VOW Resolutions 50th Anniversary Conference and Meeting
November 12-14, 2010 Toronto
1)White Poppy Resolution
Be it resolved that:
VOW applaud the individual VOW members, including Muriel Duckworth and Marya Nyland, who over the years have been wearing a white poppy on Remembrance Day for its symbolism of categorical rejection of war;
VOW initiate a peace-making dialogue with the Canadian Legion locally and at the most senior levels to address the seeming conflict that has developed between them and the people associated with the white poppy, listening to their concerns about trademark infringement, sharing the history of the white poppy campaign, and the common links to John McRae’s poem, and working toward an understanding in which the white poppy (as a symbol of peace and the repudiation of war as a option in conflict resolution) and the red poppy (as a symbol of remembrance for the sacrifices made in war) can share a common path, toward the end of warfare.
That the members (perhaps called the White Poppy committee) who undertake this initiative report back to the board and the VOW membership on their efforts, with an action plan for Remembrance Day, 2011, and defining the ongoing role of VOW and the white poppy in these November 11th Events.
Moved by: Heather Menzies
Seconded by: Diane McIntyre
2)Resolution: The Delegitimization of War
Whereas: military wars have directly or indirectly caused unconscionable suffering and/or death for millions of men, women, and other species; and
Whereas: military emissions form an unnecessary part of the world’s CO2 count, by adding to its rise, which threatens to eliminate one sixth of its human population, and up to three quarters of its ecosystems,
Be It Resolved that: The Canadian Voice of Women for Peace renews its call for the immediate delegitimization of all violent conflict and international war, by urging the federal government of Canada to support the goals of the UN Charter by embedding this policy in all of its practices, and furthermore, to urge all nation states to adopt these same policies and practices as soon as possible.
Moved by: Barbara Falby Seconded by: Elizabeth Raymer
3)VOW Resolution Calling for a Royal Commission on Representative Democracy
Whereas democratic dialogue within Parliament is being replaced by the management of public perception often following secret negotiations which profoundly impact the lives of Canadians; And
Whereas more and more policy making is being concentrated into the office of the prime minister from which decisions such as extending Canada’s role in Afghanistan emerge by-passing Parliament; And
Whereas debilitating cutbacks to public broadcasting in the presence of private broadcasting biased toward corporate culture produce a discourse in which unemployment and indebtedness are represented as individual responsibilities and personal failings, not social conditions created by public policy, which they are.
Be it resolved that the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace call for a Royal Commission on Representative Democracy in Canada to shed light on the shutting down of democratic dialogue and the current constitutional process for adopting and ratifying international agreements and to outline a structure for representative democracy which embodies both the majority and minority views of Canadian citizens.
Moved by: Brigid Grant Seconded by: Anna Snyder
4) VOW Resolution on Military Spending
Whereas militarization is a cause of trafficking and violence against women;
Whereas, the Department of National Defence budget has doubled from $10 billion in 2004 to over $20 billion in 2010;
Whereas, the federal government plans to spend $490 billion on National Defence over the next 20 years as stated in the Canada First Defence Strategy;
Whereas the federal government spent approximately $22 billion on the combat mission in Afghanistan;
Whereas public safety preparedness budget is $10 billion;
Whereas the Government of Canada plans to buy 65 fighter jets for at least $16 billion;
Whereas there are more pressing social and environmental needs as outlined in the Voice of Women’s 50th Anniversary Statement including but not limited to reduce and eventually eliminate poverty, and re-direct to affordable housing, climate change, child care, education and healthcare; and
Be it resolved that the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace calls upon the federal government to re- direct the National Defence military spending to fund social and environmental needs particularly in this time of deep economic recession. Therefore, we resolve to make the re-direction of military spending and military economic conversion a priority for VOW.
Moved by: Brigid Grant Seconded by: Tamara Lorincz
5) Resolution on Sisters in Spirit
Whereas, it is our understanding that the Conservative government opposes the use of the name Sisters in Spirit and any work on a groundbreaking database on murdered and missing Aboriginal women cases, and this is impacting any future funding the Native Women’s Association of Canada expects to receive for new projects on the issue.
And whereas, Status of Women Canada officials said the rules for the funding’s source program prevented the use of government money for research and policy work and have asked that funding proposals not include the name Sisters in Spirit or any plans to use the money for the database.
We are outraged by this marginalization of the experience and needs of indigenous women.
Be it resolved that VOW direct the board to take steps to express our support for the Native Women’s Action of Canada’s right to the use of the term ‘Sisters in Spirit’ and in support of access to the necessary funding needed for this very important program.
Moved by: Lyn Adamson
Seconded by: Diane MacIntyre
6)Resolution on Peace History Legacy Project
As Canada’s longest serving women’s group working for peace, this 50th anniversary year of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW ) is deserving of the launch of an undertaking to highlight its long history. To date, there is only a partial academic record – two Ph.D’s on its early years – and a wealth of archival material deposited regularly in the National Archives of Canada. As a permanent contribution to peace education and the important leadership role of non-governmental organizations within it, we propose to highlight the history of our prominent Canadian women’s organization. A book, published by the Feminist History Society, will be the tangible product.
A coordinating team of academics, historians and VOW members will be a statement to determine the content, engage, writers and solicit funds. At a recent Canadian national conference focused on women’s history , a call was made to indicate interest in participating in such a team. The response was immediate and positive. Among our own membership there are already many offers of assistance – Christine Ball, Marie Hammond Callaghan, Linda Fitzgibbon, Rose Fine-Meyer, Janis Alton.
Therefore, be it resolved that to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, we immediately initiate a legacy project to set down the highlights of the history of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.
Moved by: Janis Alton Seconded by: Rose Fine-Meyer
8) Climate Change Resolution
Whereas the Canadian government has received both the fossil and the colossal fossil award for obstructing the negotiating process at UNFCCC and Conference of the Parties on the UNFCCC.
Whereas the Canadian government ‘s policy on climate change violates international principles and norms
Whereas the Canadian government does not represent the concern, of the majority of Canadians, about the urgency of addressing climate change,
Whereas the Bolivian government organized a peoples conference, on climate change, in Cochabamba,
Whereas this conference, which was attended by 35,000 climate justice activists and indigenous peoples and some government officials,
Whereas among many provisions of the Peoples Agreement related to militarism, and to the moral imperative to keep the rise in temperature below 1 degree and for the parts per million of greenhouse gases to 300 parts per million
Be it resolved that VOW join other groups in lobbying the Canadian Government to adopt the Peoples Agreement as Canadian policy to be advanced at the Conference in Cancun
Be it resolved that if the Canadian government fails to adopt the Agreement then VOW will join other groups in calling to prevent the Prime Minister and Canadian government officials from attending the conference in Cancun.
Moved by: Joan Russow Seconded by: Barbara Falby
9) Resolution on Skill Building for Peace
PURPOSE: Proposal to VOW 50th Anniversary Conference AGM planting seeds for our next 50 years of growing cycles which will nurture and energize implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 around Canada by forming a VOW Committee to catalyze local skill-building in peace-building to support women’s, especially young women’s, participation AND leadership in sustainability and peace-building.
Draft plans to include:
1. Exploring potential partnerships (and document these explorations) with existing initiatives:
• Roots of Empathy program by Mary Gordon fostering empathy, emotional literacy and bully prevention, preschool through high school,
• Public Health,
• Peace Education Programs in educational institutions, religious groups, unions and workplaces,
• UN Associations and Model UN programs in high schools and post-secondary institutions,
• Nonviolent Peaceforce-Canada, and
• Other Environmental, Human Rights, Women’s and Peace Groups.
2. Organizing a network of Mentors, local and travelling, VOW (and other women who have made their voices heard for peace) as speakers, presenters, consultants, artists, publicists, fund-raisers,organizers and facilitators, and help link Mentors with local needs by publicizing them through the VOW newsletter and website and other means.
3. Disseminate stories and films, etc., of the above efforts through the VOW newsletter and website, encouraging circles of interaction and networks of sharing learning from these actions in the wider world.
BE IT RESOLVED THAT VOW set up a committee for developing this program and that we seek funding to support these activities and to create a legacy through them.
Moved by: Madelyn MacKay
Seconded by: Lyn Adamson
10) VOW Resolution Opposition to Police Violence and Police State
Whereas state-sanctioned police violence is, for the purposes of this resolution, defined as civil, political, labour and human rights violations committed by police with impunity.
Whereas the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace opposes war and militarism;
Whereas police commit state-sanctioned acts of violence routinely and systemically on the poor, racialized, Aboriginal, Inuit, Metis, transgender, nonviolent protestors, sex workers, queer and disabled sisters and brothers;
Be it resolved that the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace opposes police violence and calls for an end to the silencing of survivors of this violence.
Be it resolved that VOW condemns the political, civil, labour and human rights violations committed against prisoners and detainees.
Moved by: Maria Kasstan
Seconded by: Dyan Bottcher
11) Resolution Public Inquiry for G20 summit
Be it resolved, that VOW joined the call for a public inquiry into policing of the nonviolent protests at the G20.
Moved by: Lyn Adamson
Seconded by: Jaikaran
12) Resolution on Climate Change and Military Emissions
In 2007. At the UN VOW worked with the UN NGO peace caucus and the anti-militarism caucus calling upon the IPCC to examine the contribution of militarism to greenhouse gas emissions and they presented the declaration to Dr. Pachauii, chair of the IPCC;
Whereas, national figures for CO2 emissions omit military emissions; and
Whereas military emissions must be included in national emissions totals for accuracy;
Therefore be it resolved that this meeting urge government of Canada’s permanent representative to the UN demand the UN Security Council to amend the UN Framework Climate Convention on Climate Change by mandating reporting of all military emissions.
Moved by: Barbara Falby Seconded by: Tamara Lorincz