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2007

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Between the Laughter: CBC Newsworld, The Lens
Tuesday, Dec 11 at 10 pm, ET/ 7 pm PT
Comedy is an unusual pursuit for someone who is hearing impaired. Stepen O'Keefe must work as hard on his pronunciation as he does on his jokes. Immersing viewers in the heard of Stephen's demanding life, the documentary follows along as he spends time with his young son, runs a business with his wife, prepares to move into a new home, and nurtures his blossoming comedy career. This is a humour filled profile-from life in between comedy acts to the realities of being caught between a hearing world and a silent one. Read More
December 8, 2007

FAFIA Dismayed by the Closing of Key Women’s Group
The Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) expresses its dismay at the closure of the offices of the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL). As a long-standing member group of FAFIA and collaborator on key policy issues affecting women, this closure represents a significant loss to women in Canada. Read More

September 22, 2007
The world premiere of Stories for Hemingway's Havana
Written and Performed by Brian Gordon Sinclair
(Recipient of the prestigious Sir Tyrone Guthrie Award for acting)
When: July 7, 2007 at 7 pm
Where: OISE (Ontario Institute of Studies in Education) 7th floor Peace Lounge, 252 Bloor Street West
(this is a FREE event)
presented by CAPA (Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault)
This is a Mad Pride associated event
Read More
July 4, 2007
Call for Participants: Study of Online Social Economy Organizations
Sherida Ryan, a graduate student at OISE's Social Economy Centre is seeking participants
for a research study of online social enterprises.
Follow this link for details and contact information.
June 18, 2007

MAD Pride Day - July 14, 2007 - An International Day Recognizing Mad People’s Movement in Toronto
Survivors! ... Consumers! ... Mad Folks! ... Allies ... Activists ...

Help Celebrate Mad Pride Toronto!
Join the BED PUSH - A pride parade of sorts
Gather at 1pm at the front door of CAMH 1001 Queen Street West at 1pm.
We will march to Parkdale Activity & Recreation Center for a celebration!

Image by Paul CôtéMad Pride Day, July 14th, an international day recognizing Mad People’s movement has been proclaimed as such, within the city of Toronto.

Help recognize and celebrate psychiatric survivors, consumers and mad folks by getting involved in and supporting Toronto's first ever Mad Pride Bed Push, a parade of sorts.

The idea of a Bed Push is inspired by our British counterparts who staged The Great Escape Bed Push, as a Mad Pride event last year.

Dressed in Pajamas a group of campaigners pushed a psychiatric bed from Millview Psychiatric Hospital in Brighton, 60 miles to the original site of “Bedlam” the Bethlem Asylum in London, all the while being pursued by a giant syringe. The aim of the stunt was to raise awareness about the poor levels of choice of treatments and the widening use of force in the psychiatric system.

When: July 14, 2007 at 1:00 pm
Where: CAMH, 1001 Queen Street West

Speakers: City Counselor Gord Perks,
M.P.P. Cheri DiNovo, & M.P. Peggy Nash

Call or email us, let us know that you care about Mad Pride by getting involved in it. Read More


June 11, 2007

Women Against Poverty Take Over Abandoned Building
See Photos and listen to Audio from the Women Against Poverty Collective: Housing Takeover Day Rally and March
en francais

Photos:
John Bonnar: www.johnb.smugmug.com/gallery/...
Graeme Bacque: http://tinyurl.com/327u5j

Audio:
http://www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php?id=23409

Articles:
CTV Article: Police end anti-poverty group's house squat - Sun. Jun. 3 2007
http://tinyurl.com/3cbkd7

CITYNews: Police Clash With Protesters At Affordable Housing Rally - Sun. June 3, 2007 http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_11648.aspx

Women Against Poverty Collective (WAPC) - Press Release
Women Against Poverty Demand Government Action On Housing: Release dd June 3, 2007

June 4, 2007

Lack of Quality Non-Profit Child Care a "Disgrace" Say Elementary Teachers
ETFO Press Release dd May 30, 2007
Poor quality care in licensed Ontario child care facilities documented in recent media reports dramatically underlines the need for a national, non-profit child care program, says the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

ETFO President Emily Noble acknowledged that the Ontario government quickly responded to concerns about quality of care by promising to post details of child care inspections on a government website. However, the issue of unsatisfactory child care continues to be a serious concern, she said. Read More
May 30, 2007

Legal appeal of Ontario Energy Board decision on low-income energy consumers
Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN)
Press Release dd May 29, 2007
Today, the Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN) announced it will not be giving up the fight for fair energy prices for low-income consumers in Ontario, despite a recent decision by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) that thwarted the group’s efforts. LIEN served notice of its appeal to Divisional Court of the Ontario Energy Board’s (OEB) decision issued April 26, 2007 that it does not have the jurisdiction to implement rate affordability programs for low-income residential consumers. There was a very strong dissenting decision in this matter by Gordon Kaiser, Chair of the three-member Board panel, who found that the OEB does have the “jurisdiction to approve special rates for low-income consumers in appropriate cases.” Read More
May 29, 2007
Women's Group Applauds Amnesty International
CAEFS - Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
Press Release dd May 28, 2007
The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) emerged from its Annual General Meeting in Montreal with a clear direction from its membership to commend Amnesty International for their report on The State of the World's Human Rights. CAEFS is a federation of 26 local, community based service providers who work with and on behalf of marginalized victimized, criminalized, and imprisoned women and girls. Read More
May 29, 2007

BIZ Futures - Self Employment Development Program
Toronto Business Development Centre


Interested in Starting your own Business?

  • Living with a Disability?
  • Live in Toronto?
  • Have a good business idea?
  • Eligible for ODSP Employment Supports?

We may have the perfect opportunity for you!

  • Learn how to start and operate your business
  • Nine Week intensive training program
  • Ongoing business advisor support

Next Information Session:
Friday June 22, 2007
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon
Toronto Business Development Centre
1071 King Street West
Read More

May 25, 2007

Stroke Recovery Conference 2007 -- Putting the Evidence to Work for You!
August 17 & 18, 2007 - Ottawa

Aims & Objectives
Why You Should Attend
Presenters
Themes
About Ottawa
Schedule - August 17, 2007
Schedule - August 18, 2007
Registration
Accommodation
About the Speakers

WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND: This conference will allow YOU to meet researchers and professionals at the forefront of stroke rehabilitation and treatment. Read More
May 24, 2007

Is That Legal?
http://www.isthatlegal.ca/index.php?name=start.tenant_law
This resource was created by Simon Shields, a lawyer whose goal in creating this site was to "share his knowledge, experience and research regarding Ontario and Canadian law with those in our society who most need it". The link is to a new resource on the site
-- an extensive legal review of the new Ontario Residential Tenancies Act.
May 18, 2007
Summary of Pro Bono Students Canada 2006-2007 ODSP Special Diet Allowance Analysis
Our analysis examined the procedure associated with applying for ODSP Special Diet Allowance funding, appealing special diet allowance rulings, and the various regulations associated with this program. Based upon our findings, we concluded that the ODSP Special Diet Allowance is failing to meet its stated objectives. In our report we identified the major issues associated with the current ODSP Special Diet Allowance program and recommended various steps that maybe taken to properly resolve these issues.
May 15, 2007

May 14, 2007

Canada Signs UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities:
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Press Release dd March 30, 2007
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, today signalled Canada’s intention to be a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Read More
Read the Release from the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD)
March 30, 2007
The Ontario Child Benefit & the March 22nd Provincial Budget
Read a backgrounder on the Ontario Budget 2007 prepared by the Income Security Advocacy Centre
March 26, 2007
No End to Ontario's CHILD TAX BENEFIT CLAWBACK
by Michelle Langlois, Rabble, March 23, 2007

There appears to be some confusion over whether the federal child tax benefit clawback from Ontario social assistance cheques has been ended by the Dalton McGuinty government this week. Allow me to clear up the confusion: the clawback is still in full force. Read full article here: http://www.rabble.ca/everyones_a_critic.shtml?x=58144

March 24, 2007
Responses to Ontario Budget 2007

 

What people are saying about McGuinty's "Don't Believe it Budget:
People from across Ontario are saying Dalton McGuinty's "Don't Believe it Budget" fails to deliver

Low Income Families Together (L.I.F.T.)
Too Little, Too Late! 2007 Provincial budget offers last minute pre-election crumbs, but does not address poverty

O.D.S.P. Action Coalition:
People with Disabilities Left in Poverty by Ontario Budget

Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC):
Budget good first step, but much work remains to be done: anti-poverty activists

CUPE Ontario
Ontario's families will wait for years to benefit from McGuinty's "war" on poverty

Wellesley Institute:
Thanks for the thoughts, but where's the money?

Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL):
Wait ...Wait ...Wait

Accessibility For Ontarians With Disabilities Act Alliance Update (AODA Alliance):
What the Ontario Budget Includes on Disability/Accessibility

John Tory: McGuinty's Budget: No relief, few results for average taxpayers
Tory says McGuinty missed an opportunity to use billions in extra money to help families

Canadian Auto Workers (CAW):
Ontario Budget Falls Short of Expectations, Hargrove Says

Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF/FEESO):
Ontario budget increases overall education funding but local programs may still suffer

Canadian Federation of Students:
Ontario Budget Forecast for Students: Higher Tuition Fees and More Debt


Daily Bread Food Bank:
Budget's Ontario Child Benefit gets thumbs up from Daily Bread Food Bank

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO):
Elementary Teachers Applaud Government Focus on Education

Community Living Ontario
:
McGuinty Government's Commitment to Developmental Services Encouraging

Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB):
Food banks welcome focus on poverty --
OAFB welcomes first step on a long journey to reduce poverty in Ontario

United Ways of Ontario:
Budget Addresses Needs of Vulnerable Ontarians


March 22, 2007

R.E.A.L Women of Canada Press Release, February 8, 2007
Hearings by Status of Women Committee a Hoax

February 15, 2007

With Women Worldwide: A Compact to End HIV/AIDS
Outlines priority actions for making global HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care strategies work for women. Developed by a group of women advocates for use in 2006 negotiations on HIV/AIDS and beyond. ... Read More
July 29, 2006

Women and HIV/AIDS: Select Facts
Women are increasingly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. 
Young people, especially young women, are disproportionately at risk.
Women and girls do not have access to comprehensive information and services.
The biggest HIV/AIDS risk for many women and girls is marriage.
Sexual coercion and violence lead to a greater chance of infection.

Read More

July 29, 2006

How Much Longer? by Eduardo Galeano
07/28/06 "IPS" -- One country bombed two countries. Such impunity might astound were it not business as usual. In response to the few timid protests from the international community, Israel said mistakes were made.

How much longer will horrors be called mistakes?

This slaughter of civilians began with the kidnapping of a soldier.

How much longer will the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier be allowed to justify the kidnapping of Palestinian sovereignty?

How much longer will the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers be allowed to justify the kidnapping of the entire nation of Lebanon?

For centuries the slaughter of Jews was the favorite sport of Europeans. Auschwitz was the natural culmination of an ancient river of terror, which had flowed across all of Europe.

How much longer will Palestinians and other Arabs be made to pay for crimes they didn’t commit?
Read More
July 28, 2006

The stigma surrounding abortion continues in New Brunswick - Open Letter from Dr. Henry Morgentaler
The New Brunswick government continues to deny women access to publicly funded abortions. Under the current Medical Services Payment Act, to have an abortion covered by Medicare, women are obliged to have the approval of two doctors in writing and the abortion must be performed in a hospital by a gynecologist. This leaves women with no family doctor or an anti-choice doctor no option other than the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton. This discriminatory practice must stop. Read More
July 28, 2006

Louise Bennett-Coverley, 'Ms Lou' : 1919 - 2006
The renowned folklorist, the Rt. Honorable Louise Bennett-Coverley, “Ms Lou” passed away July 26, 2006.
To send condolences to the family please send emails to regrets@louisebennett.com
Read More
July 27, 2006

Is the McGuinty Gov't thinking that some new “quick fix” funding will repair the controversial Bill 107?
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Update dd July 27, 2006
The McGuinty Government has been under fire for Bill 107’s serious problems. We must be on alert for the possibility that it may try an inadequate “quick fix” to deflect this criticism.

Specifically, it is possible that the Government may soon announce the funding it will provide to the human rights legal clinic it promised to establish. Last February, the Government said it would eliminate the Human Rights Commission’s core role of investigating human rights violations, and prosecuting where evidence warrants. The Government said it would instead provide legal representation for discrimination victims who take their case to the Human Rights Tribunal. When it introduced Bill 107 last spring, it made the extravagant promise that each and every human rights complainant would be given legal representation at the Human Rights Tribunal, regardless of their income. A new Human Rights legal clinic would do this work.
Read More
July 27, 2006

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC): The Silent Killer
Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is an advanced and accelerated form of breast cancer usually not detected by mammograms or ultrasounds.
Inflammatory breast cancer requires immediate aggressive treatment with chemotherapy prior to surgery and is treated differently than more common types of breast cancer. 
African Americans have a higher incidence of IBC than do Caucasians and other ethnic groups (10.1%, 6.2%, and 5.1%, respectively)."

Watch the KOMO TV 4 video: The Silent Killer: Inflammatory Breast Cancer Video icon (6:00)
Read the KOMO 4 News Special Report dd May 7, 2006: Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Read More
July 25, 2006

Shame On You, Mr. Harper
Video: Abby Lippman and Jihad Bahlis Interviewed by Caroline Van Vlaardingen,
CTV Montreal

Voices of Dissent on CTV's Broadband network:
http://tinyurl.com/mm7fj
(2:15) -- Mon. July 24, 2006
July 25, 2006

Guaranteed Livable Income a universal idea
Cindy L'Hirondelle, Women's Economic Justice Project Coordinator responds to Vancouver Sun column
In Daphne Bramham's July 22 (Vancouver Sun) column "Oh, wouldn't it be lover-ly?" she launches a none to subtle attack on the Women's Economic Justice Report on Guaranteed Livable Income and me personally.

She hopes the ideas in the report are a joke, calls the report "sloppy", "sentimentalist", "Rousseau-ian", "sprinkled with neo-Luddite thinking", "buttressed with Marxist-socialist cant"; that I am "channeling the founders of the Social Credit party", making the guaranteed annual income idea seem "ridiculous", doing a "huge disservice" to the women interviewed, that I "trivialized the desperate needs of the poor", made a "nonsensical lament about how [low income women] can't buy organic", put feminism in disrepute and made the rest of Canada see us as "wigged-out West Coasters." I'm surprised she didn't call me a blood-drinking vampire as well, but then she wonders if I'm vegan. If she had contacted me, I would have told her: that's right, I only drink the blood of organic carrots. Read More
July 24, 2006

A shameful silence on women's rights
Paul Sheehan asks why Western feminists are mute on the plight of their Islamic sisters
Excerpt: "... In this cultural clash, the treatment of women is the most hotly contested terrain. Not just the treatment of non-Muslim women by Muslim men, but the treatment of Muslim women within Western culture. Many Muslim women live under constraints that are unacceptable to wider society. For years, a symptom of this tension, which is largely submerged, has been the distraught young women turning up at the Australian embassy in Beirut to escape forced marriages.

In the midst of this cultural and moral struggle one element has been conspicuously missing - the feminists - the authors, academics and commentators who rose to prominence as advocates of women's rights. In Australia and Europe, their response to the growing levels of sexual intimidation, harassment or suppression of women by Muslim men has either been a deafening chorus of silence, or denial and blame-shifting. Read the Full Article
July 23, 2006

Peace in Lebanon Immediately
by Kamala Sarup
From the news, it seems that thousands of innocent people are targeted in Lebanon. More than 500,000 people, over a third of them children, had been touched in Lebanon by the conflict and more than 100,000 Lebanese were now in Syria, most of whom needed assistance. According to news, Israel's 12-day air offensive in Lebanon has left more than 350 Lebanese and 33 Israelis dead, while more than 100 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier have died in Gaza.

I want immediate unilateral cease fire in Lebanon. I want equity and justice for Palestinians and Israelis, especially for those children. Most of the deaths in Middle East can be prevented by peace negotiations. Israeli and Palestinians must accept a political solutions. People from both countries want peace.

I see only one solution to solving major problems peace power can't be stopped if it's great and persistent enough. The solution is to serve the needs of all the people. Our history proves that when enough people act they get results. The greatest peace gains were gotten by people action. We need that now especially to end Middle East war. Read More
July 23, 2006

Vancouver Sun, columnist Daphne Bramham slams the Women's Economic Justice Report on Guaranteed Livable Income
In the July 22, 2006 Vancouver Sun, columnist Daphne Bramham slams the Women's Economic Justice Report on Guaranteed Livable Income. (page C4) See article here: http://tinyurl.com/fs3kj

She states: "Far from helping women like them, this report makes the whole idea [guaranteed income] seem ridiculous." and "The 72-page report by Cindy L'Hirondelle reeks of a sloppy, sentimentalist view of nature, a vision of an idyllic, Rousseau-ian rural life minus the peasants." and "Please, somebody tell me that the Victoria Status of Women Action Group's recently released list of benefits of a guaranteed annual income wasn't written for David Letterman."

But that is not all. She also makes a very damaging mistake about one of the points listed under the section on "concerns". She thinks we were saying that we did not want people new to Canada to have a GLI. She got it backwards! We had the opposite concern. We wanted to ensure that people new to Canada could easily access getting a Guaranteed Livable Income. Throughout the report it is also noted that a GLI must happen in every country in the world. Read More
July 23, 2006

Open Letter/Petition to Mr. Harper demanding that the Gov't of Canada stop supporting Israeli violence
I hope you will add your names to this Open Letter/Petition to Harper demanding that the Gov't of Canada stop supporting Israeli violence. We would like to get as many signatures as possible. Please feel free to forward to all individuals that may be willing to support our cause and invite them to sign as well. Read More
July 20, 2006

R.E.A.L. Women file complaint against Ontario Chief Justice
The R.E.A.L. Women clan are at it again ... Now they have filed a formal complaint against Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry with the Canadian Judicial Council, alleging judicial misconduct.

Excerpt:

Judge Who Gave Canada Homosexual "Marriage" Had Conflict of Interest Says Women's Rights Group
TORONTO, July 19, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The women’s rights organization, REAL Women of Canada, has filed a formal complaint against Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry with the Canadian Judicial Council, alleging judicial misconduct. McMurtry was the judge who issued a ruling in 2003 on the Halpern case that effectively ended the traditional definition of marriage in Canada.

McMurtry’s son, James, revealed in a letter to the editor of a BC newspaper that his sister is a lesbian in a live-in relationship with another woman. This, says REAL Women, creates a serious concern that “McMurtry had a personal and familial interest” in the Halpern case, “which seriously impaired his objectivity and his ability to adjudicate the case.”


REAL Women’s letter alleges that McMurtry’s personal interest biased the entire process and violated the “fundamental judicial obligations of office.” REAL Women says that in addition, Justice McMurtry deliberately chose and selected judges sympathetic to same-sex "marriage" to hear the case. Read the Full Article
July 20, 2006

Submission to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy on Bill 107, The Proposed Ontario Human Rights Code Amendment Act
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance - Draft Only - July 15, 2006
Overview of this Brief's Contents: This brief is divided into two parts. In Part I (the shorter part), we summarize our position on Bill 107 and how it should be amended. For those interested in our position, but not wanting to get into all the background and detail, Part I provides all the information needed. It:

  • summarizes what Bill 107 does.
  • summarizes the key problems with Bill 107.
  • explains the problems with the Government's process for developing Bill 107.
  • summarizes how to improve Bill 107, and

for those interested in far more detailed information, Part II, the longer part, gives an extensive explanation of each of the 49 amendments we propose. Accompanying this brief are appendices with important background materials to support our proposals. These include:
1. A list of the AODA Alliance's 49 recommendations for amending Bill 107
2. The AODA Alliance's "Fact Check" on Official Statements about Bill 107
3. The AODA Alliances April 3, 2006 Discussion Paper on Options for Reforming the Ontario Human Rights Code. Read More
July 19, 2006

Autistic Children Abandoned by McGuinty Autism Policies
Martel rallies with children, parents, and advocates in Toronto

July 12, 2006 -
QUEEN'S PARK - Shelley Martel, MPP for Nickel Belt and the NDP Health and Long-Term Care Critic, is calling on Dalton McGuinty to immediately deliver on his two explicit election promises to Ontario's autistic children.

"The McGuinty Liberal government needs to honour their promises to autistic children and their parents during the 2003 election," said Martel. "In addition, significant funds need to be invested to ensure that all children who need IBI treatment receive it. That's clearly not happening because, as of March 31, 2006, 753 children were languishing on the wait list, waiting for IBI treatment to begin." Read More
July 19, 2006

NDP to Dalton McGuinty: Keep Your Promises to Autistic Children
July 7, 2006 -
QUEEN'S PARK - Shelley Martel, MPP for Nickel Belt and the NDP Health and Long-Term Care Critic, is dismayed by today's Court of Appeal decision but emphasized that, for New Democrats, this issue has always been a political issue about what Dalton McGuinty promised during the 2003 election and what he has continually failed to do.

"Dalton McGuinty made an explicit promise to the parents of autistic children. He promised IBI treatment for every single child who needs it - regardless of age," Martel said.

"Mr. McGuinty should never have dragged parents and their vulnerable autistic children through the courts, at great expense to taxpayers and the families, just so he could break a promise. I am calling on the premier to do the right thing for autistic children and extend IBI treatment to all children who need it -- without delay." Read More
July 19, 2006

Martel Applauds Autism Rights Ruling
June 28, 2006 -
QUEEN'S PARK - NDP Critic Shelley Martel says a recent ruling by Madame Justice DeGuire is a win for families of autistic children, who have long argued that the McGuinty government is violating their children's basic rights. Last week, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ruled that children with autism - whose provincially funded therapy is denied after age 6 - are now free to proceed with their argument that the McGuinty government is discriminating against them on the basis of age. Read More
July 19, 2006
Autism Announcement is a Drop in the Bucket
Martel skeptical about McGuinty's promises to autistic children
June 16, 2006 - QUEEN'S PARK - Shelley Martel, MPP for Nickel Belt and the NDP Health and Long-Term Care Critic,
says that today's announcement by the McGuinty Liberal government to provide Intensive Behavioural Intervention treatment to 120 additional children is a drop in the bucket compared to what is actually needed to address the long wait lists. Read More
July 19, 2006

Behind Batwoman's Gayness
Today's women are pigeonholed as either girly girls or lesbians

Op-Ed in today's LA Times
Excerpt ... Whatever the reason, it appears that there are only two ways to go about being female these days: You are either a midriff-bearing, gum-snapping, engagement ring-chasing girly girl or you are a probable lesbian.

We used to think of this dichotomy in terms of "separating the women from the girls." Perhaps you remember how this went. Teenagers and early twentysomethings wore nameplate necklaces and waited for the phone to ring, and adult women owned condos and knew how to unclog a toilet without losing their sex appeal.

But in a culture that's as allergic to subtlety as it is obsessed with youth, acceptable versions of womanhood seem to be melting away with the polar ice cap. You either get the Botox, the boob job, the bikini wax and baby doll dresses, or you take the radical step of looking and acting like a fully formed, grown-up female. Read More
July 15, 2006

Quick Guide on How to Fix Bill 107
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance
bullet What's Wrong with Bill 107
bullet How to Improve Bill 107
July 14, 2006

Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2006
Victims Rarely Report Abuse: StatsCan Report

Victimization surveys have shown that spousal violence frequently involves multiple incidents. However, a new study examining 10 years of police-reported data shows that most spousal violence is reported to police on only a single occasion.

The study, which analyzed spousal violence offenders and their contact with police using a 10-year data file for 1995 to 2004, was published today in the 2006 edition of Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile. It found that 8 out of every 10 spousal offenders were reported to police on only one occasion during the 10-year time frame. Persons accused of repeated spousal violence (those with two to four police-reported incidents of spousal violence) accounted for 18% of the total. Only 1% were considered chronic abusers, that is they were involved in five or more reported incidents.

These results may be partially explained by the 2004 General Social Survey (GSS) on victimization that found that only 28% of victims of spousal violence turned to police for help. Incidents that are reported tend to depend on the severity and frequency of the violence, and on whether children were witnesses. Other factors include whether the victim was female, young, Aboriginal or turned to others for support. Read More
July 13, 2006

Kirby report (2) turns a blind eye to women
Despite the mounting evidence — as well as Canada's many commitments to using Gender-Based Analysis in policy and program development — federal health studies somehow remain gender-blind.
by Laila Malik, CWHN
Almost 20 years ago, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) issued an in-depth report calling for action to address mental health concerns facing women in Canada.
Women and Mental Health in Canada: Strategies for Change pdf file warned of the dire mental health effects of the feminization of poverty and violence against women and drew attention to the disproportionate number of women assigned with the diagnostic categories of depression and anxiety.
It outlined 25 recommendations for improvement, including the development of affordable, high quality child-care services, the establishment of pay equity policies, recognition of unpaid caregiving, and the creation of a national clearinghouse of research and programs on women's mental health.
The report was promptly buried, its recommendations consigned to oblivion. Read More
July 12, 2006
Lung Cancer Risk Higher in Women Smokers but Survival Better
* The risk of lung cancer is significantly greater for women than for men.
*
Lung cancer now accounts for more deaths in women than any other cancer including breast cancer and colon cancer combined.
Read the Review
July 12, 2006
Few Canadians hospitalized with a spinal cord injury go back to work shortly after rehabilitation
Spinal cord injury patients have among the longest stays in inpatient rehabilitation
New analysis released today by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) paints a picture of what life is like during and after inpatient rehabilitation following a traumatic spinal cord injury. Between 2000 and 2004, Canadians admitted to inpatient rehabilitation with a traumatic spinal cord injury stayed an average of 59 days, compared to 35 and 14 days for stroke and orthopaedic rehabilitation patients, respectively. Clients with complete quadriplegia stayed the longest, 101 days, compared to 49 days for patients with partial paraplegia. Read More
July 12, 2006

Right of Choice: It's In Our Hands: Stop Violence Against Women
Amnesty International Report 2006

From birth to death, in times of peace as well as war, women face discrimination and violence at the hands of the state, the community and the family. Female infanticide deprives countless women of life itself. Every year, millions of women are raped by partners, relatives, friends and strangers, by employers and colleagues, security officials and soldiers. Women, children and men suffer from violence inflicted in the home, but the overwhelming majority of victims are women and girls. During armed conflicts, violence against women is often used as a weapon of war, in order to dehumanize the women themselves, or to persecute the community to which they belong.

Violence against women is not confined to any particular political or economic system, but is prevalent in every society in the world. It cuts across boundaries of wealth, race and culture. The power structures within society which perpetuate violence against women are deep-rooted and intransigent. The experience or threat of violence inhibits women everywhere from fully exercising and enjoying their human rights. Read More
July 10, 2006

Ontario Court Ruling Strikes Down Lower Court's Ruling on Autism Therapy
Ontario Court of Appeal rules that the province's refusal to fund therapy for autistic children older than five does not constitute age discrimination
July 8, 2006
Aboriginal Issues - Glossary of Terms
The following is a guide to various terms associated with First Nations people, issues and treaties. Please note that individual preferences may vary and should be respected when known.
When unsure, it is polite and appropriate to ask how a person, band or council wishes to be addressed.
July 7, 2006
Uncertain Futures: Gaining access to publicly funded abortions is not easy in New Brunswick
by Chris Arsenault
[The only hospital in New Brunswick that was providing publicly funded abortions stopped performing the procedure at the end of June.]
The decision to have an abortion is rarely easy, but after the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton stopped performing the procedure at the end of June, and with pro-life groups rallying to prevent Moncton's George Dumont Hospital from picking up the slack, many New Brunswickers are wondering about the procedure's future in the province.
Read the Full Article here
July 7, 2006

2006 Report Card on the Status of Women in New Brunswick
A Statistical Profile by the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women
Read the Factsheets:
Aboriginal Women
Health

Abortion: Ensuring Access
Sanda Rodgers and Jocelyn Downie, Guest Editorial in the CMAJ, July 4, 2006
Access to reproductive health care is essential to women's health, and for some women, abortion is a key component of that care. But not all women in Canada have adequate, or in some cases any, access to abortion.1 It is important for Canadian physicians to know the facts about access to abortion so that they can better protect and promote the health of their female patients.
Many of us assume that, in contrast to the United States, women's access to abortion in Canada is enshrined in law and guaranteed by our health care system. This is not always true. A brief review of history is needed here.
Read the Full Article here

July 7, 2006

Remarks by Stephen Lewis, UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa to High- Level Panel on U.N. Reform in Geneva
There is a crying need for an international agency for women. Every stitch of evidence we have, right across the entire spectrum of gender inequality suggests the urgent need for a multilateral agency. The great dreams of the international conferences in Vienna, Cairo and Beijing have never come to pass. It matters not the issue: whether it's levels of sexual violence, or HIV/AIDS, or maternal mortality, or armed conflict, or economic empowerment, or parliamentary representation, women are in terrible trouble. And things are getting no better. Read More
July 6, 2006

Heather Mallick's CBC column: 'Attack on feminism hurts women here and overseas'
Heather Mallick
has written a cbc.ca column on REAL Women's plans to gut funding for anything that has the fragrance of feminism. Here it an excerpt:

REAL Women are on the warpath, as I guess I would be too if I were REAListic, Equal, Active, and for Life. Hey, I am all those things! Oh, they mean "not in your unREAL way." I think.

REALists have been quiet for a long time. But they see the Stephen Harper minority government as their chance to change Canada back to the way they say it used to be. Whatever that was, I'm sure it was lovely. And frankly, their view of the future does verge on the dire.

"We are living in the best of material times. Yet, simultaneously, we are also living in a time of moral decadence: abortion on demand, the legalization of same-sex relationships as marriages, the cultural and legal acceptance of homosexuality despite its destructive ramifications, both psychologically and medically, rampant sexual promiscuity and euthanasia, legalized drug use and legalized prostitution just around the corner."

But I'm for all these things. Not sure about rampant euthanasia (get it in writing, I say, and point out the drawbacks: "Yer dead") or prostitution, but perhaps they don't grasp that legal changes regarding prostitution are aimed (by good men and good women) at saving hundreds of sex workers and other women who have vanished into the thinnest of air in Canada. Some of them might have been fed to pigs. Follow this link to read the rest of this column

Then, please consider writing to the CBC before all the misogynists get there first! Heather is one of the few remaining feminist voices left in MSM and could do with some support! Email: letters@cbc.ca
July 2, 2006

Women's Economic Justice Report available online
In April, 2006 the Women's Economic Justice Report on Guaranteed Livable Income was released at a public meeting in Victoria BC. Follow this link to read Project background: http://pacificcoast.net/~swag/swcproject05.htm

Hard copies of the report (printed with 100% recycled newsprint with a colour cover) have been distributed to many groups and individuals in across Canada and a few to the US and overseas. Out of 1000 copies, we have only 200 hard copies left which we are reserving for those without easy access to the internet.

Note: This report is not just for women. All the women interviewed want a Guaranteed Livable Income for everyone; however, they also recognize that women face more poverty, stress, violence, unpaid and underpaid work, while also carrying primary responsibility and worry for the well-being of the world's children.
Read More
June 29, 2006

A Direct Attack on Abortion Rights
by Joyce Arthur, Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada
On June 21st, Parliament saw first reading of a private member’s bill by Liberal MP Paul Steckle to re-criminalize abortion. Bill C-338, 'An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (procuring a miscarriage after 20 weeks of gestation), would restrict later abortions performed after twenty weeks.

The bill would allow exceptions to save the woman’s life and “to prevent severe pathological physical morbidity of the woman.”  It would impose a prison term of up to five years, and/or a fine of up to $100,000 on anyone who “uses any means or permits any means to be used” to perform an abortion past 20 weeks.

Read More:

Liberal MP Paul Steckle introduces bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks
The facts on later abortions in Canada
Key Links

June 26, 2006

Boycott Bacardi - it'll leave a bad taste in your mouth!
Help end the backlash. Boycott Bacardi!
Let Bacardi know what you think:
email webmaster@bacardi.com or phone 1-888-BACARDI
June 24, 2006

R.E.A.L. Women of Canada's lobby efforts to disband Status of Women & the Standing Committee on the Status of Women (FEWO) - Update
REAL Women of Canada has obtained an additional Access to Information request on feminist groups for 2004 - 2005 through Status of Women Canada. In their latest newsletter (May-June 2006), they've posted budgets to organizations such as LEAF, NAWL, & NAC on their website as a part of their Letter Writing Campaign to MPs.

Links to the specific articles in their online Newsletter:
Ongoing Discrimination of Status of Women:
http://www.realwomenca.com/newsletter/2006_may_jun/article_7.html

Professional Feminists Face Changing Times:
http://www.realwomenca.com/newsletter/2006_may_jun/article_9.html

For anyone who doesn't wish to visit the REAL Women website, DAWN Ontario has copied and pasted the text from the REAL Women letter to MPs dated April 4, 2006 at this pinpoint URL:
http://dawn.thot.net/real_women.html#rwl

Read More

en français : Le lobby R.E.A.L. Women of Canada tente de faire démanteler Condition féminine Canada et le Comité permanent de la condition féminine (CPCF)

June 24, 2006

Senate Committee on Autism
Funding for the Treatment of Autism referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology for Study and Report
After all this hard work, by so many, it appears that we finally got funding for autism treatment on the agenda! What happens now is not within our control obviously, but we can have an impact on the final report and its recommendations to the government if we all speak up.
We need to speak up now more than ever. This committee must hear what each of us wants them to know. Please take some time to think of a submission that you would send to them. Read More
June 24, 2006
Sexual Health for Lesbians: Risks and Realities
Canadian Health Network, 2006

Consistent, non-judgmental sexual health care for lesbian women that supports them to make informed decisions depends on partnership and good communication with their health care providers. Because this kind of communication is often lacking, many women who have sex with women are unaware of their individual risk factors for contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Read More

June 24, 2006
National Child Benefit / National Child Benefit Supplement - Rate increase July 2006
The provincial government stopped taking the 2% NCBS increases, as part of the Clawback, a couple of years ago. Thus, as of July, you get to keep 6% of the increases, which are included in the amounts above. If you receive income assistance in Ontario the provincial government reduces your assistance cheque by 84% of the NCBS you receive, regardless of whether or not you are working. Read More
June 24, 2006
Bill to End the Long-Gun Registry
The Conservative government has followed up on its one-year amnesty for long-gun owners by tabling a bill to end the Canadian long-gun registry. With the House of Commons about to close for the summer, nothing will happen on the bill until the fall, and even then it's not clear if the government can muster enough votes to get it passed. While the bill does away with the need to register rifles and shotguns, it keeps the requirements for registering restricted and prohibited firearms such as handguns. Some of the current requirements for long-gun owners would also remain in place, like all gun owners requiring a firearms license, the need for police safety checks, and safety training.
Read More
June 24, 2006

Report: Are Wage Supplements the Answer to the Problems of the Working Poor? PDF file (PDF 184KB/13p.)
Andrew Jackson, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2006
The idea of addressing poverty through some kind of wage supplementation program has been around for some time, but has only recently moved to the centre stage of Canadian social policy. Unlike the more visionary concept of a Guaranteed Annual Income for all citizens, wage supplements are intended to promote and support employment in low-paid jobs.
This paper examines different recommendations and finds wage supplements can play useful supporting roles in assisting the working poor, but should not be seen as the centerpiece of a new social architecture.

Read the report:
Are Wage Supplements the Answer to the Problems of the Working Poor? PDF file (PDF 184KB/13p.)
June 24, 2006

Where There Is No Doctor: Now Available Online
The Hesperian Foundation is proud to announce that their classic manual, Where There Is No Doctor, is now available online! Follow this link to access the 2006 edition on their website.

According to the World Health Organization, Where There Is No Doctor is perhaps the most widely used health care manual for health workers, clinicians, and others involved in primary health care delivery and health promotion programs around the world. The manual provides practical, easily understood information on how to diagnose, treat, and prevent many common illnesses. With over 90 translations and adaptations of the book available worldwide, and millions of copies in print, the book is an essential health resource for individuals and communities around the world.
June 24, 2006

Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee Releases Annual Report
Dr. Barry McLellan, Chief Coroner of Ontario, announced today the release of the third annual report of the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (DVDRC). The report contains an overview of domestic violence deaths occurring in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 that were reviewed by the committee, along with the statistical analysis of information collected. Recommendations arising from the review are also included in the report.

The DVDRC is an advisory committee and reports directly to the chief coroner. The committee was created in response to recommendations made by the juries in the coroner's inquests in the deaths of Arlene May and Randy Iles (1998), and Gillian and Ralph Hadley (2002), as well as the Joint Committee on Domestic Violence. The committee members are drawn from the health, justice, advocacy and social services sectors. Read More
June 20, 2004

Canadians Rejecting Harper Government Child Allowance, Poll Shows
The results of a poll released today show that Canadians are rejecting Stephen Harper's plan to distribute a $1,200 child allowance to parents with children under six years of age. The Environics poll asked more than 2,000 Canadians their views on child care and the response was clear - 76% of Canadians support a national affordable child care strategy such as the 2004 federal-provincial agreement that was cancelled by the Conservative government.

Monica Lysack, Executive Director of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC) says that Canadians are not buying into the Harper government's child-care strategy adding, "They see that this plan isn't going to help them find affordable, quality care for their children." The poll showed that only 35% of Canadians support the government's child allowance plan.

What's most crucial for the minority Conservative government is that many Canadians say that their opposition to the child allowance is strong enough that it is likely to influence their vote in the next federal election. This is even true for one third of Conservative voters, a fact Lysack cautions that Stephen Harper should be very concerned about.
Read More
June 20, 2006

CNIB announces print clarity standards for all Canadians
Black and white contrast, Arial or Times Roman, and matte paper finish are among ten recommendations for improved clarity and readability
CNIB, Canada's primary provider of vision loss support programs and services, today launched Clear Print, the first formal print clarity standards for making printed materials more accessible to all Canadians, from fully sighted individuals to aging and low-vision readers. The standards were developed following an extensive international review of research into the variables that affect an individual's ability to easily consume print information. ...

Clear Print identifies 10 variables that affect print clarity, including contrast (black and white is always best), most readable fonts (Arial and Times Roman top the list), paper finish (many readers are highly sensitive to glare), and size of type (the bigger the better). Other recommendations cover type colour, type heaviness, letter spacing, margins and columns, and design and simplicity. Read More
June 20, 2006

McGuinty Government Improves Patient Access to Drugs
New Act Will Lead to Better Value for Taxpayer Dollars
The McGuinty government is providing Ontario residents with better access to drugs while ensuring significant new savings with legislation that received third and final reading today, Health and Long Term Care Minister George Smitherman announced.
"We're on the side of Ontarians who want and deserve better health care, especially those who will benefit from better access to medications," said Smitherman. "The Transparent Drug System for Patients Act will allow our government to deliver better value for money to the taxpayers of Ontario."...
"Bill 102 brings the most significant change to Ontario's public drug system," said Marc Kealey, CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists' Association.
Read More
June 20, 2006

Monica Lansing
Monica Lansing was a terminally ill mother who had her three children taken away from her on the night she died
Monica Lansing’s entire life was centered around her three children. She worked very hard to support them and provide them with a safe and loving home. Monica and her ex-husband, had a joint custody agreement, in regards to their children, but Monica had primary guardianship of all three children and they lived with her full time.

4 years ago, she fled from her husband, who continued to harass her even though she had moved to another province. He employed members of his family, specifically a brother-in-law, to watch her house and enter into her home when she was at work. His brother-in-law is a former police officer and paramedic and is now the subject of a complaint filed with the Alberta College of Paramedics.

For three years Monica was granted day-to-day care and was the primary guardian of the children until she became sick. When Monica was diagnosed with Leukemia he took her children away from her and cut off his support payments. Contrary to what he told the courts and the newspapers, he uprooted the children from their schools and friends and relocated them to British Columbia without notification or her consent. Read More
June 19, 2006

Outcry against Bill 107 grows: more than 50 organizations call on Premier for change
F
ormer Human Rights Commissioner and member of 1992 Cornish Task Force Advisory Committee Tom Warner joined community leaders at a press conference this morning to release an open letter to Premier McGuinty. The letter was signed by more than 50 organizations representing racialized communities, seniors, gays and lesbians and people with disabilities.

It sets out growing concerns over Bill 107, the government's human rights reform legislation, and condemns the Premier's plan to hold public hearings on the legislation in the summer when people are less able to attend and boards are unable to meet to approve submissions. The groups are calling on the Premier to hold the hearings in the fall and be prepared to make the necessary changes. Read More
June 15, 2006

Creating Job Opportunities for People on Social Assistance
Innovations Fund Encourages Ontario Businesses to Get Involved
TORONTO, June 14, 2006 - The McGuinty government is calling on the Ontario business community to help social assistance recipients get into the workforce and on the path to a brighter future, Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services, announced today.

The government is launching a new Employment Innovations Fund to engage employers in expanding employment opportunities for people on social assistance, including people with disabilities. Organizations such as employer associations, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations are invited to submit proposals for new programs that will create sustainable job opportunities and help businesses tap into this pool of willing, job-ready people. Read More
June 14, 2006

Launch of 'Failing the Homeless' report on Barriers to ODSP Access: June 20th
Street Health - Release
Over the past year and a half Street Health, a community-based health care organization working with homeless and underhoused people in downtown Toronto, has been working on a research project exploring the barriers to accessing ODSP for our clients, while at the same time helping them to secure benefits.

The report, entitled: “Failing the Homeless: Barriers in the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) for Homeless People with Disabilities”, identifies key barriers and delays in the ODSP system for homeless people. It also makes recommendations for how to improve access to ODSP benefits for homeless people with disabilities. Read More
June 14, 2006

OHRC Fact Sheet
In response to recent inquiries and to help provide additional information for the discussion on Bill 107 and how best to improve and rebalance Ontario’s Human Rights System, the Commission has prepared a Fact Sheet highlighting cases the Commission has been involved in over the years that have received decisions from higher courts. Please go to www.ohrc.on.ca/english/news/e_june-06-facts.shtml.

Fiche de renseignements du CODP
En réponse aux enquêtes que nous avons reçue et pour donner desrenseignements additionnels pour l’entretien sur le projet de loi 107 et le sujet des meilleurs moyens d’améliorer et de rééquilibrer le système des droits de la personne en Ontario, la Commission a mis au point une fiche de renseignements qui souligne des causes dont la Commission a participé qui ont reçu une décision d'une cour supérieure.
Veuillez visiter www.ohrc.on.ca/french/news/f_june-06-facts.shtml.
June 14, 2006

Report: Count Us In!
Inclusion and Homeless Women in Downtown East Toronto - June 2006
Project Partners: Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse, Ontario Women's Health Network, Toronto Christian Resource Centre and Toronto Public Health
The purpose of this project was to investigate how health and social services in Toronto, and in the province of Ontario, can be made more inclusive, and in turn, promote the health and well-being of marginalized groups. Homeless and underhoused women who live in Downtown East Toronto led the research and were actively engaged in all stages of the project, from collecting and analysing the data to developing the final recommendations.

They facilitated 11 focus groups with 58 women who are homeless or underhoused.(4) The researchers collected feedback on the health and social services that women use as well as the participants’ ideas about how policies and services could be improved. Count Us In! aims to influence how governments and service providers plan, deliver and fund services for populations that are marginalized. As one participant said, this is an opportunity for the service providers to "step back and take a good look at what is needed."

This report summarizes what the women said. It describes many of the barriers they face, and then highlights their solutions for making services more inclusive. Read the k
ey recommendations

Count Us In! highlights the importance of marginalized women being actively involved in every part of the process, to ensure that their voices are heard, that they are "at the table," and that the appropriate actions are taken to meet their needs. Read More

Download the Report PDF File, Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF, 381 kb, 33 pages)
June 13, 2006

Support Falun Gong Peaceful 24-hour Appeal Site In front of the Vancouver Chinese Consulate
Add Your Voice to the Petition
On June 8, Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan ordered local Falun Gong practitioners to dismantle the appeal site they've maintained outside the Chinese Consulate 24/7, rain or shine, for the past five years. Mayor Sullivan said the group's signs and booth erected by the consulate contravene a city bylaw.

The Falun Gong practitioners say they were initially given verbal permission to hold a constant vigil at the site in order to raise awareness of the persecution against Falun Gong in China, now in its seventh year. They say the site bears witness to the thousands of practitioners who have been tortured and killed as a result of the persecution, and believe they should be allowed to remain until the persecution comes to an end.

Please sign the online petition at www.globalrescue.net/van.htm.

It would also be very helpful and much appreciated if you would write an email or letter to Mayor Sullivan asking him to re-think his stance on the bylaw, as the site is not a safety hazard, and previous city councils were not averse to it. Letters should be sent by Friday, June 16 which is the date the site is to be dismantled.

Contact information:
Email: mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca
Mailing address: 453 West 12th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V59 1V4
Read More
June 12, 2006

Daily Bread’s Who’s Hungry Report Illustrates Depth of Hunger Crisis
Survey examines hunger in the GTA and Daily Bread advances solutions
TORONTO, June 6, 2006 - Food bank use across the GTA has risen a dramatic 79% since 1995, according to the report Who’s Hungry: 2006 Profile of Hunger in the GTA released today at BCE Place. The results of Daily Bread’s annual survey paint a picture that cannot be ignored of the struggles and financial plight of the diverse population relying on food banks. The 894,017 people who accessed emergency food services last year through GTA food banks, 38% of whom were children, would not go hungry if the issue of poverty were addressed. So, in conjunction with the report, Daily Bread advances the Blueprint to Fight Hunger. Read More
June 12, 2006
STOP Ryerson from honouring homophobia
Please lend your support by forwarding this communication widely and signing the on-line petition at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/5087MCT/petition.html
Excerpt:
Ryerson Students' Union, representing all full-time and graduate students at Ryerson and RyePRIDE, representing the queer and Trans voices of Ryerson, are extremely concerned about the University's decision to award MARGARET SOMERVILLE an honourary degree on June 19, 2006 at 9:30am, as part of Ryerson's convocation ceremonies. ...

... Although Ryerson claims to respect and celebrate diversity in all its forms and the right of individuals to live free of discrimination, their actions to uphold this decision speaks louder than these words. Homophobia is not honorary in any form and no individual should be rewarded for propagating hate and intolerance in our communities.

For those of you who do not know Margaret Somerville, she is a McGill University ethicist and is widely known for her controversial views on same-sex marriage. In both the public and academic spheres Somerville has argued that same-sex marriage, "compromises the right for all children to be raised by both genders and to know their biological parents". Read More
June 9, 2006
Toronto gets rolling! Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion to raise funds and awareness for people living with spinal cord injury
On Sunday, June 11, people from across Toronto will participate in the 4th annual Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion presented by Scotiabank. The national fundraising event aims to raise awareness and funds to help improve the quality of life of people living with spinal cord injuries (SCI), and to support research that will ultimately lead to a cure. People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to wheel, walk or run in support of SCI. Read More
June 9, 2006

When skepticism is needed, most media outlets let us down
Security sting of terror suspects seems a bit too pat and may well be
by Ish Theilheimer, Editorial June 6, 2006, Straight Goods
Excerpt:
Last weekend, federal and Toronto authorities swooped down on and arrested 17 Canadian Muslim youth and young men for allegedly plotting to bomb landmarks and public buildings. It is alarming to think that "home-grown" acts of terror are likely or inevitable, as many reporters and sources are convinced. It is just as alarming when an ideologically-driven government uses an event to drive support for itself and a harsh agenda of pro-American foreign policy and repressive American-style policing and legislation at home.

No country is immune from terrorism, but neither is any country safe from politically-motivated and heavy-handed police operations that are intended to scare the public as much as to protect them. We should wonder about the credibility of a sting operation and media circus headed up by Stockwell Day, whose penchant for hyperbole is well known. (His partner in ideology is Justice Minister Vic Toews). We should also wonder why the media is not more cautious. Read More
June 8, 2006

Take Action: Support for Feminist Voices in Public Places
Read Heather Mallick's column, Protect all women while they're alive published June 2nd on CBC news viewpoint regarding the "fetal homicide" bill.

Heather Mallick is one of the very few feminist voices left in public places ... her CBC column generated a lot of negative responses (they appear below her column). Hence, we are calling for emails to: letters@cbc.ca in Heather's defence.

It must be incredibly frustrating for Heather Mallick to continue being one of the few feminist voices left in MSM ... Please write and show solidarity with Heather while countering the voices of the misogynist types who have responded to date.
June 8, 2006

The New Bully on the Block: Cyber Bullying
Womyn's Voices
The Internet has created a whole new world of social communications for young people. They are using e-mail, Web sites, instant messaging, chat rooms and text messaging (STM) to stay in touch with friends and make new ones. While most of the interactions that these kids engage in are positive, increasingly kids are using these communication tools to antagonize and intimidate others. This has become known as cyber bullying.

The Internet has facilitated the creation of an interactive world that is away from adult knowledge and supervision. Because bullies tend to harass their victims away from the watchful eyes of adults, the Internet is the perfect tool for reaching others anonymously from any where at any time. This means that home, for children who are victims of bullying, is no longer a refuge from the cruel peer pressures of school. Read More
June 8, 2006

NOTHING NEW FOR CANADA...Terror & Religious Conflict Is Old Hat
Edward Pickersgill, Passing Times, Guelph, Ontario, 7 June 2006
Excerpt:
Back in the dawn of the white man's creation known as Canada and many steps along the way we've had terror, violence, religious conflict and attempts at cultural genocide. Acknowledging this reality should not be taken as any indication I support any of that. It's just a simple statement of fact.

Today's conflicts between "Christians" and "Islam" is, for me, just more of the same old, same old. Having witnessed the history of conflict between Catholics and Protestants it is impossible to see the current conflicts as any worse. English and Irish combatants shed as much blood and blew up as many of each others things as anything happening today between ruffians and desperados carrying copies of the bible or qur'an. Both gangs purport to carry the direct word of God. Neither seem to carry much spirit of forgiveness or peace and both seem to have large sections of their books with the pages glued shut. Read More
June 8, 2006

None of Our Business - Canada's role in the world and the business press
by Dru Oja Jay
Hugo Chavez: makes the news when he affects the bottom line. Did you know that Royal Bank (RBC), Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE), Alcan and SNC-Lavalin all share board members? Or that Yves Fortier, Canada’s former ambassador to the UN, sits on the boards of RBC and Alcan? Where does one go for the plain facts about Canada’s tiny, interconnected corporate and political elite? Read More
June 7, 2006

Residential care facilities, 2002/2003 and 2003/2004
Women outnumbered men by a ratio of more than two to one in Canada's residential care facilities for seniors in 2003/2004. Data for all provinces and territories, except Quebec, show that nearly 103,500 women lived in homes for the aged, compared with just under 42,400 men.

Read the complete report: Residential Care Facilities, 2003/2004
http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/83-237-XIE/83-237-XIE2006001.pdf PDF File - requires Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF file, 723k, 124 p)
June 5, 2006

Soliciting Endorsements from Individuals & Organizations
Sign on to the Open Letter to Premier McGuinty re: Bill 107, the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006
Excerpt: As individuals and community organizations who believe Ontario needs a strong human rights system, we are writing to urge your government to take a balanced and genuinely open approach in reforming the human rights system.

Bill 107, the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006, sets out to reform the process for enforcing human rights in Ontario. We agree reform is long overdue, but Bill 107 is not the solution we are looking for.

We understand that, prior to the introduction of the Bill, the Attorney General's office has engaged in some private dialogues with select human rights and legal clinic lawyers, all of whom are very skilled, but are not the people who are in need of the assistance afforded by the human rights system. Many communities - including racialized, disabled, GLBT, aboriginal and women's communities - of which we are a part, were never consulted by this Government on what is truly needed to improve the system. Read More
June 2, 2006

Bill C-252 An Act to Amend the Divorce Act
to allow terminally ill patients the right to see their children before dying
Andrea's message
Sample email to MP
(2 sentences)
Call for letters/emails to MPs to support Bill C-252
Links
June 2, 2006

Campaign to End Poverty in Canada
The NDP launched a national “End Poverty in Canada” campaign yesterday vowing to engage Canadians and their politicians to deciding what the fairest way forward is for all Canadians. The NDP Social Policy Caucus cited recent United Nations and Ontario-based reports documenting the crisis which found: Over half of Canadians receiving social assistance still need food banks to survive.

Working with their civil society allies, the NDP will engage Canadians in dialogue on the Canada Social Transfer which transfers billions of dollars to provinces and territories with no accountability nor monitoring of its adequacy. “We will travel to communities to hear from Canadians about what their principles of fairness, justice and equity say about what they want for themselves, their neighbours and all Canadians. It is time for a fair deal for all” said Tony Martin (MP Sault Ste Marie).

As part of the campaign, Martin introduced a motion in Parliament today to increase the federal minimum wage to $10 an hour for federal jurisdiction workers, and to implement recommendations from the Pay Equity Task Force Final Report.

Read More: NDP Launches Campaign to End Poverty in Canada
en français: Le NPD Lance Sa Campagne Visant À Mettre Fin À La Pauvreté Au Canada
June 2, 2006

Nouveau rapport du YWCA : La violence contre les femmes : une honte nationale
La violence contre les femmes : Une honte nationale dont il faut faire une priorité nationale

YWCA Canada présente les résultats alarmants d'une étude nationale qui indiquent qu'un haut pourcentage des femmes qui cherchent refuge dans les maisons d'hébergement risquent d'être tuées. Des 368 femmes interviewées à dix sites de recherche dans l'ensemble du pays, 77 pour cent étaient en extrême ou grave danger de mort.

« Le public, en général, n'a pas idée de la peur et de la déchéance que vivent les femmes victimes des mauvais traitements de leur partenaire intime, explique la professeure Leslie Tutty, chargée de recherche. Il s' agit de terrorisme continuel pour ces femmes. »

Les femmes qui font appel aux refuges ont maintes fois tenté de faire cesser les violences à leur égard, mais elles n'ont aucun contrôle sur les actions de leur conjoint violent. Quand elles ont épuisé leurs ressources et sont à leur plus vulnérable, les refuges leur fournissent la sécurité. Les femmes de l'étude ont indiqué que les maisons d'hébergement étaient pour elles le moyen d'appui le plus efficace, mais cela ne suffit pas. Read More
June 1, 2006

New report from YWCA: Violence against women is a national shame
Violence Against Women is a National Shame: Now it Must Become a National Priority
YWCA Canada releases a national study that indicates an alarmingly high percentage of women coming to shelters are at risk of being murdered. Of the 368 women interviewed at ten research sites across Canada, 77 percent were at extreme or severe risk of homicide.

"The general public has little understanding of the fear and degradation commonly experienced by women abused by their intimate partners", explains researcher Professor Leslie Tutty, "it is an ongoing secret terrorism for these women."

The women who seek shelter have made many attempts to stop the abuse, but they cannot control the abuser's actions. When they have exhausted their resources and are most vulnerable, shelters provide safety. The women in the study indicate that shelters are the most effective support available to them; but it is not enough. Read More
June 1, 2006

Ontario Gov't Invests in Services for Ontarians who are Deaf or Deafblind
Ministry of Community & Social Services Press Release dd June 1, 2006
The McGuinty government is investing in more services for Ontarians who need intervenors or sign language interpreters to assist them with daily activities. "For someone who is deafblind or has a hearing disability, communication barriers can seriously limit their access to things that most of us take for granted, such as going to the bank or visiting their doctor," said Community and Social Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur. "By breaking down these communication barriers, we are building greater independence for people with disabilities."

The government's 2006 Budget includes nearly $11 million for interpreter and intervenor services, an increase of nearly 65 per cent over existing funding levels. The funding will help to provide more service to people who need it, improve the quality of services and improve wages to attract and keep people who provide interpreter and intervenor services. The government will also explore opportunities to increase the availability of French sign language interpreters and intervenors in the coming year. Read More
June 1, 2006

New Toll free number connects children with disabilities
Launch of first integrated, coordinated care model for children with special needs
bridges service gaps and shortens waitlists

For the first time, families of children with multiple disabilities in York Region and Simcoe County have a single point of contact to access an integrated plan of care. Today marks the official launch of the Children's Treatment Network of Simcoe York's new toll-free number. By dialing 1-866-377-0286 parents of kids with special physical, developmental and communications needs connect to the first service delivery model that links regional healthcare, recreation, education, social and community resources from over 25 agencies and organizations.

The Network provides a single plan of care and coordinates services from many agencies through all stages of a child's development from birth through to age 19. There are over 4,500 children with multiple disabilities in Simcoe and York whose families are currently challenged with battling waitlists and navigating and coordinating services for their children as they mature. Read More
June 1, 2006

Bill 107 will take away rights now entrenched in the code
Commentary by Mary Woo Sims, former chief of the B.C. Human Rights Commission
Excerpt:

... If you're having difficulty in understanding why these reforms are a big deal, let me draw this analogy. Many victims of crimes are unhappy with the justice system. Imagine if the government responded to these concerns by eliminating the police who investigate crime and Crown prosecutors who bring the matter before the courts. Imagine the government saying that, since investigating and prosecuting crime takes too long, you can now bring your charge directly to the courts. I can't imagine Canadians would agree that this is an effective fix for our problems with the criminal justice system. So why would we believe that this type of system would work for human- rights administration?

Ontario isn't the first province to move in this direction. British Columbia and Nunavut have also gone down this road, saying these reforms would improve human-rights delivery. Indeed, these reforms have been seductively referred to as “direct access.” But, as we've learned in B.C., “direct access” does not mean direct access to justice, nor does it mean direct access to a hearing on the merits or substance of a complaint. What it means, in practical terms, is only direct access to a tribunal. Read More
June 1, 2006

Help Support the Canadian Breast Cancer Network by Participating in their first Online Auction on June 1st
On June 1, 2006, the Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) launches its first-ever online auction to raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Network! From June 1-30, 2006, more than 170 items will be up for auction; new items will be listed almost daily, so be sure to check back regularly - find theatre, dinner theatre, comedy club and sports tickets, get a great deal on hotel packages, buy some new tunes or reading materials. On Mondays and Thursdays, log on to see the newest selection of books and other items. Visit the auction website tomorrow at http://www.realauction.ca/cbcn/en/ and start surfing for items to bid on. Read More
May 31, 2006
Ontario Gov't Eliminates 4 Month Retroactive Payment Rule
Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) Press Release dd May 31, 2006
As part of its plan to restore integrity to Ontario's social assistance program, the government has eliminated the four month limit on retroactive ODSP payments. Now, an individual who is approved for ODSP after submitting an application will receive retroactive payments for the full amount of time that they have been waiting for approval. Under the previous rule, this person would only have been eligible for up to four months of retroactive support.

The announcement builds on previous initiatives to cut the amount of time it takes to process an application, including investments in new technology and the hiring of additional staff. It also responds to a major recommendation made by the provincial Ombudsman in his report released today. Read More
May 31, 2006

Ontario’s most vulnerable are losing out: says Ontario's Ombudsman André Marin
Ombudsman Ontario Press Release dd May 31, 2006
Ontario’s disabled have lost out on disability benefits to the tune of at least $6 million, as a result of delays in processing their applications for support by the Ministry of Community and Social Services’ Ontario Disability Support Program and the impact of a provincial regulation, which limited retroactive benefit payments to four months. “Thousands of Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens have become losers in a cruelly insensitive and intensely bureaucratic waiting game” Mr. Marin notes in his latest report titled “Losing the Waiting Game.”

The Ontario Disability Support Program provides income support, health and other benefits for people with disabilities who are in financial need. The Ombudsman’s investigation was launched after the office received 71 complaints of delays of up to 10 months at the Ontario Disability Support Program’s Disability Adjudication Unit, which is charged with determining whether or not an applicant for financial support meets the stringent definition of a “person with a disability” as set out in the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997. During the Ombudsman’s investigation, an additional 74 complainants came forward and upon reviewing Ministry statistics it was found that at least 4,630 individuals and probably many more, were affected during the period from April 1, 2004 to December 31, 2005 alone.

To add insult to injury, Mr. Marin found that once an applicant was deemed to be entitled to financial support, they were limited by regulation, to receiving four months of retroactive benefits, regardless of how long it may have taken for the Ministry to process their application and even though the delay was through no fault of their own. Read More
May 31, 2006

Call to Action to END Women's Poverty - June 7, 2006
A Woman Stuck In Poverty... Is A Woman Stuck In Abuse

A coalition of women's advocates and anti-violence & income security groups have come together to create an avalanche of support to demand real change.

We are calling on all women to raise our collective feminist voices
- TOO LOUD TO BE IGNORED AND TOO ANGRY TO BE APPEASED -

until real changes are made.

On June 7, plan on attending one of the simultaneous protests in Toronto and Ottawa and/or help spread the word! Read More

Demands:

  • A 40% increase in social
    assistance rates

  • End the clawback of the
    National Child Benefit Supplement

  • Reinstate the Special Diet supplement
June 7th, 2006
Time:
12:00 - 2:00 pm


Toronto
:
Picket outside Minister Meilleur's office at the Ministry of Community & Social Services, Hepburn Block,
80 Grosvenor St.
Toronto

Ottawa:
Picket outside Minister Meilleur's constituency office at
237 Montreal Rd., Vanier

End Violence Against Women & Children
With the increased cost of living, women can not afford to pay rent & feed their children

As a result of cuts to the special diet supplement many families lost $250 /person/mth

Federal child benefits must not be clawed back, this funding is intended to support children

Most of those receiving social assistance are single mothers

Basic necessities can ensure women & children's health & safety

It is not a surprise that many women
decide to return to abusive relationships
in order to survive economically!
May 31, 2006

Child Welfare Workers call '1-800 number' idea "an Accident Waiting to Happen"
The union representing frontline workers in child welfare agencies across the province says a planned 1-800 number to replace on-call services is an accident waiting to happen. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) says the Department of Community Services plans to use its own employees to answer calls about cases from across the province - and then have them make crucial decisions about cases that may be hundreds of kilometers away. Read More
May 31, 2006
ADHD & Medication
Practical Education for Canadian Healthcare Professionals
Due to a shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists more pediatricians and family doctors are being asked to diagnose and treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) creating a need for knowledge on current research and the latest information on ADHD medication. Recently Health Canada has up-dated the prescribing information for all drugs indicated for the treatment of ADHD in adults and children. The changes affect the Contraindications, Warnings and Precautions, Dosing recommendations, and Information for the Patient. Many parents as well as adult patients will be asking for clarification on this newly released information and will need reassurance that medication is still a safe choice. Read More
May 31, 2006

What are the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set a powerful agenda for a global partnership to fight poverty, offering a shared vision of a better world by the year 2015.

They aim to cut extreme poverty by half, ensure every child has the chance to go to school and live a long and healthy life, and bring discrimination against women to an end. The risks of dying as a result of childbirth are to be dramatically reduced, deadly diseases brought under control, the environment better managed, and the benefits of progress more equally shared by all the nations of the world. Together, the aspirations set out in the MDGs and their associated targets and indicators represent a powerful framework for action.

Goal 3 challenges discrimination against women, and seeks to ensure that girls as well as boys have the chance to go to school. Indicators linked to this goal aim to measure progress towards ensuring that more women become literate, have more voice and representation in public policy and decision making, and have improved job prospects. But the issue of gender equality is not limited to a single goal — it applies to all of them. Without progress towards gender equality and the empowerment of women, none of the MDGs will be achieved.
Read More

Plain language guide to MDGs

May 30, 2006

Hundreds Rally for Child Care on Parliament Hill
Message to Harper: Grow up and build a real child care program!

Click here to view larger image -- Child Care Rally  in Ottawa May 25th 2006 Parliament HillColourful paper dolls billowed in the warm spring breeze as hundreds rallied on Parliament Hill (May 25th) to push the Harper gov't to build a real child care program.

Child care advocates brought thousands of paper dolls & stuffed animals to symbolize the 7,000 Ottawa children who are stuck on child care waiting lists under misguided Conservative child care policies.

The rally attracted hundreds of Ottawa child care workers, parents and kids who were joined by hundreds more CUPE Ontario members in town for their annual convention. Speakers called for public, quality, not-for-profit early learning and child care programs across the country.
Read More
View photo gallery of Child Care Rally May 25th 2006 at Parliament Hill
May 30, 2006

Bill 107 needs to come with some assurances: Sandi Ellis
A
s someone who works for the Canadian Labour Congress and who has been a member of the Ontario Federation of Labour Human Rights committee for over a decade, I quite understand the positioning of Michael Bryant and the provincial government on changes to the Human Rights Commission and the Code under Bill 107.

The labour movement in Ontario has been lobbying for changes to the Human Rights Commission for many years. There is no question that the current system for resolving violations in Ontario is in need of reform, with two primary problems:

A delay in the process with some investigations taking over a year to be assigned.

The fact that some complaints are dismissed without ever being referred to the tribunal, when it is believed they do not need to be.

Bill 107, as it is presented, seemingly alters the process of resolving human rights complaints, stripping the commission of its responsibilities and transferring the entire system to the tribunal.

What Bill 107 takes away
What Bill 107 imposes
What should happen

May 30, 2006

Jamaican Women Learn to Use CEDAW as a Tool for Change
Workshops Teach Women About Their Rights
Several local women's groups in Jamaica have come together to address women's rights through a series of five training workshops. While talking to the women being trained at the first of five workshops recently, independent gender issues consultant Dr. Glenda Simms said that many women do not know what their rights are, and the workshops are a good place to start.

"You have a role to play. Use your privilege to empower the less privileged," she told the organisers, which comprised the Women's Resource and Outreach Centre (WROC), the Coalition for Community Participation in Governance, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung organisation.

The workshops, designed to teach Jamaican women about the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (UN CEDAW), attracted 65 participants from all over the island. "CEDAW is a serious treaty document and the government should be held accountable for what it does or does not do for you," Dr. Simms said. Read More
May 29, 2006

What Have MPPs Said About the Controversial Bill 107 in the Legislature since April 26, 2006?
AODA Alliance update May 27, 2006

Since April 26, 2006, when the controversial bill 107 was introduced into the Legislature for First Reading, the issue of the Human Rights Commission has been debated in the Ontario Legislature on several days. Below we set out:

To read a "Fact Check" on statements made during these and other exchanges, visit: http://dawn.thot.net/bill107_fact_check.html
May 29, 2006

A Women’s Gathering In Honour of Lyallen Hayes
Hosted by Minwaashin Lodge, the Aboriginal Women’s Support Centre - August 4 - 6, 2006
Minwaashin Lodge, the Aboriginal Women’s Support Centre is hosting a Women’s Gathering in a country setting just 40 minutes from Ottawa. The gathering will begin on Friday, August 4th (evening), Saturday, August 5th and end on Sunday, August 6th, 2006.

All women (aged 16 and over) are invited to join us in a two-day healing weekend, featuring traditional Native teachings, as well as women’s teachings from around the world.
We have chosen “Truth Survives” as our theme because the truth of women’s power as healers and keepers of our traditions will never be destroyed. This will be a camping weekend in the country not far from Ottawa. Come and share your gifts as a healer or learn from others. Read More
May 29, 2006

Researchers Open Door to Potential Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes Canadian Institutes of Health Research Press Release dd May 29, 2006
OTTAWA, May 29, 2006 - Researchers funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) have identified an unsuspected role of a protein named SHP-1 that could constitute a new therapeutic path against Type 2 Diabetes.

Under the direction of professor André Marette (Laval University), Nicole Beauchemin (McGill University), Martin Oliver (McGill University Health Centre) and Katherine Siminovitch (University of Toronto) were part of a Canadian and American team which published an article in the May issue of Nature Medicine that explains the role of SHP-1 in the control of blood glucose.

The researchers already knew that SHP-1 played a role in regulating the immune system. However, no one had previously taken the time to verify if this protein was involved in the regulation of metabolism. This is precisely what this team of Canadian and American researchers did, thanks to a series of mutant or genetically modified mice producing little or no SHP-1. Read More
May 29, 2006

Increased Support for Students With Disabilities at Ontario's Colleges and Universities
Ontario Government Press Release dd May 29, 2006
TORONTO, May 29, 2006 - The McGuinty government has expanded support for students with disabilities to ensure they have the opportunity to study and succeed at postsecondary institutions, Chris Bentley, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, announced today.

"We are on the side of hard working Ontario families who want their children to find opportunity through access to postsecondary education," Bentley said. "That's why our government is committed to ensuring that all Ontarians, including students with disabilities, have the opportunity to reach their full potential."

The government provided $28.2 million in 2005-06 to help universities and colleges provide services for students with disabilities to help them succeed. This funding is used to support a wide range of services provided through offices for students with disabilities. Read More
May 29, 2006

Women's Economic Justice Report on Guaranteed Livable Income released
On April 29, 2006, the "Women's Economic Justice Report on Guaranteed Livable Income" was released. This 72-page report documents over 40 interviews held with women between September 2005 to April 2006 to examine these questions:

  • What would the benefits of Guaranteed Livable Income be to women? To family and community? To children?
  • How would it impact health, equality, spirituality, politics, peace and the environment?
  • How do the benefits of GLI compare with the impacts of poverty?
  • How does GLI compare with the goal of jobs as a solution to poverty?
  • What are the barriers and strategies to achieving a GLI?
  • What are the concerns about what could go wrong?
  • What community initiatives would complement a GLI?

This report also contains the article The Strong Case for a Guaranteed Livable Income; data on women's income specially acquired for the project from Revenue Canada; and where to learn more or get involved. This project was funded by Status of Women Canada BC/Yukon Region. Read More
May 28, 2006

UN Committee Criticizes Canada for Persistent Poverty in the Midst of Wealth - Notes Discriminatory Impact on Women
FAFIA & NAWL Press Release - May 23, 2006
In Concluding Observations released yesterday in Geneva, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights expressed great concern about persistently high rates of poverty among women, Aboriginal peoples, African Canadians, people with disabilities, youth and single mothers. The Committee reviewed Canada's 4th and 5th periodic reports on its compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights during its 36th session, which ended in Geneva on Friday.

"The Committee concluded that Canada is failing to fulfill the rights in the Covenant, including the right to an adequate standard of living, despite Canada's wealth and economic prosperity," said Shelagh Day, who was at the review to represent FAFIA, a broad alliance of women's and human rights groups, and the National Association of Women and the Law. Read More
May 23, 2006

McGuinty Government Human Rights Reform Fact Check
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance
This Fact Check is an attempt to help ensure that public discussion and debate on Bill 107 is based on accurate and complete facts.
Read More
May 23, 2006
House of Commons - Standing Cttee on Status of Women -
Gender Based Analysis

The Standing Committee on the Status of Women presents its SECOND REPORT
Read the Recommendations
May 23, 2006

Bill C-291 -- the 'fetal homicide' bill
Bill C-291 is a private members' bill that would make it a separate offence to kill or injure a fetus while committing a violent crime against its mother. Introduced and given first reading May 17th by MP Leon Benoit, Bill C-291 would recognize two "persons" in crimes such as the murder last year of Liana White in Edmonton, or Lacey Peterson in California.

In both cases, the women killed were pregnant. California law allows for murder charges in the deaths of both the mother and her unborn child in such cases, but Canadian law does not. There is an article in the Toronto Star -- "MP unveils fetal homicide bill" that quotes Mary Eberts, co-founder of LEAF about the implications of Bill C-291 for the abortion debate. Read More
May 22, 2006

The Harper Government: Towards A New Social Order?
by Prof Ann Porter - May 22, 2006 - Socialist Project e-bulletin No, 21
The election of Stephen Harper's Conservative government on January 23, 2006 has significantly shifted the terms of the social policy debate in Canada. While in some respects the Harper government represents a continuation of the market-based neo-liberal trajectory that has been set over the last 20 some years, in other respects it represents a turn of a kind that we haven't seen before at the federal level in Canada. Many aspects of the Conservative agenda are likely to alter both the framework and nature of social policy discussions. This ranges from specific program proposals in areas such as childcare and healthcare, to the federal-provincial decentralization agenda; from proposals to enshrine property rights in the constitution, to changes in the process of Supreme Court judge selection that could have long run implications for court challenges and equality-based claims. Of particular concern, however, and permeating through specific policy proposals, is a reformulation of what the "social" itself means, both in terms of how we understand the role and nature of "social" policy, and more fundamentally, how we do or should constitute ourselves as social beings. Read More

May 22, 2006

Bill 107 Action Kit - re proposed Human Rights Code Amendment Act
On April 26, 2006, the McGuinty Government introduced the seriously-flawed Bill 107, its proposed Human Rights Code Amendment Act, into the Legislature for First Reading.

Bill 107 sets back human rights protection. It seriously weakens the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the public agency responsible to enforce your right not to suffer illegal discrimination. We appreciate both the opposition Conservative and New Democratic Parties voicing our concerns with Bill 107 in the Legislature.

We urge everyone to act now to help with our campaign to fix Bill 107 so it makes things better, not worse. This Kit:

May 19, 2006
AODA Alliance - Talking Points - Queen’s Park News Conference - May 19, 2006
Read what the AODA Alliance had to say today at their Queen's Park's news conference announcing our strong opposition to the McGuinty Government's Bill 107, the proposed Human Rights Code Amendment Act, now before the Legislature for Second Reading.Read More
May 19, 2006

The words that sank Harper's Mr. Clean - Toronto Star
Link to the Toronto Star article published May 17, 2006
Gwyn Morgan's views on ethnic Canadians virtually killed his chances of becoming the PM's federal watchdog

This is a speech [Getting Beyond the Symptoms to Root Causes: What Politicians are Afraid to Say] by Gwyn Morgan, president and CEO of EnCana Corp., made Dec. 2005 to the Fraser Institute. Morgan's previous statements on immigration were cited as one of the reasons Liberals, New Democrats and Bloc Québécois refused to confirm the Prime Minister's pick as head of public appointments on Tuesday. The theme of Morgan's speech was that political correctness was preventing politicians from solving some of Canada's problems.
Read More
May 19, 2006

Progressive organisations lambast government for failure to heed copyright advice
This article discusses some emerging issues on copyright and big business' attempt to get control of information. Privacy advocates launch DRM information portal - EFF, CIPPIC lambast government for failure to heed copyright advice by Shane Schick, 5/18/2006

Canadian privacy advocates are pushing the federal government to back away from any moves to extend legal protection to digital rights management technology through copyright reform.

Excerpt:
"More than a dozen organizations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) and the Canadian Association for Open Source signed a pair of open letters that were sent to Ministers of Canadian Heritage and Industry earlier this week. The letters were complemented with the launch of a Web site, Intellectualprivacy.ca, which provides more background and context to the privacy risks they claim are associated with digital rights management (DRM). Federal privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, along with her Ontario and British Columbia counterparts Ann Cavoukian and David Loukidelis, endorsed the letter and sent letters of their own."

Also read this fact sheet on copyright
May 19, 2006

Bill 109: Residential Tenancies Act Hearings will be held Only in Toronto
Hearings on the new Residential Tenancies Act will be held only in Toronto on May 29, 31 and June 5th.
Tenants in other Ontario cities will have to travel to Toronto or submit a written submission to the Committee. Hearings could wrap up by June 8th and the Bill can then proceed to Third and final reading.

Tenants who waited 2 ½ years for the new Act can only watch as the Bill is rammed through the legislature...
Bill 109 could become law before the Legislature rises for the Summer on June 22nd.
Read More

May 19, 2006

Call to Contact MPs to Support Bill C-304 - National Strategy for the Treatment of Autism Act
Significant developments on Autism front in both House of Commons and the Senate

Things are really picking up on Parliament Hill, with significant developments on the autism front in both the House of Commons and the Senate:

 Bill C-304 - National Strategy for the Treatment of Autism Act - First Reading May 17, 2006

Hansard * House of Commons - May 17, 2006 - National Strategy for the Treatment of Autism Act
Hon. Shawn Murphy (Charlottetown, Lib.) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-304, An Act to provide for the development of a national strategy for the treatment of autism and to amend the Canada Health Act.

May 18, 2006

Supreme Court of Canada to Rule on Access Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) Press Release dd May 17, 2006
The leadership of Canada's disability community will be in the Supreme Court of Canada at 9:30 am on May 19th, where the community's access rights will be interpreted by the country's highest court for the first time. In October 2003 the Canadian Transportation Agency [CTA] ordered VIA Rail to make its recently purchased rail cars accessible to persons with mobility and vision disabilities. In March 2005 the Federal Court of Appeal overturned this decision, saying people with disabilities who can't use the new trains will have to find other means of transportation.

Before the trains were purchased, using 100% taxpayer money, former Liberal Transport Minister David Collenette promised the trains would meet the CTA's train accessibility standards. When told the trains were inaccessible Collenette washed his hands of the matter, suggesting VIA seek the CTA's guidance on the issue. VIA refused. Faced with Canada being the only developed country in the world where new inaccessible trains could be brought into service, and with the CTA unable to act on its own initiative, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), on behalf of it broad membership, applied to the CTA for a ruling on whether or not the trains were legal. Read More
May 18, 2006

Bill 102 Transparent Drug System for Patients Act, 2006
Ontario Health Coalition - Urgent Update

The drug industry and the pharmacy chains are descending on Queen’s Park regarding a piece of legislation that will likely work to control the costs of drugs. The OHC has been calling on government to take action to control the cost of drugs for years. Now we need to act to support the initiatives in Bill 102 that will work to control drug costs.

We strongly encourage local coalitions, member groups and affiliated organizations and individuals to sign up for standing at the committee hearings on this Bill. Please note the deadline is next Tuesday, May 23rd, to email or call in to book a spot. Please call or email in to book your spot now.

A briefing note on the issues which you can use for the hearings is below. A full submission from the OHC will be sent out early next week for your use. Read More
May 17, 2006

Working families want withdrawal from Afghanistan
The Canadian Labour Congress calls for the withdrawal of Canada’s troops in Afghanistan and an increase of our commitment to the reconstruction and development of that country.
At its regular spring meeting earlier this week, the Executive Council of the Canadian Labour Congress commended the courage and bravery of all the men and women serving in Afghanistan. The Executive Council, which brings together the senior leaders of the country’s largest unions along with the presidents of the provincial and territorial federations of labour, adopted a statement that also denounces the fact that our federal government “has moved beyond the NATO mission of humanitarian relief and peacekeeping to an active combat role in support of the US military mission in Afghanistan. In so doing, our government has put Canadian troops in harm’s way in an unprecedented manner.”
The Executive Council of the Canadian Labour Congress does not “accept the argument that Canadian presence is intended to bring democracy to the people of Afghanistan. Nor do we accept the premise that our presence is intended to put Afghanistan on the road to sustainable development or improve women’s equality in that country.” Read More
May 17, 2006

Funding for Treatment of Autism
Autism in the Senate - Debates of the Senate (Hansard) May 16, 2006
Hon. Terry M. Mercer: Honourable senators, it is an honour for me to support my colleague, the Honourable Senator Munson, in his ongoing effort to raise awareness of a problem in Canada with regard to our children. I will, no doubt, echo many of the thoughts and feelings of those here today. I can only hope that we will do our best to continue to raise awareness of autism and solve the issues surrounding it.

The Autism Society Canada estimates the number of children with autism has grown by more than 150 per cent in the last six years. This statistic is startling. These sufferers, with compulsive behaviours and speech disorders, become alienated from their family and friends, those who care about them so deeply. According to most research, the disorder affects approximately 190,000 Canadians. Three out of every 1,000 children are being diagnosed - up from four in every 10,000 in 1986. Read More
May 17, 2006

AODA Alliance Calls on Attorney General to Ensure Forthcoming Public Hearings on Bill 107 Will Be Fair, Open and Accessible, and to Correct the AG's Inaccurate Statement About the AODA Alliance In Legislature
On May 8, 2006, the Attorney General incorrectly stated in the Legislature: "I know that at least one member of the Ontarians with disabilities committee has argued that we ought to put off debate over human rights reforms until 2025. That's the date on which the accessibility legislation is to be implemented in its entirety."

Neither the AODA Alliance (whom the Attorney General appears to have confused with its predecessor, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee), nor anyone speaking for it, has asked the Government to hold off debating reforms to the Human Rights Commission for twenty years. To the contrary, we have agreed that reform is needed and called for prompt, time-limited public consultations. However we have opposed the specific weakening of the Human Rights Commission that the Government announced on February 20, 2006 and enshrined in Bill 107. Read More
May 16, 2006

MCSS Transformation of Developmental Services - 'Opportunities and Action'
Just a heads up regarding the Transformation of Developmental Services initiative announced by the Ministry of Community and Social Services in their document quietly released last week entitled, “Opportunities and Action”. (Gov't press release)

DAWN Ontario has grave concerns about the direction this document suggests for people with developmental disabilities in Ontario and are in the process of contacting other stakeholders to see if we might be able to develop a common understanding on the issues and a common response to these plans.

The government is inviting public comments on Opportunities and Action -- note the deadline for feedback/comments is June 30, 2006.

Follow this link to access links to government material on this initiative.
May 16, 2006

Poverty: Enough is Enough
by Jacquie Chic, Toronto Star Opinion-Editorial, May 16, 2006
No matter the model, income security reform must reflect the actual cost of living in each community, says Jacquie Chic
Excerpt:
"The dire poverty in which social assistance recipients and minimum wage workers live is attributable to the inexcusable state of our income security system.

No amount of bickering about how to measure poverty and therefore how widespread it is changes the fact that it exists and that the gap between rich and poor is widening.

Recent immigrants, Indians, women and people living with disabilities are most likely to be poor.
[please note: the text for this Op-Ed was submitted by Jacquie Chic as "Aboriginal people" and was edited by the Star to read "Indians"].

Governments don't make the choices they do because they are blind to the existence of poverty or its effects. On the contrary, choices that reduce or minimally increase low income are favoured despite the peril that causes for the poor because they create increased profit margins and allow CEO salaries to soar...."

Read the rest of Jacquie Chic's Op-Ed at: http://tinyurl.com/gopne
May 16, 2006

Action Alert: Equal Marriage Vote
Stephen Harper has confirmed he’ll hold a vote on re-opening equal marriage. So the only issue is when. How long will he delay that vote? Until he thinks he has the votes to win? Until after the next election? Although we’re ahead in the vote count, opponents of equal marriage are pressing for a delay so they can take advantage of what they call “a window of opportunity” to pressure MPs to vote for re-opening the divisive marriage debate.

Equal marriage opponents
are using this “window” to actively target MPs in Ottawa. They’re even hosting receptions for “supportive and persuadable” MPs!! One was hosted on Parliament Hill just a few weeks ago by Pat O’Brien’s group, Vote Marriage Canada.

It’s critical that MPs hear not only from equal marriage opponents, but from supporters as well. We know 2/3 of Canadians are against rolling back the clock on equality, but MPs may not believe that, if all they hear are calls to “restore traditional marriage.”
Read More & Take Action
May 16, 2006

Bill 109: Will the Legislative Committee for Bill 109 travel outside the GTA?
The New Residential Tenancies Act is well into Second Reading and the government has given no indication as to whether Committee hearings will be held throughout the province or only be held in Toronto. Issues surrounding the Tenant Protection Act and the Housing Tribunal are finally being addressed in Bill 109, The Residential Tenancies Act. It is vital that all groups that wish to give a presentation to the Committee have the chance to do so. This Bill could be rushed through committee and passed by June 22nd when the Legislature rises for the summer. Read More
May 15, 2006

'Time For A Fair Deal'
The Task Force to Modernize Income Security for Working-Age Adults Releases its Final Report - May 2006


May 15, 2006

Bill C-225 Pesticide Ban -- Sign Petition
Please add your support for this petition and forward to your friends, networks and family; to all ecologically minded citizens. There is a paid business lobbyist working for pesticide companies in London - The "grassroots" of Canada can certainly meet this challenge to the integrity of our children's health, not to mention the birds, bugs and squirrels that cannot read the warning signs either.
Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe MP) and Bill Armstrong (Ward 4 London City Councillor) have created an online petition in support of Bill C-225. The bill would place a moratorium on the cosmetic use of pesticides until products are proven safe and approved by a committee of Parliament.

Full-text of the bill
Link to the Petition
May 14, 2006

Providing Tools for Social Justice and Equality For All Women
Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) Press - Release May 11, 2006

CRIAW is a national non-profit research institute whose work centres on making the links between feminist research, action and social change. Its main objective is to advance social justice and equality for all women.

Rethinking Mainstream Approaches to Questions of Social and Economic Policy: Intersectional Feminist Frameworks (IFFs)
follow this link to CRIAW

Working to Integrate Marginalized Women's Voices
follow this link to CRIAW
PDF File - requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

Intersectional Feminist Frameworks (IFFs) Think Tank Report
follow this link to CRIAW PDF File - requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

Intersectional Feminist Frameworks (IFFs) Critical Reflection Piece
follow this link to CRIAW Focus

Intersectional Feminist Frameworks: An emerging vision
CRIAW's critical reflection piece on Intersectional Feminist Frameworks (IFFs) is the result of over two years of conversations with community activists and academics on the intersectionality experienced by historically marginalized groups. IFFs examine how factors including socio-economic status, race, class, gender, sexualities, ability, geographic location, refugee and immigrant status combine with broader historical and current systems of discrimination such as colonialism and globalization to simultaneously determine inequalities among individuals and groups.
Disentangling the Web of Women’s Poverty and Exclusion!
This information tool reveals that the issues affecting women’s poverty and exclusion are deeply interconnected in creating a web of economic insecurity and marginalization. The lens of Intersectional feminist frameworks (IFFs) is crucial in disentangling this web and in bringing about social change. Disentangling the web is not enough. Solutions and strategies to achieve social and economic justice must be explored and implemented if we are to build stronger movements to strengthen civil society’s capacity to influence policy. This information tool is about making the voices of activists and advocates being at the forefront of the work for social change and women’s substantive equality.

Free copies
: Phone: 613-563-0681 ext 221, Email: info@criaw-icref.ca
(There is a charge for posting and handling if you order 10 copies or more)
May 14, 2006

Bill 208, the Protection of Fundamental Freedoms (Marriage) Statues Amendment Act
FOTF / IMFC Watch:
Focus on the Family (FOTF) Canada / Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC) (Hold your nose ... as you read and get ready to mobilize around the issues facing us as a nation vis a vis the fundamentalist desire for political supremacy)

Bill 208, the Protection of Fundamental Freedoms (Marriage) Statues Amendment Act
Responses to Bill 208
Focus on the Family (FOTF) Canada
Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC)
A Better Message

May 13, 2006

Women’s Health Institute Project - Consultation Update
Bulletin 2, Spring 2006
The Women’s Health Institute Project Team has been busy meeting with individuals and groups from throughout the province. The feedback gathered from these sessions has been very useful and will inform the ongoing recommendations and reports made to the Minister of Health and Long Term Care over the coming year. Read More
May 13, 2006
Special Diet Allowance Update
The Ministry has issued two new bulletins and an instruction sheet for physicians and health professionals clarifying that in situations where recipients have been granted a special diet allowance to help them reach a healthy body weight, the allowance should be continued to help them maintain their weight. Read More

May 13, 2006
CTV poll: Should the Conservatives reopen the abortion debate
CTV is currently running a poll at http://www.ctv.ca on whether the Conservatives should reopen the abortion debate.
Total Votes cast (as at 8:45 pm): 15,950
Yes 4,853 votes (30 %)
No 11,097 votes (70 %)
May 12, 2006
Expose and Oppose P3s and Private Hospital
The OFL’s campaign to expose and oppose privatization and Public-Private Partnerships (P3c) has been traveling across the province in April and May conducting workshops for union members and engaging local media in the debate around the issue of building and rebuilding public services. Read more in the latest issue of FOCUS!
May 12, 2006
Senate Debates of May 11, 2006 - Autism!
Hon. Jim Munson rose pursuant to notice of April 27, 2006:
That he will call the attention of the Senate to the issue of funding for the treatment of autism.
He said: Honourable senators, there is an urgent health issue in this country and that issue is autism. The Autism Society of Canada estimates that the number of children with autism has grown by more than 150 per cent in the last six years and now affects one in 200 children. Autism affects people in different ways, isolating its sufferers with compulsive behaviours and speech disorders that close people off from their family, friends, teachers, neighbours and society as a whole. Read More

May 12, 2006
Senator Munson Launches an Inquiry into the Treatment of Autism - Senate Wakes Up!
OTTAWA, May 11, 2006 – The Honourable Jim Munson, Senator (Ottawa – Rideau Canal) rose in the Senate today to launch an inquiry on the plight faced by parents of children with autism. “It is heartbreaking to see what families with autistic children have to deal with,” said Senator Munson. “Where is the universality in health care that Canadians are so proud of? It’s not to be found if you have autism,” continued the senator from Ontario. “The Canada Health Act does not specify autism treatment as an Insured Health Service.”

“Autism knows no borders. It is time for the Government of Canada to show leadership – in the same way that we have shown leadership with Canada’s Drug Strategy or our Diabetes Strategy. We need a National Autism Spectrum Disorder Strategy.” Senator Munson hopes that with the support of his colleagues that this inquiry may become the focus of a study of a Standing Senate Committee. Read More & en français
May 11, 2006

New Human Rights Bill Hurts Those Who Need It Most
On April 26, the McGuinty Liberals introduced Bill 107, An Act to Amend the Human Rights Code. Unions, community groups and the NDP all condemned the Bill as a disaster for Human Rights in Ontario, and called on the government to hold public hearings to give a say to those who will be affected.

OFL Executive Vice-President Terry Downey said the legislation “will only make matters worse for the very people the Commission was set up to help. Under the guise of ‘direct access’ to a Human Rights Tribunal this legislation only allows access to a court – not justice,” said Downey. “It’s privatization of a publicly-funded human rights system. The amendments serve to Americanize the system.” .... Read More
May 11, 2006

Task Force for Income Security Launches Report & Recommendations
Media Advisory: Toronto City Summit Alliance - May 11, 2006
The Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age Adults (MISWAA) will release its report addressing the urgent need to reform Canada's income security policies. The report will detail specific recommendations that will transform the country's income security system into a more effective one for working age adults. The proposals constitute a multi-faceted set of solutions aimed at the federal government, the provincial government, municipal governments, and other parts of civil society than can ultimately contribute to the solutions. Read More
May 11, 2006
Satire: Canadian Politics: What's The U.N. Know Anyway?
by Richard Marcus - a must read!
Excerpt:
... The government spokesperson at these hearings, Allan Kessel a legal advisor to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, pointed out to those do-gooders on this committee that most Canadians "have access to housing of acceptable size and quality at affordable prices." I mean goodness; it's only $800.00 a month for a one-room apartment in Toronto. Only a malcontent would make a fuss over the fact that a single person only receives $540.00 a month on welfare.

Look at all the geared-to-income housing units we have in the province of Ontario alone for these people on welfare and disability support payments. It's only on average a five-year wait for one of those apartments and after that you're set for life. A couple gets a 750 square foot one bedroom apartment in a low rise complex filled with other couples and families just like them. It's a regular community.

Mr. Kessel said Canada was "proud of its record of achievement in the promotion of economic, social and cultural rights." and has been at the forefront of promoting human rights both internationally and domestically. Just look at our new policy for day care as an example of economic and social rights. A couple with only one person working and whose income is over $175,000 a year can claim a $1200.00 tax credit at the end of the year. Of course the less money you make the less of a credit you get because you don't need to deduct as much from your taxable income now do you?

Of course we are proud of our record regarding human rights domestically. Just look at the wonderful work we are doing with our native populations. Twice in the last two months we have successfully airlifted whole communities off their reserves when the water systems have failed and they were threatened with e-coli infestations. They all got to have a nice trip out of town at government expense and nobody got sick.

Oh sure there has been some belly aching because the new government hasn't honoured the Kelowna Accord's commitments for funding housing, education, and employment, but they still got $1.5 million dollars this year. They didn't really think they would get the $8 million that all the provinces and the previous government agreed to, now did they? ...
Read More

May 11, 2006

Call for a National Autism Strategy
To date no province has offered autism treatment under the Medicare umbrella. Those provinces that offer autism treatment programs under the Social Services departments are often plagued with unconscionable waiting lists or discriminatory age-based cut-offs.

It is time for the federal government to demonstrate leadership and develop a National Autism Strategy that would see fedeal budget surplus dollars transferred to the provinces specifically for autism treatment along with corresponding standards so that no child with autism will be left behind.

We are calling on all parents, family and friends of children with autism to write their MPs, Senators, and the Health Minister, to:

* Ask them for the corresponding study results in Canada and what are they doing about it.
* Ask them what they're doing about the lack of Federal funding for the treatment of autism.

* Call for the new Conservative government to develop a National Autism Strategy.

Contact info for MPs, follow this link

Contact info for Senators, follow this link

Contact info for The Hon. Tony Clement, Minister of Health:

Parliamentary Address
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 944-7740
Fax: (613) 992-5092
E-Mail: Clement.T@parl.gc.ca

May 11, 2006

Women's Call to ACTION - June 7, 2006
A Woman Stuck In Poverty... Is A Woman Stuck In Abuse

Demands:

  • A 40% increase in social
    assistance rates

  • End the clawback of the
    National Child Benefit Supplement

  • Reinstate the Special Diet supplement
June 7th, 2006
Time:
12:00 - 2:00 pm


Toronto
:
Picket outside Minister Meilleur's office at the Ministry of Community & Social Services, Hepburn Block,
80 Grosvenor St.
Toronto

Ottawa:
Picket outside Minister Meilleur's constituency office at
237 Montreal Rd., Vanier

End Violence Against Women & Children
With the increased cost of living, women can not afford to pay rent & feed their children

As a result of cuts to the special diet supplement many families lost $250 /person/mth

Federal child benefits must not be clawed back, this funding is intended to support children

Most of those receiving social assistance are single mothers

Basic necessities can ensure women & children's health & safety

It is not a surprise that many women
decide to return to abusive relationships
in order to survive economically!
May 10, 2006

Mr. Harper, on Mothers Day, women want more that just flowers: we want real equality now!
The National Association of Women and the Law released a Mother's Day Statement that has been endorsed by over 100 local, provincial and national organizations across the country. While more fathers have been getting involved, women still do the lion's share of the work of caring for children and the home. Most mothers do a double day's work and pay a steep economic price for raising young children. Motherhood often leads to impoverishment for women, to overwork, exhaustion and guilt. The Mothers Day Statement calls on the Harper government to take concrete measures toward the social and economic equality of mothers. Read More
May 10, 2006
Globally, the media shows little interest in women's issues
by Kamala Sarup, May 10, 2006, LA Chronicle
reprinted with permission of the author

Excerpt: The International Federation of Journalists, the world's largest journalists' group, says that stereotyping of women in media and the restricted entry of women into the charmed circle and largely male world of management in journalism are key obstacles to gender equality in the media industry.
"Around the world the struggle for equality in media is a constant battle for recognition of women's rights. The issue is always there whether it is in discrimination over jobs and pay or in the diet of sexist and titillating journalism that still contributes to the difficulties faced by women in all sections of society," the IFJ said. Read the full article
May 10, 2006
Where Are the Women? Kirby Report is hit and miss, advocates for women's mental health say
Working Group Releases Background Overview of Women, Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction in Canada
Women’s mental health, mental illness and addictions experts and advocates from across Canada applauded the call for a Mental Health Transition Fund by the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, but expressed deep concern over the absence of any gender analysis in the Committee’s final report on mental health, mental illness and addiction in Canada, released yesterday. Read More
May 10, 2006
FAFIA - Update & Invitation: May 17 - CEDAW 25th Anniversary Event
...
FAFIA is hosting an event on Parliament Hill on Wednesday, May 17th between 5:15 and 6:30 p.m. entitled “25 Years: Ready or Not?. This gathering is intended to give Parliamentarians more information regarding Canada’s obligations under CEDAW. It also offers FAFIA members an opportunity to talk with Parliamentarians regarding our efforts to ensure Canada’s full accountability for its human rights commitments to women.

Our primary objective for the event is to convey our confidence that with the right approach, the current session of Parliament can potentially be a positive and productive one for the advancement of women’s rights in Canada. We also intend to demonstrate FAFIA’s commitment to working with all Parliamentarians and parties willing to go the distance on the UN recommendations. Read More
May 10, 2006

Announcing National Elizabeth Fry Week /
Annoncé la semain e nationale elizabeth fry
National Elizabeth Fry Week: May 8 - 14, 2006
Theme: Women in Community
Purpose of National Elizabeth Fry Week:
The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) celebrates National Elizabeth Fry Week annually. Elizabeth Fry societies across the country organize public events in their communities throughout the week.

Our goal is to enhance public awareness and education regarding the circumstances of women involved in the criminal justice system, especially those who are criminalized. We hope to challenge and gradually break down the negative stereotypes that exist about women who are victimized and criminalized.

National Elizabeth Fry Week is always the week preceding Mother's Day. The majority of women in prison are mothers. Most of them were the sole supporters of their families at the time they were incarcerated. When mothers are sentenced to prison, they and their children are also sentenced to separation. Many women find this the most severe punishment. We try to draw attention to this reality by ending Elizabeth Fry Week on Mother's Day each year. Read More
en français
May 8, 2006

AODA Alliance Releases Preliminary Response to the McGuinty Government's Human Rights Bill
Accessibility For Ontarians With Disabilities Act (AODA) Alliance Update dd May 8, 2006
Summary:
On Wed., April 26, 2006, the McGuinty Government introduced into the Legislature for First Reading Bill 107, the proposed "Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006." That bill is aimed at reforming the process for enforcing human rights in Ontario.
By introducing this bill at that time, the Government rejected the widespread claims from the AODA Alliance and many others, that it should not introduce a bill on this topic until it held a proper, open accessible public consultation on how to reform the Human Rights Code.
The bill itself is a substantial rejection of major concerns about the Government's plans that have been raised by so many voices in the disability community such as the AODA Alliance, racialized communities and by other sectors of our community.
Shortly we will make available the important documents from the Government concerning this bill. However, today as quickly as it can, the AODA Alliance is releasing its preliminary response to Bill 107.
We have to act as quickly as we can, because unfortunately the McGuinty Government is rushing to proceed with this bill in the Ontario Legislature. We learned late last week, though not from the Government itself, that the Government is bringing Bill 107 forward for the first day of Second Reading Debates in the Legislature this evening from around 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. By rushing this bill forward to Second Reading debates just 12 days after the bill got First Reading on April 26, 2006, the Government is giving the public far too little time to digest all the bill's complicated provisions. It also is eliminating the possibility of sending the bill out for public hearings before the bill reaches Second Reading. Had this Government sent the bill out for hearings over the summer before Second Reading, we would have had a broader opportunity to have input into the bill before the Legislature voted on it at Second Reading. At Second Reading the Legislature votes whether to give the bill "approval in principle."
Read More
May 8, 2006

UN Experts question Canada’s inaction on poverty, housing, aboriginal rights
GENEVA - “Many of the issues our committee raised in 1993 and 1998 are unfortunately still live issues today,” said Ariranga Govindasamy Pillay, a member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights during the committee’s review of Canada’s performance. “Years later, the situation appears to be unchanged, and in some respects worse. There is continuing homelessness and reliance on food banks, security of tenure is not still not enjoyed by tenants, child tax benefits are still clawed back, (...) the situation of aboriginal peoples, migrants and people with disabilities doesn’t seem to be improving.” ...
Several committee members were disturbed by the lack of investment in social programs and by continuing high poverty rates of the most marginalized (women, aboriginal peoples, people of colour and immigrants) [editor's comment: What about people with disability???] and wondered why this has happened when the government is enjoying budget surpluses year after year. Read More
May 8, 2006

Interview with Circle of Women with Disabilities (CIMUDIS) in the Dominican Republic
The Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) kindly provided this transcript (Rochelle Jones) of the recent interview they conducted with Cristina Francisco from Circle of Women with Disabilities (CIMUDIS) in the Dominican Republic about the intersection of feminism, discrimination and disability. Read More
May 8, 2006

Take Back Mother's Day March & Protest
May 14, 2006 at 2:00 pm - 15 Huntley Street (Sherbourne & Bloor) - Toronto
For most Canadians, Mother’s Day is a time when families honour their mother’s hard work. But for many of low income families find that on Mother’s Day, peace and joy is in very short supply, especially now that more than 30,000 of their youngsters languish in foster homes.
We did not lose our children because of abuse, rather we lost our children because of poverty, lack of affordable adequate housing, being single, being young, having a child with special needs, being in recovery from substance abuse issues, having survived an abusive partner, or having worked in the Adult Entertainment Industry.
Silenced for decades by shame and guilt, we suffered alone with our grief, believing that we were the only ones. Now we find that we are not alone. Mother’s Day began as a day to honor the public activism of mothers. It began in 1870 because mother’s declared that they would not lose their children as casualties of war.
On Sunday May 14th 2006, let's “Take Back Mother’s Day" by joining with Mothers across Toronto as we rally in front of the Children’s Aid Society at 15 Huntley Street at 2:00pm to demand... Read More
May 7, 2006

Express Line to Injustice
Ontarians want a strong and effective Commission, one that is both comprehensive and flexible; not one that merely achieves a case management efficiency by the slashing and burning of human rights. by Lorne Foster, May 5, 2006 - from rabble news
The Ontario Liberals recently announced in the Legislative Assembly a proposal to create a new human rights system. Bill 107 effectively guts the Ontario Human Rights Commission, eliminating the entire enforcement provision. By voiding the investigation and compliance functions of the Commission, complainants will be expected to navigate the process on their own or hire a lawyer. Read the full article on rabble news
May 6, 2006

AUTISM: Latest Prevalence Rates in USA - Now 1 in 175
Below is the latest bombshell in the USA about the prevalence rates for autism. Clearly, this is getting media attention in the USA. We need to capitalize on this and send this information to all MPs and Senators, especially Tony Clement, the Minister of Health, and ask them for the corresponding study results in Canada and what are they doing about it?

Clearly, this would support our case that the government needs to mandate the Public Health Agency with monitoring what the heck is going on and using this data to feed into policy development.

Contact info for MPs, follow this link
http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/house/mpscur.asp?Language=E

Contact info for Senators,
follow this link
http://www.parl.gc.ca/common/senmemb/senate/isenator.asp?Language=E

Contact info for The Hon. Tony Clement, Minister of Health:

Parliamentary Address
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 944-7740
Fax: (613) 992-5092
E-Mail: Clement.T@parl.gc.ca

Study Finds 0.55% of Kids Autistic
Wall Street Journal
May 5, 2006, Byline: Associated Press, Section: Technology & Health; Page: B2

More Cases of Autism Reported; About 1 in every 175 U.S. schoolchildren has the disorder, a national survey finds
Los Angeles Times
May 5, 2006, Byline: Thomas H. Maugh II, Section: Main News; National Desk, Page: A-14

300,000 Children in U.S. Found to Have Autism
Washington Post
May 5, 2006, Byline: Shankar Vedantam, Section: A Section, Page: A09

National Briefing Health And Science: Study On Autism
New York Times

May 5, 2006, Section: National Desk; Page 19

Read More & Take ACTION

May 5, 2006

Responses to the May 2, 2006 Federal Budget

Index of Responses to date include:


YWCA Canada
Prime Minister Harper's Surplus Budget puts Canadian Children at a Deficit

Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA)
Federal Budget Delivers Housing Funding

FAFIA Wrap Up (added May 5, 2006)

National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC)
National Council of Women of Canada Responds to May 2nd Budget

Canadian Nurses Association (CNA)

Canadian Nurses Association Reacts to 2006 Federal Budget

Assembly of First Nations (AFN)

Federal Budget Ignores Health Crises in First Nations Communities
Assembly of First Nations Statement on the 2006 Federal Budget: First Nations Sacrificed to Build a Better Canada

Health Action Lobby (HEAL)

Health Action Lobby responds to 2006 Budget

Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL)
The Federal Budget Is a Source of Concern for the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador

Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC)
Native Women's Association of Canada President Beverley Jacobs disappointed with the lack of clear financial commitment the Conservative Gov't has committed to Aboriginal people in its 2006 Budget

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
Harper's first budget: tax cuts trump child care, public services - Conservatives hoodwinking Canadians in quest for majority

Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)
Federal Budget Ignores Student Debt

Ontario Ministry of Finance
Ontario Still Seeking Fairness From Federal Government - Harper's First Budget "Leaves More Questions Than Answers," Bountrogianni Says

Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)
Federal budget spells bad news for federal public services

Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada)
First Conservative Budget Falls Short in Boosting Canadian Productivity - Measures ignore growing information and communications technology where greatest gains can be achieved

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN)
NAN Grand Chief disappointed with fraction of FMM commitments in budget

Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC)
No child care in today's Budget

Métis Nation
Federal Budget falls short for the Métis Nation

Anishinabek Nation - Union of Ontario Indians
Budget a 'patchwork foundation' to Harper's aboriginal agenda

Heritage Canada Foundation
Heritage Canada Foundation disappointed in federal budget

Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)
Harper budget charts wrong course for education

Federal Budget short-changes Canadian Children
Reaction to the Federal Budget by the Presidents of:
Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA); Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO); Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF); Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF);
Ontario Federation of Home and School Associations (OFHSA)


Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1. on
Ontario government's home care initiatives still fail clients and workers

Rural Voices
Rural, remote and Northern communities missed in all the tax credit giveaways

National Housing and Homelessness Coalition
Housing Coalition welcomes federal budget's funds for affordable housing

May 4, 2006

CCD - Council of Canadians with Disabilities Online Consultation
The International Development Committee of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) invites disability rights advocates and human rights advocates to join us for an on-line discussion about the proposed UN Convention to Protect and Promote the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Last year, Mary Ennis, CCD Vice-Chair, and International Development Committee Member, conducted an on-line consultation for women with disabilities about how the proposed Convention should address gender. During this consultation, participants expressed a preference for the Convention to address the issues of women with disabilities in both a separate article and throughout the various articles of the convention, where appropriate. This approach has been supported by the Canadian delegation at the Ad Hoc Meetings, and at present, all indications are that
it will prevail.

This year, Steven Estey, Chairperson of our International Development Committee will conduct another on-line consultation about the Convention. This year, we will be using Dis-IT’s “ACollab,” an accessible web-based collaboration tool (see below for more details).

The consultation will provide an opportunity to dialogue more generally with others who are interested in the development of the United Nations’ first international convention specifically addressing human rights and people with disabilities. ... Read More

Agenda for the online forum: added May 6, 2006
May 8: Receive documents on 1st item (definition of disability)
May 9-12: Discussion on definition of disability
May 13: Receive documents on last discussion (monitoring)
May 14-17: Discussion on monitoring
May 18: Close process and provide summaries.
Read More
May 4, 2006

Apostle of transparency: Harper developing into most secretive PM in history
by Geoffrey Stevens, StraightGoods.com, May 2, 2006
Prime Minister Stephen Harper campaigned for election on the twin principles of transparency and accountability. A Conservative government would be an Open Government yes, sir. No more sweeping of corruption under the Privy Council carpet no, sir. Open Government that's the ticket.

If there is any lingering doubt about the hollowness, the emptiness, the cynicism the sheer hypocrisy of the Harper campaign promises, it is swept away by the devastating report released on Friday by Information Commissioner Reid. Reid is a servant of Parliament, not of the government. It is his duty to defend the publics access to information about what government is doing and how it is doing it, so that the people may judge whether their representatives are competent or incompetent, honest or dishonest, well-motivated or mean-spirited.
Read the full article on StraightGoods
May 4, 2006

FAFIA Budget Wrap Up (updated document dd May 5, 2006)
There is little evidence that this federal budget was subjected to a gender analysis during its development. Many of the issues that preoccupy millions of women, including access to childcare, language training and mentorship programs for employment (for new Canadians in particular), skills development and training, as well as income support programs (eg. social assistance, employment insurance) are not meaningfully addressed in this budget. For the third consecutive year, FAFIA has commissioned Armine Yalnizyan to provide a gender based analysis of the federal budget which will be available in the coming weeks. In advance of this, to help our members, partners and friends understand what the implications of this budget are, we have compiled the following responses from a range of sources. Read More
updated May 5, 2006

No Child-Care Clawback for Manitoba Families: Melnick
News Release: Manitoba Family Services and Housing
Families with children under age six in Manitoba receiving employment and income assistance (EIA) will receive the full federal Universal Child Care Benefit and their income assistance levels will not be affected, Family Services and Housing Minister Christine Melnick announced today.
"The incomes and the quality of life for low-income Manitobans who are participating in the EIA program will not be affected," said Melnick. "We are committed to helping people achieve their full potential and providing children with the right start in life." Read More
May 3, 2006
Sexual Assault Prevention Month
Hansard - Minister Pupatello, MPPs Julia Munro & Andrea Horwath
on Sexual Assault Prevention Month

Read More
May 3, 2006

The 15 cent per hour increase to Quebec's minimum wage
This article appeared in The Gazette yesterday about the 15 cent/hr increase to Quebec's minimum wage ... Note the figures quoted from Stats Canada ... "According to Statistics Canada data for last September, almost two-thirds of minimum wage workers in Canada are women. One in three teenagers age 15 to 19 work for minimum wage - accounting for nearly half of the minimum wage earners in the country, StatsCan says. ... Another 17 per cent of minimum wage workers are age 20 to 24, and nearly half of them are students."

Minimum wage hike is peanuts
critics: Hourly pay jumps today by dime, nickel; 'Please. Fifteen cents? Where can I go with that? Multiply that by eight hours a day'
by Natalie Goldenberg-Fife, Freelance, The Gazette, Monday, May 01, 2006
Excerpt: "Quebec's minimum wage increases by 15 cents an hour today, but many workers who will benefit are not exactly jumping for joy. The rate goes to $7.75, up from $7.60 an hour. For those receiving tips, it will be $7 - up from $6.85. ... Jean-Pascal Bernier, a spokesperson for Labour Minister Laurent Lessard, said as many as 118,000 Quebecers will benefit from the increase. "We are talking about those in the service industry, single mothers and young people," he said. The increase is part of a provincial plan - adopted in 2004 - to reduce poverty, Bernier said. "Increasing the minimum wage on a regular basis will help to make poverty disappear." ???
Read the Full Article
May 2, 2006

Ken Dryden, Liberals - "Thinking big" just won’t cut it
by Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor, Canada Free Press
Excerpt: A day after he formally announced his candidacy for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, a column penned by Ken Dryden appeared in the National Post. Titled "Canada needs to think big", Dryden outlined what he would like to see happen in the next ten years. He wrote,
"Within ten years, let us: * Cut child poverty in half.
* Become one of the top five most productive countries on earth. * Lead the world in alternative energies and energy efficiency. * Finally and forever make Aboriginal peoples full participants in the success of Canada. * Build a truly inclusive, accessible country for Canadians with disabilities."
<sniped> ...
These grand visions of reducing child poverty (where have we heard that before?) and making Aboriginals full participants in the success of Canada, whatever that means are nothing more than wishes and dreams. We need a leader who can set realistic and achievable goals and then carry them out. Or in the words of Nike; someone who can "just do it". Read the full article
May 2, 2005

A Call to End Women's Poverty
May 1st, 1pm-3pm at the 519 Church Street Community Centre
Join us on May 1st from 1 to 3pm to organize a mass delegation of women (to take place in the later part of May) to demand that the government:

  • implement a 40% increase in the social assistance rates,
  • end the clawback of the National Child Tax Credit, and
  • reinstate the Special Diet supplement.

The meeting will take place at The 519 Church Street Community Centre (Wellesley Subway) Child Care will be provided upon request. ASL interpretation will be provided upon request. Contact: Ginny Santos at 416-392-3138 (TTY: 416-392-3031) or justice@metrac.org
Read More
May 1, 2006

Canada Must Re-Invest in Women, Groups tell United Nations in Geneva
Ottawa - Today in Geneva, women’s organizations and other social justice groups from Canada will report on Canada’s disappointing performance under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The United Nations Committee is due to review Canada’s compliance under this Convention in the coming week. FAFIA, a broad alliance of women’s organizations and human rights groups, and the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) are submitting a joint report to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that demonstrates how past federal budgets have starved many crucial social programs between 1995 and 1998. As a result, welfare rates are at levels that the National Council on Welfare calls “punitive and cruel”, civil legal aid for family law and poverty law matters is in a state of crisis, and deep cuts have been made to front line services for women fleeing violence. Despite eight years of federal budget surpluses since then, monies for these programs have never been restored.en français -- Read More
May 1, 2006
Canada fails to meet economic and social rights obligations, United Nations told
Canada is going backwards on its commitments to implement the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, a network of Canadian non-governmental organizations say in presentations they will make to a UN Committee on May 1. Though Canada is one of the wealthiest nations in the world with low unemployment and record Federal budget surpluses, too many people are being denied the human rights guaranteed by the Covenant, such as the rights to an adequate standard of living, to social security, to housing, to food, to health, and fair working conditions including fair wages. Disproportionate numbers of Aboriginal people, women, people with disabilities, people of colour, refugees and youth experience poverty and other rights violations in Canada today. Read More
May 1, 2006
Blue Social Policy and the Speech from the Throne: Evaluating the Four Top Social Policy Priorities of the Conservative Government
In keeping with its focus on the pursuit of social justice, the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) announces the publication of Blue Social Policy and the Speech from the Throne: Evaluating the Four Top Social Policy Priorities of the Conservative Government. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the four social priorities of the Conservative government and concludes that, while it is good news that four of the five priorities of the Conservative government are related to social policy, the bad news is that some of the policies are likely to lead to a widening gap between high and low-income families. For example, reductions in the GST will benefit the poor but disproportionately benefit high-income families, and the real value of the proposed children s allowance to most families will be less than $1,200 because of tax-backs and possible cutbacks in other children s benefits.en français -- Read More
May 1, 2006
Statement by Canada and Quebec's Child Care Coalitions
Unprecedented joint effort to win Parliamentary support for child care funding in budget

La Coalition des services de garde et des services aux familles and the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada are joining forces to pressure federal politicians of all parties to deliver multi-year funding for child care in the federal budget. We are doing so in an effort to ensure that Canada's Parliament acts to fulfill its responsibilities to young children and their parents. Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to cancel promised funding to the provinces and territories will strike a blow to families in Quebec and the rest of Canada. The decision ignores the reality of Canadian families who need flexible quality child care whether they are in the workforce, at home or in school. It also flies in the face of extensive research and experience here and internationally that demonstrates the benefits of quality early learning and child care for children, families and society at large. Read More
May 1, 2006

 

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