Justice and Freedom

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...

Read More

01 Jun 2018 Supreme Court rules unanimously in church discipline case

Can the decision of a church or religious body to expel a member be appealed to a civil court? Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada decided unanimously that the answer to that question is no. The lower court judge, Justice Wilson, and a majority at the Alberta Court of Appeal, had answered this question in the affirmative. The SCC overturned the decisions of the lower courts for three reasons. First, the Court ruled that judges can only review decisions made by state actors – those that have been granted powers by the...

Read More

09 May 2018 Opposition in Alberta refuses to oppose abortion bubble zone bill, choosing to literally walk away from the debate

By Lighthouse News A law to restrict speech, persuasion, and protests near abortion clinics in Alberta continues to move through the legislature. Bill 9 received second reading last week. Not only will the bill substantially interfere with freedom of expression of pro-lifers, it will obliterate the opportunity for any alternative help for pregnant women. Alberta’s opposition United Conservative Party is following through on a pledge not to vote on the proposal - either for or against. Leader Jason Kenney has labelled it a piece of "political mischief" from the governing NDP, designed to distract...

Read More

08 May 2018 Controversy over abortion attestation requirement for summer jobs funding continues with law suits rolling out

By Lighthouse News The federal government's controversial "attestation requirement" for the Canada Summer Jobs program is being challenged in court again. Earlier this year, Toronto Right to Life launched a lawsuit over the attestation requirement on the basis that the demand for applicants to affirm so-called "Charter Rights" on reproductive choice - in other words, expressing support for the government's position on abortion - was a violation of the freedom of religion and freedom of conscience guarantees of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Now, a small irrigation company in Brooks Alberta...

Read More

05 Apr 2018 Summer Jobs and the English Language

Employment Minister won't say what 'rights' means by John Sikkema In his famous essay, Politics and the English Language, George Orwell lamented that “political words” tend to be so abused as to become almost meaningless. Their vagueness then allows people to use them “in a consciously dishonest way” – meaning the user allows the hearer to think he means something other than what the user had in mind. Writing in 1946, Orwell listed “fascism”, “socialism”, and “democracy” as examples of abused political words. Were he writing today, I think he would include “rights”. Employment...

Read More

27 Mar 2018 Possible lawsuit looming over Canada Summer Jobs attestation

By Lighthouse News The federal government’s unwillingness to alter the rules around a controversial “attestation requirement” for applicants to the Canada Summer Jobs program could end up in court. The Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC) is considering legal action after the Liberal majority in Parliament handily defeated a motion from the Conservatives last week. The motion, if passed, would have supported access to Canada Summer Jobs funding regardless of the private convictions of the applicants. Many applicants have refused to tick the attestation box because they interpret it as a...

Read More

14 Mar 2018 Canada Summer Jobs mandatory pro-choice attestation hits Christian charities hard

By Lighthouse News As Parliament prepares to vote on an Opposition motion condemning the Trudeau government’s so-called “attestation requirement” for Canada Summer Jobs program funding, evidence is mounting that the requirement is creating problems far beyond the scope of what the government claims to be its intent. The attestation requires applicants to affirm that the “core mandate” of their organization aligns with so-called “Charter Rights”, including “reproductive rights” and “the right to be free from discrimination based on… gender identity or expression.” Both Employment Minister Patty Hajdu and the Prime Minister have...

Read More

07 Mar 2018 Parliament to address Canada Summer Jobs attestation with motion vote

The deadline for applying for the Canada Summer Jobs Grant has passed and the government is now processing applications. Part of the application is a requirement to check a box, affirming support for legal abortion, among other things. Some organizations refused to check the box. Some refused and explained themselves. Some checked the box but added a qualifying statement. At least one Christian charity checked the attestation and, without modifying the statement, simply appended their own statement of faith (a variation on the Apostles’ Creed) to the application. They were...

Read More

06 Mar 2018 LN feature: ARPA is having an impact around the world

Rev. William den Hollander LN: Since your retirement some years ago, you've been filling some vacant pulpits of Reformed churches, and not just in Canada. Recently, you've been to New Zealand, you've been to Australia, now you're in South Africa. And you're encountering - from what I gather from an update that you sent (ARPA Executive Director) Mark Penninga - you're encountering a real appetite in some of those locales for the kind of work that ARPA is doing in Canada. Talk to me about the political situations that exist in...

Read More

23 Feb 2018 Just check the box: the growth of statism and what’s next for Canada’s Christians

By André Schutten   Last month I attended a particularly moving live stage production called Solitary Refinement. The play is based on true stories of persecution. It focuses on the suffering of Romanian pastor Richard Wurmbrand, imprisoned and tortured for 14 years – including two years in solitary confinement – for placing his faith in Jesus above his allegiance to the Communist government. (The play is currently on tour, and I encourage you to attend or have it come to your church. There is also a movie of Wurmbrand’s story coming out...

Read More