Justice and Freedom


05 Apr 2018 Summer Jobs and the English Language

Employment Minister won't say what 'rights' means by John Sikkema In his famous essay, Politics and the English Language, George Orwell lamented that “political words” tend to be so abused as to become almost meaningless. Their vagueness then allows people to use them “in a consciously dishonest way” – meaning the user allows the hearer to think he means something other than what the user had in mind. Writing in 1946, Orwell listed “fascism”, “socialism”, and “democracy” as examples of abused political words. Were he writing today, I think he would include “rights”. Employment...

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27 Mar 2018 Possible lawsuit looming over Canada Summer Jobs attestation

By Lighthouse News The federal government’s unwillingness to alter the rules around a controversial “attestation requirement” for applicants to the Canada Summer Jobs program could end up in court. The Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC) is considering legal action after the Liberal majority in Parliament handily defeated a motion from the Conservatives last week. The motion, if passed, would have supported access to Canada Summer Jobs funding regardless of the private convictions of the applicants. Many applicants have refused to tick the attestation box because they interpret it as a...

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14 Mar 2018 Canada Summer Jobs mandatory pro-choice attestation hits Christian charities hard

By Lighthouse News As Parliament prepares to vote on an Opposition motion condemning the Trudeau government’s so-called “attestation requirement” for Canada Summer Jobs program funding, evidence is mounting that the requirement is creating problems far beyond the scope of what the government claims to be its intent. The attestation requires applicants to affirm that the “core mandate” of their organization aligns with so-called “Charter Rights”, including “reproductive rights” and “the right to be free from discrimination based on… gender identity or expression.” Both Employment Minister Patty Hajdu and the Prime Minister have...

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07 Mar 2018 Parliament to address Canada Summer Jobs attestation with motion vote

The deadline for applying for the Canada Summer Jobs Grant has passed and the government is now processing applications. Part of the application is a requirement to check a box, affirming support for legal abortion, among other things. Some organizations refused to check the box. Some refused and explained themselves. Some checked the box but added a qualifying statement. At least one Christian charity checked the attestation and, without modifying the statement, simply appended their own statement of faith (a variation on the Apostles’ Creed) to the application. They were...

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06 Mar 2018 LN feature: ARPA is having an impact around the world

Rev. William den Hollander LN: Since your retirement some years ago, you've been filling some vacant pulpits of Reformed churches, and not just in Canada. Recently, you've been to New Zealand, you've been to Australia, now you're in South Africa. And you're encountering - from what I gather from an update that you sent (ARPA Executive Director) Mark Penninga - you're encountering a real appetite in some of those locales for the kind of work that ARPA is doing in Canada. Talk to me about the political situations that exist in...

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check the box

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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Kitchen Serving Food In Homeless Shelter

20 Feb 2018 Canadian government sued over Summer Jobs Program

Julia Beazley, Director of Public Policy for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada It looks as though the controversial "attestation" requirement for the Canada Summer Jobs program may be going to court more than once.  At the centre of the dispute is a requirement that all applicants for summer jobs funding have to sign on to a statement vowing support for so-called "reproductive rights". Julia Beazley with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada says the government extended the deadline for applications for that program earlier this month, but ultimately, that didn't make any difference....

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23 Jan 2018 LN feature – God and Government: Apply now!

ARPA Canada Grassroots Manager, Colin Postma On the feature this week, a look ahead to this year’s God and Government conference, which is being planned for April 18-20th in Ottawa. The guest is ARPA’s Grassroots Manager, Colin Postma, who is one of the main organizers of the event. -------   LN: We don't often find the words "God" and "government" even in the same sentence. In some sectors of society, there's an outright hostility to "mixing religion and politics." But that's the title of this conference. This is pretty counter-cultural. CP: Well, Al, ultimately that's the mission...

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22 Jan 2018 Abortion rights coalition comes out against Liberals plan to block pro-life organizations from accessing summer job grants

The federal government is being urged by yet another voice to modify their controversial "attestation" policy in the application process for the Canada Summer Jobs program.  Just before Christmas, the government unveiled a requirement that all businesses and organizations who wanted funds from the program would have to affirm their support for Charter rights, including the notion of "reproductive rights" which included unrestricted abortion. The requirement sparked a storm of protest from pro-life groups and other faith-based organizations which use the funding to provide services ranging from refugee resettlement to summer camp...

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Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during the 2017 Invictus Games opening ceremonies in Toronto, Canada Sept. 23, 2017. (DoD photo by EJ Hersom)

17 Jan 2018 Update: Government blocks pro-life organizations from Canada Summer Jobs grant

UPDATE: The Liberal government recently has tried to minimize the damage, due to the backlash against the new attestation requirement. In our opinion, however, the government's explanations do not change the meaning of the attestation, and we will continue to push for its removal. Employment Minister Patty Hajdu tried to assure churches and other religious organizations that they could, in fact, make the attestation. She argued that the attestation only requires that an organization’s “core mandate” respect reproductive rights. She has not explained what that means. Is it the mission statement of the...

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