May 2013 

Building a Safer World  

Last month we invited you to join our efforts to gather signatures for a petition strengthening Canada's legislation ratifying the Convention on Cluster Munitions.  

We have been gratified by the creative and enthusiastic ways individuals, churches, and groups have engaged with this effort.


Alayna Smith, a Grade 4 student in Winnipeg, invited her classmates to sign the petition, Still lacking a few of the requisite 25 signatures, she turned to her neighbours until the petition was full.    

Ron Janzen, executive director of MCC Manitoba, joined an MCC learning tour to Laos and Cambodia in February. After meeting a farmer who cultivates land that has not been cleared of cluster munitions, he wrote a poem called "not yet." 


Ken Loewen, a sculptor from Altona Manitoba, participated in the same learning tour. He turned his concern for victims of cluster munitions into a beautiful sculpture which is pictured here.  

Students who attended our Ottawa Student Seminar in February have also been spreading the word and gathering signatures.  Thank-you! 


Please continue to promote the petition. And please let us know what you are doing by sending a message to

Parliamentary Business  

Our Ottawa Office team is currently tracking several pieces of legislation.

Bill C-60, presented by the government on April 29,outlines the amalgamation of the Canadian International Development Agency with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Department of Foreign Affairs.

Bill C-486, the Conflict Minerals Act, introduced by Paul Dewar (MP for Ottawa Centre), requires electronics companies to assure consumers that the minerals they purchase from the Great Lakes region of Africa do not fuel armed conflict and benefit warring factions.

Bill C-474, the Sunshine Bill, introduced by John McKay (MP for Scarborough), promotes transparency and accountability on the part of Canadian mining companies, by requiring that they disclose payments made to foreign governments or officials in securing mining concessions. The bill intends to prevent mining companies from benefiting from corrupt or odious practices.
Looking for a writer...

The Ottawa Office is looking for someone to write worship materials--prayers, litanies, and such--for this year's Peace Sunday Packet.

The Peace Sunday Packet is a resource which MCC provides to supporting churches across Canada each fall to help them plan a Peace Sunday worship service in the context of Remembrance Day. This year's theme focuses on 2 Corinthians 5: 17-19.


If you are interested, send a message with your CV and a sample of your writing to Esther at



 People on the Move 


A new issue of Intersections, MCC's quarterly publication on theory and practice, explores the topic of people on the move.  


According to compiler Adrienne Wiebe, MCC policy analyst for Latin America and the Caribbean, the last few decades have seen an exponential increase in people on the move, especially across nation-state boundaries. Organizations like MCC have traditionally focused on responding to the immediate humanitarian needs of refugees and migrants. Wiebe and others argue that "careful analysis of the migration-development relationship is essential if MCC is to respond effectively to the long-term needs of migrating peoples and their communities of origin and destination."  


Look for an article by Ed Wiebe, MCCC Refugee Program Coordinator, on temporary foreign workers in Canada.


Visit People on the Move.               
In This Issue
Feature Article
Parliamentary Business
Staff Update
Ottawa Notebook
of the Month


Did you know that Mother's Day originated from a women's protest against the carnage of war? Julia Ward Howe spoke these words in 1870 in the context of the US civil war:


"Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." Bangladesh Salesian Sisters

Staff Update


Monica Scheifele 

Program Assistant 

During National Victims of Crime Week (April 21-27),  Monica attended the Ottawa performance of "Forgiven/Forgotten," a restorative justice themed play about a church's response to a paroled offender in their midst.  


This not-to-be-missed drama was performed by Theatre of the Beat, a unique drama troupe seeking to make the world a more peaceful place by challenging and inspiring the communities they visit. Theatre of the Beat is currently on an MCC sponsored national tour with "Forgiven/Forgotten", so be sure to check out their itinerary  for a performance near you.        

Ottawa Office Notebook 


Do you know about our blog--the Ottawa Office Notebook?  It is a weekly reflection written by one of our staff or a guest writer.  


The blog for the week of May 1 is a prayer for the Korean peninsula, written by MCC North East Asia rep Kathi Suderman. 


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