The Anglican Church of Canada’s revised residential schools agreement with the federal government will reduce the financial commitments of General Synod and the dioceses by almost 40 per cent, according to Ellie Johnson, former acting general secretary, in a report to a meeting of Partners in Mission (PIM) in February.
Under the revised agreement, which was to be submitted to the new federal cabinet for approval on March 31, the maximum Anglican contribution would be $15.7 million, divided into: $5.7 million in compensation payments, $4.96 million in in-kind services or healing projects, and up to $4.96 million for healing projects to match the fundraising of the Roman Catholic entities.
In 2003, the federal government and the Anglican church negotiated an agreement that committed the church to a cap of $25 million in compensation but a clause in that agreement allowed the church to reopen its negotiations since a deal reached recently by the Roman Catholic church is more favorable. Last November, the government announced it would compensate all students who were part of the national boarding school system aimed at educating native children.
“Once a diocese has reached 60.972 per cent required under the Anglican Amending Agreement, then no further payments will be required,” wrote Ms. Johnson, who has resumed her position as director of the Anglican Church of Canada’s partnerships department, in a written report to PIM. “Dioceses that have overpaid will receive a refund. This refund will not be issued until the final agreement comes into force.”
So far, nine out of 30 dioceses – Fredericton, Quebec, Moosonee, Athabasca, Calgary, Edmonton, Caledonia, Yukon and the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (formerly Cariboo) – have paid their commitments as specified in the previous 2003 agreement and will be entitled to a refund once the revised accord comes into force.
Until the revised agreement is finalized, possibly in late 2006 or early 2007, Ms. Johnson said the Anglican church will continue to honor its obligation to pay 30 per cent of all validated abuse claims. However, Anglican church payments made after Nov. 20, 2005 will be refunded.