News

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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29 Nov 2019 What’s going on with Bill 207, Alberta’s conscience rights bill?

  *UPDATE (added Dec. 5): On Monday, December 2, while MLA Dan Williams was speaking on Bill 207, a tragic incident occurred outside the Assembly, which then adjourned. Consequently, Bill 207 was delayed. It will likely be revisited in February 2020, once the legislature resumes. Last week, an Alberta legislative committee voted against Bill 207.  So, is Bill 207 dead? Not quite. Ordinarily, a bill gets debated in the Assembly at second reading. Then, if it passes the “second reading vote”, it goes to an appropriate committee for closer study, where amendments are often...

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28 Nov 2019 Why liberalism and conservatism are both (mostly) wrong: Politics from a Christian worldview

by John Sikkema The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms acknowledges the "supremacy of God". Many see this as an inappropriate mixing of law and religion. Is it? What if the Charter stated instead that the individual is supreme? Or the people? Or the nation? Or the working class? Each of these would be a statement of the law’s foundational commitment, a statement of belief. We shouldn't think that politics becomes nonreligious simply by leaving out references to God. In his new book, Christian political philosopher David Koyzis helps us understand why. In...

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20 Nov 2019 Dispelling myths about Alberta’s conscience rights bill

  Bill 207, tabled by Alberta MLA Dan Williams, now faces fierce opposition. The bill proposes protections for health care providers’ freedom of conscience. It is scheduled for a vote at second reading on Monday, November 25. It deserves to pass and proceed to committee for further review and possible improvements.   Bill 207 does not threaten access to health care The primary line of attack is that Bill 207 threatens “access to health care”. “Imagine … a patient being denied access to a therapeutic abortion even if the woman’s life is in danger,”...

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13 Nov 2019 Toronto Catholic School Board includes ‘Gender Identity’ and ‘Gender Expression’ in its Code of Conduct

In a meeting last week that went into the early hours of the morning, the Toronto Catholic District School Board voted in favour of changing its Code of Conduct policy to include the terms “gender expression” and “gender identity.” ARPA supporters will no doubt recognize these two terms, as they were at the centre of changes forced on Reformed schools in Alberta by the previous government in that province. We applaud the schools in Alberta that stood up to government and societal pressure and are disappointed to see the Toronto...

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07 Nov 2019 New Alberta bill offers robust protections for freedom of conscience

    We have encouraging news. Dan Williams, MLA for Peace River, Alberta, tabled a bill today that would protect both individual health care providers and health care facilities from being required to provide services that conflict with their religious beliefs, conscientious beliefs, ethical judgment, or cultural traditions. One of the bill’s stated purposes is to provide certainty to health care providers and religious health care organizations with respect to exercising their Charter-protected freedoms of conscience and religion. This is greatly needed in a time when both individual providers and religious health care...

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22 Oct 2019 Defending Legislative Prayer in British Columbia

by Levi Minderhoud   We are blessed to live in a province that recognizes the importance of prayer. The Standing Orders of the BC Legislature mandate that morning or afternoon sessions open with prayer. The Speaker of the House invites an MLA to offer one of five standard prayers developed by the BC Legislature or to offer a prayer of their own devising. In practice, about half of the prayers offered in the Legislature are based upon the standard prayers, while half are written by MLAs. Although these prayers are short –...

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02 Oct 2019 Responding to Proposals to Ban Conversion Therapy

Canada and British Columbia are not strangers to the controversy around gender and sexuality. In the last few years, ARPA has waded into the fray around SOGI 123, a three-step plan to normalize homosexuality and transgenderism in BC schools. ARPA also intervened in the A.B. v C.D. & E.F. case at the BC Court of Appeal. In both instances, we argue the biblical and scientific truth that biology matters, and that parents, children, and all citizens should be free to live and speak in accordance with their religious and moral...

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11 Sep 2019 B.C.’s highest court says 14-year-old can continue hormone treatment, despite gaps in risk disclosure  

by John Sikkema  The B.C. Gender Clinic’s “Informed Consent Form” for “hormone therapy” is both inadequate and misleading, in my view. Yet the province’s highest court ruled last week, in AB v CD, that a 14-year-old girl who had signed the form could continue to receive testosterone therapy despite her father’s objections. In this article, I explain that decision and what it may mean for B.C. children and families. What is the AB v CD case about? ARPA was in court last week as an intervenor in AB v CD (anonymized short forms for...

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