The House of Bishops has responded to the fishery crisis in Atlantic Canada and the Gulf of St. Lawrence with a comprehensive statement calling for ecological stewardship, restructuring of the fishery and support for fishing communities.
"Those who prophesize peak oil warn that the crisis about to overtake the planet is not only climate change due to the burning of fossil fuels, but the end of our easy access to those fossil fuels altogether." "As we approach this dramatic moment in history all side have become fixed in their positions. Government sees jobs and money ... For every critical report from environmentalists, there's a positive pronouncement from the industry-supported Oil Sands Developers Group. Among those trying to offer a broader (or at least a different) perspective are church leaders. This past spring [May 2009], representatives of Canada's Anglican, Lutheran, Catholic, Christian Reform, Quaker, Mennonite, Presbyterian and United churches embarked on a fact-finding expedition organized by the inter-church organization Kairos, which has a mandate to promote ecological justice. Kairos executive director Mary Corkery explained that she first wanted to take the Canadian church delegation to the oil fields of Nigeria, but then decided 'to start at home'. I joined them for an aerial survey of the oil sands and a visit to two affected communities: the First Nations reserves at Fort Chipewyan and the city of Fort McMurray".
Toronto, November 24, 1987 -- The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada says those who favor free trade carry a weighty burden to prove that the plan is in the best interests of Canada.
In a letter to Anglican priests across Canada, Archbishop Michael Peers says the free trade deal may act to the detriment of the poor and may limit Canada's ability to make its own decisions. Proponents of the deal, he says, must be able to show that the proposals for free trade "are not simply to provide economic efficiency for a few, but will provide demonstrable benefits for the people of all regions and at all economic levels, and will strengthen instruments of compassion for society's victims."
Archbishop Peers says the proposed free trade pact should be judged according to four principles.
First, economic plans should not be allowed to have negative effects on the most vulnerable members of society, Peers says. Currently, drug patent legislation stands as a possible model of future free trade dealings. It is believed this legislation could increase costs to consumers. "We need to be assured that this is not a metaphor of a future dominated by increased transnational investment."
Second, economic agreements should not limit our ability to make future decisions for the common good. The free trade pact would limit our ability to use incentives for regional development, the letter says. One of the few allowable incentives under the agreement is for military production. This may create economic pressures to increase military production in Canada and lead to an increasingly militarized society.
Third, economic agreements should not reduce our ability to act as good stewards of our environment and our resources. Dealing with energy resources on a continent-wide basis may act against this principle, Peers says. "It is observable that the farther removed the decision-maker is from the environmental impact, the less sensitive the decisions become." Making continent-wide decisions about energy and resources, the letter suggests, "could increase the tendency to depletion and environmental damage which already threatens us."
Finally, ordinary citizens must be allowed opportunity to understand what is at stake and to take part in a meaningful way. "On a matter of such general importance to the future of this country and to future generations of our citizens, the fullest public discussion, including a consideration of other alternatives, needs to be undertaken prior to any binding decision on free trade being taken."
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That the Diocese of Caledonia and the Council of the Haida Nation be supported by calling on the Governments of British Columbia and Canada to initiate a full public enquiry, providing standing and adequate intervenor funding for all affected parties, to review the socio-economic and environmental impacts of the Cinola Gold Project on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) before the mine goes into production. CARRIED WITHOUT DEBATE Act 80
1. Join with other faith communities and secular groups to press the Government of Canada to adopt a comprehensive climate action plan with firm targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 25-40% by 2020 based on 1990 levels (as per Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group III report, Box 13.7, page 776), as a central concern of social and ecological justice;
2. Encourage dioceses and parishes to incorporate concerns about the care of creation more fully into regular liturgies and request the Partners in Mission and Ecojustice Committee and the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee to provide resources to support this;
3. Encourage dioceses and parishes to join with other faith communities and secular groups in researching and providing information on the climate crisis to members of their own communities;
4. Encourage dioceses to work with the "Greening Anglican Spaces" project group of the Partners in Mission and Ecojustice Committee to estimate and place their data in a national database, to consider professional audits, and to participate in a measurable and authoritative monitoring process.
5. Encourage the Council of General Synod to model how to estimate the annual rate of greenhouse gas emissions, (and other behaviours such as travel and operations) by gathering existing data from utility bills from Anglican buildings in at least 3 urban centres or regions in order to share this data, with subsequent professional interpretation, and make specific predictions for energy use reduction.
6. Request the Council of General Synod to consider having an estimate made of the annual greenhouse gas emissions for which the office of General Synod is responsible, commit to a stated reduction in these, and report regularly on progress made.