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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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

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Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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