Report Of The Human Rights Committee To Atlantic Council, October 2013

Present:              Lori Walton

                        Dina Crawley

                        Anne Fagan-Wood

                        Rhonda Doyle-Leblanc

                        Sandy Cake, Chairperson

                        Nancy MacLean, Staff Advisor



1.  National Equity Conferences 2013

The National Equity Conference is scheduled for November 18 – 22, 2013 in Toronto.  Sister Baldwin provided a copy of the draft agenda for the conference.   There will be approximately 510 delegates at the Conference.  This is the largest conference that the PSAC has ever had.  We will have an Atlantic booth at the conference.  We will also be doing a fundraiser with the proceeds going to a PSAC Atlantic woman, in good standing, who wishes to run in the next Federal election.  There will be prizes as to engage membership participation at the booth.  There will be an Atlantic meet and greet held one evening of the conference.  From the Atlantic Region, Candy Palmeter and Mary Walsh will be guest speakers for the conference. 


The elections will be for delegates to the PSAC National Triennial Convention.  The resolutions will be chaired by a a staff person.


2.  Scott Jones Attack

Scott Jones is a young gay man from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia who was stabbed recently.  Br. Jones was left paralyzed. The media have reported that this is a hate crime and that he was targeted because he’s gay.  The gay community is supporting the victim because he is part of the GLBT community.  It is recommended that the Atlantic Council Human Rights Committee send a letter of support to Brother Jones.  The letter will be send before the end of the month.  The Committee also encourages all members of the Atlantic Council to visit the face book page (Support Scott Jones) to send individual messages of support. 


3.  Up-date – Idle No More Campaign

On October 17, 2013 a protest was held in Rexton, New Brunswick that ended in a clash between Aboriginal Peoples and the RCMP.  The clash ended in violence where Aboriginal Elders, women and children were pepper sprayed and attacked.  The demonstration began as a peaceful protest in the morning and escalated.  The First Nation Communities are opposed to fracking because it is a further depletion of Mother Earth and the pollution of our water supply and the soil.  It is the Aboriginal custom to think 7 generations ahead; meaning, it is to leave the Earth better than what we found it.  The Human Rights Committee recommends that the REVP – Atlantic write a letter to Premier Alward condemning the actions that took place and to call on the Government of New Brunswick to honor the peaceful talks that had previously taken place with the Chief of Elsipogtog.


In addition, it is recommended that the Atlantic Council Directors sign a message board of support or t-shirt and that it be sent to the Elsipogtog First Nation Chief Aaron Sock.


4.  Regional Human Rights Committees and Circle

The Halifax Human Rights Committee needs to hold a meeting to elect a new chairperson. The Committee plans to join with the Halifax Regional Women’s Committee on December 10 to host an event to honor Calbert Best and name the PSAC Halifax R>O Boardroom after him.  Brother Best is a Black man who was a founding member of the PSAC.  He was the son of human rights activist, Carrie Best, of New Glasgow.  The National History Museum is creating a video to honor Br. Best.  The Sydney Human Rights Committee is currently inactive.  The Moncton Human Rights Committee will be hosting an event on December 10 where they will be working with the soup kitchens in the area.  The committee is looking at ideas to recruit new members and to promote human rights in the area.  The Moncton Committee will be launching a post-card campaign to encourage participation in the committee and the target date for release is December 10.    The Circle is looking for new Aboriginal members to join and Components and Locals in the Micamichi area are encouraged to do recruitment.  The PE Committee is still active.  The Atlantic Council Directors are encouraged to send equity group members from their respective Locals to Human Rights Committee and Circle meetings. 


5.  National Aboriginal Peoples Circle (NAPC) Training

The NAPC Training is scheduled for December 7 – 8, 2013 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This is an Atlantic course and fully-funded.  The call-out letter and application form for the training has been distributed.  The budget for the training is $20,000.


6.  3-Year Committee Mandate and Plan

This is a reminder that the 3-Year Atlantic Council Human Rights Committee Mandate and Plan is a living document and any Atlantic PSAC member can contact a member of this committee to seek clarification or to amend. 


7.  Convention Committee Report 2014

The Committee report to the next Atlantic Triennial Convention will be due in early 2014.  A copy of the last Convention report was distributed.  Sister Sandy will send a call-out e-mail to Committee members for input in early January, 2014.  A draft report will be developed for review at the next meeting in February.


8.  Racist Event in Nova Scotia

Recently a Black effigy was hung in the Leon’s Furniture Store in Dartmouth.  It was other employees who hung the effigy.  One of the Black employees had a racist slur planted on her car.  The Committee agrees to conduct additional research with the purpose of putting forth a resolution to the National Racially Visible Conference.  The resolution will direct Leon’s to address racism within their organization and within their franchise stores.  It is recommended that the Atlantic Council support this resolution if developed. This would be an emergency resolution.


This Report is respectfully submitted on behalf of the committee by



Sandy Cake

Council Director