- Created on Thursday, 26 May 2016 11:38
ARPA Canada is respectfully calling our Canadian brothers and sisters in the Lord to a day of sobriety, humility, prayer, and fasting on .
Bill C-14, which would legalize and normalize killing the weak and vulnerable, may receive its final vote in our House of Commons as early as, and if passed, will be voted on in the Senate shortly thereafter. Sadly, much of the opposition to C-14 is coming from MPs and Senators who are demanding that it be even more radical, for example, by extending the killing to children. Our repeated calls for Parliament to correct the Supreme Court’s mistake and pass a new law that continues to prohibit euthanasia are largely being ignored by most MPs and Senators. Hearts are being hardened and many are being deceived.
As Reverend William den Hollander explains in the article republished below, our Lord Jesus observed that in the future of his church gathering work, special times of fasting will sometimes be appropriate and also spontaneous.
- Created on Thursday, 26 May 2016 06:35
Parliament nears a final decision on legalizing physician-assisted suicide through Bill C-14. The bill has evolved since its original draft and there is evidence that the Justice and Human Right Committee, after several days of listening to witnesses and analyzing proposed amendments, has made some small steps towards mitigating some of the harm in this bill.
ARPA Canada was one of the very few witnesses privileged to present to the Justice and Human Rights Committee on May 3. André Schutten, legal counsel for ARPA, alongside with two men who suffer from spinal muscular atrophy, James Schutten and Pieter Harsevoort, spoke to the committee about their concerns with the proposed bill. After delivering individual speeches, and answering some questions prompted by the attending MPs, the meeting concluded with an air of uncertainty as to whether the presentation would have a lasting impact on the attending members.
Between May 9 and May 11, the multi-partisan Justice and Human Rights Committee analyzed, debated and voted on approximately 100 proposed amendments, with over half of them coming from the Conservatives. As a result, only 16 amendments were passed, creating some minor changes to Bill C-14. In particular, much of the changes were related to clarifying the intent of the bill and ensuring that its contents cannot be interpreted contrary to the framer’s intent or the intent set out in the Carter decision.
- Created on Monday, 23 May 2016 20:00
Alberta parents rallied in both Calgary and Edmonton earlier this month in a protest against recent changes to the Alberta Education Act, and the guidelines that the government is trying to impose on all schools. The law and the guidelines would, among other things, force all schools to establish gay-straight alliances if even one student requests them, and would also prohibit school staff from discussing a student’s gender dysphoria with parents, without explicit permission from the student. On the feature today, an edited version of a speech at the Edmonton rally on behalf of ARPA Canada by Reverend Tony Roukema of the St. Albert Canadian Reformed Church.
In the news, a look back at a raucous week in Parliament, including the now-infamous incident involving the Prime Minister's elbow, as well as the status of Bill C-14 and a government attempt to limit the amount of input the Opposition parties could have on legislation and Parliamentary proceedings. Peace River-Westlock MP Arnold Viersen says the week was symptomatic of a style of government that is becoming all too familiar to Opposition MPs.
The government introduced a new bill last week to amend the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act by entrenching “gender identity” as a prohibited ground for discrimination. We speak with ARPA lawyer André Schutten about the bill. We also reference a column from the Gospel Coalition website which you can read here.
And, the Conservative Party of Canada is holding its biennial policy convention in Vancouver later this week. Some pro-life groups are concerned that a number of expressly pro-life policy resolutions are not coming up for debate at the convention; they were pulled from the roster by the convention organizers. There’s an effort underway to change the Party constitution to prevent that from happening again. You can get more information on the proposed constitutional amendment here.
- Created on Thursday, 19 May 2016 10:11
The last session of God & Government 2016 was not simply a wrap up and a goodbye; with so much at stake, that simply wouldn’t be enough. On the eve of the March for Life, and as some of the delegates headed home, Executive Director Mark Penning and Grassroots Director Colin Postma addressed them with a passionate call to action.
Penninga reminded the crowd of how much they’d accomplished during the conference alone; over 50 meetings with MPs and Senators, demonstrating with 6890 baby booties on the Parliament Hill lawn, and taking in a number of informative and educational presentations. What was next? Would it be enough to go home, filled with interesting facts and good stories to tell? No, it was now time to take real action!
Penninga reminded the crowd of what the grassroots had already done, leading up to God & Government 2016; they had seen a former local ARPA board member, Arnold Viersen, elected as member for Peace-River Westlock; they saw a stunning flag display on Parliament Hill, commemorating 100,000 aborted babies and resulting in smaller local displays over the next year and a half, and they saw interventions in key Supreme Court cases by ARPA’s legal team. Penninga urged the delegates not to return home an act, as John Piper called it, like “practical atheists”; men and women who may support certain beliefs, but do not let those beliefs motivate them take action.
- Created on Tuesday, 10 May 2016 19:53
Over a delicious lunch, ARPA delegates were privileged to hear from a panel of newly-elected Christian MPs. Arnold Viersen, Cathay Wagantall, and Garnett Genuis spoke about their journeys in both faith and politics, and addressed how these two aspects of their lives coincide and influence their personal and political paths.
Mr. Arnold Viersen, hailing from the riding of Peace River-Westlock in Alberta, spoke about his unique path from working as a mechanic to becoming federal member of Parliament. Motivated by involvement in his local ARPA chapter, Mr. Viersen attended God and Government 2014 as a delegate from Alberta. Intrigued by the possibility of running in the new riding that was being created in his home area, he met with sitting MPs to explore his options and find out what it would take to win. He took the advice he received seriously and began selling memberships in the new riding; he went on to win the nomination by 21 votes.
- Created on Tuesday, 10 May 2016 19:27
How would you react if someone told you that 15% of boys and 9% of girls in Canada had seen child pornography? 32% of boys and 18% of girls had seen online bestiality? 39% of boys and 23% of girls had seen sexual bondage?
This is no dystopian fiction. ARPA delegates heard these alarming statistics in a somber but passionate presentation on Prostitution and Pornography on Tuesday morning. Daniel Gilman, a social justice activist, pastor, and speaker with Strength to Fight, outlined how porn has infiltrated the hearts and minds of Canadians and and left extensive damage in its wake.
Gilman began with a chilling true story of how a university student, needing money, agreed to be featured in an adult magazine. Instead of the simple photo-shoot she agreed to, she was drugged and raped on camera, and the pornographic footage was used as blackmail to keep her silent. Years later, finally free from her abusers, a young man told her how much he enjoyed watching her porn shoots, specifically remembering that first, on-camera rape.
- Created on Tuesday, 03 May 2016 11:30
It is very likely that Bill C-14, which would legalize euthanasia, will pass through Canada’s Parliament in the next month, becoming the new law of the land.
Bioethicist Margaret Somerville has warned that a law like this one could result in up to 12,000 people being killed annually in Canada. This is no small matter.
The House of Commons justice committee is studying the legislation with the purpose of recommending amendments and has asked ARPA for a written response as well as a presentation (Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 6:20-7:20pm EST). You can find our written brief here.
Please make use of one of our three new EasyMail letters which are carbon copied to all of the MPs and Senators who are sitting on the justice committees in the House and Senate. We have heard that the Senate committee members are hearing very little from the public, apart from those who want to legalize euthanasia. A new video explaining all of this, plus the three new EasyMail letters is here. It just takes 10 minutes to contact all the members of both committees!
- Not One Innocent Death!
- Increasing Discrimination against those with Disabilities
- Real Medicine Doesn't Kill
Please note: if you have tried to use EasyMail on a phone or tablet before and found it to be very difficult we sincerely apologize. Note that we now have a mobile version so please try it again and you should find it far better.
- Created on Friday, 01 April 2016 05:44
Students at Covenant Christian School in London, Ontario have been busy participating in the Booties for Babies campaign. Over the winter months a group of girls in grades 5-8, under the leadership of Mrs. Lynda Schouten, have gathered over the lunch hour to crochet baby booties.
The nine girls, some of whom had never crocheted before, learned how to make beautiful baby booties under the direction of Mrs. Schouten and a few of the girls’ moms and omas. The girls, who were looking for a warmer alternative than going outside on lunch hour during the winter months, embraced the opportunity to make baby booties in an effort to “end abortion in Canada”.
Over the past couple of months the girls and the women helping them have made nearly 100 pairs! On March 30th, ARPA Canada board member Frank Oostdyk and staff member Niki Pennings, visited the school to meet with the students and thank them for their hard work. The booties will be delivered to the Ottawa office by Frank next week.
Thank you to Mrs. Schouten and the other women who took the time to teach these girls, not only a craft, but the importance of speaking up for the most vulnerable in our society. The girls were quite excited that the colourful baby booties will be going to Ottawa to serve as a testimony to our elected officials and that one day, a newborn baby will get to wear them.
Well done to all involved!
- Created on Wednesday, 30 March 2016 13:15
That the Standing Committee on Health be instructed to examine the public health effects of the ease of access and viewing of online violent and degrading sexually explicit material on children, women and men recognizing and respecting the provincial and territorial jurisdictions in this regard and following completion of its study, report back to the House no later than July 2017.
Violent and degrading sexually explicit material is easily accessible to anyone with access to the internet, without restriction. As the medical community has discovered, this is having a significant harmful impact on the mental, emotional and sexual health of children, women and men.
Incredibly, the last major study, completed in 1985 by the Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution (the Fraser Committee), was completed before the invention of the World Wide Web.
Sexual violence and degradation are, sadly, all too common. Recent reports include the tragic cases of Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todd, as well as the scandals involving the St. Mary’s University frosh week and the Dalhousie dentist students. These stories force an important question on our society and Parliamentarians: Where do the individuals in these reports get the notion that sexually violent and degrading attitudes and behaviours toward women and children are normal and acceptable? Where is this being learned?
It is time that Parliament makes this a priority! Stay tuned for action ideas to promote this motion, and please pray that it is used to wake Parliament up to the evil that pornography is.
- Created on Monday, 14 March 2016 15:30
We sent the following letter to all Members of Parliament and Senators this past week. Please consider following up with your MP and Senators from your province (see listing here) and ask them if they are willing to defend the vulnerable, or if they intend to turn a blind eye and allow State-endorsed, state-funded killing.
If you were walking next to the icy Rideau River in Ottawa and came upon a girl climbing over the railing of a footbridge spanning the river, what would you do? Would you pretend you didn’t see her and keep walking, trying to block what is happening out of your mind? Or would you approach her and offer to help? If she proceeded to tell you that her life is not worth living, would you do everything possible to affirm the value of her life, or would you give her a push into the icy waters?
With the clock ticking away on a four-month court-imposed deadline, this Parliament is rushing to pass a law to kill those who don’t want to go on living. Strip away the euphemisms of “physician-assisted dying” or “medical aid in dying” and what we are witnessing is eerily similar to the scenario described above.
Metaphorically, thousands of Canadians are lined up on bridges in their respective cities, feeling like a burden to those around them. Instead of telling them that they are inherently valuable and that we will be there to help them with the struggles they are facing, Parliament is confirming for them that their lives are not worth living. Although there may be some distance between the MP and the person giving the push, the outcome is the same. State-endorsed, state-funded killing.
- Created on Wednesday, 24 February 2016 11:46
Last year we issued a call to action which many of you heeded. Thank you!
Below is a letter that was shared with us as to the action that some businessmen in the Niagara (Ontario) region did on this initiative.
Greetings Fellow Christian Business Leaders:
Late in the fall of 2014, the "Legal Leaders for Diversity" (LLD) which is made up of 77 massive corporations in Canada, sent a letter to the law society of Upper Canada requesting that Trinity Western University (TWU) be denied accreditation for a law school. They did not like that TWU has a code of conduct which requires students to abide by Christian principles about marriage and sexuality.
Last spring Rosaflora, Pine Ridge Gardens and we (of Lindy's Flowers) came together and wrote a letter to RBC, one of five LLD companies that signed the letter opposing TWU. We requested that RBC recant their decision to stand against TWU. After further correspondence and an in-person meeting between our three companies and RBC, they stated that they appreciated our concerns, but did not believe they were legitimate and decided to "agree to disagree."
While we realized that the likelihood of the LLD recanting their stand against TWU was slim, we were encouraged to see that the one letter sent on behalf of three companies, to only one of 77 companies of the LLD, elicited an immediate response from the executive level. Although at this meeting our desired goal was not fully realized it was encouraging to hear the executive assert that, as a result of the meeting, his company would scrutinize the placement of their support more carefully in the future.
I am proposing that we come together as Canadian Christian business leaders, and send a letter to each of the 77 companies of the LLD, expressing our concerns and asking how they can justify opposing Christianity when they claim to support diversity. Communicating with these companies, by way of letters and face to face meetings, can be a positive method for deterring these corporations from taking action like this again. Many of them may not even realize what they signed onto with the LLD.
All we are asking for is a reply email to UCBLOC@gmail.com (United Christian Business Leaders of Canada) with your company logo or business name and your permission to attach your name to the letter (if it is easier, just a reply email with your name and permission to copy your logo from your website). We will be sure to send you a draft copy of the letter and give you one week's notice should you decide you do not want your name included. We want to encourage you to forward this letter to other Christian businesses who may want to stand alongside us.
It is our prayer that we may be used as God's instruments to bring about change in this land and to uphold the freedom to worship/study that we so richly treasure.
There is still much work to be done. As a Canadian, we have all an opportunity to examine our purchasing habits and consider where we will invest our money. Much of the focus has been on the Bank of Montreal for their leadership in the Legal Leaders for Diversity campaign, however there were 72 other companies which signed on to a document that discriminates against Christians. As Ben wrote above, "many of them may not even realize what they signed onto with the LLD". The truth is - we know. Take time to contact the companies with whom you do business and express your concerns about the controversial and offensive discrimination towards Christians.
- Created on Wednesday, 25 May 2016 05:54
The following article was published in the Hamilton Spectator on May 24th. It was written by Pieter Harsevoort and James Schutten, after they presented with ARPA Canada to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. Because legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide will most directly affect people with severe disabilities, as James and Pieter have, Canadians – lawmakers in particular – must listen to their story. Here is their perspective:
Hamilton Spectator - May 24, 2016
As two individuals living with severe disabilities due to spinal muscular atrophy, the government's Bill C-14 Medical Assistance in Dying has left us apprehensive and concerned both for ourselves and for our fellow Canadians living with disabilities. We testified at the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Justice and Human Rights this past week, and our testimony stood in stark contrast to that of Dr. Derryck Smith, a Vancouver-based psychiatrist. Dr. Smith is clearly terrified of ever developing dementia or any physical disability. Smith, a board member of Dying with Dignity, testified that Bill C-14's safeguards, designed to help protect the lives of people like us, were just too troublesome. Smith made his biases and ableism clear: in describing physical and mental ailments, he said, "I don't want to live like that." In other words, "If I was like you, I'd rather be dead." What the doctor thought of us was very clear.
Later, in response to a lob-ball question from NDP justice critic Murray Rankin, Smith spoke crassly about wanting to make an advance directive to kill himself, "if I happen to become demented." He encouraged his audience "to visit any ward that houses demented people to see how horrible a situation that is for the individuals in spite of the best possible care."
- Created on Friday, 20 May 2016 07:10
ARPA Canada’s Ottawa staff were pleased and honoured to attend the 51st National Prayer Breakfast. This annual event brings together politicians, political activists, religious leaders, and observers to worship Christ in solidarity and to acknowledge His sovereign control over Canada. The event is led by several MPs and Senators that meet on a weekly basis for a Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast Group. Such meetings are meant to enrich and comfort these Christian political leaders through the many difficulties and discouragements which come along with their office.
This year, the breakfast was well attended by some of Canada’s most important political figures including Prime Minister Trudeau, Leader of the Opposition Rona Ambrose, and Daniel Blaikie, an NDP Member of Parliament. These three were invited to read passages from the Bible. Prime Minister Trudeau read from Romans 12 which in verse three says, “I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (Ms. Ambrose read from 1 Corinthians 13 and Mr. Blaikie read from Isaiah.)
- Created on Thursday, 19 May 2016 09:37
Tuesday evening, after a long day of presentations and meetings with members of Parliament, ARPA delegates were treated to a delectable dinner at the Sheraton hotel. The evening banquet was centred around an address from the Reverend Dr. Joe Boot, senior pastor of the Westminster Chapel in Toronto, founder of the Ezra Institute for Contemporary Christianity, and eminent Christian apologist.
Dr. Boot addressed the breakdown of culture stemming from the rejection of God. He began by defining the identity of mankind; they were created and placed in the Garden as image bearers of God, and it is in this lens alone that they find the fullness of their identity. Man can only be understood relative to God, as His creation and His image bearers. Recognizing that he is not God, man ought accept his limitations in this world; however, this is not what we see today.
The average man has lost sight of God, and denied any higher ideal than himself. This blindness has become meaninglessness; humanity has become dispensable, depersonalized, and adrift. Dr. Boot quoted lyrics from Sting, where the artist was left only with romance as a way of finding meaning:
You could say I lost my faith in science and progress
You could say I lost my belief in the holy church
You could say I lost my sense of direction
You could say all of this and worse but
If I ever lose my faith in you
There'd be nothing left for me to do
- Created on Friday, 22 April 2016 14:17
The Liberal Government released their Bill C-14 on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. Numerous organizations have responded, including Christian Legal Fellowship which you can read here.
Learn how to TAKE ACTION on this Bill at arpacanada.ca/stop-euthanasia.
ARPA Canada would like to quote the response of Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia which echoes our sentiments in their press release below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The federal government provides exemptions for murder, aiding suicide and administering poison
Montreal, April 15, 2016 – In the midst of one of the worst suicide crises in our country’s history, the federal government has tabled Bill C-14, which proposes to legalize both euthanasia and assisted suicide across Canada under the pseudonym “medical assistance in dying". The waltz of words continues, as we malign palliative care by presenting "medical assistance in dying" as the only alternative to an agonizingly painful death.
From the outset, the bill makes clear the gravity of what our society is about to accept: it amends the Criminal Code to "create exemptions from the offences of culpable homicide, of aiding suicide and of administering a noxious thing, in order to permit medical practitioners and nurse practitioners to provide medical assistance in dying and to permit pharmacists and other persons to assist in the process".
These people would not be criminally responsible if they were practising euthanasia or helping a patient to commit suicide. Nor would the people helping the physician or nurse practitioner "if they do anything, at another person’s explicit request, for the purpose of aiding that other person to self-administer a substance that has been prescribed for that other person as part of the provision of medical assistance in dying". Therefore, every citizen will be able, without fear of prosecution, to help another person to commit suicide if his condition meets the criteria established by law: a parent, a friend, a brother, a sister, etc.
Not surprisingly, there is no requirement that people who suffer be at the end of life to have access to assisted suicide. Only that “their natural death has become reasonably foreseeable (...) without a prognosis necessarily having been made as to the specific length of time that they have remaining". It seems to us that everyone’s death is reasonably foreseeable.
Moreover, the federal government casts a wide net in its list of lives that are not worth living, including people with a serious and incurable disease, condition or disability, those losing autonomy and those with persistent physical or psychological suffering "that is intolerable to them and that cannot be relieved under conditions that they consider acceptable." In drawing up a set of circumstances in which it is now acceptable to commit suicide with the help of a doctor and the complicity of the state, the federal government endorses the choice of death for a host of reasons... on the condition of being at least 18 years old.
We are already far from the idea that was sold to us when this debate began: from proposing death for a few exceptional cases, we’ve reached the point where it’s considered "health care" like any other. Access to euthanasia and assisted suicide is such a priority that the federal bill suggests that a person be allowed to shorten his time of reflection (fixed at 15 days) if natural death becomes imminent – which invalidates the argument of the Supreme Court of Canada who claimed that "medical assistance to die" would help prevent people from taking their life prematurely...
In short, after the smoke screen that was the scandalous report of the Special Joint Committee, Bill C-14 gives the false impression of being prudent and restrictive. But a further reading enables us to understand where we are heading: the government is already expecting a need for "further studies on requests by mature minors, advance requests and requests where mental illness is the sole underlying medical condition" after the implementation of the law.
An even more permissive law won’t be long in coming. As soon as the population has swallowed this first poison pill.
Anyone who still respects the inherent and inalienable dignity of every human person and is concerned for the common good has one thing to do right now: call his or her MP to try to block this Bill unworthy of Canadian society.
Catherine Ferrier, president
Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia
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