PSAC Atlantic Human Rights Committee, February 2013

Called to order at 2:45 pm

In attendance:                                                                    Regrets:

Sandy Cake                                                                        Anne Fagan-Wood                                         

Charlene Vidito-Milne                                                         Lori Walton

Rhonda Doyle-Leblanc                                                       Dana Bailey – Resigned

Melissa Hyde

Nancy MacLean (staff advisor)

Sister Dana Bailey has resigned from the Committee to focus on her health and the committee would like to thank her for her dedication and commitment to equality and human rights.

Idle No More:

Sister Rhonda participated at one event and didn’t see anyone else from PSAC participating, which gave the committee much to speak about.  The committee realized that PSAC should do more and be more involved in the campaign.  This is a National movement; it speaks out against bill C-45 and the attack on all Canadians.  The Committee has a few recommendations on this issue:

  • That PSAC should actively promote the Campaign, this is not just an Aboriginal issue, it’s a Canadian issue, and the committee is asking the REVP to raise the issue at the next AEC & NBOD meetings.

  • That PSAC ask members to hit the <LIKE> button on the Idle No More Facebook page and this will enable them to obtain information and support the campaign.

  • PSAC locals, Human Rights Committees, Area Council and the new Aboriginal Circle are encouraged to have someone from the campaign to speak at meetings to educate the membership.

  • The PSAC Representatives on Provincial Federation of Labour raise this issue at the council meetings and obtain support from the broader labour movement.

Sister Charlene will connect with Marina Young of the Halifax Idle No More group so as to connect directly on events and to provide support.  Charlene will find out about other contacts in the other regions as well.

Human Rights Education and Training:

The Committee would like to see a full day course at the Atlantic School pertaining to Equity groups, such as: Anti-racism, shorter version of Safe Space, Aboriginal History and Training focusing on the Abilities and not the disabilities and to make such a training mandatory for all participants.

Several provinces have posted their education schedules and have an intro to DTA on the spring schedules, PSAC members are encouraged to attend.

Mental Health:

Through DTA training a lesson active has been developed to deal with Intersectional Analysis which speaks to taking into account the whole person when dealing with matters of discrimination.  For example if you have a racially visible woman who is disable and a lesbian, the steward should take all the equity group into consideration as a basis of discrimination, not assume it is because of one or the other <facet> of this person.  Service the whole person not just the obvious.

Regional Human Rights Committee and Aboriginal Circle:

The St. John’s Committee is dormant but Sister Melissa was approached by a member and asked for help to reactivate the committee.  Melissa agreed to help and will follow up on her return home.  The Charlottetown Committee is active.  The Moncton Committee has requested funds to participate in a CNIB fund-raiser called <Dinning in the dark> scheduled for May 9, 2013, to raise awareness of people who are visually impaired.  They have also adopted Haiti three years ago and are asking local schools to donate French books to Haiti.  The Halifax Committee is still active and has donated socks, hats & scarves to the Metro Turning Point (local men’s homeless shelter) during the Christmas season, and Donation of same were also sent to Souls Harbor Mission, a local Food shelter.

A new Aboriginal Circle was created in the Miramichi area. A conference call was held last Tuesday.  They have decided to meet four times a year as per regulations outlined in the PSAC Constitution.  They have decided to teach the seven teachings during the opening ceremonies, which will take place on April 6.  Dignitaries are invited to the open ceremony only and the sessions are for the participants. The Moncton Human Rights committee has donated $100 to help with the opening ceremony.  The Circle has received a start-up grant of $500.00 but that money is to be used only when the circle is formed.  Brother Joey Dunphy has a Facebook group started but by invitation only.  People who wish to self identify can contact Joey Dunphy, Barbara Paul or Charlene Vidito-Milne.  They also have decided that members will need to self-identify with the Circle to be included in their activities.  Sister Sandy will check with Brother Alex to see if they should be included if they have self-identified with PSAC.  Next conference call is scheduled for Feb. 12.

The Committee has a recommendation on this issue:

  • The committee recommends that PSAC Atlantic match the $500 made by the National and that it should be accessible immediately to help with the opening ceremony costs.

National Human Rights Committee:

The NHRC was held in December 2012 in Ottawa.  The equity groups were divided into caucuses to plan their respective portions of the National Human Rights Conference scheduled for November 2013.  A report was developed by each caucus and a list of priorities and actions were developed as well.


  • NAPC Training 2013:

  • Sister Nancy informed us that she obtained $20,000 to provide training for aboriginal peoples.  The funding is for this scurrent year, otherwise it is lost. Some discussion regarding whether to have Atlantic wide or should each province have their own followed.

    The committee recommendation:

    • The committee recommends an Atlantic wide training session to be held in 2013.  The session needs to be in the Atlantic to obtain the cultural and spiritual exchange.

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Sandy Cake

    On behalf of the HR Committee