In Review – Spring 2021

On the Hill

Following our October 2020 Chew on This! campaign, Dignity for All partners met with staffers for Minister for Women and Gender Equality Maryam Monsef in November and for Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett in February to share recommendations from our open letter. In January, Natalie Appleyard, CPJ’s socio-economic policy analyst, attended a meeting of the All Party Anti-Poverty Caucus focusing on basic income.

In December, CPJ’s executive director Willard Metzger joined faith leaders from across Canada for a virtual meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the theme of the contributions of faith communities in a pandemic. The meeting was co-hosted by the Canadian Council of Churches, the Canadian Interfaith Conversation, and the Canadian Multifaith Federation.

Along with colleagues in the Ecumenical Circle on the UN Declaration, CPJ wrote to Justice Minister David Lametti in support of Bill C-15, the “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.” Minister Lametti later invited CPJ’s executive director Willard and leaders of national churches and faith-based organizations for a meeting to discuss the bill in more detail.

CPJ’s team of policy analysts met with independent Senator Rosa Galvez (above) on January 8 to discuss the Senator’s white paper, “Building Forward Better: A Clean and Just Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” They talked about the connections between health, environmental, and social issues, and how they could best all work towards a more just and caring Canada.

The For the Love of Creation Advocacy Group (Ryan Weston of the Anglican Church of Canada; Naomi Johnson of Canadian Foodgrains Bank; Joe Gunn of Centre Oblat; and CPJ’s senior policy analyst Karri Munn-Venn) met with Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith on January 19 to discuss the policy proposals raised in the 2020 For the Love of Creation petition that was sponsored by Erskine-Smith.

Along with partners at Campaign 2000, Natalie met with staffers for Opposition Leader Erin O’Toole in January; MP Salma Zahid in February; and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and MP Leah Gazan in March, calling for CERB repayment amnesty for low-income earners.

Virtual Presentations

Karri joined our partners Faith and the Common Good and Ecology Action Centre to present as a part of Climate Action Network Canada’s Pathways to Zero webinar series. She and Beth Lorimer of KAIROS Canada shared information on For the Love of Creation and our joint faithin- action campaign.

On February 22, Karri presented on the panel “Keeping Up the Pressure.” The event, organized by the Parliament of World Religions, explored the important role that faith communities play in demanding greater ambition from national governments headed into the COP26 climate talks.

In March, CPJ’s refugee rights policy analyst Stephen Kaduuli and Deacon Rudy Ovcjak of the Archdiocese of Toronto presented a webinar on the rights of environmental migrants.

Climate Advocacy

CPJ and our partners in For the Love of Creation submitted an open letter to Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson urging him to immediately strengthen Bill C-12, the “Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act,” which was introduced in mid-November.

In December, CPJ joined a group of ecumenical leaders in signing on to a letter, organized by Christian Peacemaker Teams, expressing our support for the Haudenosaunee Land Defenders at 1492 Land Back Lane.

In the wake the cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, CPJ joined Indigenous leaders and social justice organizations in January to call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to cancel the Trans Mountain Pipeline and follow-through on commitments to bring forward a just transition act.