The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has honoured Sister Christine Leyser, of Guelph, with the Women Working in Social Activism on Behalf of Women and Children women’s program award for more than 25 years of outstanding service to the community.
The award may be granted to a woman or group who do not hold ETFO membership but who have been outstanding social activists on behalf of women and children.
Sister Christine, nominated by the ETFO Upper Grand Teacher Local, was the driving force behind the creation of several institutions that provide food, shelter, and services to the needy. She is the founder of the Welcome In Drop-In Centre, which has been a haven for homeless persons and those suffering from mental illness, isolation, and economic marginalization.
In addition, she is responsible for founding several other social projects, including the Dwelling Place, a supportive living home; Stepping Stone, which offers emergency accommodation for men; Elizabeth Place, a shelter for homeless women and children; and Yorkhaven, an affordable townhome complex. She received numerous awards recognizing her service. She was named to the Order of Canada in 2008 and was one of 12 winners of the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship awarded by the Guelph Police Services, which also named her Citizen of the Year. "Sister Christine has been an inspiration for the thousands of Guelph citizens she has helped over the past 25 years," said ETFO President David Clegg. "Our federation is honoured to celebrate her accomplishments with this award." The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 73,000 elementary public school teachers and education workers across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.