Abortion is Healthcare

Message from Tracy Kennedy – Health, Safety, & Wellness Officer 

Good Morning 4207 Members,

I am sharing the media release that the CUPE Ontario Executive Committee released yesterday.

As Co-Chair of the CUPE Ontario Women’s Committee and CUPE 4207 Health, Safety, & Wellness Officer, I want you to know that there have been discussions about the implications of what is going on in the United States with Roe vs Wade. Indeed, this information leak has created quite the ripple & wave across North America.

We support women’s right to choose, and if they choose to do so, they have the right to safe abortions. The Ford government has demonstrated their standpoint about women, their rights, and their bodies – it’s problematic.

We can’t continue to let this happen to women’s bodies and to women’s rights….We aren’t going to let this happen…

Call upon the Ford government to put healthcare funding and resources for women where it’s needed, rather than support patriarchal laws that disempower women and put them at risk of duress, harm and death. Let’s call upon the Ontario government to do better – and to lead by example.

Tracy

CUPE Ontario Media Release:

“Abortion is healthcare”: CUPE Ontario’s statement on Roe v. Wade and the fight for reproductive justice everywhere

In the face of news out of the United States that Roe v. Wade could be overturned, CUPE Ontario sends a message of solidarity to outraged and frightened allies south of the border.

We know that such a decision will unnecessarily endanger the lives of so many, with one recent analysis warning that a total abortion ban in the United States would increase pregnancy-related deaths by 21%. We know that would disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, racialized, and low-income people most of all. We know that this is the time to loudly say that “abortion is healthcare” and that “you can’t ban abortion – you can only ban safe abortion.”

And we also know that our solidarity is rooted in a shared struggle – the struggle over reproductive justice that crosses borders, however different we might think things are here.

Though abortion has been legal in Canada since 1988, it has never been equally nor fully accessible. Most abortion services are concentrated in cities, with Ontario having only four rural clinics offering these critical services. Some clinics or hospitals have limits on how far into the pregnancy they’ll perform an abortion at, forcing people, especially in rural areas, to secure lengthy and costly transportation to urban clinics.

In some parts of the country, you have to pay out of pocket for an abortion, a violation of the Canada Health Act. And in others, due to stigma and underfunding, abortion pills will not be prescribed.

Today, it’s not lost on us that in this provincial election, now in full swing, the Ford Conservatives include eight anti-choice candidates.

Instead of assuring us that Ontario won’t follow the lead of provinces which do not fund abortions in private clinics, forcing many between impossible choices, the Ford Conservatives have avoided important questions.

Instead of committing to ensuring access to safe abortions in rural regions, Doug Ford has said: “We’re not changing anything in Ontario. We’re keeping it exactly the same.”

The status quo isn’t good enough. It’s not good enough because full access to a safe abortion has never been the reality here in Canada. And it’s not good enough because, with the rapid erosion of reproductive rights in the United States, standing still on either side of the border could mean losing ground.

OPIRG Brock’s 2022 Updates!

Hi friends of OPIRG Brock! This email has important info around 2022 Memberships, our Annual Feedback Survey + Raffle, and updating your email preferences with us- please read to the end!

 

Renew or sign up for your OPIRG Brock membership for 2022-2023!

For all current OPIRG Brock members, your 2021-2022 Membership has been extended until now! As we have changed our membership duration period, going forward, memberships must be renewed on May 1st of each year and will run until April 30th of the next year.

To renew your OPIRG Brock membership OR to become a new member for the 2022-2023 year, please fill out the 2022 Membership Form. More details about membership period, membership types, and perks can be found on this form!

*NEW!* OPIRG Brock members now have the option to automatically renew their membership each year! If you choose this option on the application, you will be automatically opted in to an OPIRG Brock membership, and you will be sent a request for payment on the May 1st renewal date, based on the payment option you selected on the form.

Annual Feedback Survey + Raffle!

Fill out our Annual Feedback Survey with your suggestions and feedback! If you complete the survey by June 1st @ 5pm, you qualify for an OPIRG Brock raffle prize. To be entered for the draw, we will need an email to reach you at – this email can be anonymous and does not have to be linked to any identifying information.

Update Your Email Preferences!

To make sure you are only getting the emails from us you are interested in, please update your email preferences here!

Steps to update:
1. Click the link above or at the footer of this email.
2. This will take you to a page where you will confirm that you want to update your email preferences with us.
3. Click “Email me a link” and you will be sent an email with the link to update!

Here you can choose whether you want to receive emails (or not) around our General Newsletter, volunteer opportunities, the Niagara Free Store, special events, and more!

Mark our emails as safe/not spam!

Due to recent security updates across multiple email platforms, our team has noticed that our emails may be going to spam folders or flagged as unsafe. To address this issue please add info@opirgbrock.com and communication@opirgbrock.com to your contacts under the name “OPIRG Brock”. As a backup, please check your spam folders regularly! 

Thanks!
The team at OPIRG Brock

Asian Heritage Month & Jewish Heritage Month

Today is the start of Asian Heritage Month.

This month is an opportunity for all Canadians to learn more about the many achievements and contributions of Canadians of Asian descent who, throughout our history, have done so much to make Canada the amazing country we share today….

 

 

May is Jewish Heritage Month in Canada. National Jewish Heritage Month is a great opportunity to learn about the impact of Jewish heritage in communities across the country, and to appreciate the significant contributions made by Jewish Canadians Jewish Federations of Canada.

via CUPE 7575

International Solidarity Virtual Forum

International Solidarity Virtual Forum

Tuesday, April 26, 2022
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

All Welcome to attend!

Russia-Ukraine war: What labour and progressive movement must do against war and militarization?

Refugee rights: How to organize against racist and xenophobic double standards towards asylum seekers and refugees

Speakers:

  • Sakura Saunders, Member of the Board of Directors of World BEYOND War, co-founder of the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network, Environmental justice organizer and Indigenous solidarity activist.
  • Yves Engler, Political Activist, Author of twelve books; Fellow and a founder of Canadian Foreign Policy Institute
  • Farid C. Partovi, Chair, CUPE Ontario International Solidarity Committee

Moderator: Lisa Skeete, President, CUPE Toronto District Council, CUPE 4400, CUPE Ontario Executive Board and International Solidarity Committee Member

Register here: https://bit.ly/3MeXscQ

Organized by CUPE Ontario International Solidarity Committee

OPIRG May Day Updates!

Join us on May 1st in downtown St. Catharines for our May Day workers rally, march, and community gathering!

May Day (May 1st each year) is International Workers’ Day and has a long history connected to fighting for better working conditions, workers’ holidays in Europe and the Haymarket Affair (Riots) in 1886! Join us for our community gathering to show support and solidarity for the ongoing fight for better working conditions and supporting our communities!

St. Catharines (Niagara) May Day Rally, March & Community Gathering is currently being organized by the Niagara Regional Labour Council, Justice for Workers Niagara, OPIRG Brock, CUPE 2977, and many independent community and labour activists! Support for this event is also coming from the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), and CUPE Ontario.

Event Timeline:

  • 10am-12pm – Community organized Affordable Housing Forum at the Niagara Artists’ Centre (see attached doc for full agenda)

  • 1pm – Rally in front of Service Ontario 301 St. Paul St., St. Catharines

  • 1:30 – March to St. Catharines City Hall – bring signs & make noise

  • 2pm-4pm – Workers Community Gathering on the lawn of St. Catharines City Hall (a wide range of labour unions and community groups will be tabling & have activities!)

*More events details are continuing to be planned! Stay tuned for more info!

Get involved! The May Day planning team is currently looking for more people to help out with planning the different parts of May Day and marshals for the day of the event! Getting involved includes a wide range of skills, including arts & sign making, postering, social media, to fundraising, outreach, & more! If you are interested in getting involved ahead of time or being a marshal, please email fairwagesniagara@gmail.com!

If your labour union or community organization is interested in having a table at the May Day Community Gathering, please email info@opirgbrock.com.

For more information about the event and to invite your friends, please visit the May Day 2022 – May Day 2022 – St. Catharines/ Niagara Facebook event (clickable link in the @fairwagesniagara! Attached is the poster for the event, social media graphic, & recommended caption! If you share them, please make sure to tag @fairwagesniagara & @onfedlab!

The May Day 2022 – St. Catharines/ Niagara organizing team

May Day 2022 – St. Catharines/ Niagara is taking place on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, Wendat, and Chonnonton people and home to many Indigenous people from First Nations from across Turtle Island, Metis, and Inuit people. A key treaty governing this territory is the “Dish with One Spoon” agreement. To learn more about the treaties in your area, we recommend checking out www.native-land.ca.

Organizing for Power

Organizing for Power (O4P)

Join members from your CUPE 4207 local taking the Organizing For Power Training to prepare for our next round of bargaining. We need to all build the momentum and be mobilized to show our employer our strength and for our demands to be heard. 

Organizing for Power (O4P) is a free online training and networking program for organizers worldwide. 

This training is led by labor organizer and educator Jane McAlevey, and hosted by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung.  This training series focuses on building large majorities in settings such as workplaces, unions, and housing complexes in order to win the toughest campaigns and organizing battles.

This training features new trainers and inspiring campaign stories from around the world. Using mixed methodologies and small-group sessions, participants will focus on developing core organizing skills including: leader identification, 1-on-1 conversations, charting, and structure tests.

Organizing for Power: The Core Fundamentals takes place on 6 consecutive Tuesdays from the 10th of May until the 14th of June. The sessions are 2 hours long for the large audience. We will be having a separate session for our group to work on homework and practice the fundamentals. 

Please let us know if you are interested by sending us an email to info@cupe4207.org and we will add you to the list. 

May 1st Rally!

 

On May 1, 2022, join the province-wide day of action for a workers-first agenda. 

May 1, or May Day, is the traditional workers’ holiday, a day that working people celebrate the gains they have won over the years and commit to fighting for a better future for everyone. It’s also just 1 month before the June 2 provincial election. 

It’s time for a $20 minimum wage, decent work, affordable housing, well-funded public services, livable income support for all, livable income support, and climate justice!

Join thousands of workers across the province rallying for a better Ontario. 

Our Local will be sending members to three locations. Toronto, Hamilton, and St. Catharines. We will cover travel expenses for members attending the Toronto and Hamilton events. The goal is to have 10 000 workers at Queen’s Park in Toronto and 25 000 workers across the province. 

Please let us know if you would like to take part of this historic moment by filling up the doodle poll.  https://forms.gle/SyBC25bpPk7Fg6vr8

Please note that drinks and snacks will be provided as well, we will take flags, swags, and speakers for chanting. We will raise the demands that matter most to us working people and our communities.

Action in Hamilton: 

Rally @ 12:00 p.m.

Gore Park

1 Hughson St S

 

May Day Celebration @ 1:00 p.m.

Gage Park

1000 Main St E

 

Action in St. Catharines 

Rally & march @ 1:00 p.m.

Service Ontario Building

301 St Paul St.