Criminal Justice

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...

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20 May 2020 Criminal charges withdrawn against street preacher David Lynn

The Crown withdrew its criminal charges against David Lynn today, almost a year after he was arrested while street preaching in Toronto’s “gay village” at the opening of “Pride Month”. This case was politically charged from the outset. Lynn had been charged with two criminal offences: mischief and causing a disturbance. The entire incident was video recorded, however, and it quickly came to light that these charges were dubious at best. ARPA Canada’s Law and Policy Director reviewed that video last summer and wrote about the case on ARPA’s blog. At...

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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...

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02 Mar 2020 Ontario court lets off two pimps, declares prostitution law unconstitutional

In 2014, Parliament passed the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (Bill C-36) to implement the “Nordic Model” of prostitution law in Canada. This model, and our current law,  prohibits the purchase of sex, while granting immunity to those who are prostituted. It also prohibits third parties, particularly pimps, from promoting and profiting from prostitution. The Nordic Model recognizes the prevalence of coercion in prostitution and is designed to ensure that abuse and violence can be reported by prostituted women (and men) without fear of legal repercussions. A provincial...

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20 Sep 2018 Debate on expanding euthanasia continues, ARPA releases new policy report

This fall, Parliament will examine the issue of expanding euthanasia to “mature minors” and to persons with mental illness. Since 2016 (Bill C-14), Canada has permitted anyone who is at least 18, has a grievous and irremediable medical condition, and whose death is reasonably foreseeable, to receive “medical aid in dying” (MAiD). To put it in stark terms, the law now permits medical professionals to kill their adult patients, as long as the patient consents and has the requisite medical conditions. In Spring 2015, ARPA released its first Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia...

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07 Sep 2018 Portraying Parental Rights

Portraying Parental Rights When Bill S-206 came out to senate again I took the opportunity to call a few senators regarding this issue.  After our phone calls, I was asked by two senators if I was interested in meeting up during the summer months to continue our conversation.  I had the privilege of meeting these two senators and spoke on various items, including Bill S-206 on corporal discipline.  One senator completely agreed with me as parents need to discipline our children, yet not in a cruel way. The other one I...

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03 Jul 2018 Euthanasia Rules Continue to Unravel

Peter Stockland (Lighthouse News – July 3, 2018) Two years have gone by since the passage of Bill C-14, the law that legalized euthanasia in Canada. Peter Stockland, the publisher of the Cardus Foundation’s “Convivium” magazine, marked the anniversary with an in-depth article on how the law has evolved since it was first implemented. He says it’s clear that the rules around Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) continue to be relaxed, as evidenced by some new statistics that came out just last week. “There was a 30-percent increase in the number...

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30 May 2018 New bill would allow commercialization of human reproduction

Take Action: Send an EasyMail letter to share your concerns with your MP Bill C-404, “An Act to amend the Assisted Human Reproduction Act”, was introduced yesterday by Liberal MP Anthony Housefather. If the bill passes, it will decriminalize commercial surrogacy and the sale of human gametes (sperm and eggs). This will allow women to enter commercial contracts to bear children for others in exchange for money. It will also allow paying people for their eggs or sperm. The bill is short and simple and would do nothing to regulate these practices, except to specify that gamete...

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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 ARPA’s new policy report on In Vitro Fertilization

ARPA Canada lawyer, John Sikkema ARPA is out with a new "Respectfully Submitted" Policy Report. This one deals with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Lawyer John Sikkema says there's still considerable debate about the ethics of the practice itself, but the report doesn't address that issue. He says the report acknowledges the fact that there are ethical discussions underway about the very practice of IVF, but doesn’t address that issue directly. Rather, he says, it deals with policy issues that flow out of the fact that IVF is going on. “The ethical...

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