World Water Day, March 22. What will you do to make a difference?

Did you know??? In the fall of 2016, 151 drinking water advisories were in effect in First Nations reserves across Canada.
More than 100 water advisories are routinely in effect, with some First Nations reserves living under advisories for nearly 20 years.


March 2017

To The Honourable Carolyn Bennett,
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6

As a Canadian Unitarian, I am writing to voice concern regarding access to safe, drinkable water and adequate sanitation in Canada.

Canadians need to see a progress report on your promise to eliminate the need for boil water advisories in First Nations by 2021. Further, I suggest advancing the target to 2018 as being both achievable and consistent with the priority. Canada certainly has the technology, and with a more focused effort and resources, this necessity for clean water can surely be provided for all Canadians.

Our Unitarian Universalist Principles guide us to “affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person” and to “respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part”. In support of these principles, the Canadian Unitarian Council passed a motion in 2015, that called for all to have the right to clean air, water and soil. Delivering on this right for First Nations is clearly a priority.

A good step towards reconciliation with indigenous peoples would be to ensure clean drinking water is available to all First Nation communities. Clean water is a human right. Unsafe drinking water in First Nations isn’t just an Indigenous issue — it’s also a Canadian issue. How can there be reconciliation in a country where many First Nations experience chronic water issues, while neighbouring municipalities enjoy reliable access to safe, clean drinking water?

Your government’s own expert advisory panel states that in order to ensure water and sanitation in First Nations communities meets the standards enjoyed by other people in Canada, the resource gap in infrastructure and training must be closed. The barrier created by federal policies and procedures for funding must be remodeled or removed if the water needs of First Nations are to be met in a fair and timely way. The advisory panel also called for immediate measures to address the needs of those First Nations communities that have no running water or sewage.

I therefore support the recommendations of the David Suzuki Foundation in asking the federal government to:
• Be transparent about its progress toward ending drinking water advisories in First Nations;
• Simplify the process to ensure bureaucracy does not impede steps toward ending the drinking water crisis; and
• Support a First Nations-led approach to drinking water.

Access to safe drinkable water and adequate sanitation are basic human rights. No one should be denied this right. Further delays are inexcusable.

“Our Interdependence Calls Us to Love and Justice” – Canadian Unitarian Vision


1. Sermon Contest

The Canadian Unitarian Council Interconnected Faith Sermon Contest is an opportunity to express your thoughts on any dimension of the CUC Vision and Aspirations Statement  affirmed by delegates at the 2016 Vancouver Annual General Meeting.

The selected winner will receive a cash award of $150.00, plus an invitation to present their sermon during the CUC 2018 National Conference held in Hamilton!

Topic: Write a unique (new) sermon/homily on any aspect of the CUC Vision Statement, including the 5 Aspirations:

(Abridged sampling) As Canadian Unitarian Universalists, we envision a world in which our interdependence calls us to love and justice… As Canadian Unitarian Universalists, we aspire to be:  Deeply Connected, Radically Inclusive, Actively Engaged, Theologically Alive and Spiritually Grounded.

Who Can Enter?

The contest is open to UU ministers, seminarians, and lay people, providing the sermon has been delivered to a Unitarian or Unitarian Universalist congregation within the past year, and before the deadline. The contestant must be connected to a Canadian UU congregation.

How To Enter?

Submit in MS Word or Plain Text. (PDF not acceptable) by email to and put in the subject line: “Interconnected Faith Sermon Contest”.

Deadline: the CUC Sermon Contest Evaluation Committee must receive your sermon and cover page by email before 11:59 pm EST on February 1, 2018.

Include Two Items

  1. A cover page, which has your name, address, phone number, email address, sermon title, name of the congregation to whom the sermon was delivered, and date the sermon was delivered. Be sure to indicate this is for the CUC Interconnected Faith sermon contest.
  2. Your sermon with title, from which identifying information has been removed (your name, congregation). Length: minimum 1,800 words, maximum 2,500 words). Please do not include footnotes. Electronic submissions only, in MS Word or Plain Text file formats. No PDFs or hand-written text accepted.

Questions: Contact us at

2. Art Contest

The Canadian Unitarian Art Contest is an opportunity for creative Canadian UUs to illustrate or interpret the CUC Vision Statement affirmed by delegates at the 2016 Vancouver ACM.  That Vision Statement is: As Canadian Unitarian Universalists, we envision a world in which our interdependence calls us to love and justice.

Assignment: Create a work of art – drawing, painting, song, video, or other form – that expresses the new vision statement.  Submissions should be created by people connected with a Canadian UU congregation.  Group submissions, such as from a Religious Education group, are acceptable. See the contest poster here.


  • Age 12 and under;
  • Age 13-17
  • Age 18 and older

To Submit: If the work of art can be emailed, eg. a poem or story, email it to  If the work can be sent by mail, send it to the Canadian Unitarian Council, 215 Spadina Avenue, Suite 400, Toronto, ON, M5T 2C7. Add to the envelope the words: Art Contest.  If the work cannot be mailed, such as a sculpture, submit photographs/video of the work and a detailed description.

Children under 18 must submit a letter from their parents given permission for the entry.

Deadline: Submissions must be received by Oct. 1, 2017.

Include: A cover page, which has your name, address, phone number, email address, and the name of the congregation to whom the artist is connected. Be sure to indicate this is for the CUC Art contest and which age category you are entering.

Prize: The winner in each category will receive a $50 prize. The winning entries will be shared with UUs across the country.

Questions: Email