News

14 Feb 2020 A breach in Wall:  New court ruling casts shadow on church independence

In 2018, we told you about a Supreme Court case called Wall v Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In that case, Mr. Wall took a Jehovah’s Witnesses Congregation to court for “disfellowshipping” him. Mr. Wall succeeded in the lower courts, but lost his case at the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). The SCC decided unanimously that civil judges have no business reviewing a religious body’s decision to expel a member where no legal right is at stake. That case raised the fundamental issue of churches’ freedom to govern themselves, particularly in...

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13 Feb 2020 So, a bunch of nervous, eager, and energetic teenagers attended God and Government 2020. Now what?

Thirty-six high school students arrived in Ottawa on Tuesday, February 4. They came by planes, trains, and automobiles. They slept in an old jail. They went to court. They went to the theatre. Well, sort of. They attended question period in the House of Commons. They ate Beaver Tails, checked out the Rideau Canal, made new friends, and experienced the travel delights of delays and cancellations due to a whopping snowfall. But most importantly, they came for politics. That’s where the fun really began. The students listened to presentations from a...

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22 Jan 2020 Opportunities for Partisan Political Action in British Columbia in 2020

Levi Minderhoud   Since its inception, ARPA Canada has chosen to be non-partisan. This allows ARPA as an organization to better engage with elected officials regardless of their partisan colour. But we certainly encourage you to be partisan. Officially joining the political party that most closely aligns with your political philosophy gives you a special and amplified voice. It allows you to vote in party leadership races, local candidate nomination races, and policy conventions. Leadership races determine who will be the next leader of a political party. Local candidate nomination races determine who...

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15 Jan 2020 Participate in the Government’s Euthanasia Consultations

Canada’s law on Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) or euthanasia will be changing soon, and likely not for the better. A recent case from Quebec (Truchon v. Attorney General of Canada) struck down the requirement that natural death is reasonably foreseeable in Canada’s current euthanasia legislation. This means that the federal government is now required to revisit the legality of euthanasia and come up with a new law by March 11, 2020. As a part of this legal review, the Government of Canada is consulting with Canadians. Please take 10 minutes to fill...

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14 Jan 2020 ARPA Press release: A.B. v. C.D. Father did not commit family violence

OTTAWA, ON – The British Columbia Court of Appeal released its judgment today in A.B. v. C.D., in which it overturned numerous orders made by the court below, concluding that the father (“C.D.”) had not committed “family violence” under the Family Law Act by opposing his biological daughter’s (“A.B.”) proposed gender transition by the administration of testosterone. The Court of Appeal struck the lower court’s protection order, which threatened the father with immediate arrest if he tried to persuade AB to abandon testosterone treatment, if he addressed AB by her birth name, or if...

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euthanasia and organ donation

10 Jan 2020 Euthanasia is increasing organ donations. What should we do?

by Anna Nienhuis Because the time, place, and means of medically assisted deaths are pre-planned, euthanasia makes it easier than ever before to collect human organs and tissue before they spoil. The Ottawa Citizen reports more than a 100% increase in donations from MAiD patients in Ontario since 2017. But this is not a silver lining to legalized euthanasia, as it might first appear, and as it is being portrayed. It confronts Canadians with difficult ethical questions. To name a few that the medical community has also been grappling with: How does...

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31 Dec 2019 A year-end message from ARPA’s Executive Director

As this year and decade comes to a close are you feeling somewhat fearful about the state of our nation and the world? If you have been following our work you will have good reason to be troubled by recent developments. A Quebec court undermined already weak protections for human life by striking down a limit on assisted suicide. In response, Canada’s federal government promised to broaden Canada’s euthanasia law in the new year. We saw a pastor arrested in Toronto for publicly bringing the message of God’s grace to sinners....

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18 Dec 2019 Edmonton ‘conversion therapy’ bylaw could penalize churches

Last week, Edmonton City Council officially banned “conversion therapy”. The decision was swift and unanimous. The practice and promotion of conversion therapy is prohibited within city limits. Disobedience is costly. The bylaw carries a minimum $10,000.00 fine. The bylaw prohibits any “technique”, “service”, “treatment” or “tactic” aimed at “eliminating or reducing sexual attraction or sexual behaviour between persons of the same sex” or intended to alter a person’s “sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or gender preference.” It applies to “businesses” broadly defined (any “profession, trade, occupation, calling, or employment” or...

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17 Dec 2019 Busting Myths on ARPA’s Position on Conversion Therapy

After our Facebook live discussion of conversion therapy, we received some negative feedback from the general public. We want to respond by busting some myths about ARPA’s position on conversion therapy. Criticism #1: How can you support a practice that is condemned by scientific and health institutions? Conversion therapy is a pseudoscience that is not based on science or facts. Response: First of all, ARPA Canada does not support conversion therapy. ARPA Canada instead supports body-affirming counselling, which is being inappropriately lumped together with aversion therapies under the too often ill-defined term...

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05 Dec 2019 Press Release: Will the throne speech address assisted suicide?

For immediate release from the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada December 5, 2019 Will the throne speech address assisted suicide? OTTAWA, ON – Advocates for persons with disabilities will be tuned in to the throne speech to see if or how the returning Liberal government will address the issue of assisted suicide. “Will the government promote suicide prevention or suicide assistance?” asks André Schutten, Director of Law and Policy with the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada. “Will this government signal to people with severe disabilities or diseases that it wants...

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