CUSJ AGM 2018 in Hamilton, ON: Still growing!

About 20 CUSJ members gathered at McMaster University in Hamilton (or in local speak, at “Mac” in “the Hammer”) to reflect on the year gone by and plan for the future. There were about 22 attendees, including two online participants. Leslie Kemp began by inviting chapters to share what they valued about the CUSJ; participants … Read more CUSJ AGM 2018 in Hamilton, ON: Still growing!

PEI gov’t torches its own ER referendum

New rules set fire to democratic process and burn voters New referendum legislation introduced by the PEI Government has been criticized for setting biased rules for the Island’s upcoming electoral reform referendum. “This is far beyond just tilting the playing field,” said Margaret Rao, CUSJ President. “Premier Wade MacLaughlin’s proposed rules will torch the whole … Read more PEI gov’t torches its own ER referendum

CUSJ requests changes to Canada’s flawed extradition laws

NOTE: CUSJ President Margaret Rao sent this letter to the PMO on February 20th 2018. Copies were sent to Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Global Affairs, and Jody Wilson Raybould, Minister of Justice.   Dear Prime Minister, On behalf of Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ), I would like to thank you and Minister Freeland, and the staff at … Read more CUSJ requests changes to Canada’s flawed extradition laws

Basic income: a simple solution to myriad problems. Just do it!

On March 14 2018, the Québec Chapter of the CUSJ attended Myron Frankman’s talk on Basic Income, which was hosted by Citizens in Action. Frankman’s talk was wide-ranging, and included an appeal for true global community as a panacea to climate change and catastrophe. Basic income can be seen as one step in the journey … Read more Basic income: a simple solution to myriad problems. Just do it!

“We will never give up!” Thousands protest Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker project

Saturday, March 10th 2018 was a day for the history books, as thousands marched in an indigenous-led protest against the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. Coast Salish spiritual leaders and members raised a traditional Coast Salish Watch House* near the pipeline route, which will act as a base for resistance to the project. In addition … Read more “We will never give up!” Thousands protest Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker project

Vancouver UUs host event for wild salmon and for indigenous defenders

Mary Bennet of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver reports: What an event we hosted last night [Feb 19 2018] at UCV. Thanks to the Environment Committee, the Board, the musicians, the speakers, the artists and groups who donated items for the silent auction.. and Tamiko Suzuki – our great emcee for the evening.  I was … Read more Vancouver UUs host event for wild salmon and for indigenous defenders

“Have a heart” rally for First Nations kids’ education

Above: (left to right) Bob Stevenson, Marlene Campbell, Jane Lindsay and Bill Van Iterson holding the CUSJ banner. Did you know that First Nations children on reserve receive far less funding for education, child welfare and health services than all other Canadian children? On Wednesday, February 14th over 500 schoolchildren gathered on Parliament Hill for … Read more “Have a heart” rally for First Nations kids’ education

Montréal UUs learn about the UNDRIP and Canadian law

Top photo: CUSJ Québec Chapter members Susan Czarnocki, Cym Gomery, Genevieve Patterson and Christina Duvander with the speaker, Elisabeth Patterson. On February 11, 2018, I made my way through the icy streets of Montréal to the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, to attend Elisabeth Patterson’s talk on the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of … Read more Montréal UUs learn about the UNDRIP and Canadian law

CUSJ Partners

We also connect Unitarians to larger coalitions who share our values and work to increase our impact on the issues we care about. Over the years we have actively supported: Aboriginal Rights Coalition Association of Community Organizations For Reform Now (ACORN) Canada without Poverty (formerly the National Anti-Poverty Organization). Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) Canadian Council for … Read more CUSJ Partners

Hassan Diab is finally freed–this time unconditionally

Thanks to the French justice system, Hassan Diab is finally free today, January 12, 2018. Tim McSorley of International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group states, “This time is different. The other times were orders to release him on bail, not to end the charges. This decision actually ends the charges and orders his unconditional release. Apparently … Read more Hassan Diab is finally freed–this time unconditionally

An interview with JUSTnews editor Philip Symons

I chatted with our outgoing editor Philip Symons, to explore what it has been like being editor of JUSTnews all these years. The questions, and Philip’s answers, appear below.  How did you come to be Editor of JUSTnews? I took on the job of editor of JUSTnews when I retired as president of CUSJ at the … Read more An interview with JUSTnews editor Philip Symons

Philip Symons – A Man For All Seasons

Editor’s note: Margaret Rao’s letter has been updated to correct the date, as per Christine Johnston’s comment. This season of ‘extreme’ cold weather from coast to coast to coast is just one version of the “climate of change” that Canadians are facing, in every season, and every sense of the phrase. No doubt, there will … Read more Philip Symons – A Man For All Seasons

CUSJ’s ‘Academic’ awards for progressives in 2017

What a year 2017 was. As we contemplate the events of the past 12 months, what fun it is to pretend that we progressives could have our own Social Justice awards, a bit like the Oscars, minus the glitz and glamor, and with the understanding that the awards in this case are, virtual. Drumroll, please! … Read more CUSJ’s ‘Academic’ awards for progressives in 2017

UN vote on Jerusalem: Canada disappoints

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. – Desmond Tutu On December 21, 2017, an historic vote took place in … Read more UN vote on Jerusalem: Canada disappoints

Site-C dam decision leaves Canadians feeling betrayed (again)

Two-thousand seventeen has been a roller-coaster year for progressives (and I write this as someone who dislikes amusement parks). We started the year on a high note, eager to usher in electoral reform, only to learn that  Liberal PM Justin Trudeau was backing out on his electoral reform promise. A big lie. However, we took … Read more Site-C dam decision leaves Canadians feeling betrayed (again)

Why it is important to question everything

You have probably heard or read at least one comment, recently, to the effect that Trump is ‘out of touch wth reality’. Why should that surprise anyone? Because, when you think of it, what the Trump administration serves to do, is shine a bold, unflattering light on the flaws of our own society. Trump shows … Read more Why it is important to question everything

CUSJ president attends TO rally in solidarity with Palestine

On December 9 2017, CUSJ President Margaret Rao attended a Toronto rally in defense of Jerusalem’s continued status as a shared capital city and spiritual home to Jews, Palestinian Christians and Muslims alike. This is her report. A large crowd of Palestinian Canadians and Palestinian-friendly Jewish, Christian and labour leaders were on hand. It was … Read more CUSJ president attends TO rally in solidarity with Palestine

CUSJ supports Palestinian BNC statement regarding Jerusalem

CUSJ was shocked to learn of US President Donald Trump’s sychophantic plan to recognize occupied Jerusalem as the “capital of Israel”. We echo the sentiments of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), whose statement appears below. [This] plan to recognize occupied Jerusalem as the “capital of Israel” is an appalling attempt to give legitimacy to Israel’s … Read more CUSJ supports Palestinian BNC statement regarding Jerusalem