Olivia Chow addresses CAW Council

Toronto, Ontario

December 3, 2011

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CAW Labour Day 2011
CAW Council
dated December 2 & 3, 2011


Toronto, Ontario
December 3, 2011

Julie White
CAW Director, Women's Programs

       "On any given day in Canada more than three thousand women along with their twenty five hundred children are living in emergency shelters to escape domestic violence. On December 6th, 1989 fourteen women were murdered because someone thought they stepped out of line. On that day all their power and potential was taken from them.

On this December 6th we must recommit to use our power to create the economic, political and social conditions that create safe work places and safe communities. But today we are also here to celebrate the efforts of men in our union and across Canada. Men who have been allies in the debate many of you who are here in this room today."

Vinay Sharma
CAW Director, Human Rights

       " The White Ribbon Campaign believes that men have a roll and a responsibility to be part of the solution. We have a responsibility to discover a meaning to manhood that is not about power, control or violence. By remaining silent we allow some men to poison our workplaces, our schools and our homes.

The White Ribbon Campaign urges us to organize local and national campaigns across the political, social and economic spectrum. With strength and love we commit ourselves to work for a future with no violence against women."

Olivia Chow
MP Trinity Spadina

       "The CAW has shown great leadership and groundbreaking and the courageous work you do is so important. You have taken concrete steps and practical approaches in working to stop violence in the workplace. In working to create respect in the working environment and of course the reason why we are here today is to thank you for your support for the White Ribbon Campaign.

Jack understood that men's violence against women was an issue where men would have to take responsibility. So he worked to establish a strong foundation, to have it grow. He knew it would be important to raise funds, to get a staff to get a strong organization. Yes the original office was in our house, in Mike's bedroom in the basement and in the twenty years since the campaign began it has spread to fifty-five countries. It had an impact and that is just in one generation.

But still there is violence against women. Here in Canada and everywhere. The quest must continue. So looking back to see how far we have come and how much has been achieved we need to, and I know we will, look forward to see how far we have to go and how much more we have to do here in Canada and around the world."

Mike Layton
Toronto City Councillor

       "I think all of us are still shocked to hear that every minute of everyday a Canadian woman or child is being sexually assaulted and that half of all Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual based violence since the age of sixteen. Or that a minimum of one million Canadian children have witnessed violence against their mothers by fathers or father figures.

While domestic violence of all kinds is deplorable, women out number men nine to one as victims of serious assault by a partner or a spouse. You really do truly need to think about the type of man you want to be. Be a good role model. I know that with all of you here in the room it is wonderful that we come out and speak but when you go home speak to your sons, speak to the young men around you in your locals about the importance of respecting women and gender equality in our work place and our world.

Thank you again for helping remember Jack as he would have wanted, spreading hope, love and optimism to those in despair. Thank you."

CAW Making A Difference.

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