People and Planet First

November 8, 2021

Dear Friends,

During the month of November and the first part of December, Development and Peace-Caritas Canada is asking Catholics to take up the cause of Human Rights especially as it applies to the behavior of Canadian mining companies in the Global South. We are asking Catholics and all people who wish, to sign a petition to the House of Commons, to help our sisters and brothers in the Global South who are fighting for their rights and the preservation of our earth, by signing our petition on their behalf.

Essentially, the petition states that companies based in Canada are contributing to human rights abuse and environmental damage around the world and that people who protest these abuses and defend their rights are often harassed, attacked or killed. An average of 4 people are killed every month in some part of the world for defending those rights. Indigenous Peoples, women and marginalized groups are especially under threat. Canada encourages but does not require companies to prevent such harm in their global operations and supply chains.

We are asking that Canada have a legal requirement that obliges Canadian companies to act responsibly abroad. Enacting such a law would help protect the men and women defending the earth by giving them a right to recourse to Canadian courts. Life before profit!

The theme of this year’s Fall Action is People and Planet First. Although there is lots of information coming out of Glasgow, some of it encouraging there are lots of worrisome items. That is why we are sending a petition to the federal MPs asking that they make sure that Canadian mining companies respect human and environmental rights in all their activities in the Global South and thus contribute to what Pope Francis calls an “ecological conversion.”

If you are a Canadian citizen, you are invited to sign the petition online or, print it off and collect signatures. Each page must be printed on clean paper. Please sign your full name as an individual and please don’t print your name. The petition is easy, as it requires just a signature and a postal code.

Go to the Development and Peace website, devp.org/reportback to share the number of signatures you collected. You can also meet with your MP, either virtually or in person to present your signatures and educate him about the struggles of the people in mining areas in the Global South. In that case, please have the full sheet of 25 signatures. You can go to devp.org for tools to assist planning a meeting with your MP and let Development and Peace know if you met with him. Share a photo.

You can also return the completed form to the Diocesan Council online – maryboyd@live.ca or drop it off at the Diocesan Office. 

Having lots of signatures demonstrates that Development and Peace represents many people who care deeply about the people of the Global South who want Canada to enact binding legal requirements.

When we ask, What Can We Do? This action is a great answer. It joins us to Pope Francis’ request that we hear “both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (Laudato Si).

For further information, call 902-969-2693.

People and Planet First