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Local, National, & Global Outreach Newsletter

What to know about LNGO…

Southminster’s Local, National & Global Outreach Newsletter

April 2024

 

What are you most concerned about these days? Are you as confused as we are?

What are you praying for? What are you actually acting on?

Greetings all, and welcome to the first monthly issue of your LNGO Committee’s very own newsletter. With so many things going on in this world, we are all suffering from “information overload.”  We want this newsletter to serve as a research tool for people who want to do good, but don’t know where best to focus their efforts. We will introduce you to various advocacy organizations, explain their missions and philosophies, and then outline their current calls to action — stressing time-sensitive issues — so that you can pick your particular areas of concern. Each month, we will provide a few choice resources that focus on local, national, and global opportunities to be involved in bettering our world.

If you have suggestions for items that might be included in a monthly newsletter, please send your suggestions to LNGO@southminsterunitedchurch.com.

LOCAL OUTREACH

Centretown Churches Social Action Committee (CCSAC)

Southminster United Church is a member of this Committee, a collective of 22 churches in downtown Ottawa, which was started in 1967 to respond to social needs in the CentretownC area. CCSAC has undertaken many initiatives on behalf of people who are socially and economically disadvantaged in our community. Since 1978, CCSAC’s main project has been oversight of the Centretown Emergency Food Centre (CEFC). CCSAC’s mandate also includes advocacy for social justice, especially issues relating to poverty. Their Website offers a contact form. (centretownchurches.org)

CCSAC Projects

  • Centretown Emergency Food Centre (CEFC),  370 Catherine Street, (613) 232-3059 (ccfcottawa.ca)

    • In 2022, there was a 28.8% increase in food bank usage across Ottawa. One in seven (13.9%) households are “food insecure.”  This is a factor arising when households are stressed about running out of food before they can purchase more, due to lack of money. The food bank always welcomes donations.

  • House to Home, 1309 Carling Avenue, Westgate Mall, (613) 878-4235 (h2hottawa.com)

    • This charity provides community-donated home furnishings and supplies (including small appliances) to new refugee families. There is a fee, dependent on the size of the family.  Donations are what keep this endeavour alive.

    • House to Home has recently been burgled and could really use the community’s assistance in order to restock its inventory.

NATIONAL OUTREACH

David Suzuki Foundation:

Founded in 1990, the Foundation relies on donations from individuals, charitable foundations and corporations, subject to its “ethical gift acceptance policy.”  It does not accept direct funding from governments, nor any contributions which could compromise the integrity of its programs. Through evidence-based research, education and policy analysis, the Foundation works to conserve and protect the natural environment and to help create a sustainable Canada. It regularly collaborates with non-profit and community organizations, all levels of government, businesses and individuals, as well as with Indigenous communities when called upon, and contributes at an international level in coalition with other organizations. There is an abundance of information about the Foundation and its interests at davidsuzuki.org. (A belated happy 88th birthday to David!)

David Suzuki Foundation Projects

  • Windfall Profit Tax

    • The David Suzuki Foundation is calling on us to ask the Finance Minister to implement a Windfall Profit Tax to unlock new funding in Canada’s 2024 budget. While many households are struggling to pay bills, fossil fuel companies are raking in record profits. Click here to send a letter to Minister Freeland and your MP today. Let them know you support a green budget.

  • ​Renewable Power for All

    • The Foundation is calling on us to write letters to Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault, and to other federal decision-makers, telling them to hold strong against fossil fuel industry influence.  Instead of weakening the draft regulations — which is what the oil and gas industry wants — the final terms of these regulations must keep fossil fuels off of Canada’s electricity grid, and usher in a 100 per cent renewable energy future. Writing a letter is an important reminder to politicians that they work for people, not polluters. A simple form is provided where you can write you own letter in support of this action: https://davidsuzuki.org/action/speak-up-for-canadas-renewable-energy-future/

Leadnow:  

Founded in 2010, leadnow is another Canadian organization.  It is not affiliated with any political party. leadnow relies on its own community for small donations to provide the overwhelming majority of its funding, although it occasionally receives grants from allied organizations to work on specific campaigns. leadnow campaigns for a just, sustainable, and equitable Canada, built and defended through the democratic power of an engaged public. You can find further information at leadnow.ca.

Leadnow Projects

  • Grassy Narrows First Nation

    • Of particular interest to leadnow at this time is the situation at Grassy Narrows.  In 2007, Grassy Narrows declared a moratorium on all industrial activity in their territory.  In 2018, they enacted a Land Declaration, enshrining into their law a ban on all mineral staking, exploration, mining, and logging. Despite this, there have been over 5,000 mining claims in Grassy Narrows, and the Government of Ontario has granted nine mineral exploration permits, all without consulting, or even notifying, Grassy Narrows. This is in violation of their right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, as well as the Canadian Constitution. For further information or to sign the petition, go to: https://you.leadnow.ca/p/respect-the-moratorium.

  • Canadian Disability Benefit

    • A second current crucial concern to leadnow is the long-awaited Canadian Disability Benefit. Since the Liberal government promised this Benefit in 2020, the already dire disability poverty crisis has only become more severe. Amidst a cost of living and housing crisis, our government is telling the disabled they must wait even longer. Consider sending a message asking the federal government to fund the Canada Disability Benefit in the 2024 Budget.

GLOBAL OUTREACH

Amnesty International Canada:

Amnesty International has a vision of a world where everyone enjoys all the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments. Its mission is to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave human rights abuses and demand justice for those whose rights have been violated. Amnesty is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion. It does not accept funding from any government for human rights research and/or campaigning work. Its work is supported by donations from individuals. Many calls to action and more information about Amnesty can be found at: amnesty.ca

Amnesty International Project

  • The Cyber Activist

    • Liz Fong-Jones is a Vancouver-based developer, engineer, labour/ethics organizer, and advocate for trans rights. She and a dozen volunteers spent thousands of hours successfully forcing Kiwi Farms (an online hate-speech forum) offline multiple times. Now, she's the target of transphobia, racism, harassment, and threats of physical violence by the website's supporters. Liz's experiences shed light on the broader issue of technology-facilitated gender-based violence, which includes cyberbullying, doxing (searching for and publishing private or identifying information about a particular individual on the internet, typically with malicious intent), swatting (the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address), and more. These acts disproportionately create an online environment of fear and intimidation, especially for Indigenous, black, and racialized women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. Amnesty International invites all to join them in calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian Government to reaffirm solidarity for these communities.

 

UNITED CHURCH MISSION & SERVICE FUND

The mission of the United Church of Canada Mission and Service Fund (M&S) is to transform lives both locally and globally.

  • Locally, M&S helps people by supporting homeless shelters, food banks, community kitchens, and refugee programs. They help young people on campuses and through camping outreach. They help people who are sick or at the end of life by supporting addiction, mental health, and counselling services and hospice care. 

  • Globally, they support people to access clean water, food, and medical care. They support skills training and economic development. They help with peace-making and sustainable agriculture efforts. They provide disaster relief and advocate for the rights of those who all too often don’t get a say, like children and migrant workers. 

  • Southminster accepts, and issues receipts for, donations to the M&S Fund which are then forwarded to the general church offices. For more information on this important fund, visit https://united-church.ca/community-and-faith/get-involved/mission-and-service/what-mission-and-service

 

Your LNGO Committee: Linda MacDonald, Heather Macfaden, Paul Mullin

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