Letter from the Primate, Archbishop Michael Peers, to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien

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.

Dear Prime Minister,

The national House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada met this past week for the first time since October 2000.

Throughout the intervening six months our church has been living with, on the one hand, a sense of expectation, born of our discussions with the Deputy Prime Minister, and, on the other hand, a steadily mounting sense of frustration, born of the lack of any tangible progress toward a just resolution of the residential schools legacy.

At this meeting the bishops heard a detailed report of our position. Among the elements which clearly had great impact on them are:

  • the fact that more than 99 percent of our spending to date has been on litigation — most of it generated by the actions of the Department of Justice — and less than one percent on settlements
  • the conviction that justice is not now being served, and we cannot see how continuing this pattern will ever serve the purposes of justice
  • the certain knowledge that both the General Synod and some dioceses are rapidly approaching the point of financial insolvency.

As a result, the bishops determined to write to you directly with their concerns, and this letter is enclosed. They have also prepared a statement to Anglicans across Canada, which we will be releasing on Friday morning. I am providing you with this information in advance as a courtesy, and with the hope that a response from you may also be communicated to our members.

The Most Reverend Michael G. Peers
Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada


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