Darlene O'Leary

Darlene O’Leary has followed the path of social justice for many years, leading her to work in the areas of refugee resettlement and international development, as well as in an academic setting as a researcher, writer, and professor in the fields of theology and ethics. Darlene has a Ph.D. (Theology) from Saint Paul University in Ottawa. Her dissertation focused on ethics and economics in the context of Canadian Catholic social ethics and the work of Jesuit theologian Bernard Lonergan. She served as the Executive Director of Galilee Centre, an Oblate retreat centre in Arnprior, Ontario, where she managed operations and programs, including a Spirituality and Social Justice Program. Darlene recently completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship with the University of Prince Edward Island, Faculty of Education, which involved research on Inuit Educational Leadership, guided by the inspiring women who have taken part in the UPEI Master of Education (Nunavut) program. Darlene has been an active member of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, serving on the National Council for several years as the PEI representative. Currently, Darlene lives in Ottawa with her husband, Digafie, and their dog, Che.

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Posted by Darlene O'Leary

10 Years of pursuing Dignity for All

It’s hard to believe, but 2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of Dignity for All, the campaign for a poverty-free Canada, a campaign co-led by CPJ and Canada Without Poverty (CWP).

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ChewOnThis! 2018: Bigger and more important than ever

For the sixth year, CPJ and the Dignity for All campaign have marked October 17, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, with our nation-wide Chew on This! outreach and advocacy activities.

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National Anti Poverty Plan

Here’s what Canada’s first national anti-poverty plan needs

Hill Times

The time is long overdue for Canada to eliminate poverty.

The federal government is set to launch the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy (CPRS) in the next few weeks. For anti-poverty groups awaiting the release of the country’s first national plan to address poverty, it is a momentous occasion and the result of years of tireless work. For the 4.8 million people living in poverty in Canada, it is a sign of hope a long time in the making.

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Energy Poverty Requires Creative Solutions

Energy Poverty Requires Creative Solutions

Energy poverty in Canada is not new. I can recall stories from my relatives about winters in their childhood, waking up to thick frost on the inside of their windows and heating bricks in wood stoves to keep their beds warm. That was a while ago, though not that long.

While sufficient and reliable energy use is more common in Canada now, not everyone can access or afford the energy that many of us take for granted.

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Book Review: Finding Home in the Promised Land

From the Catalyst, Summer 2017

Finding Home in the Promised Land: A Personal History of Homelessness and Social Exile

By Jane Harris

J. Gordon Shillingford, 2015

Reviewed by Darlene O’Leary

“I fought my way out of the wilderness, but I still wear cuts inside my body and soul.”

In Finding Home in the Promised Land, author Jane Harris shares her deeply personal story of domestic violence, poverty, homelessness, and social exile. She also offers a narrative and historical glimpse of her Scottish immigrant ancestors, particularly her great-great grandmother. Their struggles in the new “promised land” of pre- Confederation Canada both parallel and contrast Harris’s own quest for home.

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Breaking the Barriers

From the Catalyst, Winter 2016

Canada is a wealthy country. So when there are 4.9 million people living in poverty, something is not working. National data, as outlined in CPJ’s 2016 poverty report, Break the Barriers, tell us an important part of the story.

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Faith Perspectives Matter in Seeking Justice

A faith perspective places human dignity, the common good, and the integrity of creation at the centre of economic life. Faith communities are calling for public justice. We want to see Canada’s public policy decisions reflect this understanding of what living together as a beloved community means.

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Social Justice Way of the Cross; Good Friday

Social Justice Way of the Cross: Good Friday

Jesus Dies and Is Risen Jesus shows us that even in death, sorrow, and struggle, we can know life, mercy, and hope. The reality of poverty beats down the spirit and isolates people from each other. We know this pain is a daily reality in Canada for so many – the child who goes to…

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No Real Improvement on Poverty in Canada

No Real Improvement on Poverty in Canada

Today, Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) released “On the Margins.” It shows the far-reaching impact of poverty, hitting communities across Canada. It also highlights the fact that some groups are hit harder than others. Poverty rates for Indigenous people are at 25.3%, while the national poverty rate for Indigenous children is a staggering 40%. And some First Nations communities are seeing up to 64% child poverty. Meanwhile, poverty rates for single parent-led families and new immigrants are more than double the national rate at 34.5% and 34.2% respectively.

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