April Newsletter; Solidarity is in the air!

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Happy Spring from all of us here at Tommy Douglas’ charity. We hope you are enjoying some of the hints of warmer weather we are starting to see across the country. This month we will highlight the Women’s Leadership Showcase interview with Audrey McLaughlin, our Community Leadership Training focused on social housing, and how the DCLF is standing in solidarity with PSAC members fighting for a better deal. 

April Recap


Women’s Leadership Showcase: Audrey McLaughlin Interview

We were so grateful to be joined by Rebecca Blaikie, one of our Board of Director members and former President of the NDP, interviewing Audrey McLaughlin, former NDP Leader and MP, who was the first woman to lead a national political party in Canada. Both inspiring women leaders in their own right.

We got to reflect on the progress that has been made advancing women’s rights and the work that still needs to be done to fight sexism. We delved into the challenges McLaughlin faced and how that compared to today’s political landscape, polarization, tips for uniting folks, advancing social democratic principles, and advice for young women looking to get involved in their communities. Click here to watch. 

We also heard the importance of the labour movement and what they do for the public. Audrey reminded us that “Because of the union movement, all our lives have been raised up.” We must not forget this. With unions under attack across the country, it is more important than ever to defend unions and stand by their side as workers need better conditions. 

Donations in support of this exciting educational initiative can be made here: www.douglascoldwelllayton.ca/womens_leadership_centre

We Stand in Solidarity with PSAC

We’re thinking of the 155,000 workers at PSAC fighting for justice, fairness and a better deal, and all the workers who are pushing for better working conditions and wages. Workers deserve better and we stand in solidarity with you and them. 

With inflation and the prices of gas and groceries going up, it’s time that wages go up too. Workers know what they deserve and will not settle any longer. As Tommy Douglas said “The inescapable fact is that when we build a society based on greed, selfishness, and ruthless competition, the fruits we can expect to reap are economic insecurity at home.” 

We must educate all Canadians about the importance of unions in our daily lives and in our communities. As Tommy Douglas envisioned, the DCLF is committed to doing just that.

It’s time to set a new standard, because when a union wins, workers everywhere win. Find a picket line and support your local PSAC members!

Join us at the Canadian Labour Congress Convention

On May 8th, the annual CLC Convention begins in Montreal and we are excited to meet with our friends in the labour movement to connect about how to make lives better for workers. As Jack Layton said, “Workers should come first, and it’s about time that we lift them up.” 

We are proud to be a convention sponsor this year. If you are at the convention this year please come visit us in the trade show at Booth #410 to receive your union made gift.

Special thanks to the CLC leadership and staff for their excellent work in organizing this event.

Community Leadership Training

The DCLF has partnered with the Institute for Change Leaders to provide community leadership training to folks looking to learn more about how to advocate for social housing. This is a 6-week course that teaches folks how to organize, the importance of storytelling, how to recruit and grow your circle of influence, strategies, tactics, and team building. The training is underway, teaching folks how to become better advocates for social housing.

Tommy often spoke about how to keep the movement on the left strong. Community Leadership Training is a great opportunity to discuss how to be better activists, stay fresh on organizing tips, and come out as a united front that can mobilize to help secure wins for people such as affordable housing. Here at the DCLF, we strongly believe in training the next thought leaders. 

Jack Layton Leadership Awards

A key component of the Jack Layton Legacy initiative, a partnership between ICL and the Douglas-Coldwell-Layton Foundation, is to support and encourage groups and individuals who are committed to organizing for change in their community.

Jack Layton was a joyful and passionate activist who believed in our collective strength to organize for transformative change in every conceivable way. 

It's great to see so many of his efforts being carried on by current activists, where Jack's spirit lives on. The awards reception is a chance to honour the great community work of activists carrying on his legacy.  

We’ll be announcing this year’s winner for the 2023 Jack Layton Activism Award and the Jack Layton Indigenous Leadership Award at a live celebration event on August 22nd at 1pm, in partnership with the Institute for Change Leaders, and we want you to join us. To learn more click here.

Remembering Harry McKay

Our dear friend passed away on Friday March 17th. Harry dedicated his life to trying to build a better community trying to instill the values of the social gospel such as compassion and care around him. 

A lifelong New Democrat, Harry attended the founding convention in 1961 and was recruited by his friend and mentor Tommy Douglas to be one of the first candidates to run under the NDP banner in a federal by-election.

“I first met Harry McKay on a fundraising mission to Ottawa for the Ontario NDP. I’ll never forget how hospitable, kind and generous Harry was inviting me into his home. He brought out boxes of historical NDP memorabilia and we spent a couple of hours enthusiastically pouring over his most treasured memories - on that day we became friends. Harry was a gem of a human and will be missed by everyone who knew him.” Josh Bizjak, Executive Director, DCLF. 

That’s a wrap 

Before we let you go, we’d like to remind you of a few initiatives and events that we have in the works so please make note:

  1. New Research: Healthcare in Crisis; Finding Solutions for Senior and Long Term Care
  2. SAVE THE DATE: Annual General Meeting* - June 15th, 2023
  3. Women’s Leadership Showcase: Marit Stiles and Rachel Notley Live-stream Interviews - TBA
  4. Jack Layton Awards Ceremony and Reception: August 22nd, 2023 - Toronto Metropolitan University
  5. VIDEOS: watch the video recordings of the Jack Layton Lecture at McGill University, and the Blaikie Knowles Woodsworth Lecture at the University of Winnipeg

*The Annual General Meeting is reserved for members. If you would like to attend the AGM please take out a membership in the charity today - click here to join.

If you would like to check the status of your membership please contact our Development Officer JJ Sandler: [email protected]

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Staff thank you for your continued support. We’ll be back in touch next month with more good news to share.

All the best,

Latest posts

In memory of Ed Broadbent

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The Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation Board of Directors and Staff along with friends and family mourn one of Canada’s prominent and influential social democratic thinkers. We offer our sincerest and most heartfelt condolences to our country and everyone who loved our dear friend Ed Broadbent.


Year End Report 2023

2023 has been a banner year for the charity that Tommy Douglas founded over 50 years ago. Thanks to our members, donors, and supporters like you, we've been able to produce more important educational projects and special events to promote the benefits of social democracy than ever before! We hope you’ve enjoyed the exceptional content of our programme this year. It was a pleasure for our staff and board members to meet and greet thousands of people across Canada to introduce them to the value of our charity. All of our good work can be found for your convenience on our website: www.DouglasColdwellLayton.ca

Please take a moment to review all of our good work this past year while you consider making a kind and generous Year-End donation to our charity and the promotion of social democracy in Canada. 

Charitable Year-End donations can be made using this link: www.douglascoldwelllayton.ca/year_end_2023

Take action

Alexa McDonough Womens’ Leadership Centre
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50th Anniversary Dinner Photos
BC Premier John Horgan's Keynote
50th Anniversary Dinner Highlights
The Alexa McDonough Lecture
Dave Barrett Lecture Video
Audrey McLaughlin Interview
The David Lewis Lecture
Lecture Series
Help Fund Educational Research
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