Prime Minister asked to recommit to MDGs

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Anglican Primate, and Bishop Susan Johnson, National Evangelical Lutheran Bishop, have asked Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to restate his support for the Millennium Development Goals.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the church leaders expressed regret that Mr. Harper would not be able to attend a special United Nations meeting on the MDGs later this week. “However,” they said, “we anticipate that you will do all in your power to demonstrate Canada’s commitment to poverty eradication at home and around the world.”

The full text of the letter follows:

September 22, 2008

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

In the midst of a busy federal election, we, as leaders of Canadian churches, invite your support for Canada’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

We are sorry to hear that you will not personally be joining other world leaders at the United Nations in New York to re-energize the world’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on Thursday, September 25. However, we anticipate that you will do all in your power to demonstrate Canada’s commitment to poverty eradication at home and around the world.

On September 25, we plan to lead an ecumenical event, Walk of Witness – Bringing it Home in Ottawa to include worship at Christ Church Cathedral, a public walk, and an act of witness through a joint statement at the UN Association office.

During this federal election, our churches are encouraging our constituencies to promote the implementation of Bill C-293 on aid accountability as a way of strengthening Canada’s contribution to the UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals (please see below).

We are taking these steps in response to an urgent call to action by the Archbishop of Canterbury and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown when 1300 bishops and others from around the world participated in the Walk of Witness in London, England on July 24. Prime Minister Brown urged:

“And I ask you to go back to your countries. And I ask you to ask your governments, and I ask you to ask all of civil society, to tell people that on September 25th, we have got to make good the promises that have been made, redeem the pledges that have been promises, make good the Millennium Development Goals that are not being met.”

And, so we’re asking. We’re asking you to make visible your commitment to Bill C-293. This Bill, passed in March 2007, commits Canada to increase aid; improve trade rules that will allow poor countries to protect small farmers and staple crops; cancel crippling debts of the poorest countries; and, end child poverty in Canada.


The Most Reverend Fred Hiltz
Primate, The Anglican Church of Canada

The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

Millennium Development Goals:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development

cc. S. Dion, J. Layton, G. Duceppe, E. May, D. Emerson, M. Ignatieff, B. Rae, P. Dewar, P. Crete, J. Deschamps, M. Fortier, N. Bains, P. Julian, S. Cardin, B. Oda, K. Martin, A. McDonough, F. Lalonde, P. McKay, B. Wilfert, D. Black, C. Bachand, J. Flaherty, J. McCallum, M. Hall Findlay, T. Mulcair, J. Laforest, R. Ambrose, C. Gagnon


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