Be-LEAF in Equality! ... News from the frontline ... )
The Monthly Email Update of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund October 2005
Inside this issue:
  • New Executive Director
  • New Board of Directors
  • Legal Update
  • Person’s Day Events
  • 20 for 20 Monthly Giving Campaign
  • Donate Today!
  • Hello LEAF Supporters!

    Greetings from the LEAF National Office. We hope everyone enjoyed the summer. There are many exciting activities occurring throughout the LEAF family this fall.

    Happy Fall!

    From Everyone at LEAF!

    New Executive Director

    The Board of Directors of LEAF National is pleased to welcome Audrey M. Johnson to the position of Executive Director. Audrey is a familiar member of the LEAF family having spent four years as Executive Director of the British Columbia branch, West Coast LEAF. She brings to the position an extensive background in organizational management, fund development and communications. We are pleased to be the beneficiaries of her talents and know you will join us in welcoming her to the national office.

    New Board of Directors

    LEAF is pleased to introduce its new board of directors for the 2005/6 fiscal year confirmed by the member branches at the 2005 AGM held in September.

    New Directors are:

    Sheryl Beckford; Counsel for Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs filling the position for the Northern Region.

    Dr. Ertrice Eddy; retired head of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, filling the position for the Prairie Region.

    Rosella Melanson; Executive Director of the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women, filling the position for the Atlantic Region.

    Marilyn Roycroft; Deputy General Secretary, Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario filling the position for the Ontario Region.

    Returning Directors are:

    Beth Atcheson; Lawyer, Director at Large and Board Chair

    Lori Harreman; Lawyer, Shields Hunt, for the Quebec Region

    Martha Jackman; Professor of Law, University of Ottawa, Director at Large and National Legal Committee Co-Chair

    Alisa Noda; Lawyer, Noda & Associates, for the British Columbia Region

    Cindy Veinot; Chartered Accountant, Deliotte & Touche, Director at Large and Treasurer

    We extend a very warm thanks to outgoing board members: Celeste McKay, Lee Anne Schienbein, Carissima Mathen, Mary Sullivan and board advisor, Elizabeth Stikeman Rose, for their service to LEAF.

    Legal Update

    LEAF has applied for leave to intervene in Health Services and Support-Facilities Subsector Bargaining Assn. v. British Columbia (Bill 29), which will be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada in February 2006.

    At issue in the case is whether the British Columbia government’s Health Services Delivery Improvement Act (Bill 29), which voids equality related provisions of existing collective agreements of the female dominated health care sector, violates section 15 of the Charter.

    Bill 29 applies only to the health and social services sectors, the most heavily female dominated sectors of the public service; 98% of nurses in British Columbia are women; 27% of the health care sector's members are immigrants; 57% are over age forty- five. The health care and social service work done by the equality claimants in this case has been traditionally constructed as women’s work (it is socially constructed as women’s work because it is work that was traditionally done in the home, and seen as having little or no economic value).

    Central to the employment agreements which have been voided in the Bill are prohibitions against contracting out, and commitments to pay equity and job security. LEAF will argue that the contracting out of government work to private sector, non-unionized employees (likely non-unionized women), disadvantages women in several different ways. It allows employers to avoid honouring agreements made with employees, for example, pay equity agreements. It leaves women recruited from the private sector to fill the positions that are contracted out, vulnerable to exploitation and disadvantage in employment. The practice also leaves current members of the plaintiff unions vulnerable to termination and likely forced to find re- employment within non-standard employment contexts. The practice also leaves all affected women vulnerable to reduced wages.

    If granted leave to intervene, among the arguments that LEAF will make are that: when enacting legislation governments must ensure that such legislation does not violate equality rights guarantees – when making cutbacks, the government cannot further disadvantage an already disadvantaged group; and the Court should not employ a formalistic or mechanical approach to section 15, as such an approach would not remedy systemic discrimination.

    Person’s Day Events

    Person’s Day is October 18 and LEAF branches around the country will be celebrating this important day in women’s history. Here are some official LEAF Person’s Day celebrations that are happening in communities near you:



  • Person’s Day Reception
  • Tuesday November 1, 2005
  • 7:00 pm- 9:00 pm
  • Cascades Casino - Coast Hotel & Convention Centre
  • 20393 Fraser Highway
  • Guest Speaker Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun Columnist
  • Contact: [email protected] or (604) 684- 8772 ext, 115
  • Victoria

  • Person’s Day Breakfast
  • Tuesday October 18, 2005
  • 7:00 am – 9:00 am
  • Princess Mary Restaurant
  • 358 Harbour Road
  • Guest Speaker: Senator Nancy Ruth
  • Contact: [email protected] or (604) 684- 8772 ext, 115
  • Nanaimo

  • LEAF Breakfast
  • Wednesday October 19, 2005
  • 7:00 am – 9:00 am
  • Dorchester Hotel
  • 70 Church Street
  • Guest Speaker: Senator Nancy Ruth
  • Contact: [email protected] or (604) 684- 8772 ext, 115


  • Thursday November 17, 2005
  • 7:00 am to 9:30 am
  • The Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel downtown
  • 10155 - 105 Street
  • Guest Speaker: Kate Quinn of the Prostitution Awareness and Action Foundation of Edmonton (PAAFE)


  • Thursday, October 20th
  • Centre Room, Sheraton Cavalier Hotel
  • Coffee served at 7:00 a.m.
  • Breakfast served: 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
  • Guest Speaker: Sharon McIvor
  • Contact: Ruth Welsh 306-244-6245
  • Regina

  • Regina LEAF Person's Day Breakfast
  • Thursday, December 1, 2005
  • Guest Speaker: Sally Armstrong
  • Contact Lee Anne Schienbein (306) 787-9396


  • 15th Annual Person’s Day Breakfast
  • Friday, October 28, 2005
  • 7:15 am – 9:30 am
  • Winnipeg Convention Centre
  • Guest Speakerss: Dr. Fiona Sampson and Rita Shelton Deverell
  • Contact McNally Robinson @ 204-945-1331 or LEAF Manitoba at 204-453-1379


  • LEAF Toronto Persons Day Breakfast
  • Wednesday, November 2, 2005
  • 7:30 am – 8:45 am
  • Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Grand Ballroom (Lower Level)
  • 123 Queen Street West, Toronto
  • Guest Speaker: Senator Vivienne Poy
  • Contact Sonnia Kim @ 416-595-7170 ext 320 or [email protected]
  • Sudbury

  • Friday October 21, 2005
  • 7:00am-8:30am
  • Great Hall, Laurentian University
  • Guest Speaker: Dr. Nancy Olivieri
  • Contact Marisue James at 523-2112 or [email protected]
  • 20 for 20 Monthly Giving Campaign

    As our 20th anniversary year draws to a close, we encourage members to make a lasting gift to LEAF in commemoration of this milestone. Give $20 per month to LEAF in honour of the 20 years of ground breaking equality work the organization has done, and help us continue that work for 20 years more.

    You can make your monthly gift via pre-authorized payments from your credit card or chequing account. Contact the LEAF office for at 1-888-824 LEAF (5323), or visit our website at A small give to LEAF can make a BIG difference to women’s equality for generations to come.

    If you have questions about anything in this email or about the work of LEAF, please contact us at [email protected] or 1-888-824 LEAF (5323). Thank you for our continued support!

    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 228
    • 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