Bills and Motions

20 Apr 2021 Bill C-268: Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act

Since the legalization of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in 2016, there has been little effort to protect the consciences of those who refuse to participate in providing MAiD. The recent euthanasia legislation has increased access to MAiD, and doctors will increasingly run into conscientious problems with patient requests for MAiD. Currently, the province of Manitoba is the only province that specifically protects the conscience rights of physicians. Under Manitoba’s legislation, medical professionals can refuse to participate in MAiD if it violates their personal convictions. They cannot be required to provide...

Read More

09 Apr 2021 Hard At Work Defending Girls

Waiting. We don’t like waiting. Waiting for an appointment. Waiting in line. Waiting for the bus on a cold winter day. Keeping somebody else waiting. We just don’t like waiting. Those fighting for the cause of pre-born human rights can relate to this. They have waited and waited and waited for this issue to be debated at Parliament. Well, the wait is over. This issue of abortion is set to be tabled at the House of Commons. And this time, it’s about defending girls. Now that's worth waiting for. What an...

Read More

29 Mar 2021 Canadians’ Views on Body-Affirming Counselling

By Mike Schouten   In the past number of months, ARPA Canada has met with dozens of lawmakers to discuss our concerns with Bill C-6, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy). At numerous times during those meetings, I outlined a fictitious scenario to make this more real. The scenario went like this: “Imagine that I have a 9-year-old son and he recently came home from school expressing that he thought he was a girl trapped in a boy’s body. He wants to go to school in girls’ clothes. Rather than...

Read More

01 Feb 2021 United Nations say disability should not be a reason for MAiD

On January 25th, experts from the United Nations released a press statement declaring, "Disability is not a reason to sanction medically assisted dying." “UN human rights experts today expressed alarm at a growing trend to enact legislation enabling access to medically assisted dying based largely on having a disability or disabling conditions, including in old age… Disability should never be a ground or justification to end someone’s life directly or indirectly… The experts also expressed concern at the lack of involvement of people with disabilities, as well their representative organizations, in drafting...

Read More

29 Jan 2021 Bill C-6 is rushed through the Justice Committee and comes out worse

On December 10th, the Justice Committee of the House of Commons completed their study of Bill C-6, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy). The bill was rushed through committee, raising serious procedural (and ethical) questions, and was amended in such a way as to make the bill even more concerning than it already was.  History of Bill C-6 ARPA Canada has expressed deep concern over the vague drafting of this bill (see more here) since it was introduced approximately a year ago. In short, our main concern with...

Read More

26 Jan 2021 Ontario Bill 203 – More Than a Visitor

COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on congregate care settings, not just in terms of the rapid spread of the virus but also in the banning of visitors, including those who had been active participants in the care or support of a loved one. While exceptions have been made, the ability to visit and care for loved ones in congregate care settings has been severely hampered. A new bill introduced by Ontario NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky is looking to fix this and to set up the province for a better response...

Read More

18 Jan 2021 Kill the Bill

  It is our hope and prayer that you will join us in calling on the Senate to Kill the Bill. ARPA supporters will be very familiar with Bill C-7 (An Act to amend the Criminal Code – medical assistance in dying). The bill was introduced by the Minister of Justice on September 23, 2020, in response to the Superior Court of Quebec decision in Truchon v. Attorney General of Canada. ARPA Canada has engaged extensively with Bill C-7 at every step of the way. We outlined our concerns with Bill C-7 through...

Read More

01 Oct 2020 Federal Liberals retable criminal ban on “conversion therapy” with major legal implications for pastoral ministry

On October 1, 2020 the federal Liberal government tabled Bill C-6 (which was before Parliament earlier this year as Bill C-8). The bill defines conversion therapy as any “practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour.” In case that is unclear, let me apply it directly to the pastoral work of the church. This bill, if passed as written, would make it a criminal offence to help a person struggling with...

Read More

11 Mar 2020 Federal Government Introduces Bill to Ban “Conversion Therapy”

The federal Liberal government, as promised in their election platform, introduced a bill this week to criminally ban “conversion therapy” nation-wide. Bill C-8 defines conversion therapy as any “practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour,” but not services or treatments related to a person’s “gender transition” or to a person’s “exploration of their identity”. Most of the legislation talks about how conversion therapy would be regulated. The legislation proposes to ban...

Read More

25 Feb 2020 Government tables Bill C-7 to expand assisted suicide

Yesterday, the federal government proposed legislative amendments to broaden eligibility for “Medical Assistance in Dying” (MAiD). Bill C-7 proposes to further liberalize Canada’s current law and endangers the lives of vulnerable Canadians. The bill is constructed around two vague categories – those whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable, or not. The legislation gives discretion to medical practitioners to categorize a patient as one or the other. Currently, doctors are permitted to interpret this foreseeable death requirement loosely. Patients who might have had years to live, but had a condition that would...

Read More