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Canadian court upholds right to free expression after Christian event was cancelled without explanation

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NEW WESTMINSTER, British Columbia, Canada, July 20, 2021 (JCCF) — The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is pleased to announce that on Monday, July 19, 2021, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled in favour of Grace Chapel, after the City of New Westminster cancelled the church’s Christian youth conference at the City-owned and managed Anvil Centre in 2018.

The Justice Centre brought a legal action on behalf of Grace Chapel, a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, located in downtown New Westminster, B.C. The Justice Centre argued that the City’s decision to cancel the Church’s conference violated the church’s freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief opinion, expression, and association. Grace Chapel’s vision includes the desire to build a multi-ethnic, diverse church.

Grace Chapel does not have a church building of its own, so it holds events in rented spaces including at the Anvil Centre. In May of 2018, Grace Chapel entered into a contract with the City to rent a portion of the Anvil Centre for a youth conference to be held later in July.

On June 20, 2018, the Anvil Centre received a single complaint from a member of the public who saw a poster promoting the conference. Only hours later, Grace Chapel received an email from Heidi Hughes, the Anvil Centre Director of Sales & Marketing, stating that the Centre was cancelling the conference on the basis that “one of [Grace Chapel’s] event speakers / facilitators …vocally represents views and a perspective that run counter to City of New Westminster and Anvil Centre booking policy.”

Ms. Hughes did not identify the “views” or “perspective” said to have led to the City’s cancellation of the conference, or explain how Grace Chapel had breached the Anvil Centre’s booking policy.

In a decision released on July 19, 2021, Justice Maria Morellato ruled that Grace Chapel is entitled to a declaration that the City’s cancellation of the conference unjustifiably infringed its right to freedom of expression under section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

In response to the City’s argument that Grace Chapel’s alleged expression at the conference was of “low value”, Justice Morellato stated the following:  

In a free and democratic society, the exchange and expression of diverse and often controversial or unpopular ideas may cause discomfort. It is, in a sense, the price we pay for our freedom. Once governments begin to argue that the expression of some ideas are less valuable than others, we find ourselves on dangerous ground.

“We are pleased that the Court has vindicated our client’s freedom of expression and affirmed that government must respect the Charter in providing access to publicly-owned facilities,” states Justice Centre Staff Lawyer, Marty Moore.

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PETITION UPDATE (2/25/2021)

Not only has the federal Senate in Canada not come to the aid of vulnerable people threatened by the passage of Euthanasia Bill C-7, they have actually voted to make matters worse by EXPANDING provision of euthanasia beyond what C-7 had originally intended.

The bill will now go back to Parliament, where the Senate's amendments can be accepted or rejected.

Please READ LifeSiteNews' analysis of the Trudeau Liberals' latest salvo in their all-out push to expand euthanasia in Canada: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/canada-senate-passes-euthanasia-bill-expanding-categories-of-the-killable

Then, please SIGN and SHARE this petition. Thank you.

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PETITION UPDATE (12/9/2020)

On December 3, 2020, the Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-7 passed with 213 yeas and 103 nays, with a total of 316 votes.

Bill C-7 would expand already existing provisions for assisted suicide. It would "repeal the provision that requires a person’s natural death be reasonably foreseeable."

The Bill is currently in its Third Reading in the House of Commons and will move on to the Senate if it passes.

We are obliged to help people who are suffering, especially the vulnerable, and that’s why we must oppose Bill C-7.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition. Then, please contact your MP and tell them to vote NO on Bill C-7. You can find your MP and their contact information HERE.

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We are obliged to help people who are suffering, not kill them.

But, that's exactly what the existing euthanasia law - the so-called "medical assistance in dying (MAiD)" provision - allows.

And, right now, the Trudeau Liberals are pushing for making death even more accessible to our most vulnerable citizens by tabling Bill C-7 in Parliament.

Please SIGN this petition and call for Canada's Members of Parliament to REJECT more euthanasia in Bill C-7, and, instead, provide for more homecare, palliative care, and mental health support.

Bill C-7 would expand existing provisions for assisted-suicide by removing the requirement that a person's natural death be reasonably foreseeable to qualify for MAiD.

Simply put: under C-7, people who are not terminally ill can be killed by MAiD!

This is outrageous, as it puts people with disabilities, the elderly, the young, and those who cannot consent (if they had already agreed to MAiD) at serious risk.

Please CLICK HERE to learn more about Bill C-7 and how it would put those vulnerable people more at risk, and allow for more death and more killing.

Then, please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition.

Our elected Members of Parliament should be discussing how to help our disabled, elderly and young people with greater provision for homecare, palliative care, and mental health support, rather than encouraging our most vulnerable to kill themselves with our government's help and endorsement.

Nothing could be more foul and malicious.

And, while it's true that Trudeau's Minister of Justice is sponsoring this atrocious Bill, 40 Conservative Party politicians supported him in the vote on the Bill's Second Reading in late October.

We list these 40 Conservative MPs below, so that, after signing this petition, you can politely and respectfully contact them to let them know you want them to REJECT the expansion of MAiD (which, again, will mean more death and more killing), and to EMBRACE life-affirming provisions, like more funding for homecare, palliative care, and mental health support for our most vulnerable citizens.

Thank you!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'People with disabilities oppose Canada’s proposed expansion of euthanasia law'https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/people-with-disabilities-oppose-canadas-proposed-expansion-of-euthanasia-law

Canada's House of Parliament Info on Bill C-7https://www.parl.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=en&Mode=1&billId=10875380&View=5

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto's 'Help the Living' initiative - https://www.helptheliving.ca/

**Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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List of 40 Conservatives who voted FOR C-7 (Expansion of Euthanasia) on the Bill's Second Reading:

SCOTT AITCHISON (Parry Sound—Muskoka) - Telephone: 613-944-7740; Email: [email protected]

DAN ALBAS (Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola) - Telephone: 613-995-1702; Email: [email protected]

LEONA ALLESLEV (Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill) - Telephone: 613-992-0700; Email: [email protected]

MEL ARNOLD (North Okanagan—Shuswap) - Telephone: 613-995-9095; Email: [email protected]

TONY BALDINELLI (Niagara Falls) - Telephone: 613-995-1547; Email: [email protected]

JOHN BARLOW (Foothills) - Telephone: 613-995-8471; Email: [email protected]

LUC BERTHOLD (Mégantic—L'Érable) - Telephone: 613-995-1377; Email: [email protected]

SCOT DAVIDSON (York—Simcoe) - Telephone: 613-996-7752; Email: [email protected]

GÉRARD DELTELL (Louis-Saint-Laurent) - Telephone: 613-996-4151; Email: [email protected]

CHRIS D'ENTREMONT (West Nova) - Telephone: 613-995-5711; Email: [email protected]

TODD DOHERTY (Cariboo—Prince George) - Telephone: 613-995-6704; Email: [email protected]

TERRY DOWDALL (Simcoe—Grey) - Telephone: 613-992-4224; Email: [email protected]

ERIC DUNCAN (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry) - Telephone: 613-992-2521; Email: [email protected]

KERRY-LYNNE D. FINDLAY (South Surrey—White Rock) - Telephone: 613-947-4497; Email: [email protected]

DIANE FINLEY (Haldimand—Norfolk) - Telephone: 613-996-4974; Email: [email protected]

BERNARD GÉNÉREUX (Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup) - Telephone: 613-995-0265; Email: [email protected]

JOËL GODIN (Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier) - Telephone: 613-992-2798; Email: [email protected]

JACQUES GOURDE (Lévis—Lotbinière) - Telephone: 613-992-2639; Email: [email protected]

TRACY GRAY (Kelowna—Lake Country) - Telephone: 613-992-7006; Email: [email protected]

PAT KELLY (Calgary Rocky Ridge) - Telephone: 613-992-0826; Email: [email protected]

PETER KENT (Thornhill) - Telephone: 613-992-0253; Email: [email protected]

RON LIEPERT (Calgary Signal Hill) - Telephone: 613-992-3066; Email: [email protected]

LARRY MAGUIRE (Brandon—Souris) - Telephone: 613-995-9372; Email: [email protected]

RICHARD MARTEL (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord) - Telephone: 613-992-7207; Email: [email protected]

DAN MAZIER (Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa) - Telephone: 613-992-3176; Email: [email protected]

GREG MCLEAN (Calgary Centre) - Telephone: 613-995-1561; Email: [email protected]

CATHY MCLEOD (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo) - Telephone: 613-995-6931; Email: [email protected]

ERIC MELILLO (Kenora) - Telephone: 613-996-1161; Email: [email protected]

MARTY MORANTZ (Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley) - Telephone: 613-995-5609; Email: [email protected]

ROB MORRISON (Kootenay—Columbia) - Telephone: 613-995-7246; Email: [email protected]

PIERRE PAUL-HUS (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles) - Telephone: 613-995-8857; Email: [email protected]

ALAIN RAYES (Richmond—Arthabaska) - Telephone: 613-995-1554; Email: [email protected]

SCOTT REID (Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston) - Telephone: 613-947-2277; Email: [email protected]

MICHELLE REMPEL GARNER (Calgary Nose Hill) - Telephone: 613-992-4275; Email: [email protected]

ALEX RUFF (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound) - Telephone: 613-996-5191; Email: [email protected]

BOB SAROYA (Markham—Unionville) - Telephone: 613-992-1178; Email: [email protected]

DOUG SHIPLEY (Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte) - Telephone: 613-992-0718; Email: [email protected]

BRUCE STANTON (Simcoe North) - Telephone: 613-992-6582; Email: [email protected]

KAREN VECCHIO (Elgin—Middlesex—London) - Telephone: 613-990-7769; Email: [email protected]

LEN WEBBER (Calgary Confederation) - Telephone: 613-996-2756; Email: [email protected]

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“The City’s knee-jerk reaction to cancel the booking of a religious community made up primarily of new Canadians based on unfounded accusations was reprehensible,” continues Mr. Moore.

Published with permission from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms

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