Every year the CCSTA Board of Directors schedule meetings with MPs to discuss Catholic education in Canada. In a non-pandemic year, these meetings would take place in person in our Nation’s capital; however, this year’s Lobby Week occurred online through a series of virtual meetings. These essential meetings remind our leaders of Catholic education’s vital role in our country.
Over two weeks, the CCSTA Board of Directors met with 18 MP’s from various political parties. “This year’s virtual Lobby Week was a resounding success,” reported CCSTA Executive Director Julian Hanlon. “The main focus was to highlight the impact Catholic education has across the country and answer any questions the MP’s might have. The support for Catholic education remains very strong at the federal level,” he added.
In addition to meeting with MP’s, the Board also had an opportunity to meet with MP Garnett Genuis in a virtual roundtable format. Much of the discussion focused on Bill C-6 (Conversion Therapy Bill). CCSTA is fully supportive of banning the use of Conversion Therapy. The issue is with the definition of Conversion Therapy contained in the Bill. Read the CCSTA Statement on Bill C-6 on the CCSTA website for more information.
The virtual roundtable was followed by a Devotional entitled Virtual and Virtuous, graciously organized by the office of MP Genuis. With a combination of MPs and Trustees invited, 44 participants in total had the pleasure of connecting virtually through reflection and prayer. His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, provided opening remarks. CCSTA’s Chaplain, Father Stefano Penna, followed with an inspiring reflection centred on Blessed Carlo Acutis, the young man who is on his way to becoming the first millennial saint, and MP Garnett Genuis closed the session. CCSTA is very grateful to MP Genuis and his staff for making this beautiful event possible.
From here, CCSTA will follow up with the MPs to continue fostering relationships and support for Catholic education. “For CCSTA members, this year’s lobby week was a great opportunity to share and promote the importance of Catholic Education in Canada with Members of Parliament and Senators from all parties. Over the years, we have forged positive relationships and garnered support for Catholic Education,” said CCSTA President Paula Scott.
Here are some highlights from this year’s virtual Lobby Week on Twitter: