In a terse press release, Development and Peace said Leduc was leaving immediately and wished him “every success in his future professional challenges.” Leduc had yet to complete his one-year probation.
Sources familiar with the situation have told The Catholic Register Leduc had proposals for new directions for the national Catholic social justice movement with more than 10,000 members. Anticipating these proposals might not be accepted at a national council meeting that wrapped up June 19, Leduc had told select colleagues he might be leaving Development and Peace.
Contacted by The Catholic Register, Leduc would not speak about his plans for the organization or what precipitated his departure.
“I have decided to stick with the explanation and the conclusion that the organization has put forward. I don’t really feel I need to add anything to that,” he said.
Members of the organization’s national council did not return calls from The Catholic Register.
Leduc’s hiring was announced July 28 last year. He came to Development and Peace with a history of frontline community development work in the Middle East and 11 years as director of operations at McGill University’s International Community Action Network. His undergraduate degree in international development from Dalhousie University was supplemented with an MBA from McGill.
Staff at Development and Peace’s Montreal headquarters have no knowledge of what passed between Leduc and the volunteer national council, said Ryan Worms, the organization’s deputy director of in-Canada programs.
“Sometimes when you have a new position it comes with new challenges, new reflections,” Worms said. “You find yourself with a new perspective and new professional challenges you want to pursue. I think that’s the case for David. After a year he found he wanted to pursue some new professional challenges. That’s what we’ve been told.”
Director of administration Marc Brochu will resume the role he had in the first half of 2015 as interim executive director while the national council re-launches its search for an executive director to serve a five-year term.
While it’s up to the national council to set its criteria, Worms believes it will be looking for both familiarity with development policy and personnel in Ottawa and frontline, international experience in development.
“Another key element is the element of faith,” Worms said. “You need to know well the Catholic Church and to know that being an organization of the Catholic Church makes Development and Peace special. We are not just an NGO. We are the official solidarity organization of the Catholic Church.”
Set up by Canada’s bishops in 1967, Development and Peace is Canada’s member of the international Caritas movement. It runs more than 200 development and humanitarian projects per year in 37 countries. Annually it organizes and conducts more than 500 educational events in Canada to make Canadians aware of root causes of global poverty. It spent more than $32 million in 2014-15 on international programs and raised close to $12 million from individual donors.