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Former Justin Trudeau advisor Gerald ButtsDave Chan / Stringer / Getty

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ONTARIO, July 9, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A former adviser and close friend to Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau is being called out for saying the recent rash of arson and vandalism attacks on mostly Catholic churches are “understandable.” 

The comment was made by Gerald Butts, who was an advisor to Trudeau until he resigned in the wake of the SNC Lavalin scandal in 2019. 

On Tuesday, he wrote on Twitter that “it may be understandable” that people want to burn down churches in light of the discovery of unmarked graves at now-closed indigenous residential schools once run by the Church.  

The controversy began after Postmedia columnist Terry Glavin took issue with some on social media who have come to the defense of Harsha Walia, executive director of the British Columbia (B.C.) Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA). 

Walia recently sparked online fury after openly calling for violence against Catholic parishes, writing on Twitter in response to news of Catholic churches being torched to “Burn it all down.”  

Canadian lawyer Naomi Sayers came to the defense of Walia, saying publicly said that she would help “burn” down Catholic churches, as well as offering to help defend anyone caught attempting arson. 

Butts first took a swipe at Glavin for calling our Walia’s remarks, to which Glavin replied, “So Gerry, defending the ‘burning churches is cool’ crowd?” 

It was then that Butts replied with his “understandable” remark. 

Glavin was not finished in calling out Butts, writing, “Failed Liberal brainiac Gerry Butts thinks burning indigenous churches ‘may be understandable.’ Wonder when he'll find it politically expedient to shrug off the burning of mosques and synagogues.” 

This elicited a response from Butts, who again said it was “understandable” that churches are being burned. 

“Look buddy, I'm not going to break the Crash Davis rule, and will ignore the personal insult. But I was an altar boy in a small Atlantic Canadian parish in the early 1980s. I can understand why someone would want to burn down a church, though I do not condone it,” wrote Butts

Butt’s remarks come after Trudeau himself also said that it is that it is “understandable” that churches have been burned, while at the same time saying it is “unacceptable and wrong.” 

Sun columnist Brian Lilley blasted Butts in an opinion piece for his remarks.  

“And with those words, Trudeau, and now Butts, have given an excuse to those who have and continue to carry out these attacks. These very same attacks have been denounced by First Nations leadership in stronger terms and it has rightly been pointed out that it does nothing for reconciliation,” wrote Lilley on Wednesday.

Heavy media coverage of the unmarked graves at the now-closed Kamloops Indian Residential School located in British Columbia as well as in Saskatchewan has resulted in over 35 churches, most of them Catholic, being either burned or vandalized.  

An online map posted by True North News shows the locations of these churches.

Trudeau has also blasted the Catholic Church publicly, saying he expects “the Church to step up and take responsibility for its role in this.”  

However, the Catholic Church in Canada as well as in Rome has already acknowledged that some Catholics were at fault in the government-mandated residential school system. 

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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: dia[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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In April 2009, Pope Benedict XVI met with First Nations representatives and apologized for the abuse children suffered in the schools. 

Phil Fontaine, then-national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, emerged from the meeting satisfied, saying, “What we wanted the Pope to say to us was that he was sorry and … that he deeply felt for us. 

“We heard that very clearly today,” Fontaine added.

The Kamloops Indian Residential School was run by the Catholic Church from 1890 until 1969 and was closed by the federal government in 1977. 

Although the residential school system was founded by the secular government in the 19th century, and then woefully underfunded by the state, and although different religious groups were asked to run the schools, the Catholic Church has borne the brunt of recent criticism. 

After the government mandated attendance at the schools in the 1920s, children were forcibly removed from their families and parents threatened with prison if they did not comply. Upon arrival at the school, children rarely saw their families, with many disappearing or never seeing their families again. 

A priest who spoke to LifeSiteNews under condition of anonymity after the first two churches on indigenous land in British Columbia were set ablaze, said that First Nations Catholics will suffer the loss of their churches, but that sadly we can “expect more” burnings to come. 

report from the early 1900s by a medical inspector showed high rates of tuberculosis among Indigenous children as well as a lack of proper funding from the government. 

In a recent report published by LifeSiteNews well-known Canadian Catholic author Michael O’Brien, who himself attended a residential school for three years, cautioned against using the discovery of the graves as a reason to attack the Catholic Church. 

Another report published by LifeSiteNews highlights how Cree playwright Tomson Highway, as well as the late Inuvik Dene band chief Cece Hodgson-McCauley, said that attending the schools set them up for success later in their adult life. 

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