News/Canada

{mosimage}TORONTO  - One way to stimulate the economy, according to some poverty advocacy groups, would be to increase welfare rates.

Clarence Lochhead, executive director of the Vanier Institute of the Family , said as politicians and economists consider ways of dealing with the economic crisis, they should take a look at increasing social assistance payments.

Rwandan genocide survivor's speaking tour threatened

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{mosimage}TORONTO - A Rwandan genocide survivor who has been denied entry into Canada is launching a final appeal so that she will be able to speak about reconciliation at aboriginal reserves in Manitoba and Ontario.

Having exhausted all of her options for a visitor's visa, Patricie Mukundiyukuri, 24, has now applied for a minister's permit, also known as a temporary resident permit.

Economic stimulus can be found in Catholic social doctrine

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - As Ottawa contemplates how to respond to the economic crisis, Catholic social teaching offers some guidance, but not enough to shape a consensus even among Catholic thinkers.

“The issue of how much fiscal stimulus the Canadian economy requires right now is very much a matter of prudential judgment,” said Richard Bastien, Catholic Civil Rights League National Capital director, who spent 31 years as an economist advising the Department of Finance.

Novalis gets a new English-language director

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{mosimage}MONTREAL - Bayard Canada has appointed Joseph Sinasac to the newly created position of Publishing Director for Novalis, Canada's leading publisher of religious books and resources.

Sinasac, currently Publisher and Editor of The Catholic Register, will oversee the English-language division of Novalis from its Toronto office, including editorial, sales and marketing departments.

Oblate province returns Orders of Canada to protest Morgentaler award

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{mosimage}TORONTO - In a protest against the award of the Order of Canada to abortion doctor Henry Morgentaler, a community of priests has returned its orders given to two well-known colleagues.

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate — Assumption Province announced Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, that they were returning the awards given to Frs. Anthony Sylla and Michael Smith.

Ontario religious step up poverty-reduction demand

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The people who started Ontario’s first free hospitals, ran the orphanages and founded schools that were once a ticket out of poverty are appealing to the government and people of Ontario to take up their fight and get serious about poverty reduction.

Thirty Ontario religious orders, representing hundreds of Sisters, Fathers and Friars, are publishing an open letter to the government and people of Ontario. The letter urges them to set hard targets for poverty reduction and enshrine them in law.

Charities expect an uncertain year

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{mosimage}TORONTO - For charities that rely on big donors, the stock market crash has made uncertainty the first principle of budgeting as they face a new year.

“Obviously Covenant House and every other charity are looking at their plans and how to approach this kind of time,” said Covenant House spokesperson Rose Cino. “Everyone is in the same boat. Would that we all had a crystal ball.”

Parliament should repeal hate crimes section in act

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OTTAWA - An independent consultant has recommended Parliament repeal the hate crimes section of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

“The use of censorship should be confined to a narrow category of extreme expression — that which threatens or justifies violence against the members of an identifiable group, even if the violence that is supported or threatened is not imminent,” wrote University of Windsor law professor Richard Moon in a $50,000 report the Canadian Human Rights Commission commissioned five months ago.

Child poverty strategy demanded of government

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - A coalition of anti-poverty groups joined MPs from the opposition parties Nov. 21 in demanding a comprehensive national child poverty strategy.

At a Parliament Hill news conference, Campaign 2000 released its annual report card, showing 760,000 Canadian children — one out of nine — live below the poverty line. The report card coincided with ongoing debate on the Speech from the Throne where the minority Conservative government laid out its agenda for the 40th Parliament.

Aboriginal reconciliation on Pope's mind

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Canadian bishops raised the need for reconciliation with aboriginal peoples and Canada’s growing secularization during a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI Nov 8.

“There is a way faith is being pushed more and more to the margins,” said Winnipeg Archbishop James Weisgerber, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, noting Canadians “seem to be required to leave their faith behind them when they enter the public realm or they will be discounted.”

Conservative grassroots favour freedom of expression

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Grassroots Conservatives want Ottawa to gut the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s power to investigate and punish free expression complainants deem hateful or discriminatory.

At the Conservative Party’s second policy conference in Winnipeg Nov. 13-15 delegates passed resolution P-203 to “remove authority from the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal to regulate, receive, investigate or adjudicate complaints related to Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.” Subsection 13.1 of the Act is the so-called thought crimes provision that allows the commission to investigate anything that is “likely” to expose a group or individual to hatred or contempt. No proof of harm is necessary and truth is no defence under this subsection.