November Newsletter

Blog Post


What an exciting few weeks we've had here at the Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation for Social Democracy!

There's a ton of great content this month and we hope you find our newsletter uplifting and inspirational.

Let's start with our biggest event of the year. 

This past Tuesday we held the 50th Anniversary Dinner in Ottawa featuring keynote speaker BC Premier John Horgan.

Four hundred guests were riveted by Premier Horgan's stories about what drew him to social democracy, his early days as a political staffer on Parliament Hill and the remarkable events and lessons learned as an elected official and BC Premier. 

Guest speakers also included; NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, MP Lindsay Mathyssen, and Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle.

To view our 50th Anniversary Dinner Photo gallery click here. 

*video footage will be made available on our website next week

A big announcement was included!

On behalf of the Foundation, Premier Horgan also announced our latest project - the Annual Dave Barrett Lecture and Scholarship at the University of Victoria. This announcement coincides with the 50th anniversary of BC's first elected NDP government led by Dave Barrett in 1972. 

"Dave Barret was an incredible public speaker; a roll-up-your-sleeves orator whose message was funny, pointed and hopeful, " Premier John Horgan said. "Education was important to him. In his early years, Barrett worked in a cannery to earn his tuition. A lecture and scholarship in his name is an appropriate legacy for a man who understood that education opens the door to opportunity."

The inaugural Dave Barrett Lecture will be held in Victoria in 2023. Each year, the Foundation will bring expert speakers to inspire students and community members on the legacy of Dave Barrett and his contribution to British Columbia and Canada.

We are pleased to report that LiUNA Local 1611 has come on board as the Founding Sponsor of the lecture and scholarship. Thank you LiUNA 1611. 

Click here to read Premier Horgan's press release. 

For more information on sponsorship, contact our Executive Director Josh Bizjak: [email protected] 

If you would like to make a donation towards the Dave Barrett Lecture and Scholarship please use this donation page:

Brand new data on worker mental health released! 

Just recently the DCL published the first phase of our timely research project on Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace.

Overall, 47 per cent of working Canadians, representing about 10 million people, report their mental health is less than good. 

The survey of 2000 working Canadians, conducted by Abacus Research last month, found nearly all Canadian workers surveyed have experienced mental distress due to work. Among those experiencing distress "occasionally":

  • 38% say their work leaves them feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge
  • 35% say they can't stop worrying about work
  • 32% say they feel down, depressed, or hopeless about work
  • 29% say work makes them angry with co-workers or others. 

More concerning, 33 percent of respondents, or about 6.5 million working Canadians, say on a regular basis they experience one or more of these forms of distress. Among all workers, 43 per cent said the problem is growing worse.

Interestingly, our research also found that unions play a mitigating factor in helping to protect workers from mental health distress. 

To view the whole report from the first phase of the project please visit:

If you would like to make a donation towards our Research Fund click here:

Leadership Training with Olivia Chow and the ICL

Through the Layton Legacy Project, the DCLF collaborated with the Institute for Change Leaders to develop and produce a full-day training session on Healthcare Community Activism 

Over sixty guests joined us-in person at the Toronto Metropolitan University and online.

The session was led by Olivia Chow and her team of professional instructors. Students were taught to share personal life experiences, given tools for organizing, and were encouraged to get active in their local community. 

More exciting leadership training opportunities will be made available through the Layton Legacy both in-person and online next year.

A Boy Named Tommy Children's Book

Earlier this year the DCL was pleased to help publish an amazing children's book about the life of a young Tommy Douglas and an injury to his leg that led to his determination to make healthcare available to every Canadian no matter their financial situation.

The Author, Beryl Young has written a lovely note that we think you'd enjoy reading. Please click here to read her letter about "A Boy Named Tommy." You can read her note here. 


This book is beautifully illustrated by Joan Steacy, and his appropriate for children 4 and up. These books would make fantastic gifts for the holidays and can be purchased at your local book store or online.

For information on how to purchase this book click here.

Annual General Report

Each year going forward the DCL will produce and distribute its annual report to keep all of our members up to date on the health and activities of the charity. 

This year, we've included our Annual Report in our year end mailing. Please check your mailbox to see if you have recieved yours. There's a beautifully designed poster on the launch of the Alexa McDonough Women's Leadership Centre included.

You can also read our annual report letter here on our website:

You'll be happy to know that thanks to the outpouring of support for our restoration work, we were able to strengthen our charity and provide a whole host of new programmes and opportunities for people to learn. Our growth statistics are very encouraging. 

If you're happy with what you've seen so far, we have bigger plans for 2023.

Emily, as a charity we rely on the generosity of our supporters, and this time of year many people decide to give a donation to a variety of charities. We are asking you to please consider making a year end donation to Tommy's charity. 

This is the only charity in Canada with a mandate to educate people about social democracy. That's why Tommy Douglas founded it all those many years ago, and why it's so cherished today.

We have a variety of ways for you to give - visit our donation menu to see which option appeals most to you:

Please consider a special gift this year and make a donation today.

New Team Member Joins the Staff

Please join us in welcoming our newest team member; JJ Sandler!

We are very excited to announce that JJ is our new Development Officer. He comes to our foundation with years of experience in the NGO and charitable sector - a true asset to our small and mighty team. His strength is his compassion, commitment to our shared values, and willingness to help.

JJ will be leading our donor and member stewardship program going forward to ensure all of our supporters are well taken care of. Should you have any questions or need assistance please don't hesitate to contact JJ Sandler directly:

[email protected]

That's a wrap for this month

Please stay tuned for a number of updates and announcements we'll be making over the next few weeks as we announce our plans for 2023. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

All the very best.

P.S don't forget to check your mailbox for your Annual General Report.


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

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