January Newsletter; Thank you!

Blog Post 


We hope you had a restful holiday season and are excited for the year ahead. We’ve got lots of good news to share with you this month.

Let’s start with a well deserved thank you. Thank you to those who supported us last year and helped us advance social democracy! You are carrying on our founder's legacy which is so meaningful to us. You allow us to imagine and strive for a better Canada where no one is left behind, which leaves us feeling very grateful here at the foundation. 

On behalf of the Board of Directors we say thank you for keeping Tommy’s dream alive.

Of note; to members and donors; your charitable tax receipts will be issued in the coming weeks with a hand signed thank you letter from our Executive Director.

Plans for the year ahead

With a growing staff team, an ambitious operations plan, and game changing fundraising numbers we have a lot of momentum starting off the new year that will allow us to have an impactful year ahead. 

This month our staff met together in Ottawa layout our ambitious events calendar, research schedule, training sessions, and fundraising campaigns. We have several events in store for you this year that we cannot wait to come to life so get ready to mark your calendars!

Thanks to our Treasurer Stephen Yardy for dropping by to discuss our finances and join us for a working lunch and planning session.

Speaking of operations, we are very excited to let you know that the DCLF has new office space for our staff in Ottawa. Located in the World Universities Services Canada (WUSC) building, the DCLF has secured three affordable workstations with storage and filing space nearby. The WUSC building is home to many nonprofits and charities who work in a collaborative environment. The DCLF staff have access to state-of-the-art office technology; smart screens, high speed WiFi internet, scanning and printing capabilities, postage and mailing services, and newly renovated meeting rooms, and kitchen area to name a few advantages.  

The Lecture Series!

As we announced in December, the DCLF has established a Lecture Series in partnership with five Canadian Universities designed to inspire and educate a whole new generation about the merits of social democracy and its positive impact on our society.

  1. University of Winnipeg - Blaikie, Knowles, Woodsworth Lecture - March 2
  2. University of Victoria - Dave Barrett Lecture - March 29
  3. McGill University - Jack Layton Lecture - April TBA
  4. Mount Saint Vincent University - Alexa McDonough Lecture - September 22
  5. Toronto - David Lewis Lecture - October TBA

Today we are pleased to announce the details for our first lecture and invite you to sign up to attend in person or through a live video stream online.

Blaikie-Knowles-Woodsworth Lecture at the University of Winnipeg

When: Thursday March 2nd  - Doors open at 5pm - Lecture 6pm - Reception 7:30pm

Where: UofW Eckhardt Gramatte Auditorium

Lecturer: Professor Dr Gary Dorrien, Columbia University 

We are thrilled to be able to invite you to our inaugural lecture series at the University of Winnipeg. Named after New Democratic MP and MLA and United Church Minister BIll Blaikie, this lecture series will emphasize the importance of faith, spirituality and compassion as the underpinnings of social democracy.

Our inaugural speaker, Professor Gary Dorrien, teaches social ethics, theology, and the philosophy of religion as the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University, and is a leading historian of the social gospel movement.

The DCLF worked closely with Bill Blaikie on this lecture project before his passing late last year. It was Bill’s wish to have Professor Dorrien deliver the inaugural lecture in his name. Faith and the social gospel motivated Bill's lifetime of public service.  This year's lecture serves to honour the memory of our dear friend Bill Blaikie.

Sign up here to attend the Blaikie Knowles Woodsworth Lecture in person or online.

Our hope is that these events leave you with a sense of optimism and inspire you to organize and advance social democratic principles in your community.


Contact our Executive Director Josh Bizjak for information: [email protected]

The DCLF is grateful that LiUNA 1611 has come on-board as the Founding sponsor of the Dave Barrett Lecture and Scholarship at the University of Victoria. Thank you LiUNA 1611 for your leadership and commitment to this incredible project.

Alexa McDonough Women’s Leadership Showcase

Next up, as part of our event plans for 2023 we are hosting a set of online interviews showcasing inspiring social democratic women from across Canada who have opened up doors for so many others.

These educational interviews are part of our growing Alexa McDonough Women’s Leadership Centre online resources. They will be made available to all of our website visitors.

We cannot wait for you to hear their stories and invaluable insights. Stay tuned to find out who the speakers will be and how you can get involved.

To read more about the Alexa McDonough Women’s Leadership Centre and sign up click here.

Mental Health in the Workplace Report

Working with Abacus Data, we have published our research report in Mental Health and Wellness in the workplace. The report indicates almost half of working Canadians are facing mental health challenges. One of the top factors impacting mental health in the workplace were jobs that left workers financially insecure and inflexible, unsupportive workplaces. With an affordability crisis, we know stress is high but things do not have to be so difficult. 

The report found that unions help protect workers from mental health distress, as they fight for better working conditions and wages that provide Canadians with more security and less stress.

You can read more about our report here.

New Research: Substance Abuse

After speaking with several unions and hearing their struggles we have decided to dive deeper into the mental health crisis this year, specifically how mental health struggles can lead to substance abuse. This is particularly true for those in frontline professions and highly skilled people working in the trades who may get injured on the job and be prescribed opioids for pain management. 

Mental Health issues such as anxiety, depression, and helplessness can lead to substance addiction and abuse. This hurts our family and loved ones, our unions, communities, and the economy. This is why in February we will begin additional research that focuses on the relationship between mental health struggles and substance abuse. 

Stay tuned for further details and dates! We can’t wait to meet you in person and advance our goals together. Thanks again for your support.

Tommy Douglas Bobble Heads Back in Stock!!

The DCLF has just received a brand new shipment of our very popular Tommy Douglas bobble heads - however we do have a limited number in stock.

If you would like to receive one of these figurines please contact our Development Officer JJ Sandler: [email protected]

Come see us at the Progress Summit!

The DCLF is pleased to announce that we are back at the Broadbent Institute’s Progress Summit this year March 8-10 at the Delta Hotel in Ottawa. Last year our breakout session was one of the most well attended and enjoyed events at the summit.

This year the DCLF will review key findings of our Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace analysis and present observations about how unions, employers, policy makers and mental health advocates should reshape workplaces to improve Canadians’ mental health. Our presentation will be informative but also engage participants in the data, asking them to help theorize about what it is telling us and where the research needs to go next.


Our presentation at the Progress Summit will review key findings of our analysis and present observations about how unions, employers, policy makers and mental health advocates should reshape workplaces to improve Canadians’ mental health. 

Join us at the Broadbent Institute's Progress Summit - click here to get your tickets!!!

That’s a wrap!

That’s all from us this month - whew!  Lot’s of good content coming your way from Tommy’s charity. Please stay tuned for more information over the coming weeks.

Again, from all of us at the Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation, thank you for your support.

We’ll be back in touch soon.

All the best,

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Take action

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50th Anniversary Dinner Photos
BC Premier John Horgan's Keynote
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50th Anniversary Dinner Highlights
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The Alexa McDonough Lecture
2024 Jack Layton Lecture
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2nd Annual Mouseland Gala
Dave Barrett Lecture Video
Audrey McLaughlin Interview
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