Community Notices

Welcome to our Community Events and Notices E-News for Thursday, September 18, 2014

New listings this week:
1) Equality Garden Party a Grand Success
2) Be Sure Not to Miss this Historic Public Vision Session with the 23 Visionaries from Across Canada
3) A Bold Vision Anthology
4) Tomorrow – Cooper Institute’s BIG Concert for Social Justice
5) Cooper Institute’s 1st Annual Social Justice Symposium
6) Charlottetown Hosts Communities in Bloom
7) Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow
8) 13th Annual PEI Open Farm Day
9) Celebration of Youth
10) Fun Run For Furry Friends
11) David Suzuki’s Blue Dot Tour
12) 2014 Sister’s in Spirit Vigil
13) Bonshaw Fall Fair
14) PEIBWA Latest E-News
15) Public Library Service Program Guide

The current and past issues of our Thursday E-News with upcoming community events and notices are available at the following links:

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Community Notices

Welcome to our Community Events and Notices E-News for Thursday, September 11, 2014

New listings this week:
 1) Opportunity for a Free “A Bold Vision” Conference Registration
2) Curl Atlantic Championship begins Today
3) More Exciting News from A Bold Vision
4) VRC Art Project
5) Meeting Notice – CFUW
6) Town of Cornwall Newsletter
7) International NGOs to Meet
8) Pet Memorial Service
9) Bonshaw Ceilidh

The current and past issues of our Thursday E-News with upcoming community events and notices are available at the following links:

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To view the e-newsletter with specific details about an event, click on the title link:

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Equality Garden Party a Grand Success

The sky cleared over Brackley on Wednesday, September 3, just in time for an end-of-summer garden party at The Dunes to celebrate 150 years of work towards women’s equality in Prince Edward Island.

“When the Charlottetown Conference took place among men in 1864, women had no public political power at that time,” says Diane Kays, Chairperson of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women. “But in the past 150 years, through their own effort and advocacy, women have advanced the status of equality for all people. We thought it was a good time to celebrate that.”

The Equality Garden Party was attended by more than 120 people, many of them wearing special hats or fascinators for the occasion. The event was made possible by the PEI 2014 Fund and put on by the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women. The Hon. Catherine Callbeck, a Canadian icon of women’s leadership in business and politics, served as honorary host for the event. In her words of welcome, Senator Callbeck quoted Emily Murphy, one of the “Famous Five” women who pushed for Canadian women to be recognized as persons under the law: “Nothing ever happens by chance. Everything is pushed from behind.”

The Equality Garden Party recognized the special role of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women by inviting past and current chairpersons, staff, and Council members as special guests. The Council is approaching its 40-year anniversary in 2015, and the province’s PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women Act was legislated just over 25 years ago, in 1988.

The Equality Garden Party also acknowledged Council’s mandate to advise government through the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women by specially inviting current and past Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women, to thank them for their work in this role. Says Diane Kays, “The current Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Hon. Valerie Docherty, is always gracious in her relationship with the Advisory Council, and she works hard in what is a challenging role to increase equality for women, diverse groups, and all Islanders. We appreciate her work as an individual and with her colleagues in government. Because as far as women have come, we still have far to go.”

Garden Party attendees were pleased for the opportunity to take the time to network, share appreciations of women’s past and present leadership, and plan for a future where equality exists for women and diverse groups in politics and all spheres of life.

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Community Notices

Welcome to our Community Events and Notices E-News for Thursday, September 4, 2014

New listings this week:
1) Started Today: 50th Anniversary Confederation Centre Open House – September 4, 5, and 6
2) PEIBWA Upcoming Events/Notices
3) Blue Whale Bash Fundraiser Raises Awareness of Threats to Gulf’s Marine Life
4) Poet Laureate’s Haviland Club Open Mic features Laurel Smyth
5) Institute of Island Studies – Two Upcoming Events
6) Women Unlimited 2014
7) Return to Afghanistan
8) Concert and Social Justice Symposium
9) 8th Annual PEI Aboriginal Justice Forum

The current and past issues of our Thursday E-News with upcoming community events and notices are available at the following links:

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Previous listings by title

To view the e-newsletter with specific details about an event, click on the title link:

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Community Notices

Welcome to our Community Events and Notices E-News for Thursday, August 28, 2014

New listings this week:
1) Reminder! You Are Invited to Attend an Equality Garden Party
2) Today at 3:00pm! Come Celebrate Our Collective History
3) Historic Leadership Conference
4) You are invited to…
5) Calculating the Living Wage: Webinar for Local Communities
6) 2014 PLEAC Annual Meetings /AGM and National Conference
7) Centre for Life-Long Learning at UPEI is now the Office of Skills Development and Learning
8) Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research AGM

The current and past issues of our Thursday E-News with upcoming community events and notices are available at the following links:

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Community Notices

Welcome to our Community Events and Notices E-News for Thursday, August 21, 2014

New listings this week:
1) Past Issues of Our E-News
2) Art in the Open This Saturday
3) KateFest 2014 Rock Barra Artist Retreat This Sunday
4) 2014 Minutes of Story and Song
5) Public Town Hall Meeting and Other Events
6) Bonshaw Ceilidh
7) Seniors College Registration
8) Feast Alfresco – Lobster Tales In the Farm Centre Legacy Garden
9) Popular Fall Flavours Event Returns and Culinary Institute announces new Chefs Series
10) Photo Op at Government House
11) Call for Proposals / Appel de Propositions
12) Are You Looking for Twitter Accounts to Help Your Business?
13) Information from Health Canada on Back-to-School Healthy Eating/Renseignements offerts par Santé Canada sur la saine alimentation pour la rentrée des classes

The current and past issues of our Thursday E-News with upcoming community events and notices are available at the following links:

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To view the e-newsletter with specific details about an event, click on the title link:

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What is “undue risk to society”?

Dear editor:

The recent decision of the Parole Board of Canada to grant unescorted passes to convicted murderer Kevin McMurrer reopens old wounds and raises concerns about the Parole Board’s acceptance of patterns of violence against women.

The Parole Board assesses that Mr. McMurrer does not “present an undue risk to society.” This seems an unbelievable claim about a man who murdered his ex-wife in her workplace in 1989, assaulted a woman when first paroled in 2001, broke conditions of his next parole by contacting a woman at her workplace in 2007, and had parole again revoked as a result of substance abuse-related problems in 2008. Under the terms of his current day passes, he must “report all intimate… relationships and friendships with any females.” This evidence suggests a clearly established pattern of pathological abuse, mostly directed against women.

If this is not “undue risk to society,” we badly need to reconsider what we, as a society, accept as a risk.

If a violent man is a risk to the women and children he has a relationship with, that alone is a terrible “risk to society.” Every woman and child is a vital part of our society with the right to live free of violence and free of fear.

Beyond that, from past decades of unrelenting work to end violence against women and children, we have learned the hard way that “risk to society” includes not only risk to the person in a current or former relationship with an abuser, but also to families and friends associated with her. As Kevin McMurrer’s pattern of invasion of women’s workplaces demonstrates, the risk extends to people a woman is close to: her co-workers and her family, friends, and neighbours. It is not true to suggest someone is “only” a threat to the person he has had a relationship with.

As Kevin McMurrer’s murder of Carrie Ellen Crossman tragically demonstrated, it is not enough to leave or end an abusive relationship. In fact, the most dangerous time of all for an abused woman is when she attempts to leave her abuser; a quarter of all women who are murdered by an intimate partner had already left the relationship.

Family violence and violence against women are a risk to all of society. Violence is a problem for all of our society to address.

Every woman’s life matters – no matter what her current or past relationships are, or with whom. On average, one woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner every six days. On any given day in Canada, more than 3,300 women (along with their 3,000 children) sleep in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence. Justice Canada tells us that spousal violence costs Canada $7.4 billion every year. On top of that economic cost, you cannot put a price on a life.

Only weeks after Carrie Ellen Crossman was gunned down by Kevin McMurrer, the horrifying national tragedy known as the Montreal Massacre saw 14 women singled out in hatred and murdered because they were women. In Prince Edward Island, in the 25 years since Carrie Ellen Crossman died, eight other women have died at the hands of men who knew them.

During the past 25 years, the purple ribbon has become a powerful symbol for Prince Edward Islanders who want to take a stand against violence. When we wear a purple ribbon, we take a stand to create a society that prevents and ends violence. When we wear a purple ribbon, we say that violence against women by their intimate partners is a “risk to society” that we are unwilling to accept.

We hope the Parole Board of Canada hears and understands these messages when they face decisions about what constitutes an “undue risk to society.” To us, unescorted day passes under the terms set for Kevin McMurrer are too great a risk to bear.

Diane Kays

Diane Kays is the Chairperson of the Prince Edward Island Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

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