Chill on charities is over!

In 2016, the CUSJ submitted suggestions to amend the Income Tax Act and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) policies… we are pleased to report that the CUC and​ CUSJ’s major suggested amendments were adopted! Thus, the Income Tax Act and CRA policies and administration will be amended/modified to: Focus on charitable purposes, rather than activities; Update a list … Read more

March 15th a sad anniversary for Palestinians

May 15, 2017 marked the 69th anniversary of the 1948 Nakba, the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland. Between 1947 and 1949, Zionist paramilitaries, and subsequently Israeli forces, made 750,000 to one million indigenous Palestinians into refugees to establish a Jewish-majority state in Palestine. The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) calls … 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

Welcome to our new CUSJ-Québec Chapter!

CUSJ is pleased to announce that a new regional CUSJ chapter has been formed in Québec. The new chapter brings together social activists from the Eastern Townships (UU Estrie community;  Montréal (the Unitarian Church of Montreal); and the West Island (Lakeshore Unitarian Universalist Congregation). The CUSJ-Québec letter of intent, submitted to the Board, stated that the chapter wishes to work on: … Read more

Judge orders Hassan Diab released, for the sixth time (may this one take)

25 April, 2017, Ottawa – Yesterday, two French anti-terrorism investigative judges ordered again the release of Dr. Hassan Diab, the Canadian academic who was extradited from Canada to France in November 2014. The French judges found that there is “consistent evidence” that Dr. Diab was in Lebanon at the time of the 1980 Paris bombing. … Read more

Bill C-22 Update: Liberals toss out the SECU recommendations

By Jack Dodds Bill C-22 is the Liberal government’s bid to fulfill their election promise of parliamentary oversight of Canada’s security agencies. As first introduced in the Commons, C-22 was criticized for creating an oversight committee that had too little power and independence to allow it to restore public confidence in the security agencies. After second reading in … 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

What you can do–right NOW–to stop the madness of continued oil sands expansion

Are you feeling frustrated with the fact that the Kinder Morgan trans-mountain pipeline project, and other pipelines, seem to be unstoppable? The Coast Protectors held a webinar this week to discuss actions that are being taken. Inspired by that webinar, here are some actions that all of us can take, right now, to show solidary with … Read more

Welcome to our new Thunder Bay chapter!

CUSJ is pleased to announce that a new local CUSJ chapter has been formed in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The three founders–Bob Manson, Susan J. Woods, and Sally Palmer Woods–all members of Lakehead Unitarian Fellowship–stated that the CUSJ Thunder Bay Chapter intends to work towards social justice locally, provincially, and nationally, because they feel that this multi-level approach … 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

Bill C-23 would give US officials expanded authority over travellers

CUSJ has submitted comments to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU) regarding Bill C-23. This bill could compromise the Canadian government’s ability to ensure the privacy and rights of its own citizens when they travel, by expanding the powers of US officials. At present, the US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) operates preclearance … 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

Canadian Gov’t: Don’t be passive and complicit in the face of Israel’s violations of international law

March 20, 2017 The Honourable Chrystia Freeland Minister of Foreign Affairs,House of Commons,Ottawa K1A 0A6 Sent by EmailDear Minister Freeland: We come together to express our grave concern regarding actions taken by the government of Israel since the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, and to call the Canadian government to take a strong stance … 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

Hassan Diab trial expected in March or April 2017

Above: Feb. 2016 rally to show support for Hassan Diab. Photo: Matthew Behrens. Canadian Unitarians are deeply concerned about Canada’s ongoing impassivity as a Canadian citizen languishes in Fleury-Merogis prison (near Paris) in “pretrial detention” since 2014. In 2008, Dr. Diab, a professor at University of Ottawa and Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, was summarily arrested for allegedly bombing … Read more

Trans-Mountain and Line 3 approval = another broken promise

CUSJ President Margaret Rao wrote to Prime Minister Trudeau on February 23 2017, urging him to rethink his approval of these backward-looking pipeline projects. The reasons are obvious: These pipelines make it impossible for Canada to honor the CO2 limits that it promised when it ratified the Paris agreement; These two pipelines would increase Canada’s emissions by … Read more