Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario eNewsletter Header
Vol. 6, No. 7
December 8, 2011

Former Member Runs for Federal NDP Leadership

Former member and union activist Paul Dewar of Ottawa-Carleton is running for the leadership of the New Democratic Party of Canada. Currently MP for Ottawa Centre and the party's Foreign Affairs Critic, Dewar announced his candidacy at a press conference in Ottawa on October 2nd.

Prior to entering politics, Mr. Dewar was a popular teacher in two Ottawa-area schools. Known as an outstanding teacher of students with special needs, Dewar was the recipient of Queen's University's A. Lorne Cassidy Award for outstanding talents and interests in the education of exceptional children. In a recent news article, Dewar outlined his own struggle with dyslexia and how this has impacted his career and his desire to succeed.

Former ETFO member Paul Dewar

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Mr. Dewar began his political career as a Political Action Committee (PAC) chair and Executive member with the Ottawa-Carleton Elementary Teachers' Federation (OCETF) local. He was elected as Second Vice-President in 2001, and First Vice-President in 2004. During his time as a union activist, he was instrumental in reviving the local's PAC and involving the OCETF in ETFO's Humanity Fund (see article below). In 2006 Dewar took a leave of absence to run for election as MP of Ottawa Centre, replacing the retiring MP, elder statesman, and NDP legend Ed Broadbent.

While Dewar is not the first member to seek the leadership of a major political party, he is the first to do so at the federal level. At the provincial level, former OPSTF member Howard Hampton led the Ontario NDP party from 1996 to 2009; and current ETFO member Frank de Jong was Leader of the Green Party of Ontario from 1993 to 2009.

Mr. Dewar's future will be determined at the NDP Leadership Convention on March 24, 2012 in Toronto. To learn more about Paul Dewar, visit his website at http://pauldewar.ca. For more information about the NDP Leadership Convention and all the candidates, visit http://leadership2012.ndp.ca.

On Dewar...

Quotation symbolI consider it a true honour to have had the opportunity to work along side Paul in the OCETF office. His work ethic was incredible, his commitment to fairness was unswerving, and his dedication to the community—both professionally and personally—was inspiring. Paul is the personification of the saying, "Be the change you want to see."

- OCETF President Peter Giuliani

Quotation symbolI remember Mr. Dewar because he stands out in my mind as one teacher who taught me so much. I really felt comfortable in his class. He kept us informed about important issues. One day we came in and he gave us a pop quiz, and we all failed. Then after he told us that was the test new immigrants coming to Canada had to take. It certainly gave us a different perspective."

- Allie Davidson, former student at Hopewell Ave. School, Ottawa

 Quotation symbolETFO has always encouraged its members to be active politically, and so it has been with great pride that we have followed Paul’s career in federal politics since 2006. We wish him the best of luck in his quest to become leader of the federal New Democrats."

- ETFO President Sam Hammond


The ETFO Humanity Fund - Get Involved

Humanity Fund logoThe ETFO Humanity Fund was created in 2002 to provide members with a way to work together to support children and their teachers here and abroad. The Stephen Lewis Foundation is the signature charity supported by the fund. Other organizations the fund supports include the CTF Trust Fund, Save the Children, War Child Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, Pueblito, and Global Medic, among others.

Until now the fund has been supported by payroll deductions by members and donations from members, staff, and locals. At this year's ETFO annual meeting, delegates made the decision to contribute $200,000 a year to the ETFO Humanity Fund.

The Humanity Fund Board, in response to this increase in funding, is amending its bylaws to create two positions on the board for rank-and-file members of ETFO. These members will be appointed for a two-year term at the board meeting being held at the end of January 2012.

The application form for the position of board member is available on the ETFO website.

The deadline for applications for the first two-year term is January 23, 2012.

Consider joining us in sharing ETFO member resources with children around the world.


FYI...

  • New resource: Social Justice Begins With Me. This brand new literature-based resource kit for Early Years to Grade 8 builds on the concepts originally introduced in "We're Erasing Prejudice for Good."  For more information, please visit the ETFO website.

  • Assertiveness Training: Regional workshop, January 20–21, 2012, Windsor. Explore the difference between assertive and aggressive behavior. Learn strategies to help you deal with angry or aggressive individuals in the workplace. For more information, visit the ETFO website or contact Diane Balanyk-McNeil at 1-888-838 3836 or 416-962 3836 ext. 2287.

  • ETFO Awards Program – February 1 Deadline! The ETFO awards program recognizes distinguished academic achievements, and outstanding contributions to education and the federation by its members and others. A full listing of awards is available on the ETFO website. For more information, please contact Mark Fallis at 416 948 0342 or mfallis@etfo.org.

  • The Visions Program 2012 is an exciting, new, five month program for women in their first five years of ETFO membership. The program highlights union renewal and will focus on building participants' knowledge of ETFO, the broader labour movement, and opportunities for activism. For more information, visit the ETFO website or contact Kelly Hayes at 1-888-838-3836.

  • Jer's Pink Tulip Grants are Canada's first grants for schools running diversity, human rights, anti-bullying and anti-discrimination events in their school. The goal of the program is to empower youth making positive changes in their community by providing financial support for their initiatives or events that promote diversity and end discrimination. For more information, visit: http://www.jersvision.org/en/programs/jers-pink-tulip-grant.

  • Concerned about LGBTQ matters in Canadian schools today? Visit the MyGSA.ca educators' section for LGBTQ classroom resources, including lesson plans, books, and movies.

  • The William Waters Scholarships in Urban Education, OISE/UT. OISE is offering four $30,000 scholarships to promote excellence in teaching in the urban classroom. The successful candidates will be experienced teachers entering a full-time Master’s program with an interest in questions of social justice and school success for students from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods attending underperforming schools. For more information, visit the OISE website.


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