Follow Up to Discussion: “On Fire” by Naomi Klein

Our discussion on Sunday, February 9 about Naomi Klein’s book On Fire underlined the extent of the climate problem and the importance of taking collective action. We talked about:

  • The challenge of acting on a crisis that feels so overwhelming
  • Existing organizations at the local, provincial and federal levels that we could work with 
  • The difficulty of staying well informed on this complicated issue 

As a follow-up, I am sending 

1)    Some current options for collective action: 


  • Reject Teck! Environmental organizations across Canada are organizing a campaign to call and write to federal cabinet ministers asking them to deny Teck Frontier’s application for a massive new oil sands mine in northern Alberta. Come to SAC’s information and letter-writing session at noon at UUFO on Sunday February 16. For more info see, The Narwhal, GreenPeace, LeadNow


  • If you are in Ottawa-Vanier or Orleans ridings, participate in bi-elections to be held in on February 27 and debates leading up to them. One all-candidates debate for Ottawa-Vanier has been held, see . There will be another Ottawa-Vanier debate on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:00pm in the Colonel By Cafetorium (2381 Ogilvie Rd)


  • Come out to Green Drinks to connect to others with similar concerns and learn form speakers, every second Thursday 5:30 pm onwards, next one is this Thursday February 13
  • Come out to the Day of Action Forum: Towards Just and Healthy Neighborhoods on February 22nd to get engaged in the development of Ottawa’s new Official Plan, which is just beginning to be debated at City Hall and will have huge impacts on the environment. Organized by the City for All Women Initiative, Ecology Ottawa, the Federation of Citizens Associations, Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital, and Healthy Transportation Coalition, the event will focus on building an inclusive, healthy and sustainable city within the current urban footprint. For more information see Facebook.  There is a waiting list.  E-mail Trevor Haché  to be added to it if you wish to participate 
  • The upcoming March 1st meeting of the Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability (CAFES) will focus on the city’s Climate Change Master Plan (CCMP) created in response to the Climate Emergency declared by City Hall last Spring as a result of pressure from Ecology Ottawa and citizens’ associations across Ottawa including UUFO.  Janet and Marilynn will attend and report back. You can subscribe to the CAFES google group list at
  •  Want to plant a tree? Ecology Ottawa will be giving away seedlings for free, see and they are looking for volunteers for this and other environmental campaigns
  •  For ongoing information about local events, see Ecology Ottawa’s online calendar

Global/National/Provincial/Local – across jurisdictions:  

  • Extinction Rebellion, a global organization involved in direct action to demand urgent action on the climate crisis. Launched in the UK in 2018, it now has chapters around the world including in Ottawa, they meet every Thursday night
  • Join the global movement for climate action online:

 2)    Some sources of ongoing information on climate issues that I use, in case others might find them useful:

  • The Energy Mix provides an excellent overview of the latest national and global stories on climate, and all for free 
  • The National Observer and the Guardian provide excellent coverage of climate issues. I subscribe online to the National Observer and should subscribe to the Guardian. 
  • Councillor Shawn Menard is leader on local issues related to this topic – you can email him at to receive his regular updates 

Janet Creery    

Federal Consultation on Assisted Dying

The federal government has announced a public consultation on the changes regarding the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) legislation. Dying with Dignity has provided some background resources for you to read before you fill out the online survey. Have your say and complete the survey by January 27, 2020.

From Dying With Dignity:

On Monday, January 13, the federal government initiated a consultation with the Canadian public and key stakeholders regarding changes to the current legislation regulating medical assistance in dying (MAID). The consultation is focused on removing the MAID eligibility requirement that natural death be reasonably foreseeable, consistent with the recent Quebec Superior Court decision in Truchon v. Canada (Attorney General), and on the potential of allowing advance requests for MAID.

In the fall, DWDC reiterated its four-point list of top priorities for the first six months of the new Parliament. The organization is urging Ottawa to:

  • Amend the federal assisted dying law to reflect the Quebec Superior Court decision in Truchon v.Canada (Attorney General). Do not create additional safeguards that risk establishing unintended barriers to access to MAID
  • Pass Audrey’s Amendment in support of the rights of people who’ve been Assessed and Approved  for medical assistance in dying (MAID)
  • Commit to amending the law to permit advance requests for MAID, as recommended by the Special Joint Parliamentary Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying in 2016. The current ban on advance requests unfairly prohibits many people with capacity-eroding conditions such as dementia from accessing their right to a medically assisted death
  • Prepare for the launch of the legally mandated fifth-year Parliamentary review of the federal assisted dying law, and ensure the public has meaningful opportunities to provide feedback on the future of MAID in Canada

Click on the link below to complete the online public consultation made available by the federal government. Don’t delay — the online public consultation will only be available until January 27th, 2020 (11:59 pm).

Click here to access the questionnaire now

As you’re formulating your responses, you may wish to consult a couple resources that we’ve made available. DWDC recently prepared its new Post-Election Advocacy Toolkit to help you share your views with your MP and other decision-makers. You can also review the statement we just released calling for a right-based approach to amending the federal assisted dying law.

Now is the time you, our supporters, can make your voices heard by the Ministers of Justice and Health. Your participation can help ensure that fair and equitable access to assisted dying is available for people across the country enduring intolerable suffering who provide informed consent to receive MAID, whether their end of life is foreseeable or not.

With gratitude,

Alexandra Da Dalt

Canadian UU Women’s Association Call for Submissions

The Canadian U*U Women’s Association invites submissions of personal reflections, Worship materials including readings and sermons, artwork, study or reflection questions, and poetry for its annual IWD package. The theme this year is Wisdom. Last year we published an extensive selection of poetry and beautiful artwork in our package. This year, we are particularly interested in short poems or personal reflections that could be used at an International Women’s Day service or a study group in March 2020.
You may wish to send a photo of yourself at a time when you drew from your spiritual wisdom or learned something that has given your life meaning since that time, and a personal story that reflects your thoughts and experiences. The following questions may spark some ideas or memories: What difference would it make if women’s wisdom were more valued and brought to different issues? How do/could we shake up the world with women’s wisdom? Where have we brought different sources and forms of wisdom to a personal problem or situation? How have you nurtured and acted on our feminist or goddess spiritual wisdom? How is your life different because you were bold in sharing the wisdom within you, and how would they be different if you had not (been) held back? What knowledge have you gained by transitioning or coming out? What is (your) trans, queer, or non-binary wisdom?

Please send your unpublished, original writing or artwork about Wisdom as an attachment to an email with your name, pronoun, congregation or location, and a short bio by December 5, 2019, or contact us at for more information. Note that by submitting material you are giving the CUUWA to publish your writing electronically, to distribute it freely, and to read it at a service or discussion group. In addition, any member of the public may have access to your writing, and the CUUWA does not wish to and cannot control the use that is made of your work. Although there is no compensation for your contribution, you will be credited and retain full copyright of your work.

We encourage you to become a member of the CU*UWA. Memberships cost $25. a year and discounts are offered for additional family/household members or longer-term memberships. Look for information at

We look forward to reading about your thoughts and experiences.

Making Meaning (August Discussion)

Follow up to the August 13 TED Talk

On August 13th, we explored how language shapes the way we think and had the chance to engage with the topic of cross-cultural communication as a group.  Thank you to those who attended this very interesting discussion. Below are the links to the two videos that we viewed:

  • 3 ways to speak English | Jamila Lyiscott 
  •  How language shapes the way we think | Lera Boroditsky 

If you are interested in exploring the world of TED talks, here is the link: . 

Nick LePan: Foyer Gallery Artist

Our Fellowship member Nick LePan is the current artist featured in the Foyer Gallery, at the entrance to our Fellowship at 400 McArthur Ave!

Nick’s show offers many reasonably priced works that will be on display until late July.

Cafe Watercolour. 7×10. $25

Visit for more info online, and come in to 400 McArthur Ave. to see Nick’s art on display!

Pact for a Green New Deal

The Canadian Unitarian Council is one of 65 organizations that launched this movement on May 6th, calling on Canadians to ensure their leaders:

  • meet the demands of Indigenous knowledge and science and cut Canada’s emissions in half in 11 years while protecting cultural and biological diversity. 
  • oversee a rapid, inclusive and far-reaching transition to deeply reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect critical biodiversity
  • fully  implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
  • meet the demands of the multiple crises we face, create over a million jobs in the process,  leave no one behind and build a better present and future for all of us. 

What You Can Do

  1. Sign the pledge for a Green New Deal and if you are part of an organization, encourage it to endorse and participate. 
  2. Help develop a shared vision by joining a town hall near you:
    Green New Deal Town Hall for Ottawa: Wednesday, May 22,
    6:30pm, Ottawa Public Library, 120 Metcalfe Street. Sign up, get more information or host your own
  3. Help make the climate crisis a federal election issue by pushing political leaders to act:
  • Share this campaign with your networks 
  • On social media use the hashtag #GreenNewDeal.
  • call on federal election candidates in your riding to support a Green New Deal.

Fun facts!

  • Our very own Star Trek Captain, William Shatner, supports the Pact
  • Iconic Canadian singers KD Lang and Neil Young are among 50 well-known Canadian artists who endorse the Pact

Climate Emergency motion

On April 24th Ottawa City Council will vote on the Climate Emergency Motion 6-2. The Motion has been adopted by the Environment Committee.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa sent the following letter to City Council in support of the motion, and several members of our Social Action Cluster attended the demonstration at City Hall on April 16th, 2019.

To: Jim Watson, Mayor and Councillor Scott Moffatt, Chair Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management, City of Ottawa

Dear Mayor Watson and Councillor Moffatt,

In view of the escalating impact of climate change, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa (UUFO) calls on the City of Ottawa to declare a climate emergency and heighten its efforts towards implementing measures to mitigate this crisis. The Board of the UUFO has passed the following motion at our meeting of April 10, 2019: 

Be It Resolved That the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa calls on the City of Ottawa to declare a climate emergency and make climate action an official Term of Council priority for the 2018-22 Term of Council.

This resolution is in keeping with the UUFO’s mission to nurture meaning, hope, and reverence for the earth as we pursue a more just and compassionate world. Members of the UUFO respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Kind Regards,

Martha Nabatian,

Chair, Board of Directors,

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa (UUFO)

High Horizons – One Last Time

Our Fellowship has long participated in the High Horizons lunch program at MacKay United Church. It’s been a regular Tuesday outing for disabled adults and their caregivers, and we do our part by bringing sandwiches and cookies or squares for lunch, volunteering in the kitchen for preparation and cleanup, and entertaining after lunch by leading a singalong for a very appreciative audience.

When we helped out in October, the McKay United volunteers told us that the program is coming to an end, due to diminished participation and volunteer support. So we will be helping with High Horizons one last time on Tuesday, April 30th.  

We have signed up to bring the following:

  • 4 loaves of sandwiches
  • 4 dozen cookies or squares
  • 4-5 kitchen volunteers
  • singers and musicians to lead the singalong after lunch

Please contact me if you are interested in helping out at this enjoyable and rewarding social action event by providing some of the food, helping out in the kitchen, and/or joining the after-lunch singing group. And if you have been a regular High Horizons volunteer, this will be your opportunity to say good-bye to the volunteers, caregivers, and disabled adults who have become our friends over the years.

When: Tuesday, April 30th, 11:00 – 1:00

Where: MacKay United Church in New Edinbugh (corner of MacKay and Dufferin)

Contact: Pat Lucey,