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An Election Budget, Wild Times, and a Call to Prayer

Political pundits and partisans often use the annual budget announcement as an opportunity to evaluate a government – to sing its virtues or to decry its follies. Many civil society organizations, like the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue and our partners, also watch the budget announcement closely to evaluate progress on justice priorities. Budgets are moral documents, after all, revealing the priorities of our nation and our leaders.

Budgets are moral documents, after all..

However, this year instead of our usual habit of detailed analysis on the budget, we’d like to offer some prayerful reflections. But why prayers now?

Two reasons really: first of all, this is an election year and an election budget. The partisan political concerns of an election budget risk superseding critical issues. And certainly, key concerns for reconciliation in Indigenous education, smooth functioning refugee resettlement, and new measures on climate change are not high priorities in this budget. 

But why prayers now?

Secondly, the smoldering controversy of the SNC-Lavalin affair is producing such partisan heat and indignation that parliamentary and public dialogue on key issues of justice, stewardship, and reconciliation are getting lost. The SNC-Lavalin related issues are deeply serious and deserve thoughtful attention. The allegations of cronyism and mismanagement are serious indeed.

I’m convinced however, that there is a great deal that Canadians don’t know about this troubling matter and that speculation and conjecture are not terribly helpful at this point. I can also say with confidence that key non-political institutions of government and the rule of law are in very good hands. Our systems have checks and balances that are working. While political leaders and parties rise and fall, the civil service  is a steady presence.

While political leaders rise and fall, the civil service is a steady presence.

With all this said, I ask you, dear reader-citizen-ambassador of reconciliation, to join me in prayer…

….for our political leaders:

In the midst of controversy like SNC Lavalin, may the integrity of the rule of law be upheld, and may the essential work of reconciliation, justice, and care for creation move in the right direction.

….for our civil service:

…that time-honoured traditions of excellence and integrity would continue to characterize our national institutions. Pray for the new leader of the Civil Service, the Clerk of the Privy Council Ian Shugart as he transitions into a challenging job in a challenging time.

…for justice and reconciliation:

…with gratitude that there are some good symbols pointing to reconciliation in this recent budget: like funding for a National Council of Reconciliation and important commitments to Indigenous language revitalization. May these symbols be part of the substantive momentum of reconciliation.

…with gratitude for 40 years of the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program. May this long commitment to hospitality, welcome, and justice extend to the most vulnerable refugee claimants in the midst of the ongoing international crisis of displacement. And may new resources in this budget directed at orderly and compassionate refugee determination and resettlement be blessed.

…for all of us:

…that, in this election year, each of us may be prayerful and attentive to our calling: as citizens, lovers of neighbours, keepers of God’s good creation, and ambassadors of reconciliation.

[Photo by Tetyana Kovyrina from Pexels]

The Reformed family is a diverse family with a diverse range of opinions. Not all perspectives expressed on the blog represent the official positions of the Christian Reformed Church. Learn more about this blog, Reformed doctrines, and our diversity policy on our About page.

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