Bills and Motions

25 Oct 2017 Press Release: Ontario Government censors one side of abortion debate

For immediate release from the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada October 25, 2017 Ontario Government censors one side of abortion debate Today the Ontario Liberals – with the help of all Opposition parties – passed Bill 163 by a vote of 86-1. This new law creates "safe access zones", also known as bubble zones, around abortion providers, prohibiting the expression of any dissenting view on abortion. “Censoring speech in certain areas, simply because you may not agree with that speech, is unconstitutional and violates free expression in the public square,” said Tabitha...

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24 Oct 2017 Palliative care strategy bill continues through the Senate

MP Marilyn Gladu ARPA Canada Grassroots Manager, Colin Postma The Senate has started Committee hearings on Bill C-277. That's a private members bill from Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu which calls for the establishment of a national palliative care strategy in Canada. Gladu kicked off the Committee hearing last week by talking about several components of the bill, including the notion that there is a need for better training in palliative care across the country. She says there are only about 20 palliative care specialists in Canada today, and with an aging population, the...

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10 Oct 2017 Bubble Zone Law

Tabitha Ewert, Articling Student The Ontario government is out with its long-promised "bubble zone" legislation to prohibit protests around abortion clinics. It’s called the "Safe Access to Abortion Services Act", and it sets strict limits around where protests can take place. The restriction around abortion clinics is automatic; a 50-metre zone that can be expanded up to 150 metres. Hospitals and places where abortions are performed, or where the abortion pill is prescribed can also apply to get an “access zone” designation. The law prohibits all pro-life messaging, without exception, in...

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10 Oct 2017 LN Feature: Protecting kids from their parents

David Eggen, Alberta Minister of Education Keith Penner, Principal of Living Waters Christian Academy There's a showdown looming in Alberta between the government and parents who choose not to send their children to public schools. Last week, Education Minister David Eggen put forward a plan to introduce a bill that would make it a crime for all schools - including private, independent, and Christian Schools - to communicate with parents if children in those schools decide to join so-called "Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs", or if those children admit to struggling with gender identity...

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26 Sep 2017 M-103

MP Iqra Khalid Parliament's Heritage Committee has started a round of public hearings that were mandated earlier this year with the passage of Motion 103. That motion instructed the Committee to "undertake a study of how the government could develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia.” ARPA lawyer John Sikkema has been watching some of the hearings in Ottawa, and he says it's becoming clear that the committee is broadening the focus of its discussions beyond just the term "Islamophobia". He says the motion...

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15 Sep 2017 Infographic: Our Government is ignoring these facts about the impacts of pornography

Earlier this year the Federal Health Committee responded to Motion 47, the motion put forward by MP Arnold Viersen to study the public harms of pornography. Motion 47 was passed last year unanimously in the House of Commons. This motion had a lot of promise, and we were excited about what would result. As we reported earlier this year, the response from the Health Committee was absolutely inadequate, and betrayed a serious lack of concern on the part of the government about the issue of pornography and its impacts on...

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13 Sep 2017 Ontario to introduce “Safe Access Zones” legislation targeting pro-lifers

Take Action: Send an EasyMail letter to share your concerns about “Safe Access Zones” legislation with your Ontario MPP Ontario’s Minister of Justice, Yasir Naqvi, plans to introduce “Safe Access Zones” legislation – also referred to as “bubble zone” laws. This would prevent any pro-life messaging around abortion clinics, hospitals, and abortionists’ homes. This legislation is unnecessary, harmful, and even illegal. What is Safe Access Zones Legislation? Ontario is not the first province to introduce a bubble zone law. The proposed legislation will likely mirror BC’s Access to Abortion Services Act passed in 1996. This...

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05 Sep 2017 Feature Transcript: Popping the Bubble

ARPA Canada lawyer, John Sikkema The Ontario government is set to introduce legislation this fall that would ban protests outside the province's abortion clinics. The government is justifying the need for the law by citing several protests that happened outside a clinic in Ottawa earlier this year, but ARPA's legal counsel, John Sikkema, has done some research on this situation. On the feature this week, he talks about the notion that the proposed law would not withstand a court challenge, based on several considerations. LN: "Safe Access Zones Legislation". It's kind of like...

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25 Jul 2017 Calgary MP launches petition to save Criminal Code clause protecting worship services from protests and disruptions

Tom Kmiec, MP A Calgary MP has launched an official House of Commons e-Petition on Bill C-51. That's the law we told you about earlier this summer on Lighthouse News. It would specifically repeal Section 176 of the Criminal Code, which makes it a crime to disrupt any worship service, or to assault or prevent anyone from conducting such a service. Conservative MP Tom Kmiec isn't buying the various arguments the government is using to defend the new law. The government says the issue is already covered in prohibitions against causing a...

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27 Jun 2017 LN Feature: Disrupting Church Services

ARPA's Director of Law and Policy, André Schutten As we told you a few months ago on Lighthouse News, the federal government is making a move to eliminate so-called “zombie laws”. These are essentially old laws which are no longer in effect. The most common reason for their obsolescence is that they’ve been struck down by the court. While those laws are technically still on the books, they have become unenforceable, so they need to be removed to reflect that reality. But earlier this month, the federal Liberals introduced a second...

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