How to Speak Faith in the Public Square
EFC Vice-President Don Hutchinson is interviewed on “How to Speak Faith in the Public Square” in the April/May 2013 issue of Convivium (Faith in our Common Life) magazine.
Pro-Life MPs Have Greater Opportunity in the House of Commons
On April 23 the Speaker of the House of Commons issued his decision on the independent participation of Members of Parliament in the House of Commons. This decision was a result of pro-life MP Mark Warawa being denied the opportunity to speak about his motion on sex-selective abortions. EFC Legal Counsel Faye Sonier spoke to LifeSiteNews about the decision.
EFC Vice-President Don Hutchinson attended the National Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony at the National War Museum in Ottawa. Hutchinson also attended the Canada Celebrates Israel Forum April 23-24 in Ottawa.
Official Position on the Sanctity of Life
“We must affirm the rights of the unborn, convince others of the sanctity of life, and seek in every way to eliminate the tragedy of abortion.” These words come from a statement by the EFC’s Social Action Commission published in 1987. This document, the basis for EFC engagement for 25 years, is available under “Helpful Links” at theEFC.ca/abortion.
Students Share About EFC Internships
In a recently released video, last summer’s EFC interns share about their experiences in Ottawa. Apply now for a position as an intern for fall 2013.
Defend Dignity in Saskatchewan
The Prince Albert Daily Herald recently published an article about an upcoming public education event on prostitution, held by the EFC and Defend Dignity. The EFC's Julia Beazley will be speaking at several related events: April 19 in Regina, April 20 in Prince Albert and April 21 in Saskatoon.
New Vietnam Prayer Alert
The EFC Religious Liberty Commission issued a prayer alert April 10 after receiving news from Vietnam about the death of a young church leader in police custody. Police claim his death was a suicide, but autopsy photos show severe torture. A previous alert on March 15 highlighted new government policy designed to abolish the Vietnamese house church movement.
Sex-Selection Motion Could Still Be Appealed
The EFC has endorsed Parliamentary Motion M-408, condemning pregnancy terminations motivated by sex selection. The motion has faced major challenges but may be appealed one more time. It was initially deemed non-votable by a committee of MPs, and a recent appeal to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs was also unsuccessful. The motion’s sponsor, MP Mark Warawa (Langley), has until April 19 to request an appeal to all sitting MPs, otherwise the motion “dies.” Read the EFC’s latest media release and learn more at theEFC.ca/M408.
In Conversation on Religious Freedom
Canadian Catholic News reported on the March 28 public conversation about “Religious Freedom: The Supreme Court and Canadian Society” that took place at the University of Ottawa Law School between EFC Vice-President Don Hutchinson, Trinity Western University professor Janet Epp Buckingham and University of Ottawa Law School professor Natasha Bakhti.
Manitoba Proposes Anti-Bullying Legislation
The EFC has responded to Manitoba’s proposal of anti-bullying legislation, in its Bill 18, by reviewing the state of anti-bullying legislation across Canada as part of an update to the EFC paper By the Numbers: Rates and Risk Factors for Bullying. EFC Legal Counsel Faye Sonier had commentary featured in the Winnipeg Free Press and the Winnipeg Sun and took part in a radio interview with CJOB 680 AM in Winnipeg.
Contribute to a Better Canada
EFC Vice-President Don Hutchinson is convinced Canadian Evangelicals need to remain active in public. That’s how we maintain our ability to speak into the development of Canadian life and policy. He explains in the EFC blog Undercutting an Anti-religious Undercurrent.
Join Anti-Poverty Campaign on Twitter
The EFC and other evangelical groups worldwide continue to raise awareness about the Millennium Development Goals agreed to by Canada and most of the governments participating in the United Nations. These goals include a commitment to cut world poverty in half between the years 2000 and 2015. The EFC encourages participation in a Twitter campaign this Friday, April 5, to mark the 1000-day countdown to 2015. For more details visit Micah Challenge International. Join the global campaign and tweet using the hashtag #1000DaysToGo on April 5.
EFC Resource on Assisted Suicide
Order a printed version or download a PDF version of In the Shadow of Death: A Christian perspective on euthanasia and assisted suicide at theEFC.ca/InTheShadowOfDeath.
MPs Vote on C-279
The House of Commons voted March 20 on private members Bill C-279, which proposes adding “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the Canadian Human Rights Act as prohibited grounds of discrimination. The bill passed the House of Commons with amendments by a vote of 149-137 (see who voted and how). The EFC’s Don Hutchinson commented on the bill by blog and an open letter sent to all MPs in December when the bill was previously scheduled for a vote.
Court Says Bible is Not Hate Speech
Did you hear about the recent “hate speech” decision by the Supreme Court of Canada? EFC Vice-President Don Hutchinson offers a short explanation in What Does the Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision Mean to You? The EFC intervened in the case of Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission v. William Whatcott in 2011, arguing in particular over the issue of religious comment in a public policy dialogue, and has also commented further in several blog posts, available at our summary page theEFC.ca/Whatcott.
Parliament Agrees to Action on Missing and Murdered Women
On February 26, Parliament voted unanimously in support of Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett’s (St. Paul’s) motion to establish a special parliamentary committee to study the disappearance of a disproportionate number of aboriginal women and girls in Canada. EFC Policy Analyst Julia Beazley comments on the significance of this move in the ActivateCFPL blog post Parliament Unanimous on Action for Missing Aboriginal Women.
Prayer Alert: Colombia
The EFC’s Religious Liberty Commission released an alert requesting prayer for Christians in Colombia who have increasingly been the target of persecution by illegal militants and guerrilla groups. Recently a pastor and his wife were threatened and then murdered by these groups. Read more and sign up for email alerts at theEFC.ca/alerts.
The EFC at Interfaith Parliamentary Breakfast
EFC VP Don Hutchinson and Anita Levesque, co-ordinator for the EFC’s Religious Liberty Commission, attended the 2nd annual Interfaith Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast on November 27. Keynote speaker Richard Landau addressed the topic, “The New Age of Interfaith Dialogue: Important Trends Shaping the Future.”
Therapy Options to Euthanasia
In a discussion paper released, Palliative Care and End of Life Therapies, researchers at the EFC’s Centre for Faith and Public Life examine reasons why individuals request assisted suicide. The paper also considers two recently developed therapies which can alleviate suffering while offering dignity and hope.
Who is Left to Advise the Government on Poverty and Homelessness?
EFC VP Don Hutchinson went online for a resource from a decades-old government advisory body on poverty and homelessness, only to find it had been shut down. Read what Hutchinson has to say in Whither Canada’s National Council on Welfare?
EFC at Launch of Trafficking Plan
EFC V-P Don Hutchinson and Policy Analyst Julia Beazley attended the June 13 official Government of Canada launch of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking. The EFC’s attendance was invited following our participation in the consultation process. We’re pleased to see much of what was proposed in our 2011 report Seeking Justice, Rescuing the Enslaved: Recommendations for A National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking included in the government plan.
The EFC Comments on Ontario Prostitution Decision
The EFC’s General Legal Counsel, Don Hutchinson, offers some insight into the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in his ActivateCFPL blog “Prostitutes are finally free!” (from the entanglements of the law) … Or are they?
Religious Persecution Affects Children
The EFC Religious Liberty Commission released a report detailing the nature and effects of religious persecution on children. This report is part of the EFC’s continuing focus on public policy issues that impact children, whose presence and vulnerability often go unnoticed. Entitled The Overlooked Demographic: A Report on the Impact of Religious Persecution on Children, the 23-page document briefly considers various ways in which children are uniquely affected by religious discrimination and persecution.
Has Your Faith Group Faced Challenges From Your Municipal Government?
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s (EFC) Centre for Faith and Public Life has released Zoned Out: Religious Freedom in the Municipality, an introductory guide to understanding the religous freedoms of faith groups and the engagement process when they face municipal zoning challenges. You can download the report here.