L-R: Home Economists Elizabeth Larmond-Elliot, Linda Reasbeck and Ellen Boynton (long- time friends who lunch) used World Home Economics Day to reminisce about the profession, their career experiences and their enduring friendship. Incidentally, the Vietnamese bento-boxes were highly recommended at Phở Thi Fusion, in Barrhaven.
There was no ‘formal’ meeting of Ottawa HEA on March 21 st -World Home
Economics Day this year, instead members were encouraged to invite another Home Economist out for lunch to discuss current or past careers.
A four-hour interactive Grow Ontario Food Summit hosted by the Hon. Lisa Thompson Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Food (OMAFRA) was held on March 27, at Hart House, University of Toronto. OHEA was invited.
Diane O’Shea P.H.Ec. and Mary Carver, P.H.Ec. attended virtually on OHEA’s behalf, while Dr. Peggy O’Neil, P.H.Ec. attended in-person representing Brescia University College. A number of speakers made presentations, then intermittently the 260 (or so) attendees were divided into small breakout sessions (virtually and on-site) to add to the discussion.
What were Home Economists hoping to achieve by attending the provincial Food Summit?
To be heard, OHEA must be visible as a professional body and watchful of opportunities to speak to issues impacting families. The Summit was a rare chance to influence decisions at a government table set with like-minded others who support Ontario food production and food literacy on many levels.
As Professional Home Economists, we know the complexity of food. Many OHEA members work in a variety of businesses and organizations connected to the food system. Agriculture is a key component of Ontario's food system.
Strengthening the Agri-food supply chain is important to the present government while increasing Agri-food technology and attracting educated and skilled participants. The goals are admirable in establishing a trust in the quality and dependable supply of food and agricultural products produced in Ontario. Food Systems Literacy is a critical part of the process.
While the "business" of agriculture was forefront in the speaker presentations, breakout groups offered other conversations and further considerations that must be accounted for in government actions. Diane, Mary and Peggy were all able to discuss the need for improved food literacy at all levels.
Home Economists spoke up!
A take-away from the event: We encourage OHEA members to respond to OMAFRA's Red Tape Reduction Plan — please see here.
After the event, a follow-up letter was sent to the Hon. Lisa Thompson as our appreciation to be included in the summit.
A professional logo is designed to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Ottawa Home Economics Association. Ottawa Members are encouraged to download this logo as part of their e-signature. To add this logo to your e-signature, right-click the image above and click "Save As" to your desired location in your computer. Then, upload the file to your email service's signature.
The Coalition for Healthy School Food & Food Literacy (Sustain Ontario) held an excellent one- hour meeting with MPP Matthew Rae on March 15, thanks to connections made by Diane O’Shea, P.H.Ec., who also expertly facilitated the meeting.
Rae is MPP for Perth/Wellington (Diane’s riding) and was Parliamentary Assistant to Minister of Education Lecce, until March 10, when he moved to Municipal Affairs & Housing.
In attendance via Zoom were available members of the Coalition: Sarah Keyes (Project Manager, Sustain Ontario), Dr. Peggy O’Neil, P.H.Ec., (Brescia University College), Janet Nezon (Rainbow Foods), Andrew Fleet (Growing Chefs Ontario) Jacob Keary-Moreland (PhD candidate Lakehead U.), Alicia Martin, (PhD candidate – U. of Guelph), Diane O’Shea and Mary Carver (OHEA), Matthew Rae and his Administrative Assistant, Peter Bury.
The agenda included a brief history of our food literacy efforts, definitions and examples of food literacy in-action, and our commitment and passion for the topic. Also included were questions about next steps and whether Bill 216 can be revived after it lost its’ holding position when the government was prorogued pre-election. The Coalition’s goal is to find another MPP to champion Food Literacy after the retirement of MPP Daryl Kramp. We sensed good vibes from Mr. Rae who said, he’d “speak to Minister Lecce.” We await feedback and guidance.
Rae who is originally from a Listowel-area dairy farm, appeared on-board with the Coalition’s concern for more food literacy K-12; but we know we must keep our finger on this topic.
In March, out-of-the-blue, the government announced one mandated ‘Technology’ course effective in 2024 for all students to graduate from high school. Hospitality & Tourism is one Technology option, it does not, however, have the food literacy competencies we are seeking for all students to achieve a desirable quality of home and family life.
“At the meeting with Mr. Rae, I was able to clearly reinforce that a Tech Hospitality course does not possibly address food literacy as a grade 9/10 Food and Nutrition course would,” said Diane O'Shea B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed., P.H.Ec., Family Studies Educator (Retired).
“The new Tech requirement could negatively impact current food literacy taught in Food & Nutrition and Grade 9 Family Studies (FS) courses. Hamilton Social Science heads are concerned about the possibility of fewer students opting for FS courses when a Tech option becomes mandatory. The result could be insufficient numbers to offer FS courses every semester. At my school, we had only 3 sections of the HFN course running this 22/23 year as is, ” said Camille Naranjit, OCT, P.H.Ec., OHEA President.
On March 27, Diane and Mary will attend a four-hour Food Forum Summit hosted by the Hon. Lisa Thompson, OMAFRA, via Zoom. Dr. Peggy O’Neil, P.H.Ec. will attend in-person at Queen’s Park. It’s important for OHEA to be a visible stake-holder and aware of government direction on food education. We remain dedicated to speak-up for Home Economists at every opportunity. Can we have success advocating for Food Literacy without a formal Bill? We await the answer.
We do know that we are stronger together working with like-minded groups. Leadership at Sustain Ontario has been fantastic. Check out their new collaborative website of Teacher Resources: https://foodisscience.ca/
Gratifying to read in Brenda Miller's newsletter, Among Brenda's Quilts and Bags, a resurgence in sewing that she has observed, particularly at the high school level. ABQ Sewing Studio is a fully-stocked sewing supply shop in Strathroy, Ontario. Classes are in high demand. While this renewed interest is encouraging there are some larger concerns facing high school courses.
Will sewing be considered a tech class?
Ontario high school students will soon be required to take a mandatory
technological education class to earn their diploma, according to the Ministry of Education. The Ford government hopes this change will increase the number of students pursuing skilled trades.
At this time, it is unclear whether fashion courses will qualify as a tech class. This is a concern for teachers and students. There may not be room in schedules for fashion classes if they are not included as Tech classes.
Moreover, students will be required to take two online classes, which could pose a challenge for the fashion and food and nutrition courses as many are not available on-line. The essential experiential uniqueness of these in-class courses cannot be underestimated.
See more here.
Audrey Margaret Warner died peacefully in Wiarton, Ontario on February 5, 2023. She was 93 years young. She is survived by her husband, Alex Murchie; her stepchildren Jim, Mary Jo, Betty, Carolyn, Sandy, and their families; her nieces Kathy, Anne and Elaine and their families; her beloved great-niece, Alexandra and husband, Kegan. She is predeceased by her brother Ken and sister-in-law Bernice, and by her brother Doug and sister-in-law Geraldine.
Audrey was born September 26,1929 in Hamilton, Ontario. She was a graduate of Western, Toronto, and Cornell Universities. She taught secondary school in Tillsonburg, Hamilton, and Dundas, then worked as an associate professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Toronto. Audrey retired to Mallory Beach near Wiarton, spending winters in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and travelling with Alex to Europe and the United States. A person of many interests, Audrey was an honorary life member of OFSHEEA (Family Studies-Home Economics Educators), and a life member of AAFCS (American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences). She was active in many sports especially golf, skiing, curling and canoe tripping. She had a fine eye for design and colour and loved the furniture and textiles of Scandinavia as well as the art and sculpture of the Inuit of northern Canada.
In keeping with Audrey's wishes, cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Audrey's Life will be held at St. John's United Church in Wiarton, the date and time to be announced later. Interment in Woodland Cemetery, Hamilton at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Mission and Service Fund of the United Church of Canada, to St. John's United Church, Wiarton or to the Warner Cemetery, St. David's, Ontario. Condolences can be sent to Audrey's family by visiting her memorial at www.woodfuneralhome.ca
Obituary was originally published in The Hamilton Spectator.
TOMORROW is not just a film; it is the beginning of a movement seeking to encourage local communities around the world to change the way they live for the sake of our planet.
TODAY, we need a new direction, objective... A new dream! The documentary Tomorrow sets out to showcase alternative and creative ways of viewing agriculture, economics, energy, democracy and education. It offers constructive solutions to act on a local level to make a difference on a global level. So far, no other documentary has gone down such an optimistic road:
Part 1: Agriculture and Energy
Part 2: Economy, Democracy and Education
Thanks to Betty Young for organizing and hosting this February Ottawa HEA meeting with a choice of viewing dates that include discussion and networking time.
OHEA members can view this video anytime at:
ALLISON B. TOWSE April 20. 1928 - February 2, 2023.
Allison passed away peacefully, on Wednesday, February 2, 2023, at The Teddington Retirement Residence, at the age of 94. She survived her late husband, John H. Towse. Allison was born, raised and lived her entire adult life in her family home in North Toronto. She was a career woman who always looked lovely. After graduating from University of Toronto, she worked as a food scientist testing and developing products. She worked with Canada Packers now Maple Leaf foods. Allison enjoyed her professional life.
Outside of work, Allison was passionate about healthy cooking and enjoyed hours in the kitchen. She was an enthusiastic reader, always with a book or two in hand. She was an avid gardener who delighted in every bloom with every season. Allison loved her home. She was a member of the Granite Club for 51 years. While at the club, she was a dedicated fitness member, using the gym regularly, aqua-fit, and curled for many years. She had also been a golfer enjoying the course and dinners at The Toronto Hunt Club. Allison had a great smile and was very appreciative to all of those who helped her along the way. Many Thanks to all those who made her feel comfortable and loved. A special thank you to her kind personal care assistants who were always by her side and the wonderful staff at The Teddington. 'A life well lived.'
Obituary was originally published in The Globe and Mail.
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MARY AUDREY JARVIS (nee Mahon) January 25, 1930 - January 9, 2023
Full of grace until the end, our beloved Audrey passed away peacefully, surrounded by family. Predeceased by her husband, Keith, she leaves behind her children, Kathy Abels (Frank), Maureen (Kieran Foster), Jim (Brenda Jarvis) and Ted (Lisa Plow-Jarvis); thirteen grandchildren, Peter, Matthew, Jimmy and Katie Abels; Emily (James), Olivia and John Jarvis; Audrey and Mary Foster; Keith, Harrison, Luke and Isobel Jarvis; and her great-grandchild Birdie. Audrey is also survided by her sister-in-law, Kathy (Paul Meade). Audrey was predeceased by her parents, Edna and Tony; and her brothers, Larry and Jim; and her sister, Connie Corner. Her peaceful resolve and inquisitive nature made her a trusted confidant and mentor to nephews, nieces, and friends of her children.
A proud Winnipegger, Audrey attended St. Mary's Academy and the University of Manitoba, where she graduated with a degree in Home Economics. She continued postgraduate studies at University of Minnesota and became a Registered Dietitian, pursuing hospital work in Portland, Oregon, and later in life, teaching nutrition at George Brown College. An inspired leader, Audrey's University yearbook noted 'she has proven that the fairer sex is as capable as their opposites.' President of her university class, Audrey was valedictorian of every class from which she graduated. Her zest for life led to travel to Europe and work in Lake Louise, Minnesota, and Oregon, all of which inspired a sense of adventure in her children and grandchildren. Audrey and Keith enjoyed retirement, travelling to visit children in Japan, South Africa, England, and Australia.
While raising four children in Etobicoke, Audrey and Keith were a guiding force in the community. They ran spiritual retreats for hundreds of high school children, as well as the marriage preparation course at their parish. Audrey was the recipient of an Award of Merit from the city of Etobicoke for creating a reading program where local seniors tutored school children. She was an active member of the Catholic Women's League and the University Women's Club. Mom enjoyed her tennis, golf, and a good party. She created a warm family home where everyone was welcome and we felt secure in her unconditional love. She selflessly put family ahead of herself, supporting our lives to be the fullest they could be.
Mom's humour, humility and grace are gifts that will be felt for generations. A Mass followed by a Celebration of Life will be held at Nativity of Our Lord Church in Etobicoke at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, March 31, 2023. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Covenant House. Online Condolences may be made through: www.turnerporter.ca.
Published by The Globe and Mail.
The Ontario Home Economics Association, a self-regulating body of professional Home Economists, promotes high professional standards among its members so that they may assist families and individuals to achieve and maintain a desirable quality of life.