Columns

From the category archives: Joe Gunn

Joe Gunn

New bill threatens vulnerable women, children, refugees

Joe Gunn

March 12, 2012

On Feb.16, the federal government announced new legislation that will change Canada's refugee determination system – and according to Church people who work directly with refugees – not for the better.

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Overseas aid battered by storms of cutback

Joe Gunn

February 13, 2012

Canadian Christians might wonder whether our overseas aid dollars make a positive difference.

In Catholic parishes, the collection for Development and Peace is taken up on Solidarity Sunday, the fifth Sunday in Lent. This can be a time to ponder deeper questions about the effectiveness of aid, the policies of governmental aid strategies and the guidance of Catholic social thought on such a crucial matter.

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Budget: an exercise in moral priorities

Joe Gunn

January 16, 2012

At this time of year, Canadians may be preoccupied with paying off their holiday credit card expenses - and not thinking too much about longer term prospects. With high unemployment, continuing stock market declines and worrying news about the European and American fiscal crises, many Canadians have been lowering their debt loads.

Their federal government is planning to do the same. The trick is to cut without stalling a fragile recovery, while making the investments necessary to ensure sustainability for the next generation of Canadians.

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Women shackled by poverty, low wages

Joe Gunn

December 12, 2011

As I re-read the Scripture that recounted that first Christmas, it occurred to me that women and their particular needs are often forgotten. On women, and their particular concerns, a light had not yet shone.

A male authority, Caesar Augustus, decided "all the world should be registered." Mary "belonged" to the family of her betrothed, the carpenter Joseph, and so had to travel to his hometown to be counted. No one bothered to ask a humble pregnant woman if an exhausting trip was in her own plan or her best interest - she simply had to go.

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Climate change a moral crisis – faith leaders

Joe Gunn

November 14, 2011

In an historic declaration last month, some 26 communities of faith in Canada, joined by another seven faith-based organizations, stated that climate change represents a moral crisis. They also recognized that solutions to this crisis will not be found without relying on the spiritual resources of the world's religious traditions.

Canada's faith leaders went further. They debunked the bogus argument that climate change is not caused by human activity. The faith leaders correctly named "the unprecedented human contribution to climate change."

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Slashing social investments costs

Joe Gunn

October 10, 2011

When you are really sick with an infection, does it make sense to start taking only a half dose of the antibiotics necessary to cure your ailment? Or again, when battling infection, does it make sense to take an antibiotic for half of the time necessary for the full cure to take effect?

Dr. Jeff Turnbull, outgoing president of the Canadian Medical Association, reports that there are 1,000 homeless people in the core of Canada's capital city, where he lives and works.

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Christians condemn risky global warming

Joe Gunn

September 12, 2011

Global warming has been named as the most serious crisis of our time.

The highest levels of the Catholic Church have asked for our understanding - and action. As long ago as 1998, the bishops of Alberta wrote a pastoral letter entitled, Celebrate Life: Care for Creation.

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Ottawa's tough new laws won't cut crime

Joe Gunn

July 11, 2011

Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised during the recent election campaign to pass all of his government's crime legislation in one package of bills within the first 100 sitting days of the new Parliament. In the June 3 Speech from the Throne, the Conservative government promised to "move quickly to reintroduce comprehensive law-and-order legislation to combat crime and terrorism."

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Fair taxation plants the seeds of justice

Joe Gunn

June 13, 2011

Canadians elected a new government last month and this month saw a new federal budget. There shouldn't have been any surprises, as the Conservatives won their majority on the promise of deficit reduction and low taxes.

One way to evaluate the budget is simply to ask if the governing party actually did what it promised to do. Christians might pose a deeper reflection: Does this budget deliver for those in need, while responsibly and fairly sharing the burden?

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Conflicting reports silence CCODP visitor

Joe Gunn

May 16, 2011

Like most teens these days, my daughter received the notice electronically. She was to sing at a benefit for the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace on a Saturday evening, and was anxiously awaiting the performance. For my part, I was looking forward to meeting the guest speaker from Mexico, Jesuit Father Luis Arriaga, director of the renowned Miguel Pro Centre for Human Rights.

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