2009 Annual Report – Legislation
Resolutions Standing Committee
Barb Dowding, Chairperson
2009 Annual Report
Research and Preparation of Resolutions and Briefs
The call for education and training was high on the list of priorities across the country. Resolutions chairpersons reported that numerous workshops and training sessions had been held giving members an opportunity to go through the step-by-step process of developing a resolution and brief through hands-on experience. Increased understanding and appreciation of the process were reported by those councils that hosted workshops. Learning to research and prepare a resolution, and taking the mystery out of the process, were the keys to understanding the steps and following guidelines. The importance of attendance at the annual national convention and in particular the resolutions dialogue was also emphasized as a place to garner enthusiasm for writing a resolution. First time attendees were excited about the process when seeing it take place and experiencing the discussion and interaction firsthand. Provincial councils that offered a dialogue prior to their conventions reported a boost in interest among members. One diocesan council established a committee specifically for researching and collecting data on possible topics of interest.
Resolutions Adopted at National Level in 2009
The national resolutions committee met twice in 2009, first in Winnipeg at the end of June, and then again in August just before the national annual convention to review a total of 18 resolutions submitted from provincial councils for consideration at the 2009 annual national convention. Delegates at the annual national convention adopted three resolutions, four were directed to standing committees for action and three were forwarded to the provincial councils for information and action. Six were not accepted and returned to the provincial councils with explanations.
Study and Implementation of Resolutions Passed by Other Levels
Current provincial resolutions were acted upon by means of verbal and written reports, visual displays, postcards, workshops, and discussions on articles written in The Canadian League. Some topics included automobile tire age, making dementia a healthcare priority, reducing the use of disposable products, and understanding palliative care.
Monthly inserts in parish bulletins drew attention to important issues related to current or past resolutions, both informing and raising awareness for members and parishioners alike. Adopting one resolution to focus on and learn about for the year worked in some councils. Some reported highlighting one to three resolutions per communiqué, with ideas for action at each level.
Action Taken on National Resolutions
In addition to action taking on the 2009 resolutions, members were keenly aware of past resolutions and the importance of achieving the required result or action. The following topics were addressed by councils and members across Canada:
• 2008.01 Preventing Human Trafficking at 2010 Olympics
• 2008.02 Restrictions on the Sale of Products Containing Triclosan
• 2008.03 Toxic Substances in Household Products
• 2008.04 Accurate Food Labelling
• 2008.05 Transportation Tax Credit for Rural Post-Secondary Students
• 2008.06 Revision of the Youth Criminal Justice Act
• 2007.02 Global Accountability for Canadian Registered Mining Companies
• 2007.03 Hospice Palliative Care: An Integral Component of the Canadian Health Care System
• 2006.01 Religious Freedom
• 2006.05 GST Exemption on Funeral Services
• 2005.01 Christmas Postage Stamps
• 2005.11 Assisted Suicide – A Criminal Offence
• 2003.08 National Strategy to Eliminate Computer-Based Child Pornography
• 2002.02 Anti-Bullying Programs
Presentations to Government
Provincial and territorial delegations attempt to meet annually with elected representatives. In 2009, two provincial councils reported meeting with government while three others had hoped to and one had its scheduled meeting postponed to spring 2010. All national resolutions were discussed as well as provincial issues, including the banning of cell phones. Delegates were well received and congratulated for the work of the League as a whole. All sent copies of the current provincial and national resolutions and briefs to provincial and territorial governments whether meetings were scheduled or not. One provincial council had begun working on a novel plan for a government meeting called “Government Day 2010”.
Two meetings with the federal government took place in 2009. The first delegation to Ottawa consisted of National Past President Lorette Noble, National President-elect Velma Harasen, National Chairperson of Legislation Judy Lewis and National Chairperson of Resolutions Barbara Dowding. This meeting had been postponed from the fall of 2008. Highlights included meetings with representatives from the departments of foreign affairs and international trade, agriculture and agri-food, health, finance, and citizenship and immigration.
The delegation at the second meeting included National President Danielle McNeil-Hessian, Velma Harasen, Judy Lewis and Barbara Dowding. The three resolutions adopted at the 2009 annual national convention were presented, as well a number of others that were current and relevant. This time the delegation had opportunities to meet and speak directly with the ministers of justice, public safety, finance, status of women, and citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, as well as the secretary general of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The delegation also met with some members of the Senate.
Both meetings were productive and educational. Information was exchanged and the opportunity to follow up from previous meetings was well received. There was a sense of satisfaction knowing the service provided by the League is relevant, important and respected. These face-to-face consultations lent credibility to the resolutions process.
The theme Women of Peace and Hope was referred to often in annual reports and it was clear that members appreciated and valued their part in the resolutions standing committee. Councils reported using the CWL Day of Peace & Hope Activities Kit to educate members on the resolutions process.
While the most common challenge appeared to be a lack of understanding and impatience for the process, the number of workshops given indicated this was being addressed and addressed well. For some, the faith part was the dream or wish of what could be. For others, the fun was working together on research and preparation. But everyone could experience a sense of fulfillment when the resolution was adopted and action took place.