DisAbled Women's Network: DAWN ONTARIO

Women's Equality related posts
- 2007

(un) R.E.A.L. Women of Canada WATCH

Women & HIV/AIDS



June 4, 2007
Additions to the site include:

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

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


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

May 30, 2007
Additions to the site include:

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 29, 2007
Additions to the site include:

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 14, 2007
Additions to the site include:

Women Against Poverty Collective (WAPC)
Women's Housing Takeover

Who We Are
What We Are Doing
Why We Are Doing This
When & Where
Contact WAPC
Facts About Violence Against Women
Facts About Poverty and Women
Ways to be Involved
We demand

May 11 , 2007
Additions to the site include:

Please Support the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada / Coalition pour le Droit à l’Avortement au Canada (ARCC-CDAC)

Click here to visit the website of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada / Coalition pour le Droit à l’Avortement au Canada (ARCC-CDAC)


February 15, 2007
Additions to the Site include:

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


November 24, 2006
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New Federal Policies Affecting Women's Equality: Reality Check -- CRIAW's latest Fact Sheet
Do you agree with the federal Conservatives that “women are already equal”?

Check out CRIAW's hard-hitting new fact sheet:
New Federal Policies Affecting Women's Equality: Reality CheckPDF document requires Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF file)

It summarizes “facts” and “current government policy” for six issues.

Read text here, highlighting one detail from each section.


November 5, 2006
Additions to the site include:

Commentary on Sept. 26th Announcement of $1-Billion Funding Cuts
Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)
CAUT commentary on Treasury Board funding cuts PDF doc - requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) (PDF, 4 pgs, 20 kb)
On September 26 Stephen Harper’s Conservative government announced a series of cuts totaling $1 billion over the next two years. The cuts were announced on the same day the government made a $13.2-billion payment on the national debt. The cuts affect a vast array of departments but are concentrated primarily on aboriginal programs, skills and literacy training, social policy research, legal assistance and research, and funding for Status of Women Canada. Read More


October 30, 2006
Additions to the site include:

Support a National Child Care Program
Momentum is building for a private members’ bill that would boost child care from a patchwork of services to a pan-Canadian program. Add your support today by emailing your member of parliament about this important bill. Read more and Take Action


October 8, 2006
Additions to the site include:

Harper's social Darwinism
Silver Donald Cameron, ChronicleHerald.ca
OPPOSITION PARTIES don’t win elections, says the old maxim; governments lose them. In 1957, Louis St. Laurent lost. In 1984, John Turner. In 2006, Paul Martin. On each occasion, the over-ripe Liberals yielded to a new-ish Conservative leader — Diefenbaker, Mulroney, Harper.

New Tory prime ministers always believe they won the elections, and thus have a mandate to reshape the country according to their dark fantasies. Wrong: Canadians did not suddenly decide to cleave unto the National Citizens’ Coalition and the Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute. They mainly wanted to punish the Liberals. Failing to understand that, the Tories soon make themselves loathed, and are firmly propelled into the wilderness for another generation.

The Harper Tories have started already, with their brainless budget cuts. With a surplus of $13.2 billion, the government is "swimming in money," notes former Liberal Revenue Minister John McCallum. The national debt as a percentage of GDP is at its lowest level in 24 years. No matter. Without even a fig-leaf of necessity to cover its naked social Darwinism, the government gleefully mounts a sly, mean-minded assault on civil society — the voluntary and non-commercial activities which glue the country together. Read full article here


In Spain, women are shaping a cultural revolution
Molly Moore, The Washington Post

MADRID - When Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega graduated from law school in the 1970s, Spanish law prohibited her -- and any other woman -- from becoming a judge, serving as a witness in court or opening a bank account.

Today, the angular, outspoken 57-year-old is Spain's first female vice president, helping orchestrate a cultural revolution in the boardrooms and living rooms of the country that coined the word machismo -- male chauvinism -- five centuries ago.

"We have a prime minister who not only says he's a feminist -- he acts like a feminist," Fernandez said in her cavernous office of polished wood floors and cream-colored sofas. "In 2 1/2 years, we have done more than has ever been done in such a short time in Spain."

Her Socialist government is requiring political parties to allot 40 percent of their candidate lists to women and is telling big companies to give women 40 percent of the seats on corporate boards. Half of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero's Cabinet members are women -- the highest proportion in any European government.

New divorce laws not only make it easier for couples to split, but stipulate that marital obligations require men to share the housework equally with their wives. Read full article here


October 6, 2006
Additions to the site include:

Funding Cuts to Women's Programs 'Profoundly Undemocratic'
Feds targeting the most vulnerable groups say elementary teachers
Funding cuts to federal programs protecting and promoting women's equality rights are profoundly undemocratic, charges the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Harper today, ETFO president Emily Noble stressed that the reductions in funding are "shamefully targeting the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in our community."

"Reverse these cuts and policy changes," Noble urged the Prime Minister. Read More


September 28, 2006
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Liberals Stand Up For Canadian Women
Liberal Party release dd Sept. 28, 2006
The Liberal Opposition today stood up on behalf of all Canadian women today and called on the Conservative minority government to respect the rights of women and promote their equality in Canadian society.

“This government has gutted the funding for equality seeking groups that help raise awareness and fight discrimination, including those for women” said Liberal Critic for Status of Women Maria Minna. “Moreover, we are saddled with Conservative Minister for Canadian Heritage Bev Oda, who won’t rule out the possibility that the Status of Women Agency might wind up on the Conservative chopping block. Read More

Support for Court Challenges Program (CCP)
Dear Friends of the Court Challenges Program

As you know by now the Court Challenges Program has been cancelled by the Conservative minority government. This is a blow to all those in Canada who believe in fairness, equality and language rights for French and English minorities. Please help us reverse this decision.

Below you will find links to a letter to the Prime Minister and several background documents regarding the Court Challenges Program. A Steering Committee representative of both language rights and equality rights communities has prepared these materials and is asking that you do the following:

  • Inform CCD by noon of Monday, October 2nd if you or your organization are willing to be listed as either a supporting organization or individual on this letter, or both.

Send your confirmations of support to april@ccdonline.ca along with your contact information.

Your endorsement should indicate the full name (not simply an acronym) of the organization in both English and French if you choose, as well as the full spelling of your name and title if you wish it included.

  • Circulate this letter to others that have not received it and encourage their support. There will be follow up letters to the Prime Minister. We are seeking as many names as possible by Monday but do not stop seeking endorsements of the letter, there will be other opportunities for organizations and individuals to support this work.

  • Write your own letter as an individual or organization to the Prime Minister and forward a copy for our records to april@ccdonline.ca

  • Write your own Member of Parliament and send her or him a copy of the letter to the Prime Minister. We will circulate the final letter to the Prime Minister with endorsements to you on Monday afternoon.

Sign on to the Letter to the Prime Minister in Support of the Court Challenges Program

The Court Challenges Program: An Important Access to Justice Institution

The Court Challenges Program: An Effective and Accountable Institution

The History of the Court Challenges Program


An axe that harms democracy
Court Challenges Program played key role in settling equality rights
by Lorne Sossin, Op/Ed, Toronto Star, Sep. 28, 2006
On Monday, after announcing more than $1 billion in reduced federal government spending, including the axing of the Court Challenges Program, Treasury Board president John Baird said, "I just don't think it made sense for the government to subsidize lawyers to challenge the government's own laws in court."

At first glance, Baird has a point. Why should the government fund lawsuits against it?

The Court Challenges Program provides selective funding to "test cases" which seek to advance equality and language rights under the Constitution.

The rationale for the fund lies in the fact that access to justice requires resources — both in terms of court fees and fees for the lawyers who argue these cases.

The Court Challenges Program has over the years offered a voice in the debate on the scope and nature of language and equality rights to individuals and groups, which would otherwise not be able to bring these issues to court.

Equally important, this program has conferred legitimacy on rights-seeking individuals and groups. The program stands for the proposition that it is in the public interest to have courts clarify the nature of the constitutional constraints on government. ... Read More


Tories defend end to law program benefitting seniors, women, gays, minorities
by Alexander Panetta (CP), Wed Sep 27, 2006
Donated by The Canadian Press

OTTAWA (CP) - The Conservatives are under fire for killing a legal-aid program that has assisted Canadian minority groups in a series of historic court victories over the last three decades.

The cancellation of the Court Challenges Program was slammed Wednesday by the country's largest legal organization, opposition parties, and at least one Tory provincial government.

The Trudeau-era program has helped fund successful court challenges that broadened the rights of Canadian seniors, women, the disabled, homosexuals, religious groups, aboriginals, and minority-language groups.

The federal Tories announced this week that cutting the program would save taxpayers $5.6 million over two years.

Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams - a provincial Tory and a lawyer - called the cuts worrisome and distanced himself from the "right-wing" federal Conservatives. Read More


September 27, 2006
Additions to the site include:

Cancellation of Court Challenges Program a Step Back for Equality Rights
Read the press release that went out after today's press conference held by Liberal MPs Omar Alghabra, Sue Barnes, Mauril Bélanger, Bonnie Brown and Maria Minna
The Conservative government's elimination of the Court Challenges Program will strip minority groups of the ability to challenge legislation that infringes on their rights, says the Liberal Opposition. Read More

en français: L'abolition du Programme de contestation judiciaire est un recul pour les droits à l'égalité

L'annulation du Programme de contestation judiciaire va priver les groupes minoritaires de la possibilité de contester les lois qui enfreignent leurs droits, déclare l'opposition libérale.


Court Challenges: Mary's story
Dad tells how axing program will hurt disabled Canadians

Winnipeg Free Press, Wed Sep 27 2006,
by Kevin Rollason
WE'RE not gay, and my nine-year-old daughter and I have never been jailed in a federal prison. We're ordinary Canadians who have been helped by a federally funded legal program the Harper government now wants to axe.

The Harper government's spin on shutting down the Court Challenges Program of Canada, to save $5.6 million, is that this is the organization that has been part of controversial cases including funding the advocates for gay marriage and the right of prisoners to vote.

In announcing the axing of Court Challenges, along with numerous other programs as part of $1 billion in spending cuts yesterday, Treasury Board president John Baird said those initiatives "weren't meeting the priorities of Canadians" or providing "value for money."

Scarier still, Baird went on to say about Court Challenges that the federal government is no longer interested in funding opposition to legislation it believes is right.

But if not for Court Challenges, I would not have been able to fight the government when our family was discriminated against by the federal employment insurance program. Read More


Canadian Conservative Government Slashes Funding to Wasteful Anti-Family Programs
LifeSiteNews.com, John-Henry Westen, dd September 26, 2006
OTTAWA, September 26, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The budgets of some of the most wasteful and at the same time biased Canadian government funded programs have been slashed by the new Conservative Government. Three organizations which have been overtly pushing for same-sex marriage have been denied millions of tax-dollars they have been receiving for years under the previous Liberal government.


REAL Women Canada
, a conservative women's group said in a press release today that they were "especially pleased" at the cut to Status of Women. "This is a good start, and we hope that the Status of Women will eventually be eliminated entirely, since it does not represent 'women', but only represents the ideology of feminists," said the group. "The Status of Women was established in 1973 under Prime Minister Trudeau and over the years, it has funded feminist groups to serve as agents of change, never recognizing that other women have different views and have no wish to be represented by these feminist organizations."
Hold your nose & read more

R.E.A.L Women of Canada, Press Release, September 26, 2006
Conservative Government Bringing Common Sense to Public Finances


September 26, 2006
Additions to the site include:

Government's real priorities revealed - Media Statement
We are deeply concerned about the gutting of the only federal agency that addresses critical questions pertaining to equality and about what it suggests about what this government's true intentions are for equality matters in Canada.

Announced Monday, the 5 million dollar cut to Status of Women Canada (SWC) is a serious attack on the lone federal department engaged in the development of gender responsive policy and in the fulfillment of Canada's human rights obligations to women at the international, domestic, and inter-governmental levels.

We now see the government's real priorities revealed. Read More

National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) Responds to Federal Budget Cuts
Stephen Harper promised to “take concrete and immediate measures …to ensure that Canada fully upholds its commitments to women.”

The elimination of the Court challenges Program will deny legal redress to poor and marginlized women: the Conservative Government is abrogating CEDAW Article 2 (c) To establish legal protection of the rights of women on an equal basis with men and to ensure through competent national tribunals and other public institutions the effective protection of women against any act of discrimination. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not include the financial means by which to access the courts on an equal basis with the wealthiest citizens or corporations when a individual’s rights have been violated.

Harper’s Government cut $5 million from the Status of Women budget despite the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee, representing all parties in the house, to an increase in the budget of at least 25%. How does this action live up to his promised commitment to Canadian women?


Cuts reveal Harper Conservatives agenda - For women and Court Challenges
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Press Release
The government has announced a series of cuts to social programs - so they can save $2 billion over the next 2 years. "Likely the money from these programs will be designated for some type of tax cut that the Harper Conservatives will announce in the next federal election - probably sometime this spring," said Paul Moist, national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

"When we look at just 2 of these program cuts $5 million from the Status of Women and $5.6 million from the Court Challenges program, a clear message is being sent. The government is essentially saying that any voice given to
addressing gender inequality in this country will be further silenced - furthermore any voices wanting to challenge the current status of the laws of this land will be muzzled," added Moist.
Read More


Federal Conservatives Betray Commitments to Women's Equality: Provincial Advisory Council Responds to Cuts to Status of Women Canada
The Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women is alarmed by the federal government's decision to cut 1 billion dollars in spending. "The federal government signaled its intention to make these cuts last spring, and our worst fears are being realized," says Leslie MacLeod, President. "They are eliminating 1% of their overall spending by eliminating or reducing critical social programs."

The Advisory Council denounces the decision to cut the federal Department of Status of Women Canada by $5 million over two years. These cuts will be taken from its modest budget of $13 million per year. It is one of the smallest federal departments but has a huge role in advancing women's equality. This department provides critical analysis of the effect of policies and programs on women.

... The Advisory Council also condemns the decision to shut down the Court Challenges Program of Canada. Yesterday, federal Treasury Board President John Baird stated, "I just don't think it makes sense for the government to subsidize lawyers to challenge government's laws in court." The Advisory Council disagrees. Read More


Sue Genge Responds to Edmonton Sun column 'Despair over cuts to women's groups'
I read and disagree with much of Ms. Jacobs' article. But, in particular, I thought she should be clear that when women's organizations talk about the wage gap, we are not talking about the difference between men in highly skilled and higly paid professions vs women in low skilled and low paid professions. In particular, I'm refering to the following assertion in her article.


"The paper harps about the ongoing pay gap between men and women, without pointing out that men tend to choose higher-paying jobs because they're socialized to be the breadwinners.

It's disingenuous to complain that women working full time only earn about 70 cents for every dollar men make if you've deliberately chosen to work as, say, a low-paid restaurant hostess."

I've forwarded the attached Chapter 1 - Wage Inequities from the 2004 Pay Equity Task Force Report. If you consult Table 1:4 and Table 1:5 you will see a number of interesting and telling facts, based on Statistics Canada data. One, women are concentrated in lower paid occupations, which you will undoubtedly attribute to life choices. We will have to disagree about how much real choice many women have in our society. The other fact you should notice is that within each broadly defined occupational category, without exception, there is a significant gap between the wages of men and women ... the only "profession" where women earn more than men is as "babysitters, nannies and parent's helpers". Read More


September 25, 2006
Additions to the site include:

Cuts to Status of Women and Court Challenges Program Undermine Government’s Commitment to Women’s Equality
FAFIA (Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action) Press Release
Ottawa: FAFIA, a pan-Canadian alliance of women’s and human rights organizations, is denouncing the $5 million cut to the federal department of Status of Women over two years. These cuts will be taken from its modest annual budget of $13 million. The grants and contributions arm ($11 million) of the department was not affected.

“These cuts will critically affect the federal government’s own commitment to live up to its equality commitments to women,” said Shelagh Day, Co-Chair of the Canadian Feminist Alliance (FAFIA).

FAFIA is also dismayed by the elimination of the Court Challenges Program. “This Program has provided Canadian women with their only access to the use of their constitutional equality rights,” said Shelagh Day. “Equality rights have no meaning in Canada if women, and other Canadians who face discrimination, cannot use them.” Read More | en français: Des coupures à Condition féminine Canada et au Programme de contestation judiciaire sapent l'engagement du gouvernement envers l'égalité des femmes

Conservatives make their mark on government spending with tough choices
by: Jennifer Ditchburn, CP
The Conservatives put their mark on government spending Monday with the announcement of $1 billion in cuts to programs they did not consider priorities, from funding to Canadian museums to research on the use of medical marijuana. ... Some of the cuts, over two years, included:

  • $4.6 million in assistance to museums.
  • $5 million from Status of Women Canada.
  • Elimination of the $4-million medical marijuana research program that tested the impact of pot on ill Canadians.
  • Elimination of Law Commission of Canada.
  • Elimination of $9.7 million in support to Canadian Volunteerism Initiative.
  • Elimination of $10.8 million First Nations/Inuit tobacco control strategy.


Conservatives Elimininate Court Challenges Program & Cut $5M from Status of Women of Canada over next 2 years
The $5 Million cut to Status of Women Canada (SWC) and the elimination of the Court Challenges Program (CCP), seriously undermine the Government's commitment to women's equality.
The overall budget at SWC is $24 million. The women's program absorbs almost $11 million (grants and contributions). That means the department functions on effectively $13 million, 5 million of which has just been cut over next 2 years.

Here's the pinpoint URLs to Treasury Board of Canada site with info on the cuts.
English: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/media/nr-cp/2006/0925_e.asp
En français: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/media/nr-cp/2006/0925_f.asp

September 22, 2006
Additions to the site include:

Notes from Pay Equity Press Conference, Ottawa, Sept/21/06
Andrée Côté, National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL)
Bonjour, my name is Andrée Côté, and until a few weeks ago I was Director of Law Reform at the National Association of Women and the Law. NAWL has been forced to lay off it's staff in the last few weeks and is waiting for the renewal of our funding application from Status of Women Canada.

The Harper government response on pay equity this week demonstrates why it is so important that women's groups receive adequate and stable funding: we need to have the capacity to defend women's rights, and to respond to retrograde and ineffective policies that bring us back 20 years. Read More | plus en français

Pay Equity: at the heart of equality
Canadian Labour Congress & Public Service Alliance Of Canada
Press Release dd Sept. 21, 2006
The federal government announced yesterday that it is taking a giant step backwards on the question of equal pay for women workers. More than thirty years after the adoption of the Canadian Human Rights Act, women still earn less, on average, than men regardless of their occupation, age or education. Today, a woman earns 72.5 cents for every dollar a man earns. Our equal pay legislation is not working. The wage gap is even greater for Aboriginal women, women of colour and women with disabilities. Read the full release in English

L'équité salariale... au coeur de l'égalité
Congres du Travail du Canada & Alliance de la Fonction Publique du Canada
Le gouvernement fédéral a annoncé hier qu'il prenait un énorme pas en arrière dans le dossier de l'équité salariale pour les femmes. Plus de trente ans après l'adoption de la Loi canadienne sur les droits de la personne, les femmes gagnent encore moins que les hommes en moyenne, peu importe leur profession, leur âge ou leur scolarité. A l'heure actuelle, une femme touche 72,5 cents pour chaque dollar que touche un homme. Notre législation sur l'équité salariale ne fonctionne pas. L'écart salarial actuel est encore plus important chez les femmes autochtones, les femmes de couleur et les femmes handicapées. Read the full release en français


Women's groups fear federal cuts coming
by Norma Greenaway, CanWest News Service, Vancouver Sun, Sept. 22, 2006
A leading Canadian women's rights group has been forced to close its office for lack of money and other federally financed organizations fear a similar fate as the Conservative government zeroes in on a promise to cut spending by $1 billion this fiscal year.

The prospect cheers Gwen Landolt, vice-president of the pro-life, pro-family conservative lobby group REAL Women Canada and a fierce critic of federal funding of ''feminist'' and other special interest groups. ''It's simply an abuse of taxpayers' money to fund only one ideology,'' Landolt said in an interview.

Suspense over how much, if any, money will flow to women's and other groups should end within the next week or so when the government tells Canadians what programs it plans to curb or kill to meet its budget commitment.

Opposition MPs accuse the government of using the spending review to dismantle by ''stealth'' the 30-year-old agency known as Status of Women Canada, which, among other things, hands out almost $11 million a year to groups committed to promoting gender equality and the full participation of women in society. Read Full article at: http://tinyurl.com/fl9aw

September 21, 2006
Featured article:

PM's pick for bench draws fire
Social activists cite conservative views
Globe & Mail, Kirk Makin
The appointment of an Ontario judge who is seen as an opponent of pro-choice and gay rights has created a stir among social activists.

Spokesmen expressed concerns yesterday about the appointment of Mr. Justice David Brown, a Toronto lawyer who has represented Christian family-value positions in several cases, and has written papers dealing with legal developments involving the sanctity of life. ... He represented Focus on the Family (Canada) and REAL Women of Canada in a court intervention against the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. Read full article


September 20, 2006
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Conservatives Take First Step Towards Dismantling Ministry for the Status of Women / Les Conservateurs Amorcent Le Démantèlement De Condition Féminine Canada
NDP / NPD Press Release dd Sept. 20, 2006
Excerpt: OTTAWA – The future of women’s organisations across Canada is being threatened as the Conservative Government is taking too long to review Status of Women Program applications – forcing prominent women’s organisations to close their doors.

“By not responding to funding applications, the Conservatives are allowing programs to shut down, one by one.,” said NDP MP critic for the Status of Women Irene Mathyssen. "What's next? The entire department? It looks like Bev Oda is spoiling to dismantle the Status of Women department."

As of Sept. 12, The National Association of Women and the Law, has closed their doors due to insufficient federal funding. The Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) will shut down on Sept. 26. Organizations have put in applications for funding, but have heard nothing from the Minister responsible for Status of Women, Bev Oda.
English version
en français


September 14, 2006
Additions to the site include:

(un) R.E.A.L. Women of Canada WATCH (update)

Straight.com, dd September 14, 2006
Queer film fest under attack
The Department of Canadian Heritage should cut $23,000 in funding to the Vancouver Queer Film Festival because the films are “degenerate and degrading to humanity”, according to conservative lobby group REAL Women of Canada. Read More


The Federal Government must Renew the Women's Program!

women bullet

women bulletThe Women`s Program

women bulletStanding Committee on the Status of Women Recommendations to improve the Women`s program

women bulletThe Context : women's inequality remains deeply entrenched

women bulletA Lack of Political Will to Address the problem

women bulletAnd this was Brought to you by the Women's Movement

women bulletPast Federal Acknowledgment of the Important Role played by Women's Groups

women bulletInternational support for the funding of Women's Groups

women bulletConclusion

women bullet TAKE ACTION


September 13, 2006
Additions to the site include:

(un) R.E.A.L. Women of Canada WATCH (updates)

Today’s Family News, Focus on the Family (FOTF) dd September 13, 2006
Court Challenges Program Under Review

La Presse, Nathalie Collard, dd
September 12, 2006
Harper et les femmes | English Translation


September 10, 2006
Additions to the site include:

Womyn's Voices Online Consultation - Violence Against Women: Sept. 18 – Oct. 13, 2006
Objective: Engage women of Canada, including equality seeking women’s organizations, in the federal government ICT initiatives and collaborate on developing strategies to eliminate online violence and exploitation of women.


August 30, 2006
Additions to the site include:

Fighting the Blues - What the Social Conservative Agenda Means to Women
The CLC 13th National Women’s Conference Paper

REAL Women Canada is a key partner in the alliance of social conservative groups which strongly supports the Conservatives. In this statement, REAL Women acknowledges that the future they have planned for us is something that will alarm Canadians. What is their agenda? Should we be alarmed?

Social Conservatives to Sell Tory Daycare Plan”, read the headline of a Globe and Mail story on April 19, 2006. The Globe and Mail reported what many in Canada may have known intuitively. On April 3, the day Parliament re-opened — the Conservative government had met with far right-wing groups to strategize around how to convince the public that a taxable $1200/year/pre-school child was preferable to setting-up a public system of early childhood learning and care. Their ideological base of support is really the far right. The most vocal critics of public child care come from small, fundamentalist religious-based groups; the Conservatives are relying on them to counter the voices of working families and child care advocates. And they now have a direct link to the Prime Minister’s office. Read More

Alliance for Marriage & Family (AMF) seeks to protect family as ‘3-parents case’ seen as impacting definition of marriage
Canadian Catholic News dd August 30, 2006
The AMF [composed of the Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL), REAL Women of Canada, the Evangelical Fellowship (EFC), Focus on the Family, and the Christian Legal Fellowship] has filed a factum in the so-called “three parents case,” saying its member groups have a “common cause” to protect the “traditional family unit in Canadian society and law.” Read More

August 25, 2006
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Conservatives Must Come Clean on Agenda for Status of Women Canada
Liberal Party of Canada Press Release dd August 25, 2006
OTTAWA – Liberal Critic for Status of Women and Multiculturalism Maria Minna today called on Heritage Minister Bev Oda to reveal the Conservative government’s true intentions for the future of Status of Women Canada.

“The Conservative grassroots community is actively campaigning for the demise of this important agency which promotes the rights of women in Canada,” said Ms. Minna. “Ms. Oda must come clean and reveal whether or not she will bow to the pressure of these extreme right-wing groups or if she will take a stand and publicly distance herself from their position.”

Recent media reports indicate that several socially Conservative blogs have begun a campaign to eliminate the federal agency for the Status of Women. The group REAL women of Canada, which also opposes same-sex marriage and legalized abortion, launched the campaign because of their belief that the agency “promotes feminist policies on the false premise that women in Canada are victims of a patriarchal society.” Read More

August 21, 2006
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Women and HIV: The promise of microbicides
According to the World Health Organization, women account for nearly 70 per cent of HIV-AIDS cases worldwide.
Randy Sheppard, CBC News Online
When most people think about AIDS, they see it primarily as a problem of the gay community or of those who share needles. And they wouldn't be wrong.

But over the past half-dozen or so years, the face of AIDS in Canada and the United States has begun to change quite dramatically. More and more of those acquiring the disease turn out to be young heterosexual women, infected by their partners.

As the Public Health Agency of Canada reported just last month, women now make up 20 per cent of the approximately 58,000 Canadians infected with HIV, up from 14 per cent in 2002.

What is more alarming is the quick step of this trend. In the late 1990s, getting AIDS from straight sex in Canada was a fairly rare occurrence. Fewer than 11 per cent of all new adult cases before 1998 stemmed from heterosexual sex, according to health officials. Today that proportion has nearly tripled and young, straight women alone accounted for 27 per cent of all new infections last year — a huge jump.

Seen another way, Canada's experience might be said to mirror that of some of the worst parts of Africa where the AIDS virus first rampaged through the male population but now seems to be turning its bile much more toward women.

According to the World Health Organization, women account for nearly 70 per cent of HIV-AIDS cases worldwide and in places such as sub-Saharan Africa and India a growing numbers are married women infected by their husbands, with little power to do much about it. Read More

Opening Address at 16th International AIDS Conference Aug. 13, 2006 by Governor General Michaëlle Jean


August 19-20, 2006
Additions to the site include:

Highlights from the XVI International AIDS Conference, Monday, August 14 - Friday, August 18, in Toronto, Canada

Global Leaders Speak Out: Mr. William Jefferson Clinton and
Stephen Lewis - August 15, 2006 -- XVI International AIDS Conference

Read Transcript and/or View Video of this session

Clinton, Gates Address Stigma, Other Challenges to Combating HIV/AIDS Pandemic - August 14, 2006 -- XVI International AIDS Conference

Priorities in Ending the Epidemic: Mr. William J. Clinton and William Gates - August 14, 2006 -- XVI International AIDS Conference
Read Transcript and/or View Video of this session

Women at the Frontline in the AIDS Response - August 14, 2006 -- XVI International AIDS Conference
Read Transcript and/or View Video of this session

Actor, HIV/AIDS Advocate Richard Gere Says Media is Crucial in Fighting Pandemic - August 14, 2006 -- XVI International AIDS Conference

Media and AIDS: Spreading Information Faster than the Disease - August 14, 2006 -- XVI International AIDS Conference
Panelists at this session discuss the mobilization of the media industry following the 2004 launch of the Global Media AIDS Initiative by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at a special meeting organized by the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS.
Read Transcript and/or View Video of this session

High Level Session on Leadership: Time to Deliver for Women and Girls - August 13, 2006 -- XVI International AIDS Conference
Read Transcript and/or View Video of this session

Daily Roundup for Friday, August 18, 2006 from the XVI International AIDS Conference
Delegates at the closing of the XVI International AIDS conference in Toronto were reminded that now is the "Time to Deliver." Read More

Daily Roundup for Thursday, August 17, 2006 from the XVI International AIDS Conference

The XVI International AIDS Conference began today by addressing the need for a coordinated and comprehensive approach to HIV that includes elements some say are often overlooked, like human rights and youth. Read More

Daily Roundup for Wednesday, August 16, 2006 from the XVI International AIDS Conference
On Wednesday, achieving universal access to HIV/AIDS was a major focus of the conference. The World Health Organization released new estimates of global antiretroviral therapy coverage. Read More

Daily Roundup for Tuesday, August 15, 2006 from the XVI International AIDS Conference
The latest Daily Roundup includes comments from actor Richard Gere and former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Read More

Daily Roundup for Monday, August 14, 2006 from the XVI International AIDS Conference
The Daily Roundup for Monday, August 14 looks at the AIDS 2006 theme – Time To Deliver – and features comments from Bill and Melinda Gates and former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Read More


August 10, 2006
Additions to the site include:

Four Steps for Canada: Stephen Lewis and Canadian civil society groups demand action on global AIDS crisis
Platform presented to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in advance of XVI International AIDS Conference
Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa, today joined the Global Treatment Access Group (GTAG) and the Make Poverty History Campaign in calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to take decisive action in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The Global AIDS Crisis: Four Steps for Canada is a civil society platform for action to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS globally and to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS. The platform has already been endorsed by more than 80 organizations across Canada, including the labour movement, faith groups, AIDS organizations, student groups, human rights advocates, and humanitarian and development organizations. Read More


August 8, 2006
Additions to the site include:

ATHENA: Advancing Gender Equity and Human Rights in the Global Response to HIV/AIDS
As the world enters the third decade of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, women — especially the young and the poor — are increasingly affected. Because gender inequity fuels HIV/AIDS and HIV/AIDS fuels gender inequity, it is imperative that women and girls speak out, set priorities for action, and lead the global response to the crisis. The ATHENA Network was created to realize this imperative.

ATHENA strives to bridge the communities around the world that are addressing gender, human rights, sexual and reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS. Further, ATHENA promotes the leadership and participation of women and girls, especially those living with HIV/AIDS, as central to the global response. Through these efforts, we are guided by four central mandates for our collective work – the indivisibility and intersectionality of issues and experiences; the need for independence and integrity; the inclusion of grassroots and indigenous groups; and the importance of intergenerational exchange, new voices, and the involvement of youth. Read More

A Dose of Reality: Women's Rights in the Fight against HIV/AIDS

The global HIV/AIDS pandemic is taking a catastrophic toll on women and girls. The number of HIV infections among women and girls has risen in every region in recent years, and in sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls constitute nearly 60 percent of those living with HIV. In some countries, the HIV infection rates for girls are many times higher than for boys. The rising number of HIV infections among women and girls is directly related to violence against women and their unequal legal, economic, and social status.

Abuses of women's and girls' human rights impede their access to HIV/AIDS information and services, including testing and treatment. Those who do obtain HIV services sometimes face disclosure of their confidential HIV test results by public health officials without the women's consent. This heightens women's risk of being ostracized by their communities and abused by their intimate partners.

Governments around the world have done far too little to combat the entrenched, chronic abuses of women's and girls' human rights that put them at risk of HIV. Misguided HIV/AIDS programs and policies, such as those emphasizing abstinence until marriage, ignore the brutal realities many women and girls face. By failing to enact and effectively enforce laws on domestic violence, marital rape, women's equal property rights, and sexual abuse of girls, and by tolerating customs and traditions that subordinate women, governments are enabling HIV/AIDS to continue claiming the lives of women and girls. Read More

Women and HIV/AIDS: The Barcelona Bill of Rights
As we enter the third decade of HIV/AIDS, women, especially the young and the poor, are the most affected. Because gender inequality fuels the HIV/AIDS pandemic, it is imperative that women and girls speak out, set priorities for action and lead the global response to the crisis. Therefore, women and girls from around the world unite and urge all governments, organizations, agencies, donors, communities and individuals to make our rights a reality. Read More


July 29, 2006
Additions to the site include:

How you can participate online (free) in the 16th International AIDS Conference - Aug. 13 to 18, 2006
In preparation for the 16th International AIDS Conference taking place in Toronto from Aug. 13 - 18th, 2006, (and to help inform both myself as a conference delegate and other DAWN members) we've assembled some information on Women and HIV/AIDS (see below) from the International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC).

Please note that portions of the AIDS 2006 Conference will be available for viewing on the Internet at no cost and with no registration... Webcasts and transcripts, along with additional coverage, will be accessible at a later date. You can now sign up now to receive a daily update email during the week of the conference, providing summaries of each day's developments and direct access to all of the online coverage. Sign up at www.kaisernetwork.org/aids2006.

For those of you living in or near the Greater Toronto Area, please note that there are a number of women's events that will be held in the Global Village at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. These are open to the general public (free of charge) as well as to conference delegates.

Here is the link to the Programme available online: www.aids2006.org/PAG/ProgrammeAtAGlance.aspx. Any event marked with GV as the venue is scheduled to take place in the Global Village and does not require a conference badge to attend. As an example, here are 2 events scheduled at the Global Village (which I am anxious to attend):

1. An interactive session hosted by Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID)

Where's the Money for Women's Rights and HIV/AIDS?


AWID will share its 'hot off the press' research on resources for women's rights organizations and HIV/AIDS. Come share and learn if women are being short-changed and become part of the strategies to mobilize more resources for women's rights. For more info, contact awid@awid.org.

When: Sun. Aug. 13, 2006 from 3:00pm to 4:30pm
Where: Global Village, Main Stage, Metro Toronto Convention Centre

2. Hosted by the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW), International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC) and AWID:

In Her Own Words: Violations of Women's Human Rights and HIV
Moderated by Charlayne Hunter-Gault (CNN-Johannesburg)


This panel will expose rights violations that have led to the growing number of women who are now living with HIV, calling for greater respect and promotion of women's rights within the HIV/AIDS response. Panelists from different parts of the world -- HIV+ women activists and policy analysts -- will identify where appropriate policy or program interventions might have made the difference in terms of HIV status, treatment and community response. For more info, contact Cami Hilsendager at chilsendager@iwhc.org.

When: Mon. Aug. 14, 2006 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Where: Global Village, Main Stage, Metro Toronto Convention Centre

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

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

Women and HIV/AIDS: Women's Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS: An Overview


The Context: Women's vulnerability to HIV/AIDS Worldwide
In January 2002, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan announced that for the first time, women represented half of HIV-positive individuals worldwide, and more than half in sub-Saharan Africa, the region of the world hit hardest by the epidemic. HIV/AIDS had become a generalized epidemic in many African countries, moving from high-risk groups such as sex workers and injection drug users to the general population, largely because of pervasive gender inequality. The combination of social and political inequalities and severe poverty is lethal to women in the developing world, rendering them disproportionately vulnerable to the virus. ... Read more

The Commitment: Addressing Women's Realities
Despite women's disproportionate vulnerability, few programs aimed at curbing the pandemic's spread target them or reflect the realities of their lives. If we want to stop HIV/AIDS—in Africa, in Asia, in Latin America, in Eastern Europe, and in Canada and the United States — we must do two things: ... Read more

Colleagues: Empowering Women on the Ground
IWHC's colleagues worldwide are providing young people with the information, skills, and strategies to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS, and advocating for policies that mandate the gender-sensitive comprehensive sexuality education that will enable future generations to reach adulthood in good health. They are also working to erode the gender inequalities that fuel the epidemic's spread by advocating for women's sexual and reproductive rights and focusing attention on the realities of women's lives. For example: ... Read more


July 28, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 27, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 25, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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)." Source PDF file

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

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:
(2:15) -- Mon. July 24, 2006


July 24, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 23, 2006
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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


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 20, 2006
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R.E.A.L. Women file complaint against Ontario Chief Justice
The R.E.A.L. Women clan are at it again ... Now they've filed a formal complaint against Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry with the Canadian Judicial Council, alleging judicial misconduct.


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.”

** sniped **

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 19, 2006
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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:
A list of the AODA Alliance's 49 recommendations for amending Bill 107
The AODA Alliance's "Fact Check" on Official Statements about Bill 107
The AODA Alliances April 3, 2006 Discussion Paper on Options for Reforming the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Read More


July 15, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 13, 2006
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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 12, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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

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 10, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 7, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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.

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

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

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:

Read the Full Report:
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
PDF File (PDF, 3.05 MB / 81p.)

July 6, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 2, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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


June 29, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 26, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 24, 2006
Additions to the site include:

Legislature Gives Controversial Bill 107 Approval on Second Reading & Refers the Bill to the Standing Committee for Public Hearings
Put in your Request Now to Make a Presentation to Standing Committee Hearings

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:

Professional Feminists Face Changing Times:

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:

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)

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

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.)


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.

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 20, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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


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 19, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 14, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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.

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 13, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 12, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 9, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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
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 8, 2006
Featured today:

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.

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 5, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 2, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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

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

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 1 , 2006
Additions to the site include:

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

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

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

May 31, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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

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


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

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


  • A 40% increase
    in social
    assistance rates

  • End the clawback
    of the National Child Benefit Supplement

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

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

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!


CEDAW - The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Questions & Answers
Get Informed
Take Action


May 30, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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


Bill 107 needs to come with some assurances: Sandi Ellis
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


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 government to build a real child care program.

Child care advocates brought thousands of paper dolls and 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 29, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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


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 28, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 23, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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

CEDAW - Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
35th Session, May 15 - June 2, 2006

Canada & CEDAW
FAFIA Factsheet: CEDAW Anniversary Campaign FACTSHEET: What is CEDAW?

25 Years: Ready or Not?

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 22, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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


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 19, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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:

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. 7 last year 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

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.

"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 16, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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

"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

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 15, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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

Key recommendations to the Ontario Government include

May 14, 2006
Featured on the site today - CRIAW

Providing Tools for Social Justice & Equality for All Women
Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) 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 13, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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

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

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 12, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 11, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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


Task Force for Income Security Launches Report and 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 10, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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


  • A 40% increase
    in social
    assistance rates

  • End the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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 8, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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

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


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 7, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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 6, 2006
Featured article:

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 4, 2006
Additions to the site include:

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

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

FAFIA Wrap Up (added May 5, 2006)

Featured article:

Apostle of transparency: Harper developing into most secretive PM in history
by Geoffrey Stevens, StraightGoods.com, May 2, 2006
Excerpt: 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 3, 2006
additions to the site include:

FAFIA Buget Wrap Up (updated document dated 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

Disability-Related Tidbits from the Federal Budget 2006

Sexual Assault Prevention Month
Hansard - Minister Pupatello, MPPs Julia Munro & Andrea Horwath on Sexual Assault Prevention Month Read More

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 2, 2006
featured today:

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

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 1, 2006
additions to the site include:

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

Canada Must Re-Invest in Women, Groups tell United Nations in Geneva - en français
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. Read More

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

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


Blue Social Policy and the Speech from the Throne: Evaluating the Four Top Social Policy Priorities of the Conservative Government
en français
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. Read More


April 30, 2006
additions to the site include:

39th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION - EDITED HANSARD . NUMBER 012 - Friday, April 28, 2006

As a follow up to our Call for Letters in support of increased funding for women's equality-seeking groups Please see excerpt below from the April 28th Hansard containing the question posed by Maria Minna, Liberal critic for Status of Women and the response from Bev Oda, the Minister Responsible for Status of Women.

Status of Women

Hon. Maria Minna (Beaches-East York, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, conservative-minded groups are actively campaigning to have the Status of Women Canada program disbanded. Can the minister reassure the House that the government will take no such action and that no cuts will be made to the budget of this very important department?

Hon. Bev Oda (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the member's question gives me the opportunity to indicate that this government recognizes the importance of women. They represent 50% of all Canadians. We will support them in their endeavours. The resources they require so they can fully participate in Canadian life will be assured.
Read More


April 29, 2006
additions to the site include:

'All governments aren't doing enough'
by Bill Dunphy, The Hamilton Spectator dd Apr 29, 2006
The politics of poverty makes for strange bedfellows. A surreal air suffused Hamilton's council chambers yesterday morning as politicians from all three levels of government gathered to praise and applaud a man about to step onto an international stage and excoriate two of those same governments for failing to protect the rights of the poor. Poverty lawyer Craig Foye is bound for Geneva, Switzerland, where on Monday he will address a United Nations committee and accuse the provincial and federal governments of violating international human rights covenants by failing to ensure an adequate standard of living for Hamilton's -- and all of Canada's -- poor. Read the Full Article


April 27, 2006
additions to the site include:

Human Rights Now Only Available in Ontario If You Can Afford It
Ontario Federation of Labour Press Release
"... The fundamental role of any Human Rights system is to make it as completely accessible as possible to all people who have a complaint. The Legislation before the House will do no such thing. It takes away previously guaranteed rights to free resources that include investigation, mediation and legal support. This Legislation even allows the Tribunal to charge user fees," Downey said. "If you're wealthy enough to afford a lawyer, your case will probably get to the Tribunal - otherwise - forget it." ...
"Under this model the Tribunal becomes the investigator, the Judge, the Jury and the ultimate decision-maker in deciding if a case should move forward. The Tribunal has the final say - there is no appeal." Read More


April 25, 2006
additions to the site include:

Call for Letters in support of increased funding for women's equality-seeking groups
Now is the time to ACT and stand in solidarity with women's equality-seeking groups who on a daily basis, struggle to advance women's equality with very little resources. I encourage every member of DAWN Ontario and our allies to share this far and wide. Please ask the same of women in your respective networks.

Write to the Prime Minister and send copies to the Minister Responsible for Status of Women and to the Liberal, NDP and Bloc Québecois Critics for Status of Women, in support of increased funding for women's equality-seeking groups! (see sample letter) As previously posted, the R.E.A.L. Women of Canada group has been lobbying for the last 7 years to disband Status of Women. With Harper and the Conservatives in power, the time to act is NOW!
Read More & Take Action

April 24, 2006
additions to the site include:

Heads up: "Mother Moon" on world tour
Cult leader Sun Myung Moon calls himself the "enemy of feminism," which he calls "Satanic". Nevertheless, he understands that women are a force to be reckoned with, so he has established several bogus women's organizations, as well as bogus Jewish, Moslem, African-American and Native Indian ones. He also provided money to form the anti-environmental "Share" groups two decades ago. Though Moon is calling for a Christian theocracy, he has himself in mind as the Messiah! Though we don't hear much about him here, Moon is a billionaire with many thousands of followers and hundreds of front groups around the world. (South America, Africa and Oceania are now receiving special attention.) His fishing fleets provide a huge amount of supermarket fish sold in North America, and almost all sushi. Read More

Where is the Money for Women's Rights? PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
It seems that there are too few interested funders, with too little money, to support existing women's rights organizations and initiatives. Is it that women's rights groups are not bold enough in their fundraising strategies? Is it that donors simply don't understand the urgency and importance of this work? What has really been happening in terms of funding for women's rights organizations in the last ten years and what have been the driving forces behind those trends? This report is the result of an action research initiative launched by AWID to explore precisely those questions and to give insights into possible strategies for changing the existing funding landscape so that more resources are made available to women's rights organizations. Read More PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

Emergency Contraception Campaign Underway
The Canadian Federation for Sexual Health has launched its Emergency Contraception public awareness campaign. The poster and postcard campaign are part of a nation-wide awareness campaign supported by the Ontario Women’s Health Council - highlighting the fact that emergency contraception (EC) is now available at the pharmacy counter, without a doctor’s prescription. ... In addition to the postcards and posters, Canadians can also find updated information on emergency contraception, including what it is, how it works, and where to get it, by calling the new national toll-free line at 1-888-270-7444 or by visiting the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health website at: http://www.cfsh.ca/ppfc/content.asp?articleid=503.

New: Women's Human Rights Resources

New Policy Paper: Sexuality and Development PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
Jolly, S. April 2006
Development has generally treated sexuality as a problem - considering it only in relation to population control, family planning, disease and violence. However, sexuality has far broader impacts on people's well-being and ill-being. Using Robert Chambers' framework of the multiple dimensions of poverty, this IDS Policy Briefing highlights the many links between sexuality and poverty and suggests constructive ways to engage with sexuality as a development issue. It looks at how we can take a broader and more positive approach to sexuality, and how we can foster an environment that enables people to live out healthier, happier sexualities free from violence and fear. It gives examples of actions which shift the focus from negative to positive, from violence to pleasure, and shows how development can approach sexuality through health, human rights and sexual rights, gender, and religion. For more information see:
PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

New Paper: ''Responding to Violence against Women: How Development
Interventions Address the issue of Gender-Based Violence

Belen Sobrino, paper series: New Voices, New Perspectives, INSTRAW/March 06.

The paper highlights the shortcomings of current development policies to tackle violence against women, and proposes a new framework from a body politics approach to address VAW.
For more information please see:

New Website: Women's Learning Partnership
Women's Learning Partnership (WLP) is pleased to announce the launch of a new website at http://learningpartnership.org. The website provides innovative resources to support empowerment and
advocacy programs for women in the Global South, particularly in Muslim-majority societies, including:

- Culture-specific leadership training manuals in 14 languages
- Extensive information about WLP's 18 partner organizations, including the latest news on our activities
- Multimedia materials on leadership and empowerment, ICT capacity building, culture of peace, women's human rights, and political participation
- Bibliographies, national and international legislation, organizational directories, and profiles of women leaders
- Publications on the reform of family law, violence against women, and women's human rights
- In-depth information on Claiming Equal Citizenship: The Campaign for Arab Women's Right to Nationality

International Consultation on Women Human Rights Defenders Proceedings PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
Victoria Collis, River Path Associates. (December 22, 2005)
This is a full report of the International Consultation on Women Human Rights Defenders held on 29 November - 2 December 2005 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This report documents the discussions and analyses of violations and abuses committed against women human rights defenders through a framework of four key sources of violations: state actors, non-state actors, family and community, sex and sexuality-based attacks. It also contains strategies and recommendations made by the participants to better protect women human rights defenders. To view the report please see:
http://www.defendingwomen-defendingrights.org/pdf/WHRD-Proceedings.pdf PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

April 21, 2006
additions to the site include:

South Korea's First Woman Prime Minister Wins Assembly Approval
South Korean lawmakers approved the nomination of Han Myeong Sook, 62, to the post of prime minister, making her the country's first woman premier. ...Imprisoned as a social activist for two years from 1979 for reading socialism-related books when the country was under a military dictatorship, the Pyongyang-born Han is a leader of Korea's women's movement. She was the country's first minister of gender equality and family in 2001 and later also served as an environment minister. Read More


CUPE challenges Nova Scotia MP to come clean on family allowance/child care scheme
"A couple with one child and a family income of $30,000 who receives the $1,200, will lose $362 in income tax.
That brings it to $838, but then they have to subtract the Child Tax Benefit clawback of $390, which leaves them with $448. "Next they have to subtract the Young Child Supplement of $249, which leaves them with a grand total of $199." Read More

April 20, 2006
additions to the site include:

Call for Letters to MPs, Stephen Harper, & the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Canada in support of increased core funding for women's equality-seeking groups
R.E.A.L. Women lobbying to have Status of Women Canads disbanded
Apparently, R.E.A.L. Women is engaging in a letter campaign to the federal government to have the Status of Women Canada (SWC) disbanded. Hence letters supporting SWC to the government from feminist groups are needed at this point. Read More

Sara Anderson ends hunger strike, the struggle to raise social assistance rates continues!
Sara Anderson started her hunger strike two and a half weeks ago. She was demanding a significant raise in social assistance rates; the reinstatement of the previous Special Diet Policy; making it easier for people with disabilities to get onto the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP); and making sure that everyone on social assistance who moves is offered a Community Start-Up Fund. Read More

April 19, 2006
additions to the site include:

Resource for Feminist Blogs & Websites
Matt Leslie has developed a fabulous website entitled, A Space of One's Own, for a Master's seminar on Feminism at UNB. It is designed to be a resource for feminist blogs and websites on the Internet. Over the last two years, there has been a multiplicity of feminist weblogs starting up. Matt Leslie attempts to reveal that this isn't just something happening in the US and the UK, but throughout the entire world. The site showcases a variety of feminist voices.


Questions & Statement raised in the Ontario Legislature on April 11th, 12th and 13th, 2006 concerning the hunger strike by Sara Anderson
April 11, 2006
April 12, 2006
April 13, 2006


April 16, 2006
additions to the site include:

Sign a Petition to End the Clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS)

Background Information
NCBS Backgrounder
The Welfare Wall -- Hiding the Truth about Poverty
Charter Challenge of the National Child Benefit Supplement
Legal Challenge to the NCBS Clawback from Families on Social Assistance

Poverty in Canada & the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) Claw Back


April 14, 2006
additions to the site include:

Welfare Fraud: The Constitution of Social Assistance as Crime PDF
By: Professor Janet Mosher, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University and Professor Joe Hermer, Division of Social Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, 2005
"The impression that there is widespread defrauding of benefits by recipients has been so successfully installed in public discourse and government policy that social assistance is now primarily viewed not as a necessary form of support for those in need, but rather negatively, as a burdensome problem of regulation, policing and crime control. Those on social assistance, the far majority of them women and children, are widely viewed as morally suspect persons, criminals in waiting poised to abuse a public expenditure and trust." Read More PDF


April 13, 2006
additions to the site include:

Sara Anderson's Hunger Strike
Single mom takes desperate measures to demand immediate action on poverty!

Sara Anderson is a Sudbury woman on Ontario Works who has resorted to a hunger strike in a desperate attempt to get the attention of the provincial government. No one should feel they have to put their life at risk to get the Liberal government to take the issue of poverty seriously in this province. And anti-poverty groups and community agencies shouldn't be put in the position of grappling with how to support someone who says she is willing to die if she can't live with dignity. Read More & Take Action


Barbara Hall contradicts Attorney General's Claim that She Supports his Human Rights Reform Proposal
In a public statement posted on the Ontario Human rights Commission's website, Chief Human Rights Commissioner Barbara Hall has made it clear that she has not expressed support for the Ontario Government's proposal to provide "direct access" to the Human Rights Tribunal. She plans to await all details regarding any reform proposal before expressing a view on it. See her statement below, obtained from the OHRC website. This public statement directly contradicts Attorney General Michael Bryant's earlier claim that Chief Commissioner Hall supported his proposal. Read More

How'd They Vote?: A Resource for Political Accountability
"How'd They Vote?" aims to be a non-partisan website which provides a variety of in-depth information on the operations of the Canadian Parliament, specifically, how our politicians vote and what they've said. How'd They Vote takes the Hansards from the parliament website, and extracts information on bills, members of parliament, votes, and speeches. The Hansards are an excellent resource, but it is not the mandate of the parliament website to fully index the Hansards and extract every nugget of interesting information from them.

Hansards: Debates in the House of Commons:

Hansards: Debates of the Senate of Canada:

Federal Government's Online Pre-Budget Consultations for Budget 2006 and Beyond
Started April 6, 2006 - Closing Date: April 19, 2006
Between now and April 19th, the Stephen Harper government is requesting input on what to put in the upcoming 2006 budget and future budgets of the Federal government.
Key Consultations Issues
Without restricting other comments you make, the Federal Gov't would appreciate your views on the following questions:

1. What would you like to see in Budget 2006 and future budgets?
2. If you propose further tax cuts - or spending increases - where should the gov't spend less?
3. How can the government deliver programs more efficiently and effectively?

To place these questions in context, see the Minister’s Consultation Invitation.

To respond, you can use one of the following options:

: budget2006consult@fin.gc.ca

Regular mail:
Consultations and Communications Branch
Budget 2006 Consultations
Department of Finance Canada
140 O'Connor Street
19th Floor, East Tower
L’Esplanade Laurier
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G5
(613) 992-1573

Fax: (613) 992-0938


April 12, 2006
additions to the site include:

Are women human?
In her new book, leading feminist Catharine MacKinnon argues that women are still treated more like "things" than people. She talks to Stuart Jeffries about her war on pornography - and whether men and women can ever really connect. Read More at http://tinyurl.com/fgxys

Daily Bread Food Bank announces education savings program to help break poverty cycle - Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation facilitates starting an RESP for Daily Bread clients
The Daily Bread Food Bank announced today a new partnership designed to help break the poverty cycle through an accessible education savings program. Recognizing the importance of saving for post-secondary education in reducing the barriers to higher education and encouraging self-sustainability, Daily Bread and Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation have partnered to help low-income families take advantage of the Canada Learning Bond program by setting up a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). Read More

April 11, 2006
additions to the site include:

Evicted: McGill Sexual Assault Centre

I am writing asking for your support in defending the sexual assault center at McGill University. The McGill University Administration has sent an eviction notice to the Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Students' Society (SACOMSS). This eviction will leave SACOMSS without its confidential, secure night office where it currently runs its help line. Read More & Take Action
Sign the online petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/sacomss/

To Improve Federal/Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Federal Social Transfer Must be Strengthened, say Women’s Groups
While Premiers meet in Montreal today to discuss the “fiscal imbalance”, FAFIA, a broad alliance of women’s and human rights groups, is calling on governments to strengthen social programs and services for Canadians in all jurisdictions. Specifically, FAFIA is calling on the federal government to significantly increase the funds transferred to provinces and territories under the Canada Social Transfer (CST). They also urge the federal government and the premiers to agree to common standards for programs and services that the CST supports... Over the past decade, the federal government has withdrawn funding and the provincial governments have eroded and diminished many programs and services that are vital to women. Read More


April 8, 2006
additions to the site include:

Calling for letters to the editor of Toronto Star to let them know what you think of the Government's proposals to Weaken the Human Rights Commission
The Saturday, April 8, 2006 the Toronto Star included a good article by columnist Helen Henderson on the continually-growing opposition to the Ontario Government's proposals to weaken the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Even from some among the small group, mainly lawyers, who support the Government's direction, there have come calls for the Government to heed the call for public consultations. From that group, there have also been calls for the Government to announce more specifics about its hitherto-vague plans. Read More

renforçons le Transfert canadien en matière de programmes sociaux, disent les groupes de femmes
Alors que les premiers ministres se rencontrent aujourd’hui à Montréal pour discuter du « déséquilibre fiscal », l’AFAI, une alliance étendue d’organisations de femmes et de groupes de défense des droits de la personne, appelle les gouvernements à renforcer les programmes et services sociaux dans toutes les régions.
Plus spécifiquement, l’AFAI exige du gouvernement fédéral une augmentation significative des sommes transférées aux provinces et aux territoires dans le cadre du Transfert canadien en matière de programmes sociaux (TCPS). Ces groupes pressent également l’administration fédérale et les premiers ministres de convenir de normes communes pour les programmes et services financés par le TCPS. ... « Au cours de la dernière décennie, le gouvernement fédéral a coupé des budgets et les gouvernements provinciaux ont sapé et réduit plusieurs programmes et services d’une importance essentielle pour les femmes. » Read More


April 3, 2006
additions to the site include:

Discussion Paper on Strengthening Ontario's Human Rights Commission and Tribunal
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA Alliance)
The AODA Alliance's new Discussion Paper on Options for Reforming Ontario's Human Rights Commission. Please read this, send the AODA Alliance your feedback, and circulate this Discussion Paper widely. Read More


April 1, 2006
additions to the site include:

Call for Responses to Helen Henderson's article: Rights debate marred by Chicken Littles, Toronto Star April 1, 2006
Toronto Star’s disability columnist Helen Henderson’s column in the April 1, 2006 Toronto Star is quite insulting to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Alliance. The AODA Alliance was among the first to lead off the growing tide of opposition to the Government’s plan to weaken the Human Rights Commission. Its position has received wide support from organizations in the disability community. Helen Henderson’s article is available online at this pinpoint URL: http://tinyurl.com/oa3no. This column’s headline refers to the AODA Alliance speakers at its March 16, 2006 Queens Park news conference as “chicken littles”. The more letters that are sent in to the Toronto Star by different people, the more likely that some will get printed. Keep your letter to around 100 words. Read More


March 31, 2006
additions to the site include:

Council of Canadians denounces unprecedented power handed to big business at Summit

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has taken Canada further down the road of continental integration - a move that will further erode Canada's ability to make decisions independent of the United States and in the interests of citizens, says the Council of Canadians, Canada's largest citizens' advocacy group. The so-called "Three Amigos Summit," which wrapped up in Cancun this morning, dramatically advanced the agenda of deep integration by making the three governments directly answerable to a new North American Competitiveness Council and mandating ministers to meet with business leaders - an unprecedented development. Read More

March 30, 2006
additions to the site include:

You Are Invited to
A Community Forum on the Need to Rescue the Ontario Human Rights Commission
Hosted By:
The Ontario Federation of Labour & Sam Gindin Chair In Social Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University -- Terry Downey & Judy Rebick (Co-Moderators)
When: Wednesday, April 5, 2006 At 5:30 pm.
Where: United Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street (Spadina & College Area)
Light Refreshments Provided
ASL Interpreted
Guest Speaker: Mary-Woo Sims, Former Chief Commissioner B.C. Human Rights Commission
Panel Response: Margaret Parsons, African Canadian Legal Clinic; David Lepofsky, Disability Rights Activist; Avvy Go, Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
Read More - RSVP

McGuinty under fire for benefits clawback
"Most serious of broken promises" Voters at polls for three by-elections
Robert Benzie, Queen's Park Bureau Chief, Toronto Star dd Mar. 30, 2006
As voters go to the polls in three by-elections today, Premier Dalton McGuinty is weathering a storm over his government clawing back federal benefits for Ontario's poorest children. NDP Leader Howard Hampton, whose party expects to regain the Toronto-Danforth riding, said the by-elections are a referendum on McGuinty's leadership. "The failure to end the clawback of the national child benefit is the most recent — and I think the most serious — of a series of broken promises," Hampton said yesterday. Read the Full Article

Flora MacDonald on Rabble

Hon. Flora MacDonald's recent talk at the Canadian Club of Toronto is available online on Needs No Introduction, a rabble.ca podcast series featuring speeches and lectures from noted intellectuals, politicians and writers. Download or stream the speech at: http://www.rabble.ca/rpn/nni
The rabble podcast network is a collection of independent Canadian podcasts created in partnership with rabble.ca, a popular website for independent and progressive journalism founded in 2001 by writer and activist Judy Rebick.


March 28, 2006
additions to the site include:

Parliament must Act to Solve Child Care Crisis: National Strategy Meeting
Federal MPs must make it a parliamentary priority to ensure that children have access to high quality regulated child care spaces, say delegates emerging from a weekend strategy session on child care. About 80 delegates from across Canada gathered in Ottawa last week for a policy research forum and on the weekend met to discuss ways to move forward on building a long-awaited national child care program. They came away determined to mobilize in every province and nationally around the need for significant and sustained funding to create and maintain quality community-based child care. Read More

featured editorial

Editorial: Poor children still wait for fair deal
Toronto Star - Mar. 27, 2006
When anti-poverty advocates accuse Queen's Park of stealing food right out of the mouths of hungry children, most Ontarians tend to dismiss their claims as hyperbolic "lefty" rhetoric. Surely no government is that callous. Yet that is, in effect, what happens because of the province's clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement, a federal cash benefit that was intended to improve the lot of poor children throughout Canada. Read the full Editorial


March 27, 2006
book launch announcement:

Remembering Women Murdered by Men - Memorials Across Canada - The Cultural Memory GroupRemembering Women Murdered by Men
Memorials Across Canada

The Cultural Memory Group

An important new title which is a
public record of feminist remembrance
and a powerful contribution to the
movement to end violence again women.

Read More

In Toronto:

Wed. March 29, 2006, 6:30 - 9:30 pm
Oakham House Lounge
At Ryerson University
63 Gould St., Toronto
(corner of Church, north of Dundas)

In Guelph:

Wed. April 5, 2006, 6:30 - 9:00 pm
The Book Shelf
41 Quebec St.,
Guelph, ON


March 27, 2006
additions to the site include:

Study finds BC's welfare system denying assistance to people in need, 'diverting' many to homelessness and hardship
A major study released today finds that BC's welfare system is systematically discouraging, delaying and denying assistance to many of the people most in need of help, with harmful consequences for some of the province's most vulnerable residents. "Denied Assistance: Closing the Front Door on Welfare in BC" examines why the number of people receiving welfare has plummeted in the wake of changes to eligibility rules and the application system, and looks at what is happening to people who seek and are denied welfare. It is the first in-depth assessment of the new application system, drawing on data obtained through Freedom of Information requests and extensive interviews with people who have applied for welfare, front-line community advocates and Ministry workers. Read More

March 26, 2006
featured article:

Incredibly, McGuinty has done relatively less for poor than reviled Mike Harris, says Linda McQuaig
Op-Ed, Linda McQuaig, Toronto Star, Mar. 26, 2006
Excerpt: "... The thing about Mike Harris was that he always seemed mean. As he happily trampled the powerless under foot and delivered the goods to his right-wing base, the former Ontario premier came across as a kind of Canadian Dick Cheney. ... So when Harris slashed Ontario's welfare rates by almost 22 per cent as one of his first orders of business, you knew what you were dealing with. Dalton McGuinty, on the other hand, seems like a ridiculously nice guy — the kind of neighbour who would clip your side of the hedge. It's impossible to imagine him shooting a quail, let alone an old friend who was shooting quail." Read the full Op-Ed

March 24, 2006
additions the site:

Ontario Budget 2006 - The People Have Their Say

Budget Highlights

The People have Spoken Loud and Clear - Dalton McGuinty's Budget is another Liberal Letdown

Media Releases:


March 23, 2006
additions the site:

DAWN Ontario Media & Communications Toolkit
updated March 23, 2006

New Additions include the following updated directories
- Ontario Daily Newspapers Directory
- Ontario Weekly Newspapers Directory
- Ontario Radio Stations Directory
- Ontario Television Stations Directory

Call for Letters/Emails to Premier McGuinty - Re: Proposed Reforms to Ontario Human Rights Code
Read the most recent letter to Premier McGuinty from the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODO) Alliance. Please pass this on to others.

Write the Premier to support this letter's call for prior notice of all proceedings in the Legislature on any bill to amend the Human Rights Code, and generally to ensure that all proceedings on a bill are fully open, accessible and barrier-free. In your letter or email you might say:

"I urge you to fulfill the request of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance's request that all proceedings on any bill to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code be fully open, accessible and barrier-free. For example, your Government should give sufficient prior notice of all proceedings in the Legislature on any bill to amend the Code. There should be province-wide public hearings on any bill." Premier's email address: Dalton.McGuinty@premier.gov.on.ca

Read More

March 21, 2006
additions the site:

March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racism
March 21 marks the 40th International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination around the world. Once again this year, the National Union [NUPGE] is urging its 340,000 members across Canada to pause and reflect on how tolerance and racial harmony enrich our lives. Read More

March 21st, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is marked every year on March 21st. The global theme this year is Fighting Everyday Racism. Forty-six years have passed since the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa, where 69 demonstrators were shot and killed during a non-violent protest against apartheid on the 21st of March. The United Nations chose this date to draw attention to the continuing fight against all forms of racial discrimination.

Despite many efforts, racism still exists. People from all over the world suffer from systemic, direct or indirect discrimination, from acts of violence and hate crimes, from harassment and religious persecution. New forms of discrimination seem to defy any gains we have made. The Internet is used for the propagation of racism, the number of victims of human trafficking is rising and xenophobic arguments in the political arena are on the rise. Read More


March 20, 2006
additions the site:

Study shows national child care plan can meet diverse needs
Building a Community Architecture for Early Childhood Learning and Care
Child Care Advocates, Federal/Provincial Politicians Meet To Save Child Care Agreements
Child care advocates from across Canada will meet at Toronto City Hall today with Ontario's children's minister and the child care critics from the three federal opposition parties to save Canada's national child care program.The strategy session takes place against the release of significant findings from a Canada-wide study. It was sponsored by YWCA Canada and examines the potential of developing a national child care plan that could meet the varied and unique needs of modern Canadian families. The results give evidence that Canadian communities want a national child care program. They are willing to invest resources and are committed to its full development. The findings and the accompanying community development tools will be discussed in a day-long strategy session beginning with a media briefing and political commentary. Read More


March 19, 2006
additions the site:

DAWN Ontario's Open Letter to Premier McGuinty
Re: Proposed Reforms to the Ontario Human Rights Code


Women with disabilities are often doubly-disadvantaged. They need a strong, effective and properly funded Ontario Human Rights Commission, not a weakened one, to investigate and prosecute organizations that discriminate against them. Women with disabilities will rarely be able to afford to hire their own lawyer, conduct their own investigation, and prosecute their own human rights cases. They shouldn't have to depend on over-worked, understaffed Legal Aid clinics. Nor should they have to hope for lawyers to take their cases pro bono. Pro bono, in the end, is charity. We heartily commend lawyers for doing pro bono work. However, charity is no substitute for a public investigation and prosecution of human rights complaints." Read More


March 14, 2006
featured sites:

CLEONet an online clearinghouse for community legal education in Ontario
... For organizations that produce, use, or need community legal education materials, CLEONet is a tool to find resources, share information, and work together online.

Hands Off Our Ovaries!
Campaign against Exploitation of Women in Biotechnology

Online Safety Toolkit and the Web Effect
As the Internet becomes more heavily relied upon for access to basic government information, and more generally to communicate and share information, it is essential that users be given the tools on how to navigate safely. The Online Safety Toolkit, and scheduled Train-the-Trainer workshops during March 2006 aim to share these important tools.

additions to the site:

Why Women Would Gain from a Guaranteed Livable Income
by C. L'Hirondelle,
First published for the Status of Women Action Group (SWAG) in 2003
Revised in Dec. 2004 for the Canadian Woman Studies Journal

With increasing numbers of women around the world being pushed into ever deeper poverty -- 70 percent of people living in abject poverty in the world are women (United Nations Development Programme 1999) -- it is clear that women would have the most to gain from a universal Guaranteed Livable Income. Read More


March 13, 2006
additions to the site:

Human rights body needs fixing, not dismantling
by Avvy Yao-Yao Go, Margaret Parsons & Uzma Shakir
Toronto Star Op/Ed dd Mar. 13, 2006
Last month, Attorney General Michael Bryant announced his plan to revamp the Ontario Human Rights Commission. One central feature of the reform is that it will get rid of the commission's "gatekeeper" function, that is, the power of the commission to dismiss cases.
Those who favour the new model say the reform is a step in the right direction because it will allow complainants to take their cases straight to the Human Rights Tribunal.

In exchange for the "direct access," however, the commission will no longer help individuals with the investigation and prosecution of their complaints. Instead, the commission will dedicate its resources to public education, research and monitoring systemic discrimination.

Is this the kind of reform our communities really need? We think not. Read More


March 10, 2006
additions to the site:

Changes to Human Rights complaints system threaten
the rights of those who need it most: OPSEU

OPSEU Press Release dated Feb. 20, 2006

Ontario Human Rights Commission - Protecting the right of all Ontarians

Report: "Making Ontario's Human Rights Commission Work"
Download Report as a PDF file (88 kb) PDF file
Download Report as a Word doc.

Sample Letter To A Member Of The Ontario Legislature

March 9, 2006
additions to the site:

Highlights from the Women in Canada Report
...still substantial gaps between the sexes in many key areas

CWHN Launches National Publicity Campaign,
Last Chance To Participate In Women's Health Strategy Survey

In honour of International Women's Day 2006, the Canadian Women's Health Network (CWHN) is launching a national publicity campaign to deliver fast facts on how timely health issues and debates affect women in Canada. The first set of the "Don't Swallow Everything You Hear about Women's Health" series includes bilingual posters on women and pharmaceuticals and a fact sheet on what women should know about for-profit health care. They can be downloaded from the CWHN website or ordered from the CWHN. This week also marks the final opportunity for individuals who are interested in the future of Canada's Women's Health Strategy to add their voices to CWHN's online survey. Read More

Equality For Health - International Women's Day
From the Centres of Excellence for Women's Health (CEWH) the Canadian Women's Health Network (CWHN) and the three National Working Groups on Women's Health
Canada's leading women's health researchers and community advocates call for improved living conditions and greater attention to women's equality in health research in order to improve the health of women living in Canada, and reaffirm their commitment to achieving this goal. Across the country, the four Centres of Excellence for Women's Health (CEWH), the Canadian Women's Health Network (CWHN) and three National Working Groups continue their comprehensive effort to bring women's health issues to the centre stage. Read More


March 8, 2006
additions to the site:

Happy International Women's Day
To all of our sisters who work for women's equality, & who continue to support the work of DAWN Ontario to advance the inclusion, citizenship, human rights and equality of women & girls with disabilities, Happy International Women's Day!!! Read More

Download the International Women's Day Poster - 2006
PDF File - requires Adobe Acrobat Reader


Why Mark International Women’s Day?
by Nancy Peckford, Director of Programs, Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA)
In yesterday’s Globe and Mail, there was an article by Margaret Wente entitled “How the feminists betrayed feminism”. It was an unfortunate and misleading portrayal of feminism. It also made the claim that equality in Canada has been achieved and that women are mobilizing for no reason at all. FAFIA has responded with the following article on why we think feminism still matters. Read More

Women Facts Chart

Here is
is a good depiction of women's economic reality compared to men's. It's an analysis done using 2004 Revenue Canada data by the Women's Economic Justice Project. They paid for this data (with funding from Status of Women Canada BC/Yukon Region) and created a bar graph showing the income breakdown according to men and women. Their findings showed that there are 8.3 million women versus 5.6 million men in the lowest income categories ($0-30,000) but also in each higher income group, there are more men that women. Read More

Women in Canada Report

Stats Canada Daily
Women are playing stronger roles in the workplace and their profile is rising in many professional fields, according to a new assessment on the evolving status of women in Canadian society. However, there are still substantial gaps between the sexes in many key area. Read More


March 7, 2006
take action:

Human Rights Reform Action Kit
Help Prevent the Gov't from Weakening Enforcement of the Ontario Human Rights Code
On Feb. 20, 2006, the Ontario Gov't said it will introduce a law (likely late March or April) to change enforcement of the Ontario Human Rights Code. That system needs reform. It's too slow, frustrating, and hard for many to use. Yet, the Government's proposal will make things worse, not better. It will create new barriers that make it harder for people to get their human rights respected.

We ask everyone to support our call for the Ontario Government to stop its announced changes. We want the Government to properly consult the public before introducing any new law and to make the human rights system better, not worse. We don't say the current system is acceptable. However it needs a fix that doesn't set victims of discrimination back.

The Government must get your message right now, before it soon introduces its planned law. The Government is testing the waters to see if there will be opposition to its announcement. Don't worry if you don't know much about the Human Rights Code. This Action Kit gives you all you need to know to help stop the Ontario Government from taking away important enforcement rights from victims of discrimination. In this Action Kit, we:

Help us preserve the gains we made when the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was passed. Add your voice to ours. Endorse our position.

Code Blue for Child Care
Code Blue for Child Care is a national campaign that is being led by the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada and a coalition of our partners. Code Blue means "medical emergency". Canadian politicians need to know that saving child care is an urgent need. Make your voice heard before Parliament resumes on April 3.

Do your part by signing this open letter online: www.buildchildcare.ca/BE_petition.php/honourthem

Circulate this to as many people as you can - friends, co-workers, family, daycare parents - so that they can add their voices to those telling Stephen Harper that he can't take away our child care!

One Minute Action to Stop Tuition Fee Hikes
The announcement of the details of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's "tuition fee [increase] framework" is just days away and it is important for us to clearly communicate the consequences of the choice that the Premier is about to make. Our message is clear: KEEP THE TUITION FEE FREEZE OR LOSE MY VOTE ...

And now, from www.ReduceTuitionFees.ca, students, parents and supporters can quickly and easily fax that message to all 103 members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Please send your fax right now and encourage everyone you know who supports affordable, high-quality, public education to send a fax to Queen's Park today. It only takes a minute to have your say! Click here to send your message: http://www.ReduceTuitionFees.ca/

Ontario college faculty members fighting for quality education
Management hardens demands as strike deadline arrives, driving two sides further apart
Toronto (7 March 2006) – Education quality is the central issue in a dispute between Ontario's 24 community colleges and 9,100 faculty members represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE). The instructors, who have been working without a contract since Aug. 31, 2005, reached a legal walkout deadline at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. Read More


March 6, 2006
added to the the site:

The Welfare Wall -- Hiding the Truth about Poverty

The term 'Welfare Wall' is used by politicians and policy makers to refer to barriers they argue discourage people from leaving social assistance. Usually they are most concerned with the income differential between people receiving social assistance and those earning minimum wage. Put simply, the argument is that unless people earning minimum wage are financially better off than those on social assistance, a 'welfare wall' is created that acts as a disincentive to those on social assistance to find paid employment. Read More

Hands Off Campaign to end the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS)Ending the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) would make a big difference in the lives of families on social assistance. When you’re already living below the poverty line, being able to keep the approximately $115 you get every month for each of your children would go a long way towards paying your bills. But that’s not what happens.

Every month the federal government allows the Ontario government to clawback the NCBS from 163,726 children across the province – simply because their parents are on social assistance. It’s not right.

Get involved in the Hands Off! Campaign. Tell the federal and provincial governments to end the clawback immediately.

March 3, 2006
in the news:

Despite Major Gains, Women Bear Disproportionate Share of Poverty Burden
Despite major gains, women bear disproportionate share of poverty burden, Remain politically underrepresented, UN commission told. More than 50 Speakers Take Floor to Describe National Efforts Aimed at Achieving Targets Set at 1995 Beijing Conference.

While women had posted major gains in terms of educational achievement, political representation and economic viability, the goal of gender equality was elusive, as women continued to bear a disproportionate share of the burden of poverty and underrepresentation in political life, the Commission on the Status of Women was told today, as it continued its general discussion.

Focusing on the priority themes of the Commission's fiftieth session - enhanced participation of women in development and the equal participation of women in decision-making - some 55 participants, including numerous ministers, took the floor in two meetings today to share their national experiences in meeting the targets set out in the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action. Read More


February 21, 2006
additions to the site:

Changes to ODSP Earnings & Employment Supports
On February 8th, the Province of Ontario announced changes to the earnings and employment support rules for ODSP recipients. To read a preliminary summary from the Income Security Advocacy Centre, please click here. To read a chart (created by Rick Ludkin of the of the ODSP Action Coalition's Employment and Earnings Working Group) that compares the additional income recipients get right now from working with the income you will get under the rules that come into effect on November 1, 2006, please click here    Read More

Women's Health Institute Project
Bulletin 1 Winter 2006
In August 2005 the Honourable George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long Term Care announced the creation of a provincial Women's Health Institute (WHI). Working closely with partners, the mandate of this new institute will be to promote women's health throughout Ontario and grow to become a national leader on women's health issues. It is anticipated that the new WHI will be in place for April 2007 and, as part of its mandate, integrate the Ontario Women's Health Council and its important work into its operations. With respect to patient care, the Minister also announced the re-emergence of Women's College Hospital as a separate organization from Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Centre. As an academic health sciences centre, Women's College Hospital will provide state of the art ambulatory care services to women and their families in Toronto. In order to achieve the goal set out by the Minister, the Women's Health Institute Project has been established to provide a vehicle for broad consultation and input on the vision, strategic role and governance model, for the new provincial WHI. Read More


February 20, 2006
additions to the site:

Keep the child care promise
by J. Clancy, President of National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)

Stephen Harper has a magnificent political opportunity in front of him. In one stroke, Harper can underline the progressive side of his Conservative party, demonstrate a keen grasp of the nature of the mandate Canadians have given him, and embody responsiveness, accountability and honour. Read More & Take Action


February 17, 2006
additions to the site:

Seeking endorsements re: Increased Access to ECP
A coalition of national organizations, spearheaded by Women and Health Protection and the Canadian Women's Health Network, has been working for some time to increase access to Emergency Contraception (ECP) for women and girls in Canada. You may recall that non-prescription status was granted to Plan B in 2005, making it no longer a drug requiring a prescription from a physician. It became a "Schedule II" drug, available behind the counter in a pharmacy with access controlled by pharmacists. You may also recall that In Ontario and Manitoba in the past 3 months, there has been attention to the fact that some pharmacists are requiring that women seeking Plan B provide private and confidential information to the pharmacist before they can receive the product. This has been duly challenged by privacy authorities in both provinces. While we strongly support a role for pharmacists in consumer education, we do not support this as a mandatory activity.
Read More

February 9, 2006
additions to the site:

New Initiative Will Empower Women on the Web
Womenspace announces the virtual launch of Womyn’s Voice
Womenspace announces the virtual launch of Womyn’s Voices, an innovative initiative centered around women and ICTs (Information and Communications Technologies). “Given the dramatic under-representation of women on the internet, we want to provide a virtual space for active engagement and consultation on issues like violence and exploitation of women,” says Kathy Marshall, project coordinator for Womyn’s Voices and Executive Director of Womenspace. A leader in the promotion of women’s participation in information and communication technology, Womenspace launches Womyn’s Voices as a portal to an interactive set of web-based resources, offering cutting edge feminist analysis and information on women’s equality and ICT issues. Read More

Womyn's Voices
FemmeVox - Engaging women to advance equality through technology

FemmeVox - Vol. 11 Sept 11, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 10 Jun 27, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 9 Jun 08, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 8
May 23, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 7 May 04, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 6 Apr 25, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 5 Apr 11, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 4 Mar 23, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 3 Mar 07, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 2 Feb 23, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 1 Feb 06, 2006


February 8, 2006
additions to the site:

Focus on the Family (FOTF) Canada - Watch
FOTF Canada Press Release - Grand opening: Think-tank to launch next week!
Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC) dd February 7, 2006
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. Read More


January 13, 2006
additions to the site:

Conservative Party Links to Right Wing American Groups
Over 20 candidates and members of Parliament for the Conservative Party of Canada, including leader Stephen Harper, Justice Critic Vic Toews, Foreign Affairs Critic Stockwell Day and Firearms Critic Garry Breitkreuz, have links to organizations established under the umbrella of the Council for National Policy (CNP), an American group that the New York Times calls a “club of a few hundred of the most powerful conservatives in the country,” [1] and which Rolling Stone reports has “funnelled billions of dollars to right-wing Christian activists.”[2]
Read More


carried over from September 15, 2005

Changes to the Special Diet Supplement
Special Diet Supplement Slashed by the Liberal Government!

Ontario Works (OW) Policy Directives

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Policy Directives

View the actual regulatory changes on e-laws:

Go To Top TOP of page

Vote for Equality - A Voter Education & Awareness Campaign  for Women's Equality Rights in Canada

Equality Rights Issues & Organizing Info

Organizing Information & Resources for Social Justice Activists


Womyn's Voices
FemmeVox - Engaging women to advance equality through technology

FemmeVox - Vol. 11 Sept 11, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 10 Jun 27, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 9 Jun 08, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 8
May 23, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 7 May 04, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 6 Apr 25, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 5 Apr 11, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 4 Mar 23, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 3 Mar 07, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 2 Feb 23, 2006
FemmeVox - Vol. 1 Feb 06, 2006

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