Peter Baklinski

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‘Workers should not be forced to pay dues’: MP Poilievre campaigns for compulsory union dues opt out

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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OTTAWA, September 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – After a Canadian federal union financially helped a Quebec separatist party win a minority government on Tuesday, a Conservative MP has initiated a push for legislation that would allow public servants to opt out of paying union dues when the union acts contrary to their beliefs or convictions.

The move has sparked excitement among pro-life and pro-family union workers whose compulsory dues support their trade unions’ social and political activism, even if it runs contrary to their beliefs or religious convictions.

Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre told the Ottawa Citizen that, while he accepts the results of the election, he “can’t accept a union representing public servants” that “forcefully takes money out of the pockets of Canada’s public servants to support parties that want to break up the country.”

“How can it be in the interests of public servants to support the breakup of Canada?” asked Poilievre.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) financially supported candidates running for Québec solidaire and the Parti Québécois.

Stephen J. Gray, a retired unionized seaman who exposes the political and social activism of Canada’s large trade unions, told LifeSiteNews.com that compulsory union dues force much of Canada’s workforce to “finance and support abortion, same-sex marriage, and many other socialist ideologies that are completely unrelated to the workplace.”

MP Poilievre, a Catholic who is rated “pro-life” by Campaign Life Coalition, told the Ottawa Citizen that in his own riding there are many disgruntled unionized workers who despise being forced by their unions to indirectly support radical causes and political campaigns through mandatory dues.

“Workers have the right to unionize, but they don’t have an obligation to unionize,” he said. “So, the law should not force them against their will to pay dues for causes they don’t support.”

Canada’s compulsory union dues were the handiwork of appointed judge Mr. Justice Ivan C. Rand —  who was called a progressive socialist by Paul Martin Sr, a Liberal cabinet member at the time. In 1946, Rand introduced the formula as part of an arbitration decision to end an autoworkers’ strike.

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Under Rand’s formula, workers are free to refrain from joining a union, but they are nevertheless forced to pay union fees that can subsequently be used arbitrarily by union bosses.

Larry Brown, national secretary-treasurer of the National Union of Provincial Government Employees (NUPGE) indicated just how arbitrarily the union treasury can be used when he wrote in 1991 that NUPGE is “involved in matters which have to do with the social direction of Canada and not just issues at the bargaining table.”

The major trade unions in Canada, including CAW, CEP, USW, OPSEU, OECTA, PSAC, and CUPE, are known for their unabashed political and social activism for anti-life and anti-traditional-family positions that include the blatant endorsement and promotion of abortion and homosexual ‘marriage’.

Earlier this summer Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) used pro-life members’ dues to fund pro-abortion rallies across the country against the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform’s New Abortion Caravan, which traveled from Vancouver to Ottawa displaying graphic images of aborted children.

The CAW demonstration was also staged to protest Conservative MP Steve Woodworth’s Motion 312 in the House of Commons, which called for Parliament to establish a special committee to consider when human life begins. Pro-life union members counter demonstrated to protest their union’s decision to wade into the abortion debate.

The president of Canada’s private sector union CEP Dave Coles told Canada NewsWire in April that “CEP and many other unions have been at the forefront of the fight to ensure a woman has a right to choose and that governments don’t turn back the clock on reproductive rights. And we intend to keep up the pressure.”

Ontario’s powerful Catholic teachers’ union (OECTA) levied a $60 fee from its 45,000 members in 2011 to build a $3 million war chest with which they successfully helped to defeat the province’s Progressive Conservative party in the October 6th provincial election.

While teachers refused to comment publicly on OECTA’s activities out of fear of retaliation, one teacher, under condition of anonymity, told LifeSiteNews.com at the time that he was dismayed to have money forcibly seized from him for a “campaign that I don’t really agree with in the first place.”

The last decade has seen OECTA promoting bizarre sex conferences featuring talks on drag queens and sex toys, using their own conferences to feature leading dissident Catholics and abortion supporters, promoting the agenda of homosexual activists through acceptance of gay/straight alliances, and intervening in a court proceeding against a Catholic school which was being sued by a male student for refusing to permit him to bring his gay ‘boyfriend’ to the school prom.

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In 2008, Susan Comstock, an employee of the Treasury Board of Canada and a member of PSAC, lost her case before the Federal Court of Appeal in which she sought to divert her union dues because of her conscientious objection to her union’s advocacy of same-sex ‘marriage’ and policy against “heterosexism.”

Comstock had argued that PSAC’s support of the homosexual political agenda violated her right to freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. She had proposed to divert her union dues, about $800 a year, to charity.

Comstock’s lawyer, Phil Horgan, head of the Catholic Civil Rights League of Canada, called the decision against his client “chilling” in its implications for religious expression in Canada.

In 2003, Canada’s largest union, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), lobbied in favor of homosexual “marriage” before the Justice Committee in the House of Commons. At that time, Judy Darcy, national president of CUPE, told Members of Parliament that his organization had “spoken up for same-sex marriage, and we think it’s about time the federal government made it legal.”

Gray argues that the country’s trade unions have “no business” forcing their members to pay dues that support social ideologies and political parties.

“Union members in Canada, whether they’re pro-life, pro-abortion, or neutral on the issue, should have their dues used only for collective bargaining. That is the reason why unions first got their mandate,” he said. “But union bosses have transgressed from their mandate and use compulsory union dues, not only for abortion, but for all kinds of issues unrelated to the work place.”

“Union members are perfectly capable of making their own social, moral, and political decisions on all these issues that are outside of the work place. It’s unbelievable for the union bosses to be making these decisions, it smacks of dictatorship,” he stated.

Gray pointed out the hypocrisy of trade unions that support the killing of baby’s by legal abortion.

“Unions say they ‘speak up for the little guy.’ Well, surely the littlest guy is an innocent child in a mother’s womb. These unions, by supporting ‘choice’ — which is really killing by choice — are supporting babies being torn apart and being poisoned and sucked out of their mothers by abortion. And these are the same unions who are supposed to ‘speak out for the little guy’? It’s total hypocrisy.”

“As for the trade unions that promote same-sex ‘marriage’, again, it’s really none of their business since union members are perfectly capable of making up their own minds on social issues and don’t need to be hand-held by undemocratic union bosses.”

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PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received millions in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

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If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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