The Reverend Clarke Raymond presented the following statement to the Council:
"At the annual meeting of Noranda Mines Ltd., on April 29, 1977, the representatives of the Anglican, Roman Catholic, United and Lutheran Church in America attempted to propose resolutions asking Noranda to postpone its present Chilean investment plan until human rights and democratic institutions are restored.
"Before the resolutions could be proposed the Vice-president for Corporate Affairs, Mr. R.P. Riggin, moved the meeting be adjourned. This action not only prevented the representatives from speaking to the resolutions, but also prevented them from replying to the opening statement from Mr. Alfred Powis, President, alleging that as 'part of a well-financed, highly organized campaign', Noranda's Montreal offices had been occupied that morning.
"Neither the Task Force on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility, nor any other official body of the Anglican Church of Canada, had any part in, or prior knowledge of, this event. It is understood that some forty persons distributed information including some produced by TCCR. The Police were not called nor was there any violence."
That the National Executive Council receive the statement and request the Primate, on behalf of the National Executive Council, to convey this to Noranda Mines Limited. CARRIED
That this General Synod adopt the following "Covenant of Protection" as policy and direct the Council of the General Synod to develop a process for implementation.
Since 1949, General Synod has been urging Canadian and foreign governments to conform their policies to principles of Universal Human Rights. This position of the church is deeply rooted in Scripture.
In the first chapter of Genesis we read that all human beings have been made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). We conclude from this that all human beings, regardless of their background, identity, status, ability, accomplishment or belief have a fundamental dignity which comes from God. All members of the Anglican Church affirm this position when, in the words of our baptismal covenant we promise to "strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being."
As Christians, we also acknowledge with St. Paul that we have done those things we ought not to have done and we have not done those things we ought to have done. We are sinners and we need to build into the structures of our common life the same standards of right behaviour and safeguards against discrimination that we demand of others. We do this in the knowledge that the real test of our support for human rights is how we treat the minorities in our midst -- the poor, the stranger, the outcast and the foreigner (Matthew 25:40).
In the summary of the Law recorded in the Gospel of Mark, we are told by Jesus that we must love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength, and love our neighbours as ourselves (Mark 12:29-31). From this we understand that Christians are a covenant community called by God to join others in protecting the rights of all persons in society and in the church. One of the ways we do this is by ensuring that our own processes of participation and deliberation are fair and transparent.
COVENANT OF PROTECTION
The Anglican Church of Canada enters into a Covenant of Protection with its members, with its employees, and with those who seek the services of the church, in order to protect vulnerable persons. We call this Covenant, "Human Rights Principles."
1. The right to be treated with courtesy, compassion and integrity
All persons who seek the services of the church, including sacraments, counsel and pastoral care, shall be treated with courtesy, compassion and integrity by the church and its representatives or officials, without discrimination on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, family or marital status, race, colour, ethnic (or place of) origin, ancestry, disability, creed or socio-economic status.
2. The right to fair treatment
a) All persons receiving educational, medical or financial assistance from the church shall be treated fairly and without discrimination on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, family or marital status, race, colour, ethnic (or place of) origin, ancestry, disability, creed or socio-economic status.
b) All persons occupying church property or being accommodated in institutions provided by or governed by the church shall be treated fairly within the stated purposes of these institutions and without discrimination on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, family or marital status, race, colour, ethnic (or place of) origin, ancestry, disability, creed or socio-economic status.
3. The right to vote
All baptized persons who qualify, in accordance with the relevant canons and constitutions, shall be eligible to vote at General Meetings of their Parish and Synod without discrimination on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, family or marital status, race, colour, ethnic (or place of) origin, ancestry, disability, or socio-economic status.
4. The right to be considered for election
All baptized persons who qualify, in accordance with the relevant canons and constitutions, are eligible to hold elected positions in the church without discrimination on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, family or marital status, race, colour, ethnic (or place of ) origin, ancestry, disability, or socio-economic status.
5. The right to be considered for service
All baptized persons who qualify, in accordance with the relevant canons, constitutions and guidelines, shall be eligible to have their vocations tested and to be considered for service in the life and on the committees of the church without discrimination on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, family or marital status, race, colour, ethnic (or place of) origin, ancestry, disability, or socio-economic status.
6. The rights of employees
All persons employed by the church in positions not requiring ordination shall be employed on the basis of ability, skills and experience appropriate to the position without discrimination on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, family or marital status, race, colour, ethnic (or place of) origin, ancestry, disability, or socio-economic status. [Revised 11 November 1999 -- See GS minutes pg. 58. The amendment to leave these words out was defeated but when re-transcribed the words were left out.]
Six members of Synod requested a vote by orders, in accordance with Section III of the Rules of Order and Procedure.
The resolution was then put in the Order of Laity and - CARRIED
The resolution was then put in the Order of Clergy and - CARRIED
The resolution was then put in the Order of Bishops and - DEFEATED Act 78
The Prolocutor confirmed that the resolution had been Defeated.
[Correction of General Synod minutes by Chancellor Ron Stevens amended first sentence in paragraph 6 on p. 104 to be the same as paragraph 6 on p. 55. Correspondence dated 15 November 1999 laid in original General Synod Journal of Proceedings.]
Act 5 of the 36th General Session of the General Synod, held in Waterloo, Ontario, p. 19 enacted the following: "That the minutes of the 35th Session of the General Synod, held in Montreal, Quebec, May 21-29, 1998, as printed in the Journal and as approved by the Certification of Minutes Committee, be adopted subject to the insertion of the words "in positions not requiring ordination" in the first line of paragraph numbered 6 on page 104. CARRIED Act 5"
TORONTO (May 3, 1996) -- Anglican bishops have sent a message to the House of Commons expressing their support for human rights amendments banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"This is based on the church's belief that all persons are created in the image of God and that Christ died for all," the bishops said in a statement.
They added: "This statement is consistent with the existing policy of the Canadian House of Bishops since 1979, reaffirmed by the General Synod in 1995, that condemns bigotry, violence and hatred directed towards anyone due to their sexual orientation.
"We wish to make it clear to the church that this action does not change the current status of the 1979 statement with respect to the ordination of homosexual persons. This continues to be a matter of discussion and theological reflection within the House as within the church at large. No change of doctrine and discipline is being implied. Rather the Gospel imperative of love, compassion and justice is being upheld which continues to be the call of every Christian."
The House of Bishops is an assembly of all active Canadian Anglican bishops. It normally meets twice a year.
Earlier this week, a similar statement of support for the legislation was released on behalf of the church's governing body by Archdeacon Jim Boyles, General Secretary of General Synod.
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Contact Rev. Gordon Light, principal secretary to the Primate, (416) 924-9199 ext. 277; Doug Tindal, Director of Communications (416) 924-9199 ext. 286; 905-335-8349 (residence)
The national House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada has placed the issue of homosexuality on the agenda of its meeting in Mississauga, Ontario from November 4-10.
The purpose of the discussion will be:
"To identify issues that need to be examined about the 1979 Statements on Human Sexuality and to set out a process for doing this, with appropriate timelines."
The statements of the bishops in 1979 act as guidelines affecting the ordination of homosexuals to the diaconate and priesthood of the Anglican Church of Canada. The guidelines require persons of homosexual orientation, as a condition for ordination, to make a commitment to the bishop to abstain from sexual acts with persons of the same sex.
The discussion will take place in the context of a wider debate within the church on issues of human rights and human sexuality. In recent years, the bishops have been asked to review their policy by members of the gay and lesbian community within the Anglican church. Also, questions have been raised by bishops themselves about the status of the guidelines if a proposed document on "Human Rights Principles for the Anglican Church of Canada" drafted by the church's own Human Rights Unit should be adopted by the General Synod next year. The document seeks to prohibit discrimination in the church on several grounds, including sexual orientation.
Ordination in the Anglican Church of Canada is solely within the jurisdiction of the bishops. This is different from the United Church of Canada which has another process of selection and approval of candidates.
The discussion at the meeting in November will be held "in camera". The resource person will be the Reverend Professor James Read, Director of the Toronto School of Theology and editor of a series of theological, biblical and ethical reflections on human sexuality published by the Anglican Church in 1986 ["A Study Resource on Human Sexuality: Approaches to Sexuality and Christian Theology."]
It is expected that a news release will be issued following the November meeting.
For more information contact: The Reverend Michael Ingham, Principal Secretary to the Primate, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4Y 2J6, (416) 924-9192; Mr. Doug Tindal, Director of Communications, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4Y 2J6, (416) 924-9192.
See 1979 House of Bishops Statements on Human Sexuality Draft Human Rights Principles.
The Most Rev. Michael Peers, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has accused the federal government of ignoring "its constitutional responsibility to deal directly with the Mohawk Nation" to resolve the aboriginal land rights conflict at Oka, Quebec.
In a first letter to the Prime Minister, dated July 12, Archbishop Peers urged the Federal Government to "become more directly involved with the negotiations until there is a land claims agreement in place which is acceptable to the Mohawk nation." He also urged that the situation be resolved by nonviolent means; that all armaments be put down; and that the police be withdrawn.
He pointed out that "underlying the conflict are the issues of Land Claims and development of Aboriginal Lands. These issues are a federal responsibility."
In a follow-up letter, dated July 26, the Primate expressed dismay that the federal government continues to ignore its constitutional responsibility to deal directly with the Mohawk Nation.
"The actions of your government lead me to the conclusion that you reject the Supreme Court of Canada's position in the recent Sparrow case that 'the relationship between the Government and aboriginals is trust-like, rather than adversarial...'."
"I am also disturbed," he added, "by the continuation of human rights violations by the Surete du Quebec. Yesterday the Quebec Human Rights Commission declared that 'the massive police operation against Mohawks in Oka is illegal'. The provincial police, through harassment and discrimination, are violating the fundamental rights of people living behind blockades, including the denial of food and medical services. As External Affairs Minister Joe Clark told the House of Commons two years ago, 'food should not be used as a weapon.'."
The Anglican Church of Canada has long been an advocate of the justice struggles of Native peoples in Canada. The General Synod in 1989 expressed its support of nonviolent direct action in defence of unsurrendered Aboriginal Ancestral land, stating "That Aboriginal Peoples and Anglicans and others involved in nonviolent direct action in defence of unsurrendered Aboriginal ancestral lands and their environment be supported."
"It is crucial that the Federal Government make the just settlement of land claims a priority. Such action would do much to create healing between the government and the First Nations of this land" the letter concludes.
For more information, contact: The Reverend Peter Hamel, Anglican Church of Canada, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto, Ontario, 416-924-9192
TORONTO (May 1, 1996) -- Following is the text of a letter sent today to federal Justice Minister Alan Rock by Archdeacon Jim Boyles, General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada:
"I am writing to you in support of the proposed legislation to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"In 1979, the National House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada made the following statement of principle:
`We believe as Christians, that homosexual persons, as children of God, have a full and equal claim, with all other persons, upon the love, acceptance, concern and pastoral care of the Church. The gospel of Jesus Christ compels Christians to guard against all forms of human injustice, and to affirm that all persons are brothers and sisters for whom Christ died. We affirm that homosexual persons are entitled to equal protection under the law with all other Canadian citizens.'
"As well, in June of 1995, the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada passed a resolution which agreed to
`affirm the presence of gay men and lesbians in the life of the church and to condemn bigotry, violence and hatred directed toward any due to their sexual orientation.'
"These remain positions which we strongly support. We do not believe that anyone should be discriminated against because of gender, race, creed, colour or sexual orientation.
"Given these statements of our Church, I would like to encourage you government in its endeavour to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation on the protected list."
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Contact Archdeacon Jim Boyles, (416) 924-9199 ext. 280 or Doug Tindal, Director of Communication (416) 924-9199 ext. 286; 905-335-8349 (residence) or Sam Carriere, Media Relations: (416) 924-9199, ext. 256
VANCOUVER, November 18, 1997 -- The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum falls far short of Christian criteria for just development and a moral economy, according to members of the Anglican Church's EcoJustice Committee.
Canada will host the next round of APEC talks in Vancouver next week (November 23-25). The stated intention of the forum is admirable. According to the leaders statement after the 1996 forum, in Manila, it is: "to enrich the lives and improve the standards of living of all citizens on a substantial basis." However, the nature of the forum belies this goal in several important ways:
- its definition of "standard of living" is rigidly limited to a strictly economic understanding. Member countries are referred to as "economies" and political representatives as "economic leaders". In this perspective, "citizens" are reduced to "consumers";
- business leaders are given a privileged consultative status in the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), but the voices of other citizens are absent. The perspectives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labour and social groups are specifically excluded;
- even by APEC's limited definition, many topics with enormous economic significance are specifically excluded. For example, the environmental consequences of economic activity are never discussed with reference to minimum environmental standards. Similarly, labour standards and even basic human rights have been excluded from the talks;
- fundamental political issues, including questions of the rights of indigenous peoples, are excluded. Two recent Canadian court decisions have shown that indigenous rights to natural resources can have dramatic economic impacts;
- in keeping with objectives stated after last year's APEC forum, the Vancouver discussions are expected to lead to further privatization, deregulation and reduction of "costs of doing business". In the past, this has been achieved by reducing minimum wages, reducing or eliminating social programs and safety nets, and removing policies for environmental protection;
- the discussions take place behind closed doors, and no actual legislation or proposal is ever presented to Parliament for public debate. Since APEC is not accountable to any Canadian public institution, it represents a fundamentally undemocratic process.
"The economy is a faith issue," says the Reverent Margaret Marquardt, chair of the EcoJustice Committee. "The economy is a major governing factor in the lives of all peoples, regardless of what part of the planet we occupy. The priorities and objectives of any economic initiative are therefore faith concerns.
"As Christians we are called to put the dignity and sacredness of human life at the centre of all our actions. As Christians we are called to share the earth's riches, while caring for creation itself. As Christians we are motivated by an ethic of cooperation. It is the assessment of this committee that APEC's aims and methods are contrary to these goals.
"How can we talk about economics apart from its relationship with a people, a nation, a land ? From a Christian perspective -- and, we would have thought, a political one -- it is impossible to separate economic investment from its impact on communities. It is impossible to separate economic activity from its effect on those who work in it."
Marquardt suggests it is fair to ask elected political leaders how their participation in APEC will "advance the standard of living of all citizens," and particularly:
- what will happen to workers in Canada and elsewhere as liberalized trade tends increasingly to the reduction or elimination of minimum wages ?
- how will our standard of living be improved as standards of environmental protection are eliminated ?
- APEC systematically refuses to include, refer to, or advocate respect for basic human rights. As we deal more and more closely with repressive governments or regimes, what assurance do we have that Canada's human rights will not come to be viewed as an excessive cost of doing business ?
- how and when will the people whose lives are most affected be heard ?
"To view countries as economies and citizens as primarily consumers is to deny our humanity and to deny the web of mutuality in which we live, in communities which must be sustained," says Marquardt. "We believe there are fair trade and development alternatives. That is why we support Canadian churches and many other NGOs in their efforts to organize an effective People's Summit to do what the Government of Canada has failed to do: make the voices of citizens heard on these crucial issues."
The People's Summit, also in Vancouver, runs from November 17-24, 1997, with additional ecumenical events scheduled for November 25, 1997.
The EcoJustice Committee is a national committee of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. It is mandated by General Synod to work on issues of economic and social justice, peace and the integrity of creation.
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For further information, contact: The Rev. Margaret Marquardt, Chair, EcoJustice Committee Tel: (604) 874-5030
That this National Executive Council of the Anglican Church of Canada express its horror at the continuing rape of Bosnian women and children in the former Yugoslavia and
a) Commend the Government of Canada for its initial response of financial support and the granting of refugee status to women and children who are victims of rape and other forms of violence.
b) Encourage the Government to continue support of Canadian and international relief organizations which assist victims of abuse, survivors of trauma and those granted asylum.
c) Urge the Government to ensure that Immigration Adjudicators be provided with guidelines for granting refugee status so that each claimant will be treated with respect.
d) Urge the Government to use all diplomatic means to bring about the following actions by the United Nations:
i) the immediate end, through non military means, of hostilities in the former Yugoslavia and all forms of abuse of human rights.
ii) negotiation of closure of rape/death camps and the immediate release of women and children by representatives of women's organizations and independent peace groups.
iii) insistence on enforcement of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 which provides for legal protection and appropriate forms of medical and psychological care for women and children who are victims of rape and other forms of violence in war.
iv) expansion of the definition of "convention refugee" to include women and children who are victims of violence; and
v) establishment of an international tribunal in which to try any who systematically use rape and other abuses of human rights as tactics of war and,
e) Call on all members of the Anglican Church of Canada to express their own concern about this situation to their members of Parliament. CARRIED #13-05-93
1. affirms the Government of Canada's commitment contained in its statement, "Canada in the World," to making progress towards the Official Development Assistance (ODA) target of 0.7% of Gross National Product (GNP) but urges that this commitment not be qualified by the words "when Canada's fiscal situation allows it";
2. affirms that the primary purpose of Official Development Assistance is the alleviation of poverty and global injustice and welcomes Canada's commitment that 25% of its ODA will respond to basic human needs but urges that this percentage be increased to 60%;
3. expresses serious concern that Canadian foreign aid policy, as articulated in the "Canada in the World" statement, places more emphasis on Canadian economic interests than on the document's stated values and priorities (support for sustainable development, reduction of poverty; and contributing to a more secure, equitable, and prosperous world) in determining:
(i) the allocation of Official Development Assistance; and
(ii) Canada's response to human rights situations in the context of trade relationships, where traditionally Canada has not traded with countries consistently violating human rights;
4. commends the Government of Canada for its affirmation of multi-lateral approaches in solving problems in an interdependent global community and, particularly, welcomes the government's intent to press for reform in those multi-lateral institutions, such as the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which affect the lives of people in southern countries;
5. convey these concerns and recommendations to the Government of Canada. CARRIED WITHOUT DEBATE Act 73
That this General Synod of The Anglican Church of Canada:
1) affirms its solidarity with the Church of Korea in its struggle for human dignity, freedom and democracy;
2) requests the Canadian government to continue to urge the Government of the Republic of Korea immediately to cease human rights violations, especially torture, illegal detention, other restrictions of civil rights and censorship of the media;
3) requests the Canadian government to raise the issue of human rights violations in the Republic of Korea at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights;
4) requests the Canadian government to develop relationships with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in order to promote peace in northeast Asia in accordance with the desire of the Korean people for the union of Korea on the basis of justice and freedom; and
5) support the desire of the Canada Asia Working Group to enter into a relationship with Christian groups in the DPRK in cooperation with Christian partners in the Republic of Korea. CARRIED IN ALL ORDERS Act 87