The Vancouver Branch held its annual general meeting on February 19th at the home of Les Brown. Branch president Vivian Davidson welcomed a mix of 25 members and supporters. The meeting included a summary of the past year’s activities, an update on the UNPA campaign from Blake MacLeod, and an explanation on the need for a supra-national government structure from Ian Waddell. Larry Kazdan retired as branch treasurer after fifteen years and was thanked and presented with a parting gift from the branch.
Re-elected to the branch’s board of directors were President Vivian Davidson, Vice-President Duncan Graham, Members Mary Etey and Les Brown. Members at large are Penny Oyama, Blake MacLeod and Ian Waddell.
In late March, Toronto branch member and director-at-large Norbert D’Costa gave a
presentation titled “One Planet, Many Worlds” to Turner Fenton High School in Brampton. The central message of the presentation was that the problems we have are global.
The Toronto branch has been meeting on a monthly basis. Discussions over the last several months have included reaching out to local members and likeminded organizations, developing a branch website and exploring various other outreach options, including developing a social media presence and a speaker series. The branch have also been talking about participation in broader activities such as the No
War 2018 international peace conference, which will take place in Toronto in September (http://worldbeyondwar.org/nowar2018/). Topics include international law to mitigate war, war as crime, and the Earth Charter.
Following the private part of the March meeting, the branch held a public discussion on the topic of Strengthening Global Democracy.
The Montreal branch continues to host the monthly, hour-long World Feds Coffee and
Discussion group, which meets once a month. Topics from recent months have included Russia’s perceived role as a “spoiler” in the international community (particularly in reference to enabling the use of poison gas by the Syrian regime), Trump, climate change and Mali.
Topics at the regularly scheduled letter writing meetings included asking that an exemption for arms exports to the United States be removed; opposing recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and keeping Canada’s Embassy in Tel Aviv; and the revision of Canada’s Extradition Treaty to require that legal proof be required before people are extradited.
In April, the Montreal branch, along with the Concordia International Students Society,
welcomed Canada’s United Nations Deputy Ambassador Michael Grant to speak about the path he has taken and what his job entails.
In March, WFMC board member and McGill professor Myron Frankman spoke to Citizens in Action, An Alternative Globalization Organization, on the topic of Basic Income and Social Protections: Survival Imperatives for the Anthropogenic Age.
In February the branch held their annual postholiday luncheon, where they welcomed Elisabeth Patterson to speak on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and its Implementation.
In February, WFMC Board Chair John Trent marked the launch of his new book “A United Nations Renaissance: What the UN is, and what it could be,” co-written with Laura Schnurr, with an event in Ottawa. Another event for the book was held in New York at the United Nations bookshop in May. More information about the book can be found at https://unitednationsrenaissance.wordpress.com/