- Created on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 06:56
This morning (March 25, 2015), ARPA Canada's legal counsel was part of a joint press conference inside the Centre Block of Parliament Hill, calling attention to infringements of religious freedom in Canada. Participants include One Free World International founder Majed El Shafie; Charles McVety, Institute for Canadian Values; André Schutten, legal counsel with the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada; Bill Prankard, President of Bill Prankard Evangelistic Association; and Lia Milousis, MY Canada Association.
To see a press release for this event, click here.
To see a copy of André Schutten's remarks, on behalf of ARPA Canada, click here.
For an interview with MP Mark Warawa following the press conference, click here.
For a statement by MP Mark Warawa in the House of Commons, click here.
- Created on Monday, 16 March 2015 08:24
The Supreme Court of Canada has finally issued its ruling in the Loyola Case and it’s a qualified victory for the Christian School movement in Canada. On the feature interview this week, ARPA lawyer André Schutten explains the subtle distinctions in the ruling; part of it was unanimous, and part of it was a “split vote” which left some ambiguity.
Also an important court ruling in the U.S. last week on freedom of religion, this one granting a religious-based exemption from “Obama-Care”, the new national health care program there.
And a situation in Windsor, Ontario, is leading to renewed calls to revive Bill C-484; legislation that would have amended the Criminal Code when it comes to murders involving pregnant women. The story references several Facebook pages (here and here), and a major petition drive that’s been launched at change.org.
- Created on Monday, 31 March 2014 10:35
The National March for Life will be held in Ottawa on Thursday, May 14, 2015. ARPA Canada and Jubilee Canadian Reformed Church will once again host a Reformed Prayer Service prior to the march. We look forward to a time of prayer and worship together and a message from Rev. Holtvluwer. Following the service there will be bagged lunches for all those who pre-register and the march begins with presentations at Parliament Hill at 12:00 pm.
Details about the Reformed Prayer Service:
Where: First Baptist Church (140 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa)
When: 11:00 am
Read Mr. Blokhuis' poem, An Appeal to All Members of Parliament about this year's March for Life.
Lunch is available for all those who pre-register. You may fill out the form below, or contact Niki at niki@ARPAcanada.ca
- Created on Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:43
After 12 months of deliberation, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision this morning in Loyola High School v. Quebec (Attorney General), upholding religious freedom first for the Loyola Jesuit school but also more broadly for all who seek to apply their faith to the education of their children. This is a case that every independent Christian school across the country has been watching closely.
At stake in this case was the religious freedom of parents and institutions to educate children according to a worldview that might be different than that of the State education bureaucracy. Thankfully, the Court was unanimous in finding that religious communities can teach their own faith to their children from their own perspective.
As you may remember, ARPA Canada led a coalition of 313 independent Christian schools and 11 post-secondary institutions to intervene in the case. The coalition was called the Association of Christian Educators and Schools (ACES) and we argued that confessional schools must be accommodated as an alternative to State-run schools.
André Schutten, Legal Counsel for ARPA Canada, was in the counsel lock-down this morning and had opportunity to review the decision before it was made public. He noted the following in a press release to the media: “Our hope was that the Supreme Court would affirm hundreds of years of legal precedent that parents are the first decision-makers for their children, and that religious freedom includes the right to train children within a particular worldview. This morning, the Supreme Court has delivered.” He also said, “With this decision, the Court stood up for liberty and for parental rights. While the Court could have been stronger in some places, this is still a welcome decision.”
In light of this case, ARPA Canada will be encouraging our elected leaders in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta to rethink their one-size-fits-all approach to religion, ethics and secularism. Over the past two years, these provinces have imposed a particular religious – that is, secular – worldview on all schools through Bill 13 (Ontario, 2013), Bill 18 (Manitoba, 2014) and Bill 10 (Alberta, 2015), while ignoring or suppressing the freedom of religious institutions and families.
Parents ought to have the first and final say on the religious and moral instruction of their children. While the State may assist parents in educating children, they may not override parental decisions relating to ethical and religious instruction. There has been a trend towards Statism in education in Canada. This decision gives hope to parents in stopping that slide.
- Created on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 10:51
Last summer, the College of Physicians and Surgeons Ontario (CPSO) asked for public consultation for changing their policy on "balancing" the conscience rights of doctors with the rights of patients to receive whatever treatment they wanted from whatever doctor they approached.
At stake is whether doctors have the right to refuse treatment if they have conscientious objections to the treatment. If a doctor felt a particular treatment or prescription was unwise, immoral, medically unnecessary or otherwise harmful, can he refuse to provide or refer for the treatment? For example, can a Christian doctor refuse to prescribe birth control pills if that particular doctor thinks that such a prescription is unethical, or is simply bad medicine? What if the objection is religiously motivated? These are not just hypothetical questions: three doctors in Ottawa recently came under fire for refusing to prescribe the birth control pill.
- Created on Monday, 16 March 2015 08:24
In a remarkable about-face, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice and Education Minister Gordon Dirks pushed through passage of the controversial Bill 10 at the Alberta Legislature last week. The Bill, which generated considerable opposition when it was first introduced late last year, mandates the creation of so-called “GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) Clubs” in all schools in the Province; (both public and private), if even one students asks for such a club to be set up. Because of the initial controversy, the Premier withdrew the Bill just before Christmas, but then re-introduced it on the first full day of the spring sitting of the Legislature. It passed all three readings in a single day.
On the feature interview this week, we speak with Donna Trimble from Parents for Choice in Education about how the decision was made, and what the implications are for parental rights in Alberta.
Last Friday, the Supreme Court signaled that it’s about to rule on a watershed case involving parental choice in education; a decision is due to be released this coming Thursday in the Loyola case, in which a Catholic High School in Quebec has asked to opt out of teaching the Quebec government's "Ethics and Religious Culture" program; or at least to adapt the basics of that curriculum so that it can be taught from a historic Catholic perspective. ARPA was one of the interveners in the case; you can refresh your memory on the basics of it by clicking here.
Also on the program this week, reaction to a student blockade of a pro-life demonstration at the University of Alberta. Lawyer John Carpay with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is threatening legal action against the University if the students who organized the blockade aren’t disciplined.
And in Ontario, the Christian Medical and Dental Society is putting together a legal challenge of the new “conscience rights” policy unveiled earlier this month by that Province’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Also this week, an update on the “Move my Money” campaign. You’ll have to listen to the program, but there’s evidence that the initiative now has the attention of the people at the corporate offices of the Bank of Montreal.
- Created on Thursday, 12 March 2015 07:39
Take Action! Three EasyMail letters are below. They will be CC'd to the Premier and Education Minister
As you have likely heard, on Tuesday Education Minister Gordon Dirks tabled amendments to Bill 10 and within hours the legislation passed a final vote in the Alberta Legislature. Only two MLAs (Ian Donovan and Bruce Rowe) voted against it.
Bill 10 is horrible law (find a copy of the legislation here). Among other things, it requires all Alberta schools to approve GSA clubs. It also adds the terms “sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, and gender expression” to the Alberta Bill of Rights. As ARPA explained at length in the past, if law and public policy are based on subjective notions, such as how someone identifies at any particular moment, then law loses meaning altogether. Perhaps most troubling, the bill also removes the requirement for parents to be informed when their children are being taught about sexual orientation. The Alberta government has cowardly pushed this through, even after many of you explained just how problematic the legislation is.
This legislation is an affront to the authority that God has given parents as the primary educators of their children. For a Biblical defence of that statement, see God's directions to Abraham in Gen. 18, God's instructions to the people of Israel to teach their children his commands in Deut. 6, the generational instruction outlined in Psalm 78, or scan through the book of Proverbs, filled with instructions on how to "train up a child in the way he should go" (Prov. 22), including as it relates to sexuality, and it's pretty clear.
- Created on Monday, 09 March 2015 10:41
More than 80 percent of men in North America are known to view online pornography at least once a month. The situation is particularly serious among young people, who are the most Internet-savvy. On the feature interview this week, Jonathon VanMaren on a new initiative called “Strength to Fight”, a campaign that includes tools to help fight porn addiction.
On the news portion of the program, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is out with its final decision on the so-called “conscience rights” issue for doctors, and the news is not good for Christians who practice medicine in that province. We also look at ARPA’s presence at the annual Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa, some more analysis of the Carter case and Ontario’s new sex-ed curriculum, and an update on the so-called “bathroom bill” – Ottawa’s attempt to end discrimination against trans-gendered people. (It now appears the Bill will die on the order paper before this fall’s election.)
- Created on Monday, 02 March 2015 08:02
The Bank of Montreal and at least 70 other corporations are being publicly challenged over their opposition to a proposed Christian law school. This is coming to a head on Wednesday, when people are being encouraged to move their money from BMO as a wake-up call to the bank (though action against all 72 corporations is welcomed and encouraged). According to the Institute for Canadian Values, BMO is one of the most aggressive - even screening all of the law firms they contract with for adequate “diversity” statistics among their employees. You can read ARPA’s take on the issue here. Now, the Institute for Canadian Values is urging people who disagree with the Bank’s position to “move their money”, and to do so this Wednesday, March 4th. On the feature portion of the program today, we look at the issue, and hear from some of the people involved, including three MPs who made speeches in the House of Commons challenging these corporations.
On the news portion, the Province of Ontario came out with its new Health and Physical Education curriculum last week. The package includes everything from nutrition to physical fitness and mental health, but most of the attention is going to the new sex education component of the new curriculum. We have reaction this week from Gwen Landoldt at Real Women of Canada, and we talk to the principal of one of the largest Christian Schools in the Niagara region about how the curriculum will impact his school. (You might be surprised at the answer.)
And, a look ahead to a national political tour that starts later this month; essentially a precursor to this fall’s federal election. Campaign Life Coalition and the Canadian Centre for BioEthical Reform are launching a campaign called “No2Trudeau”. We talk about the politics, and the reasons for what appears to be a fairly partisan campaign
- Created on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 06:08
On the program this week, an in-depth interview on the after-effects of the so-called “Carter Decision” on doctor-assisted suicide. We talk with ARPA lawyer André Schutten and Don Hutchinson, the former Board Chair of the Christian Legal Fellowship of Canada on what options are open to Parliament in the wake of the decision. The options include strict regulation of the process of assisted suicide and the use of the Constitutional “Notwithstanding Clause”.
On the news portion of the program, the NDP is using the Carter Decision to step up the pressure on the government to develop a comprehensive strategy dealing with “compassionate care” and end-of-life issues. We’ll talk to the MP who’s spearheading that push.
The unanswered questions continue to linger over plans in Ontario to introduce a new sex-education curriculum into the school system. This week, we bring you audio from the floor of Queen’s Park, where Premier Wynne dismissed parental concerns over the plan as “fear-mongering.”
We also take a look at the demise of the SUN-TV network, and what’s stepping in to replace it, and there’s a brief story about US Supreme Court, which is dropping broad hints that it’s about to mandate the legalization of gay marriage in all 50 States irrespective of citizen’s initiatives and other public opposition against the idea.
- Created on Friday, 20 February 2015 10:09
As many of you know, the Ontario government is ramming their new sex-ed curriculum forward and doing so without parental consultation. While we believe that God makes all education the responsibility of parents (the State's role is merely an "assistant" to parents) the teaching of sexuality and sexual ethics are particularly the domain of parents. What we are seeing with the present Ontario government on this particular issue is a blatant disregard for this Biblical truth, a terrible intrusion into the safe domain of the family home and a sneering "moral superiority" complex by a provincial government that really seems to believe they know better than almost 5 million parents in this province.
How dare they? How dare they mock, disrupt and meddle in Christian family affairs! While we do not advocate for revolution and general civil disobedience, we do encourage all Christian believers to stand up and demand the civil government to back off. God gave this government absolutely no authority to teach our children about sex, much less about approving of and celebrating sexual conduct that He taught us is sin. If they want to do any of this, they need our permission first.
What this government is doing is immoral. It is sin. It is wrong. I dare say, it is evil. The chief architect of this children's sex-ed program has admitted to criminal charges of child pornography, including asking a mom to sexually assault her child for him. This is just one more piece of evidence to make us want to shout our outrage at this program! How would a prudent government that just "cares for the kids" not take serious pause after such criminal actions come to light?
Few in Ontario are standing up against this government. One member of the Provincial legislature is: MPP Monte McNaughton is one solitary voice in the Legislature who continues to push the Premier on this issue. You can see him asking great questions in this video, and you can witness the infuriating dodging of those questions by the Premier time and again.
- Created on Friday, 13 February 2015 12:09
Parliament has only one year to draft and pass legislation restricting euthanasia. The BC Civil Liberties Association and others are urging Parliament to do nothing so that Canada is left with a situation like we have with abortion - with zero restrictions. Please take this opportunity to urge your MP and the Justice Minister to do everything possible to restrict this evil to the greatest extent possible.
Find a new ARPA EasyMail letter here. Please take 5 minutes to edit and send it, and then urge your family and friends to do the same.
Read answers to frequently asked questions about the case here.
New Resource: Last fall, ARPA Canada toured the country speaking on religious freedom and euthanasia. At the end of the tour, we captured Mark Penninga's discussion on euthanasia on video. His explanation and analysis of the issue and its implications for our society will be helpful to you as you engage neighbours, friends and co-workers on this very important issue. Please note that this film was shot before the Supreme Court rendered its decision, ruling in favour of physician assisted suicide. You can read about that decision here. However, Mark's presentation is still completely relevant - we need to convince Parliament and our society of the dangers of legalizing physician-assisted suicide, and warm of the slippery slope to more and more permissive "legalized death". Take 15 minutes, watch, learn and share!
- Created on Friday, 20 February 2015 11:58
Recently a couple members from the Barrhead/Neerlandia ARPA chapter and school chapter made a visit to Grande Prairie to talk with people there who were interested in learning more about ARPA Canada. The majority of those in attendance were young people, what a blessing it is to see the younger generation getting excited about political issues!
Thank you to Jacqueline and Rae-Lynn for explaining the mission of ARPA Canada, the motivation they have as individuals to get involved and some of the activities that the Barrhead/Neerlandia group has undertaken.
The group asked questions and discussed ways they could get involved, including doing more research on the ARPA website to become better informed, using the EasyMail system to encourage others to send letters and ideas for fundraisers. The youth look forward to planning a letter-writing evening with other young people from the area.
- Created on Monday, 24 November 2014 11:22
Updated February 12, 2015: Since we first made readers aware of the 72+ corporations which are uniting to oppose a Christian law school in Canada, many of you have taken action. We have heard of people cancelling their personal and corporate bank accounts with BMO and others following up with specific corporations they do business with (see attachments for two examples of letters to BMO from ARPA readers). It only took one day of this article being posted and ARPA received a call from CocaCola, asking why their logo is included below (we were happy to explain why it should concern them). The momentum is only growing.
- On March 4, Canadians are being encouraged to move their money from BMO and send the bank a loud and clear message that their efforts against Christians will not go unnoticed.
- A website called www.CorporateDiscrimination.com has been launched by the Institute for Canadian Values which profiles what BMO and the Legal Leaders for Diversity are doing. Stay tuned to that site for developments.
- Members of Parliament, Senators, and ordinary Canadians are speaking up. Read Senator Don Plett's powerful speech in the Senate here. Attached to this article are two other letters that our readers have submitted. Please give them a read and consider doing the same - also to your local branch.
We are very thankful to see that people are taking action. Please don't stop! Follow the ongoing developments at the website above, spread the word, call the corporations you do business with, and continue to pray that God will keep our land free.
- Created on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 09:53
The Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada is a non-profit organization devoted to educating, equipping, and encouraging political action among members of Canada’s Reformed churches and shining the light of God’s Word to our civil governments. By God’s grace, this organization continues to grow.
In May 2012 we launched the WeNeedaLAW.ca (WNAL) campaign with a mission to create a groundswell of support for laws protecting pre-born children to the greatest extent possible. The campaign has grown and now requires an additional part-time employee to assist us in carrying out our mission.
- ARPA Canada is hiring - Policy Analyst
- Lighthouse News - The Carter Decision
- Some initial reflections on the Supreme Court of Canada euthanasia decision
- Euthanasia Supreme Court Decision: A sacred line has been crossed
- Respectfully Submitted: Pornography
- Praise God! We won! Judge rules in favour of TWU
- Making the Case: Prostitution
- ARPA’s Plans for 2015 - Lighthouse News
- Speak up on behalf of Christian doctors
- Are you praying for our leaders?
- Moral Equivalence on Terrorism
- Some good news on the TWU front
- MP Vellacott: No legal duty to refer for euthanasia anywhere in the world
- Christian Christmas Ad
- Trinity Western University: FAQ
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