"A call for Anglican church endorsement of a campaign opposing nuclear energy has been silenced, at least temporarily, by the Program Committee." "Several members of the committee objected to the suggestion that nuclear energy should be eliminated, saying the church should be calling for ways to use nuclear power more responsibly instead."
"That this General Synod request of its Committees and of Diocesan and Parish Committees, in consultation with the Unit on Public Social Responsibility to determine if any of their investments are in Banks or Corporations that trade with or have investments in South Africa and request the Committees to make available their proxies to the Public Social Responsibility Unit and to receive recommendations from it about further possible actions."
A small task group of representatives of Program, Long Range Planning and A&F Committees had met as requested by NEC (November 1972), and recommended:
a) That the issue of the Church and Corporate Social Responsibility should go to General Synod 1973;
b) that the recommendations, as revised, should be presented as resolutions to General Synod;
c) that the Brian Fraser paper should go as a resource accompanying the resolutions to General Synod (the Chairman of the A&F Committee dissenting).
Mr. Raymond, on behalf of the Program Committee, presented its recommendations.
That General Synod authorize the Program Committee to establish a unit on corporate social responsibility, with membership approved by National Executive Council, which would -
A. Be responsible for developing programs and policies reflecting the Church's view with respect to corporate policies and practices including the following areas:
(i) the problem of environment, eg. pollution;
(ii) the pursuit of justice and amelioration of racism in world development;
(iii) support of just and equitable national development;
(iv) the reduction of armaments production;
(v) equality for minority and oppressed groups;
(vi) adequate housing, health and welfare.
B. Be authorized to receive proxy and corporate statements and to examine these in the light of the Church's concern in the above areas.
C. Be authorized to consult corporate management, to attend and represent the General Synod at shareholders' meetings, and to vote the shares in the name of the Synod.
D. Attempt to engage other concerned groups - dioceses, institutions and other churches - in exploring joint research, strategy and action.
E. Be required to report regularly to the NEC and General Synod, through the Program Committee.
That the action of General Synod in establishing a unit on corporate social responsibility, and resources on this subject, be made available to dioceses, parishes, interested persons, for their study and consideration.
On behalf of the A&F Committee, Mr. Donald requested that Resolution I be amended to read:
"That General Synod authorize the National Executive Council to establish a unit on social responsibility, which would -
A. Be responsible for developing criteria, policies and programs reflecting the Church's view on social problems, including those in the following areas:
(i) environment, eg. pollution;
(ii) justice and amelioration of racism in world development;
(iii) just and equitable national development;
(iv) establishing and maintaining equality of opportunity and treatment for minority and opporessed groups;
(v) lack of adequate housing, health and welfare;
(vi) control of armament production.
B.(1) Be authorized to consult with corporate directors and officers, to attend and represent General Synod at shareholders' meetings, and to vote the shares in the name of the Synod.
(2) Be authorized to consult with government and union authorities, and any other interested bodies or persons, in order to achieve its objectives.
C. Join with other concerned groups - dioceses, institutions, and other churches - in exploring joint research, strategy and action.
D. Be authorized to take other action such as publicity, in consultation with the Primate, of its position as seems appropriate.
E. Report regularly to NEC."
He also requested that Resolution II be amended to read:
"That the action of General Synod in establishing a unit on social responsibility, and resources on this subject, be made available to dioceses, parishes, interested persons, for their study and consideration."
Moved by Smith, seconded by Owen,
That Item D. of the amendment be added to Resolution I as presented by the Program Committee. CARRIED
Moved by Smith, seconded by Davis,
That Resolutions I and II, presented by the Administration and Finance Committee, be substituted. CARRIED
Moved by Smith, seconded by Brown,
That the word "Corporate" be deleted from the title. CARRIED
Moved by Scott, seconded by Gibson,
That the word "Public" be inserted in the title. CARRIED
That NEC adopt the report of the Program Committee entitled "The Church and Corporate Social Responsibility," and accepts the amendments proposed by the A&F Committee in its report thereon, and that this report, as amended, form part of its report to General Synod. CARRIED
NB - In line with the two former motions, the title of the report was changed to "The Church and Public Social Responsibility."
A request has been received from the Public Social Responsibility Unit to give new and increased energy to the work of economic justice in Canada.
That resolution #49 be lifted from the table. CARRIED #27-11-86
Resolution #49 reads:
That this General Synod declares unemployment, homelessness and hunger to be major concerns of the Church. We recommend to the National Executive Council that adequate staff time be allocated to assist the Anglican Church of Canada, nationally, provincially and locally to address these concerns in the following ways:
a) to work together to seek just solutions to the problems of unemployment, homelessness and hunger;
b) to work with the unemployed, the homeless and the hungry towards such solutions;
c) to work ecumenically;
d) to challenge and to work with government: federally, provincially and locally to seek a more just society.
Moved by: Dr. D.N. Maybee
Seconded by: Ven. R.T. Pynn
That the disposition of this motion be as recommended by the Officers, i.e.
That this resolution be referred to the Program Committee for consideration, appropriate action and report back to the National Executive Council
be approved. CARRIED #28-11-86
Moved by: Rev. M.C. Ingham
Seconded by: Mrs. Pamela McBeth
That the proposals from the Public Social Responsibility Unit for new work in economic justice, be approved. CARRIED #29-11-86
In the continuing search for the fullness of life that Christ calls us to seek for all,
Be it resolved that General Synod urge the Public Social Responsibility Unit, and Anglicans at all levels of the Church, parochial, diocesan, provincial and national, to examine the economic priorities which are being acted on by their governments and their Church, related on the one hand to military expenditures and as well, personal patterns of consumption, investment and savings, and on the other hand to social expenditures; and
That this General Synod call the Church in the next three years to take specific collective and personal initiatives to address the growing needs of the poor and the dispossessed in their own communities, the nation and the wider world, working to redress the gross imbalance in spending in the present climate of increasing militarism.
That this House of Bishops, out of concern for the more vulnerable members of society, affirm the principle of progressive taxation, whereby those with greater wealth pay a higher proportionate amount of taxes than those with lesser means, and oppose the principle of regressive taxation, whereby those of lesser means are required to pay the same percentage tax as the wealthiest income earners, and that the Economic Justice staff of the Public Social Responsibility Unit be asked to prepare a position paper for this House of Bishops on the Goods and Services Tax for consideration at its next meeting. CARRIED
The Primate reminded the House of the motion passed at the October, 1989 meeting of the House in which it was requested that the Economic Justice staff of the Public Social Responsibility Unit be asked to prepare a position paper for this House on the Goods and Services Tax for consideration at this meeting.
Mr. David Pollock, Economic Justice Consultant, and Mr. John Dillon of GATT-FLY said that they have analyzed the Goods and Services Tax and found it to be a regressive tax.
The Public Social Responsibility Unit met in January, 1990 and passed a resolution condemning the GST. The Anglican Church has joined with other organizations to mount a publicity campaign to reject it. A further resolution has been forwarded to the Program Committee for its October, 1990 meeting, for an educational session on tax policy in general, with a view to investigating the feasibility of establishing a `wealth tax' in Canada.
Mr. Dillon described four types of taxes in the light of the above resolution: Income tax; Wealth tax; Sales tax; Corporate tax.
He distributed information regarding progressive and regressive taxes, and responded to questions.
That this House accept the statement entitled "Bishops Oppose Goods and Services Tax", and
That this statement be released to the press. CARRIED
BISHOPS OPPOSE GOODS AND SERVICES TAX AND CALL FOR PROGRESSIVE TAX POLICY
MISSISSAUGA, February 9, 1990 -- The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada makes the following statement concerning the Goods and Services Tax (GST) based on the scriptural principle: "Much is required from the person to whom much is given; much more is required from the person to whom much more is given." (Luke 12:48)
The bishops reaffirm their statement of October 1989 on taxation policy:
"That this House of Bishops, out of concern for the more vulnerable members of society, affirm the principle of progressive taxation, whereby those with greater wealth pay a higher proportionate amount of taxes than those with lesser means, and oppose the principle of regressive taxation, whereby those of lesser means are required to pay the same percentage tax as the wealthiest income earners..."
Consequently, the bishops oppose the proposed GST legislation because they believe the poor will pay a disproportionately large amount of their income; and the reverse will be true for affluent people.
We ask the Government of Canada to consider alternatives that, in our view, are more just, such as:
1. making personal income tax more progressive;
2. instituting a corporate income tax based on ability to pay;
3. considering an annual tax on net wealth, such as is used in most European countries; and