Canada supports a nuclear holocaust… yes, you read that right

On July 7th, the United Nations member nations held a vote on a global treaty that, if successful, would lead to the destruction of all nuclear weapons and forever prohibit their use. Negotiators representing two-thirds of the 192-member United Nations finalized Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons this week after months of talks. Canada did … Read more

CUSJ Québec Chapter at the UU Estrie picnic

Left to right: Rachel Garber, John Mackley, Adele Ernstrom, Sheila Laursen, Phyllis Baxter, Nancy Graham, Patricia Phillip, Rev. Carole Martignacco, Christina Duvander, Cym Gomery On July 2nd 2017, the CUSJ Québec Chapter met in a bucolic setting–at the home of Uma Nigam in Canton de Hatley, the site of the UU Estrie summer picnic. The picnic … Read more

Dismissal of COMER’s lawsuit keeps Canada’s finances in hock to foreign interests

“Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes the nation’s laws. Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation. Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of parliament and … Read more

More CUC churches confirmed fossil-free

Anti-pipeline activists were celebrating yesterday, May 29th, with the news that Kinder Morgan had warned its investors that the Trans-Mountain pipeline might never be built. This is momentous news, because it suggests that proponents of the age of oil might be passing from the Denial stage to the Anger stage, or even beyond that. CUSJ members will recall that … Read more

Good news, bad news on security agency consultations

First, the good news: CUSJ’s substantial brief to the Consultation was posted late last week on the government website. There was no size limit on this submission, which is unusual, so it is the most comprehensive brief that we have submitted on this subject. The government received  59,000 responses to the Consultation. (Wow!) Now, the bad news: It is a Herculean task … Read more

Highlights of Tim McSorley’s speech at the CUSJ 2017 AGM

On Friday, May 12th, the CUSJ topped off its AGM with a speech from Tim McSorley of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG). The topic of the speech was Our Rights! Our Freedoms!… Our National Security? McSorley began by introducing himself and describing how the ICLMG came into being in 2001, in the wake of the … Read more

Senators: Please reinstate amended version of security bill

If you have been following the progress of Bill C-22, you will know that this bill, intended to improve oversight of security agencies, has thus far endured a rather tumultuous existence: On June 16, 2016: First Reading. On December 8, it was amended by SECU*. On April 4, 2017, the government overturned the amended version on … Read more

We could reduce violent crime by 50 percent: Here’s how

CUSJ Past-President Frances Deverell, together with several members of First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, has been working on the CUC Criminal Justice Monitoring Group mandate. This Group was formed after the May 2016 CUC AGM to address: the over-incarceration of Indigenous peoples; the excessive use of solitary confinement; and greater use of restorative justice in our system. The … Read more

Gov’t dragging its feet on reforms to the Access to Information Act

CUSJ has joined over 50 Canadian civil society organisations and citizens in sending a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to renew the commitment of his government to reform Canada’s woefully outdated Access to Information Act. Notwithstanding strong pledges to amend the Act during the election campaign and afterwards, including in its 2016-2018 Open … Read more

Israeli smear campaign shows that BDS is working

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), of which CUSJ is a member, has reported this week that peace activist and BDS movement co-founder Omar Barghouti was arrested, interrogated and harassed by Israeli authoriites. This seems to be part of the Israeli government’s campaign to criminalize the BDS movement, intimidate activists and stop free speech. CUSJ has issued a statement, copied below. … Read more

Tax havens are robbing us of our democracy

The Spring 2017 JUSTnews discussion paper features a sermon by Rev. Steven Epperson, in which he presents what political scientist Edward Luttwak called “the most important book of the decade”: The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the Rich and Powerful Hide their Money. Epperson also looks at a second book, The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax … Read more

Unitarian Church of Montréal votes to divest from fossil fuels!

On March 5, 2017, the Unitarian Church of Montréal (UCM) voted to divest from fossil fuels, thus becoming the eighth Canadian UU church to do so. This was truly an event of historical significance, since UCM is the oldest UU congregation in Canada, having been founded in 1842 by anglophone progressives, among them merchants like … Read more

The Shadow knows

In his article on the Hassan Diab case, entitled, No evidence? No problem! Matthew Behrens shows how the entire Hassan Diab case is full of holes, and time and again the judicial system keeps deciding to release him, and then, mysteriously, reversing their decision without explanation. Recounting the history of the case, in which Diab was arrested … Read more

Trudeau government favours bulldozers over BDS

One year ago, February 2016,  CUSJ President Margaret Rao wrote to Prime Minister Trudeau, urging him to overturn the anti-BDS motion that was introduced by the Conservative government. He did not grant our wish… But at least the UN acted, passing Resolution 2334 condemning Israeli settlements on Palestinian terroritory as a flagrant violation of international … Read more

JustNews Winter 2016 issue: Towards Effective Action

Editorial

By JustNews Editor Philip Symons

To view this issue, click here.

Social Justice workers are looking for new, more effective ways to change government policies and improve the lives of all through stronger democracy, less inequality in wealth, and more compassion for our fellow citizens. Politicians too often and too easily ignore letters, rallies, petitions and even delegations—unless you happen to have $1,500 in your pocket and the fare for travel to a dinner in Ottawa. So this issue of JUSTnews focuses on other possible methods of changing government policies.

The lead article chastises liberal churches, including ours, for worrying more about retaining membership and keeping costs low than standing up for the moral right, thereby committing suicide. Then, Micah White has written a book, reviewed from different perspectives by two CUSJ members, on The End of Protest as a means of obtaining justice. A letter from the Honourable Scott Reid to Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef suggests finding allies amongst politicians can be effective. Language is always important, as noted by a member of Fair Vote Canada. And then there’s the community-organizing process started by Saul Alinsky that is gaining traction in various cities across Canada and elsewhere.

Other ideas and suggestions are welcome and, as always, will be considered for publication in future issues of JUSTnews. Please write.

Guy Dauncey’s Message of Hope

The most recent JustNews Discussion Paper No. 32 revisits Guy Dauncey’s slideshow, which we enjoyed at the 2016 AGM.  Using humour, memes, and examples from life, Dauncey shows us how we can build a sustainable future for humanity. Dauncey is the founder of the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association, co-founder of the Victoria Car Share Cooperative, and author or … Read more

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