Did you know that across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), there are nearly 2 million Catholics?

It’s true! Toronto parishioners in 57 federal ridings have elected representatives from the Liberal, Conservative, and NDP parties. That’s two million voters in nearly one out of every six ridings in all of Canada.

For these political parties—all looking for votes in hopes of being elected and forming our federal government—there are few regions more politically important than Toronto. For many election cycles Toronto has been called a political “kingmaker”. This simply means that Toronto is home to many so-called swing ridings—ridings that tend to swing back and forth between different parties in different elections. Winning these swing ridings has always been essential for any political party aspiring to form a government. And because of Toronto’s enormous population, we are home to a comparatively huge number of swing ridings.

That’s why there’s a saying in Canadian politics: so goes Toronto, so goes Canada. And with our two million voters here in the GTA, Catholic voters can have an enormous effect on the final outcome.

Given these two facts—the enormous number of Catholics in the GTA, and the enormous importance of the GTA to political parties—our community is positioned to play a big role in Canadian politics. All we have to do is prayerfully and thoughtfully discern our vote, think about our political moral framework through the lends of Catholic social teaching—and get out to vote with our family and friends!

MOBILIZING THE COMMUNITY THROUGH THE CATHOLIC ACTION CAMPAIGN

At Catholic Conscience, our mission is to form Catholics for Christian citizenship:

  • We inspire Catholics, and all others of good will, by sharing the full richness of Catholic Social teaching and Catholic civic obligation, supporting the growth of both the individual and social moral imagination, for appropriate and engaged citizenship.
  • We prepare citizens for participation by educating, training, and supporting them as our sisters and brothers, building the confidence Catholics crave to go forth and engage civic society.
  • We send inspired and prepared citizens forth to vote, to participate in the public conversation, and to volunteer in civic life. And we walk with those we send forth, so that no one is lost.

To these ends, we are excited to announce the launch of our new Catholic Action campaign for the 2019 federal election. The aim of this non-partisan, get-out-the-vote campaign is to educate Catholic voters in Catholic social teaching and how they relate to relevant federal political issues; and mobilize the Catholic community to go out and vote.

How will we do it?

FIRST: A COORDINATED HOMILY ON SEPTEMBER 22ND, 2019

Working with several Toronto Catholic institutions and parishes, we are launching the campaign on Sunday, September 22nd—what we’re calling Catholic Action Day. With t-minus roughly one month to the October 21st election day, we have coordinated parish priests across Toronto to offer a homily on the importance of voting and taking action in society as a Catholic citizen. Catholic Conscience volunteers (you’ll recognize them by their t-shirts!) will be tabling at the backs of masses to offer parishioners more information, educational resources, and the opportunity to sign-up for our election mailing list.

Want to join that mailing list? We’ll be using it to send out helpful reminders and how and when to vote, as well as resources about Catholic social teaching. Send us an email at info@catholicconscience.org and we’ll sign you up!

READ OUR CONSCIENCE CARDS: COMPARING THE POLITICAL PARTIES’ PLATFORMS THROUGH CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING

Catholic social teaching covers every area of politics, from human dignity to the environment to jobs and the economy… and so much more! To help Catholics learn more about Catholic social teaching, and how it relates to Canadian politics, we’re putting together Conscience Cards. These one-page election resources are organized into key themes of Catholic social teaching, like care for God’s creation and the preferential option for the poor. They will tell you more about these social teachings, and will connect them to relevant federal political concerns—like poverty reduction, life issues, climate change, and much more. They will also include side-by-side comparisons of each of the major parties’ stances on these key issues. It’s a great one-stop resource to learn more about issues of importance to our Catholic community!

You’ll find the Conscience Cards on our website, on our Facebook page, and in your email inbox if you sign up for our mailing list.

GETTING OUT THE CATHOLIC VOTE

We’ll be speaking to Catholics throughout the election encouraging them to vote—at in-person events in parishes, over the phone, by email, and through social media. We’ll be making sure Catholics have the resources they need so they can exercise their right and responsibility to vote.

We’re looking for volunteers to help us get-out-the-vote in the Catholic community! Want to help? Send us an email at growth@catholicconscience.org and we’ll bring you on board. All are welcome to join our team.

COME CELEBRATE CANADIAN DEMOCRACY ON OCTOBER 21ST

Election Day is October 21st, and we’re gathering to watch the results, reflect on the campaign, and celebrate Canadian democracy with our fellow citizens. That, and resting after a hard day’s work—Catholic Conscience volunteers will be contacting Catholic voters throughout the day to make sure we all vote. Like and follow us on Facebook and keep an eye out for our event invite—we’ll be finalizing the location during the election.

WATCH THE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY’S FEDERAL ELECTION DEBATE LIVE OR ONLINE

Get your tickets and save the date! During the evening of October 3rd, the Archdiocese of Toronto will be hosting a federal election debate between the major political parties. Hosted by famed Canadian journalist Don Newman, and introduced by Toronto’s own Cardinal Thomas Collins, the debate will cover issues of deep concern to the Catholic community—including poverty, the dignity of life, the environment, Christian persecution abroad, and more.

While they last, tickets are free at www.ArchToronto.org/Election. Like and follow the Archdiocese of Toronto on Facebook and keep an eye on their election website for news. We look forward to seeing you there—and keep an eye out for our volunteers at the event! Don’t be shy, come say hi.

THIS FEDERAL ELECTION, MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD

When Catholics are active citizens—volunteering, voting, organizing and mobilizing to put human dignity and love at the centre of our politics—we can change the world, together. Help the Catholic community grow the moral imagination of Canadian government. Join our Catholic Action campaign.

Have any questions? Want to get involved, or bring the campaign to your parish? Email us at growth@catholicconscience.org.