News/Canada

charity under investigationTORONTO - A bill that would see Canadian charities forced to disclose the salaries of their highest-earning employees has run up against opposition from the charitable sector.

If passed, Bill C-470 will create some “serious issues” within the sector, say officials with various charities.

Charities have been fighting  to kill the bill since it passed second reading in the House of Commons on April 21 by a 280 to 3 margin. It is set to head to the Standing Committee on Finance by the end of November, where committee members can amend it before it goes to third reading.

Development and Peace fine tunes its funding protocols

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Development and PeaceOTTAWA - The Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) has announced changes to its funding protocols to ensure that no money goes to organizations that support abortion.

The changes come in the wake of year-old allegations that funds from CCODP had in many cases been funnelled to partners who were not adhering to Catholic teaching on life issues.

Abortion coercion bill up against stiff opposition

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Rod BruinoogeOTTAWA - A bill that would make it a crime to coerce a woman into having an abortion faces a rough ride in the House of Commons.

During its first hour of debate Nov. 1, Rod Bruinooge’s private members’ Bill C-510 faced challenges from women MPs from the Bloc, Liberals and NDP who argued the bill would interfere with a woman’s “right to choose” abortion.

But Bruinooge, who chairs the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus, argued his bill protects women from being threatened and coerced into ending pregnancies they choose to keep.

Canadians have mixed feelings on euthanasia, new poll shows

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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.

Bishop Monroe making strides in his recovery

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Kamloops Bishop David MonroeKAMLOOPS, B.C. - Kamloops Bishop David Monroe is making a speedy recovery from a vicious assault when he was attacked Oct. 22 in the rectory of Sacred Heart Cathedral.

The bishop suffered severe head and body injuries after he opened the door to the rectory to the man who attacked him.

The bishops’ sisters have been in Kamloops since hearing of the attack the next day.

Bessette clan united by saint in the family

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descendants at massMONTREAL - It was a huge reunion for St. Brother André’s family as more than 400 relatives came from near and far to attend a Mass and special gathering at St. Joseph’s Oratory on Oct. 31 to mark the rise to sainthood of their humble brethren.

It was another influx of people to an already busy shrine, which had received an estimated 9,000 pilgrims the previous day, as pilgrims were in town for an Oct. 30 celebratory Mass at Olympic Stadium in honour of St. Brother André being elevated to sainthood Oct. 17.

Montreal honours St. Brother André

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Andre heartMONTREAL - Montreal’s Olympic Stadium came alive on Oct. 30 with nearly 50,000 scarf-waving pilgrims from across Canada and the United States attending a special Mass in celebration of Canada’s newest saint.

“Brother André was convinced that God could use him to accomplish wonderful things,” said Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, archbishop of Montreal, in a homily mostly delivered in French. “For many decades, people came to him as a worker of wonders. It never went to his head.”

D & P 'disturbed' by defeat of responsible mining bill

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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.

Canada's Immigration Minister seeks Church aid for Iraqi refugees

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Iraqi refugees to CanadaTORONTO - Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney is holding the gate open for Iraqi refugees another two years, and asking churches again for help.

By extending the program aimed at Iraqi refugees, Canada could welcome another 8,000 Iraqi refugees in 2012 and 2013. They would join approximately 12,000 Iraqis who will have come to Canada between 2009 and 2011.

Addressing the churches and other faith-based sponsorship agreement holders, Kenney told a Toronto news conference, “I’m asking you to get engaged. Do more. Raise more funds. Sponsor more refugees.”

Canadian Bishops push Prime Minister for national anti-poverty strategy

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In an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada’s bishops are calling for the the federal government to develop a national anti-poverty strategy.

CCCB“We invite Canadians today to join us in calling on our federal government to emulate the efforts of many provincial governments and develop a national anti-poverty strategy,” said the Oct. 15 letter from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Today, most new wealth is going to those who already have more than enough. Inequality is increasing in Canada. The growing rich-poor gap is threatening the economic and political power of our middle class and our treasured participatory democracy.”

Kamloops' Bishop Monroe remains in intensive care after assault

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Bishop David MonroeKAMLOOPS - Kamloops Bishop David Monroe suffered severe head and body injuries when he was attacked Oct. 22 by a man he was comforting in the rectory of Sacred Heart Cathedral.

At press time, Monroe was in serious but stable condition at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.

“It was the most brutal beating I have ever seen,” said Kamloops Vicar General Msgr. Jerry Desmond,  who administered the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick to the bishop two hours after he was admitted to hospital.

Police were called to Sacred Heart Cathedral when the bishop was found bleeding profusely in the rectory after admitting a man apparently unknown to him. At around 10 p.m., the alleged assailant encountered a parishioner outside the cathedral next to the rectory and requested a priest. Monroe admitted the man to the rectory by the front door and led him into the kitchen.