Catholic Women's League of Saskatchewan

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Legislation Communiqué #1 − June 2011

Legislation Communiqué #2 - November 2011

Legislation Communiqué #3 - February 2012

Legislation Directive - June 2012

Legislation Report - November 2012

Legislation Communiqué #5 - February 2013

Legislation Communiqué #1 - June 2013

Legislation Communiqué #4 - June 2014

 

Legislation Communiqué #4 - June 2014

 

Susan Melchiorre, Provincial CWL Legislation Chairperson

 

Both our federal and provincial government are on their summer break and will not reconvene until the fall. So many of our issues and legislation, which is in the works, are on hold right now.

 

As I reported at our Provincial Convention, NDP MP Charles Angus had put forth a private member’s bill, Motion M-456. He was asking Parliament to support his motion to create a national palliative care strategy. Angus who is Catholic feels that palliative care is a common-sense solution to concerns about end of life care. I am happy to report that the bill was past unanimously with only one Bloc Quebecois MP opposed. We can now expect the federal government to start working with provinces, the medical community and care givers across the country to develop proper palliative care. If we can develop a strong palliative care strategy, it is hoped to end the discussions around euthanasia.

 

At the beginning of June the Quebec Legislature passed their right to euthanasia bill. It has many restrictions and the Legislature of Quebec thinks it will take two years to implement. On the other hand, euthanasia is a federal offence in Canada and I have read that if Quebec goes ahead with this they and those participating in this activity will be held criminally responsible.

 

Some members have brought to my attention Bill C-18, The Agriculture Omnibus Bill. This bill threatens the farmers’ right to save seed. Resolution 2005.3 dealt with this issue an our concerns were addressed to parliament that year. We need to remind Parliament of our concern that Bill C-18 will remove farmers” rights to save their own seeds.

 

Remember if there is an injustice that you want addresses – let your views be known, write letters, speak out and then write more letter. Also consider writing a Resolution.

 

This concludes my report.

 

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Legislation Communiqué #1 - June 2013

 

Susan Melchiorre, Provincial CWL Legislation Chairperson

 

One of the most disappointing pieces of Legislation that has been introduced is in the Province of Quebec. The Junior Heath Minister Veronique Hivon has introduced Bill 52 – to give dying patients the right to a medically assisted death rather than accept excruciating pain. At this time federal law forbids assisted suicide. Quebec is looking for a loophole as federal law refer to assisted suicide and not to euthanasia. I hope you will contact the Federal Government to stand strong against this bill should the Quebec Government pass it. Or even contact the Government of Quebec to encourage them to consider not passing this bill.

 

If you recall at the last fall sitting of Parliament, Member of Parliament Stephen Woodward introduced a bill to change our country’s current definition of life to state that life begins a conception. The bill was defeated but it was heart warming to know that many more members supported this, particularly among the governing party, than ever before. Once we legally accept the fact that life begins at conception a whole gambit of law reform will have to come into play including the abortion issue. MP Woodworth plans to bring another motion before Parliament that will notn be voteable. He plans to table it as a “Parliamentary Resolve and to declare that every Canadian law ought to be interpreted so as to protected the equal worth and dignity of every human being based on their own nature as a human being”. (Prairie Messenger, June 12, 2013, page 5). He is not sure what kind of reception he will receive but plans to go ahead with it.

 

MP Mark Warawa wanted to bring the issue of abortion back to Parliament through the issue of “Gendercide (Saskatoon Star Phoenix, May 19, 2013, page D4). At the March for Life in Ottawa, he stated “Gendercide is the ultimate of discrimination against women and girls”. He further went on to say that killing girls for the sole reason they are girls is simply unacceptable in a democratic country like Canada”. A private member’s bill was to be presented in Parliament condemning Gendercide but the current government would not let their Member of Parliament introduce it to the House.

 

Please give both of these gentlemen your utmost support as they strive to protect the dignity of life. They have not given up their fight and neither should you.

 

Currently both the provincial and national levels of government are on summer recess. They will resume in mid-September. At this time you will find your member of the Legislature or Parliament attending to business in their ridings, doing the rounds of community events and riding in the parade at your annual fair. This is an excellent opportunity to take the time to meet these politicians, give them your views, find out their feelings on issues of interest to you and encourage them to vote with their morals rather than the party stand. They need to hear from their constituents.

 

Let me encourage you to follow current events.

 

Please pray for all those in government at any level to choose the morally right options.

 

This concludes my report.

 

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Legislation Communiqué #5 - February 2013

 

Rita Hengen, Provincial CWL Legislation Chairperson

 

Communiqués issued by National Legislation Chairperson, Anne Marie Gorman on November 24/2012 and January 30/2013 focus on Motions 312, 385, M-408 and Bills C – 273, 300 and 400.

 

MOTION 312: Stephen Woodworth’s private member’s motion to study the Criminal Code’s definition of when human life begins.

 

Although Motion 312 was defeated on September 26, 2012, it garnered much attention through social media petitions, letters and news coverage. Motion 312 addressed the first resolve noted in Resolution 2004.01 Protection of Human Life, namely to recognize that human life begins with the process of fertilization. The Action Plan of the resolution is as relevant today as it was in 2004, urging members to write letters to federal Health Minister Hon. Leona Aglukkaq and Justice Minister Hon. Rob Nicholson and local MP’s at House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6. A stamp is not required.

 

MOTION 385: A private member’s motion introduced by MP Dany Morin, to develop a national bullying prevention strategy and Bill C-273 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (cyberbullying) by Hon. Hedy Fry.

 

BILL C - 273 deals with bullying via email, text messaging and social media. To date, it has received second reading and has been referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. The passing of this bill will clarify that cyberbullying is an offence.

 

Motion 385 and Bill C – 273 relate to Resolution 2002.02 Anti-Bullying Programs, which has as its focus bullying in schools. Cyberbullying has added another dimension to this continuing social issue.

 

BILL C – 300 Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention introduced as a private member’s bill by MP Harold Albrecht passed through the House of Commons, the Senate, received Royal Assent, and is now law. Comments by Mr. Albrecht on the Internet indicate that Canada has the third highest youth suicide rate in the world, the second leading cause of death of our young people and a 5 – 7 rate times higher for Aboriginal and Inuit youth. The Issue Summary of Resolution 00.07 Teen Suicide: Prevention Awareness states “This resolution urges the federal Minister of Health to provide funding to address the problem of teen suicide. Prevention includes awareness and the implementation of effective programs.” (The Canadian League, Fall 2000, p. 18.)

 

BILL C – 400 Secure, Adequate, Accessible and Affordable Housing Act, a private member’s bill by MP Marie Claude Morin. This bill is currently at second reading in the House of Commons and will be referred to Committee review on February 27 if a majority vote is received. Anne Marie urges members to write letters in support of the bill, to Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Hon. Diane Finley, responsible for housing. She also requests that members reference Resolution 2003.01 Affordable Housing for Low Income Canadians in their letters.

 

MOTION M – 408 Motion to Condemn Discrimination Against Females Occurring Through Sex-Selective Pregnancy Termination.

 

In the January 2, 2013 Prairie Messenger article Life issues, religious freedom dominate news in 2012, Deborah Gyapong states “MP Mark Warawa … introduced a motion against gendercide of girls through sex selection pregnancy termination. It calls for Parliament to condemn the practice which has skewed ratios of men to women in countries like China and India and is now happening in Canada.” (p.10). Again, Anne Marie requests that members reference Resolution 2004.01 Protection of Human Life when sending letters to MP Hon. Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health regarding this despicable practice.

 

To locate your MP, refer to the website parl.gc.ca and select “Senators and Members” heading. The mailing address for letters to MP’s is the same: House of Commons, Ottawa ON, K1A 0A6. Use the Personal Letter Writing Guide available from the National CWL Office to ensure correct forms of addresses for the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, MP’s, Senators, clergy, and provincial premiers and cabinet ministers. The guide also indicates that the post office requests that you write MP after the person’s name. Please ensure that you have copies of the Guide and make them available to your members.

 

It is our duty, as stated by Anne Marie, within the theme We Have Seen the Lord! to demonstrate through actions that we are serving the Lord whom we have seen.

 

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Legislation Report - November, 2012

 

Rita Hengen, Provincial CWL Legislation Chairperson

 

Many of us were privileged to attend the National Convention in Edmonton in August. What an experience! 900 delegates coming together for God and Canada. Amazing!

 

One of the two resolutions adopted: 2012.02 Employment Insurance Benefits for Adopted Mothers is under the legislation umbrella. This resolution speaks to me personally as 4 of my 9 grandchildren are adopted. I sent letters to the Prime Minister and MP’s Leona Aglukkaq, Diane Finley, Jim Flaherty and Ray Boughen on this issue.

 

This is a brief follow-up on Motion 312 which was mentioned in my oral report at the Provincial Convention in June. Motion 312 asked for a study of the 400 year old law stating that a fetus is not human until fully born. The motion was defeated. I wrote letters commending the 10 MP’s who voted in favor and letters expressing my disappointment to Randy Hoback, Ralph Goodale and Lynne Yelich for voting against. Hot on the heels of the defeated motion came Motion 408 “That the House condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.” Again, I sent letters to MP’S and party leaders voicing my strong objection to this despicable practice.

 

As mentioned in my recent communiqué, Saskatchewan MP Rob Clarke, a Muskeg Lake First Nations member, introduced Bill C- 428 the Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act. The Federal Government is supporting this bill in principle so expect discussion and debate between the levels of government and First Nations leaders. And, yes, I did write letters to the appropriate dignitaries.

 

Considering the fact that I am a senior, Bill C – 36 Protecting Canada’s Seniors Act piques my interest. When Justice Minister Rob Nicholson introduced the bill, he said “Thousands of seniors are abused in their homes, in their relatives’ homes and in care facilities every year. We have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, including older Canadians.” (Zoomer, May 2012, p. 85.) The focus of the bill will be on changing the Criminal Code to increase sentencing for elder abuse.

 

Denise Batters, widow of the late MP Dave Batters, who committed suicide, supported Bill C – 300 the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention Act, by appearing before the House of Commons. The objective of the bill is to engage in national conversation, create a national strategy and reduce the number of deaths by suicide. Closely tied to suicide prevention is bullying prevention. Some provinces have introduced anti-bullying legislation – Saskatchewan has not. Stay tuned for debate and discussion to add bullying and cyber-bullying to the Criminal Code.

 

The euthanasia battle continues. The platform of the Parti Quebecois includes plans to introduce medical aid in dying legislation by June.

 

I conclude my report with Anne Marie Gorman’s encouraging words, “Our work is cut out for us, but with the help of Our Lady of Good Counsel and the Holy Spirit, all will be well.” ( Legislation Communique #1, August 29, 2012.)

 

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Legislation Directive - June 2012

 

Rita Hengen, Provincial CWL Legislation Chairperson

 

Greetings to my Sisters-in-the-League!

 

The duties of the Legislation Chairperson as outlined in the Executive Handbook are two-fold: 1) to monitor and study legislation at all levels of government, and, 2) to prepare briefs and position papers on proposed legislation. ( Page LEG – 2 describes briefs and position papers.)

 

Monitoring and studying legislation corresponding to CWL resolutions that have been passed over the years is “social justice in action.” The resolution Action Plans suggest, among other activities, writing letters to elected government officials. Prior to accepting this chairperson position, my letter-writing was non-existent. That has changed. I have written letters regarding Chrysotile Asbestos, Motion 312, Income Tax Credit, Energy Drinks, Bill C-304 (Human Rights Act, Section 13), Bill C-31 (Immigration) and Bill C-310 (Trafficking). Delegates to the Provincial Convention were interested in reading the letters and responses that were displayed on the legislation table. Some said that they now felt inspired to write letters. Perhaps that includes you! Encourage Parish Council Legislation Chairpersons to share their letters and responses.

 

Saskatchewan Cabinet Ministers can be accessed at www.gov.sk.ca/cabinet. Members of parliament are listed at www.parl.gc.ca/membersofparliament/maincabinet. Included in this directive is a list of Saskatchewan MP’s. Please ensure you have the Personal Letter Writing Guide available from the National Office (call 888-656-4040 to order free of charge.)It is an invaluable resource to effective letter-writing. Urge parish councils to have some on hand.

 

Communiques are intended to be passed on from national through to the parish level. They contain information and ideas that are meant to inform and motivate councils to concrete action on issues that resonate with its members. As well, check out the Annual Reports. Use articles from The Canadian League magazine for inspiration. The Prairie Messenger is, for me, priceless. Many of the clipped articles, noting date and page number, are filed for future reference in broad subject headings, such as Trafficking, Abortion, Palliative Care, etc. Glean newspapers and magazines. The Internet, in particular, government and CWL websites, provide reams of current information. (www.cwl.ca and www.cwlsk.ca)

 

Be on the alert for the 2012 resolutions that will be passed at the National Convention in August and highlighted in the Fall issue or the League magazine. In addition, a new theme will be unveiled. Closely monitor government bills that impact our concerns and bring them to the attention of members.

 

May all your efforts in fulfilling the mandate of this most interesting position be rewarding for you.

 

Your Sister-in-the-League
Rita Hengen

 

List of Saskatchewan MPs is downloadable by clicking here.

 

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Legislation Communiqué #3 - February 2012

 

Rita Hengen, Provincial CWL Legislation Chairperson

 

Greetings from sunny Saskatchewan!

 

A recent communiqué from National Legislation Chairperson, Terri Scott, briefly highlights several bills of interest that tie into resolutions dating back to 1989.

 

They are:

 

Bill C – 4: Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act (short title) relates to those immigrants and refugees who try to enter Canada in an irregular way. Some desperate refugees will be classified as criminals. The bill has been criticized by some groups who say that it does not directly target smugglers, rather, it actually punishes refugees or people who are fleeing violence and death threats by imprisoning them until their case is sorted out and they are then allowed residence in Canada. In light of the bill, the 2005 .05 Resolution Appeal Provision For Refused Refugee Claimants is still relevant today. Check it out!

 

Bill C-19 Ending the Long Gun Registry Act (short title). The last stage of this bill was completed November 30, 2011. The statement on the Internet – current as of January 30, 2012, discloses that the Act will come into effect as determined by order of the Governor in Council. Terri’s communiqué explains that millions of dollars are being spent yearly to keep the registry current. Criminals do not register their guns and farmers and hunters feel they are being targeted. Resolution 1990.11 Stricter Gun Control asked for stricter gun controls that were enacted but this current legislation will likely end the registry.

 

Bill C-233.The first reading of An Act to Eliminate Poverty in Canada, Poverty Elimination Act is a two-part Act that, firstly, establishes a federal government strategy to eliminate poverty and promote social inclusion and secondly, to establish an independent Office of the Poverty Elimination Commission, took place on June 20, 2011. Resolutions 89.10 Child Poverty in Canada and 2004.02 Children Living in Poverty urge that concrete action to eliminate child poverty be a priority with all levels of government. At meetings with the federal government in 2010 and 2011, CWL delegates expressed the League’s concern with child poverty. Both Hon. Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General and Hon. James Flaherty , Minister of Finance, pointed out the federal government’s efforts to alleviate poverty as outlined in The Canadian League, Winter 2010 and 2011, pages 27 and 15 respectively.

 

Bill C-242 An Act to amend the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act would increase the allowance given to the survivors and children of Canadian Forces or RCMP contributors from 50% to 60% of the contributors annuity or allowance. This is the crux of Resolution 2001.06.

 

Bill C- 257 An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (mandatory labeling for genetically modified foods) states that any food containing a genetically modified component cannot be sold in a package unless a label is affixed to the package stating the product or one or more of its components have been genetically modified. Also, a list of such food is available free of charge upon request. The 1997.06 Resolution Genetically Engineered Food urges the federal government to ensure that all genetically engineered products produced in Canada and imported into Canada be stringently and independently tested for long-term health and environmental effects before being offered for sale with continued monitoring following commercialization and be so labeled.

 

Bill C-304 An Act to Ensure Secure, Adequate, Accessible and Affordable Housing for Canadians. This very timely and important bill calls for federal, provincial, territorial, municipal and Aboriginal leaders, along with housing providers and society organizations, to establish a national housing strategy. Check out the Internet at www.parl.gc.ca under Bills and get all the information you want and then some! The Issue Summary found in Resolution 2003.01 Affordable Housing for Low-Income Canadians is as relevant today as it was when it was written. “Rent increases and sub-standard housing continues to affect low-income Canadians and result in increased numbers of homeless people, especially in cities. Providing adequate, affordable housing restores their dignity and is an investment in the future of Canada.” (The Canadian League, Fall 2003, p.9). Provincially, in 2011, the Saskatchewan Government introduced the HeadStart on a Home program addressing the difficulty of accumulating money for a down payment. Under the plan, “Down payment loans will be provided to a maximum of five per cent of the purchase price of a HeadStart home, payable over five years.” (Angela Hall, Program aims to help with down payment, Leader Post, January 31, 2012, page A5).

 

Bill C-310 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking persons). MP Joy Smith’s latest anti-human trafficking private member’s bill focuses “on combating the enslavement of individuals both in Canada and abroad…It would amend the Criminal Code to add human trafficking to the list of offences by Canadians or permanent residents that can be prosecuted here if committed abroad.” (Deborah Gyapong. Human trafficking has global implications: Smith, Prairie Messenger, November 9, 2011, page 3) We, as League members, are invited to monitor the federal government’s efforts to stop trafficking and to write letters urging concerted efforts to prevent human trafficking.

 

This information is not intended to overwhelm legislation chairpersons, rather it is meant to serve as a spark to ignite research and discussion on issues that challenge us to be women, centred on faith and justice. Choose one or two issues, write letters to MP’s and MLA’s and carry out the mandate of the Legislation Standing Committee as stated in the Leading the League Manual. “Legislation is social justice in action. It is the carrying out of League resolutions to influence government policy.” (p. 33).

 

God bless!

 

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Legislation Communiqué #2 - November 2011

 

Rita Hengen, Provincial CWL Legislation Chairperson

 

Hello everyone. What an interesting committee this is! The challenge for me is sifting out what is most important from the reams of information available.

 

The Action Plan for Resolution 2011.04 Caffeine in Energy Drinks outlined in The Canadian League, Fall 2011, p. 19, encourages members to write letters to government officials asking them to legislate stricter regulations regarding energy drinks.

 

A Health Canada expert panel comprised of specialists in cardiology, pediatrics, pharmacology and kinesiology consulted with other experts concerning energy drinks. In a November 2010 report, they concluded that energy drinks (Red Bull, Rockstar and Monster) should be called “stimulant drug containing drinks” and that they should be sold under the supervision of a pharmacist, thereby communicating to the general public that, even though they are stocked alongside sports drinks, juices and pop, energy drinks are not food. The panel also concluded that “ ‘energy drinks’ is a marketing term and should not be used” (Leader Post Health panel takes aim at energy drinks, September 21, 2011, p.B7) and that warning labels indicating possible health risks should be stated on the can.

 

The Canadian Beverage Association opposed the panel’s recommendations.

 

On October 6, 2011, Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq advised that the expert panel’s recommendations have been rejected. Her statement regarding the government’s plan to deal with concerns about energy drinks states, “It is a balanced plan that will put the health of Canadians first while respecting an individual’s ability to make their own choice.” (Leader Post Energy drinks not drugs, p.A11.)

 

I am looking forward to receiving Hon. Leona Aglukkaq’s response to my letter asking just how the government is going to achieve this “balanced plan.” Her address is: The Hon. Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, House of Commons, Ottawa ON K1A 0A6. ( postage not required).

 

Bill C-304 – an act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) was introduced in the House of Commons by MP Brian Storseth on September 30, 2011. This bill would eliminate Section 13 from the CHRA. Remember Resolution 2009.03 Hate Messages? The resolution urges “the federal government to 2) repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act entitled Hate Messages.” (The Canadian League, Fall 2009, p.19.) An article in the October 12, 2011 Prairie Messenger Amendment needed in human rights act (p.3) quotes Calgary Bishop Fred Henry… “To hurt someone’s feelings doesn’t constitute discrimination, nor hatred. Yet it exposes religious leaders to human rights actions for expressing firmly held views on moral issues, causes publishers to be hauled before the kangaroo court of a tribunal hearing for printing a cartoon, and censors comedians for making remarks that might offend somebody’s sensibilities.” In 2005 Bishop Henry wrote a pastoral letter defending traditional marriage and had complaints that were eventually dismissed, filed against him. The House Justice Committee investigated Section 13 of the CHRA after Mr. Storseth filed a motion in the last Parliament. He believes he has support to pass the bill, nevertheless, he is soliciting public support. The Action Plan of resolution 2009.03 is two-fold, the latter part asking members to write letters to the Prime Minister, Federal Minister of Justice, Mr. Rob Nicholson and your local MP urging the repeal of Section 13 of the CHRA.

 

The Letter Writing Guide that CWL provides is an excellent resource that details how to address the various ministers, etc. when writing letters. Please make sure you have one in your council.

 

According to a brief Maclean’s article (October 17, 2011, p.35), Pat Martin MP, is suggesting that “A bill to label chrysotile asbestos as hazardous … has a chance of passing,” should it be reintroduced. In a lengthy reply to my letter to Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, he states “through the enforcement of appropriate regulations to vigorously control exposure to chrysotile, the health risks associated with processes and products can be reduced to an acceptable level.” My response asks just how the federal government monitors the safe use of asbestos in third world countries.

 

Bill C-4 Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act is being debated by the Opposition. Similarly, the anti-human smuggling bill introduced last October was criticized by the CCCB Justice and Peace Commission. Reasons include: it “fails to achieve its stated principles of cracking down on human smugglers and instead targets legitimate refugees,” (MP Francis Scarpaleggia), is “directed almost solely at refugee claimants who arrive in Canada utilizing whatever means at their disposal,” (MP Don Davies), “Although nations have a legitimate right to counter human smugglers because of grave abuses, notably human trafficking, they also have a duty to take measures that respect the right of refugees.” (Archbishop Brendan O’Brien). (Quotes taken from an article written by Deborah Gyapong, Opposition attempts to block human smuggling Bill C-4, Prairie Messenger, October 5, 2011, p.3). Stay posted!

 

On another note, MP Joy Smith, is planning on introducing five pieces of legislation in an effort to stop human trafficking in all its forms. Included in the legislation is a change in prostitution laws that would punish men who buy sex, particularly from underage females. In 2010, her private member’s bill, Bill 268 An Act to amend the Criminal Code which provides for mandatory minimum sentences for trafficking children under 18, became law. This issue is ongoing. Please keep your council informed.

 

Omnibus Bill C-10, also known as the Safe Streets and Communities Act, has had its Second Reading as of September 2011, and has been referred to Committee in the House of Commons. A public letter composed by the Association of Religious of Manitoba (representing almost 500 Catholic religious sisters, brothers and priests), appeared in the October 26, 2011 Prairie Messenger. The letter voices many concerns with the proposed legislation and urges Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to reconsider aspects of the bill.

 

CWL members should be encouraged by four autism-related bills being considered. (Resolution 2004.08 Treatment of Autistic Persons)

 
  • Bill C-212 An Act respecting Canadian Autism Day
  • Bill C-218 An Act to amend the Canada Health Act (Autism Spectrum Disorder)
  • Bill C-219 An Act respecting the establishment of a National Strategy for Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Bill S -206 World Autism Awareness Day Act – as of October 26, 2011, this bill is in Second Reading in Senate. It declares April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day.
 

As I write this communiqué, the Saskatchewan provincial election is looming on the horizon. Voting is a privilege and a duty. I do hope members cast their ballots.

 

Also, please remember to ask for religious-themed Christmas Postage Stamps (Resolution 2005.01). We urged Canada Post to reinstate Nativity-related stamps, so let’s continue our support!

 

As mentioned before, Google Legisinfo on the Internet and you can find all the information on the federal government that you need and then some. For provincial information, go to www.gov.sk.ca

 

God bless!

 

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Legislation Communiqué # 1 - June 2011

 

Rita Hengen, Provincial CWL Legislation Chairperson

 

Greetings! I went to the Saskatchewan Provincial Convention as a member without an executive position on any level at the present time and came home with a box overflowing with the work of previous legislation chairpersons, having accepted the legislation chair. God works in mysterious ways!

 

I am a charter CWL member at St. Martin de Porres (St. Martin’s) Parish in Regina. Over the years I have held many executive positions, including president at the parish level and 2 two-year committee chairperson terms at the diocesan level. Presently I am chairperson of St. Martin’s parish council. We are in the midst of planning for our parish 50th anniversary in 2012.

 

My husband Dave and I celebrated our 50th anniversary in July 2010 and were blessed to have, for the first time ever, our four children/spouses and nine grandchildren ages 4 – 23 all together. In my past life I was a stay-at-home mom and then a part-time teacher-librarian in the Regina Catholic School System. Dave and I lived in Saskatoon for 4 ½ years. It was there that I met our provincial president Tillie Aessie, as we were both involved in RCIA at St. Anne’s Parish.

 

One of my passions is gardening – “playing in the dirt” I call it. I also enjoy crocheting, knitting, cooking, baking, reading and attending any events that involve children and grandchildren.

 

I am slowly going through the information contained in this overflowing box. There is much to learn and digest. I ask for your patience, prayers and input as together we focus on the mandate of the Legislation Standing Committee as stated in the Leading the League manual. “Legislation is social justice in action. It is the carrying out of League resolutions to influence government policy.” (p.33)

 

My newspaper clipping file is growing daily. An article in the June 17th, 2011 Leader Post indicated that the human smuggling legislation has been reintroduced by the federal government. The League has been very active on this human smuggling issue, passing Resolution 2008.01 Preventing Human Trafficking at the 2010 Olympics and Resolution 2009.02 Protection and Support Services for Foreign Victims of Human Smuggling. Encourage councils to monitor this legislation.

 

2010.01 Chrysotile Asbestos

 

The 4 day United Nations’ Rotterham Convention with delegates from more than 100 countries began on Monday, June 21st. An article in the June 18th, 2011 Leader Post (p. F10) stated that the federal government was still “preparing its positions” regarding the labeling of Chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous material under the United Nations’ Rotterham Convention. A brief follow-up article in the June 25th, 2011 Leader Post (Reuters, p. A10) reads, “Chrysotile asbestos will not be listed as a hazardous industrial chemical that can be banned from import after countries including Canada and Ukraine blocked consensus…” The action plan for the Chrysotile Asbestos Resolution urges us to write letters to our elected government officials, expressing our concern about this issue. Please refer to page 18 in the 2010 Fall issue of The Canadian League for more information. My plan is to follow up on this recent development.

 

Internet addresses you might be interested in checking out:

www.gov.sk.ca/cabinet

Legisinfo

 

Canada Day is almost upon us. I hope you all have a restful summer and that you will be filled with renewed energy and enthusiasm as we continue our work for God and Canada.

 

God bless.

 

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