- 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 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 Friday, 04 July 2014 13:50
With thankfulness to God, we are grateful to report that ARPA Canada has been granted standing as an intervenor in the Supreme Court of Canada case Carter et al v Attorney General of Canada, which will decide whether Canada's laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide will stand. As with the Loyola case, the Court is allowing us 10 pages of written arguments, and will decide later if we will also get to make oral arguments.
This case will have a huge impact on the value of human life in Canadian law. Once a line is crossed where some human lives are deemed not worth living, then it is up to the subjective will of some to decide whether others meet their criteria or not.
- Created on Friday, 18 October 2013 10:01
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.
- Created on Tuesday, 04 June 2013 07:58
Member of Parliament Mr. Maurice Vellacott's new Private Member's Bill on equal shared parenting proposes important amendments to Canada's Divorce Act. The bill, to be tabled this fall, will instruct judges to apply the principle of equal shared parenting unless it is established that the best interests of the child would be substantially enhanced by allocating parental responsibility differently. The suggested amendments follow the recommendations of a joint House-Senate committee report entitled "For the Sake of the Children."
Mr. Vellacott believes, and studies show, that it is in the best interest of children when both parents are actively involved in their lives. Currently, approximately 90% of divorce and custody cases end up with a sole custody arrangement. Divorces are difficult to go through and are often devastating for everyone involved, especially the children. Vellacott's proposed changes are preventative measures intended to help reach better agreements between moms and dads and to avoid long custody battles. Mr. Vellacott would like to move away from a "custody" model to one of "parenting time."
- Created on Friday, 10 June 2011 08:40
By Mark Penninga (www.ARPACanada.ca): In June, 2011, I detailed 10 realistic goals which could be accomplished for our nation under this Conservative government if our leaders have the courage to lead and if citizens give them the encouragement and accountability to do so. Now that we are about halfway through this government, how are we faring on these issues?
1) Give Aboriginals the responsibility and hope that belongs to all Canadians (details here): Not long after ARPA published a policy report on this issue in 2012 we were very encouraged to see the federal government announce a number of bills and policies to increase accountability, equality, and opportunity for Canada's Aboriginal peoples. In June, 2013, the First Nations Financial Transparency Act became law. Aboriginal MP Rob Clarke has also introduced a private member's bill C-428 entitled the "Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act" . Read the text of the bill. And the government has also taken steps towards allowing private property ownership on reserves. As encouraging as this direction is, these are baby steps in light of the enormity of the problem. And given that the issue crosses into provincial responsibility, much more can also be done in having the provinces and federal government work towards a common vision. Grade: B+
2) Reform the Canadian Human Rights Commission (details here): In light of all the opposition to problematic sections of the Canadian Human Rights Code, including from all sides of the political spectrum, it is striking that it took a private member's bill (Brian Storseth's C-304) to finally abolish Section 13 in the summer of 2013. This was a huge victory, but the current government can't take much credit for it, apart from not actively opposing it. Much more can be done to reform the CHRC. Grade: C
3) Appoint Supreme Court Judges who respect their role as being under the law (details here): Harper has appointed 6 Supreme Court justices already, fundamentally changing the make-up of the court. Although legal scholars note that these justices aren't known for being "judicial activists" their record suggests that neither are they friends of social conservatism. When the prostitution law was struck down in late 2013, 5 of the justices that made the decision were appointed by Stephen Harper. Grade: to de determined
4) Reduce spending, shrink government, and decrease our debt (details here): We are on track for having a "balanced budget" in 2015. Although that is to be commended, we are far from rolling back our enormous federal debt, now at $616 Billion (increasing by $2 Million every hour). To put that in context, one writer has noted that "Since first being elected in 2006, [Harper's] government has recorded only two annual surpluses, thanks to the previous Liberal government. If the deficit is finally eliminated in 2015-16, it will have taken eight years since the 2009-10 recession and resulted in an increase of $175 billion in federal government debt." As for taxes and the size of government, when compared to GDP, government revenue is declining, which is encouraging. But that does not mean that the size of government itself is being rolled back. Given that this is a majority government, one could have expected much more significant cuts to the size of the government (including programs like the CBC). Grade: C
5) Drop the “ism” from Environment(details here): This government is to be commended for standing out from the other mainstream parties in its hesitance to use "climate change" rhetoric which blames human activity as a primary cause of changing climates (since when do climates not change?). The government has also opposed carbon taxes and pulled back from the previous government's efforts to push "climate change" policy on the international community. But it has stopped short from openly challenging the deeply flawed science and economics that prevails on the issue in Canadian public policy. Grade: B
6) Come up with a good prostitution law (details here): The Conservatives failed to come up with a new law when it had the opportunity. As a result, the current law was struck down by the Supreme Court in December of 2013. Thankfully, the court gave Parliament one year to craft a new law. We will see whether Parliament follows through. We sent them a policy paper on the issue two years ago which includes solid reasons to follow the Swedish model. Grade: to be determined
7) Take an incremental approach to abortion laws (details here): In 2013, the Conservative government actively opposed M-408, which would have condemned sex-selective abortions. They did this in spite of overwhelming public opposition to gendercide. And in 2012, little support was given to Stephen Woodworth's M-312 which would have formed a committee to investigate issues pertaining to preborn life. Prime Minister Harper is convinced that this is an issue his government should not address, in spite of a 95+% vote of support for a gendercide policy at the party's 2013 convention and the abysmal reality that Canada is the only democracy in the world without abortion legislation. Thankfully, in spite of the government's strong pro-abortion stance, Canadian society is increasingly realizing that we need a law. It is quite realistic that we will begin to see laws introduced and passed in the next decade. Grade: F
8) Allow Income Splitting for tax purposes (details here): Apparently, it is likely that income splitting will be promised in the upcoming budget, to come into effect only after the budget is balanced. We will be watching whether this is promised and fulfilled. Of course, if spending was curbed sooner and more intesenley, we could have seen income splitting for a few years already. Grade: to be determined
9) Increase the fertility rate now to avoid a demographic winter soon (details here): The fertility rate decined once more, to 1.61. And the fenderal government has not been talking about it or taking measures to address it. Grade: F
10) Listen to European nations that are telling us that multiculturalism is a failure (details here): Previous Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney has introduced substantial changes to Canada's immigration policy, with success. As one writer noted in late 2012, Kenney "may not admit that he intends to abolish multiculturalism as an objective of immigration reform, but his immigration policies appear to be directed towards post-multiculturalism, a new order that avoids the excesses of multiculturalism without imposing the harsh policies of assimilation that are happening in Europe where he has been borrowing most of his ideas of reform." Grade: B
It is encouraging to see real progress on some of these important issues - something we should not necesarily expect to see in an increasingly secular democracy. Yet, in light of this government claiming to hold conservative values, and being made up of many Christians, a majority of seats should embolden it to accomplish far more than it has. This is especially true when it comes to educating the Canadian public and mainstream media about why these changes are needed.
But we can't stop at just grading our government. Canada is not a dictatorship - the citizens have many opportunities to shape public policy and public thinking. We have to look at ourselves - what have we done to address the issues noted above? Have we taken the time to build a personal relationship with our elected representatives, and then used that relationship to talk about matters like these? If not, what is stopping us? Let's give ourselves an honest grade, and then work to improve it.
- Created on Monday, 07 February 2011 19:57
- Created on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 09:16
E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D.. The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation: Religion is the root of any culture, and environmentalism has become a full-fledged religion in its own right. It is the most comprehensive substitute in the world today for Christianity so far as world view, theology, ethics, politics, economics, and science are concerned, and you need to understand it in order to counter it effectively, from presuppositions to policies, from classroom to movie theater, from evening network news to Internet and local newspaper. Read the full article here.
Looking for more quality research on this topic? Find a 76 page report that details a Christian response to "Climate Change" (or a 6 page summary) here.
- Created on Tuesday, 12 January 2016 06:13
Jonathon Van Maren from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform published an op-ed to start the year, a piece entitled Dear Christians: It’s no longer enough to work hard, raise a family, and hope to be left alone. On the feature interview this week, we talk with Jonathon about the future of Canada, and the need for the average Christian to stand up for their personal freedoms, and that of their children.
In the news:
A feminist group in PEI has launched a lawsuit to try to force the provincial government to provide abortion services at hospitals on the Island. ARPA lawyer André Schutten weighs in on the constitutional aspect of the case, while Mike Schouten from We Need a Law speaks to the reality of the provision of other health care services in Canada.
A huge international story out of Norway over the holidays where a family had their five children seized by child welfare authorities. Last week, the government announced that the children are going to be put up for adoption. We speak with the pastor of a church in Chicago that is organizing protests at Norwegian embassies and consulates around the world.
An update on ARPA’s “Booties for Babies” campaign, including the Facebook event that’s getting a lot of interest.
- Created on Monday, 08 June 2015 08:47
On Tuesday, June 2, the ARPA staff, board and a couple donors came together to dedicate the new ARPA office to the Lord in a time of prayer and thanksgiving. The new office will be home base for the 3 Ottawa-based staff and has ample space for our out-of-town staff, as well as any interns, to work and collaborate together.
We are grateful to the support of our donors over the past years and invite you to stop by our new office the next time you are in Ottawa. The address is 130 Albert Street, Suite 2010, just 3 blocks from Parliament Hill.
Below are a few pictures from last week when a number of staff were able to work together in the new office.
- Created on Friday, 20 February 2015 10:09
March 31: The National Post published an op-ed by Dr. Scott Masson that is an excellent critique of the new sex-ed curriculum. Read it here.
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 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, 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 Wednesday, 05 November 2014 11:45
With thankfulness to God, we are pleased to announce that Bill C-36, Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, has passed third reading in the Senate and now only requires royal assent to become law. You helped table this law - thank you! As we have communicated before, we have been supportive of it since it was released last spring and are thankful it has come this far.
The bill needs only to receive royal assent, after which it will become law - in time for the December 19th deadline provided by the Supreme Court of Canada last year when they struck down Canada's existing prostitution laws, ruling them unconstitutional.
If you have not yet done so, you can read the Bill here. It is "An Act to amend the Criminal Code in response to the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Attorney General of Canada v. Bedford and to make consequential amendments to other Acts" and is quite possibly the most impressive piece of legislation we have seen with our current government, we are pleased to stand behind it and thankful for you, our readers and supporters for engaging on this issue as far back as 2011 when it was the featured topic on that years' ARPA Canada tour.
Press release from Member of Parliament Joy Smith can be read here.
- Created on Monday, 27 October 2014 07:27
On Monday, October 20 the National Post published an op-ed by ARPA Canada's Executive Director, Mark Penninga, in response to a column that argued that the Supreme Court allow assisted suicide. On October 15, the Supreme Court of Canada heard the case of Carter v. Canada. ARPA Canada was an intervenor in the case and Mark Penninga and ARPA's Legal Counsel, André Schutten, were in attendance at the hearing. You can watch their reflections here.
National Post - October 20, 2014
In a recent column (‘Your Call, Friend’, Oct. 15), Matt Gurney argued that it is time for the Supreme Court to allow assisted suicide. But Mr. Gurney qualified his argument by stating that, “Any regime for assisted suicide that we may implement must be biased to make choosing it difficult – not impossible, but difficult.” This limit imposed by Mr. Gurney may sound reasonable, but once this Rubicon of assisted death is crossed, any limits and safeguards imposed will be illusory or arbitrary.
I attended the Supreme Court hearing over whether to allow doctor-assisted suicide because the organization I lead, the Association for Reformed Political Action Canada, is one of the interveners in the case. Those who watched the debate in court would have heard the lawyers representing the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Farewell Foundation for the Right to Die explicitly argue to the judges that it is inconsistent and wrong to limit assisted suicide and euthanasia to only a select few. For them, the standard for assisted death should be whether someone is competent to understand what they are requesting or receiving.
- Submission to College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario - Policy 5-08
- Farewell to another exceptional intern
- Great opportunity: more Reformed Christians can run as Members of Parliament
- National Prayer Breakfast address
- Toronto casino is dead!
- Court rules parts of Reproduction Act unconstitutional
- Do Pre-born Human Rights Matter? What you can do to make a difference this Election 2015!
- #1 Action Item: Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide Resources
- We celebrate Persons' Day and yet still fight for personhood
- Parents undermined in Ontario curriculum plans
- ARPA interview on Ottawa's CFRA
- Applauding New Prostitution Legislation
- Restorative Justice Transcripts Now Available
- Response to Recent Reports Questioning ARPA's Presence "In" Parliament
- Sermon: Christian Canadians
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