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Flash

January 11, 2008

Headlines

  1. Statcan Satellite Account on Non-Profit Institutions and Volunteering Paints New Picture of the Sector: A new report from Statistics Canada, covering the period 1997 to 2004 makes clearer than ever the important economic impact of the non-profit and volunteer sector. In 2004, the value added, or gross domestic product (GDP), of the core nonprofit sector amounted to $29.6 billion-accounting for 2.5% of the total Canadian economy. This share increases to 6.9% when hospitals, universities and colleges are included. Over the 1997 to 2004 period, economic activity in the core segment outpaced that of the overall economy in five out of seven years. In 2004, the core nonprofit sector generated almost three times as much value added as the motor vehicle manufacturing industry, 50% more than agriculture, and about the same as the entire accommodation and food services industry. Organizations in the social services, development and housing, religion, and culture and recreation groups combined made up nearly two-thirds of core NPO economic activity in each of the eight years. The social services group led the pack throughout the 1997 to 2004 period, accounting for a 24.2% share of core NPO GDP in 2004. For the complete report visit: http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/13-015-XIE/13-015-XIE2007000.pdf.

  2. "Peak Soil + Peak Oil = Peak Spoils" - New ETC Report Details Agro-fueling of Corporate Power: The ETC says massive government incentives and subsidies in OECD countries - estimated to be as high as US$15 billion/year - are stoking the agrofuels boom and spurring unprecedented alliances that extend corporate power over a larger share of the world's resources. The South's land and labor are once again being exploited to perpetuate unjust and unsustainable consumption patterns in the North. Fuel crops compete with food crops - and small farmers and poor consumers lose out. First generation agrofuels (from crops like maize and rapeseed/canola) may actually accelerate, rather than arrest, climate change, given the huge amounts of energy required to grow them. Governments failed to anticipate these negative social, economic and environmental impacts. The FAO's High-Level Conference on World Food Security and the Challenges of Bioenergy and Climate Change, 3-5 June 2008, presents an opportunity to address and rectify the growing impact of ill-considered bio-fuels. The ETC Group identifies the new corporate alliances propelled by (and propelling) the scramble for bio-based fuels. For the full report: http://www.etcgroup.org/en/materials/publications.html?pub_id=668


  3. Review of Canada's Access to Medicine Regime Come in With a Whimper: The Government's report on its review of the Canadian Access to Medicine Regime [CAMR] was tabled in the House of Commons December 14th just as the House rose for the break. The report recommended no changes, while signalling more analysis was needed. The long anticipated Review of CAMR disappointed CSOs, who had hoped that the complex system would be streamlined and simplified given how cumbersome it is to use. ``Given that it's been over three years since the law was passed, and we still haven't yet seen any exports . . . and given what further delay in coming up with a workable regime means for people with HIV who need medicines , we find this lack of interest in fixing the regime disappointing, to put it mildly,'' said Richard Elliott, executive director of the Canadian HIV-AIDS Legal Network.The review is available on line at : http://camr-rcam.hc-sc.gc.ca/review-reviser/camr_rcam_report_rapport_e.html.


  4. Human Rights Groups Challenge Canadian Government's Assertions on Colombia - Point to Ongoing Rights Violations: Concern over Canada's determination to sign a trade deal with Colombia continues to grow. Human rights groups and Parliamentarians recently turned up the heat. Amnesty International has written to the Minister of International Trade, David Emerson, challenging his assertion before Commons Committee on International Trade that the human rights situation in Colombia is improving (letter). Emerson defended negotiating a trade deal with Colombia, despite that country's failure to address serious human rights abuses. Amnesty is calling for an independent human rights impact assessment before any trade deal is signed. A strong letter to Prime Minister Harper from Human Rights Watch makes the same case (letter). It argues that "many now understandably believe that Canada does not care about Colombia's record on Human Rights as it is apparently willing to do business as usual with the country regardless of the plight of its workers and the influence of its murderous paramilitaries". Members of Parliament from the Liberal Party, Bloc Quebecois and NDP, raised related questions in the House of Commons this month. 2007 will be remembered by some as the year "Canada drifted closer to the Bush administration", on Colombia and other key foreign policy areas. 2008 can be different - Add your voice to the 5,000 Canadians who have already sent letters to their Members of Parliament about this issue through the following organizations: Make Poverty History: www.makepovertyhistory.ca/e/colombia/, KAIROS: www.united-church.ca/getinvolved/takeaction/071115, Canadian Labour Congress: http://action.clc-ctc.ca/colombia_freetrade, Amnesty International : http://www.amnesty.ca/take_action/actions/colombia_impacts_trade_negotiations.php.


  5. Register Now for "The Changing Face of Global Development Finance - Impacts and implications for aid, development, the South and the Bretton Woods Institutions", a conference organized by the Halifax Initiative Coalition, and co-hosted by CCIC, The North-South Institute and The Reality of Aid Network. The conference takes place February 1st and 2nd, 2008 in Ottawa. It will consider the changing roles and relevance of the IMF and World Bank, southern initiatives to create independent sources of development finance (such as the Bank of the South), the impact of new actors (such as China in Africa), innovative sources of finance, what is missing from current discussions on aid effectiveness, and moving beyond the aid box. Key note address: Amar Bhattacharya, Director, Intergovernmental Group of 24 and Yao Graham, Executive Director, Third World Network Africa. There will be simultaneous interpretation. For more info : http://www.halifaxinitiative.org/index.php/current_events/changing_face_of_GDF (or just http://www.halifaxinitiative.org)

Ethics in a Flash

  1. Dear Ms Ethics: Standard 3.2.5 related to non-discrimination allows organizations to "self-define when it is in compliance with the law." We are a Christian, denominational organization. Representatives on the Board must be Christians and must be members in good standing of one of our churches in Canada. Does the sentence about self-defining fully cover our situation? Self-defining

    Dear Self-defining: Yes, but this last sentence reference to "compliance with the law" refers to provincial Human Rights laws and so organizations need to refer to their particular provincial legislation for clarification of what is expected in terms of self-definition. The CCIC Code, however, is about ethical practice and is generally written to go beyond the minimum required by law. The organization bears the responsibility for explaining how such restrictions or preferences are, in fact, genuine requirements for its purposes and programs. Therefore, to ensure not only compliance with the law, but more so that ethical practice is upheld, members wishing to self-define must provide such an explanation to CCIC when completing the certification form.
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