Blog

23 Feb 2018 Just check the box: the growth of statism and what’s next for Canada’s Christians

By André Schutten   Last month I attended a particularly moving live stage production called Solitary Refinement. The play is based on true stories of persecution. It focuses on the suffering of Romanian pastor Richard Wurmbrand, imprisoned and tortured for 14 years – including two years in solitary confinement – for placing his faith in Jesus above his allegiance to the Communist government. (The play is currently on tour, and I encourage you to attend or have it come to your church. There is also a movie of Wurmbrand’s story coming out...

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07 Feb 2018 Treating peaceful pro-life persuasion as hate speech

  by John Sikkema  A new law took effect in Ontario this month. It is now an offence, punishable by punitive fines and prison, to “attempt to advise or persuade” someone to refrain from having an abortion, or to “attempt to inform a person concerning issues related to abortion services”, or to “attempt to perform an act of disapproval [of abortion]” in any way, if the attempt is made within 50m (or up to 150m) of an abortion clinic. ‘Access zones’ can also be created around hospitals and pharmacies by regulation, up...

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10 Jan 2018 Child Services Loves Santa Claus: A Canadian Cultural Experience

by Colin Postma Magic was in the air last month – sleigh bells ringing, fires crackling, snow glistening and all that – if you believe the songs on mind-numbing repeat in every store. It’s the Canadian experience of Christmas: dragging yourself through shopping lists, falling asleep at the wheel while waiting for the traffic jams to clear out, and being jolted awake with the horrid realization you forgot to get anything good for Aunt Gertrude. Amidst all the wonder and merriment of this ‘essential Canadian cultural experience’, a case proceeded in a Hamilton...

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03 Jan 2018 I belong! True happiness doesn’t come from autonomy

By Mark Penninga In his recently-published sketchbook/devotional Just Thinking, Jason Bouwman includes an entry called “Start with ‘Whose?’” Bouwman is working off a popular TED talk by Simon Sinek about inspiring people to action, one that I have showed to the ARPA team a couple of times. Sinek convincingly demonstrates that if we want to get people to do something, we need to start with answering “Why?” It’s well worth watching. But Bouwman argues that Sinek has not gone deep enough. The “Heidelberg Catechism teaches us to start not with ‘Why?’ but with...

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15 Dec 2017 What to Wear to a Worm Wedding: Highlights from BC’s SOGI Curriculum

By Tabitha Ewert, Articling Student The schools back in my hometown of Langley, BC, have a re-designed “SOGI” curriculum. For those unfamiliar with the term, SOGI is an acronym for “sexual orientation and gender identity”. While only announced this year, this curriculum has been years in the making. It started out as an anti-bullying campaign, but it teaches an unhealthy view of sexuality and gender. I want to explain and comment on the new curriculum, but before I do that I need to state four premises: Four Premises Education is not neutral. As the Ontario...

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08 Dec 2017 Could marijuana decriminalization present an opportunity for better policy?

by John Sikkema Parliament is well on its way to legalizing marijuana. Bill C-45, the “Cannabis Act”, has passed in the House of Commons and is now in the Senate. It will likely be law early next year. Our government acknowledges marijuana is harmful, particularly for young people. So it proposes to severely punish selling to a young person, while legalizing a recreational marijuana market. But if pot becomes more pervasive and easily available than it is today – as current investment in massive marijuana grow-ops suggests it will – it isn’t...

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28 Nov 2017 Ontario’s highest court: public education is not neutral

By John Sikkema In an important ruling, a Christian father lost his religious freedom claim against the Hamilton School Board. But it’s not all bad news. The main reason for E.T.’s loss (the father’s name is redacted to his initials) was the breadth of his claim and lack of evidence to support it. He lost on the facts, not the law. E.T. wanted school staff to give him notice whenever “moral relativism”, “environmental worship”, “occultic principles”, “sex education”, or “portrayals of homosexual/bisexual conduct and relationships and/or transgenderism as natural, healthy or acceptable”...

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27 Oct 2017 Safe Access Zone Legislation is Unconstitutional: ARPA Canada Speaks to Committee

**UPDATE: Bill 163 passed in Ontario, regardless of our opposition** Ontario’s “Safe Access” legislation (Bill 163) proposes to ban all disapproval of abortion around abortion clinics, hospitals and pharmacies. The Standing Committee on General Government at Queen’s Park in Toronto studied the bill on October 19. The Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) on the committee heard from a variety of organizations on both sides of the issue and I was grateful for the opportunity to present ARPA Canada’s concerns. For more information on what “safe access” legislation is, you can read our...

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18 Aug 2017 Irreconcilable? Indigenous Peoples and Canada at 150

by Colin Postma Despite all the talk of reconciliation with Canada’s aboriginal population over the years, all is still not well in the minds of many Canadians. Canada recently celebrated its 150th Birthday. Canadian flags, parades, and fireworks were the staple in every Canadian city, town, and village. In my home town of Ottawa, thousands waited in line for hours in heavy rain just to be a part of the events on Parliament Hill. But many Canadians felt differently. One of my Facebook friends posted a picture of himself wearing a shirt with...

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