In the News...2018-19

Oct. 23, 2018

 

From Wheelchair Symbol to Dynamic Access Symbol

 

Luke Anderson, Co-founder of StopGap Foundation and a Rick Hansen Ambassador, was the guest speaker at a recent meeting of the Orillia Chapter of the Canadian Federation of Women (CFUW).

 

After sustaining a spinal cord injury in 2002, Luke Anderson was all of a sudden introduced to a world that's not well suited for a wheelchair user. His frustration encountering access barriers led him to co-found the StopGap Foundation, which raises awareness about the importance of a barrier-free and inclusive society. In addition to raising awareness, the StopGap Foundation’s brightly coloured ramps are available to local businesses to close the gap that exists between sidewalks and elevated storefronts.

 

Luke shared with CFUW information about a new change initiative from the Forward Movement group to start healthy dialogue about disability and accessibility issues.  The Forward Movement group is movingfrom the International Symbol of Access, also known as the (International) Wheelchair Symbol, which consists of a blue square with a stylized image of a person in a wheelchair to the new Dynamic Symbol for Access.  The Dynamic Symbol is an improvement to the old in major ways: (i) the person in the new image is more defined than the one in the old image, and (ii) the new image shows movement, a symbolic action that emphasizes differing abilities, and this reframes the way society views and interacts with persons with a disability. The change in symbol has also served as a medium to have conversations about accessibility and disability rights in the province.

 

The new symbol has been adopted by several municipalities and corporations across Ontario.  You can find out more about this new symbol at theforwardmovement.ca and about the StopGap foundation at stopgap.ca.

 

The Canadian Federation of Women – Orillia club was established in 1955 as a non-profit organization that is active in public affairs, working to raise the social, economic and legal status of women as well as to improve education, the environment, and human rights.

 

CFUW raises funds through its annual Homes Tour to provide post-secondary scholarships to female graduates of Orillia high schools, including the Learning Centre. Through its many interest groups, members develop new skills and friendships.

 

Membership is offered to all women who believe in our goals and value lifelong learning. For more information visit the CFUW Orillia website.

Nov. 27, 2018

 

Book Clubs for Inmates

 

From 2012 to the summer of 2018, Isobel Heathcote has been one of the book club leaders at Beaver Creek Institution – a medium security prison.

 

Isobel presented at the November meeting of the Canadian Federation of University Women (Orillia) where she gave a very educational and compassionate overview of the prison book clubs. She outlined the challenges that the prisoners have faced through their lifetime and expressed how the book club and the discussions gave them a sense of purpose, to turn their lives around by giving them something positive to do and focus on.

 

The book club is a model of how civilized people talk to each other and the mutual respect they share for each other. It is a place of kindness – something not always found in a prison. Literacy and education are something we at times take for granted, but we can see the positive outlook it can bring to people who are in prison.

 

Book Clubs for Inmates is a registered charity and they do accept donations. There are 30 clubs throughout Canada. Each club meets monthly and has 15 inmates and 3-4 volunteers. Both the inmates and volunteers select the books and their choices include a variety of classics, Canadian authors etc.

 

Isobel Heathcote holds a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and an M.S and PhD from Yale University. Isobel is a retired professor of Environmental Engineering and Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph. Her employment history is diverse, encompassing employment in both the public and private sectors. This fall, Isobel stepped down from the book club to allow her to spend more time with the restorative justice circle at Beaver Creek Institution.

 

The Canadian Federation of Women – Orillia club was established in 1955 as a non-profit organization that is active in public affairs, working to raise the social, economic and legal status of women as well as to improve education, the environment, and human rights.

 

CFUW raises funds through its annual Homes Tour to provide post-secondary scholarships to female graduates of Orillia high schools, including the Learning Centre. Through its many interest groups, members develop new skills and friendships.

 

Membership is offered to all women who believe in our goals and value lifelong learning. For more information visit the CFUW Orillia website.

Jan. 22, 2019

 

Mariposa House Hospice

Dr. Erika Catford

On Tuesday January 22nd, 2019, CFUW Orillia members learned about the new Mariposa House Hospice from their guest speaker, Dr. Erika Catford, one of the driving forces behind this new project, The five-bed hospice will be built just outside of Orillia near the Orillia Square Mall. Construction is expected to begin in April 2019. Orillia is currently the only major city in the Simcoe County area without a hospice. Dr. Catford’s passion for providing palliative care led her to champion the building of Mariposa House Hospice. As co-founder, she obtained provincial funding and land approvals, and kicked off an ambitious fundraising campaign. Dr. Catford was named a 2018 recipient of the Ontario College of Family Physicians Regional Family Physician of the Year Award.

Feb. 26, 2019

 

Adventures in Volunteering: A Partnership Across Borders

Stephen Watt and Wasim Meslmani

CFUW Orillia members heard the fascinating story of how Stephen Watt and Wasim Meslmani met and how they are helping refugees get settled in Canada through the Hand-to-Hand Facebook page. They were guest speakers at the CFUW meeting on Tuesday, February 26 at Orillia Museum of Art and History. Like many other Canadians, Stephen Watt was shaken by the images of Alan Kurdi, a 3-year-old Kurdish Syrian who drowned on a Mediterranean coast in September 2015. Stephen took action by responding to a request from Community Matters Toronto, a neighbourhood organization, for volunteers to help with its Syria project. He created a Facebook page called Syrian Sanctuary. Since then Stephen has become a volunteer and humanitarian who has helped fundraise for and privately sponsor over 20 individuals and six families to come to Canada – with more to come. It was through the Syrian Sanctuary Facebook page that Wasim Meslmani found Stephen. Wasim was a Syrian refugee and is now a Toronto-based newcomer who is devoted to helping other newcomers succeed. Since October 2017, Wasim has run the Hand-to-Hand Facebook page to provide work, school, housing and psychosocial support for newcomers to Canada and their sponsors. He founded the page – which gained 2,000 followers in its first year – while still a refugee in Amman, Jordan. He has also helped hundreds of newcomers and sponsors find leads on a wide variety of workshop, events, educational and employment opportunities.

March 22, 2019

Panel Discussion on Under Representation of Women in Politics

at O.S.S. on March 22, 2019

 

On March 22, CFUW Orillia Advocacy Committee, with the assistance of Orillia Secondary School (OSS) Principal, Peter Bowman, and Leanne Young, Canada and World Studies Chair, presented A Panel Discussion on the Under Representation of Women in Politics at OSS.  Approximately 150 students from the Civics classes at OSS and Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School took part. On the panel was Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North; Laura Domsey, former Liberal Candidate; Pat Hehn, City of Orillia Councilor; Valerie Powell, former Green Party Candidate; Sharon Stinson-Henry, former Chief of Chippewas of Rama First Nation; Sarah Valiquette, Severn Township Councilor;  Elizabeth Van Houtte, former NDP Candidate; and one student from each of the Orillia Secondary Schools: Paige, from OSS; Julia, from Patrick Fogarty; and Kaitlyn from Twin Lakes Secondary School. Leanne Young moderated with expertise and there was great discussion. The questions from the students were excellent as were the answers from the panelists. Because the Panel was held at a Secondary School during the day when classes are on, the public could not be invited due to Security issues.

 

CFUW Orillia will be hosting a Women in Politics Speed Networking Workshop on April 24 from 6:45 – 8:45 p.m. at Orillia Secondary School and it is open to the public.

April 2019                            Women in Politics - Speed Networking Workshop

at O.S.S. on April 24, 2019

Women in Politics - Speed Networking Workshop

 

The CFUW Orillia Advocacy Committee presented “Women in Politics - Speed Networking Workshop” at the Orillia Secondary School Cafetorium on the evening of Wednesday, April 24, 2019. The event was open to the public.

Why is balanced representation important?

What keeps women from becoming candidates in elections?

What are the solutions?

 

Joining in the discussion about achieving balanced representation in politics were

these experienced women:

  • Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North

  • Pat Hehn, City of Orillia Councillor

  • Sharon Henry, former Chief of Chippewas of Rama First Nation

  • Valerie Powell, Candidate for the Green Party

  • Liz Riley, Candidate for the Liberal Party

  • Sarah Valiquette, Severn Township Councillor

  • Elizabeth Van Houtte, Candidate for the NDP. 

 

Kim Fedderson, former Principal of Lakehead University Orillia moderated.

 

CFUW ORILLIA: WOMEN in POLITICS RESOURCES

 

BOOKS

“Ladies Upstairs – My Life in Politics and After”, by Monique Bégin

“Gender and Party Politics”, by Joni Lovendeski and P. Norris

“Still Counting: Women in Politics Across Canada”, by Linda Trimble and Jane Arscott

WEBSITES

Daughters of the Vote   https://bit.ly/2BUdPcr

Equal Voice   https://bit.ly/2Zc4Wpv

UN Women   https://bit.ly/1ziG5j6

The Century Foundation   https://bit.ly/2XfkIht

Parliament of Canada Research   https://bit.ly/2ZfkNDB

SCHOLARLY ARTICLES

A Gender Gap   https://bit.ly/2KHOji7

Women are Under-represented   https://bit.ly/1Gj3hOm
ProQuest   https://bit.ly/2IwK1Yh

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PHOTOS thanks to J.H.
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