May Newsletter: The Annual General Meeting!

Blog Post 



As we wrap up our busy spring season here at Tommy’s charity, there’s lots to look forward to this summer including; our Annual General Meeting, Women’s Leadership Showcase interviews, the Jack Layton Awards Ceremony, new online training modules, and our ongoing research on the healthcare crisis in Canada with a focus on Seniors Care and Long Term Care. Please read until the end for all the details!


Annual General Meeting

We hope that you will join us for our Annual General Meeting on June 15th, whether that is from the comfort of your home or in-person at our Ottawa office. We appreciate all of our members who share our founder's vision and advocate for social democracy. Your voice is integral to Tommy’s charity as you help shape this organization and the progress we make together. 

AGM Details: 

When: June 15th, 6pmEST

Where: Zoom or 1404 Scott St, Ottawa, ON

Register to attend in person:

Register to attend online:

*Zoom link will be sent closer to the date

If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact our Development Officer JJ Sandler: [email protected]

If you believe in Tommy’s vision of social democracy and what we are doing here, please consider becoming a member:

Women’s Leadership Showcase

Next up as part of our interview series with different social democratic women leaders is Marit Stiles. She is the Leader of the Official Opposition in Ontario and has represented 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. 

It is important to highlight the success and triumphs of strong women around us to inspire the next generation of women leaders and make more space for them. We look forward to hearing more from Marit herself. To register click here: 

This series is connected to the Alexa McDonough Women’s Leadership Centre as we hope to build upon her legacy. This helps us highlight Alexa’s values, the progress we have made as a collective advancing women’s rights and the work that still needs to be done to make things better. 

To watch our first Women’s Leadership Showcase interview with Audrey McLaughlin click this link:

Community Leadership Training Modules

The DCLF partnered up with the Institute for Change Leaders to provide community leadership training to folks looking to learn more about tactics and strategies around advocating for affordable housing. This 6 week course just wrapped up solidifying new activists and organizers in various communities across the country who will have better tools at their disposal to help organize against wealthy developers leaving people behind. 

Here at Tommy’s charity it is important that we keep the movement on the left strong which is why we invest in training the next thought leaders. For those of you who were not able to attend the modules, but want to learn more, the series will be available online for folks soon, so stay tuned!

CLC Convention

Earlier this month our Executive Director, Josh Bizjak was able to attend the Canadian Labour Congress Convention, connecting with folks in labour about ways to improve the lives of workers. 

We were able to dive into the need for better wages, benefits, pensions for workers, as well as the healthcare crisis, and the need to look after our loved ones. The event was a great success thanks to the CLC leadership and staff who did a tremendous job organizing. 

Additionally, a special thanks to our generous Partners; USW, UFCW, PIPSC, and AMAPCEO as well the Founding Partner of the Dave Barret Lecture LiUNA Local 1611. All of our events and activities would not be possible without their support. If you are interested in our 2023 Programme Guide, or missed our booth but would like to connect please contact our Stakeholder Relations Officer: [email protected] 

Jack Layton Awards Ceremony

Jack Layton was a leader and visionary advocate for progressive change throughout his career. But it was more than vision: Jack was a practical “doer” who worked at all levels, including in municipal government, in parliament, in collaboration with NGOs, in local communities, and most certainly at the grassroots! He was a joyful and passionate activist who believed in our collective strength to organize for transformative change in every conceivable way. A key component of the Jack Layton Legacy initiative is to encourage and support new waves of activism; to support the long-standing and new emerging groups who are committed to organizing for change in their community and social and physical environment.

The awards reception is a chance to honour the great community work of activists and Indigenous leaders. 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 and reception event on August 22nd at 1pm, at the Toronto Metropolitan University, and we want you to join us. Food and beverages will be served. To learn more and RSVP click here.

NEW Research: Healthcare in Crisis

We have a health care crisis facing our country, with frontline staff burnt out, and governments attempting to starve our services from resources and privatize our healthcare. 

Our founders warned us about this; “Progressive leaders will need to be united in their resolve, because the forces of the vested interests are gathering against change that's in the public interest. And they're sowing the seeds of fear with myths and lies about Canadian health care.” Jack Layton

If we cherish our healthcare system, we all have a responsibility to take action and shine a light on the ways that privatized health care will hurt Canadians. 

In keeping with our social democratic roots we are launching an annual research project to look at various aspects of our healthcare system in need of improvement - this year our research project is titled: Healthcare in Crisis; Solutions for Seniors and Long Term Care, taking a social and economic perspective at the issue. The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the issue however, this problem has existed for years prior. Seniors and families are suffering wondering how they will take care of their loved ones while private health companies rake in profits. 

Looking at the data we’ve already uncovered a much more serious problem is looming. The numbers tell a very scary story as our population continues to age in greater numbers than ever before, and at a time when personal income and savings do not keep up with the cost of living, when workplace pensions are no longer common place, and while the CPP and OAS is terribly inadequate, the fact is that more and more people are going to need assistance. Seniors are being left behind and our research project will help sound the alarm for policymakers nationwide. 

If you would like to take action on this issue please feel free to make a meaningful contribution with a donation towards our research fund today:

John Smart Scholarship at the University of Toronto

The DCLF has been working with the Smart family and the John Smart Committee to establish a scholarship in his memory. John was a committed NDP activist and union member. He was on the executive of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, a federal NDP candidate, a provincial NDP candidate, and a school board trustee. He committed his life to serving and advancing social democracy. He believed deeply in the importance of research. 

The foundation along with John strongly believe in the need for public research and education which is why we put our efforts into publishing reports and provoking discussions on issues affecting Canadians.

Housed at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information, this scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduate student working in a field of study that reflects the work and values that enshrine John’s legacy. The scholarship fund has a goal of $25,000 and will be matched by the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information to ensure the scholarship is awarded each year in perpetuity. 

Please consider making a contribution toward the John Smart Scholarship Fund in memory of his work and in consideration of the importance of archives in preserving our history.

Courage My Friends

Check out our partner’s podcast Courage my Friends. This podcast explores our unique new reality, what this reality reveals about the old one and envisions possibilities for a brighter and necessary future, discussing topics from economic and climate justice to rethinking cities and health.

In the latest episode, senior program manager of Blue Green Canada, discusses the need for a Just Transition, what it should look like for labour, and how Canada is doing in its move toward a clean energy economy. Click here to give it a listen: 

That’s a wrap!

It’s been a busy spring for sure Emily, but we have so much more to do this summer. Thank you for your support. It’s thanks to people like you that we are able to do this work and carry on the legacies of our founders.

Please feel free to forward this email to your friends and family who might be interested in the work we are doing and getting involved themselves.

From all of us at Tommy Douglas’ charity, thank you!

Latest posts

NEW: BC Voter Data by Abacus Data Revealed at DCLF Event

In advance of the event “Trends in Social Democracy” a survey was conducted to test the feelings of BC Voters on issues of concern and solutions offered by Social Democracy as it relates to the upcoming provincial election.

From May 6 to 9, 2024, Abacus Data conducted a survey of 1,000 eligible voters in British Columbia exploring their views on provincial politics and government. 

These are the findings:

Celebrate Women Today and Everyday

Blog Post 


Today is International Women’s Day; a day which I am truly thankful for all the women who have worked tirelessly, past and present, towards a more equitable world where all voices are heard. I take this day to reflect on the women that came before me and the work that we have to continue to do in their honour.

February Newsletter: Gala Highlight Video + Lecture Details and Research

Blog Post 


As promised we’ve got lots of news to share with you this month. The Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation had a banner year in 2023. We produced more special events, original content, research projects, and educational materials than ever before!

This year we’re building from that success. You’ll see us in more places with more exciting programs for you to participate in throughout the year. All of this growth is thanks to our supporters like you.

We hope you enjoy our update this month.

Take action

Dave Barrett Lecture Video
50th Anniversary Dinner Photos
The Alexa McDonough Lecture
The David Lewis Lecture
Audrey McLaughlin Interview
BC Premier John Horgan's Keynote
50th Anniversary Dinner Highlights
2024 Jack Layton Lecture
2nd Annual Mouseland Gala
Alexa McDonough Womens’ Leadership Centre
Become a Member
Make a Donation
Lecture Series
Help Fund Vital Research

Connect with us