The Board had a special teleconference on September 9 to determine how to get more people to attend the Semi-Annual Meeting. We decided to invite students who were in women’s studies courses from Ryerson, University of Toronto and George Brown College to attend. We also asked the Premier to speak about Bill 132 Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act but she was not available nor was the Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues; so we invited Hon. Dave Levac, Speaker of the House to talk about how parliament works.

We have two committees that were formed as a result of our strategic planning session last year. The committee looking at Provincially Organized Societies as potential new members has sent out invitations to nine organizations lately. We have not heard back from any of them yet. The other committee is looking at board renewal, i.e. how to have trained people ready to take over board positions. One way would be for each Vice-President to have a committee with each member taking a different aspect of the portfolio. Board renewal is also impacted by increased membership in PCWO. We must demonstrate the benefits of membership, appeal to different generations of women and offer leadership and mentorship opportunities.

Since the Annual Meeting in April I have written the following letters or signed onto letters written by others:

    1. 1. Wrote to the former Minister of Education, Hon. Liz Sandals, indicating that we were pleased that the Government was going to help schools become community hubs.
    1. 2. Signed onto a letter written by Northwatch to the Federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change regarding Ontario Power Generation’s plan for Nuclear Waste Burial beside Lake Huron. We asked that OPG be asked to provide information for alternate specific locations, cumulative environmental effects of the Project, and mitigation commitments for each of the identified adverse effects.
    1. 3. Signed onto a letter written by ACORN to the Minister of Community and Social Services to increase the thresholds for clawbacks and assets for recipients of the Disability Support Program and Ontario Works.
    1. 4. Signed onto a letter written by Friends of Public Services to the Prime Minister asking the Federal Government to ensure that Rural and Suburban Mail carriers achieve pay equity with Letter Carriers.
    1. 5. Wrote to Indira Naidoo-Harris, Associate Minister of Education for Early Years and Child Care, congratulating her on her new position and expressing our pleasure that there will be a renewed system of Early Years Child and Family Centres. We were also pleased that the Government is providing more child care spaces and increasing the wages of early childhood educators.
    1. 6. Signed onto a letter written by Environmental Defence asking for a deposit-return program for single use plastic beverage containers.
    1. 7. Signed onto a letter by the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility asking the Prime Minister and the President of the United States to cancel or delay the shipments of liquid radioactive waste from Chalk River to South Carolina until there is a full examination of the potential environmental impacts and there is proper notification of the radioactive contents.
    1. 8. Signed onto another letter from the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility asking the Prime Minister and the President of the U.S. to eliminate stocks of irradiated weapons-grade uranium from civilian facilities by down-blending instead of transporting radioactive liquid waste. I received an invitation to attend the 60th Anniversary celebration of the founding of the Polish Canadian Women’s Federation. Unfortunately I was not able to attend.

In October I delivered the Briefs to Queen’s Park with an invitation to all MPPs to attend our Semi-Annual meeting. The Vice-Presidents contributed to the “Ongoing Issues” section which brings attention to the MPPs the issues that we have brought to their attention in the past and which still have not been dealt with, or we thank them for passing appropriate legislation. Ten MPPs have said that they will visit us and there may be more who spontaneously drop in.