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

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

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

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

Peacemakers gather to celebrate ICAN’s victory for peace

(above: Hosts Steven Staples and Anne-Marie Grondin) On December 7, 2017, politicians, peace organizations and others gathered in Center Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to celebrate Setsuko Thurow and ICAN, days before the latter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. CUSJ’s Québec chapter was invited in its capacity as an International Peace Bureau member, and Board … Read more

CUSJ joins the call for an end to fossil-fuel subsidies

You are busy divesting, exploring alternative energies, signing petitions to end megaprojects, and generally doing what you can as a citizen to promote a fossil-free future. Meanwhile, did you know that, according to the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Canadian government is subsidizing fossil fuel industries to the tune of $3.3 billion? As the … Read more

Muskrat Falls NFLD hydroelectric megaproject: Bad idea!

On December 1, 2017, CUSJ President Margaret Rao wrote to the Prime Minister, select ministers of the environment and natural resources, and a few newspapers, to request that the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project be put on hold. There are too many issues that have not been addressed. In particular, the government has not fulfilled its … Read more

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 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

Mr Trudeau: Please speak to President Macron, without delay

CUSJ President Margaret Rao wrote once again today to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the Hassan Diab case. The text of this letter is pasted below. Dear Prime Minister, I am writing to you, once again, on behalf of Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ), a faith-based organization that promotes ‘the inherent worth and dignity … Read more

Canadian human rights defenders and citizens proclaim Hassan Diab’s innocence

Hundreds of people, including many prominent Canadian professors, lawyers and human rights defenders, have signed an open letter urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help Hassan Diab, detained without trial in a Paris jail. The first paragraph reads, We address this Open Letter to you to express our deep concern about the unjust situation of … Read more

But wait… it gets worse

CUSJ’s JUSTnews editor Philip Symons has just published a new Discussion Paper from the July 10 2017 New York Times article on Climate Change, providing example after example of what awaits us. To summarize: Doomsday ‘Over the past decades, our culture has gone apocalyptic with zombie movies and Mad Max dystopias, perhaps the collective result of … Read more

Balfour gave away something that was not his to give

In his infamous tome The Prince, Machiavelli could have been presaging Lord Balfour’s Declaration when he wrote: ”You can be much more generous with what does not belong to you or your subjects, as Cyrus, Caesar and Alexander were. This is because giving away what belongs to others in no way damages your reputation; rather, it … Read more

Power without limits: engineering our own destruction (film review)

Castor Inc. is a documentary by Jean-François Vallée and Thibaud Mony that exposes the dark side of Hydro-Québec’s ‘clean’ hydro-electric energy: Québec, once the land of rivers and lakes, has become a land of dams and reservoirs.  This documentary is a bit slow moving, taking its tone from its subject, the once-mighty rivers that have … Read more

CUSJ at the Pride parade in Ottawa

About 50 people from the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa attended the Ottawa Pride parade on August 27th 2017, and this number included CUSJ members Gary Campbell (our national treasurer), Rev Len De Roche, Alec Campbell, Maryon O’Hagan and Bob Stevenson. Our banner was also on display last Wednesday on Parliament Hill during the event organized … Read more