April 19, 2011

Ending Persistent Homelessness

It is homelessness awareness week (April 17 - 23, 2011). Check out this video about the STEP Home program in Waterloo Region. STEP Home stands for Supports to End Persistent Homelessness. The video explains what persistent homelessness is and how a set of outreach and support services is helping people move from persistent homelessness into stable housing. It also asks us all to think about what role we can play to create community with people who have experienced persistent homelessness.

April 18, 2011

MP Exit Interviews

The National Post ran an interesting story on MP exit interviews and the dysfunction of party politics in Canada. The article was based on a report from Samara, a non-profit group studying citizen engagement in Canada. One of the projects Samara does is to conduct MP exit interviews. Here is a brief introduction to the third report on these exit interviews.

The realities of how Canada's Parliament works will help you understand why MCC Ottawa's election primer focuses questions on how candidates will work in caucus and committee.

April 14, 2011

Some more election resources

Here are some federal election resources:

1. Check out MCC Ottawa's election primer with questions you can ask candidates. They are designed to get candidates thinking. Here is one example:
What will you do to ensure that Canada meets its commitments to upholding human rights standards?
2. Concerned about poverty in Canada and abroad? Make Poverty History offers 8 ways to make poverty an election issue.

3. Law and order. Community safety and crime prevention. Two different approaches to issues of crime and community. The Church Council on Justice and Corrections provides some thoughtful background and throught provoking questions for candidates:
Questions to ask candidates:
- Given that more than half of people in prison are non-violent and that more than a third have not been convicted of a crime, will you work toward safe and effective alternatives to costly imprisonment?
- How will you and your party reform the criminal justice system to be more fiscally responsible and to heal offenders, victims and communities?

April 12, 2011

Election action idea from Street Level

Here is a message I just received from Greg Paul from Sanctuary Ministries of Toronto -- an MCCO partner.

Folks, here's a really easy way to raise the issues of poverty and Biblical justice in the current election campaign:

Email a question about what the party leaders intend to do about poverty in Canada to the consortium hosting the TV debates at

Simple, huh? Here's one of the questions I submitted: "About 3 million Canadians are living in poverty, and a disproportionate number of them are First Nations people. What do you intend to do to care for the poorest and most excluded Canadians?"

Peace -
Greg Paul