Be-LEAF in Equality! ... News from the frontline ... )
The Monthly Email Update of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund March 2005
In This Issue ...
  • LEAF Counsel for Supreme Court Case
  • LEAF Board Recruitment
  • International Women's Day
  • Welcome Sherri Walsh to the NLC
  • Equality Day Dinner: Tickets Now Available!
  • LEAF at the Zonta Club in Brampton-Caledon
  • Vancouver Equality Conference
  • CCMW Symposium
  • Donate Today!
  • Hello LEAF Supporters!

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    Happy Spring!

    From Everyone at LEAF!

    LEAF Counsel for Supreme Court Case

    Diane Rowe has agreed to represent the LEAF, Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC), and the DisAbled Women's Network (DAWN) Canada coalition as lead counsel on Barney v. Canada. Diane is an Saulteaux Anishnabe lawyer currently practising law in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Diane spent three years in Newfoundland litigating Aboriginal residential school claims. Diane has published and delivered pesentations across Canada relating to Aboriginal residential school litigation.

    Danielle Szandtner has agreed to represent the LEAF coalition as co-counsel on Barney. Danielle practises law in Toronto, Ontario where she is an associate with Goodman and Carr. Danielle's practice focuses on civil sexual assault. Danielle also teaches a seminar on Law and Social Work at the University of Toronto Law School.

    Diane and Danielle will be working with the Barney subcommittee and the LEAF National Legal Committee to draft the LEAF/NWAC/DAWN Canada coalition factum in Barney. LEAF is thrilled to be working with both Diane and Danielle on this important case dealing with compensation for survivors of Aboriginal residential schools.

    LEAF Board Recruitment
    Board Recruit

    LEAF will be transitioning to a new Board of Directors in the spring and early summer this year and is currently recruiting for general Board members, Treasurer and Chair. Serving on LEAF's Board of Directors provides a unique and valuable opportunity to make an important contribution to the fight for equality for all women and girls in Canada. LEAF is working to establish a Board that reflects the diversity of women in Canada and that embodies a wide range of skill sets, experience and expertise.

    International Women's Day

    On Tuesday, March 8 LEAF's Director of Litigation, Fiona Sampson, spoke to a large group gathered at Toronto City Hall as part of the City's panel discussion "Engendering Women's Equality". Fiona spoke about the recent setbacks at the courts for equality rights claimants, focusing her remarks on the outcome of the NAPE case.

    Joining Fiona as speakers were Phyllis Berck, who explained the importance of women's equality in sport and recreation; Denise Andrea Campbell who called attention to the need for young women's civil participation; and Allie Lehmann who spoke about gender-specific health care services. The panel was introduced and moderated by Councillor Janet Davis.

    At the conclusion of the panel discussion Mayor David Miller officially proclaimed International Women's Day. Mayor Miller then presented LEAF with the framed and signed proclamation in recognition of our continuing work to achieve substantive equality for all women in Canada.

    As part of this event, LEAF was fortunate to join almost 30 women's organizations in a weeklong information table display in the Rotunda at City Hall. The most popular item on LEAF's table was our bilingual copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms!

    Welcome Sherri Walsh to the NLC

    Sherri is a partner in the Winnipeg-based firm Hill Abra Dewar. Sherri is committed to working on social justice and equality rights issues. She is frequently retained by the Manitoba Human Rights Commission as external counsel, acts as a part time Chair of the Workers Compensation Appeal Commission of Manitoba, and teaches civil procedure to second year students at the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba. Outside her practice, Sherri is on the Board of LEAF Manitoba and for many years chaired its litigation committee. In addition, Sherri is the Vice President of Winnipeg Harvest which is Manitoba's largest food bank.

    We are thrilled to have Sherri joining the National Legal Committee and look forward to working with her over the next two years.

    Equality Day Dinner: Tickets Now Available!

    Join LEAF and dinner Chair Wanda O'Hagan for a celebration of the 20th anniversary of equality rights at the annual LEAF Equality Day Dinner. This year's dinner features the Honourable Michael J. Bryant, Attorney General of Ontario, as keynote speaker.

    • When: Thursday, April 14th (6:00 cocktail reception, 6:30 dinner)
    • Where: The Royal Bank Tower in downtown Toronto

    This always-popular event provides an intimate setting to network with peers, hear from prestigious and informed speakers about equality rights and help fundraise for LEAF. Tickets are $300 and tax receiptable.

    Many thanks to RBC Financial Group and Executive Vice President Charlie Coffey, O.C. for their generous sponsorship and hosting of the LEAF Equality Day Dinner.

    LEAF at the Zonta Club in Brampton-Caledon

    After speaking at City Hall in Toronto on the morning of March 8th, LEAF's Director of Litigation, Fiona Sampson, traveled to Brampton to speak at an International Women's Day dinner hosted by the Brampton-Caledon Zonta Club. Fiona spoke to a dedicated volunteer group of Zontians about LEAF and the latest legal developments affecting women and girls in Canada. The women in the group were keenly interested in the updates about women's equality rights and participated in a lively Q&A session with Fiona. Many thanks to the Zonta club's Kathleen Douglass for organizing this event.

    Vancouver Equality Conference

    West Coast LEAF (WCL) and the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) invite all LEAF branches and their respective supporters to attend the Women's Rights and Freedoms: 20 Years (In) Equality conference in Vancouver April 28 - May 1. The conference will examine the gains achieved through section 15 of the Charter and develop strategies for moving the women's equality agenda forward. As 2005 is also the 20th anniversary of LEAF, the conference will also be an opportunity to commemorate the organization. We encourage everyone in the LEAF family to participate. Visit the conference website for more information and to register. Take advantage of the Early Bird Registration rate by registering by March 18th!

    CCMW Symposium

    On Saturday April 9th, the Canadian Council of Muslim Women presents a one-day conference on "Muslim Women's Equality Rights in the Justice System: Gender, Religion, and Pluralism"

    Cindy Wilkey, a LEAF National Legal Committee Co- Chair and a member of LEAF's subcommittee on the Ontario Arbitration Act ,will be speaking at the event.

    Donate Today!

    Your donations enable LEAF to pursue our work to ensure equality for all women and girls in Canada. Thank you for your ongoing support!


    For more information, or to make a tax-deductible donation to LEAF:

    • Call (416) 595-7170 x 234
    • Email: [email protected]
    • Mail your donation to LEAF, 2 Carlton St., Suite 1307, Toronto, ON M5B 1J3
    • Donate online through
    • Charitable # 10821 9916 RR001

    Quick Links...

    phone: 1-888-824-LEAF (5323) or 416-595-7170