Blog

17 Oct 2018 Physicians at SickKids discuss euthanasia for children

In 2015, when the Supreme Court struck down the law against euthanasia, it dealt another blow to the dignity of human life. Canadian law now glorifies death as an autonomous choice. As if the list of people eligible to receive death at the hands of doctors was not long enough, Canadians are already discussing extending euthanasia to minors. In an essay entitled, “Medical Assistance in Dying at a paediatric hospital,” three university professors explore how the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, ON, might euthanize minors if (and possibly when)...

Read More

09 Oct 2018 Canadian governance: is optimism a thing?

by Daniel Zekveld As a young Christian interested in politics, I have heard questions such as, “Can Christians really be effective in politics today?” or “How much influence can you really have?” Other Christians will comment to the effect that politics is a hard task, and that it is difficult to retain the Christian faith while being involved in our political system. As a new intern with ARPA, I was also asked by a classmate, “Doesn’t ARPA get discouraged by the number of cases they work so hard on, and then lose?” The...

Read More

24 Jul 2018 Charities are free to do political advocacy, Ontario court rules

Implications for charities and potential charities Registered charities may issue charitable tax receipts for donations. That’s a big benefit for any donor-funded organization, if it can be registered as a charity. Canadian law says a registered charity can only engage in “political activities” that are “ancillary and incidental” to its charitable activities. Those activities will then be deemed charitable, since all a charity’s activities must be charitable. The Canada Revenue Agency sets a 10% limit on the portion of resources that a charity may devote to ancillary political activities. But on July 16,...

Read More

04 Jul 2018 E-petitions, Ice Cream, and Blasphemy

by Mark Penninga Earlier this year, e-petition maker Citizengo.org posted a petition and call for a boycott in response to a Toronto-based chain of ice-cream stores called “Sweet Jesus.” More petitions like it quickly followed. It isn’t only their name that is blasphemous. The company mocks our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in their marketing, symbols, and even the names they use for their ice-cream flavours. The mainstream media, always on the look-out for examples of perceived Christian fundamentalism, were quick to pick up the story of the petitions and boycotts. TV networks...

Read More

28 Jun 2018 Civil Disobedience and Courageous Leadership by Alberta Schools

by Mark Penninga Many of us are ready to disengage for the summer, leaving behind the stress of our regular lives. But before doing so, please take a moment to reflect on yesterday’s Alberta court ruling against the application for an injunction on Bill 24. This may sound like Greek, and largely irrelevant to you. But it isn’t. For starters, have a look just at page 1 of the decision. Look at the names of the schools listed in the court challenge. Do any of them look familiar to you? This may be the...

Read More

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,...

Read More

12 Jun 2018 There are some things money shouldn’t buy, like babies

by Nick Suk (ARPA intern) Children are gifts from God, not products to procure or commodities to purchase. Procreation should take place within marriage, not through the deliberate fracturing of natural relationships. This biblical foundation is violated when a third party becomes part of the procreation process, either as a genetic parent (gamete seller or donor) or as a surrogate mother. These are live issues in Canada today. MP Anthony Housefather has tabled Bill C-404 to decriminalize commercial surrogacy and the sale of gametes. The intent of the bill is to increase the...

Read More

28 May 2018 Handing over the keys to the State? The challenges of church as legal entity Part 3 of 3

  An ARPA Three-Part series on Church and State in Canada By André Schutten and John Sikkema The church, says the Belgic Confession, is “a holy congregation and assembly of true Christian believers” that “has existed from the beginning of the world and will be to the end” and “is not confined or limited to one particular place or to certain persons, but is spread and dispersed throughout the entire world.” Yet in common parlance we use “church” to mean several other things. We may use it to refer to a certain denomination, or a...

Read More

11 May 2018 How Canadian: government forces an apology but ignores the substance of the issue

by André Schutten Members of Parliament voted overwhelmingly (269 to 10) in favour of a motion calling on Canada’s Roman Catholic bishops to request the pope visit Canada to apologize for the Church’s role in the residential schools. The residential school system was deeply flawed and perpetrated much evil against vulnerable children. It separated indigenous children from their parents without the families’ consent, violating the family unit with the force of law. The Roman Catholic Church and other denominations were willing cooperators with the government in running this school system. Nevertheless, this call...

Read More

21 Apr 2018 God and Government 2018 Day 3

  Click here to watch slideshow by Michael Zwiep The third day of non-partisan Parliament Hill advocacy at ARPA's God & Government conference began with a meditation by Dr. Ted Van Raalte, Professor of Ecclesiology at the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary in Hamilton. Delegates were directed to 1 Timothy 6:11-21, 2 Timothy 3:10-17 and the commission of the man of God. The messengers of Christ, either in the ordained office of the ministry of the Word and Sacraments in the proclamation of the Gospel, or in the offices of Prophet, Priest and King in the...

Read More