PSAC Winnipeg and Area Human Rights Committee Meeting
June 9, 2021 6:30 pm via Zoom
Present: Jennifer Chieh Ho – UNE (Chair), Jacqueline Nanali – UNE (Vice Chair), Khalid Ahmad- CRA (Treasurer), James Huang, Gus Mardli, Larissa Chezick, Tracy Thor, Deanna Ng (Secretary – UNE)
Call to order: Jen: 6:40pm
Land Acknowledgement: Jen
Moment of silence.
Hate crimes against Muslims
215 Residential School students lost.
Motion; Approval of Agenda Jackie/Khalid Carried.
Motion: Approval of Minutes: Deferred.
Note: The last meeting was the AGM. This meeting was deferred due to schedules. Items on the previous agenda have been removed due to the time lapse and being resolved in emails.
Treasurer’s Report – Khalid
- The current balance is: $257.76
- The $2,000.00 for Mama Bear Clan is pending.
- Otherwise there are no changes to the budget.
- Motion: To approve the Treasurers Report: Khalid/Gus carried.
PSAC Prairies Regional Convention – Gus
- HRC and AREA Council has organized a resolutions discussion June 17.
- Invitation to committee members to learn about resolutions and how they are written, and make motions on passing them.
PSAC Prairie National Day of Mourning – Jen
- April 28 was noted and was a virtual event by the Canadian Federation of Labour.
- Collaboration, Networking and Goals
- Collaboration with AREA Council for Resolutions in collaboration with committees and councils across the prairies.
- Lobbying plans: on Pharmacare to consult MPs and CLC, who is taking the lead on Pharmacare action, with research and info packages.
- HRC cares because often equity groups have low incomes, forcing workers to make choices between prescription medication and food and going without essentials. Universal Pharmacare would resolve these issues.
Palestine Situation – Khalid/Gus
- Recently, the media has covered the conflict in the Middle East, anti-Semitism of Jews and Palestinians and the state of Israel has been escalating. The conflict has had global effects and tensions have been arising in our own country.
- Discussion: history, indigenous people on their lands, conflict complexities, human rights violations, genocide, racism against Palestinians, anti-Semitism, along with taking action by educating ourselves, making choices, lobbying and standing up for human rights.
- PSAC makes resolutions. A Resolution has a deadline to be sent along with all the others for a Standing Committee. Between deadline and convention and emergency resolution.
Emergency Resolution to Convention:
- Gus and Khalid will submit a Resolution item on concerning the issue of the Middle East for the next meeting on June 17.
Human Rights Course/Training Event:
- Request PSAC Winnipeg Office to hold an educational event and invite allies for anti-bias training. Some workplaces have a quota of hours of anti-bias training for employees.
Current Affairs Event:
- A panel discussion event to share knowledge and experience – Khalid and Gus
- Dates in September: TBA.
Committee agreed to these items.
Inclusive Workplaces – Jackie
- Workplace holds inclusive cultural training e.g. indigenous culture; have culture groups e.g. Asian employee’s networks, and The Equity Advisory Board in recruiting diverse employees.
First Nations and Covid:
- Gus sent: The University of Alberta offers a completely FREE course called Indigenous Canada. It is an online course that will educate you on Indigenous history & current issues in Canada.
- U of Alberta – Indigenous Canada: https://www.coursera.org/learn/indigenous-canada?fbclid=IwAR1wQH1KROMCB9HjjBvGFY0G60uqugOKnssw1aPvOBVv2N_-3OoVL44ufpY
Withdrawal of Mines from Grassy Narrows Territory – Jen
- Grassy Narrows was recognized in 1960’s having been used as an environmental hazard dumping ground. In 2017, the Trudeau Government promised provisions for the First Nation to receive benefits and funding for health and compensation, but the agreement had a withdrawal clause. Now, a company wants to mine the land.
- A petition has been sent, asking the Federal Government to remember the agreement.
Siloam Mission Volunteering – Jen
- Deanna will attend volunteer AGM is tomorrow and share feedback for Jen.
- Considerations are:
- Residential School Acknowledgement
- Deanna sent: CMHR celebration of Indigenous Heritage Month, and from Nahanni Fontaine of the NDP.
- Jen will send the MFL event, once they created a notice.
- Jackie sent:
- Renewed calls to cancel Canada Day in wake of residential school gravesite discovery | CTV News: https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/renewed-calls-to-cancel-canada-day-in-wake-of-residential-school-gravesite-discovery-1.5459568
- ‘Nothing for us to celebrate’: Idle No More activist explains calls to cancel Canada Day | CTV News: https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/why-some-are-calling-for-the-cancellation-of-canada-day-this-year-1.5462653
- Jen will ask for copy of the resolution by Atlantic Council.
- Committee will make a resolution to have an inquiry on the Residential school deaths.
Next Meeting Dates:
- Will include: Election for Secretary
- Fall meetings: September 15
- We commend Khalid on becoming the Second Vice President for PSAC Local – CRA Manitoba.
- Deanna’s position at CMHR has ended so a new Secretary will be needed for the next meeting.
- Jackie will fill in for the interim.