2011 Annual Report – Resolutions

Resolutions Standing Committee
Anne Marie Gorman, Chairperson
2011 Annual Report

Research and Preparation of Resolutions and Briefs
Councils presented resolutions workshops and study days to brainstorm ideas and provided handouts for members to translate interest and research into action. Issues of interest included respect and protection of human embryos, funding for a League international representative at the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations, mandatory reporting of abortion statistics, shortage of priests, colorectal cancer, improvements to palliative care, safety of children, wait times for diagnostic and emergency treatments, elder abuse, home care, affordable housing, mental health stigma, subsidy for hearing aids, old age security, recycling of drugs for cancer patients, sodium in food, intervention in phonological awareness, tax credit for adult fitness, removal of tax on healthcare hostel and hospice facilities, increased public participation in high-level nuclear waste management, human trafficking, indoor tanning, rights for seasonal workers and temporary foreign workers, improving living conditions for First Nations and Inuit communities, financial support for homeschooling and mandatory drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation in correctional facilities. Also discussed were issues about the elimination of poverty, coercion of pregnant women to abort, fair farming practices, child and female abuse and marriage commissioners. Councils also saw the significance of issues that impact on the citizenry such as hospice palliative care, music education and the shipping of radioactive waste through the Great Lakes.

The national resolutions committee met in June in Winnipeg and in August in Toronto to review submitted resolutions. Fourteen resolutions were received for consideration and three were received for information only. Two were forwarded to provincial councils by request of the submitting councils. Three were recommended to be forwarded to the education and health standing committee for action, and a further three were not recommended for consideration.

Six resolutions were recommended by the national resolutions committee for consideration. Five of these six were presented by the national executive. Four of the five presented at the annual national convention were adopted.

  • 2011.01 Prohibition of Practices re Human Reproductive Material
  • 2011.02 Children of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women
  • 2011.03  National Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Registry
  • 2011.04  Caffeine in Energy Drinks

Study and Implementation of Resolutions Adopted by Other Levels
Members signed petitions, presented programs on issues connected to adopted resolutions and monitored the national Web site and local and national media for updates. Action plans which accompanied adopted resolutions were the starting point for councils, and letter-writing campaigns were considered very successful.

NumberTitleActions
2011.01Prohibition of Practices re Human Reproductive Materialletter writing
2011.02Children of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Womenletter writing
2011.03Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Registryletter writing and member education
2011.04Caffeine in Energy Drinksletter writing
2010.01Chrysotile Asbestosletter writing
2007.02Global Accountability for Canadian Registered Mining Companiespresentations
2007.03Hospice Palliative Care: An Integral Component of the Canadian Health Care Systempresentations
2005.01Christmas Postage Stampsrequested and used
2005.08MaterCare International Fundingdonations made
2005.11Assisted Suicide – A Criminal Offencepresentations/petitions
2004.01Protection of Human Lifedonations made
2004.02Children Living in Poverty 
2004.05End Trafficking of Childrenletter writing/petitions
2003.01Affordable Housing for Low-Income Canadiansmember education
2000.03Promotion Fair Trade Coffeerequested and used
1999.01Elder Abuse/Assault Awarenessletter writing and presentations

Meetings with Provincial Governments
Three provincial councils reported very successful meetings with their provincial governments. Two councils requested meetings which were postponed due to an election call. Ontario Provincial Council hosted its first meet and greet with provincially-elected representatives, and it was judged a huge success.

Meeting with Federal Government
A delegation of three, National President Velma Harasen, National President-elect Betty Anne Brown Davidson, and I, met with members of parliament from all parties. Meetings were held with the prime minister and members of his staff; the minister of justice; the chief of staff for labour; staff from the department of health; official opposition critics for justice, Aboriginal affairs and finance; the critic for Aboriginal affairs of the second largest party in opposition; and the advisor to the interim leader of the second largest party in opposition.

Conclusion
Reports indicated that letters had been written on the aforementioned resolutions to all levels of government. Councils reported a total of 735 letters written. The impact and influence of these efforts should never be underestimated. While councils reported not having chairpersons of resolutions or combining resolutions and legislation committees, there was a commitment to fulfill the mandate of the respective action plans. Councils were to be applauded for steadfastness with the aid of Our Lady of Good Counsel and the Holy Spirit in producing quality resolutions.

Research and Preparation of Resolutions and Briefs
It was clear that the use of consistent and persistent education of members, which included workshops held at parish, diocesan and provincial executive meetings and annual conventions, reaped the harvest of resolutions. Provincial councils reported issues studied, researched and presented as resolutions to various levels of the organization.Topics included developing strategies for Alzheimer’s and related dementias, privatizing water, banning tanning beds, making automobile insurance protection better and more cost efficient, requesting better accessibility for organ donor applications, monitoring sodium levels in food, providing awareness and early detection of colon cancer, guarding against sexualisation of girls in the media, guaranteeing the rights of grandparents when child custody and care is an issue, providing safe water for First Nations’ communities, enacting a “Safe Haven” law, securing financial support for House of Peace (Neighbours) in Manitoba, funding accessible library services for blind and partially-sighted individuals, banning cat and dog fur products and developing labelling requirements for fur products in Canada, legislating the use of bicycle helmets for all ages in Manitoba, disposing of nuclear fuel waste, raising awareness of anaphylaxis, securing financial assistance for diabetes supplies, prescribing statin drugs to children and youth, securing catastrophic drug coverage in Prince Edward Island, offering affordable specialty foods for phenylketonuria patients, abolishing the mining and export of chrysotile asbestos and legislating a tax credit for children’s participation in arts and cultural activities. The national resolutions committee met in June in Winnipeg and in August in Ottawa to review submitted resolutions. Thirteen resolutions were received from the provincial councils, two of which were approved for presentation to the 90 th annual national convention after two submitted resolutions were combined into one, and one was accepted for presentation as a stand-alone. Three resolutions were referred to provincial councils for the information of their membership; three were pending more information or provincial adoption; three were received for information only; and one was returned with more research required. The two resolutions presented and adopted were Resolution 2010.01 Chrysotile Asbestos and Resolution 2010.02 Income Tax Credit for Children’s Participation in Arts and Cultural Activities.

Study and Implementation of Resolutions Adopted by Other Levels
By far the largest part of the mandate of resolutions chairpersons is in communication of the significant issues that have been identified in resolutions adopted by other levels. All provincial chairpersons reported that the national resolutions were a primary focus. The Canadian League was the main resource for reviewing national resolutions and following the action plans. The provincial councils were diligent in addressing the ongoing resolutions that continued to need support and voice including:

2009.01 Exit Strategies for Prostituted Persons

2009.02 Protection and Support Services for Foreign Victims of Human Trafficking

2008.01 Preventing Human Trafficking at 2010 Olympics

2008.04 Accurate Food Labelling

2007.02 Global Accountability for Canadian Registered Mining Companies

2007.03 Hospice Palliative Care: An Integral Component of the Canadian Health Care System

2005.01 Christmas Postage Stamps

2005.08 MaterCare International Funding

2005.11 Assisted Suicide – A Criminal Offence

2004.01 Protection of Human Life

2004.07 Water Use in Canada

2003.01 Affordable Housing for Low-Income Canadians

2002.03 Accessibility of the Workplace for Persons with Disabilities

2001.01 Quality End-of-Life Care

2000.03 Promotion Fair Trade Coffee

At Provincial and National Levels, Presentation of Resolutions to Government  Meetings with Provincial Governments Two councils reported meeting with their provincial governments. It may be that provincial elections precluded government meetings in some provinces.

Meeting with Federal Government 
A delegation of three – National President Velma Harasen, National Chairperson of Legislation Terri Scott and I had nine meetings in Ottawa, the full report of which was published in the winter 2011 issue of The Canadian League. D iscussions were held with eight ministries and a brief visit was made to the prime minister. New and existing resolutions were presented including poverty, food labelling, restriction on sale of products containing triclosan, corporate mining responsibility, elimination of Goods and Services tax on funeral expenses and hospice palliative care. The ministries visited included Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Health Canada, Justice Canada, Finance Canada, Canada Revenue Agency and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, as well as representatives of the opposition. For 37 years, the League has been welcomed to Ottawa and concerns as stated in the respective resolutions have been placed before the ministers.

Conclusion 
The actions taken by the provincial councils indicated that resolutions provided a strong focus for the membership from parish to national level. One provincial chairperson, “compiled information packages, a manual for resolutions chairpersons in her province and letter-writing guides to encourage more women to step forward as standing committee chairpersons”. While some chairpersons spoke of the challenges involved in attending or organizing workshops and the production of resolutions, they were still venturing “into the deep” and trusting as Women of Peace and Hope that the Holy Spirit would be with them as they continued to be voices for the voiceless.