Minutes of Spring 2018 KWPeace Organizational Meeting and Potluck

Meeting Announcement: Spring 2018 KWPeace Organizational Meeting and Potluck

26 March 2018 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Peace and Justice Room, Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church, 57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener Map
Laura Hamilton: Divest Waterloo, Food Not Bombs, Faith and the Common Good
Cathy Scott: Fair Vote Waterloo
Sharon Sommerville: KW Council of Canadians, Alliance Against Poverty
Dwyer Sullivan: Educators 4 Justice, Camp Micah, Conscience Canada
Sue Klassen: Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church, Peace and Justice Working Group, Grand Valley Institute outreach, Alternatives to Violence
Victor Klassen:
Gehan Sabry: Cross Cultures Magazine
Lynn Schulze: Crossing Borders Program
Alejandra: Crossing Borders Program
Bob Jonkman: Green Party, WR Nonviolence, KWPeace
Mo Markham: KW Vegan Society, KW Animal Save, Kitchener Waterloo Climate Save, Mother Earth Save

Meeting Notes

Groups Reports

Fair Vote Waterloo

  • Electoral Reform is on hiatus, it is not active at the government level
  • FairvoteWRC is still doing education
  • No petition, but has a form to pledge to vote only for a party with a commitment to Proportional Representation

KW Council of Canadians

  • Primary campaign is water
  • Also health care as a local initiative
    • Bill 160, the overhaul of health care delivery
      • It’s presented as an omnibus bill
      • Includes removal of ban on private hospitals
      • Increased use of private clinics for diagnostics
      • Concerns over patient privacy and info sharing
      • The cost of private care is greater
      • KWCoC has met with all local MPPs
      • This needs to be a campaign issue in the Provincial Election (7 June 2018)
        • Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife is on board, will present petitions in legislature
      • “Privatization by stealth”
      • Privatization requires profit — fair wages and employment equity? (private workers vs. unionized workers)
      • MPPs presented excuses of “aging infrastructure” and “aging population”

Alliance Against Poverty

  • Political Action Campaign to implement Free Transit for all
    • First steps: Get Free Transit for low income people

Educators For Justice

  • Speaker Candice spoke on native justice at Conrad Grebel University on Friday

Conscience Canada

  • Promotes the divestment of 8.9% tax used to fund Canadian military to be used for other purposes
  • Saturday, 7 April 2018 at 3:30pm is Conscience Canada AGM; Tamara Lorincz will be speaking on Canadian military spending and the effects on climate change.

English Catholic Teachers

  • Social Justice for Human Rights
    • Dwyer Sullivan writes: I was at the Ontario English catholic teachers Association’s (OECTA) 4 day AGM over the March Break and always have a Social Justice both to promote various causes. My comment was that a number of us spent over 10 hours discussion trying to determine a strategy so that the BDS proposal about Israel and Palestinian Human rights wouldn’t be defeated again on the floor with the 700 (mostly uninformed) delegates. We successfully got the resolution referred to the Human Rights Committee which we will join and then be sure the motion will be better able to be explained and have traction at next year’s AGM

Crossing Borders

  • A group of refugees and students, coming together to break down barriers
  • Have done 100 presentations to schools, organizations!
  • Workshops with 16 kids, presented to City Hall, schools, &c.
  • Partnering with Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support (MCRS)
  • Working on a partnership with CJI
  • Have received grants (maybe can provide some experience for the Social Development Centre’s Community Hub initiative)
  • Jeremy Horne has been their fundraiser
  • 10 years of Crossing Borders
    • Started by kids, from program during Human Rights Week

Cross Cultures Magazine

  • had their 18th annual commemoration of the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at the Kitchener City Hall, during which time the prototype of the MUTUAL RESPECT plaque was unveiled; When finalized it will be placed around the clock tower entrance of Victoria Park. Right now we are in consultation with indigenous members of the community regarding the final wording for the medicine wheel / four directions which tops the message:
     Waterloo Region embraces
     we are proud of our diversity
     and are stronger for it 
  • Gehan representing herself as originally from Egypt – is currently also on the board as vice president/vice chair of ACA WRA (African Canadian Association of Waterloo Region & Area)
  • as well as on MACKS (Advisory Committee for Kitchener Seniors)

St. John’s Co-op Kitchen

  • There is a grant for a coach
    • Sean —, a Union Co-op to pool funds, limited to $10,000
    • Commitment to fair labour practices and a living wage
    • The kitchen is a social incubator
    • …but also a back-end for other programs, eg. marketing your product
    • get more funding (?)
  • Community Dinners, eg. Syrian Ladies
    • Expected 100, cooked for 150, but 225 showed up
    • Extra costs cut into the honorarium to the cooks
    • Will invite ACAWRA
  • Start cooking classes to raise funds
    • get stories to tell at dinners
      • eg. from Crossing Borders
      • Jacky Terry, board member at ACAWRA may have stories

WR Nonviolence

  • No response from City Hall about booking Roos Island in Victoria Park for Saturday, 14 July 2018
  • Bob thinks the drop-dead date for confirming the booking is end of April

from Mo Markham

  • We have posted a petition on our page, and I think on the KW peace page as well, to ask that the crown attorney request that Benjamin Stein, the so-called farmer who left several thousand pigs to die without food, water, heat, etc. not have animals in his care again in his lifetime. This is mostly a publicity stunt, to try to get some media attention to this case, the largest case of animal cruelty in Canadian history.
    • KW Animal Save AND London Pig Save will be attending the sentencing in Simcoe on April 26th, and sometime before then we will present the petition to the crown attorney.
  • Our latest Save group, Mother Earth Save, will be holding a free mothers’ brunch on Saturday, May 26th at St. John the Evangelist downtown to help young mothers understand what’s happening to the planet, and how they can get involved to make change. There will be childcare provided.
  • And on Saturday June 23rd 30 June 2018, the KW Vegan Society will hold a fundraiser for KW Animal Save and Kitchener Waterloo Climate Save. This will be a catered picnic and bonfire. I have posted this on the KW peace site, and it is also on the KW animal save page.

Other Notes

  • Alejandra is a refugee from Colombia
    • Got permanent residency through Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds
    • The Refugee Board and Immigration Board don’t communicate; she was still receiving notices after getting permanent residency
    • How to get employment as a refugee? Kitchener Waterloo Multicultural Centre and City of Kitchener provided a Healthy Lifestyles Ambassador placement as a Lifeguard
      • This program is no longer funded

  • 22 April 2018 is Earth Day
    • There is a Climate Walk in Toronto

  • Access to politicians
    • Local politicians treat delegations from activist groups as though they were “storming the Bastille”

  • Festival season!
    • Space at Kitchener City Hall
      • None available before summer
      • Difficult to get hold of _____ (organizer/venue reservation)
      • But space is still available

  • Joint All-Candidates Meetings
    • Topic: Social Justice for Health, Anti-Poverty, Electoral Reform, Environment
    • To be put on by:
    • By having multiple groups involved, candidates can no longer use the excuse of not participating because this is a “single issue”.
    • The Record and Rogers are no longer hosting a public All Candidates Meeting
      • and the Chamber of Commerce doesn’t allow questions (and does not address social issues, anyway)

  • Indigenous Storytellers
    • 10,000 year old stories
    • Listening as well as telling
    • Ted and Co presents On the Doctrine of Discovery
    • There will be four performances

Next Meeting

  • No date was set for the next meeting. Bob Jonkman will ask on the mailing list, and set up a poll to find the preferred date.

Meeting notes taken by Bob Jonkman.

Previous Meeting: KWPeace Winter 2018 Meeting and Potluck, 1 February 2018

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