution "that is provincial in scope and relevant to Ontario" (By-Law XI,1, Constitution).
2003 Resolutions Timeline
Submit Intents to:(a) Regional Director (b) Relevant committee chair (c) Ontario Council President (d) O/C Legislation chair Chair: Marilyn Letts, Chair
At the Standing Committee meeting in September Dr. Sylvia Novac an independent research consultant specializing in housing and gender-analysis presented the research report: On Her Own: Homelessness among young women in Canada for Status of Women Canada. In the discussion that followed one of our members who is a public health nurse raised the issue of girls and body image.
With the assistance of Lynn Franklin, Regional Director for Ontario South, I have arranged for Dr. Gail McVey to speak at the January meeting. Dr McVey, a Registered Psychologist, is Director of the Community Outreach Program for Eating for all Ontario outside of Toronto
Dr. McVey is Chair of the Body Image Coalition of Peel, which has as its goal to raise awareness and understanding of body image issues and eating disorders in the community. She is a co-author of the Coalition's prevention manual entitled "Every BODY is a Somebody". She completed a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children, where she developed and evaluated a school-based prevention program for elementary school children and their parents.
Websites to check out:
National Eating Disorders Information Centre:
Human RightsAlso at the January Standing Committee meeting we will use the Educational Package for Ontario Schools to learn more about Human Rights using case studies, quizzes and fact sheets. It may be an eye-opener to be back in a classroom setting!
WWW SitesAlso in follow-up to the September meeting Carolyn Johns, President Brampton CFUW and Fatima Myers shared the website of the National Anti-Poverty Organization www.napo-onap.ca as a valuable resource.
Please bring to share any excellent sources such as websites. If you email me, I'll prepare a list for handout at the January meeting.Chair: Elizabeth Haynes
We have two interesting sessions planned for the Education Committee in January. In the afternoon, we will hear from Sam McKinlay. Sam is well versed in the public education funding formula. He will be speaking about the current formula, as well as responding to the Education Equality Task Force Recommendations (the Rozanski Report) that was released on Tuesday, December 10. A complete copy of the Rozanski Report can be downloaded from www.edfundingreview.on.ca.
As usual, the morning session will include an opportunity to share activities of local clubs in support of education. Please bring copies of letters your clubs have written--letters to the Education Equality Task Force; letters to your local MPP's in support of the public funding of public education resolution or other letters your club may have written on education issues. We can share these letters and it is good for me to keep them as part of the Standing Committee Files. We will also discuss education questions that can be directed to candidates during the next round of elections.
Finally, we will discuss the Equity in Education Tax Credit. Many members of the committee are interested in continuing to look at this issue, and we will be formulating an approach for further activity.ONTARIO WEST: Regional Director, Ardith Toogood
The Region of Ontario West is comprised of 14 CFUW clubs situated in the area bounded by Southampton and Owen Sound in the north, Orangeville and Guelph in the east, St. Thomas in the south and Windsor and Sarnia in the west. In size these clubs range from 8 to 273 members, and in visibility within their communities they range from somewhat to quite well-known. This fall two clubs in particular provided services to their communities which not only involved high-profile speakers, but also attracted many citizens to meetings which were held in addition to the regular CFUW monthly meetings. In both cases the local media were there to record the event and of course raise the profile of the clubs as well.
CFUW Owen Sound & Area featured Sally Armstrong whose speech on the schooling of girls in Afghanistan helped to increase the knowledge of their club members and the townspeople who were lucky enough to get tickets. CFUW Sarnia sponsored a huge event at a local high school so that students would have the opportunity to learn with them the experiences of a space traveller. The picture that appeared in the paper was Colonel Chris Hadfield with one of the students, autographing the model of the Canadarm which the student had constructed. (See a detailed write-up of these two events elsewhere in Dates and Data.)
CFUW Southport has been setting an exemplary model for advocacy with their Brief to the Equity in Education Task Force in September and their many subsequent letters to Government representatives not only on issues regarding this year's resolutions but also on those stemming from other policy topics. CFUW Kitchener-Waterloo sent some of their Political Action committee members to both a Symposium and a Public Meeting on a pending Regional by-law regarding the cosmetic use of pesticides before writing letters to the MPPs on the issue. The above-mentioned clubs along with CFUW London also sent letters to their MPs on The Kyoto Protocol.
CFUW Windsor has submitted an Intent for a National resolution on Public Funding of Public Education. CFUW Stratford's article, "Change the World,"submitted for their September newsletter by one of the authors of the Cosmetic Pesticides resolution, may give inspiration and encouragement to all clubs planning to write resolutions. It describes the journey of a resolution from inception to adoption, including the bumps, hills and wrong turns along the way!
CFUW Chatham-Kent, along with planning the next Ontario West Spring Gathering, raised $425 for their Scholarship Fund by holding a cooking class at a local Japanese restaurant. This club also made a difference in the lives of some local children through their donations to the duffel bags/suitcase program of the Chatham-Kent Integrated Children's Services.
A new interest group, The Breakfast Club, has been formed in the CFUW Orangeville & District club. Besides eating and enjoying fellowship this group, which has attracted 34 members so far, has a Vision Statement and features motivational speakers each month. What an inspiring way to start a day! Happy Holidays to all.
ONTARIO SOUTH: Lynn Franklin, Regional Director Ontario South Region has had a very busy fall. Clubs have embraced the advocacy theme and copies of letters to M.P.s, M.L.A.s, Hospital Boards, Mayors and even the Chair of the Education Task Force on Funding fill my Outlook Folder. Monthly programs are challenging and motivate members to get involved in local, national and international issues. CFUW Oakville organized a panel on Hot Issues in Health. Panel members included the president and CEO of the local hospital, and a board member from the Ontario Medical Association. CFUW Mississauga invited Flora MacDonald to speak on Experiences in Afghanistan. Clubs report that membership numbers are increasing!
Club newsletters and local newspapers record the resumes of our scholarship winners. Most clubs are increasing the number of awards/scholarships available this year because of the double cohort. To that end, fundraising continues. CFUW Mississauga held a successful fall wine tasting; CFUW Niagara Falls, an enjoyable Dinner Theatre; CFUW Welland, a community used book sale; CFUW Milton and CFUW St Catharines, live and silent auctions.
CFUW Brampton has been working diligently on the Spring Gathering. Executive workshops, and round-table discussions are planned. Dr. Michael Rachlis, private consultant in health policy analysis and co-author of two national bestsellers about Canada's health care system will be the keynote speaker. Please keep Saturday, April 5th free, for a worthwhile day.
Several clubs are marking special milestones this year. CFUW Norfolk and District celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special dinner in Port Dover. Eighteen past presidents representing twenty-six years of leadership and five charter members with fifty years of continuous membership were in attendance. A book entitled, Our First Fifty Years, was compiled to mark the anniversary and recorded "the high standards of accomplishments set by all who have preceded us".
Clubs in Ontario North have had a success fall with interesting programmes and social events. CFUW Thunder Bay and CFUW Sudbury held their annual Fall Receptions to renew old acquaintances and welcome new members. CFUW Thunder Bay has chosen the theme of Health Issues for this year. Based on one of the resolutions passed at the AGM in Richmond, the club will hold a public meeting on April 14, 2003, on the topic of Organ and Tissue Donation. The club continues to "Build Bridges" with the local community of aboriginal women graduates. Their annual Christmas Fete and Bazaar was held in November, with proceeds going towards bursaries. CFUW Sudbury, Muskoka and North Bay held annual Christmas socials, with Sudbury and Muskoka having silent auctions for scholarships, and collecting funds to sponsor a needy family and to contribute to the Salvation Army Christmas Hamper Fund. North Bay donated gifts to Transition House, and sent money to a school in Zambia. Sudbury again participated in LEAF's 13th Person's Day Breakfast. Both Sudbury and Muskoka are preparing for their annual author's night. For the second year, CFUW Muskoka in partnership with Nipissing University hosted a lecture series.
Following the model used at the September Standing Committee Meeting, Muskoka's Standing Committee Liaison led the membership in an Advocacy Letter-Writing Workshop prior to the December general meeting. CFUW Muskoka hopes that a trained membership will be more effective in their advocacy efforts. A letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bill Graham, in response to the club's letter expressing support for Canada's signature and ratification of the Optional Protocol was received.
CFUW Muskoka was proud to celebrate two of its members, Ruth Bell-Towns and Susan Daglish, who were nominated for the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards for their outstanding achievement in community volunteerism. Ruth Bell-Towns was the award recipient.
"Thank you for your letter addressing our concerns about water exports"....."appreciated your support of the ratification"......."importance to the economic, health, social and environmental well being of" ........"these resolutions are supported by the Vaughan Club....". and so these and many other letters were dispatched by Central region Clubs to our politicians in the hopes of influencing them on issues of importance to our federation.
However, equally important to our advocacy efforts is the education, fellowship and fun provided at our general meetings and study groups. In January, Orillia will be hosting an Antiques Road Show followed in February by a more sobering insight into "Ground Zero" while Vaughan members learned last September about Islam from a doctor from Zimbabwe.
CFUW Barrie & District has "linked up" with the Vaughan Club to co-host the April 12, 2003 Spring Gathering as well as "forming links" with the Barrie Literacy Council, while the North York and North Toronto clubs will be studying what the Toronto City Summit Alliance proposes to improve the economy, education, infrastructure, immigration and social structure of Canada's largest city. CFUW Oshawa members, through informative experts and a prospective resolution, are determined to fight the environmental dangers of sludge dumping, the practice of dumping recycled paper, composts and other waste products into quarries where they threaten to contaminate their water table.
Etobicoke members, celebrating their 50th anniversary, found out what one former Prime Minister's wife meant when she said "Behind every successful man there stands a surprised woman!!" Do you know who she is?
Our sisters to the east in the hills of Northumberland, commemorate the passing of their members by donating money to a local library so that a book can be purchased in their honour. Both Northumberland and Peterborough Clubs received the CFUW Certificate for Increased Membership (over 10% increase in one year!!). Aurora-Newmarket has two, very timely, programs this year; last month, it dealt with global values, moral awareness and ethical dilemmas, while in January, climate change will be highlighted.
The Toronto Caucus December 6th luncheon was sold out within the first few weeks. Karen Empringham, CFUW Ajax-Pickering, disappointed at not getting tickets for herself and business associates, turned bad luck into the Caucus' good fortune by persuading them to go out to lunch on the 6th and donating to the Ecole Polytechnique Award, established in honour of the 14 women murdered in 1989 on that date.
Many Clubs, including Markham-Unionville are advertising themselves through book marks which have their program agenda on one side and a list of the benefits of joining on the other. Place these on a distribution table at your local library and see what happens. Habitat for Humanity will be visiting CFUW Scarborough in January. Its president has started a new interest study group called "Making a Difference", which could use the work behind Habitat to raise awareness and support on the broader issue of the lack of affordable housing in this province and country. UWC Toronto welcomed a speaker from the Interval House for Battered Women while Leaside-East York's guest night in October was a performance by Act II Studio/Ryerson Theatre entitled "IF NOT NOW, WHEN?", a research-based dramatic presentation on aging in our time, showing new possibilities, old attitudes and barriers. CFUW Weston followed up on the Ontario Council AGM with a study of the Famous 5 enhanced by a stamp collection of women of distinction and an audio recording of "The Pink Tea". Will tell you more in May !!
The 10 clubs of Ontario East are busy with many interesting projects and activities. CFUW Belleville & District launched their book Quinte Women of Distinction on October 5th, 2002. CFUW Renfrew & District celebrated their 45th anniversary on October 21st, 2002 with Linda Souter as their guest speaker. On November 2nd, 2002 CFUW Kingston held a public forum on the new youth criminal justice act. The main message from all presenters was that we (Canada & Ontario) are spending far too much on the incarceration of young people and not enough on low key responses to casual offenders. For every 1000 young people, Canada takes 44 to court and sentences 12 of them to custody and only 2 have committed violent crimes. In the US only 8 kids per 1000 are sentenced to custody. A special thank you to Joanne Dovey, of CFUW Orleans for accepting the position as chair of the 2003 LAC committee for the OC AGM 2003.Also thanks to CFUW Kingston for agreeing to host the Spring Gathering on May 3rd, 2003 for East Ontario.
Ontario Council Clubs Write!
EVENTS PAST & FUTURE
KINGSTON CLUB HOSTS PUBLIC FORUMA public forum on the new YOUTH CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT was held in Kingston with over 60 people in attendance on Saturday November 2nd. Issues involved in the new act (the changes in jurisdiction and how these changes will impact on the youth in conflict with the law) were considered with many suggestions as to how to proceed from here.
This act, BILL C-7, was passed by Federal Parliament in May 2001 and is scheduled to be proclaimed on April 2003.
Speakers were Mr. Justice Rommel Masse who introduced the topic, Dr. Don Campbell retired professor of the faculty of education who introduced the current situation in Kingston. Mary Lynn Cousins-Brame who discussed the different community support services. Dr. Gary Bernfeld (critique) has done academic research on the effectiveness of approaches in relation to recidivism / reintegration and shared his findings. Prof. Nick Bala dealt with the legal perspective. He is the author of Canadian Youth Justice Law and is a professor of law at Queens University. According to Nick Bala youth incarceration in Ontario is twice of that in the United States and six times the rate in England. Depending on how it is measured, Ontario's youth recidivism rate is around 40%. After a brainstorming session in small groups, Bryan Bowers pulled together a summary of the day.
TORONTO CAUCUS LUNCHEONA Great Success!
December 6th Luncheons are very special events. We enjoy a
splendid speaker, an excellent meal, and the friendly, Christmas-festooned
warmth of the Toronto Club House. The fourteen roses that centre the
dining room tables symbolize the fourteen girls who were murdered thirteen
years ago and remembering those young women is the compelling reason that
so many CFUW members from Ontario Clubs come together to contribute to our
Ecole Polytechnique Award. As a result of our three December 6th
Luncheons, we now have donated well-over $4000 to the Award.
CENTRAL SPRING GATHERINGRenew and Renergize!
Saturday April 12th at the Kortright Conservation Centre in Kleinburg, this event is to be jointly hosted by CFUW Barrie and CFUW Vaughan.
The Kyoto Accord has dominated the news the past few months. The
Kortright Centre is known throughout Canada for its research in renewable
forms of energy namely solar and wind energy. Renewable Energy is the
theme of this event. Come to Kleinburg and choose a workshop that will
enable you to have a better understanding of alternative sources of
energy. The workshop choices are President's Forum, Water Conservation,
Energy Conservation and Aboriginal Life. The Kortright staff will be
conducting the workshops. Each presentation will include a short walk on
Kortright's scenic trails. Casual dress will be the order of the day along
with comfortable footwear. Allan Foster who is the director of Kortright
will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon.
GALA EVENING WITH SALLY ARMSTRONGCFUW Owen Sound & Area hosted an enormously successful evening with author and activist Sally Armstrong. Almost 200 guests were captivated by her account of her experiences in Afghanistan. Guests were treated to a variety of elegant hors d'oeuvres prepared by our members as well as a bubbly cranberry punch. Our wine bar was a big hit due to the handsome bartenders (husbands of members) who wore tuxedos for the occasion. The event raised over $4500 for our Scholarship Fund. Sally was particularly generous with her time by agreeing to numerous media interviews. This gave positive publicity to our local club. We are also very appreciative of our members who were all involved in the gala in some way.
With the help of the success of this event, the Owen Sound & Area
CFUW has established itself as one that values fellowship and has a strong
sense of purpose.
COLONEL CHRIS HADFIELD
On November 5, 2002 CFUW Sarnia sponsored a presentation by
Colonel Chris Hadfield, Canada's first astronaut to walk in space when he
was in charge of installing the Canadarm 2 on the International Space
Station. This event for our community was arranged through the Canadian
Space Agency by a member of our club who for many years has known Colonel
Hadfield, a former member of our community.