#Alberta; #ViolenceAgainstWomen; #GenderBasedViolence
Alberta/Canadian-Media: Leela Sharon Aheer, Alberta's Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, issued the following statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Image credit: International Centre for Human Rights
“I am honoured to lead the Alberta government’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
“2020 has brought more attention to the issue of gender-based violence than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic asked us to do our part to stay safe by isolating and physical distancing. Unfortunately, the stresses of the pandemic and our economic situation saw a significant rise in calls to sexual and domestic abuse support lines.
“Alberta’s government responded with an additional $5 million to support those fleeing violence during the pandemic, ensuring they can isolate safely and access supports they need to heal - but we cannot stop there.
“The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign focuses on engaging and encouraging everyone to take part, take a stand and speak up against violence. We need to have important conversations, be active bystanders, shift the culture of consent and speak out against discrimination.
“The #16DaysofActivism begins today with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. I encourage everyone, of all genders, to become partners and help shine a light on this issue. There are many organizations in our province doing amazing work to help survivors, as well as educate and engage others on ways to spot, prevent and address violence. Knowledge is the most powerful tool we have to help keep everyone safe.”
#Manitoba; #GenderIssues; #SexualOrientation; #GayPoliceOfficer
Manitoba, Nov 21 (Canadian-Media): Van Norman, the eldest of four brothers from Manitoba, was one of the many public service employees who lost their jobs due to their sexual orientation and gender identity, media reports said.
Van Norman joined the RCMP in 1947 and was forced to resign 17 years later when he was spotted at the Lord Elgin Hotel in Ottawa, which was a known hangout for homosexuals.
When Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized in 2017 for the so-called LGBT purge, Elenore Sturko, Norman's great niece travelled to Ottawa to hear it in person.
After she learnt from Norman's journal that he had received the Queen's Coronation Medal for his work on on the Distant Early Warning Line (DEW line), she wanted to change the way her uncle's life is remembered.
She also learnt that he had worked as an agent of the government at a time that deeply impacted the Inuit, and that he was also a protector of the people he was serving
After receiving a $17,000 grant from the LGBT Purge Fund., Sturko got Van's journal translated through Qikiqtani Inuit Association so that her uncle's words will appear in Inuktitut next to the English text and plans to give free copies to people in the communities where Van Norman was stationed.
"It's not a perfect world by any means. Looking at what happened to my uncle and then seeing where I am today is really, really meaningful," she said.
Sturko plans to travel to Iqaluit next spring where a plaque will be dedicated to Sgt. R.A. Van Norman.
#KirstyDuncan; #ProfessionalInstituteofthePublicServiceofCanada; #EnvironicsResearch; #SusanO'Donnell; #Genderequity; #CanadaExcellenceResearchChairsprogram; #NationalResearchCouncil;
Ottawa, June 10 (Canadian-Media): Federal Science Minister Kirsty Duncan has prioritized gender equity in science and is investigating scientists employed by the federal government, media reports said.
"As a former scientist who happens to be a woman, it was not always easy, and I spent 25 years fighting for diversity in research," Duncan said.
An opinion piece was written by Duncan last year, which related experiences, including being paid in the bottom 10th percentile at her university and being told it was because she was a woman.
"We know that diversity and research excellence go hand in hand," Duncan said. "We need different ideas, different perspectives."
Science-based departments in the federal government had been asked by Duncan to collect demographic data about their staff, Duncan had said in an interview.
42 percent of female federal scientists, engineers and researchers who responded to the survey by the union highlighted that gender bias was a a barrier in the career advancement and 27 percent believed that men were favoured in opportunities for leadership roles.
The survey was released in March by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), which represents more than 15,000 federal scientists, engineers and researchers in 40 science-based departments and agencies.
But Duncan said that she was not going to rely on the union's own study.
"I think we have to know what the data is," she said.
Ian Stewart, the new head of the National Research Council (NRC) was then consulted by Duncan about the status of the stats.
The NRC had since completed the study but is asking for similar data from the deputy ministers of all other science-based departments.
Scientists at the NRC were one of two groups, the other group consisted of researchers many federal departments.
Data released from NRC group scientists suggested as having the lowest representation of women compared qualified women from its member database and from government science hiring competitions.
The analysis also found that the presence of women was diminishing compared to men occupying higher-level positions in science departments.
The analysis is part of a report about gender bias that also includes results from the voluntary survey, conducted online by Environics Research between May 29 and June 27, 2017.
Susan O'Donnell, a member of the PIPSC science advisory committee and lead author of the PIPSC report, said that union was happy the minister ha asked for further research.
"Because it's clearly an issue that's not going to get better until the government devotes the attention and resources to it."
With older scientists retiring, Duncan suggested that data about the makeup of the federal science workforce will also be important for planning for the future.
Gender equity is something Duncan, a former medical geographer who studied diseases like the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, has already shown she is passionate about.
Duncan considered encouraging universities to attract more female research chairs
"I need the data," she said of the survey. "Are women progressing through the ranks at the same rate as male colleagues or Indigenous people or people from minority backgrounds or persons with disabilities, and are they making equal pay?"
More recently, equity rules for the Canada Excellence Research Chairs program were implemented by Duncan.
"To the [science] community's credit, there are changes being made," she said.
The program aims to attract researchers from abroad with offers of either $350,000 or $1 million a year for seven years..
#JohnTory, #Toronto, #TorontoCityCouncil; #PrideToronto; #RainbowandTransgenderflags; #JuneasPrideMonthinToronto; #LGBTQ2Scommunity; #PrideMonth
Toronto, May 31 (Canadian-Media): Toronto Mayor John Tory will be joined by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale), other members of Toronto City Council and Pride Toronto co-chairs Erin Edghill and Kevin Rambally tomorrow to officially raise the Rainbow and Transgender flags and proclaim June as Pride Month in Toronto City Hall at 12:30 p.m., media reports said.
Pride Month in Toronto/Facebook
The ceremony will include an acknowledgment of recent victims of violence and heinous crimes within the LGBTQ2S community.
LGBTQ2S community/Courtesy of canadianencyclopedia.ca
This year's Pride Festival will spread over 24 days beginning June 1, and will end on Festival Weekend from June 22 to 24.
Pride Month, recognized locally and internationally as a premier arts and cultural event for Toronto, will showcase the activism, diversity, history, courage and culture of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, queer, questioning, two spirited communities and allies (LGBTQ2S) and will again feature one of North America's largest annual Pride parades.
#participationwithanall-femaleminerescueteam; #HeatherMacKenzie; #Russia; #NorthwesetTerritories;
#Yellowknife, #Canada; #InternationalMinesRescueCompetition
North West Territories/Ottawa, May 20 (Canadian-Media): Heather MacKenzie, a female employee of a mining company in the Northwest Territories (N.T.), aims to participate with an all-female mine rescue team in International Mines Rescue Competition Russia, later this year, media reports said.
Currently, MacKenzie is training for a territorial competition with her company, which will help her prepare for the international competition in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
"I've always been a competitor," said MacKenzie.
The week-long competition includes many different events from firefighting to first aid and a rescue simulation.
“The fact that we're putting together this team, we're ensuring that this competition will have double the amount of women that were at the last international [competition]," said MacKenzie.
"It's often seen as a position that women don't generally hold," she said.
Heather McKenzie/Courtesy of CBCNews
About $84,000 was needed by the team to participate in the international competition to cover travel, accommodations and equipment, as well as the cost of a training session for the women to participate in this August, to prepare for the international competition.
Some companies have given them in-kind donations, leaving them with about $37,000 to raise.
Typically the company a participant works for would cover the cost of the competition and send a team.
But in the case of Diamonds in the Rough, the participants don't work for the same company.
Kari Lentowicz, the co-founder and coach of Diamonds in the Rough said she asked all the participants' employers to provide them with funding but to no avail.
But some of the women on the team, she said, were so dedicated that they were willing to take vacation or unpaid days off work and pay for the trip themselves.
Lentowicz based in Saskatchewan, Canada, had dreamed of putting an all-women team together since 2007, said that it was too bad because there were a lot of women who will suffer a financial hardship in order to do this and added,
"We need to increase diversity in these roles, in emergency response.”
She was a judge at the 2016 International Mines Rescue Competition in Sudbury, Ont., and said five of the 189 participants were women.
She said there have been many cases where women were perceived as not strong enough to be on the mines rescue teams. But she disagreed with that.
"We're definitely strong enough," said Lentowicz.
The competition runs from September 22-29.
Toronto, Mar 2 (Canadian-Media): Toronto’s Street Needs Assessment (SNA) -- a survey to help the City to improve current programs and plan for future service delivery -- will take place on the evening of April 26 and the City is seeking volunteers to assist, media reports said.
Hundreds of volunteers, members of community agencies and City staff will would visit homeless people on streets and shelters for the fourth time to find out about the services they need to get and keep permanent housing.
According to official reports, number of people accessing the City's emergency shelter system had been increasing by 30-percent year over year.
SNA results facilitate policy makers, politicians, researchers, journalists and advocates to identify the number of homeless people in Toronto and to describe who they are and how their service needs should be changed.
All SNA results had reported that permanent housing was a requirement for homeless people but they also pointed out that the cost of housing was a barrier to ending their homelessness.
"The Street Needs Assessment gives people who are homeless a loud and clear voice in how we can help them end their homelessness," Toronto Mayor John Tory was reported to state. "It also gives the City the critical data we need to better understand how and why people are using homelessness services. The City is committed to supporting this initiative because we are all dedicated to fighting homelessness and the roots of homelessness."
John Tory: Facebook page
Reportedly for the first time City of Toronto's SNA would become a part of the federal and provincial governments' national coordinated point-in-time counts.
Toronto's SNA results would reportedly be included in 2018 National and provincial snapshots of homelessness funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy.
In addition to being a needs assessment survey, the SNA is a point-in-time census of those using all shelters in the city (including provincially-administered Violence Against Women shelters), and those with no fixed address in health care and correctional facilities.
The success of Toronto's homeless count and survey depends on citizen volunteers completing the surveys with people who are homeless, both those sleeping outdoors and staying in shelters and overnight drop-ins.
"Opportunity for all is a key value to Torontonians and volunteering on April 26 gives ordinary citizens who care about homelessness in our city something concrete and useful to do. This can make a difference," Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Chair of the City's Community Development and Recreation Committee was reported to state.
Registration for the publicvolunteers for the 2018 SNA can can be done at:
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#MichaelCoteau, #UrbanRezSolutions, #InnovateInclusion, #LaPasserelle-I.D.É., #EmpowermentSquared, #TheOntarioBlackYouthActionPlan, Farley Flex
Ottawa, Jan 26 (Canadian-Media): Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism announced Jan 23 at Twitter Canada in Toronto that Ontario is investing $1 million in the public awareness campaigns -- which will run from January through March 2018 -- to help them rise above racial prejudices to promote Ontario's Black children, youth and families, media reports said.
These campaigns will be delivered by three organizations to promote strong Black cultural identities through community outreach, online videos, live local events, traditional media and social media.
“Anti-Black racism and prejudice pose barriers for Black youth..I believe these campaigns will be the start of a new chapter for everyone,” Coteau was reported to state.
This year’s recipients, Urban Rez Solutions and Innovate Inclusion, in partnership with La Passerelle-I.D.É., will lead campaigns in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Windsor and Ottawa, and Empowerment Squared will create a Hamilton-focused campaign.
The initiative is part of the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan, a four-year, $47 million commitment to bridge disparities for more than 10,000 Black children, youth and families in Ontario's communities.
The Ontario Black Youth Action Plan is a result of 40 years of research and designed with help from an External Implementation Steering Committee made up of Black youth and leaders in business, education and the community.
Community engagement also played an important role in the plan’s design.
To date 45 community engagement sessions in 13 communities, engaging more than 1,300 people from the Black community had been held by the government.
“Ontario’s Black Youth Action Plan is a bold and courageous plan that will inspire governments throughout the world to address anti-black racism...and discrimination...We are very encouraged by the selection committee’s recognition of this,” Farley Flex, Co-founder, Urban Rez Solutions was reported to state.
Applications for organizations to develop next year’s campaigns are now reportedly open.
25 percent of hate crime in 2012–2014 were against Black people, Statistics Canada reported.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
John Tory: Twitter
#JohnTory, #winterrespite, #homelessness, #JoeCressy
Toronto, Jan 25 (Canadian-Media): Toronto Mayor John Tory had issued the following statement to launch the opening of 348 Davenport respite this weekend:
“There is no greater responsibility this City has than ensuring everyone that wants shelter, has access to shelter, while we address the crucial shortage of affordable and supportive housing.
Our conscience as members of this City Council, as people elected to come here and deal with these issues and deal with the problems of our most vulnerable people, should guide our actions as we work to address homelessness and the roots of homelessness.
City staff have worked hard to open 348 Davenport Ave. as an eighth winter respite site this weekend. It will provide beds for 90 people until mid-April when it will be renovated into a permanent shelter location.
I know our shelter, support and housing staff will be working with local residents to ensure this respite and the shelter that will replace it, will be part of the community. I am happy to work with our staff, Councillor Cressy and neighbouring residents to make 348 Davenport a success for all concerned.
I have made it clear that I believe we need more places in our city to help our homeless find shelter - this is the right thing to do. Working to ensure these locations are located seamlessly in communities, and are part of their communities, is a collective effort which requires the cooperation and the sensitivity of every single Torontonian just as it is the responsibility of everyone to fight homelessness."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#TorontoPublicService, #UnitedWayEmployeeCampaign, #TorontoPublicLibrary, #TorontoZoo, #TorontoandRegionConservationAuthority, #TorontoParkingAuthority, #ExhibitionPlace, #JohnTory, #JohnLivey, #FrankRamagnano, #TorontoProfessionalFirefighters'Association
Toronto, Jan 21 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made by the City of Toronto, Ontario employees a couple of days back of their successful raising a record-breaking fundraising total of $1.7 million for its United Way Employee Campaign crossing their annual campaign fundraising goal set at $1.5 million for 2017 for the 17th consecutive year, media reports said.
Toronto Public Service campaign was joined by the agencies and corporations such as Toronto Public Library, Toronto Zoo, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Toronto Parking Authority, and Exhibition Place and were successful in raising this this year's total representing three-percent increase over the previous fundraising total of $1.65 million in 2016.
"On behalf of City Council, I commend the Toronto Public Service on another extraordinary campaign," Toronto Mayor John Tory was reported to state.
John Tory: Facebook page
"Our employees' contributions to the United Way each year help build stronger neighbourhoods and improve the quality of life for Torontonians," Tory added.
"Many residents rely on the outstanding programs and services the United Way provides, and I am proud of the Toronto Public Service for its dedication, commitment and generous support," City Manager Peter Wallace, who serves as a member of the United Way Toronto & York Region Campaign Cabinet was reported to state.
United Way: Facebook
Events included in this year's employee campaign were: the Civic Run, the Civic Gala and about 200 special events across work locations to raise funds including (CUPE Local 79, CUPE Local 416, the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association, Toronto Public Library Workers Union CUPE Local 4948 and COTAPSA.
Toronto Professional Firefighters' Association: Twitter
"With the exceptional work of countless volunteers and City staff, we have surpassed our fundraising target for the 17th straight time. Staff have again exceeded themselves in support of this important cause so that United Way agencies are better able to offer hope and opportunities to those who are most vulnerable," Campaign Co-patrons John Livey, Deputy City Manager, and Frank Ramagnano, President of the Toronto Professional Firefighters' Association were reported to state.
John Livey: Facebook
Frank Ramagnano: Twitter
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#IndiraNaidoo-Harris, #Ontario, #Canada, #PayEquityAct, CatalystCanada, #Unifor, #OntarioPublicServiceEmployeesUnion, #NaureenRizvi, #AlexJohnston
Toronto, Apr 3 (Canadian-Media): Women made up some 55 percent of the workforce within the public service but take home about 12 percent less money than their male counterparts, media reports said.
Indira Naidoo-Harris, Ontario’s Minister for the Status of Women said that it was 30 years since Ontario had passed the Pay Equity Act and added hard work is required in getting women into top positions, CBCNews reports said.
Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) post on the facebook account of Pay Equity Act read, “30 years and still waiting In Ontario, women won equal pay for work of equal value in 1988 with the Pay Equity Act.
Unfortunately, it’s been 30 years since then, and many women are still waiting to be paid fairly.
"Join us in celebrating International Women's Day 2017.” She cited the recent women's march that started at Queen's Park and said that she was confident of the positive changes and said "Women should continue to call for pay equity. I think these are important targets because they really show that we are committed to really making sure that we're putting those women in those positions of leadership where they belong. And that will absolutely open doors," said Min. Naidoo-Harris, CBCNews reports said.
Referring to the government's recent announcement concerning investments in child care Naidoo-Harris said women in Ontario should demand equality.Naureen Rizvi, Director of Unifor, who represented hundreds of thousands of unionized employees in multiple sectors also found numerous wages gap.
Ontario is working to increase target for women on boards of Toronto Stock from the present 30 percent to 40 percent by 2020, CBCNews reports said.
According to Catalyst Canada, a nonprofit organization that focused on expanding opportunities for women and business, Canadian women earned $0.82 to every $1 earned by men.Alex Johnston, executive director of Catalyst Canada, told Globe and Mail “The global pay gap was about $4,000 on average between men and women, and the Canadian pay gap was just over $8,000.”
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)