Legal Cases

21 Jan 2019 The push for expanding euthanasia continues: the Lamb case

The movement to bring euthanasia and assisted suicide to Canada has been ongoing for decades. Despite the official legalization of physician-assisted suicide in June 2016, the movement wants more. While Parliament considers a 2018 report on expanding euthanasia, euthanasia advocates are pushing the boundaries of assisted suicide in a legal challenge in the British Columbia courts. ARPA Canada was an intervenor at the Supreme Court of Canada in the Carter case that ended the previous ban on euthanasia in Canada. We, and many other human rights advocates, pointed out that once the...

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11 Jan 2019 ARPA Canada gets intervenor standing in Alberta’s Bill 24 challenge!

The new year has just begun and already we have some encouraging news to share with you from Alberta! On Tuesday, January 8th, ARPA Canada applied for and was granted intervenor status in the court challenge to Bill 24, a bill which mandates unacceptable changes to school policies. You can read more about our concerns on Bill 24 here.We praise the Lord for the court’s decision to grant us intervenor status, and the added privilege of presenting evidence in this case. We pray that God will bless these efforts. Typically, a...

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30 Jul 2018 A new assisted suicide court challenge

Julia Lamb and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) challenged Canada’s new assisted suicide legislation mere days after it was passed in 2016. Julia Lamb has spinal muscular atrophy, a progressive neurodegenerative disease, but she is not eligible for assisted suicide because her death is not “reasonably foreseeable” as required by the current law. The BCCLA asserts on Lamb’s behalf that “the federal government’s new bill leaves many seriously ill Canadians, like Julia, behind.” Lamb argues that by “leaving her behind”, or, in other words, by delaying her death, this...

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28 Jun 2018 Civil Disobedience and Courageous Leadership by Alberta Schools

by Mark Penninga Many of us are ready to disengage for the summer, leaving behind the stress of our regular lives. But before doing so, please take a moment to reflect on yesterday’s Alberta court ruling against the application for an injunction on Bill 24. This may sound like Greek, and largely irrelevant to you. But it isn’t. For starters, have a look just at page 1 of the decision. Look at the names of the schools listed in the court challenge. Do any of them look familiar to you? This may be the...

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28 Jun 2018 Trinity Western University Considering Next Steps

(Lighthouse News - June 28, 2018) Trinity Western University continues to evaluate this month's Supreme Court of Canada decision on its application to open a Law School. The court ruled that law Societies in BC and Ontario were justified in refusing to admit graduates of that proposed school to the bar in their respective provinces. The ruling said that TWU’s community covenant, under which students and staff pledge, among other things, to only engage in sexual activity inside the bounds of heterosexual marriage, was discriminatory against the LGBTQ community, and...

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27 Jun 2018 Important: Alberta Court Rules against Injunction for Bill 24

TWU ruling cited as precedent Update: We have published a new article with analysis of this decision here. Less than two weeks after the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision against Trinity Western University, a coalition of parents and independent schools in Alberta, including all of the Reformed schools in the province, has lost an application for an injunction to delay implementation of Bill 24, “An Act to Support Gay-Straight Alliances”.  Among other things, the law makes it illegal for anyone in the education system - be that in public, private, or parochial...

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26 Jun 2018 Important Update: Bill 24 Injunction Ruling Expected This Week

(Lighthouse News - June 26, 2018): A ruling is expected by the end of this week in the first round of a court battle over Alberta's Bill 24. That is the bill that mandates every school to institute gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs on request from any student, and to hide information about students from their parents, along with a threat of denying funding or accreditation if they don’t comply. A coalition of parents, Christian schools (including the Reformed schools in the province), and others are taking the Alberta government to court...

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19 Jun 2018 Post-TWU: A time for courage

by Mark Penninga I’m often asked whether political and legal developments in Canada get me down. And my honest answer is that they rarely do. I’m often amazed and encouraged by the impact we can still have when we seize the freedom God has given us and take action. But I admit that last Friday’s Supreme Court of Canada TWU decision really hurts. It is a game-changer. I don’t think most Canadians realize just how profound an impact it will likely have on our most fundamental freedoms. At the risk of oversimplifying it,...

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15 Jun 2018 Supreme Court rules against TWU, placing public perception over rule of law

For immediate release from the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada June 15, 2018 Supreme Court rules against TWU, placing public perception over rule of law OTTAWA – This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against Trinity Western University and their proposed Christian law school. Justices Brown and Côté dissented. The Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada, was an intervener in the case. André Schutten, ARPA’s Director of Law and Policy, and John Sikkema, ARPA’s Legal Counsel, acted as counsel for ARPA in the intervention. ARPA sees several major problems with the majority...

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01 Jun 2018 Supreme Court rules unanimously in church discipline case

Can the decision of a church or religious body to expel a member be appealed to a civil court? Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada decided unanimously that the answer to that question is no. The lower court judge, Justice Wilson, and a majority at the Alberta Court of Appeal, had answered this question in the affirmative. The SCC overturned the decisions of the lower courts for three reasons. First, the Court ruled that judges can only review decisions made by state actors – those that have been granted powers by the...

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