News/Canada

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The pending departure of Phil Fontaine will not halt the progress towards reconciliation with First Nations peoples, predicted Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) president Archbishop James Weisgerber.

Fontaine, who served three terms since 1997 as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, has announced that he will be stepping down at the end of July. A race is underway to select his replacement.

Members of Parliament put aside problems for the practice of prayer

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{mosimage}OTTAWA  - Internationally-renowned Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias brought a bold, Christ-centered message to the Canadian National Prayer Breakfast May 28.

To a hotel ballroom filled with Members of Parliament, clergy, and ambassadors, Zacharias said that all our yearnings can be found in Jesus Christ alone.

He recounted a trip to the Middle East with Christian leaders, including former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, where he met with Sheikh Talal Sider, a founder of Hamas.

Poverty needs to be a national priority

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{mosimage}Asking the federal government to develop a poverty reduction plan is just asking them to do their job, according to Citizens for Public Justice executive director Joe Gunn.

Gunn’s ecumenical social justice organization, along with a dozen other church, union and social action organizations have launched Dignity For All: The Campaign for a Poverty-Free Canada . The campaign aims to get the public and all federal political parties talking about a realistic plan for reducing Canada’s 10.8 per cent poverty rate.

Canadian churches seek federal tar sands plan

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{mosimage}EDMONTON - Canadian Church leaders are preparing to bring the voice of Christian faith to bear on controversies surrounding the Alberta tar sands.

Following meetings May 21-27 with people who work and live in northern Alberta, church leaders intend to lobby the federal government for tighter environmental regulation of the huge and controversial source of energy.

Canadian Council of Churches lays groundwork for G8 Summit response

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{mosimage}The Canadian Council of Churches added some new, Catholic blood at mid-May meetings in Ottawa and began to set the stage for the 2010 G8 meeting of the world's largest economies at the Deerhurst Inn in Huntsville, Ont.

The council admitted the Ukrainian Catholic Church as a full member and elected a new executive which includes a Roman Catholic bishop as vice president. The council now consists of 23 national churches representing 85 per cent of Canada's Christians.


Coalition forms to defeat latest Canadian euthanasia bill

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Life-affirming groups are mounting an offensive against a Bloc Quebecois’ MP’s third attempt to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Francine Lalonde introduced her private members’ Bill C-384 to legalize euthanasia on May 13, the day before 12,300 Canadians came to Ottawa for the National March for Life. Her previous bills died when elections were called.


Over 12,000 join National March for Life

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OTTAWA - Despite driving rain and howling winds, the National March for Life May 12 drew more than 12,300 people — the largest crowd in its 11-year history.

Dubbed Exodus 2009, the March marked the 40th anniversary of the Omnibus Bill that decriminalized abortion in Canada, paving the way to abortion on demand.

On the steps to the Peace Tower, Quebec's Cardinal Marc Ouellet called upon Parliamentarians to address the juridical void that leaves abortion permissible right through nine months of pregnancy. He also called on all Canadians to build a culture of life that guards the family and welcomes human life. We are all responsible for the respect for human rights in our land, he said, especially the rights of the most fragile — infants in the womb, the elderly and the handicapped.

Canadian bishops on board for National March for Life

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OTTAWA - This year’s National March for Life to Parliament Hill on May 14 will see an unprecedented number of Catholic bishops taking part.

“It’s a wonderful occasion,” said Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, who has invited other bishops to attend.

Prendergast attended the March for the first time last spring.

Social investments hold steady

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Before stock markets around the world crashed in September 2008, $609.23 billion  in Canada was invested with an eye on protecting the environment, treating workers and communities fairly and running the company openly.

Socially responsible investing principles captured 19.9 per cent of more than $3 trillion invested in Canada, according to the second biannual Canadian Socially Responsible Investment Review. While total SRI investments climbed 21 per cent between mid-2006 and June 2008, the ethically invested market share remained steady at just under 20 per cent.


Pro-life cause up against Canadian law

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Pro-life lawyer Geoff Cauchi thinks it’s a good thing Canada has no law on abortion.

“It’s easier to get people motivated, to get them involved, when you show them, ‘Look, there’s no law; people could have an abortion right up to birth.’ They get shocked and they’re motivated,” said Cauchi, who is on the boards of Alliance for Life Ontario and Life Canada .

In Cauchi’s view the worst thing would be the sort of abortion law England and most European countries have — legal, funded abortion up to 26 weeks, with some legal restrictions on the relatively few late-term abortions.

Canadian youth take charge at March for Life

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{mosimage}At the annual March for Life in Ottawa hundreds, if not thousands, of youth from across the country gather to show their pro-life support. The May 14 march was to be no exception, with nearly 900 youth registered by the end of April for the March’s youth conference the following day.

It was unknown how many youth would join forces this year to simply be a part of the crowd making their way peacefully through downtown Ottawa. But Yoli Singson, an organizer with Campaign Life Coalition , told The Catholic Register that, increasingly, youth make up a large part of the thousands of participants.


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