CPJ is called to the nation’s capital

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On July 1, 2007 Citizens for Public Justice will open offices in the national capital and move public justice front and centre. Toronto offices will close soon after.

A message from Harry J. Kits, Executive Director

CPJ is moving to Ottawa. On July 1, 2007, CPJ will open the doors of its new national office in Ottawa, and the Toronto office will close soon after.

Some of you have waited for this news for a long time. Some will experience disappointment that we are moving from the familiar environs of 229 College Street in Toronto. We hope you come to understand the necessity of this move.

The fact is, CPJ needs to be in Ottawa at this time.

CPJ’s focus is on federal issues and the issues that cut across and affect all the provinces. With staff traveling increasingly to Ottawa the past few years, we’ve become convinced we can have a greater effect when we are streets away instead of hours away.

» News release

To create the kind of layered relationships with federal politicians, civil servants and other policy makers that allow for conversations around values, priorities and faith, you have to be where they are. This is particularly true when the national conversation can simplify policy issues, make easy assumptions about what it is to be Christian, and look for quick answers.

Public justice calls us to be where the conversations are happening, and to bring our more than 40 years of insight, analysis and tested positions. CPJ has a vision of Canada that embraces pluralism, that asks who benefits from policies, and that puts forward helpful alternatives. A national office in Ottawa will let us advance that vision more effectively.

I go so far as to say that CPJ is called to be in Ottawa at this time. Our presence is needed there to speak to all parties and work to bring together different viewpoints in answers that serve the common good. CPJ will bring our particular understanding of Jesus’ Gospel of love and compassion.

There will be some staff transitions. That is unavoidable when you change locations. But one of the reasons CPJ has been able to make this change is that we have had a stable staff for a number of years who, in assessing the political climate, saw that this move was necessary for the work of public justice. The board was pleased to take that initiative and go forward to make it happen. Most staff will stay on for some time after the move so any changes will be gradual and allow for new staff to benefit from the wisdom and experience of the outgoing staff, and to learn the organization well.

Ottawa, then, will receive dedicated focus. However, CPJ will continue to have a national reach. We hope you’ve noticed we’ve been traveling more, talking to you in your community. My commitment to you is that CPJ will look outwards to the rest of the country as much as it looks inwards to Ottawa. And we will help you bring your voice – the voice of public justice – to the federal leaders who need to hear from us.

It is time to bring public justice front and centre. It is time to do that in Ottawa.

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