Open Letters & Public Statements

 
Open letters & public statements from Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)
A talk organized by CFSC and the War Resisters Support Campaign to raise awareness about the legal status of conscientious objection to military service.

We make public statements and send letters to key decision makers on issues of concern to Quakers in Canada. All of our recent statements are posted below by category. You may also be interested in our educational resources and in our newsletter Quaker Concern and other updates about our work.

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Criminal justice

  • Open letter supporting proposed reforms to Canada’s Criminal Records Act. (2020)
  • Open letter calling for reversal of Ontario’s decision to eliminate the Child and Youth Advocate. (2018)
  • Open letter supporting an end to mandatory minimum sentencing. (2018)
  • Open letter calling for judicial discretion in sentencing. (2018)
  • Open letter supporting proposed changes to the criminal code to remove Section 43 (about hitting children) and bring it in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. (2017)
  • Joint letter on Canada’s Court Challenges Program. (2017)
  • Open letter endorsing the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s submission on the Strategy for a Safer Ontario. (2016)
  • Open letter endorsing No On Prison Expansion (#NOPE) initiative. (2016)
  • Statement to the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Service on its review of segregation in adult correctional facilities. (2016)
  • Joint statement on physical punishment of children and youth and CFSC’s endorsement letter of the joint statement. (2013)
  • Submission in response to white paper two of the BC Justice Reform Initiative. (2013)
  • Submission to the Justice Reform Initiative mandated to review the BC justice system. (2012)
  • Submission to the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights (JUST) regarding Bill C-10, “The Safe Streets and Community Act.” (2011)
  • Open letter concerning increased incarceration in Canada. (2011)

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Indigenous peoples’ human rights

2020

  • Statement on the need for governments to actively involve Indigenous peoples in responses to police violence. (2020)
  • Joint statement on respect of Indigenous peoples’ human rights during COVID-19 pandemic. (2020)
  • Open letter in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en People. (2020)

2019

  • Joint statement on legislation to provide a framework for implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia. (2019)
  • Open letter to all candidates in the federal election calling for the next session of parliament to prioritize protection and fulfillment of the human rights of Indigenous peoples. (2019)
  • Joint statement Indigenous human rights advocates horrified that handful of Senators blocked Bill C-262. (2019)
  • Joint statement on need for Senate to pass Bill C-262. (2019)
  • Open letter to the Senate of Canada from attendees of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. (2019)
  • Joint statement 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. (UNPFII 2019)
  • Joint statement on free, prior, and informed consent. (2019)
  • Open letter calling for Canada’s Senators to support Bill C-262. (2019)

2018

  • Open letter calling for urgent action to ensure Indigenous women are not sterilized without their consent. (2018)
  • Joint statement on free, prior and informed consent. (EMRIP 2018)
  • Open letter urging Members of Parliament to support Bill C-262. (2018)
  • Open letter calling for Canada to implement recommendations from the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review. (2018)
  • CFSC presentation to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs re: Bill C-262. (2018)
  • Joint statement on Indigenous Peoples’ lands, territories, and resources. (UNPFII 2018)
  • Joint statement with recommendations for implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (UNPFII 2018)
  • Open letter to all Members of Parliament on Bill C-262. (2018)
  • Article in the Hill Times correcting misunderstandings about Bill C-262. (2018)

2017

  • Opinion piece published in The Hill Times prepared by the Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (2017)
  • Open letter to the participants in the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministerial Meeting on Human Rights. (2017)
Paul Joffe, Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come, and Jennifer Preston at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Paul Joffe and Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come representing the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), and Jennifer Preston representing CFSC at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

2016

  • Joint statement Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (EMRIP 2016)
  • Statements and resources from CFSC and our partners
    Will David, Jennifer Preston (CFSC), Kenneth Deer (Indigenous World Association) and Paul Joffe (Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)) at the UN in New York
  • Joint statement Bill C-262: An essential framework for implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (2016)
  • Joint statement Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (UNPFII 2016)
  • Joint statement on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in response to Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Call to Action #48. (2016)
  • Quaker statement in response to Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Call to Action #48 – Implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (2016)
  • Open letter Nothing clean about Site C dam. (2016)
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    Peace

    Statements and resources on issues like justice and peace in Israel/Palestine
    Olive trees in Aida refugee camp, Occupied West Bank
    • Open letter calling for a ban on the use of facial recognition software by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, a public consultation, and new laws and policies. (2020)
    • Open letter expressing dismay at US Middle East “peace” plan and calling for Canada to reject it. (2020)
    • Open letter about Canada’s recent votes at the UN regarding Israel/Palestine. (2020)
    • Open letter calling for Canada to relentlessly engage in diplomacy with Iran. (2020)
    • Open letter stating that Quakers are not invested in any companies profiting from the Israeli occupation and will refuse to invest for as long as the occupation continues. (2019)
    • Open letter calling for release of Segal report into the extradition of Hassan Diab. (2019)
    • Joint letter to Senators calling for changes to the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement. (2019)
    • Open letter about serious remaining loopholes as Canada accedes to the Arms Trade Treaty. (2019)
    • Open letter calling for Mohamed Harkat not to be deported from Canada. (2018)
    • Open letter following accusations from Canadian politicians that Dimitri Lascaris is anti-Semitic. (2018)
    • Joint statement on International Day of Peace calling for reaffirming commitments to peace, human rights, justice, and inclusion. (2018)
    • Open letter on Canada’s participation in the arms trade and the Arms Trade Treaty. (2018)
    • Open letter calling for independent inquiry into the extradition of Hassan Diab and changes to Canada’s Extradition Act. (2018)
    • Open letter calling for honesty in labeling of settlement products. (2018)
    • Open letter on violence against protesters in Gaza. (2018)
    • Open letter on the status of Jerusalem. (2018)
    • Open letter supporting legislation to prevent strategic lawsuits against public participation in British Columbia. (2018)
    • Open letter on Sumud: Freedom Camp. (2017)
    • Open letter calling for intervention on behalf of Hassan Diab. (2017)
    • Joint statement on International Day of Peace calling for peace actions from governments. (2017)
    • Statement on the launch of No Way to Treat a Child campaign in Canada. (2017)
    • Open letter expressing profound concern with famines in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria caused in large part by war and armed conflict. (2017)
    • Open letter calling for Mohamed Harkat not to be deported from Canada. (2016)
    • Open letter calling on Canada to restore funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency. (2016)
    • Open letter asking that conscientious objectors to the Iraq war (“war resisters”) be allowed to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. (2016)
    • Open letter sent by the Canadian Council of Churches expressing support for conscientious objectors to the Iraq war who have sought refuge in Canada. (2016)
    • Joint statement on International Day of Peace calling on governments to embrace the new Global Framework for Peace. (2016)
    • Open letter on Ontario Government response to Palestinian rights advocacy. (2016)
    • Open letter to the government of Canada on the situation of Palestinian refugees. (2016)
    • Joint statement supporting the right to dissent, including in the case of the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement. (2016)
    • Open letter Quakers appalled by Islamophobia in Canada. (2015)
    • Joint statement facing the challenge of peace. (2015)
    • Open letter calling on Canada to recognize the right to participate in boycotts of the products of illegal Israeli settlements as a form of nonviolent support for a just peace. (2015)
    • Open letter expressing concerns with Canada-Israel Memorandum of Understanding. (2015)
    • Interfaith declaration supporting a ban on fully autonomous weapons and our cover letter explaining our sign on. (2014)
    • Statement in opposition to the military intervention in Libya. (2011)
    • Joint intervention brief to the Federal Court of Appeal (Hinzman case) in 2009-2010. The Court’s decision reflects some of the arguments raised in the brief.
    • Joint statement by Quaker Service Agencies worldwide on war on Iraq. (2003)
    • Statement on UN Security Council Resolution 1441 re: Iraq. (2002)

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    Environment & misc.

    • Joint statement condemning systemic racism in Canada and calling on Quakers to take action. (2020)
    • Open letter calling for human rights oversight of Canadian government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020)
    • Open letter with many signatories expressing deep concerns over He Jiankui’s claims of editing the genes of babies. (2018)
    • Multi-faith charter on climate change. (2017)
    • Joint statement calling for a global moratorium on gene drives (list of signatories). (2016)
    • Open letter on closing the international accountability gap in the extractive sector. (2016)
    • Joint statement on Canada’s responsibilities to take more significant action on climate change. (2015)
    • Open letter with 53 religious investors calling for a clear, reliable, and effective price for carbon emissions. (2015)
    • Joint statement by Quaker groups from around the world on facing the challenge of climate change. (2015)
    • Uranium – CFSC facilitated a consultation process among Canadian Quakers concerned about uranium. The process produced the following documents: Consultation paper circulated to Monthly Meetings about uranium, Palm Beach Monthly Meeting Minute on uranium (referred to during consultation), presentation to Darlington Hearings, report to Canadian Yearly Meeting based on the uranium consultation. (2011)

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