2023 Annual Report

CPJ’s Legacy of Justice: Six Decades of Intergenerational Advocacy

2023 Annual Report
Read CPJ’s 2023 Annual Report (PDF)

Significant moments provide an opportunity for organizations to look back and look forward. CPJ’s 60th anniversary in 2023 was no exception!

The 2023 AGM was held in Toronto with an all-star cast of panelists representing the past and future of CPJ. The in-person and online audience celebrated CPJ’s past advocacy while also being challenged to consider opportunities to create a more just society for all. In September, a similar event was held in Edmonton, with an equally distinguished panel. Recordings of both events are available online and are worth watching!

The board has a new representative for Southern Alberta. We welcomed Willow Baarda in 2023; she replaced Tiffany Talen. Tiffany provided thoughtful contributions to the board for five years. There was also a change in the board leadership: we are grateful to Cherilyn Spraakman for serving as the board chair for the last three years, and I am humbled to take on this role.

As a board, we want CPJ to continue to call for justice in Canadian public discourse for sixty more years and beyond. Our June board meeting, held in Toronto, set the course for the year ahead. In November, we had a virtual board retreat where we considered the strengths of our past and our future ambitions. We continue this conversation into 2024 with an in-person board meeting scheduled for late May. The board and committees meet on a regular basis, ensuring good governance of CPJ.

As time moves forward, we evolve as an organization while remaining rooted in our values. Today, CPJ has a permanent home in Ottawa. Justice House is a place of meeting and collaboration not just for our team, but also for like-minded organizations. Recent investments in accessibility help ensure our Ottawa home welcomes all. Today, our staff team and board team better reflect the diversity of Canadian society than in the past. This shows the fruits of our efforts made in keeping with our Equity and Anti-Oppression commitment made in 2022 as well as our longstanding commitment to justice. Today – as always, and as this report shows, we are deeply committed to a Canada that is fairer for all, welcoming to newcomers, and committed to a healthy planet. Some highlights from 2023 show how our past work is connected to new expressions of justice. This includes intervening in legal cases to support climate justice; gathering activists and academics to work on a book on migrant and refugee rights; and collaborating with others to eradicate poverty.

CPJ provides a distinctive voice in Canadian society. We are rooted in a deep history of activism and Christian thought and ready to engage in a diverse and complex society. While our accomplishments are impressive, we do so on a tight budget. In recent years, our revenues have not grown. We have faced challenging financial circumstances including the pressure of inflation. Our diligent staff team is stretched thin with positions left vacant that would help us be much more effective. Your support makes a key difference in helping us to impact policy, bringing a clear call for justice in Canadian political life.

Thank you for your participation in this work of justice.

—Ian Van Haren (Chair of the Board)

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