Prostitution: Friday Forum in Montreal
Canada is awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada on our prostitution laws. Learn about the need for reforms to Canada’s prostitution laws and equip yourself and your church to get more involved. The next Defend Dignity/EFC forum on prostitution will be held this Friday, November 29 at Montreal Chinese Alliance Church. Trisha Baptie, founder of Honour Consulting and EVE (Formerly Exploited Voices now Educating) will be the featured speaker. EFC Policy Analyst Julia Beazley will also speak. Defend Dignity is a justice initiative of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.
Pornography: Protect Children and Youth
EFC policy analyst Julia Beazley comments on the need to protect children and youth from the violent reality of today’s internet pornography in the ActivateCFPL blog posting “It’s time Canada take the lead in protecting children from online pornography.” Last week, at MP Joy Smith’s invitation, Beazley was part of a panel on the harmful impact of pornography on society, children and youth. The panel also featured Gail Dines, a prominent expert from Wheelock College in Boston.
Assisted Suicide: Carter Challenge Not headed to the Supreme Court?
Geoffrey Trotter, legal counsel for the EFC in the Carter v. Canada case before the B.C. Court of Appeal, recently wrote a commentary titled “The Carter Assisted Suicide Challenge: Why this case might NOT be headed for the Supreme Court of Canada.” After its original publication in Take Five, it has now been republished at the EFC’s ActivateCFPL blog.
On October 28, in partnership with Defend Dignity, the EFC hosted a noon hour showing on Parliament Hill of the NFB documentary Buying Sex with an opportunity for conversation about the need for changes to Canada’s prostitution laws. There will be a second showing for MPs, Senators and Parliament Hill staff this evening at 6 p.m. Trisha Baptie is featured in the documentary and attending in Ottawa for the conversation.
Worldwide Prayer for Christian Victims of Persecution
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, an event that calls Canadians to join with over half a million churches in 150 countries took place on Sunday, November 10, 2013 to pray for Christian believers who are suffering, even dying, for their faith. For more on this event, and to plan for next year go to www.IDOP.ca.
Quebec Charter and Religious Expression
The Premier and other representatives of the Government of Quebec have asserted that prohibiting civil servants in Quebec from wearing religious symbols or attire is neutral. EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger responds to this issue in a thoughtful statement on neutrality and equality.
Only Parliament Can Address Assisted Suicide
In a case in which the EFC intervened, the British Columbia Court of Appeal recently ruled in that only Parliament is constitutionally empowered to consider changes to Canada’s law prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia. Learn about the importance of the Carter v. Canada decision in this media release. The EFC received extensive media coverage on the case in 20 media outlets, including major dailies such as the National Post, the Calgary Herald, The Vancouver Sun and the Regina Leader-Post.
Withdrawing Life Support: Court Releases Decision Oct. 18
The Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in the Cuthbertson v. Rasouli case, in which the EFC intervened, on October 18. The case determines whether physicians are required to obtain consent from a patient or their substitute decision maker if the patient is incapacitated, before withdrawing life support. You can read more about the case at theEFC.ca/Rasouli.
Debating a Christian Law School in Canada
October 9, on CBC’s Q with Jian Ghomeshi, the EFC’s Don Hutchinson debated Clayton Ruby on the issue of whether Canada is prepared for a law school at a Christian university. You can read Hutchinson’s reflections, including a link to the 20 minute debate, at the ActivateCFPL blog “The Uncaged Christian Lawyer: Debating a Christian Law School with Clayton Ruby.”
On Quebec's Proposal to Legalize Euthanasia
EFC VP Don Hutchinson published this opinion editorial piece concerning Quebec’s proposal to legalize euthanasia as a medical procedure with the National Post: “Euthanasia – A ‘Settled’ Issue Still up for Debate.” For more on the issue, see the EFC report Quebec’s Bill 52: Euphemisms for Euthanasia.
Abortion Funding Study Updated
Ahead of the Oct 3 Defund Abortion Rallies in Ontario, the EFC is releasing an updated version of its paper on abortion funding in Canada. Download a free copy of Provincial Decisions: Abortion Funding in Canada.
Should the Government Enforce Morality?
Some people are suggesting that Canada’s prostitution laws should not enforce morals. Don Hutchinson, vice-president and general legal counsel with the EFC, reflects on the nature of morality and how it fits with Canadian law. Subscribe to Faith Today: faithtoday.ca/subscriptions or toll-free at 1-866-302-3362.
Pray for Egypt
The EFC and The World Evangelical Alliance are calling for urgent prayer for Egypt. Please pray for peace and the protection of Christians and all religious minorities during the current unrest. Read the EFC’s latest prayer alert on Egypt at theEFC.ca/alerts. You can also sign up there to receive prayer alerts about religious liberty directly by email.
EFC Condemns Abortion Data Withholding
The EFC’s Faye Sonier, legal counsel, denounces the Ontario government’s suppression of general abortion data and statistics from taxpayers. Commenting on a current case challenging recent legislation, Sonier calls for transparency concerning this government-funded procedure. The blog was republished by National Right to Life News and noted by the Interim.
Prayer Alert for China
The EFC’s Religious Liberty Commission issued a prayer alert on July 18 entitled “China’s Economic Boom is Revival’s Hidden Treasure”. As the world is well aware of the growing Chinese economic boom, there are also reports of a growing revival. In one case, a recent article published by Chinese newspaper unknowingly drew attention to an increase in Christian conversions taking place on university campuses in China. Click here for more information.
Thoughtful Videos on Public Expressions of Faith
In May EFC staff were involved in a national conference at McGill University on public dialogue about religion. Online outcomes from the event include video recordings, news stories and more. View them at theEFC.ca/bridging2013.
Prostitution Case in Supreme Court
EFC staff including President Bruce J. Clemenger attended the Supreme Court of Canada on June 13 for a case on prostitution laws (Attorney-General of Canada v. Bedford). The EFC’s Don Hutchinson was co-counsel to Georgialee Lang who presented our arguments. It will likely be several months before the court issues its decision. In addition to radio and print media coverage of the EFC’s efforts as an intervener, Hutchinson was featured as a guest on SUN TV’s Byline with Brian Lilley and CBC’s Power and Politics with Evan Solomon. EFC Policy Analyst Julia Beazley also submitted an opinion editorial published in the National Post. Read more, including the EFC’s written arguments, at theEFC.ca/bedford. Also, read counsel Georgialee Lang's guest blog post on ActivateCFPL.
Need to Combat Trafficking
On the first anniversary of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, a group of charities including the EFC are applauding the Government of Canada’s commitment to address the crime of human trafficking – and highlighting the urgent need of its implementation. See the media release.
Prayer Alert for Syria
The EFC’s Religious Liberty Commission issued a prayer alert coinciding with the request of Syrian Christians for a worldwide day of prayer on May 11. Although the date has passed, you are encouraged to pray for Syria. For more information see the prayer alert.
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.
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 religious freedoms of faith groups and the engagement process when they face municipal zoning challenges. You can download the report here.