NATIONAL CWL DELEGATES VISIT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: Did you know that since 1974, the CWL has had the unique privilege to meet with federal government representatives? In November of 2018 the delegation included National President Anne-Marie Gorman, President-Elect Fran Lucas and Resolutions Chairperson Cathy Bouchard. The resolutions that they discussed directly or indirectly included:

  • 2018.01 Attestation Requirement on Canada Summer Jobs Program
  • 2018.02 Setting a Standard for Products Marketed as “Flushable”
  • 2018.03 Legislate Designation of Hospice/Palliative Care Services in Facilities to Exclude Medical Assistance in Dying
  • 2017.01 Full Implementation of the Supreme Court Decision in R. v. Gladue for Indigenous Offenders
  • 2017.04 Protection from Coercion of Conscience for Healthcare Professionals
  • 2016.04 Amend the Canada Health Act to Identify Palliative Care as an Insured Health Service
  • 2013.01 Building Relationships and Partnerships with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples
  • 2011.02 Children of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women
  • 2001.04 Water Quality in Canada

You can find the full report on the delegation’s visit to the federal government on the national website under the ‘In the News’ section as well as under ‘Communiqués.’ As stated in The Canadian League Winter magazine by the National Chairperson of Legislation, Betty Colaneri, we are encouraged to remain vigilant and continue to act upon the important issue of Resolution 2018.03. The Action Plan can be found at www.cwl.ca.  I wrote the PM, Ministers of Health and Justice (Attorney General of Canada) as well as my MP back in September 2018 on this resolution and I just heard back from the Department of Justice two weeks ago! The letter stated that they had received my correspondence addressed to the Honourable David Lametti‘s (new Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada) predecessor, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould. And they were just forwarding a copy to the Minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, which I had indicated with ‘cc’ at the bottom of my letter! I did state in my communiqué #2 that I had heard back from the PM’s office about this issue, with recommendations. As you know there is a lot in the news these days about federal politics, shuffles, resignations etc so please stay informed in preparation for the election in October 2019.

CANADA SUMMER JOBS PROGRAM: As you know, just days after our national delegation met with the federal government, the Canadian Press reported that ‘Ottawa’s summer jobs program that tied pro-abortion beliefs to funding eligibility is being dropped……Labour Minister Patty Hajdu says the change – made after informal consultations over the past few months – should clear up concerns from faith-based groups who expressed outrage over this past year’s requirements.’ (Dec. 5, 2018) The CCCB released a statement on January 10, 2019 stating: ‘The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is pleased with the positive revisions which the Government of Canada has made in the 2019 version of the Canada Summer Jobs application and welcomes the same changes, which not only indicate a willingness to listen seriously to faith-based organizations, but likewise the importance of respect of conscience and freedom of religious expression.’ You can read the entire statement on the CCCB website, www.cccb.ca. On the www.cwl.ca website there are two letters from our National President to the CCCB and our PM thanking them for the changes made to the 2019 program.

BILL C-87 An Act respecting the reduction of poverty: This Bill was introduced and had its First Reading on November 6, 2018. The purpose of the Act is to support continuous efforts and monitoring of poverty reduction in Canada. I signed the Dignity for All campaign as they urge the federal government to pass legislation for the poverty reduction strategy before this session of government concludes. Quoting from Dignity for All: ‘Along with partners, we are calling on the government to align Canada with our obligations under international human rights law to ensure we meet the first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): to end poverty by 2030.’The government is currently consulting with the public on the Market Basket Measure (Canada’s official poverty line). Please take the time to write to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, who introduced the Bill, asking him to expedite the passing of this Bill.

PROVINCIAL/FEDERAL SESSIONS:  PROVINCIAL: The provincial legislature will be in session from March 4 – 8, and then closed for 2 weeks. There are 9 Government Bills, 2 Members’ Bills that have had First Reading and no Private Bills. None of these Bills appear to be related to the CWL. (leg.bc.ca) FEDERAL:  The House of Commons will be in session from March18 -22. You can check out an overview of Bills under consideration either in the House of Commons or the Senate at Legislation at a Glance.

CPJ INTERNSHIP: Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) is receiving applications for an internship. From their website, www.cpj.ca : Each year, CPJ’s Public Justice Internship Program provides recent university graduates with the opportunity to explore the meaning of public justice. For one year, from September to August, the intern assists CPJ in our work at our Ottawa office. The intern works with senior staff and is actively engaged in a variety of work, including research, policy analysis, framing public policy options, presenting to Parliament, meeting with MPs and political staff, as well as engaging the media, leaders in society, CPJ members and the Canadian public.”  The deadline for applications is March 31, 2019. Please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested in this exciting opportunity.

LETTER WRITING: The legislation chairperson from Sacred Heart Cathedral, Kathy Dahl, has been doing a Lenten project for the last couple of years that may be of interest to you. Their church has a 12:10 Mass on Wednesdays throughout Lent and then a soup/bun lunch is offered. What Kathy has done is have a letter writing session after the lunch. She has sample letters ready on various current issues/resolutions and the patrons who stay for lunch spend the next hour writing letters to government officials. The secretary at the church photocopies the letters for those who are receiving the carbon copies and then the letters are mailed after they are put in the envelopes, the same day. One of my Lenten resolutions is to write at least one letter or sign at least one petition per week during Lent; probably every Friday. A thought for you, perhaps?

May your Lenten season be faith-filled; may your heart be focused on repentance, fasting, reflection and almsgiving,

God bless you,
Sheila Doherty
Chairperson of Legislation