In Review – Summer 2020

On the Hill

Despite the fact that many parliamentarians are back home in their constituencies, CPJ has been able to stay connected through letters, phone calls, and Zoom meetings.

The Dignity for All Campaign wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development Ahmed Hussen to check-in on our 2019 Chew on This! campaign. Our letter highlighted some of the encouraging actions that they have taken to support people during the COVID-19 pandemic; called for these positive steps to be extended into long-term solutions; and identified critical gaps that need to be addressed.

Natalie Appleyard, CPJ’s socio-economic policy analyst, attended the Campaign 2000 Symposium in Toronto in March. The meetings included a roundtable with Minister Ahmed Hussen. Natalie also had the opportunity to contribute to Campaign 2000’s open letter to the COVID Cabinet Committee regarding the needs of children and families during the pandemic and in recovery plans, which led to another meeting with Minister Hussen in May.

In June, Natalie, along with CPJ interns Keira Kang and Karel Hermans, attended an online meeting of the All-Party Anti- Poverty Caucus, hosted by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith. The caucus discussed how Canada’s COVID response should be strengthened and extended.

CPJ is proud to be part of a massive pan-Canadian coalition calling on the federal government to pursue a just recovery to COVID-19. Collectively, nearly 200 organizations worked together to develop six Principles of a Just Recovery. To put these principles into practice, CPJ is submitting key policy recommendations for each principle to several parliamentary committees and the federal government’s COVID Cabinet Committee.

For the Love of Creation

On April 22, CPJ and several Canadian churches and faith-based organizations launched For the Love of Creation–A Faith-based Initiative for Climate Justice. The campaign will engage people all across the country in a climate conversation centred on theological reflection, congregational engagement, and political advocacy. CPJ’s executive director, Willard Metzger, and Jennifer Henry, the executive director of KAIROS, announced the initiative together during a cross-Canada Earth Day webcast. To learn more, read Beth Lorimer’s article.

Give it up for the Earth!

This year’s Give it up for the Earth! campaign had organizers in over 200 faith communities across Canada, the highest number the campaign has ever seen. Between them they had over 13,000 postcards. Unfortunately, many churches closed mid-March in the face of COVID-19 which prevented many from distributing and collecting their postcards. Stay tuned for online engagement opportunities from CPJ later this year.

Karel HermansWelcome Karel

In May, CPJ welcomed Karel Hermans to our team as our social work placement student. He is completing his Masters in Social Work at Carleton University with a focus on public policy, including the impact of climate change on the most marginalized people and groups in Canadian society. Karel will be contributing to CPJ’s climate justice work this summer.

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