Speaker Series / Standing Committees

 CFUW Ontario Council

Speaker Series & Workshops
sponsored by the Standing Committees

Yorkminster Park Baptist Church
1585 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4T 1Z9

March 24, 2018
:00 AM – 3:30 pm

Registration Desk is open from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Meeting begins promptly at 10:00 AM

Election Readiness, a focus on election issues

Morning Plenary: Making Sense of Politics in a “Fake News” Era:  Thinking Critically about the Ontario Election.

With an increasingly fluid digital information landscape, old touch points of reliable information are being called into question while emerging sources and new digitally-propelled social movements change the game. How best to navigate this with a critical eye?


Maija Saari is an Associate Dean of Film, TV and Journalism at Sheridan College. After nearly a decade in news as a regional newspaper reporter and videographer, Maija went back to school for a Bachelor of Education. Maija then entered the college system teaching journalism and has been providing academic leadership in teaching and administration in college and university media programs ever since. Her passion and front-line experience building journalism curriculum in times of rapid technological change led Maija to OISE/UT where she’s currently a doctoral candidate specializing in professional education in the department of Leadership, Adult and Higher Education.

Nicole Blanchett Neheli photoNicole Blanchett Neheli is a professor in the Journalism diploma and Film and Television degree programs at Sheridan College. She is currently completing her PhD with Bournemouth University. Her research on how the use of audience analytics impacts editorial decision-making and news practice is showcased on her blog, Redefining Journalism, and has been presented at conferences throughout Canada, in Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Italy. She is an editor and regular contributor for The Canadian Journalism Project: J-Source and also contributes to the U.S. based MediaShift, and has acted as a jury member for the Canadian Association of Journalists, Gemini, and Atlantic Journalism Awards. Before joining the academic world, she worked at Citytv in Toronto, Canada as a news writer and show producer.


Education and Status of Women and Human Rights:

In the afternoon Ann Rauhala,  Associate Chair, Ryerson School Of Journalism will join Maija, to deepen the discussion and explore themes related to women’s issues and human rights, and the necessity of having an educated electorate.

Ann spent 16 years at The Globe and Mail, where she worked as a copy editor, assignment editor, beat reporter, foreign editor and featured columnist. From 1994 to 1997 she was a television reporter, making documentaries, mostly on health and social policy, for CBC television’s The National Magazine. She has also written editorials, business stories, book reviews, magazine articles and radio commentaries. She was a senior editor of Counter Spin, on CBC Newsworld and she worked as an editor at The Toronto Star. 


Guest: Greg Essensa, Chief Electoral Officer, Elections Ontario.

Topic: Election Readiness: Understanding the Electoral Process in Ontario: laws, policy, and  threats
Outcome: We hope attendees will learn about:

  • Current laws and policy in Ontario that ensure the process is impartial, transparent, etc.,
  • A quick overview of the new Elections Finances Act,
  • Many of our members canvass, so perhaps some guidelines.
  • Social Media Rules – challenges re enforcement?
  • What to do when we suspect unethical behaviours – at the polling stations, in advertisements, etc.


Ontario Council Standing Committees in Legislation, Education, and Status of Women and Human Rights were developed to keep members aware of current issues in Ontario. The Committees meet three times a year – in September, January, and March in downtown Toronto – for a day of speakers, workshops, discussion, and networking with other CFUW members and guests. All Club members are invited and are encouraged to bring friends, whether or not they are members, to enjoy these days of discussion and learning.


Reports from morning Plenaries have been archived in DropBox. Clicking HERE will open a new tab, where all reports can be viewed or downloaded.