COVID-19 Tag

08 Jul 2020 Counting the Cost of COVID Part IV: Forecasting our Financial Future

In the last two blog posts on the financial effects of COVID, I compared the current deficit to past deficits and critiqued government spending in response to government-mandated lockdown. Now it is time to anticipate the future financial impacts of COVID. Will this recent spending bankrupt our country? The short answer is… no. At least, not yet.Will this recent spending bankrupt our country? The short answer is… no. At least, not yet. This year’s federal deficit is currently projected to be $343 billion or 15.9% of GDP, although that number will likely grow...

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02 Jul 2020 Counting the Cost of COVID Part III: Evaluating Canada’s Current Deficit

Updated July 8, 2020 My previous blog post in this series compared Canada’s current deficit to the deficits in Canada’s past. At $343 billion, or 15.9% of GDP, Canada is spending more money to combat COVID than any other war or major disaster in Canada’s history except for during the Second World War. This begs the question, should the federal government spend so much to combat this virus? A Couple of Caveats Before answering the question of how much money the government should spend, I must address a couple of caveats. First, the massive...

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30 Jun 2020 Reflections from a Christian patriot on Canada Day

Happy Canada Day! Canada Day (or, for those who remember, Dominion Day as it was called until 1983) is a great day to rejoice and be glad in the gift God has given us in this Dominion of Canada. I love my home and native land. Canada is a good country to live in, a good country to raise children in, to work in, and to minister and serve others in. She is stunning in her beauty, valiant in her history, and well-formed in her founding. We have more religious, expressive,...

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24 Jun 2020 Counting the Cost of COVID Part II: Comparing to Past Crises

Updated July 8, 2020 In the first blog post in this series, I delved into the wisdom and morality of government debts, deficits, and aid from a Christian perspective. I concluded that incurring debt is often unwise and sometimes even immoral, but as long as the government has the ability to repay their debt, and the norm is a balanced budget, debt can justifiably be incurred. The Bible also teaches that individuals, families, and churches – not just governments – have significant roles to play in assisting the financially downtrodden. In this...

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19 Jun 2020 Churches as unifiers should not be penalized for their effective contact tracing

By pastor Gerrit Bruintjes and André Schutten For the past month, many religious leaders have been calling on the Ontario government to ease its total ban on corporate worship services. On June 12th, the Ford government issued an executive order permitting religious ceremonies, including weddings and funerals, at 30% building capacity. In our current context amidst social unrest and uncertainty, this is a good decision not only because the Charter of Rights demands this response, but also because churches unify diverse people and can trace contacts well. In the last few weeks,...

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17 Jun 2020 Counting the Cost of COVID Part I: A Christian Introduction

Months after governments declared public health emergencies, COVID still dominates headlines and lifestyles. We at ARPA have tried to respectfully explain the essential nature of worship services and urge respect for fundamental freedoms. We’ve also evaluated the impact of government policies on long-term-care residents and workers. But there is another piece of the COVID puzzle that Christians must address: its monetary cost to our government and country. This blog post initiates a four-part series on the monetary cost of the “COVID Crisis.” This first post aims to articulate a general Christian...

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03 Jun 2020 Canada’s lack of strategy in targeting COVID-19 led to unnecessary crisis in long-term care homes

Long-term care facilities house some of our society’s most vulnerable: those who need help eating, using the bathroom, or simply turning over in bed. The fact that some of our elders are facing neglect and abuse from those meant to care for them incites justifiable outrage. We need to ask what can be done to improve long-term care and assisted living. But we also need to ask how our governments’ (federal, provincial, and municipal) responses to COVID-19 contributed to this. Long-term care homes were known to be high risk Outbreaks of highly...

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03 Jun 2020 As COVID restrictions drag on, the civil government needs guidance from the instituted church

I’m always moved when I read the introduction to the Belgic Confession in the Book of Praise. It explains that a copy of the Belgic Confession was sent to the persecuting King Philip II, with a letter from a group of petitioners who “declared that they were ready to obey the government in all lawful things, but that they would ‘offer their backs to stripes, their tongues to knives, their mouths to gags, and their whole bodies to fire,’ rather than deny the truth expressed in the Confession.” This was...

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02 Jun 2020 Still glorious and free? The duty of each Christian to stand on guard for freedom in an age of unprecedented lock-down

The chorus in our national anthem is a prayer: God keep our land glorious and free. O Canada we stand on guard for thee. So, what does that mean practically? Christians take prayer very seriously. It is the most important part of our thankfulness to God (Lord’s Day 45, Heidelberg Catechism). James teaches us that it’s no good to pray for the hungry and poor if we ourselves don’t also help the hungry and the poor (James 2:14-26). How does God answer our prayer to feed the hungry? Sometimes...

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29 May 2020 Over 400 Ontario Churches Call on Premier to Allow a Gradual Reopening

Several weeks ago, I wrote about the Church of God in Aylmer, Ontario - a small, rural congregation that held church services in their parking lot in response to social distancing laws. I did not expect the level of response that post received. Clearly, this situation highlighted concerns about religious freedom for many in this province, and around the country! This situation highlighted concerns about religious freedom The Ontario Government, using their emergency powers during the COVID-19 crisis, prohibits gatherings of more than five people. The congregation in Aylmer sought to...

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