General Synod 2001
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Report 005



  2. The EcoJustice Committee was created at General Synod in 1995. In its first triennium the committee developed terms of reference, consistent with the mandate set out in Priority D of the Strategic Plan Preparing the Way: "Advocate social justice and prophetic mission within Canada, especially in indigenous peoples' concerns and social, economic, and environmental justice issues."

    The name EcoJustice refers to the wholistic or ecological framework of justice issues in which the Committee is engaged. Members work with a wide range of partners in Canada, in the areas of environment, economics, social inclusion, and peace building.

    The following is a statement, developed in the 1995-98 triennium, of how the committee interprets its mission:

    The primary mandate of the EcoJustice Committee is to pursue vigorously the church's commitment to the integrity of God's creation, being accountable for the legacy created and the implications for the future. This requires us to challenge attitudes and structures that cause injustice, primarily in Canada, but also within an increasingly interconnected global context in which we all live and move and have our being, recognizing that conditions in Canada influence and are influenced by conditions in other parts of the world.


  4. The lawsuits arising from former students in Indian Residential Schools and the resulting litigation costs have deeply affected the Anglican Church of Canada and the work of General Synod, its committees and councils. For the EcoJustice Committee this has meant re-examining our priorities and approaches to different issues. For example, the need to pursue Healing and Reconciliation within a justice framework has increased appreciation of the importance of advocating for aboriginal land rights, and reinforced awareness that many aspects of globalization are basically an extension of colonial practices and relationships.

    Budget reductions in 2000 and 2001 led to cutbacks in staffing and resources, making it necessary to reduce grants to ecumenical justice work, to discontinue funding of special projects, and to cancel the February 2001 meeting of EcoJustice. On the other hand, there was an increase in resources for doing the work of Indigenous Justice.


  6. The fifteen members of EcoJustice carried forward much of the committee's work themselves, with strategic support from staff. Sharon Lee started out as the Committee chair until she accepted work in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The Rev. Terry DeForest from the diocese of Niagara succeeded her in March 1999.

    Staffing for EcoJustice is based in the Partnerships department of Church House, which also includes staffing for Partners in Mission and the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, under Dr. Ellie Johnson as Director. There have been significant staff changes during the triennium. The position of Indigenous Justice Coordinator became a full time position, initially filled by the Rev. Catherine Morrison until November 1999, then by Ms. Chris Hiller after April 2000. Both Catherine and Chris divided their time between the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples and the EcoJustice Committee. The Rev. Eric Beresford, Coordinator for Ethics and Interfaith Relations in the Faith, Worship & Ministry department, gave a portion of his time to assist the EcoJustice Committee members and staff, especially in the areas of biotechnology, gambling, and Just War. Ms. Joy Kennedy, EcoJustice Coordinator, was responsible for global justice work, policy development, and was the primary staff support to the EcoJustice Committee until September 2000 when a budget shortfall necessitated staff reductions. At that time, the global justice portfolio was cut, with the expectation that that piece of work would be picked up at the ecumenical level. The Rev. Maylanne Maybee who began the triennium dividing her time equally between the EcoJustice Committee and the Partners in Mission Committee, is now giving her full time to the work of EcoJustice, with emphasis on building up Anglican social justice networks in Canada.

    Members of the Committee, at a farewell party in Joy's honour, paid tribute to and gave thanks for her dedicated work and considerable contributions during her 12+ years with the General Synod.

  8. Meeting in different dioceses. The Committee continued the practice, begun in the previous triennium, of meeting in different parts of Canada in order to fulfill its mandate of assisting in the development of diocesan and ecumenical networks for education, advocacy, and action. The Committee met in Lewisporte Newfoundland in the fall of 1999, Vancouver in March 2000, and Montreal in September 2000. At each location, they spent some time with local groups and individuals who were engaged in the work of social justice and advocacy, or involved in some form of social service. Moving about in this way raised awareness of regional and cultural differences within Canada, and revealed the range of values, approaches and issues that inform how justice making is understood and practiced in different parts of the church.

    A presence at Round Table discussions in Ottawa. One Committee member also sat on the Board of the Council for Canadians, thus helping to form a strong link with the Council and to monitor economic developments and changes in Canada and beyond. Riita Vaissi-Nagy, an Anglican parishioner based in Ottawa, attended Round Table meetings of the Council of Canadians on matters of trade and investment in return for a modest honorarium, and reported back regularly to the Committee. This proved to be an effective way of establishing an Anglican presence at Round Table discussions, while keeping the Committee up to date on issues as they unfolded.

    Working Groups. Organizing into working groups was a useful and low cost way to carry forward some pieces of work. Thus, the "Just War Working Group" met in Toronto, bringing together some committee members with others with expertise in the area. The group developed a project plan that could then be acted on by e-mail and conference call. The EcoJustice Committee also formed a working group on urgent action to consider what policies and procedures (particularly those related to consultation and decision-making practises) would facilitate timely and effective urgent actions in relation to EcoJustice concerns (see Section 11)

    Joining with other Committees. Different ways of collaborating with other standing committees have been tried over the past few years. Meeting conjointly with all the other committees and councils, as was done at the Days Inn in March 1999, was one model. Meeting at the same time and place with one other committee or council, as with the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples in the previous triennium, was another. Convening representatives from several committees into a single working group, as with the Joint Working Group on Jubilee was a third. Each approach has received mixed reviews, as it is already a challenge to develop working relationships and make good use of agenda time when a committee meets only twice a year.

    Theological Reflection. The Committee's mandate for theological reflection called it to seek a spiritual grounding for all it did, with particular attention during this triennium to the rich scriptural theme of Jubilee. A portion of each meeting was set aside for corporate prayer, reflection and celebration of the eucharist. At the same time, a complex and often tight agenda sometimes made it difficult to find quiet time for discernment.

  10. Through grants and staff links, the Committee has extended its reach through a number of ecumenical organizations and coalitions. Specifically, EcoJustice has had a working partnership with these social justice coalitions:

    • Aboriginal Rights Coalition
    • Ecumenical Coalition for Economic Justice
    • Taskforce on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility
    • PLURA - the Inter Church Working Group to Promote Social Justice in Canada
    • Project Ploughshares
    The Committee also related closely to the Canadian Ecumenical Jubilee Initiative, which pulled together actors from several different coalitions. As well, there was collaboration from time to time with Ten Days for Global Justice, with the regional coalitions, and with the Canadian Council of Churches.

    Coalition Restructuring. During 2000, a group of nine coalitions moved into a single governance structure under the working name of Canadian Churches for Justice and Peace, currently in its very early stages. The work of consolidation and re-structuring was seen as a direction that would strengthen accountability, increase flexibility, and make better use of limited staff and financial resources. An important priority for EcoJustice in the next triennium will be to find ways to continue a close and strong partnership with CCJP, as it will now serve as the major mechanism for engaging in global justice issues and actions.

    Other Ecumenical Organizations. In addition to this core of social justice coalitions, EcoJustice will continue to work with organizations not affected by coalition restructuring, including for example:

    • the Churches' Council on Justice and Corrections - promoting transformational justice as an alternative to the existing correctional justice system
    • Raising the Roof - growing out of the Canadian Non-Profit Housing Foundation, founded with Anglican support, Raising the Roof has grown into a foundation for raising funds and promoting solutions to homelessness in Canada
    • Urban Core Support Network - a church and community based network of staff and members in organizations addressing urban poverty and homelessness in Canada
    • Women's Inter Church Council - now carrying forward the work of the Ecumenical Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women

  12. Most of the coalitions came into being during the seventies, and have grown into stable organizations for research, education, and advocacy with budgets and experienced staff. Networks, on the other hand, tend to be based on informal, voluntary relationships that are held together by shared goals and values, and that rely for continuity on the regular flow of information. Networks can be more or less intentional, depending on participation, direction, communication, frequency of contact between participants, and commonality of vision and strategy.

    EcoJustice has both collaborated with and nurtured informal networks to further its justice work in emerging areas. For example, the EcoJustice desk developed a database of groups and individuals interested in correctional justice, and distributed news and information to Anglicans from the Churches' Council on Justice and Corrections.

    The Indigenous Justice Coordinator, with support from the EcoJustice desk, is currently developing a network of Anglicans who desire to walk in greater partnership with Aboriginal peoples and who are engaged locally in long-term struggles for Aboriginal justice.

    In cooperation with PWRDF and Partners in Mission, EcoJustice sponsored regular mailings (about twice a year) to a list of more than 500 names, of updates, educational materials and leadership guides relating to the Jubilee theme. These three standing committees also sponsored a conference on Jubilee in lieu of the "usual" Making the Connections event (see Section 7).

    A Taste of the Banquet. As well, acting on a recommendation from the previous committee, EcoJustice brought together about 65 individuals involved in some form of food ministry. Food Ministries: A Taste of the Banquet took place in Saskatoon in August 2000, and became the nucleus for forming an information and action network on food issues.

    Magnificat is an autonomous network of Anglicans engaged in social and environmental justice issues. It has contacts person in almost every diocese, a sizable mailing list, a steering committee, and a newsletter. Steps are now being taken to share information and resources between the official structure of the EcoJustice Committee and the more informal Magnificat network, for example, by reproducing highlights from the minutes of the EcoJustice Committee in their newsletter, and using the Magnificat mailing list for urgent actions.

    A Partnerships database is being developed and updated in order to improve communication and the flow of information between emergent Anglican and ecumenical networks.


  14. Three Years, Three Themes. The Canadian Ecumenical Jubilee Initiative has been a project of over 30 churches and ecumenical organisations seeking a new beginning for our world with a focus year by year on the biblical themes of Release from Bondage, Redistribution of Wealth, and Renewal of the Earth. Inspired by the theology of Jubilee, the Initiative has integrated concerns for social justice, peace and ecological integrity. During the three years between General Synods, from 1998 to 2001, the Jubilee theme has been a catalyst for concerted action, theological reflection, education, and campaigns between and among churches.

    Anglican Involvement. The Anglican Church of Canada was a major player in and contributor to the Initiative. The Council of General Synod adopted resolutions on the global Jubilee 2000 campaign in Year 1 and subsequently, on the Child Poverty Campaign in Year 2, and on the Land Rights and Right Relations campaign in Year 3. The Council also established a Joint Anglican Working Group on Jubilee, with representation from the following standing committees and councils of General Synod: EcoJustice, PWRDF, Partners in Mission, Faith, Worship & Ministry, Information Resources, the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples. The Working Group acted as a liaison between and among committees and dioceses of the national church, and as a reference group to staff working on the Jubilee Theme.

    Education, Networking. The Joint Working Group on Jubilee sponsored a conference of Anglicans, Jubilee: Releasing the Vision, which drew together more than a hundred participants from dioceses across Canada at Trent University in Peterborough in August 1999. The conference offered workshops, affinity groups, and an extraordinary experience of music and worship. It became the nucleus for a comprehensive social and environmental justice network for mutual support and joint action.

    Theological Reflection. Anglicans also had a key leadership role in the ecumenical theological conference sponsored by the Canadian Ecumenical Jubilee Initiative, The Vision and Practice of Jubilee: Biblical Hopes and New Beginnings, which took place at St. Michael's College Toronto in May 2000. The Anglican Church sponsored resource people from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as well as from each of the ecclesiastical provinces in Canada. The gathering featured panels of experts in global economics and ecology as well as in scriptural and theological scholarship. Participants engaged in prayer, music, and worship, which provided conference participants with significant moments for their own theological reflection on Jubilee.

    Campaigns. Each of the three years of the Jubilee Initiative emphasized a specific campaign or campaign series that related to the year's theme. Year 1, Release from Bondage, emphasized the petition campaign to cancel the debt of the world's most indebted countries, culminating in the presentation of millions of petitions from around the world at the summit of the G-7 meeting in Cologne, Germany. Year 2, Redistribution of Wealth, encouraged communities to commit themselves to act on one of several campaign initiatives. The anti-Child Poverty campaign sponsored by Citizens for Public Justice, received widespread support. In Year 3, Renewal of the Earth, the Anglican Church of Canada chose to feature the Land Rights/Right Relations with Aboriginal Peoples campaign, as part of the church's overall priority of Healing and Reconciliation.

    The Joint Working Group on Jubilee met to reflect on and assess the participation of Anglicans in the Jubilee Initiative and will document in a separate report key outcomes, learnings, and future directions.

  16. Ways of Working. Early in the triennium, Catherine Morrison oriented new Committee members to the work of Indigenous Justice, showing them how most justice issues have a distinct Indigenous perspective (e.g. gambling, homelessness, addictions, environmental effects of mining and logging, citizenship, correctional justice). With this understanding, the Committee undertook to integrate an Indigenous Justice perspective into the overall work of EcoJustice.

    The Committee also communicated with the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples their desire to collaborate closely on prioritizing issues and deciding on project initiatives and to meet jointly. In March 1999, the Committee met jointly with ACIP to hear about the World Council of Churches 8th Assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe, and to reflect upon Northern understandings of Jubilee.

    To further facilitate this collaborative work, the Committee recently developed, and will forward to the next EcoJustice Committee, a proposal for the formation of an Indigenous Justice Working Group. This Working Group would be comprised of members and/or delegates of both the EcoJustice Committee and ACIP and would serve as a consultative body for the two standing committees, providing recommendations regarding program priorities, advocacy, and urgent actions.

    Given the reality of limited staff resources, and given as well the growing capacity of First Nations and Aboriginal communities to conduct their own research, legal cases, and advocacy campaigns, the role of the Indigenous Justice Coordinator will increasingly become one of working with dioceses to build networks of people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, with a commitment to justice for Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

    Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Throughout this triennium, the EcoJustice Committee continued its work of tracking and advocating for government response to the recommendations from the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. The Committee supported resolutions to General Synod by ACIP, calling for a First Ministers meeting with Aboriginal leaders, an apology for residential schools from the Prime Minister, and for consultation with all Aboriginal groups. The Committee also appointed members to the Task Group responsible for furthering the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples within the Anglican Church of Canada, at the request of the Council of General Synod, May 1997.

    The EcoJustice Committee gave financial assistance and helped to promote So Long as the Sun Rises and the River Flows, an education and resource kit, produced by the Aboriginal Rights Coalition, on aboriginal land rights and treaty claims. As well, the Committee agreed to support an ACIP-led educational event at General Synod designed to call into question concepts such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius (as per RCAP Recommendation 1.16.2)

    Inuit and Métis Justice Issues. During this triennium, General Synod for the first time has adopted resolutions that include the concerns of Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples.

    In 1998, the General Synod voted in support of a resolution put forward by ACIP, the Council of the North, and the EcoJustice Committee, calling for the recognition of Labrador Métis as a distinctive social and geographic people who are Aboriginal and entitled to Aboriginal rights.

    To further develop connections with the struggles of the Labrador Metis Nation (LMN), Chris Hiller attended the LMN Annual General Assembly in Cartwright, Labrador. As a follow-up to that visit, Aboriginal Rights Coalition (ARC) staff produced an ARC Insider that highlighted the Labrador Métis Nation's struggle for recognition through a comprehensive land claim and salmon fishery. Copies of this ARC Insider were distributed through an all-parish mailing and through ARC and Anglican Jubilee networks.

    Correctional Justice. The Committee addressed the impact of the correctional justice system upon Aboriginal peoples. In November of 1999, Catherine Morrison attended a conference called by the Federal Department of Corrections to look at aboriginal issues. The Committee also considered justice issues related to the recognition and compensation of Aboriginal chaplains, and encouraged the Canadian Council on Justice and Corrections to include more Aboriginal perspectives and content in its conference.

    Partners to Sacred Circle. In 1999, the Council of General Synod named eight non-Indigenous delegates as 'partners' to the Indigenous Sacred Circle in August 2000 at Port Elgin, Ontario. As preparation, Partners participated in orientation and debriefing sessions in which they (1) reviewed the history of colonization, and resistance of Aboriginal peoples in Canada; (2) considered the historical relationship that Indigenous Anglicans have had with the Anglican Church, including residential school history and the work of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, and (3) reflected upon what it means to be 'partners' with Aboriginal peoples within and outside of the Church. At the Circle itself, and later in a report to the Council of General Synod in November 2000, Partners expressed deep gratitude for the welcome, warm invitation, and rich and life-changing learnings that they received from the Indigenous people present at the Sacred Circle.
    Orientation and debriefing sessions will be further developed as part of partner formation workshops designed to prepare non-Indigenous Anglicans to make deeper (and hopefully, lifelong) commitments to living the Covenant by learning to walking in partnership with Aboriginal peoples, both inside and outside of the Church.

    Esgenoopetitj (Burnt Church). At its September 2000 meeting, the EcoJustice Committee considered ways of responding to the conflict at Burnt Church over the implementation of Mi'kmaq treaty rights and the regulation of lobster fishing. The Committee resolved to write letters to the Burnt Church Band Council and the Martime's Fishermen's Union, encouraging both groups to pursue constructive and peaceful dialogue. A letter was also written to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, calling for consultation and negotiation with Esgenoopetitj (Burnt Church) First Nation. The Committee also urged the primate to invite and encourage an urgent pastoral response to and presence with all those involved in the crisis at Burnt Church.

    In a later conference call, the Committee reflected upon the process of its deliberations regarding Burnt Church and discussed ways of creating safe spaces for engaging with difficult issues, especially in a context of cultural or power differences. These insights will be passed on to the future Committee for consideration. The Urgent Action Working Group also analyzed the Committee's response to Burnt Church as a test case for a policy review and proposed Urgent Action protocol (see Section 11).

    Jubilee Year 3 - Land Rights, Right Relations. In September 1998, the Committee voted to fund a conference organized by the Aboriginal Rights Coalition to consider Aboriginal perspectives on the Jubilee theme. Catherine Morrison, as co-chair of the Aboriginal Rights Coalition, served as one of the event's central organizers. Indigenous Anglicans from ACIP and Church House staff attended the conference. Insights gleaned at the conference were compiled in a booklet entitled, Indigenous Perspectives on Jubilee, which was later circulated to members of standing committees, councils, and the Jubilee Network.

    In September of 2000, Archbishop Michael Peers joined other national church leaders to launch Jubilee Year 3 at a press conference in Ottawa, where they signed a letter and issued a 'call to reflection' to the churches, affirming their support for the Land Rights/Right Relations Campaign and Petition. In November of 2000, the Council of General Synod voted to echo this support.

    EcoJustice staff, along with serving on the ARC/Jubilee Land Rights, Right Relations Campaign committee, worked with PWRDF staff and in conjunction with the Joint Anglican Working Group on Jubilee to identify diocesan contacts and to produce resources (e.g. "Jube Tube") to support local animation and petition signing events. Efforts were also made, with limited success, to identify Indigenous Anglican contacts within dioceses and to ensure Indigenous Anglican participation at Jubilee Year 3 workshops across the Canada.

    EcoJustice staff members are also involved in identifying resource people for a theology roundtable in May of 2001, focusing on Jubilee connections and perspectives on globalization, climate change, and Aboriginal land rights.

    Anti-Racism. In June of 2000, a small group of Anglican staff, ecumenical partners, members of Aboriginal solidarity organizations, and interested Anglicans gathered in Toronto to discuss ways to address local expressions of racism and colonialism. Participants identified the need for a network that could provide support to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who are committed to undoing racism, especially racism towards Aboriginal peoples.

    A follow-up anti-racism gathering is currently being planned for the fall of 2001. At this gathering, participants will be invited to share strategies, resources, success stories, and struggles related to addressing local expressions of racism from a faith-based perspective.

    Community Projects. The Committee has provided funding for local initiatives within Indigenous communities. During this triennium, the Committee participated in a partnership with the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador regarding a Sustainable Community project in Cartwright, Labrador. Recently, the Committee agreed to provide a small grant to Gathering the Voices, an anti-racism initiative by and for Aboriginal women in Ontario taking place in May, 2000. Aboriginal women from across Ontario will gather to: (1) share and analyze their experiences of racism; (2) strategize ways to respond collectively to racism in their local contexts and communities; and (3) communicate their insights and proposals for change through a report to the upcoming World Conference Against Racism in South Africa.

    Future Work.

    • Provide current information on emerging issues and 'hot' topics, as they arise.
    • Continue to participate in the Aboriginal Rights Coalition, both nationally and regionally, and through the distribution of ARC publications.
    • Support the development of justice networks across Canada, specifically identifying people committed to Indigenous issues.
    • Work with dioceses to develop an urgent action network of people across Canada who can engage in advocacy work locally as well a nationally.
    • Build relationships with non-church groups doing advocacy work on Indigenous justice issues.
    • Design programs to explore and counter racism and to learn to value diverse cultural identities.

  18. Gambling. In 1997, the Council of General Synod directed the EcoJustice Committee to prepare a policy on gambling for consideration by the national church. The committee recognized the difficulty in developing a policy framework for a matter that is quite differently valued and interpreted in Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, and that ranges in practice from raffling "Aunt Bessie's quilt" at parish events to video lottery terminals. Accordingly, they decided (1) to limit policy and recommendations to government sponsored gambling; (2) to sponsor a three-part resolution addressing the General Synod, dioceses, and the federal government; and (3) to produce fact sheets for use in dioceses and parishes dealing with changes and expansion in gambling practice, types and nature of gambling, and its effect on families, communities, etc.

    Just War. A working group on Just War, made up of Committee members and people with particular expertise and perspectives, met to act on a directive from the 1998 General Synod to provide basic information and materials that will assist dioceses and parishes to study and exchange views on Just War Theory and its implications. They developed a proposal and project plan to create a series of resources for education by parishes and individuals, focusing on Sundays and Feast Days in November that invite reflection on war and peace. The strategy is to start with Anglicans, then broaden the resource across ecumenical lines over a ten-year period, as one way of observing the World Council of Churches' Decade to Overcome Violence.

    Biotechnology. The EcoJustice Committee is supporting ecumenical work done in this area through the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) and the Canadian Churches for Justice & Peace (CCJP).

    Within the Canadian Council of Churches, both the Faith and Witness Commission and the Peace and Justice Commission are addressing issues of biotechnology. In addition, the Canadian Council of Churches has established an ecumenical biotechnology reference group, which supports the work of the commissions, ensures that information about denominational initiatives is shared ecumenically and seeks to promote reflection and conversation around biotechnology issues. To date, the Reference Group has sponsored three regional consultations (Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton). Eric Beresford was asked to submit a brief to the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee's Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights on behalf of the CCC. He also sits on the Public Advisory Group helping to design a public consultation process on whether to allow clinical trials on xenotransplantation (animal to human live organ / tissue transplants) in Canada.

    Within the Canadian Churches for Justice & Peace, the Taskforce on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility (TCCR) and the Ecumenical Coalition on Economic Justice (ECEJ) have also been engaged in this work. ECEJ produced a working document on the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS), which included an analysis of the way in which this agreement is being used to patent the biological resources of developing nations and raised some of the concerns that are being expressed in that context. Early in the triennium the TCCR board held a consultation on biotechnology issues at which Eric Beresford was one of the invited facilitators. A researcher was appointed and a book was produced under the imprint of the Division of Mission in Canada of the United Church of Canada (Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering: Current Issues, Ethics and Theological Reflections, UCC 2000). The book includes theological analyses by Anglican, Lutheran and Roman Catholic theologians. Research and information sharing are continuing through TCCR staff.

    Socially Responsible Investment. In March 1998, the Council of General Synod voted to reaffirm the current investment policy, and to re-establish a Socially Responsible Investment Group with representation from the EcoJustice, Financial Management and Development, and Pension Committees, plus the Treasurer of General Synod, the Director of Pensions, and one Anglican from the Taskforce on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility. In May 2000, the Council of General Synod voted to appoint a representative from PWRDF. The group met by conference call intermittently during the triennium at the initiative of EcoJustice, particularly regarding the operation of Talisman Energy Inc. in Sudan, as both the General Synod Consolidated Trust Fund and the Pension Fund were invested in Talisman. The Consolidated Trust Fund shares were sold during 2000, but the Pension Fund has retained its investment in Talisman.

    Correctional Justice. The Church Council on Justice and Corrections (CCJC) works to assist member churches to go "beyond chaplaincy" with regard to the criminal justice system. Through research, advocacy, education, and networking, CCJC aims to play a prophetic role for the churches, advocating a model of transformational justice based in values of redemption, hope, forgiveness and healing as an alternative to those who argue for harsher laws, a less tolerant society, stiffer penalties and "disposable criminals". In addition to assisting with network mailings to Anglicans concerned about correctional justice, EcoJustice offered financial support, subsidized registration, and sponsored Anglican participation for Living Justice: Choices in Community and Brokenness, a consultation and theological reflection on crime, justice, and choices for church community.

    Sealing and Fisheries. While meeting in Newfoundland in September 1999, the EcoJustice Committee spent time with John Efford, the Minister of Fisheries, who presented a video on the sealing industry in Newfoundland. His analysis was that the termination of the seal hunt by the federal government because of adverse publicity had resulted in a substantially increased seal population and the consequent depletion of cod stocks. While the province was working to diversify other species, especially for the Asian market, the collapse of the cod fishery had been devastating for Newfoundland families and communities. His plea to the churches was that that they uphold the values of small cultures and communities, that they counteract with their own constituencies public misinformation about the seal hunt, and that they urge the federal government to look dispassionately at scientific data and act from that information. EcoJustice made plans to hold a public panel discussion on the issues at their next meeting in Montreal, but had to cancel them because of budget cutbacks. The chair of EcoJustice sent a formal letter to the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans communicating these concerns.

    Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI), Trade Agreements and Organizations. The MAI eventually failed due to public pressure, but the underlying agenda that threatened to override national and provincial sovereignty continued to emerge in other forms and bilateral agreements. The EcoJustice Committee reflected on the events that closed down the World Trade Organization Seattle Round in November 1999. They recognized the moment as a significant shift in public perception, an opportunity to redefine the role of the churches, and a time to encourage church communities to continue to learn about and act on the issues of trade, deregulation, and the negative effects of globalization on marginal and vulnerable groups. In particular, they reflected on the implications for the commodification of water from Canadian sources, and the continuation of the WTO agenda in other settings. EcoJustice maintained a watching brief on trade issues and supported initiatives for education and action through the coalitions and the Jubilee initiative, as for example through a small grant to assist with an educational event at the Alternative Summit of the Americas in Quebec City.

  20. For two of the past three years, EcoJustice provided small grants from its emerging priorities line to diocesan and community groups engaged in justice initiatives. Funds in the amount of $500 to $5000 were distributed in roughly three categories: (1) to supplement diocesan projects that had the potential for broader use - for example, educational materials on the root causes of homelessness developed by the Women in Crisis centre in Ottawa; the Inner City Internship program of the diocese of Rupert's Land; the "Fire in the Rose" parish education program of the diocese of Calgary on the prevention of violence; (2) to assist small networking initiatives, such as the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and Grassroots Organizations Operating Together in Sisterhood; and (3) to support coalitions and ecumenical organizations with special projects, conferences, and transitional costs - for example, the Women's Inter Church Council and the Taskforce on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility. Decisions about grants were made on the basis of a set of Hallmarks that identified selection criteria and other measures of priority. Unfortunately, budget cutbacks in the fall of 2000 meant that EcoJustice lost its capacity to help in this way.

  22. Looking back on its work and relationships, the committee made these observations:

    • The EcoJustice Committee deals with many complex issues. When there is lack of consensus among committee members, it reflects the spectrum of positions in the wider church. We have been challenged to reflect on our different perceptions and values and to discern how to move forward.
    • We have especially struggled with issues for which there is no common position in the Anglican Church and are now developing an advocacy/urgent action protocol that is less cumbersome.
    • We have also been challenged to find ways to communicate with local churches and interact with other jurisdictions such as Provincial Synods.

    Recommendations for future work were identified at the final face to face meeting of the committee and addressed these three areas:

    • Membership and work of the next EcoJustice Committee - Develop a job description for committee work, asking prospective members to make it a priority for the next triennium to set aside time between meetings, to do regular homework between meetings and update others by e-mail or conference calls. Alternate meetings between other cities and Toronto or Ottawa, in order to call in ecumenical staff.
    • Networking - Decide on what structural support needs to be provided, and what priority groups and issues to work with. Potential groups and issues include Food Ministries, diocesan EcoJustice contacts, the Magnificat Network, globalization issues, Just War/Just Peace, Correctional Justice.
    • Urgent Action and Policy - Beginning with the whole area of Indigenous Justice, develop a process and protocol for reviewing policy work done, for consulting with key stakeholders, for developing strategies to address gaps and inadequacies in policy, and for deciding how to speak out on a given issue, on behalf of whom.

    In addition, explorations need to be made for making the best use of ecumenical staffing and Anglican representation on working groups of the newly formed Canadian Churches for Justice and Peace in order to track developments and action strategies in areas of global and economic justice. EcoJustice is also committed to collaborate with both staff and volunteers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada who are engaged in eco-justice concerns.

  23. BUDGET
  24. In 2001, the budget for EcoJustice is --$170,000 a reduction of 28% from the previous year, representing reductions in the grants to ecumenical justice work and to projects undertaken by groups outside the church. However, the budget for Indigenous Justice has increased from $4000 to $53,000, reflecting the increased emphasis on this work.

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