The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) conducts research, education and advocacy on issues of equality and democracy.

It works to strengthen movements for social justice in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and globally.

What's New ...

Pension Funds, Unions, and Working Class Strategies

We are pleased to invite participation in an open workshop series focused on the role of Canadian workers’ pension funds in the larger national and global economy.

One of the key features of the continuing deep economic crisis facing Canadian workers is the attack on long established pension and retirement benefits, which are now dismissed as a costly frill that only benefits a shrinking minority of the workforce. The defence of these benefits by trade unions is becoming more difficult and divisive – it risks appearing self-serving in a context where the older notion that private, employer-based plans might serve as a positive step toward a universal system of full coverage for all workers is no longer credible.

Workshop Coordinators:
• Convenor: Kevin Skerrett (Canadian Union of Public Employees),
• Greg Albo (Centre for Social Justice),

Proposed Series Schedule and Details:
Each of the six workshops will be held on Friday afternoons from 3:30pm – 6:00pm, every other week. (We will skip November 8th, and use November 15th in its place)

We ask that those interested in attending please register and RSVP their interest to Kevin Skerrett, at

• September 27: From Pension Fund Socialism to Pension Fund Capitalism?
• October 11: Trade union and ‘progressive’ strategies: The Responsible Investment, Capital Stewardship, and ‘pension fund activism’ movements
• October 25: Fiduciary Duty – A legal shield for corporate capitalism?
• November 15: Pension funds and privatization: P3s and pension-financed privatization
• December 6: The Rise of Finance – What role for trade unions & pension funds?
• December 13: Trade unions, pensions, corporations, and the state

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Centre for Social Justice, Global Labour Research Centre (York University), Canada Research Chair in Political Economy (York University) and Socialist Project | More info | PDF flyer

The Future of the CSJ Summer Retreat...

After 14 years of organizing the Centre for Social Justice Retreat at Camp Arowhon we are going to have take a year off. Camp Arowhon has provided a wonderful residence for the Retreat over the years but this year the camp decided they would use the period at the end of August for other activities. Unfortunately, we were not told until quite late and did not have the time to do a search for a comparable location.

I know how important the Retreat has been for many people over the years. It has also been an important and long running event for the Centre as well.

We need more help in planning and relaunching the event for future years. If you have ideas, (and retreat participants always have ideas) about how we can rejuvenate the place and format and are willing to help, please send us a note.

Robert MacDermid

After the 2011 Retreat...

The CSJ's fourteenth consecutive annual Summer Social Justice Retreat was held once again at Camp Arowhon in Algonquin Park. Over a 100 people participated in panels and workshops.

The theme this year was “Age of Austerity: Separate Struggles, Common Foe.” Some of the workshop titles included:

  • THC Tenant’s Speakers Bureau - Agents of Change
  • The possibilities of Social Enterprise
  • Reflections on the Provincial Elections
  • and many social and cultural events