71 episodes

Clearing a New Path™ podcast looks to build a more united, progressive, feminist, anti-racist rural Canada.
Produced by Radar Media.
Podcast art inspired by the graphic design of Katie Wilhelm.
Music branding by The Hankering Studio.
Subscribe to the Clearing a New Path™ weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/hLN9Fv
Contact us at: info@clearinganewpathpodcast.com

Clearing a New Path‪™‬ Radar Media

    • News

Clearing a New Path™ podcast looks to build a more united, progressive, feminist, anti-racist rural Canada.
Produced by Radar Media.
Podcast art inspired by the graphic design of Katie Wilhelm.
Music branding by The Hankering Studio.
Subscribe to the Clearing a New Path™ weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/hLN9Fv
Contact us at: info@clearinganewpathpodcast.com

    Emily McIntosh - Bill 5 - Women of Ontario Say No

    Emily McIntosh - Bill 5 - Women of Ontario Say No

    Emily McIntosh -  Bill 5 - Women of Ontario Say No

    I first heard about the Women of Ontario Say No campaign on Instagram. One of the campaign’s posts was shared by a number of female municipal council members that I follow.

    It’s a growing grassroots advocacy effort to address the gap in a provincial accountability structure for municipally elected officials.  Multiple Ontario municipalities have learned the hard way about the lack of tools in the Municipal Act for holding councillors accountable for workplace harassment. Currently the most severe penalty that can be imposed on a municipal councillor is suspension of pay for 90 days- even in the worst cases. There is no process for removing councillors from office and they can even seek re-election. (Some of them have)
    Bill 5 addresses this by amending the Municipal Act & City of Toronto Act. The legislation would ensure elected officials are 1) held to their municipality's violence and harassment in the workplace policies 2) permit the Integrity Commissioner to apply to the court to vacate the councillor’s seat for failing to comply with the municipality's workplace violence or harassment policies and 3) restrict subsequent re-election. 

    Emily McIntosh is at the heard of this campaign

    Born and raised in Simcoe County, Emily has a longstanding interest in politics, human rights, and immigration and refugee policy. With international development experience in East Africa and Central Asia, Emily knows first-hand that the rights of women in Canada are never something to be taken for granted. Emily spearheaded this advocacy when her own hometown, Barrie, ON was directly affected. A municipal councillor ran for Mayor in the most recent election while in civil ligation for sexual harassment of a city employee. 

    Emily is passionate about advocating, protecting and strengthening the rights of all people, but particularly women- recognizing that the barriers to dismantling the longstanding patriarchal foundations of our current political environment make it challenging to speak out.  That’s why she is using her voice and privilege to bring this Bill to the Ontario legislature.

    The Women of Ontario Say No website
    The Women of Ontario Say No Instagram

    • 33 min
    Rural Women Councillors - 100 Days in Office

    Rural Women Councillors - 100 Days in Office

    Rural Women Councillors in Ontario - 100 Days in Office

    This episode is a conversation with four first-time rural women councilors, all serving in small communities across Ontario. They talk about what their experience has been both before the election, while they were campaigning and now 100 days into their term.

    They talk about challenging stereotypes that rural folks may have about women in governance, the importance of clear communication, they talk about the privilege they have and what a privilege it still is to be able to run a campaign and that ALL of them would give up their seats to see more intersectional representation.

    Kelsie Van Bellighem is a councillor in Kenora, Ontario

    Born and raised in Kimberley BC, and a life-long seasonal resident of Lake of the Woods, Kelsie has been a permanent resident in Kenora, ON since 2017 when she met her now husband. They have two young children and while at the tail end of her maternity leave with her second, she decided to run for council. As a person of privilege and ability she is aware of the need for diverse voices when it comes to governance and leadership. Similar to financial assets, “you don’t want all your eggs in one basket” and she ran on that platform during my candidacy. She is returning to work shortly, as a Member Advisor at the Credit Union in Kenora, and in her last term as Treasurer for the Women’s Shelter, Saakate House. 

    Lindsay Wilson is Deputy Mayor in Ingersoll, Ontario

    Lindsay Wilson has spent the last decade working in rural community economic development. She often focuses on advocating for the full representation and participation of women in their communities. In 2021, she volunteered to launch Municipal Campaign School Oxford- a grassroots effort to support women running and winning their campaign. In 2022, she was elected as the Deputy Mayor of Ingersoll, the first woman to serve in the position. 

    Alysson Storey is a councillor in Chatham-Kent, Ontario

    Born and raised in Chatham, Alysson returned to her hometown after working in the private and public sectors across Canada and Europe. A communications and strategic planning consultant, Alysson found herself thrust into an advocacy role almost overnight. Outraged by the deaths of a close friend and her young daughter in a preventable crossover collision on Highway 401, she founded Build the Barrier, a grassroots group of volunteers lobbying for improved safety standards on Highway 401 west of London, Ontario. This experience of public advocacy was an unexpectedly transformative one, and led to her running for Mayor of Chatham-Kent in 2018, where she placed second, and was successfully elected as Councillor in 2022.

    Kate Leatherbarrow is a councillor in Woodstock, Ontario

    Kate Leatherbarrow, small business owner and first time sitting councillor in the City of Woodstock brings a punch to the table! Herr passions for community engagement and women in politics led her to where she is today! If she's not slinging coffee at one of her two coffee shops, or chatting with a neighbour about an upcoming council meeting, you’ll most definitely find her with her family of 6! She is so honoured to be elected in a time where more and more women are entering politics, and it is critical that we hold the door open for others!

    Leatherbarrow, along with Lindsay Wilson, founded the Municipal Campaign School of Oxford County, which encourages women and other diverse voices to become involved in local politics. Communication is number one on Kate’s agenda.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Gitanjali Aggarwal - PARO - Meeting Rural Women Where They Are

    Gitanjali Aggarwal - PARO - Meeting Rural Women Where They Are

    Gitanjali Aggarwal - Meeting Rural Women Where They Are

    The PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise is an organization that supports women entrepreneurs across Ontario. The organization’s approach to supporting women is unique in that it meets women where they are. Whether it’s your geographic area, or where you are on your business journey, PARO’s programs and services are designed to support women wherever they are

    This episode focuses on some of the unique programs PARO offers, like Lending Circles but it’s also about one of the organization’s business counsellors, Gitanjali Aggarwal, and her own personal entrepreneurial journey in rural Ontario.

    Gitanjali [git-tan-ja-lee] is a name that comes from the Sanskrit language and means collection of lyrics. As the famous line goes, what's in a name? For Gitanjali, her journey has reflected her name. The self proclaimed Dream Chaser has collected various experiences from the financial industry, to restaurant prenuer, to mother of 2, and now business counselor, she continues her journey as she collects experiences, and shares a few words along the way.

    You won't want to miss her exceptional journey and her inspiring outlook!

    • 44 min
    Jean Bota - Community Crime Prevention in Rural Canada

    Jean Bota - Community Crime Prevention in Rural Canada

    Jean Bota - ‘Building Capacity in Rural Crime Prevention Project

    In our last episode, we talked about just one element of crime in rural Canada, intimate partner violence, with Pamela Cross of Luke’s Place.

    She mentioned that in Ontario we have what’s called a Community Safety and Well-being plan. This is a framework for municipalities to utilize for their own communities. Four areas are highlighted as critical to success: social development, prevention, risk intervention, and incident response.

    Jean Bota is the board chair for the Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association, a position she has held since 2016. She understood from first hand experience, as a rural Alberta resident and also as a former rural Alberta county councilor, that rural communities require a unique framework when it comes to crime prevention.

    In this episode, Jean explains how the “Building Capacity in Rural Crime Prevention Project” came to pass, the pilot programs they ran in rural Alberta communities, the template that has been developed from those pilots and how you can access them for your own rural Canadian community.

    Jean was raised in rural Alberta and is a third generation Albertan. She is a mom, a grandmother, and makes her home in Red Deer County, Alberta where she has lived for the past twenty-two years. 

    Jean has always been very involved in her community, entering municipal politics in 2013.  She campaigned on “Safe communities and awareness through collaboration with law enforcement, community groups and citizens”.  Jean was re-elected in 2017 but lost in 2021 by two votes.

    Jean has been involved with her local Rural Crime Watch Group for many years. She also chairs the Police Advisory Committee which initiated the Rural Red Deer Restorative Justice program.

    You can connect with Jean here: canyon28@hotmail.com 

    • 38 min
    Pamela Cross - Luke's Place - A Rural Inquest

    Pamela Cross - Luke's Place - A Rural Inquest

    Pamela Cross - Luke’s Place - A Rural Inquest

    Pamela Cross is a feminist lawyer; a well respected expert on violence against women and the law. She is revered for her work as a researcher, writer, educator and trainer. She works with women’s equality and violence against women organizations across Ontario.

    Luke’s Place is an award-winning non-profit organization devoted to improving the safety and experience of women and their children as they proceed through the family law process after fleeing an abusive relationship.

    After leading the creation and expansion of legal programming and services at Luke’s Place in her role as Legal Director, Pamela has moved her focus to advocacy, and is now the Luke’s Place Advocacy Director, developing and leading law and policy reform efforts and media work at the provincial and national levels. 

    In 2022, Pamela participated in the Inquest into 2015 triple femicide of Carol Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk and Nathalie Warmerdam in Renfrew County, Ontario both as an expert witness in her role as Luke’s Place Legal Director and as an external consultant on behalf of the community. 86 recommendations came out of that inquest and Pamela has created a toolkit for rural communities to enact change on the ground - now. We talk about these resources and you can find them below.

    Pamela also participated in the Nova Scotia Mass Casualty Inquiry as an expert witness on intimate partner violence. That report is due out soon.

    A content warning for the episode:
    Today's podcast episode contains material that might be difficult to hear for some. It talks about intimate partner violence and domestic violence against children and while no details are discussed, it may be distressing to some.

    Some staggering statistics:
    A woman is killed approximately every six days by her partner or former partner. This is eight times the rate at which men are killed by their partner or former partner.

    Intimate partner abuse is the most commonly reported violent crime against women: 42% compared to 12% for men. 

    In 2018, 44% of women reported having been subjected to psychological, physical or sexual violence by their intimate partner

    Indigenous women are 12 times more likely to be murdered or go missing than other women.
    Police-reported intimate partner violence is 75% higher in rural communities than in urban areas.

    Two-thirds of us know a woman who has been subjected to physical, emotional or sexual abuse. 

    The aftermath of intimate partner violence costs Canadians $7.4 billion a year.

    Luke's Place inquest recommendation implementation toolkit: https://lukesplace.ca/culleton-kuzyk-warmerdam-ckw-inquest-advocacy-toolkit/ 

    Luke's Place resource on VAW in rural communities: https://lukesplace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Going-the-Distance-March-2022.pdf

    Pam’s  inquest report and toolkit: https://lukesplace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/WeRemember-2022_finalDec7.pdf 

    Pam’s community consultation report to the inquest: https://lukesplace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Inquest-report-community-consultations-final.pdf 

    Pam’s expert witness report on IPV to the inquest: https://lukesplace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/family-violence-presentation-for-inquest-june-2022.pdf

    • 48 min
    Michelle Friesen - Municipal Government and Reconciliation

    Michelle Friesen - Municipal Government and Reconciliation

    Councillor Michelle Friesen - Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

    Michelle Friesen caught my eye, initially, with a post on Instagram. She was addressing her city’s council, as a sitting councillor herself, about the discovery of children’s remains at residential schools. She posted a video of her address and then also posted the comments she received from the public afterwards. I also noticed in the video that Michelle was holding her infant son, Theo at the council meeting, which is unusual.

    I connected with her and she agreed to have a conversation with me.

    Michelle is proudly serving as the first Indigenous woman EVER on Whitehorse City Council. The city rests on the Traditional territories of the Kwnalin Dun First Nation and her family's First Nation, the Ta'an Kwacch'an Council. Her passion for community and the importance of representation are what inspired her to step into leadership and she looks forward to continuing to learn and connect with folks who call Whitehorse home! 

    Michelle serves as the Youth Representative for the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle and is the founder of ShredHERs, a mountain biking group which empowers women through sport and connects them to mental health and wellness resources. She was also a candidate in the 2021 territorial election and continues to share her experience and empower others to seek leadership through her work with 'Lead As You Are' which aims to encourage diversity and representation in leadership and political roles.

    Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action

    • 37 min

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