May E-News - What we told a parliamentary committee

May E-News - What we told a parliamentary committee r1 ... r33 May 30, 2018 Bill C-262 continues to make progress.See our full infographic

CFSC presents to parliamentary committee

Indigenous Rights Program Coordinator Jennifer Preston was invited by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs to speak on Bill C-262: The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. Her message was to embrace the changes this Bill will create. It will be “something we can be proud of as we move forward into a new reality based on a contemporary human rights framework, not on colonialism.”

Some have raised fears that C-262 will generate damaging new legal obligations for Canada, so Jennifer highlighted how these fears are exaggerated and based on misunderstandings of international law. For instance, she noted that free, prior, and informed consent is already well established in international law and Canada already has an obligation to respect it with or without Bill C-262. Read the full presentation at: and see a joint letter sent to all MPs

Western Half Yearly Meeting

CFSC Communications Coordinator Matt Legge was at Western Half Yearly Meeting in Sorrento BC over the May long weekend to offer a presentation on what CFSC is, how we work, and why. Eight current and former volunteer members of CFSC were in attendance and spoke about what motivated them to serve on CFSC. The presentation generated some good discussion about Friends’ peace and social justice work.

Many who attended Western Half Yearly also had the opportunity to visit the Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park. The visit offered Friends a chilling glimpse into the systematic abuse, deprivation, and cultural genocide of the Kamloops Residential School, as well as an uplifting vision of the strength and resilience of Secwepemc culture. Pictures are available on Facebook:

Criminal justice updates

CFSC joined other members of the National Associations Active in Criminal Justice to issue an open letter calling for judicial discretion in sentencing. We are deeply concerned that mandatory minimum penalties are inconsistent with legal principles like proportionality and restraint, which require judges to make individual assessments based on the unique characteristics of the case. Read the full letter at:

We also endorsed the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s submission about street checks (“carding”). The submission recommends that police be required to keep more data on all stops of civilians, use of force incidents, and interactions where they ask about immigration status or conduct immigration status checks. The submission also recommends that Ontario narrow and provide more guidance on the circumstances in which police may approach individuals in a non-arrest scenario and collect identifying information. The submission notes evidence of systemic discrimination and racial profiling used by police when carrying out street checks. See:

Honesty in labelling

CFSC has written an open letter to the Minister of International Trade raising concerns that Canada is allowing products from occupied Palestinian territories to be sold with the false label “made in Israel.” The letter notes the moral and legal issues with this false labelling. It ends, “We call on you to uphold a standard of honesty that will allow Canadians to make informed decisions about the products they buy. We make this request with the eternal hope of a more just and peaceful future for Israel/Palestine.”

David Kattenburg is currently taking legal action against the government of Canada over this issue. You can find out more via the website of his lawyer Dimitri Lascaris:

CFSC joins call for inquiry into case of Hassan Diab

Following revelations that Canadian government lawyers may have actively sought to help French authorities with a case based on evidence that had already been discredited, CFSC has written to express our deep concerns. We’ve called for a full, public, and independent inquiry into the extradition process and how it went so wrong for Hassan Diab. Canada needs to act promptly and transparently to correct these issues. Many other groups including Amnesty International and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (of which CFSC is a member) have also called for an inquiry, major reforms, and compensation to Hassan Diab. Read the open letter at:

There is Parliamentary petition you can sign if so led at

CFSC supports play Deserter

CFSC and Winnipeg Monthly Meeting are among the supporters of the play Deserter. You can see a two minute clip about the play: & and read a CBC review:

We hope this play has generated new insights and conversations about conscientious objection to military service. Find out more about CFSC’s work in this area:

Canada’s Universal Periodic Review

Canada’s human rights record was recently reviewed by the UN in Geneva. We were pleased to join with many organizations calling for Canada to up its human rights game. 275 recommendations were made by 107 states. Our joint open letter calls for action on a number of key human rights concerns:

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