Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News

Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News

Deborah Waters Gyapong has been a journalist and novelist for more than 20 years. She has worked in print, radio and television, including 12 years as a producer for CBC TV's news and current affairs programming. She currently covers religion and politics primarily for Catholic and Evangelical newspapers.

EuthanasiaOTTAWA - A new opinion poll shows that Canadians have a deep ambivalence when it comes to legalizing euthanasia.

According to an Environics poll, while a clear majority of Canadians support euthanasia, an even larger number fear what might happen to vulnerable elderly people if it is legalized.

The poll, commissioned by LifeCanada, shows 59 per cent of Canadians support legal euthanasia but 63 per cent worry legalizing it would pressure elderly Canadians to accept it to reduce health care costs.
Development and Peace miningOTTAWA - The defeat of a bill calling on Canadian mining companies to higher standards while operating abroad is disappointing to the Canadian bishops' development agency.

The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace called it "disturbing" that the responsible mining bill was defeated in the House of Commons Oct. 27.
CCCB and D&POTTAWA - Life and family issues and the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace are among the hot issues Canada’s bishops will tackle at their annual plenary Oct. 25-29.

The secretary general of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) expects a positive result and a “new climate of confidence” once the bishops respond to the recommendations of two special ad hoc committees.

“Both committees have worked extremely well and they have excellent results to report,” said Msgr. Pat Powers.
Archbishop Pedro Lopez QuintanaOttawa - Canada’s new apostolic nuncio is looking for holy men to fill the many episcopal offices that will become vacant in the next few years, especially in Quebec.

Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, who arrived in Canada last February,  said he is not looking for a person who can do everything, “because that is impossible.

“The bishop has to be first of all a holy man,” the archbishop said in an interview.  A bishop has to know how to work with advisors and collaborators.
euthanasiaOttawa - Quebec’s Catholic bishops have cautioned members of the Quebec National Assembly to observe the law and to diligently prosecute cases involving euthanasia and assisted suicide.

In a brief to a commission holding public hearings on euthanasia and assisted suicide, the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Quebec (AECQ) reminded the Quebec National Assembly of its obligation to enforce the Criminal Code.
Conservative MP Joy SmithOTTAWA - An Ontario court decision striking down three key prostitution laws shows the need for a national debate on the issue that includes looking at laws to prosecute johns, says Conservative MP Joy Smith, an expert on human trafficking.

Smith has urged her government to study Swedish laws which have tackled the problem by prosecuting the clients of prostitutes, the johns. Sweden reduced prostitution by 30-50 per cent from 1999-2004 and substantially cut the number of women trafficked into the country, she said.
Margaret SomervilleOTTAWA - International pro-euthanasia forces see Quebec as a vulnerable beachhead for legalizing euthanasia in Canada and then spreading across North America, warns Margaret Somerville.

Somerville, founding director of McGill’s Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, and others are keeping an eye on Quebec, where a legislative committee is holding public hearings on euthanasia.
prescriptionsOTTAWA - The Catholic Health Alliance of Canada (CHAC) has welcomed the findings of a new study that calls for universal public pharmacare.

The study, entitled The Economic Case for Universal Pharmacare, says Canada could lop $4.48 billion off the current $25.1 billion spent annually on prescription drugs with moderate revisions on how drugs are priced.
Catholic Biblical Association logoOTTAWA - Groups will soon be allowed to distribute holy books at Canadian citizenship ceremonies.

“We’re going to send a directive to all Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) staff who process applications, instructing them if religious groups apply to sit in the back and have copies of holy books, they are entitled to do so,” said Alykhan Velshi, a spokesman for CIC Minister Jason Kenney.

The previous government had banned groups from giving away holy books in 2004, Velshi said.
CCCB logoOTTAWA - Canada’s bishops hope the faithful will generously support its work as the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual collection approaches the weekend of Sept. 26.

“The primary purpose of the collection is to help the dioceses in Canada meet their annual per capital contribution to the CCCB,” said conference president Bishop Pierre Morissette in an Aug. 9 letter. “This is the conference’s main source of financing.”

Each diocese is assessed on a per capita basis for its contribution to the running of the bishops’ secretariat of 40 staff members and the work the bishops do in common, whether it is government relations, those with other episcopal conferences or the Holy See.