Prostitution Case in Supreme Court
EFC staff including President Bruce J. Clemenger attended the Supreme Court of Canada last Thursday 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.
Comment on Proposed Quebec Euthanasia Law
In Quebec the provincial government has introduced legislation to legalize lethal injections for people as part of providing health care. EFC Vice-President Don Hutchinson comments in the ActivateCFPL blog “Does Canada’s Government Have the Intestinal Fortitude to Take on Pauline Marois’ New Quebec?”
National Aboriginal Prayer Breakfast
EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger and Vice-President Don Hutchinson will attend the Aboriginal Parliamentary Prayer breakfast in Ottawa this Friday. The theme is Beyond Forgiven and speakers will include former Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl and Aboriginal leader Kenny Blacksmith.
Bridging the Secular Divide Conference - Videos Online
EFC staff were involved in a recent 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.
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.
National Prayer Breakfast
EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger and other members of the EFC team attended this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast in Ottawa, an annual event that draws politicians and government staff from all parties. Interns from the EFC’s Centre for Faith and Public Life also participated in the related National Student Forum.
Golf Prize for EFC Vice-President
Now, for something a little more light-hearted: EFC VP Don Hutchinson won the longest drive prize at last Thursday’s golf tournament for Ottawa Innercity Ministries, an EFC affiliate. The annual “Strokes for Hope” tournament raises funds to support OIM’s work with street-engaged youth.
Religion in Public Conference at McGill University
EFC assisted in organizing and presenting at a multi-faith conference, Bridging the Secular Divide: Religion in Canadian Public Discourse, that was hosted at McGill University, Montreal from May 27 - 28. Speakers included EFC Pres. Bruce J. Clemenger, Dr. Andrew Bennett (Canada's Ambassador for Religious Freedom), Dr. Janet Epp-Buckingham, Lorna Dueck and several current/former Members of Parliament. You can see tweets outlining what was discussed, an article related to the conference theme at the EFC’s Activate blog and some news coverage.
What Can We Say in Public?
A recent Supreme Court ruling may have some pastors and other Christians concerned about speaking in public settings. EFC Vice-President Don Hutchinson looks at the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission v. Whatcott case and offers helpful advice in the May/June issue of Faith Today, posted also at the EFC’s blog ActivateCFPL.
No Need to Re-Open the Abortion Debate - It Was Never Closed
EFC Legal Counsel Faye Sonier challenges those who state the desire not to “re-open” the abortion debate in Canada in her ActivateCFPL blog post, The Abortion Debate Never Ended.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.