Bills and Motions

11 Apr 2018 Alberta bill blocking info on student activities from parents will be challenged in court

by Lighthouse News The Alberta government is facing a lawsuit over Bill 24. That’s the law - passed late last year - which expressly forbids school teachers, principals, or other school employees from telling parents about whether their own children join so-called "gay-straight alliance clubs". The government claimed at the time that the prohibition is about “protecting children from abusive parents”. But now, a group of 24 religious schools, eight parents and a pair of non-profit groups have launched a constitutional challenge of the law. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms announced...

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10 Apr 2018 Alberta government introduces bill to censor pro-life expression

Take Action: Send an EasyMail letter to share your concerns with your MLA   On April 5, the Alberta government introduced Bill 9: Protecting Choice for Women Accessing Health Care Act. The bill would create “access zones” around abortion clinics in which it would be illegal to attempt to persuade someone not to get an abortion, to attempt to inform someone about issues related to abortion or alternatives to abortion, or to merely express disapproval of abortion in any way. Beyond “access zones”, the bill makes it an offence to “persistently request" someone not to provide...

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21 Nov 2017 Can we consider our political action a success or a failure?

ARPA's Executive Director, Mark Penninga Bill 24 passed by a count of 42 in favour, and 23 opposed. (You can see a tally of the vote count here). The 42 who were in favour included 38 NDP members, along with some independents and others. But 16 NDP members, comprising almost a third of the governing NDP caucus, didn't show up for the vote.  ARPA Executive Director Mark Penninga says it's clear the EasyMails had an impact. "We don't know if (they) had a direct impact on whether NDP MLA's actually showed...

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21 Nov 2017 A legal challenge to the passage of Bill 24

Lawyer John Carpay for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms Bill 24, the "Act to Protect Gay Straight Alliances" in Alberta, passed third reading in the legislature last week. This is the Bill that would, among other things, make it illegal for schools to inform parents if their children had joined a so-called "Gay Straight Alliance" - a school club ostensibly set up to support gay students or those struggling with gender identity issues. Just hours before the final vote, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Reforms in Calgary announced that if the...

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09 Nov 2017 Passed: Manitoba’s Bill 34 to protect conscience rights

**UPDATE: Bill 34 passed the Manitoba Legislature unanimously. Please be sure to thank your MLA. You can use our EasyMail here.** Following the federal government’s law that legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide in 2016, Manitoba’s PC government introduced Bill 34 to protect the conscience rights of medical professionals who rightly don’t believe it is ethical to assist in killing. Already at the bill’s introduction the Manitoba NDP opposed it, saying it was unnecessary. Since then, it appears the NDP and independent MLA Steven Fletcher may be trying to directly or indirectly stall...

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07 Nov 2017 Update: ARPA Canada asks Justice Committee to keep explicit protection for worship services

**UPDATE: The Justice Committee decided to leave section 176 alone after receiving overwhelming response from the public and our supporters. We are very thankful for this development.** The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights is currently studying Bill C-51. This bill is meant to clean up Canada’s Criminal Code by removing outdated, unconstitutional, and redundant provisions. Much of the discussion of the Committee has been on one particular provision – clause 14 of the Bill proposes to remove section 176 of the Criminal Code. That section prohibits obstructing a religious...

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07 Nov 2017 Manitoba is unified on protecting Doctor’s consciences

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew It appears there will be all-party support for a bill to protect conscience rights for doctors in Manitoba. The issue came up in the Manitoba Legislature’s Question Period last month in the context of a man whose requests for euthanasia had been delayed because he was in a Catholic hospital which doesn't offer or refer for euthanasia. NDP leader Wab Kinew raised some questions about the process in that case, but also said his party would "respect the rights of health-care professionals to treat patients in a...

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07 Nov 2017 Do worship services deserve special protection in law?

ARPA's Director of Law and Policy, André Schutten ARPA's Director of Law and Policy, André Schutten, appeared before Parliament's Justice Committee last week, arguing against a change to the Criminal Code. As part of a new law called Bill C-51, the government wants to remove a section of the Criminal Code that expressly prohibits anyone from interfering with a religious service that's in progress, and also protects members of the clergy from being harassed or interfered with on their way to or from a religious service.  The government argues that this kind...

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07 Nov 2017 Your kids’ teachers could legally keep you in the dark

Donna Trimble Alberta Education Minister David Eggen has tabled long-expected amendments to the province's Education Act. Among other things, Bill 24, which is entitled "An Act to Protect Gay-Straight Alliances", will make it a crime for schools to inform parents if children are struggling with issues of sexual identity, or if they have chosen to join a so-called Gay-Straight Alliance Club at their school, unless children give their explicit consent. Donna Trimble from the group "Parents for Choice in Education" says the new rules are pretty egregious, because there are virtually...

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27 Oct 2017 Safe Access Zone Legislation is Unconstitutional: ARPA Canada Speaks to Committee

**UPDATE: Bill 163 passed in Ontario, regardless of our opposition** Ontario’s “Safe Access” legislation (Bill 163) proposes to ban all disapproval of abortion around abortion clinics, hospitals and pharmacies. The Standing Committee on General Government at Queen’s Park in Toronto studied the bill on October 19. The Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) on the committee heard from a variety of organizations on both sides of the issue and I was grateful for the opportunity to present ARPA Canada’s concerns. For more information on what “safe access” legislation is, you can read our...

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