Summer 2008
In This Issue
Honda v. Keays Ruling
Family Law Booklet
2008 Annaul Report
Legal Update
2008 Persons Day Breakfast - Toronto
2008 Annual General Meeting
Volunteer Recognition Awards
Supporter Recognition
Honda v. Keays
Supreme Court ruling

Mixed Result for Women and Equality Seeking Groups 
LEAF's Media Release 
 Family Law Booklet

family law booklet

Equality Rights in Family Law:
Spousal and Child Support 
This handy booklet provides a layperson's overview of some of the important changes to spousal and child support laws since the Charter.  The booklet can be downloaded from the LEAF website ( or contact the national office for printed copies.

2008 Annual Report

LEAF would like to thank all of the staff, volunteers and generous donors over the years for making LEAF the remarkable organization that it is today. 
2007-08 LEAF National Annual Report  


Rick v. Brandsema
West Cost LEAF and LEAF granted leave to intervene
The Supreme Court of Canada has granted West Coast LEAF and LEAF, leave to intervene in the case of Rick v. Brandsema.  
Rick v. Brandsema
is a family law case involving a separation agreement which gave the wife substantially less than an equal share in the main family asset, a dairy farm (a difference of some $1.3 million).  At issue is whether the agreement ought to be set aside as "unconscionable" because of the wife's mental state at the time she consented to it.  The issue of fair and equal bargaining power between men and women upon intimate partnership breakdown is critically important to women's equality.
In this case, LEAF will argue that the Court of Appeal failed to contextualize the power imbalance that exists in the negotiation and settlement process and thus ignored the sex inequality inherent in many family situations.   LEAF will highlight these issues in the broader context of family law jurisprudence as it has developed over the last several years. 
Counsel to LEAF are Nitya Ayer, Joanna Radbord and Kelly  Roulette.  
We expect the case to be heard this fall. 
Stay Tuned!



  Sponsorship Opportunities

LEAF and Presenting sponsor TD Bank Financial Group, are honoured to invite you to renew your commitment to women and girls.
23rd Annual Persons Day Breakfast
October 16th
The Royal York Hotel

Keynote Speaker:
The Honourable Madam Louis Arbour will be interviewed by award winning CBC news anchor Suhana Meharchand.
This premier fundraising event for LEAF will be the event of the year.


LEAF branches and affiliate member, West Coast LEAF gathered in Toronto from June 6 - 8th for LEAF's 2008 Annual General Meeting.
The weekend began with moving remarks from LEAF's Chair, Kim Brooks.  This was followed by a weekend filled with informative workshops, updates and reports from our various branches and committees.  The two day AGM engaged and revitalized all those who attended and gave members the renewed energy to continue their work on behalf of LEAF. 
Keynote Speakers: Miss G__ Project
Photo: Dilani Mohen, Sheetal Rawal
LEAF's AGM dinner guests had the pleasure of hearing keynote speakers, Sheetal Rawal and Dilani Mohan, founders of the Miss G__Project at the opening event on June 6th, 2008.  
Eloquent and poignant, the women spoke to a captivated audience of the importance of analyzing stories and being mindful of how and whose critiques we allow to shape our own narratives.  
Dilani Mohan is a Tamil-Canadian feminist and steering committee member of The Miss G__Project for Equity in Education.   Sheetal Rawal is a co-founder and steering committee member of the Miss G__Project for Equity in Education.
Alisa_Noda Photo: Alisa Noda 

As part of LEAF's 2008 AGM dinner, LEAF had the honour of presenting the first Alisa Noda LEAF Lifetime Recognition Award.  The award is named in recognition of Alisa Noda, a dedicated LEAF volunteer for over 10 years until she passed away suddenly on July 3, 2007.



Lifetime Achievement Award
Photo: Eloise Spitzer & Executive Director, Audrey M. Johnson 
Eloise Spitzer is the first recipient of the Alisa Noda LEAF Lifetime Recognition Award.  A founding mother of LEAF, Eloise has contributed countless hours to advancing women's equality through her work with LEAF and West Coast LEAF.  She was responsible for one of the first challenges under Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the 1985 Yukon court challenge which foreced a women to keep her husband's surname as long as he was alive.  She succeeded in having the law ruled unconstitutional.  Eloise served as a West Coast LEAF board member from 2003 to 2007 and has been a committee member, fundraiser, donor and inspiration for many years. 
LEAF Contribution Award
Photo:  Erin O'Hara & Megan Whittle

The LEAF Ottawa Executive, consisting of Erin O'Hara (Chair), Melissa Pereira (Communications), Megan Whittle (Treasurer/Events),  Anne-Marie McElroy and Stephanie Smith ("No Means No" Coordinators) are the recipients of the first LEAF Contribution Award (LCA) for 2007/8.
LEAF Ottawa is unique in that it is based at a law school and has a student executive. Within this challenging context, it has built a strong, vibrant branch with significant capacity for growth.     
The LEAF Ottawa Executive is a dynamic, committed, and hard-working group of women who have shown leadership, diligence, and remarkable tenacity in maintaining a high volume of branch activity.  With the LEAF Contribution Award they are recognized as an inspiring model for what is possible through feminist-inspired collective action on behalf of women's equality.


Long time LEAF supporter Phyllis Bray recognized.
Mary Margaret Dauphinee, LEAF Kingston presents a LEAF pin to long time supporter Phyllis Bray on her 95th birthday with daughter Lucinda by her side.

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LEAF - the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund - is a national charitable organization that works toward ensuring the law guarantees substantive equality for all women in Canada