Legislation Standing Committee

Chair: Isobel Boyle

Members of the Legislation Committee monitor current provincial legislation and meet to identify, discuss and learn about current issues. Skills are also gained in how to influence public policy. Between meetings, members are active following through with activities in their home Clubs. This may involve urging their Club to inform local MPPs of CFUW policy, assisting individual members to take action, or collecting information on issues that affect their community.

Committee Reports

November 24, 2018

Topic: Basic Income Pilot Cancellation – what could happen next
Speaker: Dionne Pohler, assistant professor at the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources and Research Fellow at Rotham Institute for Gender and the Economy at the University of Toronto

Dionne acknowledged that the announcement of the cancellation of Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot raises serious ethical concerns around how the participants relying on the basic income will be treated, but the awareness it has created among the public may provide a unique opportunity to move towards something better that could benefit all Canadians. Read more…

September 29, 2018

Topic: Housing for All
Speakers: Melissa Goldstein, the Chair of Toronto’s Housing Action Now and Joy Connelly, consultant and housing advocate

Housing is a women’s issue. As a follow up to our Housing for All Resolution passed at our May 2018 AGM our speakers identified the challenges of housing for all as well as some innovative solutions happening throughout the Province.

Melissa Goldstein outlined many of the challenges of housing and homelessness policies and programs to improve the housing situation for Toronto’s most vulnerable residents. She emphasized the complexity of the housing situation and the need to advocate with our municipal leaders the need for affordable housing in new buildings as well as the refurbishment of existing buildings. Read more>>

March 24, 2018

Topic: Election Readiness: Understanding the Electoral Process in Ontario: Laws, Policy, and Current Initiatives
Speaker: Greg Essensa, Chief Electoral Officer, Elections Ontario

Greg covered Elections Ontario’s Vision, Mission, Strategic Priorities and Values. Key to driving change yet maintaining the integrity of the election process is modernization, ensuring sustainability, and above all, putting the needs of voters first. He highlighted recent legislative changes and actions that address the challenges faced by Elections Ontario:

  • A growing population
  • Ensuring accessibility & representation for all eligible voters
  • Modernizing the electoral process through the use of secure technology
  • Creating a sustainable and effective staffing model at polling locations
  • Fewer volunteer scrutineers
  • Engaging young voters (in particular 18 – 25)

Read the full report here 

January 20, 2018

Topic: Shaping our Housing System Together
Speaker: Michelle German, Senior Manager Policy and Partnerships, Evergreen

Michelle led us through an informative session on core housing policy issues and strategies. Evergreen is a national non profit organization dedicated to making cities flourish. It works towards shaping policy through connecting and convening with diverse groups, both industry and public sector, and building consensus to catalyze action. Michelle is responsible for the City Works Program.

She identified the major urban housing challenges initially confronted: a disengaged public; a backlog of repairs in social housing and apartment complexes; a fragmented housing system; gaps in research and policy development in mid sized cities. Work continues but points where change is possible have been identified; a strategy to bring together diverse groups to find common ground has resulted in a landscape shift. Read more>>

Link to Michelle’s presentation PDFs

September 23, 2017

Topic: Women in Political Leadership: What are the Parties Doing?
Guests: Marit Stiles, President, National NDP Party and Toronto District School Board Trustee; Gabrielle Gallant, Vice President for Communications, Ontario Women’s Liberal Commission

Parties play an important role in changing gender biased attitudes and putting women candidates forward. All three major parties have had “firsts”

    • Audrey McLaughlin, NDP, was the first woman to lead a national party, 1989-1993.
    • Flora MacDonald, former Progressive Conservative Party, was the first female Secretary of State for External Affairs in 1979.
  • The current Liberal government is the first to have gender parity in a federal cabinet.

Read more>>

March 25, 2017

Topic: Act Locally. Advocating at the Municipal Level.
Speaker: Toronto City Councillor Janet Davis

Our afternoon guest was Toronto City Councillor Janet Davis, Beaches – East York, a mixed-income ward with challenges common within many municipalities. A councillor since 2003, Janet is known as a strong supporter of city services that promote healthy, safe communities, including child care services. Prior to her career as Councillor, Janet was instrumental in developing child care at the Toronto District School Board. Her expertise and background in Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) enabled us to build on the theme of the morning guest speaker, Shannon Fuller, Assistant Deputy Minister, Early Years Division, Ministry of Education.

Councillor Davis provided:

    • an overview of the complexities and disadvantages of Canada’s existing funding system;
    • current challenges in providing social services, in particular, ELCC, at the municipal level; and


Reports from previous years have been archived in DropBox. Clicking on the link will open a new tab to the Legislation Folder, where all reports can be viewed or downloaded. Access Archived Reports >>