Newsbriefs

Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) and Canada Without Poverty have begun Dignity for All, a campaign of poverty reduction calling for a federal anti-poverty act. They advocate for a plan that will provide a pan-Canadian blueprint for reducing poverty, ensure federal commitment and accountability for results, and will have sufficient revenue or “fiscal capacity.” CPJ also notes immigrants are particularly susceptible to poverty: the economic position of newcomers relative to native Canadians has steadily declined in the last 25 years, such that a Statistics Canada report in 2004 put 35% of recent immigrants living under the poverty line.

—the Catalyst

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MCC Canada launched a mining justice campaign to educate Canadians about the cost to people, communities, and the earth where mining is not adequately regulated. A Mennonite pastor from Honduras says mining companies – Canadians included – displace people from their homes, contaminate rivers, and threaten ecologically sensitive areas. Bill C-300, a private member’s bill to make government support contingent on compliance with human rights and environmental standards, is working through Parliament. Case studies, analysis, and biblical reflection materials can be found at http://ottawa.mcc.org/miningjustice.

—Mennonite Central Committee

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B.C.’s Supreme Court ruled that four Vancouver-area Anglican churches who split with the diocese do not have a right to operate their church properties and bank accounts as they see fit. At least 18 parishes across Canada have left the Canadian Anglican church over same-sex blessings and aligned themselves with more conservative Anglican groups in other parts of the world. “A parish does not have the authority to unilaterally leave the diocese,” wrote Justice Stephen Kelleher in the decision handed down.

—Canadian Press

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Changes in climate patterns make it impossible for small-scale farmers in Kenya to continue growing primary food crops such as maize and beans, says Joshua Mukusya, a farmer and leader of Utooni Development Organization, an MCC partner organization in Kenya. Utooni helps rural families rediscover skills to grow, cook, and store indigenous crops, such as millet, sorghum, cowpeas, cassava, and sweet potatoes. Rural families are also improving agricultural productivity and sustainability through soil and water conservation projects such as building sand dams, reducing soil erosion, and planting trees.

—Mennonite Central Committee

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