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Canadian Federation of University Women Moncton

ARC AGM & Conference 2007

Seventy-two registrants made their way to Truro on Friday Sept. 28th for the "With One Voice" Atlantic Regional AGM and Conference. That evening, after the Presidents' Roundtable, at the Opening Reception, we were entertained by the Truro Youth Singers. Then followed Alan Syliboy's recounting of his life journey to his status now as a well-known Mi'kmag artist (see

On Saturday, the AGM proceeded through its agenda. The financial report gave a 2006-07 year end balance of $3588.03 with 496 paid members, and a proposed 2007-08 budget of $2650.00. A motion for the ARC to cover up to $500 of the expenses if a club should lose money hosting the ARC AGM was passed.

The Honourable Mayann E. Francis, Lieutenant Governor of N.S. was the keynote speaker. She is the first African Nova Scotian and only the second woman to hold the position.

We came, we met, we shared, and left with renewed CFUW vigour.

Workshop: "Ethical Investing"

Susan M. Murray, a Chartered Financial Analyst with RBC gave a workshop on Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), a growing trend in investment strategy. There has been a 65 million dollar growth in Canada in the last two years in SRI. There are several ways ethical/social criteria can be applied when investing in companies. The two main methods of portfolio screening are negative/exclusion screening and best in class/sector approach. Most of the large investment firms (TD, RBC, Barclays, Greystone) have SRI focused funds (see,,

Workshop: "Changing Demographics of Atlantic Canada & Role of Immigration"

Dr. Manju Varma-Joshi of Moncton spoke on the state of demographics in NB - high aging population, high out-migration, decrease in number of children, increase in refugees, increase in gap between rich and poor, 60% women-led small businesses, one of highest illiteracy rates, and trades/labour shortages.

After a brief shaking of our stereotypes of immigrants and refugees, Manju spoke about the positive role that these newcomers (especially women) can play in the rejuvenation of the Atlantic Provinces. Through the school system we need to fight racism, have a multicultural curriculum, learn more about the world so we can be more understanding of these newcomers. They have a lot to offer us, and we have a lot to offer them. It's up to all of us to make them feel welcome and comfortable enough to stay in eastern Canada.

Workshop: "Living Common Law & Grandparents Rights"

Sheila Cameron, a family lawyer with Actus Law of Moncton, explained that common law relationships are not like marriage. By living common law, the law assumes that you have chosen to give up your rights to marital property, and it is presumed that there will be 0% share of assets and debts, whereas in marriage a 50% share is presumed. Property rights are covered under "Matrimonial Property Act" -- the word Matrimonial means for those legally married, and not common-law relationships, as decided recently by the Supreme Court.

Children of married or common-law couples are treated the same by law. Decisions are always based on what is best for the child. Sheila's talk was definitely an eye-opener and should be heard by all women thinking of living common-law.

Grand-parents have NO rights, nor obligations; they are considered non-parents legally. Word to grandparents: Stay amicable and remember that kids love BOTH parents.

Previous ARC AGM & Conferences:
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