Classification scheme: 

Title: Conscience Canada fonds

Dates of creation: 1977-2014
Note: Further accruals are expected

Physical description: 49 cm of textual records and other materials

Administrative history: Conscience Canada traces its history back to 1978, and was incorporated in 1983. It was founded to: 

  • advocate for changes in law to allow Canadians the right under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to conscientiously object to military taxation,
  • educate Canadians about conscientious objection to military taxation,
  • defend freedom of conscience.

The organization set up a Peace Tax Trust Fund where conscientious objectors could deposit the portion of their taxes that would have gone towards military purposes. The funds were to be held in trust until the government agreed to spend them for peaceful purposes. Conscience Canada's activities have included lobbying politicians, running public advocacy campaigns, producing educational resources for the promotion of peace, and participating in peace conferences.

Custodial history: Transfers to the Archives were received from Conscience Canada in 2014 and 2017

Scope and content: The fonds includes minutes, correspondence and other documents of Conscience Canada and related organizations, audiovisual materials produced or used by Conscience Canada for educational purposes, and photographs of Conscience Canada events.

Notes: The Mennonite Archives of Ontario is the official repository for the records of Conscience Canada.
Photographs of Conscience Canada activities are described in the Mennonite Archival Image Database.
Original archival description created 2018 by Laureen Harder-Gissing.

File list:

Series 1: Formal records

  1. Incorporation documents, 1983-2004
  2. Annual general meeting minutes, 1995-1998, 2000, 2002-2018
  3. Board of Directors minutes, 1992-1995, 2001-2002, 2006-2018
  4. Board of Directors lists, 1992-1999, 2001-2003, 2007-2009, 2011-2019
  5. Peace Tax Endowment Fund terms of reference
  6. General correspondence, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994-1995, 2000-2010

Series 2: Projects and activities

  1. Brochures and website content
  2. Posters
  3. Court cases
    1. Jerilynn Prior, 1987-1992, 2008
    Note: Includes I feel the winds of God today: leadings as explored by a woman, mother, doctor, Quaker / Jerilynn C. Prior. Sunderland P. Gardner Lecture, Canadian Yearly Meeting, Aug 1992 (Canadian Quaker Pamphlet no. 38); “Dr. Jerilynn Prior’s war: an examination of conscientious objection to military taxation” / Darren McLeod (University of Victoria, Apr 2008).

    2. Donald Woodside, 1993

    3. Michael Petrini, 1994
  4. Readers theatre scripts
    Note: Contains “Taxpayers in search of peace” / Edith Adamson, Muriel Sibley, Marya Nyland (compiler), Jan 1992;“May we be as discerning as donkeys” / Muriel Sibley; “Income tax time” [the Laviolette family of Montreal]” / Marguerite Bilodeau, [2008?].
  5. Peace Dialogues, 19-25 Apr 2004
  6. Spring campaign, 2009
  7. Tax resistance and theological issues
  8. Conscience Canada booklets
    For Conscience Sake, 1984, 1986, 1991
    The First Freedom, 1989, 1991
    Manifesto for the Abolition of the Army, 1992
    Note: See also Milton Good Library holdings
  9. Petitions filed in the House of Commons, correspondence, 2002-2004
  10. Private members bills, reports, bills and correspondence, 1983, 1985-1986, 1988, 1991-1999, 2001, 2007, 2009-2011
  11. Ottawa lobby trips, 1993-1999
  12. Review of Canada’s defence policy and Canada’s foreign policy, submission to committee, May 1994
  13. Index to newsletters, 1979-2006
    Note: Copies of Conscience Canada newsletters (Taxes for peace, not war and Conscience Canada newsletter) are located in the Milton Good Library.
  14. News clippings
  15. International peace tax groups
    1. Brochures

    2. General information

    3. Reports
    • Conference report : 8th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns, Washington, D.C., United States, Catholic University, 6-9 Jul 2000.
    • Conference report: 10th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns, Brussels, Belgium, Maison Notre Dame du chant d’oiseau, 8-11 Jul 2004.
    • Conference report: 11th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns, Woltersdorf bei Berlin, Germany, Netzwerk Friedenssteuer Deutschland, 26-29 Oct 2006.
    • Conference report: 12th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns, Manchester, UK, University of Manchester, 5-7 Sept 2008. Includes a DVD of conference presentations.
    • Military recruitment and conscientious objection: a thematic global survey / Conscience and Peace Tax International (Leuven, Belgium: Conscience and Peace Tax International, 2005/2006)
    • Paying for peace, lobbying for legislation: an overview of peace tax bills throughout the world / Quaker Council for European Affairs (Brussels: Quaker Council for European Affairs, 1991)
    • Conscience: The Peace Tax Campaign annual review / Nick Wilson, Oliver Haslam and Kiri Smith (London: The Peace Tax Campaign, 2005).
    • Nieuwsbrief / Beweging Weigering Defensiebelasting (Amersfoort : Beweging Weigering Defensiebelasting, 1982-1995) 40 (Mar 1992)
    • Draft paper with regard to the Dutch Peace Tax Bill and similar bills elsewhere: an analysis of the impediments raised against such legislation / Erik Hummels (Zeist, the Netherlands: [Erik Hummels], Mar 1996).
    • Peace Tax 2010: the issue, the history, the movement / Alexander Harang for the Norwegian Peace Tax Alliance. Norway: Norwegian Peace Tax Alliance, Jun 2010.
    • United States Peace Tax Fund Act: Hearings on H.R. 1870, 21 May 1992, Before the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures of the Committee on Ways and Means, 102 Cong.
  16. Scrapbooks
    • “Taxes for Peace Promotional initiative by Edith Adamson, founder, in March 1981”
    • “Society of Friends Peace Testimony” clippings and statements, 1980s-1991
    • “Peace Tax: Britain. Display only. Seminal correspondence from British organization (Peace Pledge Union, 1978)”
    • “Peace Tax USA I. Display Only. American Initiative for Peace Tax Fund, 1977, 1978”
    • “Display Only. USA II”

Series 3: Audiovisual presentations

  1. “Paying for Peace” / George Chandler (writer and producer), Sept 1983. - 140 col. slides (master copy).
    Note: Slides stored in Hist.Mss.10.41.No script for this slide show has been found.
  2. “More than a Paycheck: War Tax Resistance in America” / Produced for the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee by Pamela Nicholls (producer), 1985. – 138 col. slides. – 20 min. - audio tape is not included.
  3. “It’s Our World Too: Children and Peace I” / Conscience Canada, 1986. – ½ in. VHS (28 min.) and handbook, [1986?], and re-edit 12/08/86 on Umatic (master copy).
  4. “Your money or your life: a dialogue on conscientious objection”/ Conscience Canada, [198-?]. - 1/2 in. VHS (28 min.) and Fujifilm H621 video tape. - Suggested questions for discussion (1 sheet), video survey form (1 sheet).
  5. “For Conscience Sake” / Conscience Canada, [1986?]. - 1/2 in. VHS (28 min.)
  6. “Work for Peace, Stop Paying for War” / Conscience Canada, 2007. - digital video disc (11 min).
    • DVD, releases, discussion guide, presenter’s guide.
      Note: This item is also in the Milton Good Library.
    • DVD launch event, 21 Sept 2007. - DVD (61 min.) and printed program. 
    • DVD master copy (2 copies).
    • DVDs of raw footage. Interviews with:
      • Tape #001 Bruna Nota (Conscience Canada ; 54 min.)
      • Tape #002: Dr. Jane Prichard (Christian Peacemaker Teams ; 50 min)
      • Tape #007: Joshua Goldberg (activist ; 31 min.)
  7. “Loonie Poll” / First Edition (news program), ON TV, [30 Apr 1999?] - 1/2 in. VHS (30 sec.). -  Tape of broadcast of a news story on the Peace Tax Fund “Loonie Poll” at Jackson Square, Hamilton.
  8. “It’s About Time” / Vision TV, 6 Jan 1993. - 1/2 in. VHS (10 min.). -  Segment of the show "It's About Time" with Jason Miller, conscientious objector from the Canadian military.
  9. Ideas / CBC, 11 Feb 1992. - 1 audio cassette (55 min.). - Radio program on the topic of pacifism and Conscience Canada. Digitized by the Archives in 2018.
  10. As It Happens, CBC, 22 Feb 1990. - 1 audio cassette (10 min. 49 sec.). - Dr. Jeri-Lyn Prior interviewed on the announcement of the decision re Supreme Court and recorded responses from listeners. Digitized by the Archives in 2018.


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Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
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