That time I punched someone in the face

Download the CFSC E-News in PDF (scroll down for links). Public Domain.

CFSC's article published in openDemocracy

Visitors from over 200 countries access articles on openDemocracy. Their series Transformations is all about ways to connect personal and social change. This month they published an article by CFSC's Peace Program Coordinator Matt Legge that starts with his... story of punching a child at summer camp.

Matt writes:

I was very young when I punched that boy, so my simplistic thinking might be understandable. But it didn’t change in high school, or when I went on to get a liberal arts degree at university. Even with all of my fresh critical thinking skills, I still didn’t have my ideas about power and conflict challenged. I didn’t hear of any realistic alternatives to the actions I’d chosen as a child. My thoughts on conflict were essentially the same as those of a scared and angry second grader.

The article goes on to mention a few of the key points Matt learned while researching and writing CFSC's new book Are We Done Fighting? Building Understanding in a World of Hate and Division.

Read the article Are we done fighting? on openDemocracy.

In the last few weeks Matt has given talks about CFSC's book Are We Done Fighting? in Toronto and Hamilton and audience response has been great. Discussions have covered many issues such as ways to engage people across ideological divides. Get in touch with CFSC about Matt giving a 45 minute talk with Q&A, or a longer workshop, for your group.

Final Report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Reclaiming Power and Place, the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, was released on June 3. The report comes after a three-year investigation into the causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls. It shares stories of pain and grief and systemic challenges.

The report, which is more than 1,200 pages, offers 231 Calls to Justice. We encourage Friends to read the Calls to Justice, if not the full report, and discern how you might engage in justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and reconciliation as a whole.

“Our Calls for Justice aren’t just about institutions, or about governments, although they have foundational obligations to uphold; there is a role for everyone in the short and the long term. Individuals, institutions, and governments can all play a part; we encourage you, as you read these recommendations, to understand and, most importantly, to act on yours.” – Reclaiming Power and Place (2019)

Download the Calls to Justice at:

Learn more about CFSC’s reconciliation work at:

A Dark Day for Democracy

Despite the best efforts of many individuals and organizations, including CFSC, Bill C-262 will not be passed by the Senate and will not begin making Canadian law align with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This is a bitter disappointment.

Readers of the E-News know that we've spent many years working with our partners to support the full implementation of the UN Declaration - the minimum global standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of Indigenous peoples.

CFSC has released a short statement in response to the extremely disappointing outcome caused by a few Conservative senators:

We thank all those who have supported us in this important work, and we ask for your continued support when this work resumes after the federal election this fall.

New blog post on Psychology Today covers how GMOs become so polarizing

CFSC has an on-going blog on Psychology Today. The newest post explores why just following the evidence is often so hard, and how the debate about GMOs becomes so polarizing. The post notes, "As in most conflicts, when we get into the messiness of the details, the situation is not so clear-cut as it appeared. We may be overly confident that the other side is irrational while our views are evidence-based." Check out the post Why Following the Evidence Is So Hard: The Case of GMOs.

Hassan Diab

What did an inquiry into the mistreatment of Hassan Diab reveal?

For years we’ve been deeply concerned by the case of Hassan Diab. We were profoundly troubled by the many apparent flaws with Canada’s extradition process that led to Diab spending years in jail in France without trail and apparently without good evidence against him.

A limited review of what happened in his extradition has been conducted, but this report into the conduct of its officials is apparently being kept secret by Public Safety Canada.

With the risk that others may face similar ill treatment if weaknesses in Canada's Extradition Act aren't addressed, we've written to Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti to ask that the report be made public and that a full, public, and independent inquiry be made into the Extradition Act and what happened to Hassan Diab.

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