President's July 2020 Report

(posted: July 3, 2020)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Conference Presidents, please share this monthly news with your members to keep everyone connected with what is happening at all levels of the Society. Particular and Central Council Presidents, please share this monthly news with your Vincentian members who may not belong to a Conference.

The July spiritual reflection reflects on covid-19 and our Preferential Option for the Poor. We might not be able to solve poverty but we can be kind. Feel free to reach out to should you have questions on spiritual resources.

Sharing an inspiring “Let’s Find God” video.

The National Spirituality Committee is conducting a search for nominees to be a Canadian Saint to be consecrated as the Patron Saint of the Society in Canada. Feel free to send your nomination to before September 30, 2020.

Thank you to the 40 people who joined the virtual AGM on June 20 and thank you to technology co-operating.

As shared at the AGM, Sarah Davidson is resigning from her role as Administrative Assistant and Recording Secretary with her last day being July 3. We are grateful to Sarah for her work with ONRC and wish her all the best in her future endeavours. We will look at dividing up tasks that were carried out by Sarah. Please email moving forward for any questions you normally directed to Sarah.

Thank you to Richard Pommainville, Executive Director with National Council, for identifying a few opportunities.

On June 9, 2020, the Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced the launch of the second call for proposals under the Local Food Infrastructure Fund. Please see the news release

This second call for proposals under the program will support small and large community-led projects at facilities such as urban gardens, community kitchens, food banks, and greenhouses. Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until funding has been allocated. Projects valued at up to $250,000 will be accepted.

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund provides non-repayable funding for activities such as the construction of greenhouses and garden boxes, the purchase of equipment for the preparation, refrigeration, distribution and storage of food, and vehicle and transport equipment.

More details, including the application guide and the application form click here.

On Thursday June 25, Prime Minister Trudeau announced support for students wanting to serve their communities and obtain opportunities to gain paid work experience

This announcement complements the April 22 announcement and leverages the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) program to provide students the opportunity to volunteer to charities and not-for-profit organizations that would have experienced a volunteer drop due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CSSG will provide these student volunteers with a one-time payment of between $1,000 and $5,000 based on the number of hours they serve. To find charities or not-for-profit organizations looking for help during the pandemic, post-secondary students and recent graduates would use the new I Want to Help platform. Charities and Not-for-profit organizations need to register themselves.

A student must be receiving the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) to access the GSSG

FOOD RESCUE is a program that connects businesses with good, unsold food to donate to local not for profit organizations. Some SSVP Conferences/Councils are already signed up with Any SSVP Council or Conference can sign up for this free account if interested, and you must have a CRA number to be eligible to sign up.

Richard Pommainville, National Council, is helping to set up a structure with Food Rescue to be recipients of “rescued food”, and is looking for Conferences/Councils that would be willing to receive fresh products, and have refrigerator/freezer space available. Please email if you are interested in receiving fresh products and advise what refrigerator/freezer space you have available to help get the structure in place to assist with the many requests we anticipate receiving later this year.

We have all been appalled and saddened with recent events in the US and Canada related to systemic racism and are searching for appropriate actions that demonstrate our commitment to addressing racism in all forms. After a recent discussion with National Council President, Claude Bedard, his recommendation is to do a thorough review of this issue and conduct consultations and meetings with relevant members and others outside of the Society who can contribute to developing further actions. Our National Social Justice Committee has committed to taking on this challenge which we see as an opportunity to look at the issue of racism as it relates to people of colour, including Indigenous Peoples here in Canada. One goal will be to make recommendations to our National Board of Directors later this year.

We ask our Ontario members to consider the following questions as part of this process:
  1. Does systemic racism exist within the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul?
  2. Does having the knowledge of the existence of systemic racism in Canada without advocating for change mean we approve of it?
  3. Are there internal actions the Society can take which demonstrate our opposition to all forms of racism?
  4. Are there actions the Society can take to both advocate for change and collaborate with other organizations on positive change?
  5. Can the Society reach out to the larger Catholic and non-Catholic community to invite members of visible minorities to join us as we work towards addressing racism in Canada?
Jim Paddon wrote an article on Black Lives Matter for FamVin which is also posted on our website.

The National housing campaign action plan revised action plan was distributed to Central Council and Particular Council Presidents. Please ensure your conference presidents have a copy and encourage their comments and recommendations as we develop the final version for National board approval. Please send your comments to

The May Vincenpaul Canada newsletter shares information involving the twists and turns of the pandemic.

National Council held a successful virtual AGM on June 27 with 69 participants. Thank you to the Ontario members who participated.

The International President General shares A loving call to tolerance and peace among people - SSVP.

Thank you for your dedication and all the amazing work you continue to do serving our friends in need. Stay safe and healthy.

Feel free to contact at any time should you have questions.

Linda Dollard

President's Message