That the National Executive Council approve in principle the following statement and refer it to the Resolutions Committee of General Synod for inclusion into the discussion of the report of the Task Force "For the Elimination of Poverty and Social Injustice":
- 'Any program to support income levels in Canada should specifically differentiate between those Canadians who are a part of the work force and those who are retired. In particular such a program should:
- 1) ensure that the retirement income of those who contributed to a private pension plan or any similar retirement program normally would exceed the income of those who did not.
- 2) ensure that there are clear financial incentives to all those who prepare for their financial security in retirement by participating in any pension or other retirement program.' CARRIED
The Primate expressed gratitude to the Pension Committee for its excellent and competent work.
Archdeacon Hobson took this opportunity to thank the members of the Pension staff and stated that much credit should go to them for their work.
TORONTO - The Anglican Church of Canada's national council has approved a motion asking church members to join in a fast in solidarity with people affected by the Canadian Health Service Transfer (CHST).
The date of the fast is April 1, Holy Week Monday, and the day of implementation of the CHST. The decision to commend the fast to Canadian Anglicans was made this week by the Council of General Synod, the church's governing body in between meetings of General Synod which are held every three years.
The CHST is federal legislation which combines funding for health, post-secondary education and social assistance into one block fund. The Bill of which it is a part cuts $7-billion from the total federal transfers for these three areas.
The motion before the Council of General Synod came from the church's Ecojustice Committee which commended the idea of the fast and of an Alternative Federal Budget drafted by the Ecumenical Coalition for Economic Justice and released last month. The Anglican Church is a member of the Ecumenical Coalition.
The committee also asked Council members, who come from across the country, to take information on the fast and the Alternative Budget back to their home constituencies and to encourage as much local participation as possible.
In a report to the Council, the Ecojustice Committee said it strongly believes that there are numerous alternatives to the budget cuts proposed by the federal government which affect disadvantaged people.
Contact Doug Tindal, Director of Communication 416-924-9199 ext. 286; 905-335-8349 (residence) or Sam Carriere, Media Relations, 416-924-9199, ext. 256
March 3, 2008 -- The Anglican Primate and the Evangelical Lutheran National Bishop call on the members of their respective churches to advocate for affordable housing solutions for the homeless with letters and visits to their Members of Parliament.
In a letter sent to the Minister of Human Resources and Development Canada, Monte Solberg, on Feb 27, 2008, the leaders urged the government "to address homelessness in Canada as part of a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy."
The letter follows the tabling of the federal budget which left the estimated 150,000 to 300,000 homeless people in Canada out in the cold, and another 1.5 million Canadians in desperate housing need without relief.
The joint Anglican-Lutheran initiative takes inspiration from the prophet Isaiah who asks what true religious observance is: "Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house?" (Isaiah 58:7).
"Our vision," the leaders' letter concludes, "is to go beyond the prophet's call, to create a society where the hungry are able to eat their own bread, and the homeless poor are brought into their own house."
"Being in full communion means more than worshipping together," says Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Anglican Primate. "Members of both our churches give generously of their time and money to help people who are homeless. They run thrift shops, food banks, overnight shelters, and hospitality programs. But they know that charity isn't enough. Advocating together for justice is also part of being in full communion."
"I'm so excited by this initiative," says ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson. "It demonstrates how working together in full communion we can make a much larger impact and a stronger witness, hopefully inspiring our government to address the realities of homelessness in Canada."
The joint initiative is modelled after a campaign of the diocese of Toronto encouraging Anglicans to visit their local MPs to express concerns about housing and poverty.
Hiltz and Johnson are inviting Lutherans and Anglicans to write or visit their federal MP, and where possible, to do this jointly. The purpose is to ask the Government of Canada to:
- Renew and increase the affordable housing funding which is set to expire at the end of 2008
- Join with the provinces to develop a comprehensive housing strategy as part of an overall national poverty reduction strategy
On line resources are available to help people participate in this initiative: [http://www.accnotes.org/ecojustice/reports_policy_documents/bring_the_homeless_poor_into_t/ ]
- "Bringing people who are homeless into their own house" - a resource that explains this initiative and gives tips for writing and visiting with your MP.
- A bulletin insert for use in church bulletins, encouraging congregations and parishes to become involved.
- A copy of the joint letter from The Most Reverend Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and The Reverend Susan C. Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, Monte Solberg.
- 30 -
For more information contact: Trina Gallop, Manager of Communications, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, 888-786-6707 ext. 172, firstname.lastname@example.org [or] Maylanne Maybee, Coordinator of Ecojustice Networks, The Anglican Church of Canada, 416-924-9199 ext. 219 email@example.com
"A collaborative anti-poverty initiative co-chaired by Jane Alexander, [Anglican] bishop of Edmonton, will receive $2.4 million in funding from the city over the next two years -- and the diocese is undertaking a slew of its own projects to support it. Alexander says she was thrilled when Edmonton City Council unanimously approved funding for the EndPovertyEdmontonImplementation Road Map, a city-wide initiative of which she is co-chair, December 13 " (p. 1). Don Iveson, mayor of Edmonton, and Bishop Alexander, were co-chairs of EndPovertyEdmonton whose published report was titled "End Poverty in a Generation". "The church's involvement in EndPovertyEdmonton, Alexander says, allows the church to show it's serious in living out the gospel's promise to the poor. 'It opens the door for us to actually say what we mean when we say that the gospel [is] good news for the poor, I think -- and so I am unashamedly do it that way because this is what it's all about', she says".
"The Guide will be a resource booklet for faith communities in support of the End Poverty Edmonton initiative, which includes a strong implementation program. The current partner is Beth Shalom Synagogue, and the Guide will involve other faith groups along with municipal collaboration". [Text of entire article.]
"The publication of this volume is sponsored by the Ecumenical Forum of Canada". -- p. [ii].
"Among the many Canadian organizations which have taken up the cause of a just society, few have worked harder for the realization of this goal than the Canadian churches. The documents that are contained in this book are evidence of the churches' strong concern to identify and combat injustices wherever they appear in society. .... The purpose of this introduction is to give, first of all, a brief historical account of the churches' recent involvement in social issues in Canada. Secondly, it will identify the issues which are of major concern and will describe how the churches deal with these issues. Finally, an overview and analysis of the churches' position on social justice will be given". -- Intro.
Contents: List of Contributors -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- Section I: Poverty in Canada -- 1. The Salvation Army, 'Brief to the Special Senate Committee on Poverty' (1970) -- 2. The Eastern Canada Synod of the Lutheran Church in America, 'Report on Poverty and Christian Responsibility' (1973) -- 3. The United Church of Canada, 'The Economics of Injustice' (1975) -- Section II: Capitalism and Corporations -- 4. The United Church of Canada, 'Who's in Control ?' (1977) -- 5. Taskforce on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility, 'Decennial Revision of the Bank Act' (1978) -- 6. Roman Catholic Bishops of the Atlantic Provinces, 'To Establish a Kingdom of Justice' (1979) -- 7. The Episcopal Commission for Social Affairs, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 'Ethical Reflections on the Economic Crisis' (1983) -- Section III: Nuclear Energy -- 8. The United Church of Canada, 'Nuclear Power: Blessing or Blight ?' (1977) -- 9. Uranium Working Group, the B.C. Conference of the United Church of Canada, 'Ethics and Uranium Mining' (1980) -- Section IV: Northern Development and Native Rights -- 10. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 'Northern Development: At What Cost ?' (1975) -- 11. Project North, 'A Call for A Moratorium' (1976) -- 12. Project North, 'Before the National Energy Board in the Matter of the Norman Wells Oil Pipeline Application' (1981) -- Section V: Canada, Quebec and the Constitution -- 13. The Roman Catholic Bishops of Quebec, 'The People of Quebec and Its Political Future' (1979) -- 14. The United Church of Canada, 'Brief to the Joint Committee on the Constitution of Canada' (1980) -- Section VI: Population, Immigration and Refugees -- 15. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 'Brief to the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and of the House of Commons on Immigration Policy' (1975) -- 16. Inter-Church Project on Population, 'Report on the Immigration Debate' (1975) -- 17. The Refugee Concerns Project Committee, Canadian Council of Churches, 'Refugee Concerns: A Brief to the Honourable Lloyd Axworthy, Minister of Employment and Immigration' (1980) -- Section VII: Canada and the Third World -- 18. Canadian Church Leaders, 'Development Demands Justice' (1973) -- 19. Inter-Church Committee on Human Rights in Latin America, 'Submission to the Canadian Ambassador to the 36th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights' (1980) -- Epilogue -- 21. Canadian Church Leaders, 'Inter-Church Brief on Economic Outlook' (1978) -- Notes -- Addresses of Groups Mentioned in This Book.
"Writing, research and editing for 'Changing Course' was done by Murray MacAdam. Nancy Friday, John Hiemstra. Diane Marshall, Kathy Vandergrift, Mark Vander Vennen, John Olthuis, Ted Schmidt, Gerald Vandezande and Agnes Struik". -- Acknowledgements.
Includes bibliographical references.
"Why are poverty and hunger so widespread in Canada ? Why do so many people feel left out of our society, whether from unemployment, disabilities, loneliness or other causes ? What can be done about these problems ? 'Changing Course' is a study guide for individuals and groups who are trying to make sense of our society and want to learn how to improve it. It reaches the root of our problems: the values which dominate our society. 'Changing Course' shows how a more genuine application of Christian values would help create a truly just society". -- back cover.
Contents: Foreword / Ted Scott, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Canada -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- Layer One: Social Realities and Social Policy -- Layer Two: Social Structures -- Layer Three: The Heart of the Matter: How Are We Saved ? -- Alternative Layer Three: God's New Start -- Alternative Layer Two: Reforming Social Structures -- Alternative Layer One: Healing Social Realities with Christian Values -- Conclusion -- Appendix.
Includes "Questions for Discussion" at the end of sections.
"An Anglican bishop, along with a coalition of leading anti-poverty and housing advocates, has urged the federal government to adopt a 'rights-based' approach to its National Housing Strategy and poverty reduction strategies. 'We come together today to send a clear and consistent message to the federal government regarding the need for a rights-based approach to addressing housing, food and justice for all, particularly among the First Peoples of this great nation', said Bishop John Chapman, who took part in a press conference on Parliament Hill October 16 , the eve of the United Nations' International Day for the Eradication of Poverty". Leilani Farha, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing and the executive director of Canada Without Poverty, said "Canada is a 'lucky country' that has a stable democracy, the 10th largest GDP in the world and is fiscally strong. 'Yet here today, we have very persistent and high rates of poverty at close to five million people ..we have at least 235,000 people who are homeless in a year [and] close to 900,000 people using food banks every month'." "The federal government's 2017 budget proposes to spend more than $11.2 billion over 11 years on a first-ever National Housing Strategy".