Local ARPA groups:join us in Ottawa on May 6 and 7 for meetings with MPs, a presentation to MPs and Senators about Restorative Justice, and a conference. The March for Life is the next day (May 8).
It's been 50 years since Andy Williams recorded the Christmas hit, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year". And, as Canadians get set to key it up once again, we learn this week that we have been given an early Christmas gift - a healthy dose of common sense from one of our elected representatives.
In what seems to be a pattern of independent thinking from Members of Parliament, Maurice Vellacott has announced today that he is filing two motions in advance of his name being added to the Order of Precedence some six weeks from now. Keep reading.
On Friday, November 29th, ARPA Canada, on behalf of the Association of Christian Educators and Schools (ACES Canada), filed our Notice of Motion in the Loyola School appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. As you may recall, Loyola School is appealing to the Supreme Court because the Ministry of Education in Québec has refused to allow it to teach a mandatory curriculum on religion and ethics from its own religious perspective. Instead, all schools (even independent Christian schools) must teach this religion course from a secular or “neutral” perspective.
Come, and Love me, Come inside me,
For I dread death's urge to kill!
In Your arms, whatever betide me,
Let my racing heart be stilled.
Come and hold me, Lord, enfold me,
Euthanasia's raised it's head,
Open eyes so that men may see
There's no dying living dead,
Did those cheerleading for full-day kindergarten actually read the research?
NOVEMBER 27, 2013 | by ANDREA MROZEK, Executive Director, Institute of Marriage and Family Canada
On the first day of school this year, the media was abuzz with the success of full-day kindergarten in Ontario.1 The Education Minister did a press conference reporting that the research was in and it was "nothing short of incredible." Daycare advocate Margaret Norrie McCain claimed the results were "like winning Olympic gold" and advisor to then Premier McGuinty, Charles Pascal, said he was doing cartwheels, so great was his joy.2
Yet the research was not actually in. The studies were only made available later in October.
As a result of this red flag, the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada decided to save the calisthenics for later. We asked why this research should be so drastically different from prior research done on the same topic.3
As it turns out, having now read the research, it is not different. It shows lacklustre results for Ontario's children.
We are excited to share the 8 finalists in our first-ever billboard design contest. ARPA thanks Compass Creative for working with the finalists to improve their concepts, for judging, and for providing our two feature prizes (Samsung tablets). Thanks to Reformed Perspective Magazine for providing 6 runner-up prizes. We also thank everyone who entered the contest. Our hope is to do this again so if you want to try again, or try for the first time, keep those ideas perking!
We now challenge local ARPA groups and the general public to turn these designs into real-life billboards (details below). Note that the designers may be open to modifications upon request (eg changing logos).
First Place: By Lynn VanEerden - This can be part of a series in which each design points to the humanity of the child still in the womb - if they could talk they would have the same thoughts as the person planning the abortion. Not pictured: "This could ruin my life" and "This was not part of the plan." Note that the stock photos will be replaced soon.
First place: design B
Second Place by Caitlin Hamoen
Second Place: Alternative Design
Runner-up: Karyn VanDooren
Runner-up: Jaclyn Kuntz
Runner-up: Josie Huttema
Runner-up: Sheryl Moedt
Runner-up: Jonathan Bakker
Runner-up: Christie Hoeksema
If one of these interests you, or the group you are a part of, please do a bit of investigating to see if you can afford a temporary or permament billboard (eg, by working with a local pro-life society). Then send an email to ARPA Canada with details of what you are looking for. We will then pass it on to the designer and work together to get a high-resolution version that can be printed.
ARPA Canada has always been non-partisan, which means we won't promote or oppose a political party or candidate. But that does not mean that we don't support participation in political parties. Far from it! We whole heartedly encourage our readers to make use of our freedom to directly influence the governance of our nation, province, and municipality by means of active participation in political parties, running for office, or assisting those who seek office. The choice is not between ARPA and a political party. Both avenues (along with think tanks, legal challenges, and many other efforts) can be effective means of political engagement, as long as they are principled and prudent.
Note: See poet A. Blokhuis' reflection on the fall tour and broader work we are doing together here.
The ARPA Canada national tour has already hit 14 locations with about 2,600 people in attendance. That is more than double what we have seen in the past couple years and five times as many as when we started. Every audience was both incredibly supportive/engaged and yet unique. Thank you!
At the Fergus event on Wednesday evening (Nov. 6) our friend David VanVeen (pictured right) delivered a short message at the end, his own reflections on the issue of education which he prepared beforehand. We promised to post his comments online. If you'd like to read the one-page text of his speech, click on the PDF linked below. Thanks Dave for your contribution and support!
Updated Nov 9, 2013: The Ontario arm of the ARPA National tour has been amazing. We are seeing huge crowds. 175 came out in Strathroy. The picture above is from Fergus where 300 came out on Wednesday night. Over 350 came on Thursday in Niagara, and over 300 came in Hamilton on Friday night. We are so grateful to have been able to see so many of you face-to-face. What a privilege it is to work with such committed, spirit-filled, and encouraging saints.
In Ontario, the government has been hiding certain statistics from the public for a few years now, including how much we spend on all abortion procedures and the types of abortions happening and any complications resulting from those abortions (if any). The blogger Run With Life has been documenting this issue for a few years now like no other, and ARPA Canada is very, very thankful for her tireless work. You can read all about this issue here and here. (You can see Run With Life's entire series here.)
BUT NOW IT'S YOUR TURN! The Ontario government has just announced that it wants to be more open and accountable. Premier Kathleen Wynne wants to "unlock public data so that you can help us solve problems and find new ways of doing things. I believe that government data belongs to the people of Ontario and so we will make government data open by default, limiting access only to safeguard privacy, security and confidentiality."
To show just how open and accountable it wants to be, the government of Ontario has released a public survey. You can find the survey at this link here. Fill it out! Be that prophetic voice. Be part of the process. Be part of the solution. Be heard.
By Martin Dendekker (ARPA Oxford): On Tuesday October 15, ARPA Oxford hosted a euthanasia debate in Mt. Elgin, Ontario. Over 300 people came to Oxford Reformed Christian School to hear the debate between Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Michael Payton of Dying with Dignity. The debate centred on the general question of whether or not end-of-life care in Canada should include euthanasia. ARPA Canada's André Schutten served as the debate moderator.
ARPA Canada thanks Mark Luimes for this excellent reflection on what the Bible has to say about being a politician and applying it to Canada's political climate. Mark is a political science and criminology student at the University of Ottawa.
By Mark Luimes (October, 2013): Few professions receive as much public scrutiny as a politician in office. The public’s eye is always on its leaders, seeking to ensure that they do not abuse the authority they have been given. Incompetence, ethical scandals, and broken electoral promises can destroy the public’s faith in a political leader, leaving them with little hope of staying in power. What about the other side? What does a politician properly fulfilling his role in society look like? A look at our society’s institutional definitions and a biblical model for servant leadership highlights some of the current problems with our political leadership.
“These are not church groups we are talking about. Political parties are not purely private organizations, of the kind who wish only to remain private, separate and apart from the...
A witty friend recently found a parallel in the weakness of Montreal’s Champlain Bridge and the fall of Rome. Although I live to revel in metaphors revealing this city’s collapsin...
The city of Detroit continues to be a haunting case study of municipal implosion, economic upheaval, and urban renewal. An “emergency manager,” Kevyn Orr, has been appointed to oversee the...
One very early morning a few years ago, while my husband and I were visiting New York City, we made our way to the High Line at sunrise. After a...
Tuesday morning, Wellington-Dufferin MP Michael Chong introduced his Private Members’ Bill to reform the relationship of MPs to their parties and leaders, and to embed caucus rights within the processes...