Keeping up with Friends

Looking good in 2017!

It’s a new year and we’re pleased to start it off with a fresh look. We hope our new design will not only look better but make Quaker Concern easier to read in print and online. Please take a few minutes to fill out a brief survey and let us know what you think about Quaker Concern: http://quakerservice.ca/QCSurvey

Annual Accountability Report 2015-2016

At http://report.quakerservice.ca you can find a rundown of stories and highlights from our work last year, including financial information. Please contact us if you’d like to be mailed a paper copy.

Editing humans, weapons and ecosystems

A new update on synthetic biology outlines what’s making headlines in the industry:

  • gene drives with the hope of one day eradicating species;
  • editing humans – medical trials of synthetic biology with live patients;
  • human-animal hybrid “chimeras”; and
  • proposals to reshape entire ecosystems.

This update is brief and easy to understand without a science background. The issues raised, on the other hand, are
anything but easy. http://quakerservice.ca/SBUpdate2016-2

Submissions and joint statements

We’ve been part of many submissions and joint statements of late. Topics have included:

  • Calling for restored funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (see http://quakerservice.ca/UNRWA), which we’re pleased to say Canada has now done;
  • Endorsing 21 recommendations to improve policing in Ontario. We felt this submission to a Government of Ontario review process was important because of our concern with systemic discrimination in policing. http://quakerservice.ca/news/policing-ontario/;
  • A new global framework for peace. This was a joint statement Friends in New York delivered to UN delegations, UN officials, and the peacebuilding community, celebrating new commitments to peace made at the UN, but calling for governments to back these up with actions. This statement is being used as the basis of ongoing engagement with governments. http://quakerservice.ca/PeaceFramework;
  • Just peace is the dream of BDS, a statement about the Government of Ontario’s debate on the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement. This statement outlines CFSC’s thinking and problems with Ontario’s approach. http://quakerservice.ca/JustPeaceBDS;
  • The joint letter A Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Our Common Good (read it at http://quakerservice.ca/NuclearFreeWorld); and
  • A submission to a Government of Canada consultation on national security. An election promise of the current government was to make significant amendments to the deeply troubling Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 (Bill C-51). Our submission makes specific recommendations in this regard and on many other areas of national security from prevention of radicalization to no-fly lists. http://quakerservice.ca/NationalSecurity