Justice and Freedom

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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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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