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CFUW Ontario Council

Speakers Series February 25, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

On Zoom

Registration is now open for OC’s third Speakers Series of the 2022-23 year. Safe, decent, and affordable housing has become unattainable by lower income families, single parent families – usually led by females, and Black and Indigenous families. This session of the Speakers Series will help us to understand two possible solutions. The event will take place on Saturday February 25 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Please click here to register.

Affordable housing affects not only the lower middle class, but also the homeless whose lives focus on warmth, hydration, and sustenance before finding safe places to sleep once the municipal-approved beds are taken.  Such safe places also impact the safety of citizens in downtown areas.

All three levels of government in Ontario have touted solutions to this problem, but have, for the most part, offered few if any workable solutions.  Relying on developers to provide a percentage of their developments for affordable housing has not worked well.  Even redefining the green belt is likely not to work.

Cooperative housing used to be a solution, but has fallen out of favour.  No such units have been approved in years.  Life leases may be a solution for a few.  Tiny houses defined as houses ranging from 96 to 260 square feet are not approved in all municipalities.

Using Barrie as an example, there are two working solutions to the provision of affordable housing: Habitat for Humanity Huronia and Barrie Housing.

On February 25, Robert Cikoja, the Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity Huronia and Melissa Scott, Operations and Development Manager for Barrie Housing, will outline the growing success of Huronia’s provision of safe, decent, affordable houses for home ownership.

The Speakers Series is free but advance registration is required. Please click here to register.

The start time indicated on your registration confirmation is 10 a.m. which is when the plenary will begin. Please plan to connect to the meeting a few minutes before 10. All attendees in the waiting room will be admitted to the meeting at about 9:55 a.m.

Red Dress Project

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The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) is honoured to announce the return of The Red Dress Exhibit: If Only These Dresses Could Tell Their Story. This important exhibit will be remounted in Robertson Theatre at the FirstOntario PAC and will run Wednesday 9 November to Sunday 13 November 2022.

Created by Michele-Elise Burnett (Métis MNO citizen with Algonquin roots, Bear Clan), Artistic Director of Celebration of Nations and President of Kakekalanicks, and in collaboration with affected families, Elders, and local Indigenous community members, this exhibit honours Indigenous voices silenced far too soon and shares the untold stories of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls and 2Spirit (MMIWG2S) from Niagara and Western New York with a powerful and surreal collection of 13 suspended red dresses adorned in ribbons, beadwork, appliqués and paint in an immersive gallery setting.

“The exhibit is intended to increase awareness for the epidemic of the ongoing horrific systemic racial crimes targeting Indigenous women and girls; to remember the lost lives of the victims; to teach; to give Indigenous women a voice; to inspire a new cross-cultural generation based on inclusivity, compassion, love and; to collectively offer the MMIWG2S our love, gratitude, and create a safe, nurturing and welcoming environment for Indigenous Peoples,” says exhibit creator and curator, Michele-Elise Burnett. “With Indigenous women being victims of murder more than 10 times the national average, this exhibit is about empathic LOVE.”

Based on the 13 Grandmother Moons and the cycle of the women, The Red Dress Exhibit will feature stories of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls and 2Sprit (MMIWG2S) from Indigenous Peoples whose loved ones fell victim to these crimes. Each red dress will be as unique and beautiful as the MMIWG2S it represents, and the ribbons sewn on the dresses will be the keepers of their story. This exhibit will include a produced audio documentary for each dress, narrative signage, and an interpretive brochure. Attendees should bring earbuds for their phones to listen to audio documentary as they walk through the space.

Violet Printup of Tuscarora Nations, an Indigenous youth collaborator on the exhibit said, “Missing and murdered Indigenous women is an epidemic that has recently come to light, but Indigenous peoples have been facing this since the beginning of exploration. With The Red Dress Exhibit, I want to bring awareness to all people, but also be able to help combat, as well as bring an end to MMIWG2SG.”

All are welcome to the opening reception on Wednesday 9 November at 6pm in the Algoma Lobby at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.

Robertson Theatre, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre,
250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines, ON

Wed 9 Nov, 5-8pm (opening reception at 6pm)
Thurs 10 Nov, 11am-8pm
Fri 11 Nov, 11am-8pm
Sat 12 Nov, 12-6pm
Sun 13 Nov, 12-4pm


There will also be a special presentation of the documentary Finding Dawn on Sat 12 Nov at 3 pm in The Film House at the PAC.  Acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh’s compelling documentary puts a human face on a national tragedy – the epidemic of missing or murdered Indigenous women in Canada. Finding Dawn takes a journey into the heart of Indigenous women’s experience, from Vancouver’s skid row, down the Highway of Tears in northern BC, and on to Saskatoon, where the murders and disappearances of these women remain unsolved.

COBS Bread Fundraiser

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COBS Bread Ridley Square is offering a “Loaf a Month” Card for club members to sell.  The card is typically sold for $25 with $12.50/card being refunded to the bakery and $12.50/card being retained by the club.  The card is valid for one free loaf of any kind in the bakery every month for a year (12 free loaves).  The purchaser of the card gets to choose any loaf they desire each and every month for a year. The cost per loaf works out to just over $2.50 per loaf with the club earning half that back!
The value of the card depends on what Loaf is chosen but to give you a sense of the value, our white and whole wheat loaves cost $4.60 and our most expensive loaf costs $8.75 so whoever purchases the card could see savings of anywhere from $30 to $80 over the year!

  • The club will initially be given custom printed and numbered cards to sell.  Each card is to be sold for $25. At the end of the campaign, the club will return to the bakery any unsold cards as well as payment of $12.50 for every card sold.(We will have extra cards printed in the event that the club needs more.)The club will determine how best to sell the cards. This letter explains the program and requests that the form be returned with payment to club and then the club distribute the cards directly to the members.
  • Contact Christine Marks (905-525-0111) if you would like to buy a card.

If for some reason a member accidently loses a card – notify the President of the club immediately. The number on that card will be nullified and not be able to be used unless found. COBS wants this to be easy for you to execute and want to see you raise as much money as you can!

  • The cardholder will come into the bakery every month and will choose any loaf available that day and will get it free of charge. Their card will be stamped at that time and they will not be charged for the loaf. The process will repeat itself every month until the card has been stamped for every month.
  • Families can purchase multiple cards but only one card can be used per bakery visit. To clarify if a family currently buys a loaf of bread every week, they could choose to buy 4 cards and use a different card every week of the month. All we ask is that a customer not walk in with 4 cards at the same time and request 4 free loaves at the same time as we bake small runs and want to make sure we have ample inventory for all our customers.
  • The expiry date is set for January 31, 2024 so purchasers will have ample time to redeem their card.
  • The card is only valid at the COBS Bread Ridley Square, St.Catharines location. If someone misses a month and comes to the bakery in February with a missing stamp for January, we will of course honour the free loaf for January. In the end we want our customers to be happy with us and the fundraiser.

Have a concern?  905-321-8463

Membership Gift Basket Winner

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Congratulations to Anne Bisson, winner of the draw for the Membership Gift Basket. All members who paid their dues by end of day September 30th were eligible for the draw. Membership committee created a list and notified Christine Marks, our VP, how many members qualified. Christine prepared numbered tickets and asked her neighbour, a past CFUW Award recipient, to draw the winning number & place it into an envelope which she sealed. At the October meeting, the envelope was opened, revealing #12, which membership then identified as belonging to Anne, who was thrilled to be the recipient.

President’s October Message 2022

What a fantastic turnout for our first in person meeting in September! Such excitement and enthusiasm! It was a delight to see so many friends while making new ones as well. There were so many interesting people. The sign-up tables were very busy and members were excited at being able to participate in interest groups and activities again. Let’s keep up the momentum!

Thank you to Maureen Chudyk for volunteering to assist Pat Paulin with the website, and to Michelle DeJonghe who is our new Email Coordinator. Now, we just need you to volunteer if you aren’t already! It would be lovely to have everyone involved, making this a true member-run club! Check the website, find out the area that interests you and contact the chair. They will be pleased to harness your interest for the greater good of all of us.

We will be having a COBS Bread fund raiser starting at our October meeting. Tickets will be $25.00 each and are redeemable for bread over a 14-month period. Since this yummy bread usually sells from $4.00 to over $7.00 a loaf, it’s a great deal! An email fully explaining the COBS Bread Raiser will be sent to each member soon. We have 300 tickets to sell! Our club will receive 50% of the profits! One of our members mentioned she is buying one ticket for each of her children for Christmas. Brilliant!

Many of our members have filled in the membership forms and paid their dues, however not all have responded. Please make an effort to complete your form, pay your dues and contribute to the Club and/or Charitable Fund if you can as soon as possible (and before October 12) so we can update our records and submit our numbers to National and OC.

Don’t forget to bring your own beverage to the meeting.

Let’s work together to make this a very special year for all of us at CFUW!

Submitted by Anne Marie Stockwell, President

Take Back the Night

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Gender-Based Violence on Post-Secondary Campuses

Research has shown that one in five women will experience sexual assault while studying at post-secondary institutions. Women with intersecting identities including Indigenous women, women of colour, LGBTQ2S+ and women with disabilities face higher rates of violence.

CFUW advocates that colleges and universities must continue to update their sexual violence and harassment policies to ensure a safe post-secondary campus environment.  In 2017, CFUW surveyed Canadian universities and colleges to compare current policies on gender-based violence.  The findings of the research were published in the Sexual Violence and Harassment Policies in Post-Secondary Institutions in Canada Final Report in 2020. Click on the link to view this interesting research project.

Last fall the students at Western University in London staged a rally demanding the University administration take steps to create a safe environment in which to work and study. The University responded expediently and in May 2022 released a document detailing the many changes they plan to implement.

These were the words of Alan Shepard, President of Western: “We have listened to our campus community and our expert partners. Together with them, we want to be leaders in the work to prevent gender-based violence from happening on university campuses and throughout society.” Read the complete Global news release by clicking on this link:

Western University unveils plan to tackle gender-based and sexual violence on campus |


President’s September Message 2022

What a joy to be together again in person this year! Zoom did help to keep us together during the interim, but there is nothing like an in-person smile, shake of the hand or hug!

Given the circumstances in the past couple of years, we have done well. Thanks to our virtual meetings we have been able to keep in touch with our terrific executive. Many thanks to our Past-President Maureen Shantz for her dedicated leadership during these difficult times as well as our Committee Chairs and their fantastic members. I can’t help but marvel at the work they have done this past year. Not an easy task given they worked mostly virtually.

The Communication, Program, Advocacy committees and our House and Garden Tour Group are a marvel! At the last meeting in May, we were updated on all the achievements of these groups. If you missed it, please refer to our website. There is so much information to refer to or find out about there. Be sure to check it often. The Brochure has all the presenters for our meetings outlined. It is so inviting you’ll want to check it often. An organization chart has also been added for your convenience.

National is still trying to decide on our new name. Some names considered are: Canadian Federation of United Women; Canadian Federation of Universal Women and a few others. These and others were trying to save the CFUW initials. Other names are also considered which do not have the same letters. If you have a suggestion, I’m happy to forward it to National for consideration.

I thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president this year. As you know, last year was not one of my better years, but I pledge to do my best. I will need your support. If I ask, please say “Yes”. I promise nothing I ask of you will be too onerous and I know you will enjoy the position. We still have a few positions to fill, one is a Fundraising Chair. The other, someone who will send emails to our members. Training and help will be provided. No job is demanding if we all chip in!

At our first meeting in September, you will be able to sign up for the many interest groups. Also, if there is someone who would like to start an interest group, speak with Susan Middleton who is our Interest Group Coordinator. Please take the time to check our website.

To save paper and cost, note that messages will appear on the website to keep us up to date on everything CFUW. That way each of us will be aware of what’s new and information important to all of us. Our newsletter is full of interesting information. Be sure to read it. It is a wealth of information!

Please get in touch with me with any suggestions for our club. I’ll be happy to hear from you.

Remember: People who help others become fuller versions of themselves.

Submitted by Anne Marie Stockwell, President

Forced out by Climate Change?

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Join CaMeUs (CFUW, Mexican Federation of University Women, and Women-Graduates-USA) for a webinar exploring migration that has resulted from extreme climate change worldwide. Panelists will concentrate on causes, results, and proactive approaches to preparing for climate migrants in North America. This session was first organized by CaMeUs members in Canada (CFUW) , Mexico (FEMU) and USA (WG-USA) as part of the Commission on the Status of Women March 2022, when there was a Zoom problem with the video.

“Forced Out by Climate Change? Proactive Planning in North America” will take place on Friday, September 9 at 4pm ET.