CPJ Brings Fall Election Tour to 12 Cities Across Canada

By Citizens for Public Justice

Rev. Tom Bomhof speaks at our Fall Election Tour in Surrey, B.C.


CPJ kicked off our tour at Fleetwood Christian Reformed Church in Surrey, B.C. Rev. Tom Bomhof and Rev. Scott Turnbrook, of Fleetwood and Northwood United Church respectively, hosted us as we talked with citizens from their two church communities and beyond.

Together, we discussed how to respectfully address community members and candidates whose perspectives may differ from our own.


In Edmonton, Jonathan Nicolai-deKoning, director of the Micah Centre, welcomed us to The King’s University. Gerda Kitts, Associate Professor of Economics at King’s, and Gabrielle Gelderman, CPJ’s Edmonton Organizer, joined us for a lively panel discussion.

Our conversation focused on a just transition and ways to move Canada to renewable energy while protecting the well-being of workers, especially those in the oil and gas sector.

Tiffany Talen (right), CPJ’s board member from southern Alberta, welcomed attendees to our event in Calgary.


In Calgary CPJ was hosted by Derek Cook, the director of the Canadian Poverty Institute housed at Ambrose University. As a result, our Calgary event focused more on the issue of poverty in Canada.

Our discussion also reflected the overlap between climate justice and poverty as we considered again the importance of a just transition.


At CPJ’s Fall Election Tour event in Regina, we partnered with World University Services of Canada to focus on refugee rights. At the Research and Innovation Centre of the University of Regina, a small group gathered for an intimate discussion led by Stephen Kaduuli, CPJ’s refugee rights policy analyst.

Terry Schellenberg speaks at our Fall Election Tour event in Winnipeg.


Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) hosted us in Winnipeg. CMU’s Vice President External Terry Schellenberg opened the event.

As we looked at the intersections between climate justice and refugee rights, we had a lively discussion with students and other members of the community who joined us.


In Montreal, CPJ held our Election Tour event at the Auberge YWCA. Though most of the event was in English, we were able to have an engaging discussion around refugee rights, an issue that is especially relevant in the province of Quebec.

Natalie Appleyard, CPJ’s socio-economic policy analyst, in St. John’s.

St. John’s

At the Johnson Geo Centre in St. John’s, N.L., CPJ hosted a discussion about poverty both locally and nation- wide. CPJ was honoured to join the strong multi-faith connections already made between various community groups and churches in the city, including the Religious Social Action Coalition, Choices for Youth, and the St. John’s Council of Churches.


At the Halifax Central Library, we met with representatives from several local groups who share our vision for a just Canada, and we heard of their commitment to pursuing justice as an outworking of faith. A big thank you to Stella Lord of the Community Society to End Poverty in Nova Scotia and Linda Scherzinger of KAIROS Halifax for their help in planning and promoting our event.

Federal candidates answer questions at our Fall Election Tour event in Waterloo.


We had a packed house at Mount Zion Lutheran Church in Waterloo, ON! CPJ partnered with Martin Luther University College (MLUC) and were joined by David Pfrimmer and John Milloy of MLUC’s Centre for Public Ethics.

This event also included a panel of federal candidates as Lori Campbell (NDP), Mike Morrice (Green), and Bardish Chagger (Liberal) answered questions from voters. (Photo Courtesy of Martin Luther University College.)


In Toronto, CPJ partnered with the Institute for Christian Studies’ Centre for Philosophy, Religion & Social Ethics (CPRSE). We were graciously hosted by Rev. Molly Finlay at Christ Church Deer Park. CPJ staff presented alongside Héctor Acero Ferrer, Associate Director of the CPRSE. We had an excellent discussion looking at partnerships between communities of faith and refugee settlement agencies.

Deirdre Pike, of the Anglican Diocese of Niagara, presents in Hamilton.


We were thrilled to add a Fall Election Tour stop in Hamilton at Christ’s Church Cathedral. Natalie Appleyard represented CPJ at the event co-hosted by the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction (HRPR), the Anglican Diocese of Niagara, Hamilton Organizing for Poverty Elimination, and the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton. Tom Cooper, director of HRPR, and Deirdre Pike also spoke, with a focus on anti-poverty work they are doing locally and provincially.


We ended the tour back home in Ottawa at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. All three of our policy analysts spoke, connecting our three key policy areas in a discussion that touched on issues including climate refugees, a just transition, and poverty among refugees in Canada. There was a large contingent of students from Carleton University in attendance and a lively discussion.

Featured image courtesy of Martin Luther University College.

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