ABMK Provincial Council is hosting a virtual retreat open to everyone on Monday, December 13th, 7-9 pm. See details

National Council is hosting a virtual retreat for CWL members on December 12. See our Action page for these and other resources.

Legislation Tips and Tools

Human trafficking action plan

The Government of Alberta is implementing a nine-point Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking to protect at-risk individuals from being trafficked in Alberta, empower survivors of trafficking, and provide new remedies to deal with traffickers.

Human trafficking is a serious crime that takes three forms: sexual exploitation, forced labour trafficking, and trafficking in human organs or tissues. Traffickers exploit people of all ages, ethnicities and genders, forcing their victims to provide labour or sexual services against their will and using threats of violence to trap them in a cycle of exploitation.

Key actions

The nine-point Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking will:

  1. adopt the “2002 Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons” (Palermo Protocol) definition of human trafficking
  2. create a provincial Human Trafficking Task Force which will bring together representatives of relevant ministries, agencies, police services, and community groups to share information and coordinate action on an ongoing basis
  3. increase efforts to educate the public, particularly vulnerable groups, about the reality of human trafficking, and report tips to the new National Human Trafficking Hotline
  4. ensure appropriate training for judges, prosecutors and first responders, including police officers, nurses and doctors
  5. ensure the Ministry of Labour provides information to Temporary Foreign Workers in Alberta about their rights under Canadian law
  6. work with community groups, other provinces and the federal government to collect and share better data on human trafficking, and to ensure coordinated action as part of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking
  7. name and shame traffickers by publishing the names of businesses found to have knowingly facilitated human trafficking
  8. lobby the federal government to strengthen penalties against human traffickers by bringing Bill C-452 into force
  9. Introduce legislation to establish a process for restraining orders, torts and proclaim a Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Source: Government of Alberta


Legislation - Fall 2020 Memo

DATE: October 9, 2020
FROM: Betty Colaneri, national chairperson of legislation
TO: Parish chairpersons of legislation

In the midst of an unexpected pandemic, the prime minister prorogued parliament for the first time during his term. He stated, “As much as this pandemic is an unexpected challenge, it is also an unprecedented opportunity. This is our chance to build a more resilient Canada, a Canada that is healthier and safer, greener and more competitive, a Canada that is more welcoming and more fair. This is our moment to change the future for the better. We can’t afford to miss it, because this window of opportunity won’t be open for long”.

Read entire memo

In-School Dental screening for Children in Alberta in Grades K-12

One of the actions local CWL councils are called upon by the Alberta Mackenzie Provincial Council is to contact provincial government officials regarding our provincial resolution 2019.01 which was passed last June at the Alberta Mackenzie Provincial Convention.

On February 24th, the Catholic Women’s League Provincial President Judy Look and members of her executive met with representatives from Health, Education, and Children’s Services of the Alberta government.

I invite you to use the following two template letters to write to the Members of the Alberta Legislative Assembly regarding Alberta Mackenzie Provincial Resolution 2019.01:  that annual universal dental screenings be immediately implemented in all Alberta schools for school-aged children from grades K-12.

Please use the first letter template to write the Premier, the Minister of Education, and the Minister of Health.  Use the second template for your own MLA. You may find your MLA’s contact information at Who is my MLA? which will ask for your address and provide you with their name and contact information.

Tips:  It will be more effective if you change the letter slightly to make it your own.  (Form letters are not effective.)   Be brief.  Be polite.  Ask a question. Be sure to use exact wording from the resolution.

For God and Canada,

Gayleen Hamilton
Legislation Chair,
Calgary Diocesan Catholic Women’s League


Bill 21 Sample letter

For the Prime Minister:


Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.  

Prime Minister of Canada 

Langevin Block 

Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A2 


Dear Prime Minister: 


For a Member of Parliament:


Mr. / Mrs. / Ms. ____ ____, MP 

House of Commons

Ottawa, ON 

K1A 0A6


Dear Mr. / Mrs. / Ms. ____:

I am concerned with how our national government is planning to respond to Quebec’s Bill 21 on Secularism.

The wearing of religious symbols does not hinder anyone from carrying out their government tasks in a professional unbiased manner nor does it infringe on the rights of others who may have official government interactions with them. People who wear religious symbols do so to mark themselves as committed followers of their faith and to honor it in traditional ways. They believe they have the freedom, granted by our laws, to live their faith peacefully and respectfully in society. Although I live in Alberta, I try to live out my Catholic faith daily and would feel constrained in a province where Bill 21 would be in effect.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 15.1 states “Every individual is equal before and under the law to equal benefit without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion…” Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante is particularly concerned that Bill 21 “tells municipalities who they can and cannot hire.” Other city councils have also condemned Bill 21. Also, Section 32 of the Charter states that the Charter applies to the legislature and government of all provinces.

I urge you to work together with the other national parties to help strike down Bill 21 for the good of all those who have come to our country to seek a life free to practice their faith in peace.

When do you plan to take steps to rectify this infringement on religious freedom in Canada?


Respectfully yours,


Parish Legislation memo Fall 2019

TO: Provincial Chairpersons of Legislation
CC: National Executive (for information)
FROM: Betty Colaneri, National Chairperson of Legislation

My sisters in the League,
The summer has gone by so quickly! With the first of the harvest being brought in, it is a sure sign fall is upon us.

Welcome to new chairpersons of legislation! You have been given the gift of working on a committee with the responsibility of monitoring and studying federal government legislation. To seasoned chairpersons of legislation, thank you for your continuing work. I look forward to receiving communiques featuring the work accomplished throughout the provinces.

It was very interesting and fulfilling to be part of the national resolution committee that worked on resolutions gifted to national council from provincial councils. Two resolutions were brought to the floor of the national convention and adopted. Resolution 2019.02 Canadian Support for the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons falls under the legislation standing committee.

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Parish Legislation memo Fall 2018

“Legislative activity is always best based on care for the people” (Pope Francis).

Greetings to my Sisters in the League!
I am thrilled to be elected once again to the national executive and look forward to my new position as chairperson of legislation.

According to the federal government website www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/corporate/abouthealth-canada/legislation-guidelines/legislation.html, legislation is defined as:

“Legislation, also known as the acts, are forms of law that can provide the authority to make regulations. Generally, legislation begins as a bill (draft form), and can originate either in the House of Commons or in the Senate. For a bill to become law, it must be approved by both the House of Commons and the Senate, and by the Governor General of Canada (the Crown). Bills are discussed by members of both Houses during what is formally known as First Reading, Second Reading and Third Reading, and are also submitted to a Parliamentary Committee for review. The Committee usually seeks out the views of interested parties, including the public. The final stage of the enactment of a bill is when it receives Royal Assent. The timing of Royal Assent is determined by the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons in consultation with the Leader of the Government in the Senate. An Act has the force of law upon Royal Assent, unless it is provided in the Act that it will come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council (Cabinet).”

The “C” of the “CWL” stands for Catholic, but could also stand for compassionate, concerned or conscientious women aware of issues in communities, prepared to spring to action. One way to do this is by monitoring and studying federal government legislation.

It all begins with a concern or issue a member, or someone they know, may have or had to deal with. One such serious issue, which falls under the legislation standing committee, had a resolution adopted at the 98th annual national convention. Resolution 2018.03 Legislate Designation of Hospice/Palliative Care Services in Facilities to Exclude Medical Assistance in Dying.

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Legislation Updates

Downlaod memo from Linda VandenBerg, Provincial Chairperson of Legislation

National Palliative Care: Private member’s Bill C-277 Framework on Palliative Care Act in Canada received royal assent December 12, 2017. This bill in part states, ‘The Minister of Health must, in consultation with the representatives of the provincial and territorial governments responsible for health, as well as with palliative care providers, develop a framework designed to support improved access for Canadians to palliative care - provided through hospitals, home care, long-term care facilities and residential hospices …’

Resolution 2017.04 Protection from Coercion of Conscience for Healthcare Professionals : On January 31, 2018 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court) upheld the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s policies regarding the requirement that physicians who have ethical objections to certain acts, including euthanasia and abortion, must refer patients to healthcare professionals who will provide the act, even though the court recognized that this violates the physicians’ rights to religious freedom. If this can happen in Ontario, it can happen in all provinces.”

Bill C-38 An Act to amend An Act to amend the Criminal Code (exploitation and trafficking in persons):
This bill is in second reading in the House of Commons (1st reading February 9, 2017) This enactment amends An Act to amend the Criminal Code (exploitation and trafficking in persons) so that certain sections of that act can come into force on different days. The act received royal assent on June 18, 2015 yet has not come into force since presently the act states that it will come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council. If Bill C-38 passes, it would allow the act to come into force on the day of receiving royal assent, thereby expediting the justice system for those who have exploited and trafficked persons.”

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2017 Legislation memo - Nancy Simms, national chairperson of legislation:

I send you greetings from British Columbia. As the days get shorter and the fall rains begin to spill out over our country, I would like to thank all of you for your prayers for those affected by wildfires. It has been quite the summer!

Along with the wildfires, over 900 members and guests were once again lit on fire through the Holy Spirit, and with the love of the League at the 97th annual national convention in beautiful Prince Edward Island. Four resolutions were adopted at the convention and two of them fall under the standing committee of legislation. They are Resolution 2017.04 Protection from Coercion of Conscience for Healthcare Professionals and Resolution 2017.03 Zero-Rated Status Under the Goods and Services Tax Provisions of the Excise Tax Act for Child Safety Products. Also, three motions related to Bill C-16 An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, which adds gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination, were carried under the standing committee of legislation. All of these were printed in the fall 2017 magazine.

It is now time to reacquaint ourselves with the days that the House of Commons will be sitting and to research what parliamentary business will be happening this fall. The calendar for the House of Commons can be found at ourcommons.ca/en/sitting-calendar. This website also shows what bills are before parliament and what stage they have reached. It also shows how members of parliament (MPs) voted on a bill. Just click “Parliamentary Business” at the top and you will find all this and more.

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Federal Legislation Bill C-51

Federal legislation, Bill C51,  was introduced by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada on June 6, 2017. This bill clarifies certain aspects of the Criminal Code of Canada and also repeals certain sections of the Code. Unfortunately clause 14 of the bill requests to remove section 176 from the criminal code.  Presently section 176 prohibits obstructing a religious leader from conducting a religious ceremony and it prohibits disturbing an assembly gathered for a religious, moral, or social purpose. The bill does not give an alternative for this section, therefore if the bill passes with clause 14 intact it would then not be illegal to obstruct a religious leader from conducting a religious ceremony or for individuals to cause a disturbance at an assembled gathering.

Thank you to Shirley Christo in Ontario for bringing this to my attention.

You will find below the related letter that Shirley sent to her MP. Shirley has given her permission for this to be sent as an example for members to use in writing their own MPs regarding this important issue.

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