Blog

18 Jun 2020 BC Cuts Funding to Independent Distributed Learning Schools

Updated July 14, 2020 by Levi Minderhoud The year 2020 seems to be a year of almost unlimited government spending. The federal government (as of July 8) announced that its deficit would be $343 billion this year. The government of British Columbia is also spending $5 billion on a variety of COVID-related measures. The dominant view among policymakers and economists is that government should spend, spend, spend to avoid an even deeper recession. But, apparently that fund-everything-in-sight logic doesn’t apply to independent distributed learning (IDL) schools in British Columbia. On May 4th, the...

Read More

17 Jun 2020 Counting the Cost of COVID Part I: A Christian Introduction

by Levi Minderhoud  Months after governments declared public health emergencies, COVID still dominates headlines and lifestyles. We at ARPA have tried to respectfully explain the essential nature of worship services and urge respect for fundamental freedoms. We’ve also evaluated the impact of government policies on long-term-care residents and workers. But there is another piece of the COVID puzzle that Christians must address: its monetary cost to our government and country. This blog post initiates a four-part series on the monetary cost of the “COVID Crisis.” This first post aims to articulate a...

Read More

16 Jun 2020 Smithers Residents Launch Letter-Writing Campaign to Town Council

by Levi Minderhoud You are ARPA. ARPA is you. This tagline from ARPA’s intro video means that ARPA isn’t just made up of the staff members who work full-time for the organization. ARPA, fundamentally, is a grassroots network of people who take political action to bring a Biblical perspective to our civil authorities. ARPA members and supporters in Smithers last week demonstrated what effective political action looks like. A few years ago, the town of Smithers agreed to install a rainbow crosswalk to promote the LGBTQ cause. At the time, local ARPA supporters and...

Read More

03 Jun 2020 Canada’s lack of strategy in targeting COVID-19 led to unnecessary crisis in long-term care homes

By Anna Nienhuis Long-term care facilities house some of our society’s most vulnerable: those who need help eating, using the bathroom, or simply turning over in bed. The fact that some of our elders are facing neglect and abuse from those meant to care for them incites justifiable outrage. We need to ask what can be done to improve long-term care and assisted living. But we also need to ask how our governments’ (federal, provincial, and municipal) responses to COVID-19 contributed to this. Long-term care homes were known to be high risk Outbreaks...

Read More

03 Jun 2020 As COVID restrictions drag on, the civil government needs guidance from the instituted church

By André Schutten I’m always moved when I read the introduction to the Belgic Confession in the Book of Praise. It explains that a copy of the Belgic Confession was sent to the persecuting King Philip II, with a letter from a group of petitioners who “declared that they were ready to obey the government in all lawful things, but that they would ‘offer their backs to stripes, their tongues to knives, their mouths to gags, and their whole bodies to fire,’ rather than deny the truth expressed in the Confession.”...

Read More

02 Jun 2020 Still glorious and free? The duty of each Christian to stand on guard for freedom in an age of unprecedented lock-down

By André Schutten The chorus in our national anthem is a prayer: God keep our land glorious and free. O Canada we stand on guard for thee. So, what does that mean practically? Christians take prayer very seriously. It is the most important part of our thankfulness to God (Lord’s Day 45, Heidelberg Catechism). James teaches us that it’s no good to pray for the hungry and poor if we ourselves don’t also help the hungry and the poor (James 2:14-26). How does God answer our prayer to feed the hungry?...

Read More

29 May 2020 Over 400 Ontario Churches Call on Premier to Allow a Gradual Reopening

  By Colin Postma Several weeks ago, I wrote about the Church of God in Aylmer, Ontario - a small, rural congregation that held church services in their parking lot in response to social distancing laws. I did not expect the level of response that post received. Clearly, this situation highlighted concerns about religious freedom for many in this province, and around the country! This situation highlighted concerns about religious freedom The Ontario Government, using their emergency powers during the COVID-19 crisis, prohibits gatherings of more than five people. The congregation in Aylmer...

Read More

20 May 2020 Professing progressivism for emergency loans?

  by John Sikkema  What is our government doing by requiring small businesses to confirm that they do not “promote hate” or “discriminate” before they can get a loan? Imagine your business partner suffers a serious injury at the construction site. You call 911. The operator asks if you and your business partner respect collective bargaining rights. Or imagine you need cancer treatment, and hospital staff ask if you support the equal right of everyone to publicly funded medical care. Would that ever be appropriate? Does your respect or disrespect for collective bargaining or...

Read More

15 May 2020 Federal Euthanasia Survey Results: Support for Stronger Safeguards

Earlier this year, we encouraged you to fill out the federal government’s survey about Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID). The results are in and give reason for both concern and encouragement. Those of you who completed the survey will remember that the first question asked, “Do you think the current safeguards would prevent abuse, pressure, or other kinds of misuse of MAID after eligibility is broadened to people whose death is not reasonably foreseeable?” This basically asks whether we can expand eligibility for MAID to more people without tightening up the...

Read More

07 May 2020 A Good News Story for Victims of Sexual Exploitation

Good news in Alberta! Bill 8: Protecting Survivors of Human Trafficking Act has recently been tabled. The goal of the bill is to protect survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. In short, the bill helps victims of human trafficking. There are some highlights worth noting: A judge has the ability to grant a protection order to the victim, which means the trafficker cannot get close to, speak to or engage with the victim. The bill adds a tort. A tort refers to a civil clause that allows the victim...

Read More