God is always calling the church to seek God’s justice in the world. All the church says, does, and is silent on stands as a public witness to how the body of Christ lives and acts, and what it desires for the world. The church properly uses its voice to call on elected officials to help shape a world where all creation, including humans, may flourish. This page contains letters to the government which are part of the church’s public witness on social justice issues. We encourage you to explore the letters and issues below to learn more about this important aspect of witnessing as the body of Christ. For more detailed information about church positions on social justice issues, visit the Social Action Hub. Click here to jump to the letters archive on mobile devices.

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Letters from the Past Year

Protecting the Rights of Migrant Workers

This 2022 letter advocates that the government develop pathways to permanent residency for migrant workers and processes to regularize undocumented migrant workers to better protect worker’s rights and decrease opportunities for exploitation.

Reconciliation – Healing Centres

This 2022 letter encourages the government to take action on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 21 regarding the need for healing centres to address the harms caused by Residential Schools and colonization.

Housing and Domestic Violence

This 2022 letter advocates for supports, and especially for safe affordable housing, for people who are trying to escape domestic violence.

Housing Crisis

This 2022 letter advocates for a rights-based approach in affordable housing strategies and the need to address systemic barriers faced by Indigenous and racialized people who are at greater risk of housing insecurity.

Global Vaccine Equity

This 2022 letter advocates for domestic vaccine development capacity and that a fixed portion of all vaccines produced in Canada are allocated to low- and middle-income countries that face barriers to adequate vaccine supply.

Climate Crisis (Response )

This 2022 letter advocates for research and funding for communities at risk from the climate crisis and the need for the oil and gas sector to reduce carbon emissions and supports a just transition for people affected by a transition to a low-carbon economy.

Oil Spill Cleanup: FSO Safter

This 2022 letter encourages the Government of Canada to pledge support for the cleanup of the oil spill from the FSO Safter, anchored off the coast of Yemen.

Letters from 2021

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

This 2021 letter communicates the church’s acceptance of the findings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls as expressed in its final report and seeks information about how the government will implement its Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People plan.

Supporting the Joint Statement on the Physical Punishment of Children and Youth

This 2021 letter to the government communicates church support of the Joint Statement on the Physical Punishment of Children and Youth , advocating for the repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code, which allows for corporal punishment of children.

Letter to Ministers Hussen and Mendicino re domestic violence and housing August 2022
This 2022 letter advocates for supports, and especially for safe affordable housing, for people who are trying to escape domestic violence.

Letter to Ministers Lemetti, Mendicino, Hussen re gun violence.
This 2021 letter to the Government of Canada expresses concern for communities facing the devastating harms of gun violence, commends government initiatives to address some of the complex roots of gun violence, such as establishing an Anti-Racism Secretariat to collaborate with governments and communities to address various forms of discrimination. The letter urges the government to examine the ways misogyny, racism and economic insecurity contribute to gun violence and prioritize funding for social programs that aim to end these injustices.

Letter to Ministers Hussen and Mendicino re domestic violence and housing August 2022
This 2022 letter advocates for supports, and especially for safe affordable housing, for people who are trying to escape domestic violence.

Letter to Minister Hussen re housing August 2022
This 2022 draws attending to the affordable housing crisis and advocates for a rights-based approach in affordable housing strategies as well as the need to address systemic barriers faced by Indigenous and racialized people, who are at greater risk of housing insecurity.

Jason Kenney, January 2015
The moderator wrote to the federal minister of Employment and Social Development outlining concerns with the number of Canadians in precarious housing situations and highlighting the need for a long-term affordable housing strategy. The moderator wrote, also, to ministers in provincial and territorial governments, though these letters are not posted here.

Bernard Valcourt, Housing in First Nations Communities, January 2015
This letter is written to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada regarding the housing crisis in First Nations communities. An important dimension of the journey to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people is the provision of clean and safe housing for Indigenous communities. The letter asks about the federal government’s plans to cooperate with the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation to improve the quality and quantity of housing in Indigenous communities.

Bernard Valcourt Response, February 2015
A response from Indian and Northern Affairs outlines areas of responsibility of different governing bodies for on-reserve and off-reserve housing. It sites a then forthcoming report by the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal People and states it will work to address report recommendations.

Letter to the Prime Minister re systemic racism and policing agencies
This 2021 letter to the Prime Minister acknowledges the realities of systemic racism and xenophobia in Canada and highlights the scarcity of disaggregated police data in Canada. The church encouraged the Government of Canada to create a centralized data collection system that records and analyzes race-based data within policing, including data on use of force.

Trudeau – Emancipation day, 2020
This letter to the Prime Minister expresses support for the designation of August 1 as “Emancipation Day” in Canada.

Synthetic biology,2019
The moderator wrote to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change addressing synthetic biology – an interdisciplinary arena that combines engineering, technology and biology and augments organisms for human use. Concerns may arise, for example, when such technology has military applications.

Direct to Consumer Genetic Testing, 2013 The moderator wrote to the Minister of Health outlining questions pertaining genetic tests that have become available directly to consumers. Typically these tests are done under the supervision of a doctor and administered under ethical guidelines. The letter questions what regulations are in place for tests that are available directly to consumers.

Genetic Discrimination, 2013
The moderator wrote to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Canada raising questions about protecting a person’s genetic privacy and prohibiting genetic discrimination. These questions are raised in the context of technology that maps and stores information about the human genome.

Letter to Ministers Guilbeault and Wilkinson re climate crisis August 2022
This 2022 letter advocates for research and funding to assist communities at risk from impacts of the climate crisis. It addresses the need for the oil and gas sector to reduce carbon emissions and for support and a just transition and recovery plan for those affected by a transition to a low-carbon economy.

Oil spill cleanup: FSO Safter
This 2022 letter advocates with the Government of Canada to pledge support for the cleanup of the oil spill from the FSO Safter, anchored off the coast of Yemen.

Letter to Ministers – re climate crisis
This 2021 letter to the Government of Canada communicates the church’s deep concern regarding the ingoing impacts of the climate crisis and advocating for cooperation across all levels of government for comprehensive regional data on the impacts of climate change. The letter urges that the Government implement “just transition” and just recovery” programs that are necessary to move Canada into a more sustainable economy.

2017 to Minister Freeland
The moderator wrote to the Minister of Foreign Affairs to advocate that Canada meet its commitments in support of countries in the global south that disproportionately experience the impacts of climate change.

2017 to Minister McKenna
The moderator wrote to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change expressing support that Canada take a global leadership role to address climate change, and advocating for policies that will cap global warming at 2 degrees Celsius, and a plan to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions accordingly.

2020 letter to Prime Minister Trudeau
The moderator wrote to the Prime Minister regarding Canada’s plans to address climate change through reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The moderator acknowledged that while Canada’s per capita emissions have dropped, more work is needed to achieve the greenhouse gas reduction targets Canada committed to meeting under the Paris Agreement (a global agreement to address climate change signed in 2016).

2020 – Trudeau – climate change
This 2020 letter to the Prime Minister encourages that Canada take steps to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement (a global agreement to mitigate the effects of climate change) through lowering Canadian carbon emissions.

Robert Nicholson, 2012
This letter from the moderator was sent to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General in 2012. The letter affirms the federal government’s responsibility to ensure public safety but raises concerns that building more prisons will not address underlying issues in the justice and correctional system, including insufficient mental health resources. Finally, the letter advocates measures that reflect restorative justice principles.
2020 – PM Trudeau – Guaranteed Basic Income
This 2020 letter to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance was written during the COVID-19 pandemic and expresses concern for the impact of the pandemic on the lives and livelihoods of people in Canada. The letter advocates that a guaranteed basic income would increase social and economic equity while ensuring critical assistance is provided for vulnerable people.

Letter to Ministers Bennett, Champagne and LeBlanc re vaccines and domestic production August 2022
This 2022 letter advocates for developing domestic vaccine development capacity, and that a fixed portion of all vaccines produced in Canada are allocated to low- and middle-income countries that face barriers to adequate vaccine supply.

Trudeau – Response to Pandemic and Vulnerable People, 2020
This 2020 letter to the Prime Minister asks the Government of Canada to prioritize the needs of vulnerable people as the impacts of the pandemic are addressed (including access to vaccines, health care, increased support for basic needs, addressing human trafficking and supports for people who experience violence at home).

Leona Aglukkaq, 2010
This 2010 letter is written to the Minister of Health and addressing government funding allocated to assist the provinces and territories to help meet their commitments under the 2004 Accord (an agreement between federal and provincial bodies outlining health care objectives and funding that included increased home care and pharmaceuticals).

Letter to Minister of Health
Ginette Petitpas Taylor, November 2018

Michelle Boudreau Response, February 2019
The Director General of Controlled Substances Directorate replied to the moderator’s letter. The letter assures that the opioid crisis remains a top priority for Health Canada. They provide information about funding allocation to address the crisis and note that more supervised consumption sites (SCS) are being established. The letters states that Health Canada is working with provinces and territories to collect data on the opioid crisis and a dedicated marketing compliance and enforcement team has been created which will monitor opioid marketing to enforce rules and take action when necessary.

The moderator wrote a series of letters to provincial, territorial and federal medical regulatory authorities (e.g. the Canadian Medical Association and provincial physicians colleges). The letters highlighted a General Assembly report on the opioid crisis and how churches are responding. The moderator affirms Health Canada’s decision for mandatory warning stickers on prescription opioids and asks how medical regulatory authorities monitor and assess their policies regarding the interactions of physicians and the pharmaceutical industry.

Laurent Marcoux, November 2018
In 2018 the moderator wrote to provincial, territorial and federal Ministers responsible for health. The letters address the church’s concern regarding the opioid crisis and describes the ways that churches are responding. These letters asked for more supports for people struggling with addiction and how governments will provide long term treatment and recovery programs. This is the letter that was sent to the federal Minister of Health.

Letter to the Canadian Medical Association, 2019
This letter was written to the Canadian Medical Association asking how it assesses the impact of its Guidelines for Physicians in Interaction with Industry.

Laurent Marcoux Response, January 2019
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) replied to the moderator’s letter that CMA does not is exercise regulatory or educational functions related to medical practice and that it is therefore difficult to assess the impact of its guidelines on physician practice (oversight lies with provincial medical colleges).

Trudeau – global COVID-19 vaccine equity, May 2021
This interfaith letter to the Prime Minister, signed by the church, encourages support to COVAX (the global initiative to provide funding for vaccines to low and middle-income countries) and to support the temporary waiving of TRIPS (Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) at the World Trade Organization to allow for increased production of COVID-19 vaccines in multiple countries.

2020 – PM Trudeau – Development Assistance
This 2020 letter was written to the Prime Minister and Minister of International Development urging that Canada’s official development assistance levels be raised to meet the international benchmark of 0.7% of national GDP. ODA levels were 0.28% at the time the letter was written.

Chrystia Freeland, re. Gaza, 2018
This 2018 letter was written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs expressing concern over allegations of the disproportionate use of force by Israeli military toward civilians near Gaza borders. The moderator encouraged the Government of Canada to encourage the Government of Israel to cooperate with a UN Commission of Inquiry regarding the allegations.

Chrystia Freeland, re. Yemen, 2017
This 2017 letter was written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs expressing concern regarding the humanitarian crisis and war in Yemen. Saudi Arabia imposed blockades and hindered the distribution of humanitarian aid in Yemen. The moderator encouraged the Government of Canada to advocate with Saudi Arabia to end blockades hindering humanitarian aid.

Letter to Minister Hajdu re call to action 21 August 2022
This 2022 letter encourages the government to take action on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 21 regarding the need for healing centers to address the harms caused by Residential Schools and colonization.

Letter to Prime Minister re MMIWG
This 2021 letter to the Prime Minister communicates the church’s acceptance of the findings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls as expressed in its final report and seeks information about how the government will implement and report on its Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People plan.

Senate – UNDRIP, 2021
This ecumenical briefing, endorsed by the church, was submitted in May 2021 to the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples in support of Bill C-15, an Act to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

Lametti – UNDRIP, 2020
The moderator write to the Minister of Justice stating the church’s support that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples be implemented in Canadian legislation as a matter of critical urgency to the lives and wellbeing of Indigenous people in Canada.

PM Trudeau, Bill C-262, 2018
PM Trudeau, Bill C-262 FR, 2018
This letter was written to the Prime Minister by several churches, including The Presbyterian Church in Canada, responding to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and seeking that the federal government and all political parties affirm a commitment to a just relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. The letter advocated for the passage of Bill C-262, an act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. While Bill C-262 passed in the House of Commons it died on the order paper when the parliamentary session ended and did not pass into law.

Rec. No 3 – re water, 2017
The moderator wrote to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs drawing attention to the dire circumstances of the 87 Indigenous communities under Drinking Water Advisories.

Response to Rec No 3 re clean water from Minister Bennett, 2017
The response from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada provides details regarding a $1.8 billion investment to improve water and waste infrastructure on reserves, and outlining details to address drinking water advisories, particularly in communities where advisories have been in effect for years.

Ecumenical Letter re Freedom of Worship
This 2022 ecumenical letter urges the government to protect freedom of worship, and access for all religions to places of worship in occupied East Jerusalem, and to condemn recent Israeli police attacks on worshippers at Al Aqsa Mosque.

Letter to the Prime Minister re conflict in Israel and Palestine
This 2021 letter to the Prime Minister communicating the church’s support for a justice peace in Palestine and Israel that includes a two-state solution where all can live in peace and security and affirming the government’s contribution to UN agencies supporting humanitarian assistance for Palestinian civilians.

Trudeau – Violence in Gaza, 2021
This letter to Prime Minister Trudeau was written in May 2021 following an outbreak of violence in East Jerusalem and Gaza. The letter condemns the use of violence and intimidation, and asks the Government of Canada to work with the international community to deescalate the conflict and advocate that international law be upheld.

Trudeau – Palestinian Children’s Rights, 2020
This December 2020 letter calls on the Government of Canada to appoint a Special Envoy to promote, monitor and report on the human rights situation of Palestinian children living in the occupied Palestinian Territories.

Champange – Nagorno-Karabakh, 2020
This letter to the Foreign Affairs Minister asks the government to engage in peace-building efforts to justly end conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region (Southern Caucus between Armenia and Azerbaijan).

2019 – Freeland/Sajjan – Mali
This 2019 letter to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence expresses prayers for the safety of people involved in the conflict in Mali and for the Canadians involved in the UN peacekeeping efforts in Mali.

2020 – Champagne – Cameroon
This 2020 letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs expressing concern regarding the conflict between anglophone and francophone Cameroonians. The moderator asks the Government of Canada to express Canada’s dismay at the human rights abuses suffered by Cameroonian civilians and to urge the Government of Cameroon to engage all parties in dialogue with a third-party mediator.

2020 – Champagne – military detention of Palestinian children
This 2020 letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs expresses concern with the treatment of Palestinian children who come into Israeli military detention and requesting that the Government of Canada appoint a special envoy to promote, monitor and report on the human rights situation of Palestinian children in the Occupied Territories.

2020 – Sajjan/Champagne – arms trade treaty
This 2020 letter to the Ministers of National Defence and Foreign Affairs commends the Government of Canada for acceding to the UN Arms Trade Treaty and expresses concern that some of Canada’s export regulations for military exports to the United States do not meet the thresholds set by the Arms Trade Treaty.

2020 – Champagne – Rohingya and Myanmar
This 2020 letter to the Prime Minister commends Canada’s aid pledge in support of Rohingya refugees and asks for additional funding to address this humanitarian crisis.

Letter to Prime Minister re Permanent Residency for Migrant Workers September 2022
This 2022 letter advocate that the government develop pathways to permanent residency for migrant workers and develop processes to regularize undocumented migrant workers. These steps will better protect the rights of migrant workers and decrease opportunities for exploitation.

Letter to Minister Mendicino – re human trafficking
This 2021 letter to the Minister of Public Safety requesting information about the implementation and outcomes of its National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, and recognizing the Strategy’s potential to help protect people from all forms of human trafficking.

Letter to Minister Fraser – regarding protecting migrant workers rights
This 2021 letter to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenships expresses concerns for the wellbeing of foreign temporary workers in Canada, and expresses support that Canada sign and ratify the International Convention of the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and the ILO’s
Domestic Workers Convention No. 189 which would provide clear guidelines and standards for government, communities and employers.

2016 – Bibeau – re UNRWA
This 2016 letter to the Minister of International Development was written by several church leaders encouraging the Government of Canada to restore Canada’s financial contributions to the UN Relief and Works Agency that supports Palestinian refugees in the Middle East with medical, education and food assistance.

2020 – Mendicino – migrant workers
This 2020 letter to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship expressed concern about the vulnerability of foreign temporary workers (migrant workers) and the lack of consistent and fair access to pathways for permanent residence across of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, and urging the Government of Canada to ensure that appropriate and adequate protections are in place to ensure the safety of migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 – PM Trudeau – Guaranteed Basic Income
This 2020 letter to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance was written during the COVID-19 pandemic and expresses concern for the impact of the pandemic on the lives and livelihoods of people in Canada. The letter advocates that a guaranteed basic income would increase social and economic equity while ensuring critical assistance is provided for vulnerable people.

2019 – Duclos – poverty reduction
This 2019 letter to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development commends the development of a national poverty reduction strategy and urged the Government of Canada to establish a National Advisory Council, as noted in the strategy, and asks for information detailing progress and encouraging regular reporting to the public.