Call to Action from Canada Without Poverty.
From: Rob Rainer [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Subject: Call to action on Bill C-38 (the omnibus budget bill)
It is not often that anti-poverty groups get asked by the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Finance to appear before them: usually it is we who are doing the asking. But Canada Without Poverty did appear before this committee last Thursday. This means we have gained traction: and now we need to keep the traction moving.
The issue: Bill C-38, also known as the omnibus budget bill. Why it’s an issue: It’s not a budget bill. It’s a massive, unwieldy bill that goes beyond taxes and expenditures to place great power in the hands of Cabinet and unelected bureaucrats. Before Bill C-38 showed up, Parliament was meant to debate, as specific policy issues, such things as major proposed changes to Old Age Security and Employment Insurance. (Omnibus means “for everything.”) But Bill C-38 marginalizes MPs and stifles what should be vigorous debate on dozens of public policy concerns. The Globe and Mail said as much in a recent editorial, as did National Post writers Andrew Coyne and John Ivison, among many others. Former Prime Minister John Turner is weighing in, in defense of Parliament. See also Canada Without Poverty’s opening remarks before committee, with our four specific concerns relative to poverty and social security in Canada (for the full presentation, click here).
The solution: Simple. Break this bill apart. Debate each element on its merits and vote. What’s the rush, unless there’s a hidden agenda.
How you can help: Contact each of the following members of the Finance Committee. Express your concerns. Demand that Bill C-38 be rejected and its constituent elements subject to proper parliamentary, i.e., public, scrutiny. An email string for ease of copying and pasting is below the names of the committee members. Feel free to copy us on your correspondence.
Conservative Members: Mark Adler, Shelly Glover, Randy Hoback, Brian Jean, Cathy McLeod, James Rajotte (Committee Chair), Dave Van Kesteren
Liberal Member: Scott Brison (Committee Vice Chair)
New Democrat Members: Guy Caron, Hoang Mai, Wayne Marston, Peggy Nash (Committee Vice Chair)
email@example.com; Peggy.Nash@parl.gc.ca; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Hoang.Mai@parl.gc.ca; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Mark.Adler@parl.gc.ca; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Guy.Caron@parl.gc.ca
Thank you, in advance, if you are able to act on this call to action.
Executive Director / Directeur executif
CANADA WITHOUT POVERTY / CANADA SANS PAUVRETÉ
Working in alliance with the CWP Advocacy Network / Travaillant en alliance avec le Réseau de revendication CSP
Honorary Directors / Directeurs honoraires
Right (Très) Hon. Joe Clark; Hon. Louise Arbour; Hon. Monique Bégin; Hon. Ed Broadbent; Ovide Mercredi;
Ottawa office / Bureau d’Ottawa: @UnderOneRoof, 251 Bank Street, 2nd Floor, Ottawa, ON K2P 1X3; (613) 789-0096 (1-800-810-1076)
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Today, poverty prevails as the gravest human rights challenge in the world. Combating poverty, deprivation and exclusion is not a matter of charity, and it does not depend on how rich a country is. By tackling poverty as a matter of human rights obligation, the world will have a better chance of abolishing this scourge in our lifetime. Poverty eradication is an achievable goal.
Hon. Louise Arbour, Honorary Director and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the occasion of International Human Rights Day 2006
Human rights only become meaningful when they gain political content…they are rights that require active participation from those who hold them.
Lynn Hunt, human rights historian