Justice and Freedom

12 Dec 2017 LN feature: Make us a cake or see you in court

Jack Phillips, Owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop Jim Campbell, Senior Legal Counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom The United States Supreme Court held a hearing last week on a case with huge implications for freedom of religion. As we were posting our podcast on the Trinity Western case, the highest court in America started hearing oral arguments in a case called “Masterpiece Cakeshop vs Colorado Civil Rights Commission.” It involves a Christian baker, Jack Phillips, and his fight for the right not to make a cake for a gay wedding. Mr. Phillips was represented...

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30 Nov 2017 Press Release: ARPA Canada intervenes in TWU case this week

For immediate release from the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada November 29, 2017 ARPA Canada intervenes in TWU case this week OTTAWA - On Thursday and Friday the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the Trinity Western University case. The law societies in British Columbia and Ontario refused to accept graduates from the Christian university’s proposed law school because of TWU’s Community Covenant, which requires students, among other things, to refrain from sexual intimacy outside of a heterosexual marriage. Trinity Western has asked the courts to overturn these decisions, arguing they violate the...

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28 Nov 2017 LN Feature: TWU in the Supreme Court – Why this may be the most important case of the decade for Religious Freedom

ARPA's Director of Law and Policy, André Schutten ARPA's Director of Law and Policy, André Schutten, is due to appear before the Supreme Court of Canada this week. ARPA has been granted intervener status in two Trinity Western University appeals regarding the establishment of a Law School in British Columbia. Oral arguments in the case begin on Thursday of this week. On the feature this week, an interview with André on the event of the hearing. ------------------ LN: So, two days from now, the Supreme Court of Canada starts its hearings on the...

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21 Nov 2017 LN Feature: Christians: Your Voice Can Make a Difference in the Political Landscape

ARPA's Director of Law and Policy, André Schutten ARPA was also involved in another EasyMail campaign earlier in November. That one involved federal politics. Parliament's Justice and Human Rights Committee held hearings on Bill C-51. That bill originally included a clause which would have repealed Section 176 of the Criminal Code; a section that expressly protects religious worship services, and those who conduct them, from assault, interference, or harassment.. For an explanation of the background to this, Lighthouse News spoke with ARPA's Director of Law and Policy, André Schutten. -------------- LN: First of all, can...

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14 Nov 2017 Protecting the grizzly bear spirit?

Derek Ross, Executive Director of Christian Legal Fellowship One of the intervenors in a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling on freedom of religion says even though his side lost the case, there are some positives to be drawn from the final ruling. This is about the Ktunaxa decision, which we told you about last week. The case centred on claims that the object of native spirituality for the Ktunaxa Indian band in BC should be protected by the Charter. The object of that faith is the "Grizzly Bear Spirit", which...

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09 Nov 2017 Passed: Manitoba’s Bill 34 to protect conscience rights

**UPDATE: Bill 34 passed the Manitoba Legislature unanimously. Please be sure to thank your MLA. You can use our EasyMail here.** Following the federal government’s law that legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide in 2016, Manitoba’s PC government introduced Bill 34 to protect the conscience rights of medical professionals who rightly don’t believe it is ethical to assist in killing. Already at the bill’s introduction the Manitoba NDP opposed it, saying it was unnecessary. Since then, it appears the NDP and independent MLA Steven Fletcher may be trying to directly or indirectly stall...

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07 Nov 2017 Update: ARPA Canada asks Justice Committee to keep explicit protection for worship services

**UPDATE: The Justice Committee decided to leave section 176 alone after receiving overwhelming response from the public and our supporters. We are very thankful for this development.** The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights is currently studying Bill C-51. This bill is meant to clean up Canada’s Criminal Code by removing outdated, unconstitutional, and redundant provisions. Much of the discussion of the Committee has been on one particular provision – clause 14 of the Bill proposes to remove section 176 of the Criminal Code. That section prohibits obstructing a religious...

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07 Nov 2017 Freedom of religion for the ‘grizzly bear spirit’?

The Supreme Court of Canada issued a major ruling last week, which places some restrictions on the definition of the Charter right of "Freedom of Religion." The ruling was in the Ktunaxa case in British Columbia. You may recall we featured that case on Lighthouse News last December. It involved a challenge by the Ktunaxa Indian Band in southeastern BC against the BC government's decision to approve a ski resort development. The Band claimed the government hadn't properly considered the "Freedom of Religion" clause in the Charter of Rights, because approving...

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07 Nov 2017 LN Feature: The Supreme Court as Reformed Synod?

ARPA Canada lawyer, John Sikkema ARPA lawyer John Sikkema appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada last week, making arguments as an intervener in the so-called "Wall" case. That's the one where the Supreme Court has been asked whether secular courts have authority to intervene in matters of ecclesiastical discipline. The arguments are being heard in the context of the "disfellowshipping" of a member of a Jehovah's Witness congregation in Calgary. ARPA had been accepted as an intervener in the case, and filed written arguments earlier this fall. The issue was highlighted during the...

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07 Nov 2017 Do worship services deserve special protection in law?

ARPA's Director of Law and Policy, André Schutten ARPA's Director of Law and Policy, André Schutten, appeared before Parliament's Justice Committee last week, arguing against a change to the Criminal Code. As part of a new law called Bill C-51, the government wants to remove a section of the Criminal Code that expressly prohibits anyone from interfering with a religious service that's in progress, and also protects members of the clergy from being harassed or interfered with on their way to or from a religious service.  The government argues that this kind...

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