1. recognizing the agricultural crisis as a major social problem; expresses its concern at the stress and suffering of farming families caught in the economic crisis in Canada's agricultural sector;
2. directs the Program Committee to take steps to explore the roots of the agricultural crisis, and to recommend practical ways for the Church, at parish, diocesan and national levels, to minister to those under stress, and to advocate helpful changes in national policies. CARRIED IN ALL ORDERS Act 73
That the National Executive Council convey to the Government of Canada its concerns with respect to Bill C-107 regarding Plant Breeders' Rights and in particular the following concerns:
1. That a wide genetic diversity of plant stock be preserved and their availability maintained.
2. That plant breeding research and development not ignore those crops designed for relatively small markets or for regions with specific needs.
3. That the present level of funding for public research and development be increased.
4. That royalties received from publicly produced cultivar be returned to support the plant breeding program that developed the variety.
5. That the free exchange of research information be increased.
6. That excessive price increases for seeds and plant stock be avoided and that the financial needs and constraints of Canadian farmers and consumers be considered, should any increase in cost occur.
7. That government maintain a responsible presence and control over research and pricing.
8. That the 18 year patent period be reassessed and decreased.
9. That the full implications of patenting life forms be explored in depth and the ethical and legal questions addressed in greater detail.
10. That the question of ownership vis-a-vis the concentration of productive power of food resources be squarely addressed and the ethical and geo-political implications responsibly explored.
11. That efforts be made to develop new plant stocks that are less dependent upon agro-chemicals.
12. That the well-being of the natural environment be a major consideration in granting patents to any new seed stock.
13. That the needs of the Third World, in terms of food production and agricultural practices compatible to ecological and economic conditions, be responsibly considered.
14. That the issue of possible conflict of interest of patent holders be addressed. (In many cases, the same key international companies are involved in the debate over generic drugs, generic pesticides and plant breeding legislation. The question to be addressed is how appropriate is it for the same company to hold a patent on a given seed stock that requires the application of an agro-chemical patented by that company.)
15. That in granting patents for new foods stocks where possible nutritional content takes precedence over such factors as uniformity of size, ripening time, colour, etc., that is over factors that have more to do with aesthetics, convenience and efficiency than with nutrition.
16. That public and open hearings begin as soon as possible so that all sides of the debate may be heard and that the ethical, ecological, political and commercial implications of such a Bill can be more fully explored before any final action is taken.
Following lengthy discussion, it was the consensus that the above motion should be referred and it was:
That the above motion regarding Plant Breeders' Rights be referred to the Executive Director of Program, for staff work as appropriate noting the need for urgency. CARRIED #53-05-88
TORONTO, June 10, 1988 -- Legislation now before the House of Commons raises serious ethical issues and could impose extra hardship on Canadian farmers, the Anglican Church of Canada says.
Bill C-107, an act to establish "plant-breeders rights", has received first reading in the House. The church says there should be public hearings across Canada before the bill receives second reading.
In a letter to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, the Church's general secretary lists several concerns about the legislation which would allow corporations to take out patents on plants. David Woeller says this raises important ethical questions: "Something as basic to the future of all human beings as food must be seen in a context broader than that of individual or corporate property rights and must not be decided only by plant scientists and big business."
The letter notes that this is the first time Parliament has addressed the concept of "patenting" life forms. It says once any kind of life form -- even plant life -- becomes established as a commodity to be bought and sold, it will become extremely difficult to draw the line: "The United States began with plant patenting but has moved to allow patenting for micro-organisms and animals.
"Earlier this year Harvard University was granted a patent for a mouse containing human genes ..... There is no difference between human genetic material and the genetic material of any other species."
The letter raises three additional concerns:
First it says "Bill C-107 is addressing the wrong issue". The real issue is to ensure adequate funds for agricultural research. It suggests this should be done through public funding, rather than through increasing profits to agricultural companies. It says there should be a white paper on the future of agricultural research to allow Canadians to consider this issue in its broader context.
Second, the evidence suggests that "agricultural input costs will increase substantially" as a result of the legislation".
-- there will be an immediate increase in seed costs of 10 percent, according to an estimate by the Manitoba department of agriculture;
-- several estimates predict a further rapid rise in prices, by at least 30 percent;
-- the example of pharmaceutical companies causes special concern. These companies recently received similar patent protection for prescription drugs. At that time, the federal government said price increases would not exceed the Consumer Price Index (about 5 percent). In fact, a study by the government of Ontario revealed that more than 1,000 drugs had excessive price increases over a six month period -- and some increased by more than 100 percent ! Many of the pharmaceutical companies responsible for these price increases are the same companies which seek patents on their seeds.
Third, the bill would operate to the detriment of Third World agriculture which has supplied us with much of our "germplasm" -- the genetic material of plant breeding -- free of charge. Bill C-107 flies in the face of United Nations initiatives to ensure "farmers' rights".
The letter concludes by urging the government to initiate public hearings to be held across the country before proceeding with the legislation.
Recognizing the Agricultural and Rural Development Act (ARDA) Program as one of the most creative and imaginative programs yet developed for the improvement of rural life in Canada and that the basis for ARDA projects is firmly rooted in local participation and involvement:
This General Synod Commends the ARDA program to all rural clergy and parishes and urges them to involve themselves creatively in such local programs as a fitting channel for the exercise of Christian Service. CARRIED in both Houses.
Originally published in German as: AIDS : Eine Krankheit verander die Welt : Daten, Fakten, Hintergrunde. Frankfurt: Verlag Otto Lembeck, 2003.
Includes bibliography: p. 110-118.
This book "is an offering to churches and the world -- a significant and vital addition to the continuum of knowledge -- that will greatly assist churches to be effective and efficient in the struggle to overcome HIV/AIDS. It is a compilation of historical, scientific and statistical material aimed at providing churches and their partners with a better understanding of the dynamics of HIV/AIDS as well as current information to aid in collaborative efforts at answering the challenge of the disease. .... On a practical level this response is deliberately multi-faceted and interactive, encouraging churches and Christian service organizations to build and support coalitions dedicated to overcoming this epidemic". -- Preface.
Contents: Preface / Samuel Kobia, General Secretary, World Council of Churches -- Introduction / Sonja Weinreich and Christoph Benn --.Natural history and HIV transmission -- Global, regional and country-specific spread of HIV/AIDS -- Vulnerable population groups -- Gender equity -- Children -- Young people -- Socio-economic context -- Stigma and discrimination --Human rights -- People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) -- Prevention -- Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) -- Care -- Antiretroviral therapy -- HIV/AIDS on the international agenda -- Advocacy and lobbying -- Culture and tradition -- Churches, theology and HIV/AIDS -- Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS -- Literature.
Contents: The Country Church and the Rural Problem / By the Rev. G.G. Wright, Rector of Navan, Ont.
"The years of warfare have served to place the importance of agriculture before the people of Canada with a clearness which a decade of writing on the subject could not have produced. .... The war has brought to people's attention the fact that the development of agriculture is fundamental to the national life, and that, for reasons which shall be noted later, the well-being of the farmer -- industrially, economically, socially, and in the religious sphere has a direct bearing on the development of every branch of the national life. The solution then of the rural problem is not a question which concerns only or even chiefly that part of the country but is of interest to everyone who has at heart the national well-being (p. 2)".
Contents divided into sub-sections: Rural Depletion -- Wherein Then Lies the Solution -- Woman's Work -- Social Life -- The Church and the Problem.
"The Commission of our Church dealing with the Church and Rural Work has been preparing this past year for a more general observance of the Sunday before the Rogation Days. The Bishop of Athabasca [Arthur Henry Sovereign, 1881-1966, a member of the Commission, wrote `that Rogation day should be seen not only to draw attention of all our clergy to the use of prayers for God's blessing on the seed sewn, but also as a day on which special emphasis and thought should be given to the town and country work of the Church throughout all the parishes of our wide Dominion'. `The season', he says, `calls for a widening use of Rogation Sunday for a purpose well justified and traditionally correct'." .... We believe that a more general observance of Rogationtide would ultimately have the effect of leading our people to a deeper sense of our dependence upon Almighty God for the necessities of life; it would also make us realize the needs and the possibilities for good of our many small country parishes. It would help all areas of society to realize more deeply the economic and social needs of the farming community. The Church before the Reformation said in effect, `Without a strong peasantry there can be no strong Church and no strong country'. In our day this means the farmer and their helpers. In the words on our study pioneer forefathers in Canada, `the farmers are the backbone of the nation'."
At the request of the Rural Commission, we publish a form of service derived almost wholly from the Prayer Book, which might be suitable for use in parish Churches or the grounds pertaining thereto, particularly in a rural areas. We point out that there is no authority in the Prayer Book for the use of this form of service, but the Commission, we are informed, hopes that the Bishops will authorize it or something similar for use in the dioceses. It is published on behalf of the Commission on Rural Work.
The prize for the Vernon-Woods Memorial Essay, sponsored by the Council for Social Service, for 1945 was won by Mr. George A. Young of Emmanuel College, Saskatoon. As it deals with the Rural Church and life, its publication in this Bulletin is appropriate. The Article, `Mechanizing the Ministry', prepared by a member of the Rural Commission, is challenging to the Bishops and to the missionary spirit of our whole Church." -- Editorial Note.
Contents: Editorial Note / W.W. Judd -- Religion and Daily Life : A Statement from the Commission on Rural Work -- Suggested Prayers and Readings for Rogation Observance -- Mechanizing the Ministry -- Part 2: The Church in Rural Life : The Church's Contribution to the Reconstruction of Rural Society : Vernon-Woods Memorial Essay, 1945 / George A. Young -- Pertinent Books in the Council's Library.
The article "Mechanizing the Ministry" is about the need for cars for rural clergy. "Now that the war is over there is probably no single problem of more pressing nature for the rural and missionary clergy than the problem of transportation".
"For three years the Executive Committee of the Council for Social Service has been pressing the Executive Council of General Synod or (in 1949 General Synod itself, for some Canadian-wide policy to enliven and strengthen our rural Church work. .... What is the problem ? It is to create a rural-minded clergy, happy and content in their work, properly supported, ready to minister in rural areas for most or all of their active ministerial years. The problem is also to focus the attention of all members of Synod on the Church in rural areas so that they will honour the rural workers, see that they are adequately supported, and that, for example, their children are given an equal chance at education with their city cousins. It is primarily a psychological and a spiritual problem, nothing less than to help the rural parish and its leaders to help themselves and to lend a new tone to the rural Church ministry. This Bulletin is devoted chiefly to the two day Conference held at St. John's College, Winnipeg, September 12-13  under the auspices of a Committee of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert's Land. That Conference was a success. It was informative and inspirational and we believe it will prove to be a forward step in the march toward the attainment of a General Synod policy on rural Church affairs". -- Foreword.
Contents: Foreword / W.W. Judd -- Provincial Conference, Rupert's Land : What Our Sister Church in the United States is Doing in Rural Work / Maxwell Brown -- The Rural Church and its Sociological Environment / Allan Read -- Book, Periodicals and Pamphlets Suggested by / John Peacock -- Committee Findings -- Addendum : A Plough Sunday Service -- Pertinent Books in The Council's Library.
The following note appears at the head of the Plough Sunday Service: "NOTE: This form of service was prepared by the Church of England Council for the Church and Countryside. We point out that there is no authority in the Prayer Book for its use but authorization might be obtained from local diocesan authority as necessary".
"To save the land and its people, Episcopal Bishop of Haiti Zache Duracin in 1995 requested the Anglican Church of Canada to assist the diocese in opening a university that would teach agriculture. Through its Volunteers in Mission program, the Canadian Church found someone to head up this project in the person of John Veldhuis, a retired school principal from Bowmanville, Ont. Mr. Veldhuis became the first president of Jacques Theodore Holly University, named after the first Anglican bishop of Haiti. The university's mandate was to teach Haitians to use their land wisely and to learn to feed and support themselves. Holly University opened in October, 1995 on the campus of College St. Pierre in Port-au-Prince, with 14 students enrolled to study agriculture. In February, 1966, the University added a school of business administration and in the fall of 1996, schools of siviculture (the study of trees) and of education. As of late last year , more than 100 students were enrolled in these four colleges".
Author "is a retired school teacher from Palgrave, Ont., who has been active on behalf of Holly University both in Canada and in Haiti since the school's inception."
"What is the `Rural Church Movement' ? Among the basic principles which constitute the essential message of this movement are the following: 1. Man's relation to the soil and to the natural resources of the earth is one of stewardship. 2. The Church has a mission to the Community as well as to the individual Christian. 3. The Rural Ministry can be and often should be a life-long vocation. 4. New ways of ministering to widespread rural areas must be tried in view of changed conditions; and the rural priest needs more adequate support in his work. 5. The Rural Church must play an increasingly important part in the life of the WHOLE Church". "Three Rural Schools or Seminars were held this past Summer . This Bulletin contains an account of each one, in order that the experience of those who took part in the Schools might be shared more widely and also that others might be encouraged to attempt something similar. These are in no sense of the word, formal reports, rather they breathe the atmosphere of the respective schools, one held along the sea-girt shore of Nova Scotia, the other two in agricultural settings in Quebec and Ontario. To these reports, there has been added one of the many papers written by the Rev. Allan Read. It describes the setting of the first Rural Training School but it is especially appropriate because it paints vivid pictures of what can happen to a rural church and its community either for ill or for good". -- Intro., pp. , 2.
Contents: Foreword / W.W. Judd -- Introduction / Leonard F. Hatfield -- Rural Training School Diocese of Nova Scotia / C. Russell Elliott -- Rural Seminar Diocese of Montreal / John Peacock -- Rural Training School Diocese of Toronto / Warren Turner -- A Rural Parish and a Rural Church Program / Allan A. Read -- Rural Films.
"The Rural Crisis and Rural Community network brought together representatives from across Canada to share concerns about the agricultural crisis. The conference stressed the need to study not only the crisis facing rural communities, but also the urban-rural split in the church which is making second-class citizens of rural people. It urged the national church to decide if it wants an Anglican presence in rural areas, and, if so, to begin taking steps to ensure its continued survival."
"Stories gathered by Ollie Miller, from women 55 years and over, for "Support Groups for Older Farm Women in Saskatchewan." -- t.-p.
"Sponsored by the Women's Inter-Church Council of Canada". -- t.-p.
"Funded by Seniors Independence Program Health and Welfare Canada". -- t.-p.
"[B]y Ollie Miller, Co-ordinator of the Project: 'Support Groups for Older Farm Women in Saskatchewan' 1990". -- p. 3.
"This handbook prepared for older farm women, looks intimately at their lifestyle changes, in order to encourage them to communicate, accomplish, play, love, heal and to explore their potential together. By sharing the stories heard in the past months, I want to encourage older farm women to develop what they do best -- helping each other". -- Intro.
Contents: The Servant Song -- Introduction / Ollie Miller -- Did you know that ? -- Stories from older farm women -- Support groups -- Community resources -- Celebration.
Stories from older farm women section contains short accounts by Bessie, Jackie, Alma, Rosella, Muriel, Lena, Ella, Millie, Betty and Gertrude. Each story ends with "Discussion Questions".
A video entitled "Sowing Circles" was also produced by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
The Rural Crisis Task Force Committee of the Diocese of Qu'Appelle is listed under "Anglican" in the Community Resources section, p. 63.
Page 80 is blank.
Colophon: Printed by Sutherland Pinters on recycled paper. -- back cover.
"Jeremie Clyde has a passion for food -- for growing it in a way that is healthy for the people who eat it, for the planet and for a just sharing of God-given bounty". "When they were parishioners at St. Barnabas Anglican Church, the couple began a community garden. From their stall at the farmers' market, they had seen the potential of a space behind the church, which had a great southern exposure. With the parish's support, they designed some senior-friendly plots. 'Most of them had gardened all their lives, but they couldn't garden where they're living now, or couldn't garden unassisted', said Clyde". "Clyde has also given gardening workshops at various Calgary churches. He encourages people to treat gardening as a devotional activity, to look for revelations of God. He recently travelled to the Sorrento Centre in B.C. to make a presentation on sustainable agriculture at a food security conference organized by the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF)". "Although the Clyde family still lives in Calgary, they farm 160 acres near Sundrie, Alta. Clyde said he has seen worrying signs of climate change on his farm -- such as weeds and insects expanding into new territory. ... Clyde invited Bishop Greg Kerr-Wilson of the diocese of Calgary to talk about the issue while helping harvest the organic rye. With the Rev. Mishka Lysack, an Anglican priest devoted to environmental issues, they decided to start building an ecumenical group focused both on the theology of creation care and current issues". "The Clydes donate about a tenth of their harvest -- several hundred pounds of fresh produce -- to the local food bank each year, and they have also had some low-income families help on the farm at times".