President’s December Message

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Our 100th Anniversary:

Canada, as a nation, was 54 years young when CFUW St. Catharines first came to life as an organization in 1921. What an incredible group of women to have had the foresight and vision in establishing this chapter – one that is vibrant and very active today. We thank all who have so generously contributed to the ongoing success and value it has provided to women in our community during the past 100 years.

There is no doubt that the Covid-19 epidemic has challenged the celebration of our 100th anniversary in the style that we had originally planned. However, with creative thinking and the use of the internet, the 100th Anniversary liaison committee, the Virtual Garden Tour committee, the Program Committee, social media team and Advocacy group forged ahead and have provided countless ways to publicly demonstrate our continuing presence and importance in the community. A special thank you to everyone who has contributed to make this a great celebration to remember. Please take the time to read History of CFUW St. Catharines on our website. As we now enter the second century of our club – what role can we take on? Our actions today will make an impact for women in the future – The Power of Women Working Together!

 16 Days of Activism Flag Raising

I had the opportunity to proudly represent CFUW St. Catharines at the initial flag raising on November 25th at Niagara Region headquarters to recognize the 16 Days of Activism. As Chair Jim Bradley commented – it is more than raising a flag, it has great significance. It states that the region recognizes the need to provide a safe community for women and girls. Chair Bradley acknowledged that he has heard how much courage it takes for a woman to come forward and share her story. He recognized the tragedy of the missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada and expressed a need for a safe environment for all women and girls. The need for support is huge for both groups. The region is providing education as part of their commitment to the 16 Days of Activism campaign. Many thanks to the Niagara Region’s women’s advisory committee and Jean Tonogai, chair of our Advocacy Committee for successfully bringing this to the forefront within our community.

16 Days of Activism – November 25 to December 10th

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Highlights of some Events in Niagara Region:

November 25th, 11 am – Flag Raising at Niagara Region Headquarters on Schmon Parkway  – join President Maureen Shantz at this event. It is open to the public. All are welcome. Show support for the Region’s 16 Days campaign.

November 25th, 5pm – Lighting of the Main St Bridge in Welland – join CFUW Wellend & District on the east side of the bridge as it lights up in orange.

SIGNATURE EVENT – Sunday December 5th at PAC downtown St Catharines Film House at 4 pm. Live screening of movie “Beyond December 6th” followed by a panel discussion. Event is free but you need to “purchase” a ticket – Click Here. All COVID protocols in place. Hope to see you there!

 

President’s November Message

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Remembering November 11th

Remembrance Day is always a key day of importance in my life. I am so grateful for the sacrifices of  so many for the freedoms that we enjoy every day. More than 2,300,000 Canadians have served, resulting in the unfortunate loss of 118,000 men and women. Many of you may be impacted by a family member or friend that has served in the Canadian Forces at some point in time. Canadian women played an impressive role on the home front during WWI and WWII – in agriculture, industry, trades and volunteering for war-related work. Veterans of Canada identified that the changing role of women was influential in the decision to grant federal voting rights to women in 1917. “The impressive achievement of these trailblazing women still echo today”.

The ‘Nursing Sisters’ (2800 nurses) served with the Canadian Army Medical Corps at the front line during the First World War. The role of the Nursing Sisters (4500 nurses) was expanded to all three branches of Canada’s military during the Second World War with two-thirds of them serving overseas. Canadian women may have served with the Armed Forces, but they were only accepted into Military colleges in 1979. Finally, in 1989, the Canadian Forces were obliged to open all occupations to women. In 2006, Canada experienced its first loss of an active combat female soldier fighting on the front lines in Afghanistan. The National Memorial Silver Cross Mother represents mothers and widows of Canadian Soldiers who died during active duty or as a consequence of that duty. The mother selected by the Royal Canadian Legion lays a wreath on behalf of all mothers in Ottawa. I had the opportunity to be at the Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa several years ago. It was very touching.

We would like to thank the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 24 for laying the CFUW St. Catharines wreath on our behalf at the Memorial Park Cenotaph, St Paul Street, St Catharines again this year. They have asked that we not attend due to limited numbers for outdoor events. Please join in a minute of silence at 11 a.m. on November 11 to honour all of those who have given so much to peace.

Submitted by Maureen Shantz, President, CFUW St Catharines

President’s October Message

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The Growth and Power of Women

The recent election on September 20 had our attention for a number of reasons these past few weeks. Going forward, we will be looking for resolutions of the issues of concern and action toward progress for the promises made.

While final results are still being tabulated in some ridings, what was interesting to see was the number of candidates running for the five political parties. According to a not-for-profit organization, Equal Voice, women and gender-diverse candidates totaled 43% of all the candidates, up from 42% candidates in 2019. Women account for 100 seats of the total 332 current members of parliament. As of today, this is 30% female representation of all seats in parliament. We have a voice!

We have come a long way in just over 100 years when we were first given the right to vote and the first woman, Agnes Macphail, was elected to the House of Commons in 1921.

We wish all of our representatives the best and embolden them to collectively work together to make this a stronger and improved Canada, both locally and nationally, for the lives of women and children of all ages and all backgrounds. We will be actively listening and paying attention. We too have a voice.

Submitted by Maureen Shantz, President, CFUW St Catharines

Protect, Elect & Respect Canadian Women in Politics

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CFUW Ontario Council Speaker Series via Zoom
October 2nd, 2021
10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Senator Marilou McPhedran
Our first Speakers Series of the 2021-22 year will take place on Saturday October 2nd via ZOOM. This session’s topic is Protect, Elect and Respect Canadian Women in Politics. The speaker is Senator Marilou McPhedran who was appointed to the Senate in 2016, and is a human rights lawyer, professor and activist. The event is free but registration is required. Please register by 5 p.m. on October 1, 2021. The Waiting Room for the ZOOM meeting will be open at 9:45 AM. To register, please Click HERE
For the Speaker’s bio, click HERE

President’s September Message

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Welcome to the first newsletter of our new club year. It’s hard to believe that summer is coming to an end. Hopefully you have been able to safely connect with your family and friends. It has been so good for me to be able to see some family and have some long overdue hugs.

This is my first message to you as President of St. Catharines CFUW. We have so many people to thank for all of the hard work that they have done this past year. While we did that in May, I would like to thank Barb Legg and her Virtual Garden Tour team for a successful fundraiser during June and July, through the remarkable teamwork with Niagara College. Wow – unbelievable. It allows us to continue with our awards and bursaries for young women’s education and local agencies.

The summer has opened our eyes and our hearts to the challenges of young girls and women within our own country and others. The discovery of multiple unmarked graves at residential schools is difficult to comprehend and accept. Most recently, the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan leaves the future of women and education unknown there. We may not be able to change the past, but we can make a difference in the future. Stay informed.

Some changes are happening since our last meeting in May. Thank you to Elma Kimpel for her years of dedication and photography, Liina Veer as Chair of Advocacy, Valerie Parke for Document Storage and Karen Erin as Program Chair. Welcome to Barb Leslie as our lead photographer (amongst her other hats), Jean Tonogai for stepping into Advocacy, Carol Clarke as Program Chair and Susan Middleton as Interest Groups Coordinator. My apologies if I missed others.

While we have been virtual for the most part this past year – we have been very productive. We have a dynamic team that is looking to keeping us connected and well informed this fall. Stay tuned and stay involved.

Submitted by Maureen Shantz, President, CFUW St Catharines

2021 Fundraising Campaign Exceeds Goal

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100th Anniversary Campaign raises over $21,100  for young women’s scholarships

 August 3, 2021   –  CFUW St. Catharines ends its 2021 fundraising campaign on a high note, raising $21,100 for young women’s scholarships, and agencies that assist women and children.

Gratitude is expressed by the virtual event organizers and Club members to the host gardeners, presenters, event sponsors, Niagara College, and supporters of the 100th Anniversary Campaign.

The funds raised will ensure that 18 young women receive scholarships, bursaries and awards in 2022. The monies are distributed to students attending Brock University, high schools, the Adult Learning Centres and local agencies that support women and children.

“We raised $21,100  through sponsorships, online donations and the sale of more than 850 tickets, which surpassed our expectations,” said Maureen Shantz, Club president. “We are indebted to Niagara College, which receives two, previously established endowed bursaries, for their technical expertise and video production services in providing quality, high-calibre virtual garden tours for our virtual audience.”

“The community truly supported us. Our virtual audience was very pleased with the calibre of the event and the gardeners whose properties were showcased are delighted with the outcome – it was a win-win-win for everyone,” added Barb Legg, committee Co-Chair.

CFUW St. Catharines is a voluntary, self-funded, non-partisan, non-profit organization, committed to raising funds for young women’s post-secondary education and local agencies. There are approximately 100 clubs across Canada that are members of CFUW National, which also supports international efforts to improve the lives of girls and women world-wide. Locally, monthly meetings are held from September to May, with presentations on community issues and topics of general interest.  Members undertake advocacy work and participate in social activism on initiatives to remove barriers to women’s full participation in society.

Residents interested in learning more about the Club and how to become a member, can visit www.cfuwstcatharines.org for more information.

Contact:

Maureen Shantz, President, CFUW St. Catharines    905-325-8437

Barb Legg, Co-Chair, Virtual Garden Tour Committee  905-688-4175

Fact Sheet –  Campaign Sponsors

Production Partner and Friend

  • Niagara College

 Platinum Sponsor  

  • Kirkor Architects & Planners

 Silver Sponsor

  • Andrew’s Tree & Shrub Care
  • Cat’s Caboose Dining Coach and Bar Car
  • Lancaster Brooks & Welch LLP
  • Sullivan Mahoney LLP

Bronze Sponsor

  • Patricia Boyko, Donro Financial
  • Skyway Lawn Equipment Limited
  • Nicole Lalonde, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones
  • Patrick Little, Heelis Little Almas & Murray LLP
  • Raw Tibicos, Leslie Payne-Zimmer

 Continued Sponsorships

  • Avondale Food Stores
  • Stark Lumber
  • David Shapiro, Barrister and Solicitor
  • Salon Alessandro
  • Margaret Vail RE/MAX

Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries

 Brock University Awards:

CFUW Eleanor Shaw Award

CFUW Lily Bell Memorial Award for English

CFUW St. Catharines Bursary

CFUW Gail Jenkyns Memorial Bursary

CFUW St. Catharines 100th Anniversary Scholarship

Niagara College Awards:

CFUW Laura Sabia Bursary

CFUW St. Catharines Bursary

Math Awards:

High School Math Awards to each high school in St. Catharines

Adult Education Awards

Scientifically Yours

Niagara Regional Science Fair

Other:

Niagara Symphony Music Camp Bursary

 

Vote for Girls Education

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Out of 400+ entries, GWI was selected as a #GGPhotoContest finalist and they need your help to win up to $1,000 in support of Girls Education for Brighter Futures. Be sure to tell your friends and family. You can vote here: https://www.globalgiving.org/poll/vote/?pollOptionId=1604

Anti-Trafficking Resolution Press Release

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Mississauga, Ont. May 15, 2021: The Annual Meeting of the Canadian Federation of University Women/Ontario Council, representing 49 chapters throughout Ontario, passed and gave full support to a Resolution concerning Human Trafficking Awareness, Prevention and Detection.
 

Human Trafficking Awareness, Prevention and Detection

Resolved, that Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) Ontario Council urges the Ontario Provincial Government to urgently adopt mandatory instruction in Ontario’s Elementary and Secondary Schools as well as mandatory teacher training to prevent future victimization by educating all students and train all educators to be alert to the luring and coercive control techniques used by human traffickers and similar predators via tools and methods including, but not limited to:

  1. that the Ontario Provincial Government make mandatory additions to the Grade 9 and 10 Health and Physical Education Curriculum how to recognize unhealthy relationships specifically the coercive control and luring techniques used by human traffickers and similar predators, this will complement the Grade 1 to 8 Health and Physical Education Curriculum that includes age-appropriate learning that helps protect students from human trafficking;
  2. that the Ontario Provincial Government require all Ontario educators, both elementary and secondary, complete a mandatory annual anti-human trafficking digital training on awareness, prevention, detection and duty to report followed by comprehension assessment.

This resolution on Human Trafficking was initially researched by a retired teacher concerned about some of her students. She had not recognized or understood what was happening to them.

Sex trafficking is local and home-grown. According to Statistic Canada, Ontario, which accounts for 39% of the total Canadian population, has accounted for just over two-thirds (68%) of all police-reported human trafficking incidents since 2009. The Ontario Government, recognizing this, has created the antihuman trafficking strategy, being enacted via Bill 126. This adopted resolution hopes to encourage the government to look beyond its available current resources, and to establish mandatory training for all teachers.

Background:
Ontario Council of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) is a voluntary, self-funded,
non-profit organization with 49 chapters across the province, which is affiliated with the national CFUW, which has NGO consultative status with the United Nations.

Our mandate is to promote education and life-long learning, to encourage the participation of members in their communities and to enhance the status of women and girls.

Our main concerns include high quality public education, universal health care, a clean safe environment, the economic security of women as well as the prevention of violence against women.

Sandra Thomson
President, CFUW Ontario Council
president.cfuwontario@gmail.com

CFUW ONTARIO COUNCIL
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