SHOP responds to the Department of Canadian Heritage’s “Digital Citizen Initiative”

The Canadian government is proposing a new legislative approach to deal with “harmful” online content, one that is dangerously broad, over-reaching, and includes an over-reliance on law enforcement. This will inevitably target sex worker safety, 2SLGBTQIA content, BIPOC advocacy and content, community-based harm reduction information, and online sexual education and speech.

“Digital harms are a serious concern, but we must be extremely cautious to avoid generating new egregious and discriminatory harms through attempts to address that concern. The proposed Digital Harms framework has grave potential to hurt sex workers, 2SLGBTQ+ folks, BIPOC communities, and other marginalized populations. We implore the Canadian Government to reconsider these measures and to heed the experiences and expertise of these communities in drafting safe and effective alternatives.” – SHOP

The Department of Canadian Heritage’s “Digital Citizen Initiative” put out a call for comment in September 2021 in response to this proposed legislation framework and many sex workers and allies have responded. Read SHOP’s full letter of submission here.

Referrals now available for Managed Alcohol Program (MAP)

SJSOWC is now taking referrals for the Managed Alcohol Program (MAP)

If you, or someone you know, experienced harms or challenges in their life related to their alcohol use and is interested in learning more about a non-abstinence-based approach, please take a look at this application. You can also contact the Harm Reduction Coordinator, Becky Fleming at 725-8700 with any questions.

MAP Application September 2021 (1)


CALLING ALL CANDIDATES: Feminist Q&A with St. John’s Municipal Election Candidates

During this Municipal Election in St. John’s, the St. John’s Status of Women Council reached out to all 30 candidates for a question and answer series about feminist issues impacting our community. We are sharing candidates’ responses to promote community engagement and to inform voters on election issues that impact all of us.

All questions were provided in advance, and candidates were given ten days to respond. Some responses were edited for length. We are sharing all six sets of answers throughout September 14th-16th – check back as the week goes on to read more.


• Housing: The City’s housing needs assessment identified 12,100 households living in unaffordable housing. What points from the City’s 2018 affordable ten-year housing strategy, or other actions Council can take, do you see as most important to address our scarcity of affordable housing?

• Accessibility: There are many significant barriers for people to move safely and freely in and around St. John’s, infringing on resident’s human rights. How will you prioritize increasing safe and accessible mobility in our city?

ANSWERS: Housing & Accessibility

• GBV: Gender-based violence happens at epidemic rates in our communities. What action-oriented work can be taken on by the City to meaningfully address this crisis?

• Budget: Budgetary decision-making often has disproportionate impacts on marginalized communities. What would a feminist municipal budget look like to you?

ANSWERS: Gender-based violence & Budget

• Engagement: Residents such as single parents, people receiving Income Support, people living with disabilities, temporary and permanent residents, and people who are criminalized can be left out of civic feedback and decision making. How will you engage
residents who are often excluded?

• Leadership: In working with City Council and the City of St. John’s, what would equitable, feminist leadership look like to you?

ANSWERS: Engagement & Leadership


We’re Hiring! SJSOWC Harm Reduction Counsellor

SJSOWC Harm Reduction Counsellor

Reporting to the Harm Reduction Coordinator, the Harm Reduction Counsellor is responsible for the delivery of counselling and mental health services to participants of the province’s first Managed Alcohol Program (MAP). MAP is a harm reduction service for those who face challenges and risks related to alcohol use- administering safe access to and supply of alcohol, while providing wraparound social supports. As a collaborative member of the SJSOWC team, the Harm Reduction Counsellor plays an integral role in MAP participant’s care. 

The position will work alongside women and nonbinary individuals involved in MAP programming in ways that are culturally relevant, gender-inclusive and trauma-informed. The Harm Reduction Counsellor will build relationships with participants through genuine engagement and fostering trust. A goal of the position is to creatively approach harm reduction counselling for those who are excluded from, or do not relate to, traditional addictions services. The Harm Reduction Counsellor will work with the Harm Reduction Case Manager/Outreach Worker and Researcher to inform and create best practices relevant to our province in this new pilot project. They will also work closely with other members of the SJSOWC team (particularly the Right Here Right Now Counselling services).

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work directly alongside participants to identify areas of support, working with them towards their version of self-identified safety and wellbeing
  • Provide person-centered care for program participants based on their experiences, and what they want from a counsellor. Break down barriers of traditional counselling, making support accessible and relevant to them.
  • Provide individual and group counselling for individuals facing challenges with polysubstance use that is empathetic and empowering. 
  • Support people flexibly and creatively- meeting program participants wherever they feel comfortable and safe.  
  • Develop and facilitate a harm reduction peer-support program led by those with lived experiences. 
  •  Collaborate with the Right Here Right Now counselling program in their drop-in work and other programming.
  • Provide counselling using a one-session-at-a-time approach.
  • Promote choice and opportunity with individuals who are marginalized. Work “with” and not “for” participants.
  • Work with the Harm Reduction Coordinator and Researcher to amplify the voices of those with lived experience, informing best practice in providing harm reduction through counselling and emotional support. Identify ways that the program, and other programs with SJSOWC, can better meet the therapeutic needs of those who use substances.


  • Minimum 3 years of counselling experience, equivalency in lived experience, alongside relevant education- i.e. Masters or Bachelor of Social Work/Psychology/Education (Counselling Psychology)
  • Canadian Certified Counsellor, Registered Social Worker,  or Registered Psychologist designation
  • Strong relationship building abilities with those who are marginalized or experience oppression. 
  • Experience working alongside people who use substances, especially in providing feminist and gender informed care. 
  • Minimum three years’ experience in a community-based setting, including working with individuals engaged in substance use and those with experiences of trauma
  • Extensive skills in conflict resolution and crisis intervention
  • Strong understanding of ethical practices, especially related to those who are marginalized
  • Knowledge of Harm Reduction, Feminist Approach, Trauma Informed Approach, Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppressive Frameworks
  • Demonstrated time management, communication (verbal and written), organizational and interpersonal skills 
  • Demonstrated independence, critical thinking and problem-solving skills 
  • Proven team participation and collaboration skills
  • Experience working in an inclusive environment, working with trans, Indigenous, LGBTQ, and sex working women
  • Proficient in Microsoft office

Hours of Work:

Monday – Friday (9-5), some evenings and weekends as required, 35 hours per week


The salary range for this position is between $55,000 and $60,000 annually, relevant to qualifications. 


This is a full-time, contract position for the duration of the current funding cycle (two years). Potential for extension dependent on renewed and/or new funding. 

SJSOWC embraces diversity and is committed to greater equity in our program and our employment. Our goal is to attract, develop, and retain skilled and strong volunteers and employees from diverse backgrounds allowing us to benefit from a wide variety of experiences and perspectives. In line with this, preferences will be given to and applications are encouraged from women (transgender and cisgender) and non-binary people who are: Indigenous, Black and people of colour, people living with disabilities, women with experiences in substance use, sex work, and women with experience in the criminal justice system. We encourage applicants to self-identify any marginalized experiences and identities in their application with the knowledge that disclosed experiences will remain confidential.

Closing Date: September 14th, 2021

Please send cover letter and resume to Harm Reduction Coordinator, Becky  

Managed Alcohol Program: seeking & inviting those with lived expertise

Are you interested in informing a new Harm Reduction Program in NL for people who use alcohol? The St. John’s Status of Women Council is launching a Managed Alcohol Program (MAP), and is seeking and inviting those with lived experience to offer their expertise. SJSOWC honours and values the voices of lived expertise – we want to develop a service that works well for participants.

If you’re interested in learning more or providing your input, please complete this short survey.

You can also contact Becky by emailing or asking for her by phone at 753-0220.

MAP lived expertise poster.

We’re Hiring!

The St. John’s Status of Women Council is hiring for an exciting new “System Navigator/Counsellor” position.

The job is a position for our general SJSOWC programming, including the Right Here, Right Now counselling program, individual system navigation and support and group work with primary duties including streamline system navigation and advocacy to existing community based and regional support services for women and gender diverse folks; counselling and intake for individuals during Right Here Right Now Drop-in Counselling Program (Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 12-5:30 with evening appointments available) and referrals to other supportive services, including a “warm transfer” approach.

If you are a feminist with experience delivering counselling services related to addictions, mental health issues, family conflict, gender based violence, relationship issues, etc., a working knowledge of community resources and experience working in community organizations, we would love to hear from you!

Please find job ad below and submit resumes with accompanying cover letter to by 4:30pm on Thursday, Aug. 12.

System Navigator-Counsellor Job Description

Solidarity with Survivors: sexual assault at the hands of Royal Newfoundland Constabulary on-duty police officers


As survivors continue to come forward sharing their accounts of sexual assault from on-duty RNC officers, the St. John’s Status of Women Council  expresses our unequivocal belief of women, Jane Does and all people who have experienced violence at the hands of police.

Read our full statement here: Sexual Assault at the hands of Royal Newfoundland Constabulary


Media contact:

Laura Winters – Executive Director