The following letter was sent to:
- The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper (Conservative),
- The Hon. Thomas Mulcair (New Democrat),
- Mr. Justin Trudeau (Liberal),
- Ms. Elizabeth May (Green),
- Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Quebecois)
August 26, 2015
OPEN LETTER TO POLITICAL LEADERS:
The race is on. Throughout our country, Canadians are listening to what you, as leaders of our political parties, have to say about what matters to them.
In shaping your party platforms and election slogans, may your ears and your hearts be open to the call of Canadians for compassion, justice, and reason. As a spiritual leader who travels from coast to coast to coast, I hear this call echoed by so many who aspire to build upon the firm foundations of a democracy that we value dearly and who are committed to love and serve others.
We live in a country of great abundance, yet not all benefit. Among the most vulnerable in our society are those who are homeless and the inadequately housed, children living in poverty with little hope for a brighter future, and young people who are underemployed and increasingly alienated from institutions, including the political process. Economic growth and prosperity are laudable goals, but they are not ends in themselves. If we are to live up to our commitment to love and serve others, we need to develop better ways to share our abundance.
We live in a country that believes in democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. And yet, we find ourselves facing major challenges — in our relations with the First Peoples of the land, our care and responsibility for the environment, and the balance of rights and freedoms with safety and security in a diverse society with its underlying tensions. The time has come to engage in new conversations and to work together toward a common good for this and for future generations.
We live in a country that is an active member within a global system aimed at promoting international economic growth and shared prosperity, peace and stability, environmental stewardship, and providing humanitarian assistance. Yet our own actions are what give meaning to our words as we share our abundance through greater international assistance, welcome refugees, adopt sound environmental policies, and work for peace.
While these issues are not at the centre of political debate in the current campaign, that does not diminish their importance in living up to the values that we hold as Canadians. The Anglican Church of Canada is actively engaged in all of these areas and remains committed to pray for and to work with all those in authority in building a society whose hallmarks at home and abroad are compassion and justice for all people.
As you continue your journey along the campaign trail, I encourage you to listen to all voices. How we choose to respond says a great deal about who we are and the values to which we adhere. For safety in all your travels and meaningful exchanges with Canadians from all walks of life, I hold you in my prayers.
Archbishop Fred J. Hiltz
Primate, Anglican Church of Canada
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