On June 18th, the House of Commons adjourned, setting the stage for an election campaign that will end the 41st session of Parliament. This is an appropriate time to look back on the past four years and see what was accomplished, especially through the lens of ARPA Canada and the issues that we focus on. Pre-born Human Rights: When the Conservatives were handed a majority in the last federal election, many Christians hoped that pre-born human rights would finally be addressed. These hopes were in vain. Although some courageous MPs stood up for the pre-born, the leadership of all the political parties in the House of Commons did their utmost to suppress these efforts. Motion 312, championed by MP Stephen Woodworth, was the first motion that held promise. It asked that “a special committee of the House of Commons be appointed and directed to review the declaration in Subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada which states that a child becomes a human being only at the moment of complete birth.” Local ARPA chapters hosted presentations by Mr. Woodworth on this motion and many ARPA supporters encouraged MPs to support it. But with the party leaders all vocally opposed, the motion died in the House by a vote of 203 to 91. Yet Motion 312 reignited a discussion that was quiet for too long. Momentum for addressing this injustice was building.
The following article, "Report Card: Assessing Canada's Conservative Government on 10 Key Issues" was originally published in the Reformed Perspective magazine. It has been updated and included here as a reference item for our readers. You can download a PDF of the updated version, linked at the bottom of the text if you wish to print a copy. By Mark Penninga (Updated July, 2014) In a June 2011 article for Reformed Perspective I detailed 10 realistic goals that could be accomplished for our nation under this Conservative government if our leaders have the courage to lead and if citizens give them the encouragement and accountability to do so. Now that we are about halfway through this government’s mandate, how are we faring on these issues? 1. Give Aboriginals the responsibility and hope that belongs to all Canadians Grade: B+ Not long after ARPA published a policy report on this issue in 2012, we were very encouraged to see the federal government announce a number of bills and policies to increase accountability, equality, and opportunity for Canada's Aboriginal peoples. In June 2013, the First Nations Financial Transparency Act became law. Aboriginal MP Rob Clarke has also introduced a private member's bill C-428 entitled the Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act. And the government has also taken steps towards allowing private property ownership on reserves and increasing parental responsibility in education. As encouraging as these changes are, they are small steps in light of the enormity of the problem. And given that the issue crosses into provincial responsibility, much more can also be done in having the provinces and federal government work towards a common vision. 2. Reform the Canadian Human Rights Commission Grade: C- In light of all the opposition from all sides of the political spectrum to problematic sections of the Canadian Human Rights Act, it is striking that it took a private member's bill (Brian Storseth's C-304) to finally abolish Section 13 in the summer of 2013. This was a huge victory, but the current government can't take much credit for it, apart from not actively opposing it. Much more can be done to reform or even abolish the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
ARPA Canada is thrilled to finally see Bill C-304 pass through the Senate this week, removing the infamous Section 13 from the Canadian Human Rights Code. This Section has chilled free speech in Canada and been used to classify the truth as hate speech. We tip our hats to MP Brian Storseth, who had the courage to introduce this legislation and defend it all the way through Parliament over the past couple years. The fact that it is a private member's bill and still passed is a huge testament to...
Stand Up for Freedom Canada salutes MP Brian Storseth for making Canada much more free this Canada Day! He tirelessly worked to reform the Canadian Human Rights Code. Canadians, don't relent. Many more reforms can be made provincially and federally. Freedom must be protected day to day.