October 2020

CFUW Stratford General Meeting

for Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. (Virtual)

September 2020

CFUW Stratford General Meeting

for Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. (Virtual)

Welcome: Hélène Crabb introduced herself as our Club President for the 2020-21 year, and welcomed everyone to our first meeting of the year which is when we all look  forward to rejoining CFUW friends we may not have seen for awhile. This year is a bit different, but the Executive is committed to making our programs fun and enriching, whether on line or hopefully also at in person-meetings in the new year.

Land Acknowlegement: Ruth Symons shared that she was a settler who came to Stratford as a child of immigrants to this country. This area is the subject of Treaty 29, also known as the Huron Tract Purchase, signed in 1827 with leaders of the Chippewa or Ojibway people. The region was an ancient pathway for the Anishnabek, Haudenasaunee and Attawandaron peoples. Acknowledging this reminds us as members of CFUW to educate ourselves about the history of this land and to build respectful relationships with indigenous peoples and communities and to work towards Truth and Reconciliation. Ruth also wished us to honour the courage and strength of Indigenous women, to honour them as life givers and caregivers, and to learn from their continuing achievements.

Guest Speaker:
Nora Walden introduced our speaker, Courtney Feeney, who has a degree in Health Promotion from Western and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Waterloo. Courtney currently works as a Health Promotor at Huron
Perth Public Health, where she specializes in substance abuse prevention. She was joining us at our meeting to talk about “Cannabis – a Public Health Perspective”.
Courtney gave a very informed talk on the subject of non-medical cannabis, with reference to an excellent
power point presentation which was put up on the Zoom screen. She explained the difference between the THC (intoxicating) and CBD (non-intoxicating) ingredients of cannabis. It is worrisome that the THC component in non-Government-controlled cannabis has increased significantly, just about doubling in the last ten years.
Thus there are Public Health concerns about increasing the documented long- and short-term impacts on both brain and body. Special populations most at risk are people under 25, pregnant women, and people who or whose families have a history of mental illness. Cannabis use is roughly the same in Ontario as Canada, at 15.4% of the population. There has not been a significant rise since legalization. Use is higher among men than women. Usage is highest in the 15-24 age group at 27.4%, declining by age group to 5.2% for the 65+ group. Among local youth users, it is worrisome that 5% are using daily. Public Health has taken an evidence based, non-judgemental, harm-reduction approach to educating people about cannabis, with special attention to special populations. At the end of her presentation, Courtney was able to give very well-informed answers to questions from the attendees.
Jes Kapcza thanked Courtney on behalf of the Club, focusing on some of the key points in Courtney’s presentation.

Breakout Chat Rooms: Nora Walden broke the group into smaller ones to attend six chat rooms, where the
topic for discussion was “Things I am Grateful For”. When we returned, a volunteer from each chat room shared her group’s gratitude list in these weird Covid 19 times, including: continuing good health; technology providing virtual opportunities to be with family and friends; furry friends; continuing with work from home; returning to work safely; living in a relatively sane country; enjoying Stratford’s green spaces and Sunday market; gardening; being old with fewer responsibilities and stresses; gin!!; as privileged members of the community, the opportunity to give back through CFUW activities. One member had brought her blessings jar to the meeting! This activity seemed to be very much enjoyed by everyone.

Business Meeting: Chair – President Hélène Crabb
Agenda: Moved by Jane Cook, Seconded by Kate Welsh, to accept the Agenda as circulated. Carried
Minutes of Last Meeting: Moved by Denise Kane, Seconded by Jes Kapcza, to accept the minutes of the May 26, 2020 AGM, as circulated. Carried

Finance: With reference to her report, Treasurer Ruth Symons expressed confidence that finances are in good shape for the upcoming Club year.

Membership: Acting Membership Chair, Jane Cook, reported that we have 46 paid-up members – about
as expected prior to the September meeting. She encouraged those who have not yet renewed to attend to this soon to assure continuing enjoyment of Club activities. Jane is hoping to circulate the updated membership list sometime in October. Jane welcomed our 3 new members, Beth Fischer, Oonagh Vaucrosson and Margareta Skulsky, and also a guest, Réjeanne Groulx. While holding the floor,
Jane mentioned that on hearing we have no Secretary this year, Kathy Seredynska had proposed the idea of a Secretary Pool. If a few of you could volunteer to take minutes at one or two monthly meetings, that would be great! If willing, email Jane at ane.blackie.cook@gmail.com

Advocacy: Dariel Bateman reported that the committee is getting underway on Zoom and will be focussing on action connected to the three Stratford Club resolutions adopted at the CFUW National AGM: Long Term Care locally; Calls to action on Truth & Reconciliation; Climate Declaration/Action. The committee is also examining Universal Basic Income. The committee welcomes new members who are interested in sharing this work. Contact Dariel at debateman45@gmail.com

Interest Groups: Hélène reported for Lorraine Kuepfer who was attending another Zoom meeting. If you are interested in a group included in the Interest Group handout, please contact Lorraine at lorrainekuepfer@gmail.com Jane Cook has volunteered to take over the Zoom edition of the Casual
Drinks and Conversation group, second Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. If interested, contact Jane (email above).
Hélène is proposing a new physically distanced mid-week Walking Group. You can contact her at
helenefortincrabb@gmail.com and she will get back to you with details.

Scholarships: Scholarship Committee Chair, Cindy Carlson, reported that the cancellation of fund-raising events meant that the committee was faced with a shortage of funds. She and her committee are immensely grateful to members who responded so generously to the appeal for donations. The awards can now be given out in the same amounts as previously, but virtually this year. Cindy shared a heartwarming letter of thanks from a previous award recipient, which brought home just how important
it is to be able to continue our commitment to Club scholarships. Treasurer Kate Welsh reported that an
astounding $3,211.00 had been donated by 35 members. Awards amounting to $2500.00 will go to secondary students, while $400.00 will be awarded to a Conestoga student.

Program: Nora Walden announced that the October speaker will be Professor Lorrie Gallant,
whose topic will be “Expressive Arts Therapy”

Final Remarks – “Sustainable (ish) Moment” – Hélène Crabb said that for our “Moments” this year, the Advocacy Committee is suggesting that we move on from a specific focus on plastics, as in the past couple of years, to the many ways we can improve our recycling habits. Hélène invited us to refer to this Waste Hierarchy Chart as a way to think about our sustainability choices. The “ish”, above is
meant to convey that we are not perfect, but trying! Hélène also encouraged us to participate Sammy Orr’s Shoe Strike, a student initiative in support of Climate change, without the need to congregate in a large group. On Friday, Sept. 25th, we are asked to leave a pair of shoes at City Hall, between 3:00-3:30, with name and contact information in one. Then pick up between 6:00-6:30.

Adjournment: 8:30 p.m.

May 2020

CFUW Stratford General Meeting

for Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. (Virtual)

Pat Reavy welcomed members and guests to our first CFUW Stratford “Zoom” meeting.

Pat reminded us that Wendy Wilkinson (a member of the Rotary Club of Stratford) is sewing face masks and needs more sewing volunteers. Please contact Pat Reavy for more information.
Lorraine Kuepfer acknowledged the land she grew up on. “I was raised in the northern region of Ontario known as the James Bay Frontier. This is the land of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, a political organization representing 49 First Nation communities across Treaty 9 and Treaty 5 in Northern Ontario, covering 2/3 of the province. Its members are Ojibwa, Oji-Cree and Cree.
The population of membership is estimated around 45K.
Constance Lake First Nation is the successor of the English River First Nation. Between 1925-1940, many families re-located near  Pagwa to follow employment opportunities. People from Albany and Moose Factory (Attawapiskat) also moved at the same time. This is an area of 7 river systems with access to both James Bay and Hudson Bay. It was a vibrant area of fur trading with the Hudson’s Bay Company. Reverend Clarke requested funding for a school near Pagwa but received the response that Indian Affairs did not fund schools off reserve. Inspector Arneil surveyed the area and chose Calstock as a suitable location for a reserve. In 1940, the request was made to Ontario for land to accommodate a future population where there would be home sites, garden lands, sufficient pasture for a cow or a couple of goats for each family.
On March 16, 1945 an Order in Council was passed setting aside the land as an Indian Reserve for the use and benefits of Constance Lake First Nation. It is located in the district of Cochrane, 32 km west of Hearst with a population of 1470 members. It lies in the mineral rich area known as the Ring of Fire.”
The reason that we give a land acknowledgement at the beginning of our meetings, is to recognize that the land has belonged to others, and that it has been, is and will be cared for by several peoples.

Nora Walden welcomed and introduced our guest speaker, Dr. Gail Cuthbert-Brandt, former Principal of Renison University College and Associate VP, International at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Cuthbert-Brandt’s presentation was about the history of women’s volunteer
organizations in Canada over the last two hundred years. She categorized the focus and achievements of these organizations into three waves of feminism, during which great milestones have been reached. 
She also mentioned that she was a recipient of a CFUW Scholarship.

Pat Reavy thanked Dr. Cuthbert-Brandt for being a part of our online forum and for donating her honorarium back to our Scholarship Fund.

Cindy Carlson briefly reviewed the 2019 – 2020 Scholarship Amendments, that the Scholarship Committee updated recently. The online poll for the CFUW General Membership to vote on these amendments will be out this week. The two Secondary Schools are working on their 2019 – 2020 graduation awards and are deciding on recipients.

Dariel Bateman praised our Advocacy Committee Members for the work that was put into our recent Resolutions. We are looking forward to the development of Bev Symons’ Emergency Resolution, regarding Long Term Care Facilities.

Pat Reavy quickly shared an overview of Amendments and reminded us about CFUW National’s AGM on June 19 & 20, 2020. Our voting delegate will be Cambria Ravenhill. There will also be an online poll of the members, to vote on the Executive Committees’ position on the Guelph Motion. This poll will be sent out by email to members this week.

Patty Munkittrick reiterated how Covid19 has affected our physical gatherings and how our future meetings for CFUW Stratford will look. Our
Executive Committee will be guided by Huron Perth Public Health and will keep the membership informed.

Bev Symons announced there will not be any fee increases this coming year. $100.00 will be the 2020 – 2021 membership fee for our Club. After our AGM (June 16, 2020) Members can e-transfer their membership fee to cfuwstratfordtreasurer@gmail.com. Or write a cheque (either in full or two $50.00 cheques) and be mailed to Lorraine Kuepfer at 289 Huntingdon Ave., Stratford N5A 6P7.

Pat Reavy finished the meeting with a reminder about our Club’s AGM on June 16, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. (online). A few CFUW Stratford members will share their “Living with Covid19” experiences as there is no formal guest.

35 Members/Guests logged into this online meeting.

There was no formal Business Meeting.

A Motion to Adjourn was made by Nora Walden. Seconded by Pat Reavy. Carried.

April 2020

CFUW Stratford General Meeting

for Tuesday, April 23, 2020


1. Bev Symons, CFUW Stratford Treasurer, called the meeting to order in the absence this evening of our President, Cambria Ravenhill.

2. Land Acknowledgement:

Bev opened with the acknowledgement that CFUW Stratford gathers on Aboriginal land that has ben inhabited by Indigenous peoples from the beginning. As settlers, we are grateful for the opportunity to meet here and we thank all the generations of people who have taken care of this land for thousands of years. In particular, we acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the of the Anishnawbe, Attawandaron, and Haudenosaunee. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties.

3. Indigenous Moment:

Patsy Berton, a member of CFUW Stratford’s Indigenous Learning Group, shared some reflections from reading an old textbook and a more recent article titled “How to talk about Relations between Indigenous Peoples and Europeans.” She noted that harmful, outdated assumptions lurk within common words and phrases that we take for granted. For example, when we introduce the ‘three sisters’ farming method of planting corn, beans and squash together with a sentence like, “three sisters planting is very different from many modern farming methods“, we belie the sophistication and significance of this Indigenous technology through its juxtaposition with so-called modern techniques. In doing so we reinforce outdated evolutionary hierarchies. We can eliminate this implication however if we replace “modern” with the word “European”. Patsy also described how we use the passive voice and do a great disservice by writing, for example, that “treaties were often broken” or “treaties were not made“, or “Indigenous land rights were not recognized“, or “lands were lost,” rather than taken by someone. These things did not just “happen“; people or other forces made them happen. Paying attention to the nuances of language can make a big difference in the values we convey in our communication.

4. Speaker:

Nora Walden, Program Co-Chair, introduced our guest speaker, Cassie Barker. Cassie is an advocate for women and communities on environmental justice and health issues. She is the Executive Director of WHEN, the Women’s Healthy Environments Network, where she works to address the gendered impacts of inaction on toxic substances and exposures in our water, air, food, workplaces and homes. Cassie holds a Masters of Science from the University of Guelph.

Cassie thanked us for the welcome and for the Indigenous Learning Moment. She shared that she grew up near the St. Lawrence in Cornwall, a manufacturing part of the province not far from the Akwesasne First Nation where pollution from the factories ran downstream to the First Nation. She noted such environmental decisions are not passive.

Cassie shared that WHEN — the Women’s Healthy Environments Network — is 25 years old which is old in environmental charity terms. They have produced two documentaries: “Exposure” on the topic of breast cancer, and “Toxic Trespass” about a mother understanding her child’s health. The goal is to inspire people to push policy and politicians for action.

Her presentation focused on connecting health issues of our two homes: the earth and our bodies. Our bodies are built to process toxins and the earth processes toxins in a myriad of ways as well, but we now have synthetic substances that our bodies and the earth are not able to process and chronic exposures to low-dose substances can lead to a range of health issues.

Cassie summarized some broad areas of exposure to environmental risks, how risks are categorized, and that companies know more than they reveal about the hazards, impacts, and risks of toxins. She then focused on our living environments and introduced us to some gendered health outcomes related to infertility, immune function and more, and emphasized how fast things have changed from the 1980s to now. She also highlighted the intersection of education, income, and other factors on the ability to protect our health, e.g. to afford to live away from industrial pollution or afford to buy healthier versions of products. Cassie summarized the various ways we are exposed to toxins through inhalation, ingestion, and absorption.

In closing, Cassie emphasized that the best way to protect our health is to advocate for systems change such as regulations focused on the health impacts from exposure; improved consultation, decision-making, and consent; addressing specific windows of vulnerability (in-utero, infancy, puberty, reproduction, and menopause); prioritizing vulnerable populations; mandatory labelling; and supporting companies, politicians, and organizations that care about women’s health.

You can find more information about WHEN online:


Bev Symons thanked Cassie for her informative presentation and gave her a small honorarium as a token of thanks.

5. Plastics Moment:

Annemarie Reimer from our Advocacy Committee shared information about bamboo toothbrushes which reduce plastic waste and last longer than the usual disposable toothbrush. They are available at The Gentle Rain and at Zero Waste Bulk in Waterloo for about $9. She also shared an alternative to plastic dental floss that is made from corn fibre and comes in a refillable glass dispenser. Rhonda-Lee Stephenson suggested in discussion that we should encourage our dentists to give their patients environmentally-friendly toothbrushes. Annemarie invited everyone to look under their chairs and — surprise! — a few members found bamboo toothbrushes to take home and try.

6. AGM Announcement:

Pat announced that our AGM dinner meeting is on Tuesday May 28th and members must sign up to attend so enough food is ordered. A sign-up sheet was available during the break. Cost is $28 for buffet meal with choice of two hot entrées and meeting will include a guest speaker and other events. (See the 100th Anniversary Committee and Program reports below.)

7. Mixer:

Anne Carbert, Membership Chair, introduced the members of the Membership Committee — Lorraine Keupfer, Loretta Shannon, and Kate Welsh — and welcomed more members to join. She did a short Q&A with Kate Welsh, our newest member, and invited members to talk to someone new during the break

— Break —

8. Approval of Minutes:

Bev chaired our business meeting requesting a motion to approve the minutes from March 2019 as circulated. Moved: Jane Cook. Seconded: Louise McColl. Carried

9. CFUW Stratford Constitutional Revisions:

Jane Cook explained the process of preparing these latest revisions and discussion with the Executive. The revision documents were circulated by e-mail and discussed at the March general meeting. With that earlier time to examine and discuss them, she then proceeded to make a motion to accept the constitutional changes as last circulated. Seconded by Lorraine Kuepfer. No discussion. Carried with 30 members present.

10. Announcements:

Bev made the following announcements:

i) The Casual Drinks and Conversation group will meet Saturday, April 27th at Mercer on Ontario Street. All members welcome.

ii) The CFUW Ontario Council AGM will take place at the University of Toronto Faculty Club on May 10th and 11th. Details are on the Ontario Council website. This meeting is open to all members and includes a keynote speaker, meal, and workshops. Anne Carbert is attending from our club and will present at the May 10th leadership workshop to share our club’s social media experience.

11. Nominations:

Bev thanked the Nominations Committee — Charlotte Gillett, Katharine Gunnel Gavin, and Mary Fisher — and explained that they are not current members of our Executive Committee. They are approaching members to fill Executive Committee positions for next year and to find a Treasurer for the Scholarship Committee.

12. Scholarship Committee Report:

Cindy Carlson let us know that the Scholarship Committee is brainstorming how to update our scholarships in line with educational curriculum in the 21st century and more news will come about that at a later date.

Tonight, she presented a new scholarship idea which we will vote on at the May 28th club AGM: Leaders Among Us Scholarship emphasizing the importance of leadership and she cited the example of Jennie Trout (the first Canadian woman to be licensed as a medical doctor) as a local leader. Two $500 scholarships would be awarded in 2020 to two female graduates from each of the Stratford Secondary Schools (St. Michael’s S.S. and Northwestern S.S.). The students will have made meaningful contributions to the culture of their schools, and local or global communities. They will be leaders who show initiative, ingenuity and motivate others to embrace new challenges and issues. They demonstrate the following global competency skills, values and attitudes: critical thinking and problem solving; creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship; self- awareness and self-direction; collaboration; communication; global citizenship and sustainability.

Details will be circulated to members in advance of the AGM for review in advance of the vote on May 28th. Cindy’s presentation was met with enthusiasm from the members present.

13. Membership Report:

Anne Carbert reported that as the new fiscal year has begun, membership fees are due but membership renewals will be paused until the Executive can make decisions about how to collect the fees given that modest fee increases for CFUW National and Graduate Women International will be voted on at the national AGM in August and, if passed, would be effective for the 2019-2020 year. New members who want to get involved right away will be welcomed now at current the $100 fee.

Anne informed us that she is preparing a slide show for the AGM and the Membership Committee and our webmaster, Nicole Sibande, are preparing a private online members directory and there will be a short demonstration of the directory at the AGM.

14. 100th Anniversary Committee:

Nora Walden announced that the May AGM will be the kickoff for our celebrations of CFUW’s 100th anniversary. The new Leaders Among Us Scholarship is a 100th anniversary initiative and there is more to be announced. The committee will meet again early May. We will be celebrating women through our speaker program for 2019-2020.

15. Interest Groups:

Jane Cook, Interest Group Coordinator, is confirming with groups about their coordinators for the coming year and asked them to respond to her e-mail request. New members are welcome to connect with Jane for her to connect them to interest groups.

16. Treasurer’s Report:

Bev Symons indicated that an audited report for 2018-19 will be voted on at the AGM in May and mentioned that over the year there was a positive gain of $700 because was set aside for a Graduate Women International (GWI) fee increase which has not been required yet. She emphasized the our club intent is not to save money nor to spend recklessly, but to run our organization in the interest of our members. She then reviewed the key financials from the March report: $6,009.24 in expenses (membership dues for CFUW National and GWI), $4,013.09 cash balance, and $7,510.62 in GIC investments.

17. Advocacy Committee Report:

Louise McColl, Chair of Advocacy, reviewed recent activities:

i) Greening Events Tips Sheet: We have been doing some outreach to share in the information about how to host more environmentally-friendly events and have connected with the City, the Kiwanis Club, and the Stratfords of the World conference planning committee. (The documents are online at www.cfuwstratford.ca/waste- reduction.)

ii) A subcommittee has been formed to create a Stratford “LIEU” project — an initiative started in Quebec that restores soil, flora and fauna in urban environments.

iii)  After the March meeting where members discussed and ranked various policy issues for discussion during the federal election campaign, Louise submitted our 5 chosen issues: Environment and Climate Change, Indigenous Issues, Poverty and Housing and Homelessness, Immigration, and Pay Equity and Women in Non-Traditional Occupations and Skilled Trades. We will receive background materials from CFUW National in time to discuss with candidates.
iv)  Advocacy Committee members delivered a letter to our MPP for Equal Pay Day requesting his action to end the gender wage gap.
v)  Committee members are gradually reviewing sections of the CFUW national policy book regarding equality, human rights, and transportation to determine which policies can be archived and which are still relevant. This is part of a larger project by the CFUW National Board and CFUW Stratford was asked to assist. It is an interesting process.
vi) The Committee is looking at putting together a policy resolution for the national club for consideration at the 2020 AGM, likely on the topic of implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action.

vii) A letter has been sent to Premier Ford and copied to MPP Randy Pettapiece and the Minister of Tibollo regarding the cuts to interlibrary loan services. Katharine Gunnel Gavin encouraged everyone to call our MPP, especially those in book clubs. Kathy Vassilakos announced a sit-in/read-in event at MPP Randy Pettapiece’s office and she will send around more details when they are confirmed.

Kate Welshed read news of the changes to recycling collection announced by the City with some previously accepted items now not accepted such as cartons and tetrapaks. Kathy Vassilakos clarified that Bluewater Recycling has one of the highest rates of effectiveness of all recycling companies and the changes to acceptable items is about the shrinking global market for certain items.

A rally to protest recent Ontario government cuts will take place on Wednesday May 1st at noon in Market Square.

18. Program Report:

Pat Reavy announced that the speaker at our May 28th AGM dinner meeting will be Professor Nicole Blanchett Nehei who is a TV and print journalist and instructor at Sheridan College. She will speak on the power of social media to inform and persuade but also polarize and will explain how messages are targeted. Pat shared that she heard Professor Blanchett Nehei speak in 2017 at a CFUW Ontario Council event. Members must register in advance for the May 28th AGM by contacting Lois Battle: 519-272-5032, lbattle47@hotmail.com. The $28 cost may be paid at the event or in advance.

19. Adjournment:

Louise McColl moved that the meeting be adjourned.

February 2020

CFUW Stratford General Meeting

For Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 7:30 p.m

Held at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 93 Morgan Street, Stratford, ON


Pat Reavy welcomed members and guests.


Denise Kane was born in Stratford and grew up in the Stratford area.  She acknowledged and thanked the original keepers of this land: The Neutral, The Anishnawbe and The Haudenosaunee.  This territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy, The Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

The Cross Cultural Friendship Group Overview was presented by Nancy Hallowell-Scott.  This new interest group was started in 2018.  After a period of exploration and reaching out to many contacts in the community, the group’s first project connecting with newcomers to the Stratford area commenced in the fall of 2019.  Group members volunteer with the adult education ESL (English as a Second Language) Program run by Centres for Employment and Learning of the Avon Maitland District School Board.  Currently, approximately 14 volunteers, take turns in pairs meeting twice weekly with the ESL students to assist in conversation skills as well as reading and writing.  The students are from 20+ different countries, including Sudan, Syria, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, Eritrea, and Ethiopia.  These ESL relationships are positively received by students and staff and great feedback has been given to continue the program.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Nancy at 519 272 0285 or nhallowellscott@hotmail.com

Cindy Carlson introduced our Guest Speakers from “Change Her World”: Linda Willis and Carol Hamilton. During a visit to Malawi, Africa in 2006, they were confronted with the harsh realities of poverty and gender inequality.  As they embarked on a HIV/AIDS study visit to the rural region of northern Malawi, organized by Presbyterian World Service and Development (PWS&D), their encounters with girls and women ignited an intense desire to take action in some way. Funds and practical resources for projects in the developing world aimed at enabling and promoting the education of girls and women were needed.  On February 1, 2010, notice was received that CHANGE HER WORLD had been approved as a Not-For-Profit Federal Corporation in Canada. Ten months later, CHANGE HER WORLD became a registered Canadian charity!

10 years later, they are celebrating success in many projects in the Chilumba / Malawi areas of Africa. Change Her World has provided support for 173 girls and women to attend local schools (Elementary age to College/University graduates), created birthing kits, built permanent structures, established support for vulnerable elderly women, dug wells, and initiated a goat program. Another girls’ hostel was built and will be opening soon for 50 girls to stay in, and a pig program is being researched.

Patty Munkittrick thanked our speakers.

Nora Walden displayed two of the art pieces that will be up for auction at the Trivia Gala on April 18.  Tickets are $25.00 each,and everyone is welcome. 

Kathy Vassilakos and Cindy Carlson pulled some volunteers from the audience to test their knowledge of Women in history as another preview of the April 18 event.

Cynthia Hastings reminded us about the Zonta Women’s Day Breakfast on March 6th at the Country Club. Several members of the club indicated that they will attend the event, and Anne Carbert will host a Climate Awareness table on behalf of CFUW at the Zonta breakfast.  Tickets can be purchased online. 

Bev Symons provided a lively overview of how our CFUW Stratford Membership fees are apportioned between payments to CFUW National, GWI, Ontario and what we have left to work with after those obligations. Bev detailed our expenses and net income from membership on the monthly report, and she shared our current overall financial picture.  We do a lot with a slim purse.

January 2020

CFUW Stratford General Meeting

For Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 7:00 p.m

Held at the Stratford Festival Archives, 350 Douro St, Stratford, ON

Pat Reavy welcomed members and guests. She reminded everyone that to be a member, a university degree is not necessary, just a passion to help make a difference by supporting CFUW’s mission for quality public education, the rights of women and girls and a peaceful, sustainable future. 

An important note: our next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. (not 7:00 p.m.) at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 93 Morgan Street, Stratford.

Flowers and sincere congratulations were presented to Annette av Paul on receiving the Order of Canada, for her contributions to ballet and for her mentorship as a dancer, teacher and director.  Annette lives in Stratford.

Nora Walden acknowledged the land we are on, its history and its original care givers, before she introduced our guest speaker:

Stephanie Vaillant is the Director of the Stratford Festival Costume Warehouse and Archives.  She was also a former CFUW scholarship recipient! 

“The Forgotten Women of Canadian Theatre” was the focus of Stephanie’s fervent presentation.  Woman like Dr Amelia Yeomans, Cora Hind, Dr. Emily Stowe, Lillian Thomas and Nellie McClung used drama and political parodies, to mirror the political atmosphere of the time and would attract an audience to Suffragette meetings.

Nora thanked and presented Stephanie with an honorarium.

Cindy Carlson, Kathy Vassilakos and Nora Walden asked for a few participants from the audience to compete for a prize, by answering some trivia about women.  “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” was the Trivia Night organizing committee’s promotion.  A few laughs, some well-informed contestants and lots of great clues set the stage for our April 18th Tulips and Trivia and Silent Art Auction.  The funds raised at this event will go towards our Scholarship fund.

Reminder: our next General Meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus on February 25.

Also please bring items for donations to Change Her World: girls’ underwear (cotton in girls’ sizes up to women’s medium), cash, grades 4 to 8 math sets, school supplies.

Motion to adjourn: Louise McColl  s Pat Reavy Carried

November 2019

CFUW Stratford General Meeting

For Tuesday, November 26 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Held at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 93 Morgan Street, Stratford, ON

Welcome to 55 Members and Guests – Pat Reavy

Land Acknowledgement – Dariel Bateman

In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge Moh’kinsstis and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Blackfoot Confederacy: Siksika, Kanaii, Pikani as well as the Nakoda and Tsuut’ina nations. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Metis Nation of Alberta Region 3, within the historical Northwest Metis homeland.

And here in Stratford, we acknowledge that we meet on the traditional territory of the Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples. This land provides us with an opportunity to engage in and demonstrate leadership in reconciliation.

We acknowledge all Nations, Indigenous and non, who live, work, play and help us steward this land and celebrate this territory.

Guest Speaker, Dr. Kate Puddister, Assistant Professor, from the Department of Political Science, University of Guelph was introduced by Pat Reavy.  Dr Puddister’s presentation was about “Women’s Place: The Bench.  Women and the Law in Canada”.

“Will women judges really make a difference?” asked Justice Bertha Wilson.  She the first female associate and partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt and the first woman to be appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario before her ascension to Canada’s highest court, the Supreme Court of Canada. 

Dr. Puddister went on to tell us about the challenges Justice Wilson faced both professionally and personally, until her retirement in 1991.  With her determination and fearless sense of principle, among her many accomplishments, Justice Wilson was a pioneer in shaping the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982.  Dr. Puddister also explained two important legal cases that, with the influence of Justice Wilson and Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé,  who served on the Supreme Court of Canada for fifteen years, from 1987 to 2002, considered gender and women’s realities, to expand the interpretation of equality before and under the law. 

These women were highly respected and highly visible members of the Court, they truly did make a difference for the future of women in this vocation.

Dr. Puddister also highlighted the National Action Committee on the Status of Women.  Laura Sabia was pointed out to us as a former President of CFUW.  Laura was a founding member and, from 1969 to 1973, the first president, of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women.  She was an alderwoman for St. Catharines City Council and wrote columns for The Toronto Sun in the 1970s and 80s. She also held the president position at the Canadian Federation of University Women and used her position to reach and inspire woman into pursuing higher education politics. Sabia’s contribution continued onto 1975 when she and 10 other women participated in a project for International Women at the United Nations Conference. 

Nora Walden thanked Dr. Kate Puddister.

Advocacy: Orange Scarf announcement: Let’s orange the world in 16 days!  Between November 25th and December 10th, wear an orange scarf to symbolize a brighter future free of violence against women.  

Anne Carbert and Lorraine Kuepfer had orange scarves available for anyone who wanted their picture taken to show support.

The “Pink Tea” is just around the corner, on December 7th.  Cindy Carlson reminded us to bring a friend, dress in pink (not mandatory), wear a fascinator or dress like women did 100 years ago.  There will be prizes, food and beverages.  1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the Stratford Festival Theatre.

Our charity of choice this year is “Change Her World” and there is a basket to collect change to donate to this cause at every meeting.

Events to watch for: 

Casual Drinks on Saturday, Nov 30 3:00-5:00 p.m. at Millstone

“Living With Climate Momentum: Rewilding for our future” featuring two CFUW members, Lorraine Kuepfer and Marianne Van Den Huevel at the Stratford Public Library on Thursday, Nov 28 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.


Thank you to the Purl Interest Group for providing the snacks at this evenings meeting.

Loretta Shannon and Anne Carbert from the Membership Group, got us all thinking about a destination in Canada we would like to travel to or have travelled to, in the Ice Breaker session.  

A gift card from Modo Yoga was given to the person with the closest birthday to this evening’s meeting: Nancy Dunn. 

October 2019

CFUW Stratford General Meeting

7:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 22, 2019 

Knights of Columbus Hall, 93 Morgan Street, Stratford, ON



Pat Reavy welcomed members and guests and gave everyone a draw ticket for a prize (members/guests who carpooled got two tickets!)

Anne Carbert talked about the reason that we give a land acknowledgement at the beginning of our meetings, to recognize that the land has belonged to others, and that it has been, is and will be cared for by several peoples.  She has lived outside of Stratford and recognized the different territories once belonged to various Indigenous Peoples. Anne acknowledged that in Stratford we are on the traditional territory of ‎the Neutral/Atawondaron, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples and our area was subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant.

Cindy Carlson recognized two mature students who are the recipients of our Scholarship Award.  They are graduates from the Conestoga Academic Upgrading Program, unfortunately they could not attend our meeting.  Brenda Daykin is pursuing a Nursing Degree and Devon Peters is taking a Social Services Program.

Nora Walden welcomed and introduced our guest speaker, Eden Hennessey, PhD (Psychology) Research and Programs Director, Laurier Centre for Women in Science, Wilfrid Laurier University.  Eden gave a dynamic presentation about Canadian Women in STEM.  Patty Munkittrick thanked Eden and presented an honorarium.

Nora Walden, Cindy Carlson, Carol Oliver and Mary Fischer performed an educational skit about “Pink Teas” and advertised our upcoming event on December 7 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the Stratford Festival Marquee.  It will be a formal attire event for members and guests with refreshments and tickets are $25.00 each.

Pat Reavy informed everyone about our charity focus for this year.  We are collecting change, for Change Her World, at all of our General Meetings and events.  Change Her World is an organization that believes in creating hope and opportunity for vulnerable girls and women. https://changeherworld.ca.

September 2019


CFUW Stratford General Meeting


7:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 24, 2019 


Knights of Columbus Hall, 93 Morgan Street, Stratford, ON




This year’s annual Meet and Greet included returning members, interested visitors, and new members who joined.

Following a time of socializing, President Pat Reavy began with a warm welcome and the Indigenous land acknowledgement.  She outlined CFUW’s purposes and activities and then introduced our guest speaker, Shelley McKellar, Ph.D., Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. 

Dr. McKellar delivered a very lively and informative presentation about “lady medicos,” highlighting, among other pioneering Canadian women in the field of medicine, a well-known local figure, Dr. Jennie Kidd Trout (1841-1921).

Jennie Kidd Trout was the first licensed female physician in Canada. Her own experience with debilitating chronic illness was a major motivating factor in pursuing a medical career.  She earned her M.D. in 1875 from the Philadelphia Medical School and returned to Toronto with fellow graduate Emily A. Tefft to open their own medical practice for women.  They were quite successful, even opening other facilities in Hamilton and Brantford. 

At the age of 41, Dr. Jenny Kidd Trout retired but continued to be a reckoning force in the advancement of women in medicine. Among other things, Dr. Trout founded the first medical training college for women, in Kingston in 1883.

Kristin Duskin-Gadd, Communications Chair, thanked Dr. McKellar for her excellent and insightful presentation.

Advocacy Chair, Dariel Bateman, presented a brief overview of the Advocacy committee’s projects. In particular, she gave attendees a Notice of Motion to be voted on at our October general meeting.

Our club, with the approval of the membership, will sponsor a motion to go forward to the CFUW Annual General Meeting 2020 that reads as follows: “RESOLVED that the Canadian Federation of University Women urge the Government of Canada, and the provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments, as well as the professional bodies, religious denominations and other entities named in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, to work diligently toward achieving the ninety-four actions recommended in that document.”

Cindy Carlson shared the Scholarship Committee’s commitment to funding the advancement of girls in STEM field mentorships. 

Jane Cook, standing in for Interest Groups Chair, Lorraine Kuepfer, described a sampling of the groups available.  We are always looking for new members to join our Interest Groups, and ideas for new groups are welcomed.  Members are encouraged to join more than one, and to “shop around!”

Kristin Duskin-Gadd announced that our Communications Committee is seeking volunteers to join this committee which keeps membership and the public informed of our initiatives, activities and events through a variety of means, including email, social media, our website and posters and flyers.

Nora Walden shared that she is also looking for members to join the Tech Team to assist especially at monthly meetings with A/V technical requirements for presentations.

Anne Carbert concluded the business portion of our evening with a reminder to consider attending the upcoming Intercultural Communication and Competency Workshop hosted by our Cross-Cultural Friendship Interest Group.  It is open to the public and takes place Wednesday, October 2, 6-9 pm at the Stratford Country Club.  She then thanked everyone for coming to this Meet and Greet and encouraged attendees to continue socializing.

Members resumed mingling, perusing club informational posters and interest group sign-ups, and enjoying refreshments provided by the Executive Committee.


March 2019

CFUW Stratford General Meeting

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Avondale United Church Narthex,

Stratford, Ontario


  7:30       1.  Welcome  and Introductions: Cambria Ravenhill

Thank you to the Mystery Book Club group for providing refreshments for the meeting


       2.  Acknowledge First Nations – Cambria Ravenhill

We begin this event by acknowledging that we are meeting on aboriginal land that has been inhabited by Indigenous peoples from the beginning.  As settlers, we are grateful for the opportunity to meet here and we thank all the generations of people who have taken care of this land-for thousands of years.  In particular, we acknowledge that we are in the traditional territory of the Anishnabek, Haudenosaunee and Ojibway/Chippewa peoples.  This Territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties

7:35        3.  Meet and Great-  Mixer-Two truths and a lie.  Anne Carbert

The members sat together in small groups. 

Each person was to tell 2 truths and 1 lie and the group was to guess which statement was the lie. Each group was to spend about 5 minutes doing this fun mixer.

7:45       4. Program: Election Issues Group Debate – Louise McColl and the Advocacy Committee

Overview and group debates:  CFUW National would like to have direction from CFUW Clubs regarding issues to discuss with the political parties in the next Federal election.  

Louise described our discussion format as a cross between the Dragon’s Den and Survivor!

Small groups were created to discuss a number of topics related to our CFUW-National Resolutions including:

  • pay equity
  • universal daycare and parental leave
  • poverty and homelessness
  • universal pharmacare
  • climate change
  • election reform
  • Indigenous issues  

Within each small group, the topic was discussed for 25 minutes. 

A designate was chosen to make a 2 minute presentation to all the club members present.  

The entire group then voted to eliminate 3 of the topics from the list of issues.  Each person was given three tickets. The vote was done by secretly putting a ticket in a container-one container for each discussion topic.                                                    

  8:30        5. Presentations by groups:  

Each group had 2 minutes to present their case.  Once every small group had presented, the group as a whole voted for 3 topics that should not be moved forward to CFUW-National. 

Summary of Presentations:

1.  Pay Equity and Women in Non-traditional Occupations and Skilled Trades

Pay equity underlies everything we discussed this evening.  Our society believes that women are worth 30% of what men are worth.  If women were equally valued- daycare would not be an issue-poverty would not be an issue. We have a Federal Cabinet that is 50% women but this is not reflected in politics in general or in high-level jobs.  

2.  Universal Daycare and Parental Leave

Compared to other countries, Canada has a good parental leave program.  Unfortunately, daycare is not so good and Federal intervention and control is needed to improve daycare.  As illustrated in the Province of Quebec, one of the benefits of universal daycare is more taxes collected by government.  The costs of universal daycare are actually offset by taxes generated by working parents.  Conversely, daycare worries are a detriment to parent employment.  Universal daycare provides a head start for children in all socioeconomic groups.

3.  Poverty and Housing and Homelessness

1 in 6 people live in poverty in Canada. These numbers  were from a 2018 report by Citizens for Public Justice, taking into account three measures for poverty:  The report uses several low-income indicators, including the Low-Income Measure (LIM), the Census Family Low Income Measure (CFLIM) and the Market Basket Measure (MBM). Each measure of low income provides different information on poverty using different methodologies to calculate rates of poverty Children in one-parent families, single seniors, and single parents live below the poverty line in significant numbers.  The financial cost of poverty in Canada is over $70 billion per year.  Candidates need to address the issue of poverty and homelessness in this country. 

4. Universal Pharmacare

Provincial variations in pharmacare are broad.  Our drug costs in Canada are high (third highest in the world) and our population is aging.  As people age, they tend to require more medication and their incomes tend to fall. This combination of high cost and aging population has the effect of making drugs less accessible to people.  Pharmacare should be part of the Canadian universal healthcare package.  We may in fact see a reduction in the over-prescribing of drugs once they are fully government funded and controlled. If all drug purchase is universal and centralized there will be a need to be an additional source,, about $7.2 B, of funding (tax). Also number of drugs covered will probably decrease substantially i.e. New Zealand has lowest drug prices but only covers 2,000. Currently, Canada’s public plans cover  4,000- 8,000 and private plans 13,000.. Yes there is probably a lot of duplication but still large number

5.  Environment and Climate Change

The UN believes we have 13 years left to make a difference in the environment before it is too late to reverse environmental damage.  Examples: Today, due to melting of polar ice, C02 is escaping into the atmosphere.  The forests are also releasing large amounts of C02 due to fires and decay.  This is critical and the government must act now.  Currently, CFUW-Stratford Club strives to eliminate plastics and unnecessary consumption of fossil fuels. 

6.  Elections and Electoral Reform

We are frequently represented by governments that hold only roughly 30 percent of the majority vote.  First Past the Post is in need of reform.  Young people are going to begin to believe that their votes do not count.  Proportional representation is a CFUW Policy-to better reflect the popular vote.

7.  Indigenous Issues

There is an ongoing need to educate and engage the general public on Indigenous affairs and to encourage Indigenous peoples to thrive in their own communities.

8.  Immigration

 Immigrants are critical to the growth of our Country.  We need young people to be workers in the future-as our current population ages.  In the future, we will need over 200,000 immigrants annually to meet our workforce needs. Canada is seen globally as an open, accepting country and we have a moral obligation to accept refugees. 

  9:15        6. Voting Results– Louise McColl

Once the votes were tabulated, the following five topics will be recommended to CFUW-National for further discussion with the Federal political parties:

  1. Environment and Climate Change
  2. Indigenous Issues
  3. Poverty and Housing and Homelessness
  4. Immigration
  5. Pay Equity and Women in Non-traditional Occupations and Skilled Trades

The following three were eliminated: 

1. Universal Daycare and Parental Leave

2. Universal Pharmacare

3. Elections and Electoral Reform

9: 25    7.  Indigenous Moment:  Dariel Bateman  Indigenous Legal Traditions

The work of the Indigenous Study Group has been very interesting and indeed has challenged us to reframe and reexamine some of our thoughts and even unknown-to-us prejudices. 

There are two, sometimes warring, legal traditions in Canada: Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Law. 

Aboriginal Law includes a list of Aboriginal rights, the Indian Act, and other legal decisions. In short, Aboriginal Law encompasses how the Canadian state interacts with Indigenous peoples. 

Indigenous Law, on the other hand, is based in the Indigenous world view, emphasizing peace and harmony and respect for all living things. Priority is given to the collective, not the individual. It emphasizes collective rights, duties that limit government power and include consultation, accommodation, honour of the Crown, and fiduciary duties. It has been largely passed on orally.

In our system:

  • Humans are set apart from the environment, setting up a binary system that allows for the use and exploitation of land and resources.
  • The emphasis is often on competition versus the collective
  • Offenders are encouraged to plead ‘not guilty’.  In a sense offenders, once incarcerated or fined or put on probation, do not need to feel any guilt for their own families suffering hardship, or for their victims, or for any others who have to suffer the consequences of their acts, AND there is no need for restitution.

In contrast, in the Indigenous legal tradition, however:

  • The consequences of an individual’s offense are generally non-punitive and emphasize restitution and restoration for the victim through restorative justice and healing circles.
  • Here’s how it works: Wrongdoing impacts relationships and thus a wrongdoer must acknowledge the wrong doing (pleading guilty). The wrongdoer works through counseling with a respected elder and moves to restoration. Should the wrongdoer refuse to acknowledge the wrong doing, it can lead to shaming and ultimately banishment. For example, the father of a murderer gives his son to the victim’s family to be their sole provider

The legal orders that existed before colonization were initially respected by colonizers until the mid 18th century. Aboriginal Law (as used by the Canadian government) is not in the Charter, which is Part One of our constitution, but is contained in Part Two of the constitution along with Indigenous Law. Because they are so different from one another, the different understandings and perspectives are often at the root of our court challenges. However, the practices of restorative justice and healing circles might well be worthy of our further consideration 

8.  Announcements – Cambria Ravenhill


  1. Congratulations-Eleanor Kane for her recent feature in EatDrink The Local Food and Drink magazine
  2. Ongoing ShelterLink Drive – list of items: Bath towels, grocery cards, chips/microwave popcorn, laundry soap, and non-perishable canned food
  3. Motion of change to Constitution and Bylaws – discussion and vote is postponed to the April meeting. Documents will be circulated beforehand – Jane Cook has been instrumental in updating the constitution and bylaws.
  4. Casual Drinks and Conversation group will meet Saturday March 30th at The Mill Stone from 3-5 pm
  5. Student climate change strike this Friday at 1:40pm at Stratford City Hall
  6. Equal Pay Day-Wednesday, April 9, 2019
  7. vii)Rally for Education- Saturday, April 6th-Queens Park, Toronto: to protest proposed education funding changes
  8. viii)The Trashion Week screening of RIVER BLUE is on Thursday, April 18 at City Hall and it starts at 7 pm.  It is sponsored by Energy & Environment Committee of the City and co-hosted by Queen on the Square. The film will be followed by a panel discussion. More information and registration for the event can be found at the website for Trashion Week at:  stratfordtrashionweek.ca. Although it is a free event, registration for tickets is recommended.

vi) CFUW Stratford nominations for 2019/2020

  1. Call for nominations to fill several key roles on the CFUW-Stratford Club Executive and Scholarship Fund Committee

Adjourn: Moved by Louise McColl


February 2019


Tuesday, February 26th, 2019


1.  President Cambria Ravenhill welcomed members and guests, and she also thanked the Bridge group for providing the refreshments for the meeting.

2.  First Nations Acknowledgement:  Cambria then acknowledged that CFUW Stratford meets on the traditional territory of the Neutral/Attawandaron, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples, territory that was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and Allied Nations, to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

3.  Indigenous Moment:  Ruth Symons chose the topic of treaties.  She explained that early treaties, such as the “Dish With One Spoon”, were in place before the arrival of the Europeans, and were gestures of friendship, including the sharing of hunting territory.  In the 17th and early 18th centuries, treaties between European settlers and aboriginal peoples, such as the “Two Row Wampum Belt” between the Haudenosaunee  and the Dutch in N.Y State, continued in the vein of mutual respect and are known collectively as “The Peace and Friendship Treaties”.  Surrender of land was seldom included in such agreements.

By the end of the 18th century, the nature of treaties had changed significantly, allowing European settlement to encroach increasingly on indigenous territory and resources, and pushing native peoples to give up their traditional way of life.  As an example close to home, in 1827 the Government of Upper Canada signed an agreement with 16 chiefs of the Chippewa Nations, known as “The Huron Tract Purchase”, in which the Chippewa surrendered over 2 million acres of land in exchange for an annuity of 1100 pounds a year for themselves and their descendants.  A Royal Charter allowed the Canada Company to buy up about half the land to develop for sale to settlers.  The reserve lands retained by the indigenous people along Lake Huron shore amounted to less than 1% of the total land.  It later came to be understood that in signing such treaties, the indigenous people assumed they were agreeing to mutual use of territory, while the Government saw it as a transfer of ownership.  The last of these treaties was signed in 1923.

Modern treaties:  A number of factors have contributed to an effort to return to the ideas introduced in the early Peace and Friendship Treaties.

     (i)   The First Nations have become increasingly organized in speaking out about land claims and treaties that have not been honoured.

     (ii)  The Canadian Constitution of 1982 included Aboriginal Rights.

     (iii) The Supreme Court was making decisions about land claims and clarifying the meaning of Aboriginal Rights. These Aboriginal Rights are included in modern treaties, which aim to return to values of respect, coexistence and sharing of the land’s resources.

4.  Program:  

               Pat Reavy introduced the evening’s speaker, Dr. Ana Ferrer.  After obtaining her doctorate from Boston University, Dr. Ferrer began her research career at UBC and is currently the Associate Dean of Research at the UWaterloo Department of Economics.  Her research interests are focused on immigration and family outcomes including the effects of fertility and linguistic fluency on assimilation.

Dr. Ferrer’s topic for the evening was “The Gig Economy”, in which labour services occur outside long-term traditional employment.  In the Gig Economy, work is referred to as “contingent” work, and can include “contractual” work, in which self-employed individuals submit their own invoices.  Especially since the arrival of companies like Uber on the scene, there have been growing concerns about the rapid expansion of the Gig Economy, which, however, are not born out by recent statistics.  The large majority continue to partake in traditional long-term employment.  The number of part-time jobs has increased, but only by 2% over the last 20 years.

In examining the nature of contingent work, it is important to distinguish between employees and the self-employed; between workers and jobs; and also between job quality and type of job (bad jobs exist in all parts of the economy!).  Regarding income, some of the questions that come up are:

  • Is a job the main source of family income?
  • Is the contingent worker a multiple job holder?
  • Is the job associated with a shared economy?
  • Are specific demographic groups engaged in the Gig Economy?

Looking at temporary jobs overall between 1997 and 2018, there is a small difference in numbers between men and women.  3% of all workers are engaged in “involuntary” part-time work because they can’t find full-time work.   Looking at the self-employed group in the Gig Economy, the number of males is decreasing, while the number of females is increasing.  However, males have larger businesses than females.

Among multiple job holders, 50% hold more than one contingent job, 25% split time between contingent and self-employed jobs, and 9% are solely in self-employed jobs.  Among age groups, younger workers hold the highest number of low-paying temporary jobs.

The most obvious advantage for contingent workers is flexibility.  However, problems remain with worker exploitation, unreported transactions, low income and/or income instability, and lack of access to training and benefits.  Looking to the future, technological advances are changing the landscape, with the jobs most at risk being the lowest income jobs.  There is a need for further regulation of labour markets and for new income protection policies.  Attention needs also to be paid to education in a changing economy.

President Cambria thanked Dr. Ferrer for this very enlightening presentation.


(Just before the break, Ann Carbert initiated a mixer by suggesting that each of us seek out a person we hadn’t talked to before.) 

* * * * *    Break   * * * * *

5.  Plastics Moment:  Pat Reavy had contacted coffee companies about what to do with empty coffee bags.  She reported to us that she has found a company in B.C. that recycles both plastic and plastic-lined bags.  She offered to collect bags from our members to forward to B.C.

6.  Minutes:  It was moved by Bev Symons, seconded by Nora Walden that the minutes of the January 22, 2019 meeting be approved as circulated.

7.  Announcements:  (Cambria Ravenhill)

     (i)    Cambria thanked our “Coldest Night of the Year” team and donors who raised $1,125.00 for Shelterlink.

     (ii)   Shelterlink continues to need bath towels, grocery cards, chips/microwave popcorn, and non-perishables.

     (iii)  Cambria announced a Notice of Motion to be made at the March meeting regarding changes to our governance document (Constitution & By-Laws).

     (iv)  It is the time of year to be thinking about nominations for Executive positions for the 2019-2020 Club year. Cambria gave a brief overview of the make-up of the Executive, comprising Officers and Chairs of Standing Committees, and invited members to give careful consideration to requests if they are approached by the Nominating Committee.

      (v)  Several events are planned in Stratford to celebrate International Women’s Day in early March:

  • Stratford & District will honour prominent women, including CFUW member Kathy Vassilakos182 King Street, March 6, 7-9 p.m.
  • Stratford Centre for Business is sponsoring a panel discussion around “Building Your Dream Network”, Avon Theatre, March 7, 7-9 p.m.
  • Zonta is hosting an International Women’s Day Breakfast at Revival House, March 8, 6:30-9:00 a.m.
  • Multicultural Association will mark women’s achievements with a dinner, speaker and live music. Knox Church, March 8, from 5:30 p.m.

8.  Reports:

     (i)    Scholarship:  Nora Walden reported a cash balance of $7,887.57, and $7,000.00 in the GIC.

     (ii)   Membership:  Anne Carbert welcomed Loraine Kuepfer to the Membership Committee and encouraged other members to join them.  She also mentioned that the on-line member survey will be open awhile longer and asked that all members take the time to provide feedback and ideas:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6SDLQVK 

     (iii)  Interest Groups:    Jane Cook said she was pleased to see so many Interest Group suggestions on the recent CFUW Stratford survey.  She invited those who had contributed to contact her with a view to possibly coordinating new groups in the fall. 

     (iv)  Treasurer:    Bev Symons reported that as at Jan. 31st, 2019, the Club has $10,229.67 cash on hand, of which $5,740.00 remains payable to CFUW National.  We have a $3,000.00 in a 1-yr. GIC, plus two reserve GIC’s totalling over $4000.00.

     (v)   Advocacy:   Louise McColl reported a meeting with the City Events Coordinator with a view to getting the Greening Tip Sheet out there.  The Advocacy Group has yet to hear back from Randy Pettapiece with answers to questions posed to him awhile back.  The Group is moving along with the review of a section of the CFUW National Policy Book, at a rate of three per month.  The Group still has not heard back from Zambia, with regard to the proposed twinning project.

     (vi)   Program:   Pat Reavy reviewed the process involved in planning for speakers for our meetings.  In the spring, the President decides on a theme for the coming Club year, after which members are encouraged to provide suggestions for speakers and/or topics.  The focus of the 2019-2020 programs will be connected to CFUW’s 100th Anniversary, and as usual the Stratford Club’s members are encouraged to submit suggestions.

As to next month’s program, the March meeting is usually set aside to discuss and vote on Resolutions.  However, there being none this year, there will be group examinations of a few CFUW Policy issues in preparation for the upcoming federal election.  CFUW National is looking forward to feedback from the clubs with a view to preparing some campaign resources to help with questions of federal candidates.

Nora Walden mentioned that the meeting of the 100th Anniversary Committee, scheduled for February 20th, had been cancelled due to weather and would be rescheduled for a date in early March. 

9.  Adjournment:   Louise McColl moved that the meeting be adjourned at 9:40 p.m.



January 2019


Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019


1.  President Cambria Ravenhill welcomed members, guests, and special guest Susan Vecchiarelli, our SW ON Regional Director.  She also thanked the Quilting group for providing the refreshments for the meeting.

2.  First Nations Acknowledgement:  Cambria then acknowledged that CFUW Stratford meets on the traditional territory of the Neutral/Attawandaron, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples, territory that was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and Allied Nations, to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

3.  Indigenous Information Moment:  Barbara Collier, a member of the Indigenous Learning Group, shared her admiration for a young indigenous singer, composer, and arranger, Jeremy Dutcher, who won the 2018 Polaris Prize for best album of the year.  Barbara (an accomplished singer herself!), told us that Jeremy, a member of the Tobique First Nation of NW New Brunswick, has made it his mission to revive his Wolastoq language through his work.  

The journey towards completing the winning album began some 5 years ago when Jeremy discovered wax cylinder recordings of his ancestors, made by an anthropologist in the early 1900’s, and preserved in the Museum of History.  Upon receiving his prize, Jeremy commented “I do this work in my language to honour those who have gone before, and I lay the footwork for those who have yet to come.”  Barbara had a copy of Jeremy’s CD on hand for members to view at the break, and which can be purchased at Amazon.ca

4.  Program:  Nora Walden introduced the evening’s two speakers, Kate Simpson and Jessika Guy who share interests around the impact of textile waste on the environment.


Kate Simpson is the Waste Reduction Coordinator for the City of Stratford and responsible for all Diversion Programs.  She was proud to report that Stratford is one of the first cities in the province to have begun a textile waste collection, including curbside as well as depot collection.  The program, run in conjunction  with Diabetes Canada, began in 2018 with one bin at the landfill site, and required the placing of a second bin within a short period of time.  About 18 tons of textiles were collected from the bins in 2018.  

The first curbside collection was during Earth Week in April, with the rather disappointing result of only 174 out of 12,008 households participating.  Participation in a second curbside collection in October was better, but still just 288 households, so specific-date collection has been discontinued.  Instead, Textile Recycling now has its own page on the City website, where city residents can schedule a free home pick-up by following the link declutter.diabetes.ca or phoning 1-800-505-5525.  Future planning includes placing more bins on city property and then on selected private properties, e.g. condo buildings.     


Jessika Guy is the owner of the Green Hair Spa, which features a range of environmentally friendly products, and she has also been involved in contributing to community forestry projects.  She became interested in learning about how the fashion industry impacts the environment and found that it is the 2nd most polluting industry after oil, and not just from manufacturing, but also from materials used, packaging, etc.

Jessica shared the stunning fact that it takes 2700 litres of water to make 1 cheap tee shirt; 7000 litres to make 1 pair of jeans – “Hydrocide”!  Jessika lamented the trend of “fast fashion”, where companies rapidly change their collections.  She also stressed that most of the ever-increasing amount of clothing ending up in landfills is not made from natural fibres.   Also, when clothing is laundered, a lot of synthetic fibres wind up in the ocean.  Wanting to increase awareness of ways to make environmentally-friendly clothing choices, Jessika launched Stratford’s first Trashion Week, during Earth Week in 2018.  She treated us to pictures from the re-fashion show, where several designers had repurposed used clothing to create amazing new pieces.

Trashion Week also featured a clothing swap, lectures, and workshops.  Jessica invited us to visit the 2019 Stratford Trashion Week website, detailing events to be held from April 14th to 20th.


What lively, engaging speakers!  President Cambria thanked them both on behalf of the Club.

5.  Plastics Moment:  Advocacy Committee member, Helene Crabb, recommended that we could all eliminate plastic yoghurt containers by making our own yoghurt!




* * * * *     Break     * * * * *  

Business Meeting

6.  Minutes:  It was moved by Loretta Shannon, and seconded by Lorraine Kuepfer, that the minutes of the November 27th, 2018, meeting be approved, as circulated. 

7.  Announcements: (Cambria)

    (i)   Thank you to our Soups On Green Team of 8 CFUW volunteers, and also to our Women’s March participants.

    (ii)  List of items for our ongoing Shelterlink Drive:  bath towels, grocery cards, chips, microwave popcorn, and non-perishable food items.   Also, Shelterlink is hosting the “Coldest Night of the Year” walk around the river on Sat. Feb. 23rd.  On their website, participants can sign up for 2K, 5K, or 10K routes.

    (iii) The Casual Drinks/Conversation Group will meet on Saturday, Jan. 26th from 3-5 p.m. at the Jobsite Brewery, which is on Cambria St. around behind Junction 45.  All Club members are welcome.

    (iv)  It is the time of year to be thinking about CFUW Stratford Nominations.  Not only the Executive, but also the the Membership and Communications Committees are looking for volunteers.  Check out the sign-up sheets before leaving the meeting.  There is also a sign-up sheet for anyone interested in attending an Executive meeting to learn more about the workings of CFUW – no pressure!

     (v)  (Nora Walden)  There is also a sign-up sheet for volunteers to join The 100th Anniversary Planning Ctte.  Past Presidents of the Club have been sent an invitation to provide input and become  involved.

8.  Regional Director Remarks: (Susan Vecchiarelli)

Susan told us that she has enjoyed serving on the CFUW K-W Executive and is now pleased to be branching out as Regional Director for Ontario West, which she described as acting as a liaison between the National Board of Directors and the 8 Clubs in her area.  Susan told us how impressed she was by our Club, focusing especially on our strong membership numbers and advocacy activities.  


9.  Reports:   

     (i)    Scholarship Ctte:   Nora Walden reported current financial figures:  $2000.00 (Current); $6000.00 (Savings); and $7000.00 (GIC).  She also shared how much she had enjoyed presenting our awards at Central SS. 

     (ii)   Advocacy Ctte:   Louise McColl reported that the Committee continues to promote the Greening Kit Sheet which is now up on the National Facebook page.  After explaining the Resolutions process briefly, Louise told us that our Advocacy Committee has been asked to review parts of the CFUW Policy Book.  Zambia has expressed an interest in the proposed twinning with us, but nothing is firmed up yet.  On January 15th, several members of the Committee met with Randy Pettapiece MPP to discuss the new Provincial Government’s priorities and actions.  They left him with a 10-page brief and a list of challenging questions.

     (iii)  Membership:  Anne Carbert reported that we now have 83 members.         

     (iv)  Interest Groups:  Jane Cook encouraged new members to contact her if wishing to join a group.

     (v)   Treasurer:  Bev Symons reported a cash balance of $11,113.02, and a total of $7,510.62 in our 3 GIC’s.

     (vi)  Program:  Pat Reavy reminded us that our February speaker will be Dr. Ana Ferrer, Dean of Research/Economics, U of W, on “The Future of Work”.  Pat also invited ideas for programs for the 100th Anniversary.

10.  Adjournment:  Louise McColl moved that the meeting be adjourned at 9:40 p.m.                           

November 2018

CFUW Stratford General Meeting

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

1. Cambria Ravenhill, CFUW Stratford President, called the meeting to order with a bell from India loaned to her by member Pat Bayliss.

2. Land Acknowledgement: Cambria opened with the acknowledgement that CFUW Stratford meets on the traditional territory of the Neutral/Attawandaron, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples, territory that was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied nations, to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

3. Indigenous Moment: Lorraine Kuepfer, member of the CFUW Stratford Indigenous Rights Learning Group read an abreviated version of the Haudenosaunee creation story, Sky Woman. It is online at the Canadian Museum of History website here: https://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/aborig/fp/fpz2f22e.html

4. Speaker

Nora Walden, Program Co-Chair, introduced our guest speaker: Sarah Merkel, a Health Promoter with the Perth District Health Unit, currently on maternity leave with her 2nd child. Sarah graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences from the Western University in 2008 and completed a Master’s Degree in Public Health at the University of Waterloo in 2016. She is also the owner of a fitness business called Fashionably Fit. As a volunteer she has been involved with the Goderich to Guelph Rail Trail organization, Stratford’s Active Transportation Committee, and Stratford’s Rotaract Club. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and photography.

Sarah spoke on the topic “Are Screens Taking Over Our Lives?” Her presentation shared curated information to survey the topic and consider the impact of screen time for ourselves and for children and youth. She defined screen time, for the purposes of her presentation, as the amount of time spent on a screen for leisure (phones, tablets, computers, TV) and asked us to recall our leisure activities when we were younger to highlight the contrast with the amount of time children now spend playing video games, texting, e-mailing, and watching videos.

She shared screen time recommendations for different age groups from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology’s “24-Hour Movement Guidelines” (https:// csepguidelines.ca). For ages 2 to 4 the recommendation is 1 hour of recreational screen time and for ages 5 to 17 the guideline is 2 hours. Recent statistics from the UK showed that children are exceeding those guidelines significantly with 6- to 11-month-olds using a touch screen every day, 3- to 5-year-olds averaging 2 hours per day, and 76% of children 5 to 17 years exceeding screen time recommendations.



Adults can set limits, regulate their own behaviour, and usually have hobbies beyond screen-related activities. The short-term data is convincing regarding harmful impact of screens on child development, including on the social interaction needed for self- esteem, physical and mental health, and connection, as well as exposure to food- related marketing, and possible links to anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.

Sarah showed a video of Simon Sinek about digital addiction and how children today aren’t learning how to form deep, meaningful relationships because of their online time:http://www.gio.ee/watch?v=sL8AsaEJDdo.

She concluded by pointing out there is no simple answer to this complex problem, but by admitting there is a problem we may help children cultivate healthy behaviours that will continue through life. She highlighted opportunities for healthcare providers, parents, daycares and schools and challenged us to ask “What is my role?”

Cambria Ravenhill thanked Sarah for her presentation and reality-check on our own addictive screen behaviour.

5. Approval of Minutes: Cambria chaired our business meeting requesting a motion to approve the minutes from October 23rd. Moved: Lorraine Kuepfer. Seconded: Kathy Vassilakos. Carried

6. Announcements:

i) Cambria recognized Eleanor Kane for her Ontario Senior Achievement Award. Eleanor was honoured recently at Queen’s Park and received her award from the Lieutenant Governor.

ii) The Seasonal Celebration Lunch is on Saturday December 8th at the Queen’s Inn. Tickets must be reserved with Lois Battle by December 5th. (See your membership list for her contact information.)

iii) We will start a charitable drive for Shelterlink — shelter for homeless teenagers. Please bring items to the December 8th lunch and to our January and February general meetings. Items will be dropped off after Christmas when Shelterlink receives fewer donations. Items to donate: bath towels, grocery cards (start at $10), chips or microwave popcorn, non-perishable canned food, socks, and gloves/hats for men.

Cambria also introduced a motion to give a $200 donation to Shelterlink from CFUW Stratford. Moved: Cambria Ravenhill. Seconded Bev Symons. Carried

7. Scholarship Committee Presentation and Motion:

Nora Walden provided copies of the new text for the scholarship fund constitution, summarized the changes, and answered questions.The three main changes are the



length of committee member terms, the date of the year end, and the committee roles/ positions.

Norah-Jean Perkin moved that we adopt the amendments to the Constitution of the CFUW Stratford Scholarship Fund presented here and also in a notice of motion last month by the Scholarship Fund Committee. Seconded: Cindy Carlson. Carried

8. 100th Anniversary Planning Committee:

Nora Walden also announced that she is chairing a new 100th Anniversary Planning Committee to organize activities for the 100th anniversary of CFUW next year. Some scholarship committee members are participating with the intent that some activities will benefit the scholarship fund. Our club archivist, Jean Hillen, is also involved. The idea is to have events and activities that benefit the club and showcase women.

9. Advocacy Report:

In the absence of the Chair of our Advocacy Committee, Louise McColl, Anne Carbert read a message from Louise with the latest Advocacy Report:

i) Tips Sheet: The tip sheet for greening big events has been completed, designed, and is/will be available on the City website as well as our website. It’s a great looking document with excellent information on how to reduce waste from big fundraising events or gatherings.

ii) Meeting with Randy Pettapiece: We sent a letter to Randy Pettapiece at the end of October, raising issues about the current provincial government’s actions around sex education, education about indigenous issues, the environment, poverty, and women’s issues and requesting a meeting with him. After a few nudges, his office is suggesting we could get together in the new year.

iii) Twinning: We are still trying to sort out a suitable twin through Graduate Women International, and we will keep you posted on this process.

iv) Plastics Moment: We won’t be having a plastics moment at tonight’s meeting, but we encourage you to continue to be thoughtful about how you might reduce your use of the plastics which permeate our lives. National Geographic cited a “dead sperm whale that washed ashore in eastern Indonesia had consumed a horrifying collection of plastic trash, including 115 drinking cups, 25 plastic bags, plastic bottles, two flip- flops and a bag containing more than 1,000 pieces of string.” Every time we avoid a plastic item, we are protecting not just whales, but the whole planet.

10. Membership Report:

Anne Carbert reported that we now have 80 members. A revised membership list — with two new members and some corrected information — will be sent out to all members soon.


11. Treasurer’s Report:

Treasurer Bev Symons reported that we have $12,662.48 cash in our general account at Libro Credit union with payables against that of $5,185 leaving a net available at Oct 31st of $7,477.48. The Executive approved a decision to purchase a $3,000 GIC for a 1-year term at Libro. Also, a maturing GIC of $3,326 at CIBC is being transferred to Libro and held as reserve funds. A remaining GIC of $1,127 at CIBC will also be transferred to Libro at maturity in July 2019.

12. Adjournment: Anne Carbert moved that the meeting be adjourned at 8:45pm.

Our next gathering is the social lunch on December 8th. The next general meeting is January 22nd at 7:30 pm at Avondale United Church.

October 2018

CFUW Stratford General Meeting Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

1. Jane Cook welcomed members and guests and thanked the Mahjong group for refreshments and for acting as welcomers.

2. Acknowledge First Nations – Jane Cook acknowledged that CFUW Stratford was meeting on the

traditional territory of the Neutral/Attawandaron, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples, territory that was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied nations, to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

3. Indigenous information moment – Anne Carbert talked about the reason that we give a land acknowledgement at the beginning of our meetings, to recognize that the land has belonged to others, and that it has been, is and will be cared for by various peoples. It acknowledges the history of colonialism, the interests of the indigenous peoples, and current issues such as the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

4. Minutes: Pat Reavy moved that the minutes of the September 2018 meeting, as circulated be approved; seconded by Nora Walden, passed.

5. Program: Pat Reavy to introduced Dr. Karen Houle, a professor of philosophy from the University of Guelph, mother of twin daughters, with two grandchildren. Dr. Houle teaches on environmental ethics, does research on urban organic farming, and is an activist.

Speaking on “Waste Not, Want Not” she described being challenged by an Anishnabe elder who said” “Too much talking, do something.” This inspired Dr. Houle to become involved in the clean up of dumpsters full of garbage left by students who have a day or two after exams to leave their residences. A young man spearheaded an initiative to recycle the materials left, including clothes, furniture, food etc. Some food goes to food banks, but partially used items are donated to an organic farmer to compost—-Dr. Houle empties the jars of peanut butter, mayonnaise etc. into pails for this purpose. The process is available on Vimeo, and is entitled “Diverted”. She has concluded that the things that are important are community, the environment, justice, education, health, and women and equality. She focuses her environmental philosophy classes on plastics reduction, consumer choices (value what we have and take care of it) and composting.

Jane Cook thanked Dr. Houle for her inspiring presentation.

6. Plastics Moment –Lorraine Kuepfer and Anna Stratton spoke about alternatives to using plastics, and had put up a display demonstrating the


7. Announcements –

length of time it takes for items to degrade, and had a variety of substitutes for plastics in the kitchen.

i. Jane thanked the Advocacy Committee for organizing and hosting

the very successful Women Candidates discussion on Oct 11th . Congratulations to everyone for such a wonderful event
ii.Jane indicated that the sign up lists for interest groups were available for further members. She commended Nora Walden on doing a great job as moderator and congratulated Kathy Vassilakos on her re-election.


iii. The Drinks & Conversation group are meeting this Saturday, Oct 27th at The Bruce at 3pm. All are welcome, but please let Anne know if you are attending.
iv.. The Christmas lunch and meeting will be held Saturday, December 8th at the The Queens Inn at noon. The cost is $23 and Pat Reavy and Lois Battle are taking reservations, and payments. v. Jane reminded members that dues payments are now due and donations to the Scholarship fund are always welcome.

There was a break for refreshments and visiting. The meeting reconvened at 9:00 pm
9. Membership: Anne Carbert reported that there are 50 paid up members and 10 new

members. Visitors are welcome to attend two meetings, but then are expected to join.

10. Program: The next speaker will be Sarah Merkel from the Perth District Health Unit, speaking on the issue of “Are Screens Taking over our Lives?” The meeting will be held in the upstairs room at the Library because the church is not available on that date. The next regular meeting, in January, will be back at Avondale Church.

11. Treasurer: In Bev Symons’ absence, Jane indicated that we have a cash balance of $10,486.26 of and $4,454.04 in GIC’s.

12. Scholarship: Nora Walden gave a Notice of Motion about the revision of the Scholarship Fund constitution. The document has been circulated, and copies were available for

anyone who hadn’t received one. The motion will be voted on at the Nov meeting.

13. Advocacy: Louise McColl reported that the promotion for the Women Candidates’ Debate was too good, because we ended up with standing room only, and many non CFUW members attended. Feedback after the event was good and we maintained 40% representation of women on the council. The application for twinning with a club or NFA in another country has been submitted to GWI. The advocacy committee, although mainly Anne Carbert, has prepared a letter for Randy Pettapiece, outlining our concerns about the actions of the new Ontario government, and requesting a meeting with him. We are also pushing the Ontario Council of CFUW to challenge the government on issues to do with education, climate change, poverty, and the elimination of violence against women.

14. Announcements were made about United Nations Day, which will be October 24th, and there will be an event at City Hall auditorium at 7:00 pm. Also, writer-in-residence at The Chef’s School, Jane Sigal, will be speaking on “Eating Words” at Stratford Public Library on October 1st at 7:00 pm.

15. Adjournment: Louise McColl moved the meeting be adjourned at 9:15.

September 2018

CFUW Stratford General Meeting  Tuesday, September 25, 2018

7:00 PM

Location: Avondale United Church Narthex


The Annual Meet and Greet included both returning members, interested visitors, and new members who joined.  Following a time of socializing and renewing/joining, President Cambria Ravenhill called the meeting to order at 7:40 and began with the indigenous land acknowledgement.  She welcomed guests and returning members, and outlined CFUW’s purposes and activities.

Two students from Conestoga College, Meredith Klynstra and Sarah Vollmer were introduced to the Club and presented with the 2018 CFUW Stratford Mature Student Scholarships. Meredith and Sarah were accompanied by two representative from the college, Michelle Atkin, Instructor, and Murray Stinson, Coordinator, Academic Upgrading, Stratford Campus.

Program co-coordinator Pat Reavy discussed the program for the coming year, “Let’s Talk about Convenience; the Pros and Cons of 21st Century Ease and Efficiency”, which will focus on both the benefits and cost of convenience in our present culture, including the impacts of social media, fast fashion, fast food, environmental toxins and democratic engagement. The program speakers include professors from the Universities of Guelph and Waterloo, Sheridan College, the Women’s Healthy Environments Network, the City of Stratford, Green Hair Spa and the Perth District Health Unit 

Jane Cook, Interest Groups coordinator, outlined the groups available and looking for new members this year, the potential for new groups, and encouraged members to sign up during the break.

Advocacy Chair, Louise McColl, presented a review of the Advocacy committee’s projects, and raised the idea of twinning through GWI with a club or NFA (National Federation or Association) in another country, possibly focusing on sharing projects on reducing plastic waste, or equal pay.  Moved by Pat Reavy that CFUW Stratford proceed with twin with another club or NFA through GWI.  Seconded by Lorraine Kuepfer passed unanimously.

Pat Reavy introduced Kathy Vassilakos, the coordinator of the School Travel Plan, City of Stratford.  Kathy gave a power point presentation on the School Travel Plan, which launched last year with two schools in Stratford. The Active Ttransportation Advisory Committee, City Staff, the PDHU (Health Unit), the Stratford Police and Cycle Stratford all participated in this project. A School Travel Plan collects data, looks at neighborhood infrastructure and runs education programs like Bike Rodeos, Winter Walks, and Walk and Wheel days. All these combine to promote and facilitate active transportation to and from school.  Kathy was thanked by Bev Symons.

Anne Carbert coordinated a draw for a door prize, won by Charlotte Gillett.  Cambria reminded members of the Women Candidates’ Gathering on October 11th at 7:00 pm at the Queen’s Inn, and the next meeting on October 23rd, with Dr. Karen Houle as speaker. She also reminded members to remember to donate to the Scholarship fund, particularly in light of the fact that two awards had been given earlier in the evening. 

Moved by Louise McColl that the meeting be adjourned.