Joe Gunn

Joe served as Executive Director at CPJ from 2008 to 2019.

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Posts by Joe Gunn


Book Review: Religion and Canadian Party Politics

 From the Catalyst, Summer 2018

Religion and Canadian Party Politics

By David Rayside, Jerald Sabin and Paul E.J. Thomas

UBC Press, 2017

Reviewed by Joe Gunn

Is faith still a factor in Canadians’ voting patterns, and the activity of Canadian political parties? The three academics who wrote this book were particularly focussed on the power of “moral traditionalists.” Unfortunately, what progressive movements of faithful Christians contributed to Canadian public policy remains of less interest.

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Voices for Peace

Voices for Peace: A Conference for Prayerful Activists

Who can continue effective activism forever – without stopping, taking stock, recharging one’s emotional and spiritual batteries, and counting on true, engaged friends and mentors for support?

At Voices for Peace, a conference in Toronto on Saturday, April 28, over 120 participants took advantage of opportunities to re-charge and refocus. The conference provided a healthy and invigorating mix of energy and reflection.

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Our Journeys to Justice

Are church communities the best places to go if you want to engage in social and ecological justice? Is the prophetic desire for justice encouraged to burn in the hearts of church-goers today? Do our ecclesial structures promote animation and action towards public justice?

A new book by Citizens for Public Justice, Journeys to Justice: Reflections on Canadian Christian Activism, answers these questions head on.

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Book Review: How Did We Get Into This Mess?

From the Catalyst, Summer 2017

How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature

By George Monbiot

Verso Press, 2016

Reviewed by Joe Gunn

George Monbiot is a maddening writer.

He baits the reader, starting off each of the 50 short essays in this book with a totally outrageous proposition. Then the long-time columnist for the Guardian newspaper describes some unthinkably brutish environmental injustice, military madness, political skullduggery, or economic corruption. And finally he stuffs right into our faces the shame at how we never guessed this could be happening today, under our unsuspecting noses.

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ChewOnThis 2016

Because It’s 2017…It’s Time to End Poverty in Canada

From the Catalyst, Spring 2017

At CPJ, we’ve decided that the best way to participate in Canada’s 150th anniversary is to renew our resolve to work for public justice and the flourishing of God’s shalom in the land. 2017 is an historic moment, worthy of our every effort to show what love looks like in public.

There is perhaps no better way to do this, than by ensuring our federal leaders complete the development and implementation of a robust poverty reduction plan.

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Alternative Federal Budget 2016: It’s Time to Move On!

This year’s document calls for “structured spending” that would increase federal government spending to $37.9 billion, or almost $9 billion more than the new Liberal government must spend to meet its own election promises. As well, “The Alternative Federal Budget raises the bar on trans­parency by providing an accounting of the distribu­tional impacts on Canadian families of all proposed changes in taxation, transfers, and program spend­ing—something no government budget, federal or provincial, has ever undertaken.”

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What to do with the Senate?

What to do with the Senate?

Canadians are fed up with the scandals, spending irregularities, and other scurrilous activities of the members of our Senate.

During the federal election, the question of Senate reform has received heightened attention. But moving beyond the current public disgust with senatorial misbehaviour, what reforms are desirable and realistically possible?

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Resisting Structural Evil

Book Review: Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation by Cynthia Moe-Lobeda

From The Catalyst, Summer 2015

Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation
By Cynthia Moe-Lobeda

Fortress Press, 2013

Reviewed by Joe Gunn

In May last year, I co-taught a week-long course from the CPJ offices in Ottawa on “public theology” (offered by Waterloo Lutheran Seminary). We took students to visit theAssembly of First Nations and environmental groups, organized panels of Parliamentarians, interviewed Senators, and brought in speakers on topics from ethical issues in healthcare to tax policies. Resisting Structural Evil would have been the perfect textbook from which to base all our sessions.

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Justice Tour Visits Eight Cities across Canada

From The Catalyst Summer 2015 

At events attended by over 700 individuals, the church leaders heard from dozens of experts, local politicians, and church members passionate about public justice issues. It was clear that people in the Canadian churches really care about poverty and climate change.

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Can the Pope’s letter create a “tipping point” on climate change?

Reposted from The Huffington Post. Watch Joe Gunn respond to the encyclical on CBC News. When climate scientists refer to “tipping points” it is usually bad news – a moment beyond which elevated levels of greenhouse gas emissions will result in extreme weather and catastrophic damage to life upon this planet. Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment,…

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