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Chancellor issues statement on Episcopal Election

The Chancellor and the Nominations Committee are aware that questions have been raised publicly in respect of two candidates for the upcoming episcopal elections. The purpose of this statement is to make clear that in the view of the Chancellor, the Committee, and the Archbishop there is no impediment to either candidate being a nominee for election as a suffragan bishop in September.

First, with respect to Heather McCance, questions have been raised as to whether her election would present a conflict of interest issue given that her spouse, David Robinson, works on the Diocesan Staff. David reports to the Archbishop and does not report to the suffragan bishops, who do not have responsibility for his employment, deployment or review, so Heather’s election, should it occur, will not give rise to any such issue.

Next, with respect to Byron Gilmore, letters have been sent to all the parishes in the Diocese accusing Byron of being incompetent to be elected by virtue of the time he spent as a student at Grenville Christian College. The Archbishop, the Chancellor and the Committee do not agree. In fact, and as has already been posted on the Diocesan website:

“The Diocese takes great exception to these comments. Mr. Hale-Byrne is a plaintiff in a legal suit against Grenville Christian College and other defendants. Dr. Gilmore is neither a plaintiff nor a defendant. As one of 12 witnesses called by the defence in a hearing in 2012, he gave evidence in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice based on his own experience as a student at the school in the late 1970s. Dr. Gilmore does not condone abuse. He was a member of a team in another diocese that developed strict policies to ensure that churches are safe places for the vulnerable. The Diocese of Toronto does not tolerate abuse and takes all complaints very seriously. We have well established, proactive and mandatory policies in place to protect the safety of the vulnerable, as well as effective procedures to respond to complaints that may come forward. See…/sexual-misconduct-policy/.

In summary, there is no reason that Byron cannot stand for election in September.

Any further questions about these matters can be directed to the Chancellor as chair of the Nominations Committee.