Calgary RWC Newsletter


A newsletter from the Calgary Regional Women’s Committee, an independent decision making body that is part of the formal structure of the PSAC and meets regularly to develop projects and activities that promote advancement of women in the union and labour movement.


Significant numbers of the world’s population are routinely subject to torture, starvation, terrorism, humiliation, and even murder simply because they are female.

Statistics have proven time and time again women form the overwhelming majority of the world’s poor, a factor that contributes to their vulnerability to violence. In 2006 United Nations reported gendered power imbalances combined with poverty, cultural proscriptions for women’s roles, and the low value placed on women’s lives, all lie at the root of the acts of violence that are perpetrated against women.

Violence against women is the most pervasive yet least recognized human rights violations in the world. It has profound health problem; draining women’s energy, compromising their physical health and eroding their self-esteem.

In addition to causing injury, violence increases women’s long term risk of a number of other health problems, including chronic pain, physical disability, drug and alcohol abuse are also at an increased risk,  unintended pregnancy, Sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) which in turn can cause adverse pregnancy outcomes. Many other types of violent crimes are targeted against women including, but not limited to such practices as forced sexual initiation, forced marriages, sex-selective abortions, female infanticide, the deliberate neglect of girls and the practice of female circumcision.

An unprecedented number of women worldwide suffer from acts of violence and exploitation. This situation is a reflection not only of the value placed on women’s lives, but also of the imbalance of power that exists between men and women.It is time to unite in solidarity to end traditions, practices, and laws that harm women. It is a fight for freedom to be fully and completely human and equal without apology or permission.

February is Black history month which is a great opportunity for everyone to look back at their Canadian heritage, and honour some of the important people that have changed and altered Canadian history.

Rose Fortune 1774-1864

Born into slavery, Rose Fortune relocated to Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, after her family escaped the British colony of Virginia during the American Revolution. She developed a successful business transporting luggage from the ferry docks to Annapolis hotels and homes via wheelbarrow and providing wake-up calls for travelers. Over time, Fortune became known as the first female police officer in Canada – an unofficial title she earned by maintaining order and safeguarding property at the town’s wharves. (

Rosemary Brown 1930- 2003

First Black Women elected to a Canadian Provincial Legislature along with being the First black women to run for the leadership of a Canadian Federal Political Party which was in 1975

Carrie Best March 4 1903- July 2001

  • Member of the Order of Canada in 1974
  • Awarded the Queen Elizabeth Medal in 1977
  • Officer of the Order of Canada in 1979
  • Awarded an honorary doctor of civil laws (DC.L.) from the University of King’s College, Halifax, in 1992
  • Founded the Kay Livingstone Visible Minority Women’s Society of Nova Scotia in 1975
  • Inducted into the Nova Scotia Black Wall of Fame in 1980
  • Received the Harry Jerome Award in 1986
  • Received the Harambee Membership Plaque in 1987
  • Received the Black Professional Women’s Group -Award Certificate in 1989
  • Received the Minister’s Award of Excellence in
  • Race Relations—Minister of State for Multiculturalism, in 1990
  • Received the Nova Scotia Human Rights -Commission Award in 1991
  • Received the Town of New Glasgow Award for work in race relations in 1992
  • Received the Congress of Black Women Certificate in 1993

Viola Davis Desmond 1914-1965

On November 8, 1946, while waiting for her car to be repaired, she decided to go see a movie in the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow. She refused to sit in the balcony, which was designated exclusively for Blacks. Instead, she sat on the ground floor, which was for Whites only. She was forcibly removed and arrested.

Viola was found guilty of not paying the one-cent difference in tax on the balcony ticket. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail and paid a $26 fine. The trial mainly focused on the issue of tax evasion and not on the discriminatory practices of the theatre. Dissatisfied with the verdict, the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Colored People, with Viola’s help, took the case to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. The conviction was upheld.

Upcoming events


  • Talking Union Basics (TUB) Friday March 8-9, 2013
  • Grievance Handling Saturday April 27-28, 2013


  • Its that time again…Tax season is upon us. Lethbridge Women’s resource Center Tax Clinics Womanspace offers free tax clinics for women. These clinics are volunteer run and assist women in filing income tax returns for the present fiscal year. 2012 clinics are run weekly on Thursday afternoons, noon to 3:00pm. The clinics are all first come, first serve. No appointments are made.For more information about the clinics, or to inquire about documents necessary to file your income taxes please call the office at 403 329 9338 or email us.
  • Talking Union Basics/ Local Officer Training March 22-24, 2013
  • Grievance Handling May 25-26, 2013

Medicine Hat

  • Talking Union Basics/ Local Officer Training March 22-24, 2013
  • Grievance Handling June1-2, 2013

You may register online

On the brighter side we would like to welcome and congratulate Nina Kiviluoma as the new PSAC Administrative Assistant. As many of you are aware the Administrative Assistant is a vital role in keeping our committee running. We look forward to working closely with Nina in the coming year.

The Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada has  called on all Members of the House of Commons-Opposition Parties and the Government of Canada-to act now to ensure that public funds are directed towards the services that children and families need.It was seven years ago as of February 6, Stephen Harper’s first act as Prime Minister-just three hours after taking office-was to cut Canada’s first national child care program. This program would have created higher quality regulated child care, made child care more affordable for families across the country and been a first step to a real system.Prime Minster Harper replaced the program with the Universal Child Care Benefit, a $100 /month cheque for children under age 6. Since then, $15b has been spent on the UCCB while families across Canada struggle to find affordable high quality child care.

Regional Women’s Committee Meetings

  • February 21, 2013  5:30 PM
  • March 21, 2013  5:30 PM
  • April 25, 2013 5:30 PM

All meetings start with a light meal provided by the committee.  If you are from out of town and wish to participate you may dial in on a conference line. The meeting portion commences at 6:00PM and located at 301-14th Street NW Hillhurst Professional Building Suite 302 .  You may RSVP to Carrie-Ann French or to Dolly Ablitt.