Encouraged by UNANIMA, CRC, CATHII, and the SSA Social Justice Office, Human Trafficking continues to be a high priority focus for us. In order to educate ourselves and the public about the horrific consequences of trafficking we have sponsored Workshops: “Stop the Demand” (with Rita Larivée ssa) and Emancipation Now (with Michael Markwick); lead an Advent reflection service and workshops for the CWL and Secular Franciscans; and offered consultation to the B.C. Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons on several projects including one for Aboriginal women. We’ve also signed petitions and supported MP Joy Smith’s Bill to combat human trafficking which was passed in Parliament. We continue to be involved with local faith groups and the provincial office to actively address trafficking in B.C as well as support national and international campaigns to eliminate Human Trafficking.
Our support of national efforts to eradicate poverty in Canada has been consistent. We endorse the Dignity for All Campaign for a poverty-freeCanada both financially and by letter writing and signing their “Call to Action” cards. Provincially, we strongly support the BC Poverty Reduction Plan and work in partnership with others to address Child poverty since we have the highest child poverty rate in Canada. With Faith-in-Action we sponsored a very creative action at the Legislature (the Begging Bowl). A bowl of over 1000 requests was presented to the MLA’s to address this disgraceful situation. We have also met with various MLAs and MPs to raise our concerns. With provincial elections coming up in 2013 poverty will be a huge focus.
ENVIRONMENT AND ECO-JUSTICE
Locally and nationally we continue to work towards right relationship between protecting our earth and its resources and the real needs of human beings for sustainable development. Working towards responsible investing and partnering with many other groups to effectively challenge government environmental policies in the Resource Industry (mining, fisheries, fossil fuels, pipelines) is key.
The CRC National Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Conference in Montreal and the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil keep us informed and active in addressing Climate Change and sustainable development. In this regard we work closely with Renaude Grégoire our Congregation Social Justice staff person.
We collaborate with the Diocesan Office for Justice and Life and Development and Peace plus several Ecumenical and Civic groups such as Kairos, Faith-in-Action, Earth Literacy, Council of Canadians, Office to Combat Human Trafficking, Coalition to End Homelessness, Environmental and Anti-Poverty Groups.
Through Returning to Spirit, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Kairos and local relationships we find ways to speak to the many inequities currently faced by our First Nations peoples seeking both reconciliation and justice. Recently, we partnered with our Mission Awareness councilor to present an educational experience for Staff and partners of the Sisters of St. Ann.
Through the assistance of SHARE we become more knowledgeable about how to invest allocated funds in socially responsible ways.
The sisters of St. Joseph’s Province are a strong witness of how to live and act with a socially informed conscience and will continue to read the signs of the times and support those initiatives which effectively bring about God’s reign now and in the future.