After much planning, the National Equal Opportunities Conference was held at the Delta Hotel in Ottawa, from October 25- 27. Approximately 150 participants, including many first timers, were in attendance. The theme of the Conference was “Making an Impact”, which I believe we did as we received a lot of positive feedback! The Conference included various workshops, guest speakers and entertainment, all focused around equity issues. We closed the Conference with a heartfelt speech by Canadian Olympic Silver Medalist, Elizabeth Manley. Elizabeth reminded us that mental health can affect anyone and that each of us could indeed have a positive impact in someone’s life.
Carrying our theme, a bit further, participants were invited to bring an article of warm clothing to help the homeless in anticipation of the upcoming harsh winter months. We were overwhelmed with the bags and bags we filled with the donations; $250 in cash was also collected. Thanks to the generosity of UTE members, many people in need in the National Capital Region will be positively affected.
The Committee stayed on for an extra day after the Conference to discuss the best strategy for moving forward. Various options were looked at, such as eliminating either the National or Regional Conferences and diverting more funds to the Locals, but at the end of the day it was the decision of the Committee to continue with the status quo. A submission for the next edition of the UTE Newsletter was made and the Committee plans to re-establish the email trees for the various equity-seeking groups, in order to provide more support and engagement.
I would like to thank all of the Committee for their hard work over the past two years.
Chair of the Committee