National Association Gives CoSA a Stronger, Unified Voice in Canada
10 Nov, 2015
A recent conference call between two dozen representatives and supporters marked the birth of a new national association for Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) in Canada. In the works for some time, CoSA Canada was formally launched with its inaugural Annual General Meeting on October 27th, 2015. The launch is an historic moment for the made-in-Canada initiative that, since its 1994 inception in Hamilton, Ontario, has been recognized internationally for its uniquely effective work with high-risk sexual offenders after their release.
CoSA has received unprecedented media attention in the last year following cuts to its federal funding that coincided with yet another study proving CoSA’s effectiveness in reducing recidivism. However, the formation of CoSA Canada promises to give the initiative an even stronger and more focused voice by representing the shared values and concerns of Canada’s numerous independent CoSA sites. Currently there are 11 CoSA projects operating across Canada, down from the 18 prior to cuts forcing many projects to close their doors.
Hosting its own CoSA project since 2000, MSCM is an official member of CoSA Canada and will be an active participant in shaping CoSA’s future in Canada. Peter Huish, Chairman of MSCM’s Steering Committee, has been elected to CoSA Canada’s Board of Directors where he will continue to act as a steward of CoSA at the national level.
The remaining Directors include representatives from seven provinces and a number of individuals who have been instrumental in the growth of CoSA across Canada since its early years, including Françoise Crabalona (Montréal, QC), Scott Drennan (Calgary, AB), Otto Driedger (Regina, SK), Bo Gajda (Winnipeg, MB), Rev. Hugh Kirkegaard (Halifax, NS), Wayne Northey (Agassiz, BC), Ana Paquete (Ottawa, ON), and Pamela Peters-Pries, (Toronto, ON).
More information about CoSA Canada can be found on their website at www.cosacanada.com