Welcome to the Local Global Advocacy Network information site.  This site is the gathering spot for the many aspects of the justice work of the Saskatchewan Conference of the United Church of Canada.

You may be interested in visiting the United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel


End refugee travel loan repayment

We all want refugees to settle well in Canada. That’s why many SK congregations and communities have sponsored so often over the years. But Canada currently asks refugees to pay back the money that the government spent on their travel to Canada.

The evidence shows that these immigration travel loans have a negative impact on refugees’ ability to settle well. The pressure to pay them back can make it difficult to pay for necessities, push refugees to find jobs before they’ve completed their language training, and add unneeded stress to already stressful transitions.

The government knows this–which is why they just stopped charging interest on the loans. But it would cost just 40 cents per Canadian to stop asking refugees to repay these loans entirely. Please join ecumenical partners in asking the government to end the loan system. Please read more here.

Invitation-share and sign the Sask Crowns petition

A year ago, the Saskatchewan government introduced a budget that continues to have enormous social impact on our communities.

A citizen’s group called SaskCrowns has contacted the Local Global Advocacy Network to ask for United Church assistance in circulating a formal petition calling on the government to respect its own legislation regarding public input in the sale of Crowns. Conference Executive has approved this request. This letter is your invitation to consider whether (and how) you might promote and distribute this petition. Continue reading

What Makes Food Good gathering May 23

This is your invitation to What Makes Food Good?, an open gathering on May 23 2018, 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM near Cochin, SK. All ages and people of all backgrounds welcome! We’ll share in a hands-on day focused on ecumenical theological and spiritual reflection on sustainable food; a look at the food systems that feed and employ us; workshops; and farm work tailored to your abilities. Farm lunch included! Please note: you will need to bring your own drinking water, and ride sharing is encouraged.  And we’ll post more info right here as plans progress. 

Where: Largo Farm on Treaty Six territory, next to Moosomin First Nation; near Cochin and Murray Lake, a half hour north of the Battlefords.
Registration: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VXGQ6RP  Registering well in advance helps us plan the workshops! Cost: $25, waived if cost is any barrier. More info: contact Julie Graham at the Conference office.

Download the PDF flyer here. Or, right click on the photo and save/ share. And check out our Facebook event here

This event is organized by the Sustainable Food group of the Local Global Advocacy Network (SK Conference) and by the Largo Farm community, with help from Nettie Wiebe. It’s one contribution to a conversation on how we in SK can grow sustainable food and create sustainable food systems.

Call to reinstate spiritual care funding

River Bend Presbytery, the United Church of Canada, sent the following proposal to Conference Executive in January 2018, where it was passed with concurrence. The Local Global Advocacy Network of SK Conference includes it here for the information and inspiration of other presbyteries, and presbyters who wish to raise this concern with the province, including their own MLA. More background on the sweeping March 2017 provincial budget cuts, their impacts, and LGA Network perspectives, is available here. Continue reading

Home Electricity Audit

It’s time for step three of our home auditing. But first, how did your draft audit go? At our house, we had to replace the sweep on the side door. The sweep is the weather stripping at the bottom of the door.

In this issue, let’s look at electricity use in our houses. Our goal will be to find out how many electrical devices we have and how many of them have phantom load. Then we’ll work on reducing.

To start, get a pencil and paper and make a list of everything you have that plugs in. (For now, we’ll skip things that are wired-in like ceiling lights, and furnace fans). Then, note beside each item if you think it might have a phantom load.  (Phantom load is the power something uses when it’s turned off. Things that have a light, clock, program, or are Wi-Fi connected, or are instant-on, will have a phantom load.)

Once you have that list, try to estimate how many hours/day you use it. For example, one light in our living room is on from when the living room starts to get dark until 10pm. In the winter, that is five hours but in summer it’s about two. So, on average, it would be three and a half hours/day. We watch more TV on the weekend but almost none throughout the week, so we average about one
hour/day. The chart for our living room is below.

If you want to take it a step further, you can use a Watt meter (also called a Power or Energy meter) to measure the phantom load and the energy consumed when something is running. SES has a couple of Watt meters we can loan out, as does Saskatoon Light and Power. Contact me if you want to get your hands on one.

Now, the important part. What have you found out and what will you do about it?

Phantom load can be up to 1/10th of the energy consumed in our homes. I read an article recently about someone who discovered that his TV, with all its attachments, was using 7% of his household electricity. You can use a power bar, or a smart or timed power bar to cut off the phantom load.

Should some electrical items be replaced with more efficient versions? If there are things on your list that you never, or rarely use, maybe you could unplug them to get rid of the phantom load. Maybe you could give some of them away to get rid of the clutter.

If you learn something you want to share, or if you have questions, you can always contact me at angieb@environmentalsociety.ca. I’d love to hear about your successes and challenges.

2018 March table

Angie 220 photo

Angie Bugg manages energy conservation projects for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, and is an active member of McClure United Church. You can contact her at angieb@environmentalsociety.ca “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1)


UNJPPI – Who are they?

UNJPPI is your action network, engaging United Church members and those in solidarity with the United Church to work for justice and peace in Palestine/Israel.  UNJPPI has now held six national gatherings that have brought together activists and those seeking to learn more about the challenges facing peace and human rights for Palestinians and Israelis. Our network is growing. The United Church of Canada provides some financial support for these gatherings, but does not assist with the ongoing operating funds for the organizational needs of UNJPPI.

UNJPPI relies primarily on volunteers for the vast majority of our work including the members of our national coordinating committee.  In November 2016, the coordinating committee developed a plan for the future work of UNJPPI and how best to structure our work.  As a first step, in January 2017, we hired a part-time administrative assistant on a contract basis. This helped with administration. We also sent a representative to a couple of Conference meetings to help work with and expand our base. This work was supported by you, the members of UNJPPI.  We have plans for a number of contracts to help assist with specific parts of our ongoing work. We would like to hire part time personnel to assist with,

  1. developing and implementing education projects reaching out to churches,
  2. helping prepare public advocacy materials for use by network members,
  3. researching additional sources of funds for the work of the network.

At our meeting in Winnipeg, those of us who gathered pledged over $4,000. We are now turning to you to ask for your support for the work on UNJPPI in the coming year as some of you have in the past.  Our operating budget for 2017 is $50,700.00.  We would like to raise $20,000.00 from individuals who support the work of UNJPPI.

Your support will ensure that UNJPPI continues to be the voice of action for the United Church.

This year will be especially busy as we,

  1. help to develop and implement the Canadian No Way to Treat a Child campaign,
  2. work nationally on a strategy and proposals for General Council in 2018,
  3. keep the membership and broader church informed of action alerts and breaking news,
  4. provide a well-resourced website,
  5. organizing tours of Palestine/Israel,
  6. organizing events and speakers in our regions and nationally,
  7. and planning a national gathering for September 2018.
Please be as generous as you have been in the past and send your donations payable to UNJPPI and mail to:

UNJPPI Treasurer
111-678 Broadview Ave.,
Toronto, ON M4K 2P2

   OR If you would like a tax receipt, please make your cheque out to:
St. Paul’s United Church (UNJPPI)
and mail to:

St. Paul’s United Church,
404 Cleveland Ave.
Riverview, NB   E1B-1Y2

If you have any questions about UNJPPI and our work please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for your support for human rights and a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike.
Peace, Salaam, Shalom,

Steve Berube

or send donation by e-Transfer to susan.unjppi@mail.com

Children in military detention

Over the past several weeks, the high-profile detention of Ahed Tamimi has provided a glimpse into what it means to be a child held in the Israeli military detention system facing prosecution in military courts that lack basic due process protections.

This week, Canadian MP Hélène Laverdière sent a letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland highlighting Ahed was just “one of many troubling cases of military detention of children under the Israeli occupation.” She urged the Canadian government to press Israel to comply with international law around its treatment of Palestinian child detainees.

Read the letter from MP Hélène Laverdière

In the letter, Laverdière noted the widespread and systematic ill-treatment Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces encounter in the Israeli military detention system. The letter demands that the Israeli government “uphold its obligations under the [United Nations] Convention on the Rights of the Child,” and urged Minister Freeland to press the Israeli government to “fully comply” with international law.

In Canada? Sign and share our petition demanding Canadian leadership hold Israeli authorities accountable!

Disturbingly, Ahed’s detention and prosecution in Israel’s military court system is not exceptional, but provides a clear example of how Israeli military law and military courts are used to control an occupied Palestinian population. Between February and November 2017, an average of 310 Palestinian children were in the Israeli prison system each month for “security offenses,” according to Israel Prison Service (IPS) data. Among them were an average of 60 children between the ages of 12 and 15.

Ill-treatment of Palestinian child detainees by Israeli forces is widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the Israeli military detention system. Three out of four Palestinian children experience some form of physical violence following arrest.

Israeli military law provides no right to an attorney during interrogation, so Palestinian children like Ahed often typically arrive to interrogation rooms bound, blindfolded, frightened, and sleep deprived. Children often give confessions after verbal abuse, threats, physical and psychological violence that in some cases amounts to torture.

In a military detention system where fair trial guarantees are denied and Palestinian children overwhelmingly experience some form of physical violence at the hands of Israeli forces, it is clear that detaining and prosecuting Palestinian children in Israeli military courts has little to do with justice.

As the situation appears to be deteriorating for children living under Israeli military occupation, we must remember an increasing number of lawmakers across the globe now recognize that failing to demand human rights, justice and equality for Palestinian children perpetuates injustice and a military occupation with no end in sight.

As we move forward in 2018, I know we will continue to strengthen our movement and efforts to expose widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system. We’ll be sharing new actions for Canada and the United States soon, so stay tuned.

Brad Parker
Attorney & International Advocacy Officer
Defense for Children International – Palestine
Co-leader of the No Way to Treat a Child campaign