First negotiations since collapse of ecumenical group.
Negotiators for the Anglican Church on the Indian Residential Schools issue concluded the third round of meetings with the federal government this week in Vancouver. The two-day meeting was attended by Archdeacon Jim Boyles and four other representatives from the church, together with Deputy Minister Jack Stagg, head of the Office of Indian Residential Schools Resolution, and staff. The meeting marked the first bilateral negotiation session between the two sides since the announcement, also this week, that the Ecumenical Group, representing all four church groups affected by the Residential Schools issue, could no longer negotiate as a group.
Commenting on the outcome of this week's meeting, Anglican representatives said it was still too early to tell when and how substantive progress would be made. Archdeacon Jim Boyles said the meetings were marked by good dialogue on tough issues, noting that a number of substantive issues were addressed. He indicated the primary concern for Anglicans is the establishment of a formula which will ensure justice for plaintiffs with validated claims.
The Anglican negotiators said there is still work to be done before a framework is established for a comprehensive and viable agreement between the two sides. The teams agreed to continue to a fourth meeting, with a date set for early March.