“Keep up the good work!” is a message we hear sometimes from the people who support the work of the EFC. We share these messages with the entire team because they are so uplifting. A well-timed word of encouragement is wonderful to receive.
That’s why the EFC is encouraging Canadians to reach out to their newly elected members of Parliament with a warm greeting in the next four weeks. It’s easy to do, and everyone can do it. Emailing, calling or even mailing a card is simple and we’ve included one for you with this Canada Watch. It doesn’t even cost you a stamp.
On top of the demands of their work, our elected officials face near constant criticism and personal attacks, vitriol and at times even threats, particularly on social media. The Bible tells us that those in authority are God’s servants to do good (Romans 13:4). We can and should recognize our MPs’ public service and that they are created by God and loved by Him even as we ask for laws and policies to be changed.
It’s also a good idea to form a positive relationship before a problem or issue comes up. Later, you might want to interact with your MP to ask for a bill to be changed or ask them to represent their constituency with a particular position.
Here’s a look at some of the issues you might want to contact your MP about in the months ahead. We expect to engage on these major bills and committee studies.
MAID: MPs and senators will carry out a review the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) law. This special committee will also consider whether to extend MAID to mature minors and will study issues relating to mental illness, the state of palliative care in Canada and the protection of Canadians with disabilities. The EFC strongly opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide, and is deeply concerned about expanding access to children and youth.
Conversion therapy ban: A bill to ban conversion therapy is also likely to be a priority in the new Parliament. The Liberal Party platform committed to an expanded ban on conversion therapy that prohibits the practice for both adults and minors. We agree that coercive and abusive practices have no place in our communities. However, the previous bill had an overly broad definition that could infringe on religious teaching and practice. Bill C-6, the previous bill, died at the election call.
Online harms: The Liberal Party platform committed to introduce a bill to regulate online harms as a priority once Parliament reconvenes. This could require digital platforms to act quickly to address child pornography and intimate images posted without consent. The EFC supports initiatives to make digital platforms responsible to remove these images.
The EFC will also encourage MPs and senators to continue with three positive initiatives on sexual exploitation from the last Parliament. The Ethics Committee issued a strong report calling for pornography platforms to be held accountable for hosting videos of minors and nonconsensual abuse. The report called for age and consent to be verified before intimate images are posted. MP Arnold Viersen also introduced a private member’s bill to verify age and consent. The EFC strongly supports these recommendations and will encourage MPs to adopt them.
As well, Senator Julie Miville Dechêne introduced a private member’s bill that would restrict children and youth’s access to sexually explicit materials. This bill passed inthe Senate and moved to the House of Commons for debate but died atthe election call. The senator intends to reintroduce her bill and the EFC is pleased to support it.
While the EFC interacts with MPs on issues of concern on behalf of our constituency, the impact is greater if MPs are also hearing from individual Canadians on the same issues. Please join with us, in prayer and by engaging with your MP, to seek the good of our country. We are more effective together.
How you can help
Also in this issue: Collaborating for the good of the Church and Canada; Helping us interact with government; Faith Trends: New EFC podcast series serves the Church and the academy; Message from the President, Bruce J. Clemenger; Heart and hands: Insights from the work of Ilana Reimer is resource and content coordinator for the EFC’s Centre for Partnership and Ministry Innovation and editor of Love Is Moving; Join us in prayer.
- Send the postcard we’ve provided to your MP c/o House of Commons, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6.
- Confirm the name of your MP, if needed, at www.ourcommons.ca/members/en
- Commit to praying for your MP and for our government.