Author: Levi Minderhoud

23 Jun 2021 Unanticipated opportunities and overflowing support: reflections on a decade with ARPA Canada

By André Schutten Photo: Mark Penninga, executive director of ARPA Canada, presents a plaque to André Schutten on the occasion of his 10 years with ARPA.   I started my first day with ARPA Canada as Ontario Director and Legal Counsel on June 22, 2011. My office was a single room on the upper floor of an art gallery, managed by my wife Karyn, nestled in the picturesque hills of Gatineau Park. The day before I started, I was called to the bar, officially becoming a fully licensed lawyer. One of my first...

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23 Jun 2021 Parliamentary Committee Releases Report on Pornhub

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Information, Privacy, and Ethics recently studied the question of ‘Protection of Privacy and Reputation on Platforms such as Pornhub.’ The Committee released its report on June 17, and it includes many noteworthy recommendations. As we discussed in previous posts (here from Dec 17th and here from Jan 27th), the December 4, 2020 New York Times exposé on the porn industry brought a welcome level of concerned attention to the website and business model of Pornhub and the Mindgeek corporation based in Montreal. Parliament needs to address...

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18 Jun 2021 Respecting Seniors Beyond Senior’s Week

  The first week in June every year is Senior’s Week in British Columbia. As proclaimed by the province, one of the purposes of Senior’s Week is to recognize that “seniors are a diverse population within a society that supports its members throughout the life continuum, and recognizes individual rights to dignity, respect, autonomy, and choice.” This recognition is more important now than at any time since the proclamation of this week almost two decades ago. In the past 15 months, our most vulnerable seniors living in long-term care homes across the...

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14 Jun 2021 The Erosion of the Family that Christians Aren’t Talking About Enough

By Levi Minderhoud Orthodox Christians are champions of the family. And rightly so. Stretching back to the beginning of history and the creation of the world, marriage (and, by extension, the family) was the first institution that God created (Genesis 2:18, 24-25). Chronologically, the family supersedes the state, the church, and any other institution in society. For that reason, Christians often call the family the “basic unit” or “basic institution” of society. Inseparable from the concept of the family is the principle that parents have the primary responsibility to care for the...

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08 Jun 2021 ARPA Submits Brief to Senate Committee on Reducing Recidivism

Bill C-228, An Act to Establish a Federal Framework to Reduce Recidivism, has passed second reading in the Senate and is currently being discussed at the Committee on National Defence and Security. ARPA Canada recently submitted a written brief on Bill C-228 to the Committee, and we encourage you to read the submission here or at the end of this post. Bill C-228 seeks to address recidivism, or repeat offences, by people coming out of the Canadian prison system. Currently, recidivism rates are high for offenders being released from both Federal...

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02 Jun 2021 Combating Human Trafficking – Bill 251 Passes in the Ontario Legislature

In 2020, the Ontario government introduced its 5-year anti-human trafficking strategy, investing $307 million between 2020 and 2025 to combat this injustice. Bill 251 expands on previous anti-human trafficking efforts, giving greater support to victims of trafficking, educating Ontarians about the issue, and providing more tools for law enforcement to crack down on human trafficking. This week, Bill 251, the Combating Human Trafficking Act, passed 3rd reading in the Ontario Legislature and will soon receive Royal Assent. The bill was initially introduced by the Solicitor General of Ontario. A few weeks...

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27 May 2021 Stopping Internet Sexual Exploitation (SISE) Act Introduced in Parliament

  Today, MP Arnold Viersen introduced the Stopping Internet Sexual Exploitation Act or the SISE Act. This private member’s bill is the next step in a long history of action on the part of MP Arnold Viersen in the face of pornography and online sexual exploitation content. He was involved in promoting and receiving unanimous consent for Motion 47 in 2016, which resulted in a committee investigation of online sexually explicit content. This piece of legislation comes amid a firestorm of activity around the organization MindGeek which profits from its online pornography...

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26 May 2021 Called to Care Campaign

Over the past year we have been reminded of our Christian calling to care for our elders. We have also seen how this calling can be combined with political action, as long-term care is getting increasing political attention. When COVID-19 struck, long-term care homes in British Columbia were hit hard, exposing deadly flaws in how we care for seniors and bringing long-term care increasingly under public scrutiny and control. The provincial NDP and the federal NDP have issued calls for all care homes to be permanently taken over by the provincial...

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26 May 2021 Supreme Court Affirms the Exclusive Jurisdiction of the Church over Doctrinal and Membership Questions

On Friday, May 21, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada released their decision in Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church et al. v. Aga et al. The unanimous decision is a resounding victory for the authority and autonomy of the church over questions of doctrine and membership. Thank the Lord for this positive development! This case was appealed to the Supreme Court after the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled unanimously that the civil courts could adjudicate a dispute between several former members* and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church regarding their membership status and...

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20 May 2021 ARPA Submits Recommendations to the Ontario Justice Committee to Combat Human Trafficking

  Last week, the Ontario Standing Committee on Justice Policy discussed Bill 251, Combating Human Trafficking Act, 2021. ARPA Canada submitted recommendations on Bill 251 through both a written submission and an oral presentation to the committee. We encourage you to read the submission here. Human trafficking is a major concern in the Province of Ontario and preys on vulnerable people, primarily women and girls. Between 2009 and 2018, the number of police-reported human trafficking incidents in Ontario (0.9 per 100,000 population) was nearly double the Canadian average (0.5 per 100,000 population). Although...

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