Advocacy at CFUW Leaside -East York

The Issues and Actions Interest Group takes the lead on advocacy for our Club. We are self-funded and non partisan, enabling us to act on any issues that are CFUW National or CFUW Ontario policy. We focus on issues, not politics, and encourage open dialogue. We also organize activities and attend events that support community concerns and promote learning about important issues.

New members are welcome! We meet the Third Tuesday of the month at 7:30 to plan our activities which include:

  • Writing letters to our local MPs and MPPs to introduce our Club, highlight new policy and highlight our position of specific issues of immediate concern.
  • Raising awareness within our Club, in our community and with our local politicians  about issues of concern. This may involve hosting a community event, visiting our MPs, MPPs or Councillors, or attending public forums to both learn and express our positions.
  • Studying CFUW policy resolutions, both National and Ontario Council, and making recommendations for changes or adoption.
  • Recycling! We support community recycling and collect items at every October and April general meeting. Here is our Recycling List .
  • Hosting special events to educate members and the community about current issues and to fund raise. We support the YWCA Women’s Shelter through a raffle at our Club’s December Wassail Party, and Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan at our April Afghan Pot Luck Dinner.

Current Priorities

  • Ending Violence against Women and Girls. Of immediate concern is the intolerable issue of the deaths and disappearance of indigenous women and girls. We support the public inquiry and hope that the current roadblocks are dealt with so this can proceed, respectfully including the voices of those women whose families and communities have been directly affected. The Interim Report has been released.
  • Early Childhood Education and Child Care (ELCC). Our Club continues to advocate for and monitor developments towards attaining universal, affordable child care. Children are our future. Lower income families, mothers returning to school, even middle income earners struggle to find good, affordable, regulated child care. We are pleased that the Ontario government is increasing its commitment to ELCC by funding new spaces and providing policy for municipalities in rolling out care, both school based and other. We are also encouraged by the National Early Leaning and Childcare Framework being rolled out at the federal level. However, we have to ensure the momentum continues and results in sustainable change. In spite of progress, Toronto continues to have a shortage of affordable spaces, with the highest costs in Ontario.
  • Gender Wage Gap. This continues and the various legislative options are on our radar. It is just one of many factors, such as ELCC, that impact women’s economic empowerment. We will continue to support Equal Pay Day organized by the Equal Pay Coalition.
  • Restoring our Democratic Process through Fair Elections. We continue to advocate for the reform of  the electoral system. Our current ‘First Past the Post’ system does not result in fair representation in our diverse country. We were disappointed that the current government did not accept the recommendations of the Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform (ERRE) which included proportional representation (PR), and made our disappointment known to our local MPs. To learn more about this issue, we recommend checking the website of Fair Vote Canada.
  • Expanding Our Knowledge and Understanding of Indigenous Cultures. We will continue to network with local organizations. Recently we visited The Toronto Birth Centre which offers traditional care during labour and birth, and were enlightened by an information session at Dodem Kanonhsa’.

 New National Policy
At the 2017 CFUW National AGM last June, the following policy was introduced. We will alert our MPs in our annual MP letter of CFUW’s support of the following:

  • The Right to safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation on First Nation Reserves in Canada.
  • Universal Pharmacare, a publicly funded, sustainable drug plan to cover medically necessary prescription drugs for all Canadians.