Letter from the House of Bishops to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien

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May 2, 2001

The Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
#309-S, Centre Block,
111 Wellington St.
OTTAWA ON K1A 0A6

Dear Prime Minister,

We the bishops of the Anglican Church meeting April 26-May 1 have discussed in depth the implications of litigation arising from residential schools. We are gravely concerned about your government’s policy and the actions of government officials in this regard.

The meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Herb Gray, which began with promise last September, seem stalled. We are dismayed that so little progress has been made. Those who were abused still wait for justice and the litigation is rapidly draining the resources of several of our dioceses and of our national body, the General Synod.

We assure you of our ongoing commitment to our ministry of healing among the indigenous peoples of Canada. We will continue this work as long as we are able, but it is now in jeopardy. The drain on financial and personnel resources has been dramatic, and is increasing. We are perilously close to bankruptcy. If the General Synod is forced into bankruptcy there will be significant dislocation and reduction in our ministry, both in Canada and abroad. Canadians will feel the impact.

We ask you to take immediate steps to resolve the issues between the Anglican Church bodies and the government so that we may continue our ministries which touch the lives of many Canadians. We look for your personal intervention now to insist on a just resolution.

(Signed by members of the House of Bishops)

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