June Newsletter: Congratulations to Olivia Chow!

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From all of us at Tommy’s charity; we hope you are having a nice start to your summer. We just wrapped up our Annual General Meeting which was a success and we have a ton of exciting news and events to look forward to.


Congratulations to Olivia Chow; Toronto’s new mayor!

We are kicking off this month’s newsletter with a huge congratulations to our dear friend Olivia Chow and her team! We know Jack would have been smiling today seeing Olivia breaking barriers and becoming the first woman of colour and immigrant to be the Mayor of Toronto.

We’d also want to acknowledge and congratulate all of Olivia’s campaign team on a job very well done. It’s not easy to be the front runner and hold on to that spot to the end. Really great job from all the staff and volunteers who kept the momentum rolling and got out the vote! Congratulations to all of you. Thank you for all your hard work.

We wish Olivia success in her new role and know she will fight for the working class and the advance of social democracy. We cannot wait to see the progress she and her team make on all the important issues facing Canada’s biggest city like affordable housing and transportation. Congratulations Olivia!!


Annual General Meeting

We wrapped up our Annual General Meeting last week which was a great success thanks to all the members who attended. We added two new board members; Matthew Dube, former Member of Parliament, and Melissa Bruno, former National Director of Canada’s NDP. We know these two dynamic individuals will provide great leadership and help move us forward as a charity and a cause for good in Canada.

We were able to highlight some of our accomplishments in the past year such as our newly established nation-wide Lecture Series, launching the Alexa McDonough Women's Leadership Centre along with The Women’s Leadership Showcase, The Layton Legacy Awards and Training, our Research Publication on Mental Health, and our Children’s Book about Tommy Douglas and the origin story for universal health care. 

We’ve surpassed nearly every growth statistic that we can measure. ast year we saw an increase of 692% in online supporter sign ups. And, we were able to increase our charitable membership by 561%. And our revenue jumped by a massive 2,284%.

But the success and growth of Tommy’s charity does not happen without supporters, members, and donors like yourself. We are so grateful for your trust in us and continued support. We hope that you are proud of our work. If you would like to become a member please click here

John Smart Scholarship Fund

Thank you to everyone who has donated! Because of your generosity we have hit $15,000. We still have $10,000 more to go to hit our goal of $25,000 and ensure the scholarship is endowed at the UofT. The scholarship will be matched by the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information to ensure the scholarship is awarded each year in perpetuity. 

This scholarship is awarded to a graduate student working in a field of study that reflects the work and values that enshrine John’s legacy, such as advancing public education and research. John very much believed in advancing social democracy and committed his life to doing so.

In memory of John, and advancing social democracy in education, please consider making a gift, if you have not done so already.


Doors Open Ottawa

Doors Open Ottawa is the largest architectural and heritage event in the city and the DCLF was lucky to take part in the event. Every year different buildings are selected to take part in the event, where the public can learn about various buildings and organizations for free that are normally closed to the public. 

Our office in the WUSC building was the host and we shared the public event space with Farm Radio and NAWL. This gave us a great opportunity to connect with local folks and let them know what we are up to. We heard great feedback from Tommy supporters who wanted to learn more. Thanks to everyone who came out and said hi!

Things to look forward to:

The Marit Stiles Interview

We are pleased to have Melissa Bruno, The Former National Director of Canada’s NDP interviewing Marit Stiles, the Leader of the Official Opposition in Ontario on July 5th at 5pm EDT. 

Marit is an activist, labour leader, and MPP leading the riding of Davenport since 2018. Prior to becoming an MPP, Marit fought for Canada’s arts and culture sector as the National Director of Public Policy and Research for ACTRA, the actor’s union. Marit became a passionate advocate for local public schools as a parent, eventually running and winning a seat as a school trustee from 2014-2018.  

Marit is an organizer at heart, making her a strong empathetic leader who can get things done and we cannot wait to hear her stories and insights. Please click here to register: link

Apply for the Layton Legacy Awards

Since 2021, The Layton Legacy has honoured Jack Layton’s lifelong commitment to progressive change. Jack, who inspired many through his message of love, hope and optimism, is remembered as a great leader and fierce advocate for social justice, climate justice, equality, and ending oppression.

The Layton Legacy Awards were created to support, grow, and amplify the activism we see around us. The awards each come with a $5,000 prize, along with a leadership training on community and political organizing skills from Olivia Chow’s non-profit Institute for Change Leaders. The awards will be presented in partnership with the Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation at a special ceremony in downtown Toronto on August 22, 2023, the anniversary of Jack’s passing. We hope you will join us in person, RSVP here: www.douglascoldwelllayton.ca/layton_activism

There are two awards: The Layton Activism Award and The Indigenous Leadership Award.

If you know someone who you think would be a great fit, fill out an application! We would greatly appreciate you nominating an activist and/or Indigenous leader, including putting yourself forward and inviting others you know to submit nominations.

 Let’s share this wonderful opportunity to grow the activism and leadership around us. Jack's inspiration is needed now more than ever. To everyone continuing this work and working toward change: you are part of The Layton Legacy. Thank you. 

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. Lecture Series: MSVU Lecture in Halifax with Peggy Nash on September 21st
  2. New Research: Healthcare in Crisis; Finding Solutions for Senior and Long Term Care
  3. VIDEOS: Watch our latest activist training modules on affordable housing. 

We’ll be in touch again next month with more exciting updates and events!

All the best,


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The Alexa McDonough Lecture
2024 Jack Layton Lecture
The David Lewis Lecture
2nd Annual Mouseland Gala
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