In Review – Summer 2018

From the Catalyst, Summer 2018

Remembering Thea DeGroot

On May 16, 2018, Thea DeGroot, CPJ’s board secretary, passed away at her home in Sarnia, Ont. Thea was a long- time, active member of CPJ and will be sorely missed by all of us.

On the Hill

CPJ’s public justice intern Deborah Mebude joined MCC Ottawa’s Nicholas Pope and Lydia McGeorge of the Chris- tian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue to meet with Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara for a conversation about refugee resettlement and wait times.

Natalie Appleyard, CPJ’s socio-economic policy analyst, attended a social policy forum hosted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development where she met with Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, to talk about the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy.

CPJ’s executive director Joe Gunn, along with Campaign 2000, Ottawa ACORN, and Child Care Now, met with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and NDP MP Brigitte Sansoucy (below) for a conversation about child poverty in Canada.

In the Community

CPJ held our AGM in Toronto in May. Joe Gunn introduced a panel of contributors to his new book, Journeys to Justice, including Moira Hutchinson, Peter Noteboom, John Olthuis, Jennifer Henry, and David Pfrimmer.

In April, CPJ held book launch events in Ottawa (with Tony Clarke, Bill Janzen, and John Foster), Halifax, and Antigonish, N.S. CPJ is planning more events for Journeys to Justice in western Canada for the fall.

In late April, CPJ co-hosted Voices for Peace, a conference featuring keynote speakers Jim Forest and Shad (below). The conference was also sponsored by the Henri Nouwen Society, Church of the Redeemer (Anglican), and the Basilian Centre for Peace and Justice.

Refugee Advocacy Resource

In June, CPJ released “Reclaiming Protection,” a new advocacy resource on the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA). It highlights the first-hand experiences of several refugee claimants, details how the STCA has put refugees in danger, and provides guidance on how to advocate for a just approach to refugee protection in Canada. Download “Reclaiming Protection” at

New Board Members

CPJ welcomed four new board members this spring. At our AGM in Toronto, CPJ members elected Rene Adams of Brampton, Ont., Harold Roscher of Edmonton, Alta., Cherilyn Spraakman of Newmarket, Ont., and Tiffany Talen of Redwood Meadows, Alta. to CPJ’s Board of Directors. We are excited about the contributions they will bring to our work.

Staff Changes

CPJ is excited to welcome back Darlene O’Leary as our socio-economic policy analyst. Darlene had been on leave since October 2017. We are very grateful to Natalie Appleyard who stepped into this role for eight months. We also said goodbye to Brad Wassink, CPJ’s communications coordinator, who began his parental leave this summer. Deborah Mebude will be replacing Brad for the next year.


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