In Review – Spring 2019

By Citizens for Public Justice

CPJ On the Hill

In November and December, CPJ attended the House of Commons’ All Party Anti-Poverty Caucus (APAPC) meetings on the topics of child poverty and poverty among newcomers in Canada. In December, CPJ’s joint travel loan petition was presented in the House of Commons by NDP MP Jenny Kwan. The petition, was created alongside partners at the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), World Renew, and the United Church of Canada.

CPJ’s Willard Metzger met with Liberal MP John McKay on his first day as Executive Director. Along with Darlene O’Leary, he also attended the APAPC in February. Darlene O’Leary, together with partners at Canada Without Poverty and Campaign 2000, met with several members of the HUMA committee (Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities) to discuss strong targets for the upcoming legislation of Canada’s Poverty Reduction Bill.

CPJ In the Community

In early November, CPJ’s Darlene O’Leary and Joe Gunn spoke at events in Ottawa honoring the social justice legacy of Dorothy Day. Later in the month, CPJ and the Green Economy Network held a panel discussion on climate change solutions and a just transition to clean energy. The panel included NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice, Green Party Leader MP Elizabeth May, and Liberal MP William Amos, and was moderated by Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

From January 7 – March 18, CPJ’s Joe Gunn taught a 10-week course at the Ottawa School of Theology & Spirituality examining the 10 stories of justice efforts among faith communities in CPJ’s newest book Journeys to Justice. Joe also travelled to Alberta in January to launch Journeys to Justice at events in Lethbridge, Calgary, and Edmonton, where he was joined by former intern Miriam Mahaffy, and Board Members Wayne Groot and Harold Roscher.

In late January, CPJ’s Darlene O’Leary spoke at a panel event at the Capitalyze conference in Ottawa on the importance of justice and advocacy. CPJ also welcomed the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada Daniel Cho, along with his wife Esther, for a conversation on the importance of social justice in the Church today.

In mid-February, CPJ’s Serisha Iyar and Deb Mebude spoke at the Mennonite Central Committee’s student seminar in Ottawa on the state of refugee policy in Canada. CPJ’s Darlene O’Leary joined Canada Without Poverty for the first in a series of webinars on Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.  Karri Munn-Venn and Deb Mebude attended a climate communications workshop in Ottawa.

In early March, CPJ’s Karri Munn-Venn spoke at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church’s Ash Wednesday service, and at First Christian Reformed Church in Toronto on the importance of taking action on ecological justice. CPJ’s Give It Up for the Earth Campaign was launched on Ash Wednesday (March 6) and will run until April 18.

Staff Changes

CPJ is pleased to welcome Willard Metzger as our new Executive Director. Willard began work on January 31, 2019 and is thrilled to join the CPJ family.

Willard’s past work includes many years as an ordained pastor at Mennonite Church Canada, work as the director of church relations at World Vision Canada, and service as the Executive Director of Mennonite Church Canada. Willard has also been on the Executive of the Canadian Council of Churches.

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