CCIC - Flash
A semi-monthly electronic bulletin

June 5, 2009

1. Canada- Colombia Trade Deal Removed from Government’s Legislative Agenda

As a result of increasing parliamentary and public concern, Bill C-23, the implementing legislation for the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), has been removed from the government’s current legislative agenda. Ratification of the FTA requires majority parliamentary approval of implementing legislation for the agreement.  Second reading of the controversial Bill began Monday May 25, 2009. The Liberal Party of Canada joined the NDP and the Bloc Québécois in calling for a human rights impact assessment (HRIA) before further votes on the Bill. The HRIA was recommended as an essential step of due diligence by the Parliamentary Standing Committee for International Trade in June 2008. Debate on the Bill now seems unlikely to re-commence until the Fall of 2009. Still the President of Colombia has been invited to address the Parliamentary Committee on June 10.

2. CRA’S Guidance on the Protection of Human Rights

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently released a proposed guidance on the protection of human rights and charitable registration. This guidance emphasizes the importance of human rights with CRA’s public acknowledgment that protection of human rights is a charitable purpose in Canada.

3. Financial Reporting for Not-For-Profit Organizations

The Accounting Standards Board and the Public Sector Accounting Board issued an Invitation to Comment: Financial Reporting by Not-For-Profit Organizations. This document has proposed a number of alternatives to the current accounting standard regime used by the not-for-profit sector. The Standards Board is providing an opportunity, until June 30, for the not-for-profit sector to comment on the future of the standards. The Ontario Nonprofit Network  (ONN) and Imagine Canada  have prepared a  position paper in response to this ‘Invitation to Comment’.

Upcoming Events


4. Fragile Peace in a Volatile World – What Role for Canada in Supporting Peace Processes?

A CCIC one-day seminar and strategizing meeting with civil society organizations, academics, and conflict resolution practitioners will be held on June 10. The conference is an opportunity to develop a shared policy agenda for strengthening Canada’s role in supporting peace processes.  The day will feature presentations on Canada and track two diplomacy, women and civil society in peace processes, links between conflict resolution and citizenship, and building mediation capacity.  For more information contact Surendrini Wijeyaratne at 613-241-7007 ext. 320.  The agenda, background materials and registration forms are all available online.

5. Challenges of Defending Human Rights Today

Margaret Sekaggya, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders will be speaking at an event sponsored by EQUITAS – International Centre for Human Rights Education and the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. The event will take place Thursday June 11 from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm at Moot Court, Faculty of Law, McGill University. Admission is free. For more information contact Pego Brennan at 514-954-0382 ext. 240.

6. A Conference on the Future of Canadian ODA

What is the importance of the ODA Accountability Act for the future of Canadian ODA?  What will be done differently, with what impact of poverty reduction?  How can the Act strengthen CIDA as a more effective and robust official development agency?  CCIC, along with Rights and Democracy, Amnesty International Canada, The North South Institute, and the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa, will be holding a conference in Ottawa from September 28 to 30 to look at these questions. The Conference will gather international CSOs, parliamentarians, government officials, media and academics interested in the implications of international human rights standards for future directions of Canadian ODA.

Worth Looking At


7. Approaches to Strengthening CIDA: Creating an effective government department for international cooperation

Approaches to Strengthening CIDA” is a CCIC discussion paper on directions for strengthening CIDA as the pre-eminent government institution to mandate and coordinate Canadian ODA, in the context of the purposes set out in the ODA Accountability Act.  The paper argues that CIDA be transformed into a government department with a legislated mandate and it sets out the implications and directions for accountability to parliament and an action strategy for improving aid effectiveness in light of international commitments made at the Accra High Level Forum.  The discussion paper will be a background resource in the coming months to address questions relating to improving the effectiveness of CIDA.

Media File


8. Canada-Colombia Free Trade Deal

In an editorial on May 24, the Toronto Star called for careful study and extensive hearings into The Canada-Colombia trade deal to determine whether ordinary Colombians benefit from the deal, or are made worse off. The Toronto Star also urged parliament to insist on a human rights impact assessment.

Ethics in a Flash


9. AGM approves updated Code of Ethics and Operational Standards

The Ethics Review Committee provided the CCIC Board and the AGM with their final proposal for an updated Code of Ethics and Operational Standards.  The feedback received from members during discussions in meetings across the country and through email responses provided the Committee with essential input and guidance to help them finalize the proposal.  The CCIC membership agreed with the changes and approved the final version.  Charts, outlining the final wording and explaining the changes to both the Code of Ethics and Operational Standards are available. An updated hard copy brochure will be available in the fall.  The Ethics Review Committee will now begin the task of updating the Guidance Document and compliance forms.

Note: Flash is moving to its summer schedule. The next Flash will go out on July 3 followed by a Flash on July 31.

Flash is a members only publication. CCIC members, however, are encouraged to forward Flash to their staff, board, regional offices, Southern partners and volunteers. If you have an item for Flash, send it by e-mail to Katia Gianneschi. Please note that Flash items should be no longer than one paragraph.


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