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Men’s Health Fair at Warkworth Penitentiary

A report from a volunteer on our participation in the Men’s Health Fair at Warkworth Institution.

Warkworth Medium Institution : Health Fair Fall 2018

Being screened was fairly quick because staff avoided the usual swab test and line up with the dog for normal visitors. There were two guards processing us and a couple of others escorting us to the gym (One male at the Desk and the rest were females) The gym had a few guards walking about.

Once we got processed and set up, at least 200 inmates passed through. Probably more. We engaged in conversation as they walked past, talking to them about Canadian Men and Families, the resources CCMF offered and we handed them pamphlets. Few inmates refused taking material. Many appreciated what we had to say. One guy actually looked up and shouted Hallelujah after I told them something as simple and sweet as CCMF stands in the gap on men’s issues. Another man was more quiet but his face lit up and smiled after I said what CCMF stand for. Some men asked us more questions and others continued in conversation and answered some questions we had of them about prison.

We emphasized the gap we were trying to fill for men suffering from domestic violence or abuse, help to obtain access to their children, resources for legal help and so on.

I personally do not know all the statistics on men in prison compared to women but I suspect there is a real disconnect. If a woman is in prison it means she had a rotten child hood, was sexually abused and hung out with the wrong crowd. If a man is in prison, it is because he is just “Bad”

It is never perfect but what I found the most striking was the fact that there was a lot of “processing” of men going on and not enough healing. Another inmate qualified that men in the system were sexually abused and for him, the realization of this type of pain came when he turned 40. He received therapy which was very successful for him. I could tell by his face, he had recovered but with others, their countenance was more strained.

One inmate didn’t talk about his process but was rather interested in any indigenous services CCMF offered. I told him there was a presentation on healing by an indigenous man at one of the Healing Journey conferences and he said that was more his style.

I was happy to see a female P.O. gathering as much material as she could for her “clients”, including the article on Indigenous men not included in the inquiry focused more on Indigenous women. She emphasized more resources are needed. A  staff approached Justin and invited CCMF to come back but in a “Group Format”

Other conversations we had was with an internal group run by inmates and Chaplaincy which was focused on the sort of thing that is so essential for all men there: Healing

The inmate representative was very excited and eager to put in a report to the Warden asking CCMF to return to conduct a workshop. I asked what this would look like to be of greatest help to them and he simply said a circle of sharing and talking, so essentially, a healing circle. The Chaplin felt the same way but he emphasized one of the greatest immediate needs was transportation for visitors who have no transportation to visit. Men especially miss their children.

Three men at Warkworth (one staff, a Chaplin and an inmate who leads a group) invited CCMF to return with the intention of some sort of workshop and after many conversations with inmates there, I believe a healing workshop would be very beneficial.

It was a good day for the men and for us.

Charger Golf Tournament Raises Landmark $25,000 for Healthy Fathers and Families


Charger Golf Tournament Raises Landmark $25,000 for Healthy Fathers and Families

TORONTO, ON – (August 20, 2018) The first of their kind programs for healthy and involved fathers at the Canadian Centre for Men and Families (CCMF) have just received a huge boost thanks to a $25,000 contribution from the proceeds of the Charger Foundation 2018 Golf Tournament.

The 14th Annual Charger Foundation Charitable Golf Tournament took place on June 20, 2018 with support from title sponsors The InStore Group and Carpenters Union Local 27, and official event sponsor and major donor HS&Partners LLP.

“We are amazed by the generosity of the Charger Foundation, in particular Chairman Louis Sapi and staff Sonia Vaknin, Zarah Dehnashi and Samantha Sapi,” said CCMF Executive Director Justin Trottier. Over the course of three annual events, Charger has contributed a total of $50,000 to programs that improve men’s health, help young men become better fathers and ensure services are available for men who are experiencing domestic abuse.

“We are proud to have made this important contribution to grow programs that are often the only ones available for single or divorced fathers and their children,” said Charger Foundation Chairman Louis Sapi. “Our partnership with the CCMF has improved the lives of many families while also transforming the public acceptance of men’s services.”
Charger and the CCMF join in sharing their gratitude with all sponsors, golfers, donors and volunteers whose participation made this signature event a huge success. Our 2018 sponsors were the following amazing companies:

The InStore Group, Carpenters Union Local 27, HS&Partners LLP, Blue Line Distribution, The Consilium Group, Gene C. Colman Family Law Centre, Horodynsky Farms Inc., Vaknin Law Professional Corporation, Closeout King, Noble Estates, Golfer’s Green, Furnace King, Deer Fields, RBC Wealth Management, V71 Entertainment, Kinetic Risk Management, Hockley Miller, Kifinti Solutions Inc., P2 Realty, Charger Consulting Corporation, Goodbye Graffiti, Fitch Security Integration, The Office Mover, Armstrong, Umbra

“The Charger Foundation has shown extraordinary leadership in galvanizing community backing around this cause, and thanks to Charger’s ongoing support we are making progress toward our shared vision of a future where more children benefit from a strong relationship with their fathers and all people are free from abuse and violence,” said Trottier.

Justin Trottier
Executive Director,
Canadian Association for Equality


Media Reporting on Men’s Health Focus of Scholarly Article

In a recent issue of Health Promotional Perspectives, an article was published entitled Reports on boys’, youth’s and men’s health in Canadian newspapers: Now what?

The authors included our own CAFE advisor Silvia Tallarico, who is credited in association with our organization, along with Ryerson professor Margareth Zanchetta.

This work is related to research CAFE is undertaking around media bias in its portrayal of men and gender.

Here is the full article: http://hpp.tbzmed.ac.ir/FullHtml/HPP_19185_20170225021023

Background: This media content analysis explored the Canadian newspapers reporting on men’s health, and their contribution to public understanding of the social determinants of men’s health and lifestyles. Methods: A media content analysis of 44 news articles on boys’, youth’s and men’s health,published from 2010 to 2014 by three national newspapers (The Globe and Mail, National Post,and Metro News). Results: Data indicated that the predominant discourse consists of informative and awareness messages, mostly about men’s prostate and sexual health. Very little health news content referred to working conditions, education and income, all of which are significant social determinants of health (SDH). This may reflect the current state of health research, which does not adequately incorporate the effects of these determinants. It may also indicate a reproduction of dominant health knowledge and understanding of masculinity. Little content was found on policy solutions to other publicized health issues, such as limited access to health services or inter-sectoral collaborations; this reflects a lack of government action and a lack of citizen engagement toward the creation of a concerted men’s health policy. Conclusion: Despite the acknowledged importance of the media in promoting access to health information and indirectly contributing to improve the general public’s level of health literacy, it is also necessary to remember that there must be a greater attention to the structural constraints imposed by socioeconomic inequalities. Future studies should explore media discourses about men’s unequal access to health care services and citizens’ awareness of ways to overcome those inequalities shortcomings.

Policy Questions to Ontario Candidates

CAFE Distributes All-Candidate Policy Questionnaires Ahead of Ontario Election

We are excited to announce the distribution of policy questions to the party headquarters and each candidate from the Liberal, PC, NDP and Green Party who are running in the Ontario provincial election on June 7, 2018.

Here is a copy of the letter and questions that have been circulated. As responses are received, they will be posted here at https://equalitycanada.com/ontarioelection2018


Policy Questions from the Canadian Association for Equality to the Ontario PC Party


Thank you for your commitment to improve the lives of Ontarians and for your initiative in running in the current provincial election.

I’m writing to you from the Canadian Association for Equality’s Office of Public Policy on behalf of many of our members who are constituents in your riding. A copy of this letter on our organizational letterhead is attached to this email.

We have prepared a set of 6 questions which will help our members decide whom to award their vote. The responses we receive may be posted, without modification, to our website and circulated to our members.

Please send your responses by Tuesday, June 5, 2018 to policy@equalitycanada.com. Your answers will be distributed as soon as they are provided to us.

We have over 4000 members and donors across Canada with over half located in Ontario. Our website receives over 5,000 visitors each month.

The Canadian Association for Equality is a public education charitable organization committed to achieving equality for all Canadians, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, family status, race, ethnicity, creed, age or disability. Our unique focus is on integrating the issues and perspectives of boys and men into efforts to achieve gender equality.

We operate out of facilities in Toronto and Ottawa, known as the Canadian Centre for Men and Families, which serve as vibrant community health and social service hubs, providing free counselling, mentorship, legal assistance, father-involvement groups and support programs for men who have experienced abuse and trauma. You are welcome to visit www.menandfamilies.org for more information on our programs and services.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with our organization and its members. Good luck in your ongoing campaign.

Justin Trottier
Executive Director
Canadian Association for Equality

(416) 402-8856 (cell) | (647) 479-9611 (office)
152 Carlton St, Unit 201 (mail: 201-2 Homewood Ave)
Toronto, ON, M4Y 2J9


1. In 2016, Bill 170, An Act to proclaim the week immediately preceding the third Sunday in June as Men’s Health Awareness Week, was tabled in the Ontario legislature to recognize the importance of addressing men’s health issues.

Would your government re-introduce this legislation or support its passage if it were reintroduced in the House?

Source: https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-41/session-1/bill-170

2. In Canada, the suicide rate for males is at least three times higher than the rate for females.

What action would your government take to address the high rate of male suicide?

Source: https://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-x/2012001/article/11696-eng.htm

3. All victims of domestic violence deserve support. According to Statistics Canada’s 2014 General Social Survey on Family violence,

“equal proportions of men and women reported being victims of spousal violence during the preceding 5 years (4%, respectively). This translated into about 342,000 women and 418,000 men across the provinces.”

There are over 177 shelters and residential facilities in Ontario for abused women. There are 0 shelters dedicated to male victims of domestic violence and their families.

Would your government provide funding to support opening Ontario’s first shelter for abused fathers and children?

Source: https://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2015001/article/14207/tbl/tbl01-eng.htm

4. Boys are dropping out of school and enrolling in post-secondary institutions at rates significantly lower than their female counterparts. Children succeed when they have mentors or role models with whom they can readily identify. In publicly funded preschool and primary school the percentage of male teachers is about 16%.

What action, if any, would your government take to recruit men into the teaching profession, in particular in preschool and elementary school?

Source: https://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-503-x/2010001/article/11542/tbl/tbl013-eng.htm

5. According to research from the Fatherhood Project, based out of Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital, father involvement is critical to advancing positive health and psychosocial outcomes in children. Children with a strong father-child relationship display higher levels of self-control, are more likely to succeed in school and are less likely to engage in substance abuse.

When a family breaks-up, a child counts on his or her father to continue to provide financial support but also and equally important, to maintain a strong, loving and active relationship.

In Ontario, the Family Responsibility Office recognizes the first need by enforcing child support payments by non-custodial parents. At this time, however, there is no agency in Ontario that enforces child access orders generated by family courts, which is critical to ensure that non-custodial parents are able to maximize involvement with their children.

Would you support expanding the mandate of the Family Responsibility Office or another provincial agency to enforce child access orders?

Source: http://www.thefatherhoodproject.org/10-facts-about-father-engagement/

6. The #MeToo movement has alerted us to a problem with coercive and harassing behaviour in the workplace. The focus now is to develop appropriate measures to effectively address this problem without generating unintended negative consequences. In particular, we must be careful to preserve the underlying moral principles of our legal system, which have been refined over centuries.

What role, if any, does the Government of Ontario have in taking steps to improve workplace culture in a manner that also protects the rights of accused individuals?

Banner Environmental Makes Charitable Donation to Address Gaps in Men’s Health in Calgary


Banner Environmental Makes Charitable Donation to Address Gaps in Men’s Health in Calgary

CALGARY, ALBERTA — (May 14, 2018) The Canadian Association for Equality is excited to announce a donation from Banner Environmental toward its new Calgary counselling, peer support and father involvement programs which are improving the lives of many men and their families.

Banner Environmental Engineering Consultants Ltd. is a team of engineers and scientists focusing on projects which support potable water, wastewater and stormwater treatment. The firm believes wholeheartedly in equality for all genders, races, and sexual orientations, and promoting the greater good of all.

Every year, Banner hosts a year-end Christmas party for the staff and incorporates a fundraising event to support a selected charity or organization.

“We were first introduced to Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) by Dr. Dan McKinnon early 2017 and were especially interested in CAFE’s efforts to support the equality movement and development of the Calgary Centre for Men and Families,” said Stacy Senga, Research and Regulatory Manager at Banner Environmental Engineering Consultants Ltd. “This was an easy decision for all staff to support CAFE as Banner’s 2017 recipient of our annual fundraising event.”

In total, Banner raised $8,000 which will be used to support the ongoing efforts of CAFE in Calgary, Alberta. These funds will support unique interventions for male survivors of partner abuse, fathers struggling to maintain a relationship with their children post-divorce and men seeking to respond in a healthy way to the challenges in their lives.

For further information contact:

Stacy Senga, B.Sc Toxicology, P.Biol.
Banner Environmental Engineering Consultants Ltd.
(403) 933-4199 ext. 209

Justin Trottier
Executive Director, Canadian Association for Equality