Justice and Freedom

24 Jul 2018 Charities are free to do political advocacy, Ontario court rules

Implications for charities and potential charities Registered charities may issue charitable tax receipts for donations. That’s a big benefit for any donor-funded organization, if it can be registered as a charity. Canadian law says a registered charity can only engage in “political activities” that are “ancillary and incidental” to its charitable activities. Those activities will then be deemed charitable, since all a charity’s activities must be charitable. The Canada Revenue Agency sets a 10% limit on the portion of resources that a charity may devote to ancillary political activities. But on July 16,...

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04 Jul 2018 E-petitions, Ice Cream, and Blasphemy

by Mark Penninga Earlier this year, e-petition maker Citizengo.org posted a petition and call for a boycott in response to a Toronto-based chain of ice-cream stores called “Sweet Jesus.” More petitions like it quickly followed. It isn’t only their name that is blasphemous. The company mocks our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in their marketing, symbols, and even the names they use for their ice-cream flavours. The mainstream media, always on the look-out for examples of perceived Christian fundamentalism, were quick to pick up the story of the petitions and boycotts. TV networks...

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04 Jul 2018 “Free To Do Business” challenges summer jobs attestation

by Lighthouse News Another court challenge has been filed against the federal government's “attestation requirement” for funding under the Canada Summer Jobs program. Earlier this year, the government changed the eligibility rules for the program, which subsidizes student employment across the country, by requiring applicants to affirm their commitment to so-called “reproductive rights”, including abortion. This week, a new organization was formed to challenge the attestation program in court. The group “Free to do Business” has filed an application in the Federal Court of Canada for judicial review of the attestation requirement....

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03 Jul 2018 Euthanasia Rules Continue to Unravel

Peter Stockland (Lighthouse News – July 3, 2018) Two years have gone by since the passage of Bill C-14, the law that legalized euthanasia in Canada. Peter Stockland, the publisher of the Cardus Foundation’s “Convivium” magazine, marked the anniversary with an in-depth article on how the law has evolved since it was first implemented. He says it’s clear that the rules around Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) continue to be relaxed, as evidenced by some new statistics that came out just last week. “There was a 30-percent increase in the number...

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28 Jun 2018 Civil Disobedience and Courageous Leadership by Alberta Schools

by Mark Penninga Many of us are ready to disengage for the summer, leaving behind the stress of our regular lives. But before doing so, please take a moment to reflect on yesterday’s Alberta court ruling against the application for an injunction on Bill 24. This may sound like Greek, and largely irrelevant to you. But it isn’t. For starters, have a look just at page 1 of the decision. Look at the names of the schools listed in the court challenge. Do any of them look familiar to you? This may be the...

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28 Jun 2018 Trinity Western University Considering Next Steps

(Lighthouse News - June 28, 2018) Trinity Western University continues to evaluate this month's Supreme Court of Canada decision on its application to open a Law School. The court ruled that law Societies in BC and Ontario were justified in refusing to admit graduates of that proposed school to the bar in their respective provinces. The ruling said that TWU’s community covenant, under which students and staff pledge, among other things, to only engage in sexual activity inside the bounds of heterosexual marriage, was discriminatory against the LGBTQ community, and...

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27 Jun 2018 Important: Alberta Court Rules against Injunction for Bill 24

TWU ruling cited as precedent Update: We have published a new article with analysis of this decision here. Less than two weeks after the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision against Trinity Western University, a coalition of parents and independent schools in Alberta, including all of the Reformed schools in the province, has lost an application for an injunction to delay implementation of Bill 24, “An Act to Support Gay-Straight Alliances”.  Among other things, the law makes it illegal for anyone in the education system - be that in public, private, or parochial...

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26 Jun 2018 Important Update: Bill 24 Injunction Ruling Expected This Week

(Lighthouse News - June 26, 2018): A ruling is expected by the end of this week in the first round of a court battle over Alberta's Bill 24. That is the bill that mandates every school to institute gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs on request from any student, and to hide information about students from their parents, along with a threat of denying funding or accreditation if they don’t comply. A coalition of parents, Christian schools (including the Reformed schools in the province), and others are taking the Alberta government to court...

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19 Jun 2018 Post-TWU: A time for courage

by Mark Penninga I’m often asked whether political and legal developments in Canada get me down. And my honest answer is that they rarely do. I’m often amazed and encouraged by the impact we can still have when we seize the freedom God has given us and take action. But I admit that last Friday’s Supreme Court of Canada TWU decision really hurts. It is a game-changer. I don’t think most Canadians realize just how profound an impact it will likely have on our most fundamental freedoms. At the risk of oversimplifying it,...

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15 Jun 2018 Supreme Court rules against TWU, placing public perception over rule of law

For immediate release from the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada June 15, 2018 Supreme Court rules against TWU, placing public perception over rule of law OTTAWA – This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against Trinity Western University and their proposed Christian law school. Justices Brown and Côté dissented. The Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada, was an intervener in the case. André Schutten, ARPA’s Director of Law and Policy, and John Sikkema, ARPA’s Legal Counsel, acted as counsel for ARPA in the intervention. ARPA sees several major problems with the majority...

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