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Faster, Higher, Stronger – A Gold Medal Speech From the Throne?

 The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General The Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver have grabbed headlines around the world. Canada’s attempt to go faster, higher and stronger (as the Olympic motto proclaims) aspires to bring home more medals than ever before - to be the best in the world.

But just a few days after the Games end, on March 3rd, Parliament will begin a new session with a Speech From the Throne, in which the government lays out an inspiring agenda for the future. What would need to be said to have Canada become the best for the world?

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In the shadow of the Olympic Games

Shadow of the Olympic gamesHuman trafficking is rooted in long-standing gender, race, and power inequalities. It is a multi-faceted social problem, fed by serious poverty and social exclusion – especially the lack of economic options for poor women and girls. It is influenced by situations of corruption and made more challenging by the complexity of international jurisdictional issues.

World sporting events are well known as occasions for increased trafficking. So what can we expect as Canada plays host to the 2010 Olympic Games?

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Breaking down barriers; building understanding

Dean Allison, MP The Dish on Dignity was a fantastic success. By enabling connections and breaking down barriers between parliamentarians and Canadians living in poverty, it provided an important moment for all involved to better understand the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and to rally around a common cause.

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Senate Report Offers Valuable Contribution

In from the Margins - cover In From the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness, a comprehensive report by the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Cities, was released in December 2009. The proposals it contains could influence the lives of Canadians for generations.

Many of the Report’s 74 recommendations respond directly to proposals from CPJ and calls from people living in poverty, service providers, and other social justice organizations. It also aligns closely with the Dignity for All campaign but lacks strong and explicit support for a poverty eradication strategy.

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20 Days: 20 Questions for Parliament

Questions The Prime Minister sent our MPs home to recalibrate the government agenda. The break was 20 workdays, he said.

If you could set the agenda for 2010 during this pause, what would your list of the 20 most important policy concerns include?

CPJ has come up with a list of 20 key policy questions, one for each day. We believe these issues should be debated by MPs, the voice of the people, to set directions for Canada.

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Reflecting on 2009: Towards a Just and Sustainable Society

The beginning of a new year brings many questions. Still, we are energized by the potential of what lies ahead, spurred on by the focus of a new strategic plan, and strengthened by the support of longstanding and new members alike.

God has called us, redeemed us, and transformed us to be agents of change. “For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life” (Ephesians 2:10). We will therefore offer a faithful response to God’s call for love, justice and stewardship.

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Is prorogation diminishing Canada’s democracy?

Open debate is essential within Canada’s system of governance and democracy. It is a crucial part of the decision making process and it ensures that the government is held accountable for its actions. However, with the sudden decision to prorogue Parliament amidst much ongoing and unresolved parliamentary business, the government is essentially silencing voices of opposition. What does this say about Canada’s democracy?

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Drinking Downstream

In the fall of 2009, Canada’s Governor General hosted an opening ceremony for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on Indian Residential Schools. Canadian churches, with or without a heritage of Residential schools, all people of faith, and all people in Canada are implicated the legacy of the Residential schools. As the Prime Minister’s apology (June 11, 2008) implies, the Residential Schools and the assimilation policies behind them, are a shameful part of the history of this nation. That apology is our apology. If the words of apology and new relationship are to mean something they demand action – and the TRC is a significant first step in that direction.

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The season of hope

Baby Jesus The hope of Christmas extends beyond our homes and workplaces and into all aspects of our world. The good news Christ ushered in nearly two thousand years ago is a message of hope. Christmas is not simply that Christ has come, but that in that small baby lying humbly in a manger, we can hope. Despite all that is falling apart in our lives, our communities, and the world around us, we can hope for something different.

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Can a public justice lens frame the climate change debate?

CO2 Controversy swirls as world leaders prepare to gather in Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Summit. Global warming caused by human action is still denied by some, while others perceive it to be the defining issue of our age. How are we to know what to believe? For CPJ members, a public justice framing of the complexities of climate change yields some helpful perspectives.

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