News/Canada

Jack Barbara WillkeThe annual International Pro-life Conference is coming to Ottawa from Oct. 28 to 30, and it is likely to be one of pro-life advocate Jack Willke’s last international appearances.

Willke, president of both the International Right to Life Federation and Life Issues Institute, has been experiencing health problems of late.

“I’m past 85 now and I’ve just been hospitalized,” Wilke told The Catholic Register from his office in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Target johns in prostitution debate, urges MP

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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.

Euthanasia forces target Quebec

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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.

Court quashes access to information on D&P

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D & P and LifesiteTORONTO - The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace obtained a Federal Court injunction Sept. 12 to block an access to information request for the names and funding levels regarding its nearly 200 partner organizations in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.

The request was made to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) by LifeSiteNews, an online news organization that has published a series of articles over the past 18 months alleging links between Development and Peace-funded partners and pro-abortion lobbying in Mexico, Bolivia, South Africa and Nigeria. Development and Peace has denied those allegations and an investigation into five of its Mexican partners by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops cleared the Catholic aid agency of wrongdoing while also warning it to be more prudent in selecting its partners. LifeSite called that investigation “deeply flawed.”

Bishop Crosby to leave the Rock for Hamilton

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Bishop CrosbyPope Benedict XVI named Bishop Douglas Crosby as the new bishop of the diocese of Hamilton Sept. 24. Crosby will replace the retiring Bishop Anthony Tonnos who has led the diocese since 1984.

“I’m very pleased and honoured by the appointment,” said Crosby, who remains administrator of the diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador until he is installed as bishop of Hamilton at the Cathedral of Christ the King on Nov. 8.

Born in Marathon, Ont., in the diocese of Thunder Bay, all of Crosby's ministry as a bishop has been done in Newfoundland and Labrador. Installed as bishop of Labrador City-Schefferville in 1998, he was also installed as bishop of St George’s, Nfld., in 2003 and retained responsibility for the former diocese. Then, following a realignment of the boundaries of the two dioceses, he became bishop of the diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador in 2007.

Canadians among world's most generous in charitable giving

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Bill SteinburgTORONTO - Canadians are a giving people, according to report released by the Charities Aid Foundation America.

In the Alexandria, Va., foundation’s 2010 World Giving Index, Canada ranked third in terms of charitable behaviour.

The report tracks how willing a nation’s people are to help those in need.

Mining companies fight back against accountability bill

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MineAfter the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace flooded Parliament Hill with more than 153,000 postcards last spring calling for Ottawa to hold Canadian mining companies accountable for damage they do to the environment and communities in poor countries, the mining industry is countering with a campaign of its own.

The Prospectors and Developers Association, dominated by junior mining and exploration companies, is urging its members to order up bundles of postcards that mining company employees can mail in opposing Bill C-300.

Missal awaits Vatican approval

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The new English translation of the Mass will be ready for Canadian parishes only when the bishops have Vatican approval for all of the texts and an opportunity to put in place a program to teach people about the changes.

With the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops announcing the new Mass texts will become standard south of the border beginning in Advent 2011, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has received enquiries about the Canadian timetable.

Prescription drugs must be integrated with medicare, says CHAC

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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.

Charitable sector needs better tax breaks

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Arthur Peters, executive director of ShareLifeTORONTO - ShareLife executive director Arthur Peters wants the fundraising arm of the archdiocese of Toronto more involved in efforts to encourage charitable giving with tax breaks on donations.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance has heard submissions from the charitable sector for years on ways to boost Canadian charitable giving. Peters would like to see lobbying by the charitable sector be more successful.

Linda Gibbons' court challenge hits a roadblock

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Linda Gibbons

TORONTO   - The ongoing legal battles of pro-life activist Linda Gibbons received a setback at a Sept. 2 hearing when a judge ruled the case against her did not breach her Charter rights and that her lawyer was not entitled to view nine-year-old documents held by the crown attorney.

Gibbons’ next court date was set for Sept. 30.

Lawyer Daniel Santoro said he was disappointed with the decisions but withheld further comment until after having a chance to review the judge’s detailed ruling, expected to be released during the week of Sept. 7.