- Created on Monday, 26 January 2015 08:47
The ARPA Board held its annual meeting last week, laying out the framework for the organization’s plans in 2015.
On the program this week, we take a look ahead at those plans, and we feature some audio from a devotional session that led off one of the Board meetings; a good reminder – from Psalm 82 – of some of the core principles that guide the organization.
Also, We Need a Law’s Mike Schouten on the double standard that’s at play in Health Canada’s possible approval of the “morning after pill”, RU-486.
And finally, another call to action on the issue of conscience rights for Ontario doctors. Jonathon VanDyken has written an excellent analysis of the issue; it’s available on the ARPA home page. You’re also being asked to respond to a survey on the issue by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario – you can find that survey here.
- Created on Wednesday, 21 January 2015 08:25
The following is a guest post by Jonathan Van Dyken. Please read to the end for a step-by-step guide to speaking up very effectively on this particular issue.
Do you live in Ontario and have a pro-life family doctor? If you value his survival, then you need to speak out NOW! The ancient Hippocratic oath which essentially required that a doctor, first of all, do no harm has been transformed into his professional obligation to do harm in certain situations. For example, he must either perform abortions or refer to another doctor who will. My understanding is that this requirement will also be in place for prescription of contraceptives, mutilation for sex changes, and also death by euthanasia (which has increasing likelihood of being legalized by the Supreme Court of Canada).
The CPSO Policy
Who would be the author of such horrible confusion? The new policy comes from the regulating College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO). The government of Ontario says the CPSO must do more to conform to the Ontario Human Rights Code, the root of the confusion. The Ontario government appoints to the CPSO's governing council 13 to 15 of its 32 to 34 members. These appointees are not doctors and have their terms decided by the provincial government.
- Created on Wednesday, 14 January 2015 07:18
It is easy to become frustrated with politics and government. It is easy for us to throw up our hands as Christians and say, “Well, politics is not the essence of Christ’s kingdom, so I’m just not going to invest much (if any) energy there.” Some find it discouraging because it seems that we are often “losing” political battles. But friends, we are only really losing when we are unfaithful to Jesus. Even the martyrs know that they won even though they lost in the face of persecution from earthly authorities as they stood for truth (Revelation 6:9-10). If we are being faithful in Christ, then we are always winning. So, it might be a good time to ask if you are being faithful to God’s call on your life with respect to your leaders, especially as lawmakers take up their work afresh across our land in the month of January. Finish reading this article on the GentleReformation site by clicking read more.
In the article, the author encourages his readers to contact a government leader and to ask how you can pray for them. We can help you do that. Click here for an EasyMail to your Member of Parliament asking how you can pray for him or her. And to contact your provincial MLA/MPP to send a similar note, click on your province below.
- Created on Monday, 12 January 2015 09:54
On the feature interview this week, we talk with Dr. Scott Masson from the Ezra Institute about the terrorist attack at the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine. The interview is an attempt to put the attacks into perspective, and to give you some apologetic tools against the notion that “religion, by its very nature, leads to extremism.”
The interview includes references to several online articles including this piece by London Imam Anjem Choudary, and an op-ed written the day after the attack by leading Baptist scholar Albert Mohler. After listening to the interview, you’re also invited to use ARPA’s “EasyMail” feature to communicate with your MP on this issue.
On the news portion, some comments from Winnipeg MP Lawrence Toet about yet another high-profile retirement from the ProLife Parliamentary Caucus, an incremental win for Trinity Western University in the Law School debate, and a look back at ARPA’s presentation on the TWU issue before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
We also talk to Andrea Mrozek from the Institute for Marriage and Families Canada about the “Top 5 Social Policy Stories of 2014”.
- Created on Friday, 09 January 2015 20:08
Today, CBC News reports that the Law Society of New Brunswick has upheld their decision to recognize Trinity Western University's Christian law school.
It seems the lawyers who sit on the Law Society of New Brunswick have much more courage and fortitude than the lawyers who sit on the Law Society of BC. Both Law Societies had once approved TWU and both faced a backlash from bigoted lawyers in their provinces followed by an overwhelming referendum to reverse their decisions.
In the face of pushback, BC's Law Society demonstrated cowardice and caved to political correctness. New Brunswick's Law Society courageously upheld the rule of law. For much more on this case, check out our TWU page here.
- Created on Thursday, 08 January 2015 09:13
MP Maurice Vellacott, January 8, 2015 OTTAWA – In anticipation of the possible striking down of Canada’s laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide (pending the Supreme Court’s decision in the Carter case), and given the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s (CPSO’s) draft policy “Professional Obligations and Human Rights” [i] which, if passed, would require Ontario physicians to make referrals for controversial medical procedures regardless of their conscientious/religious convictions, Member of Parliament Maurice Vellacott today issued the following statement:
I am deeply concerned about the assault on the fundamental freedoms of Ontario’s doctors should CPSO’s policy forcing doctors to make referrals for morally objectionable “treatments” pass. If the Supreme Court of Canada strikes down Canada’s current laws on euthanasia or assisted suicide, then CPSO’s policy would mean Ontario’s physicians would have a “duty to refer” patients for treatments intended to kill the patient.
From the research I have conducted, with the help of the Library of Parliament, I have learned there is not a single jurisdiction in the world that forces doctors to violate their consciences through mandatory referrals for these life-ending “treatments.” (See attached list of laws in jurisdictions which have legalized euthanasia or assisted suicide.)
- Created on Wednesday, 17 December 2014 08:43
The Trinity Western University (TWU) case is not a simple prosecutor-defendant case that you may be used to seeing on television. It's far more complex and the outcome of this case may have repercussions in Canadian law, outside of the individual courtroom where this case is heard. To help you understand the case we have asked our legal counsel, André Schutten, to explain the TWU case for our readers.
Q. First of all, what are some reflections on the hearing last week (December 16-19)?
A. My biggest take away from the entire experience was how wonderful it is to be part of a large community that believes in the power of prayer. Praise God for his goodness and providential care! I received countless emails, text messages, phone calls and Facebook messages recounting the prayers being lifted up for this case. We know God hears our prayers, and I can report that the hearing went well. The judge was very prepared and asked good questions of all the lawyers. We look forward to seeing his judgment released in the coming months. In the meantime, please continue to pray for Justice Campbell, that he receives all the wisdom and discernment to rule justly and righteously.
- Created on Wednesday, 17 December 2014 21:52
Where can you find references to The Princess Bride, mutant organisms, the supremacy of God, swords and shields, and the imago Dei all in one place? Check out ARPA Canada's legal counsel's oral submissions to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court yesterday where, in just 17 minutes, he accomplished all that. A copy of André Schutten's speaking notes are attached at the bottom of this article, and a video of his presentation to the Court can be found at this link here. (Just select the video link under the player for December 17, 2014 Morning 1. Fast forward to André's comments which begin at the 72:12 minute mark.)
- Created on Monday, 15 December 2014 16:27
Click here to watch a video update from ARPA's legal counsel who flew to Nova Scotia today ahead of the court case scheduled to begin tomorrow. ARPA Canada is intervening in the case to be heard at the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on behalf of those who are concerned about the impact this case will have on religious freedom.
You can learn more about our intervention under Legal Action on our website.
- Created on Monday, 15 December 2014 05:54
On October 2, 2014 nearly one hundred volunteers from across Canada gathered on Parliament Hill to plant 100,000 pink and blue flags for ARPA Canada's WeNeedaLAW.ca campaign. This was the largest anti-abortion display our country has ever seen. The flags, each one of them, represent one abortion every year in Canada. The display captured both national and international attention. You can view photos of the display here and on our Facebook page here.
That was ten weeks ago. On Friday, December 12th, CBC ran a top story on the event (after having refused to cover the story the day of) with a rather misleading headline: ‘Anti-abortion protest bent rules on Parliament Hill’.
However, without the deceptive headline there is really nothing to the story. The article is simply a detailed account of the process we walked through as we sought and received permission to use the grounds on Parliament Hill as a backdrop to our message highlighting the 100,000 abortions happening every year in Canada.
We are thankful that our legal counsel had opportunity to set the record straight on Sun News. Check out the video here.
- Created on Monday, 08 December 2014 15:33
After seeing a note from "Dying with Dignity" encouraging their supporters to make use of the BC government's consultation about health care sustainability and end-of-life care to promote euthanasia, we drafted our own submission (see the attached document). In recent years, there has been a push to redefine end-of-life care to include assisted suicide and euthanasia. This undermines the very concept of care, exploits some of our most vulnerable neighbours, and ignores a much better and proven alternative – palliative care. Promoting palliative care, not euthanasia and assisted suicide, upholds the dignity of human life while showing true love and compassion for those who are suffering.
We encourage our readers to share their storie and ideas, or make their own submissions to the BC health committee before December 31st here.
- Created on Monday, 08 December 2014 08:47
On the feature interview this week, we speak with Senator Don Plett about an effort by the Bank of Montreal and more than 70 other major Canadian corporations to enforce their version of “tolerance” on their suppliers.
On the news portion, the Alberta government has backed down on a plan that would have had major implications for parental rights generally and Christian Schools in particular, while in Ontario, the questions continue about what’s in a proposed new curriculum on sex education that’s supposed to go online in September of next year.
We also have some analysis of changes made to abortion regulations in New Brunswick, and Alex Schadenberg from the Euthenasia Prevention Coalition has an update on a new effort to pass an assisted suicide bill in the Senate.
- Created on Tuesday, 02 December 2014 11:36
October 18th is a special day in Canada. On that day, in 1929, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Counsel (at that time, the highest level of appeal in Canada) ruled that women were equal in law and were, in fact, persons. The case has become known as "The Persons' Case" and every year on October 18th, Canada remembers that case on "Persons' Day". (You can read the actual text of that judgment here.)
On October 29th of this year, Ms. Megan Leslie, an NDP Member of Parliament, rose in the House and said the following:
Ms. Megan Leslie (Halifax, NDP): Mr. Speaker, on Friday I will celebrate the 85th anniversary of the Persons Case with fellow feminists at a breakfast in Halifax for LEAF, the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund.
Professor Jula Hughes will speak on the history of legal disputes for abortion access in New Brunswick, which is timely, as its Morgentaler Clinic closed this summer. This was the only facility in the province where women could get an abortion free of restrictions, and it served women in New Brunswick and P.E.I.
- Created on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 11:09
Update (Dec 4, 2014): The Prentice government has just announced that it is shelving Bill 10 in light of the opposition the bill is receiving. Unfortunately most of the opposition seems to be from people who are pushing for even more radical changes. Let's be proactive and meet with our MLAs, write them, and call them, to discuss a better alternative.
Alberta's government is pushing hard to promote alternative sexual lifestyles while also decreasing the ability of parents to educate their children according to their beliefs. First, Bill 202 was introduced into the Alberta Legislature on November 20, 2014 by MLA Laurie Blakeman, as a private member's bill. The legislation has similarities to Manitoba's Bill 18 and Ontario's Bill 13 in making gay-straight alliances mandatory in any school where it is requested by a student. Like Manitoba, this would be the case for all schools, including independent and Christian. But the bill goes further (see below).
Soon after, the government responded by drafting its own legislation, Bill 10, which is also very troubling. Although they try strike a balance between LGBT rights and parental authority, it is clear that parental authority is being undermined. First, the bill will remove the requirement for parents to be informed when their children are being taught explicitly about sexual orientation. In addition, it would also add "sexual orientation" to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Alberta Bill of Rights. In other words, the government has determined that parents shouldn't be informed when their children are being taught about "sexual orientation."
Second, Section 11.1 of the Alberta Human Rights Act (AHRA), which requires that parents be able to remove their children from instruction about sexuality and religion will be removed and put into the School Act and Education Act. A statement about parental rights will also be added to the Bill of Rights. It is hard to know why Section 11.1 is being removed from the AHRA. The AHRA is a quasi-constitutional document, so pulling this section suggests that the protection drops down a tier and would be subject to the other "rights" in the AHRA.
Third, it explicitly grants students from all schools, including private, who would want a gay-straight alliance, the authority to appeal to the school board if they are met with resistance. The school board's decision can be challenged by judicial review "for jurisdictional error or unreasonableness." Although we don't know the direct impact on Bill 202, it appears that Bill 202 will become moot.
We encourage our readers to read this article and then use our EasyMail sample letters to write their MLA, explaining that neither Bill 202 or Bill 10 should not be supported. Please encourage others to do likewise.
Take Action: Easymail letter 1 - Parents have authority over children
Take Action: Easymail letter 2 - Freedom of Religion and Association
- Parents undermined in Ontario curriculum plans
- BMO & 72 Corporations Launch Assault on Religious Freedom
- TAKE ACTION: Troubling developments for religious freedom
- Pushing Parental Consent
- Bill C-36 passes 3rd reading in the Senate
- Pro-Life Flag Display in Grande Prairie
- Safe Families Canada
- ARPA in National Post: The right to life should not be subjective
- How Can We Make Sense Of This?
- Video Update: Supreme Court of Canada Carter Case - Assisted Suicide
- Stop Bill C-279 Before it Becomes Law
- National Pro-Life Flag Display
- ARPA interview on Ottawa's CFRA
- Schouten & Schutten in National Post: Justice for the unborn — delayed and denied
- Applauding New Prostitution Legislation
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