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Conservative MPs warn charities that don’t affirm abortion could lose status

The Liberals pledged to end charitable status for pro-life pregnancy centres, but some Conservative MPs are concerned that churches could be included.

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By LEE HARDING

The Trudeau Liberals election platform called for pro-life pregnancy centres to lose their charitable status, and some Conservative MPs fear the net could spread to include other pro-life organizations.

Campaign Life Coalition estimates there are 150 pregnancy care centres from coast to coast. In October, Pregnancy Care Canada, an umbrella organization for 81 centres, said 158,883 people had accessed help at its affiliates during the past 23 years and paid 182,998 visits for supplies such as diapers, formula, and clothes. Also, 18,036 clients received prenatal education; 31,733 clients took parenting programs; and 9,810 women requested and received support after their abortion.

Yorkton-Melville, Saskatchewan MP Cathay Wagantall says the federal government shouldn’t deny charitable status to the centres.

“It sends a shudder through the hearts of Canadians when they see their rights and their freedoms being manipulated in such an obvious way. And the charitable status in this case, they’re not taking an honest look at it,” Wagantall told the Western Standard. 

“They just turned a blind eye to the good that is done.”

On November 24, Wagantall and Peace River-Westlock Alberta MP Arnold Viersen accompanied newly elected Ontario MP Leslyn Lewis at a “Save our Charities” rally on Parliament Hill sponsored by Campaign Life Coalition. The MPs accepted 12,000 signatures on a petition asking that pregnancy centres maintain their charitable status.

“This virtue signaling, similar to the attestation that came with Canada Summer Jobs is just this [threatening] chill,” Wagantall said.

“I do believe that churches see [pregnancy centres’] services as in line with their belief systems, and definitely do support them. So then the question becomes, ‘Will they also face punishment because of their association with those centers?’”

In 2018, Canada Summer Jobs grants were withheld from organizations that would not attest their core function included support for abortion. Viersen told Western Standard he expects the Liberals will take a similar approach with charities and that pastors also feel vulnerable their churches could lose status.

“I don’t think in order to have a charitable status, you should have to agree with the Liberals on anything. So this is why I’m opposed to them politicizing charitable status,” Viersen said.

“Basically any organization that has charitable status that doesn’t agree with … the Liberal version of reality, they will have trouble maintaining their charitable status. So that’s your local church, your local summer camp, a local food kitchen, like all of these, your local school, like any your local hospital for that matter, any organization that’s probably somewhat religiously based.”

When asked if Tory leader Erin O’Toole supported the stance of the three Conservative MPs, Viersen said it hadn’t been discussed because the Liberals are expected to make the change through administration, not legislation.

“There will be no vote in the House of Commons on this. There will be no debate in the House of Commons, and they’ll probably do this through regulation. And so we as Parliamentarians won’t even get an opportunity to weigh in on what they’re up to. So that’s frustrating.”

In 2019, bureaucrats denied Mill Stream Bible Camp in Ontario a Canada Summer Jobs grant due to their requirement that staff adhere to Christian beliefs and conduct. The bureaucrats wrote that this could “restrict access to programs, services, or employment, or otherwise discriminate, contrary to applicable laws, on the basis of prohibited grounds, including … sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.”

Marty Moore, a lawyer for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, successfully litigated on behalf of the camp, which should have received $45,000 to supplement six summer jobs. Moore disagrees with how the government is imposing its ideological bent.

“What we see right now goes against our history,” Moore told Western Standard.

“It goes against our foundational principles of tolerance and respect for diversity of opinions and weakens the very foundation of a democracy when the empowered majority is targeting minority voices and minority viewpoints utilizing what should be the neutral … criminal code or the tax code. And when we see that, I have great concerns for the undermining of the very foundations of our society.”

Harding is a Western Standard correspondent based in Saskatchewan

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Proudly_Free

    December 3, 2021 at 11:08 am

    This is nothing but an attempt to wipe out all religious-based charity throughout the country and leave vulnerable women with no choice but to abort their babies that they feel unable to carry to term. It’s also a huge move toward totalitarianism to make everyone utterly dependent on the government for any kind of charitable support. This is far more sinister than the Summer Jobs Grant scam could ever hope to be.

    We need to abandon the language of the left being pro-choice. Our Crime Minister has never been and his party is most certainly not. They want women to put their preborn children to death as a means of population control and reduction. This should be enough cause for their arrest and removal from power. We need to FIGHT BACK. NOW. And in a way that these satanic Commie ideologues understand, which eliminates trying to reason with them.

  2. dwood439@protonmail.com

    December 2, 2021 at 10:58 am

    Trudeau is going after churches, he thinks he is God and we need to worship at the altar of the STATE.

  3. Left Coast

    December 2, 2021 at 10:23 am

    Canada is well on it’s way to becoming a fascist state . . . and almost 2/3s of the population today are OK with that. Crime Minister Justin’s “Thought Police” will soon be on every corner, patrolling the Internet and watching that you don’t have any Independent Thoughts that differ from the “State”.

    Canadians really are just as dumb as Venezuelans . . . how’s their Marxist & friend of the Castros working out?

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Maskless teen student with asthma ostracized at Calgary Catholic school

“Kids in my class called me an ‘outsider’ which made me feel worse than I already felt,” said 14-year-old Darius.

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A Calgary Catholic school has segregated and since banned a student from attending school for not wearing a mask, says the student’s parents.

And before that, teachers had even taped off an area around the boy’s desk “like a crime scene.”

Darius Lynn, a Grade 9 student at St. Helena Junior High School in Calgary, suffers from asthma and was permitted to go maskless at his desk during the 2020-2021 school year.

When Darius returned to St. Helena for the 2021-2022 school year, without his parents’ knowledge, he was advised he would be required to wear a mask full time.

He complied for the first few months but eventually reported to his parents in late November he was struggling to breathe while wearing the mask.

“I had no idea he was told to wear a mask again this year,” Darius’ mother Stephanie told the Western Standard.

“My husband and I just assumed he wasn’t needing to wear a mask again this year.”

Stephanie said she and her husband Paul reached out to the new principal and Darius’ teachers to request they allow their son the same exemption as the previous year.

They were told he would need a doctor’s note, which Stephanie said they have been unable to acquire.

“Mask exemptions are impossible to get,” said Stephanie.

“Right now, doctors are just too scared to write them.”

Stephanie said the school’s solution was to, “move my son’s desk into the hallway.”

Darius also spoke with the Western Standard and said the teenagers in his class referred to him as an “outsider” after he was moved into the hallway.

“When they did group projects, they would just send me to the library and I had to work on my own,” said Darius.  

“Kids in my class called me an ‘outsider’ which made me feel worse than I already felt.”

Stephanie said she and her husband tried to appeal to the principal, but “she wouldn’t budge,” so they reached out to the superintendent.

“We begged for her to let Darius back into the classroom but he ended up sitting out there for two weeks where he was discriminated against and basically ridiculed so we contacted the superintendent,” said Stephanie.

Stephanie said she emailed Chief Superintendent Bryan Szumlas with the Catholic School Board who helped the Lynns get their son moved back into his classroom.

“So, he was moved back into the classroom, which was good, but what we didn’t know was that his teachers taped off the floor around his desk like a crime scene,” said Stephanie.

“After they put tape on the floor around my desk, some of the kids in my class would step past the tape and pretend they couldn’t breathe,” said Darius, explaining the teasing he endured.

Darius said his teachers had witnessed some of the teasing, but said, “most of the time the teachers didn’t do anything about it.

“They (teachers) also made me wait a few minutes before I could move to my next class because there were basically a bunch of students in the halls.”

“It was just awful what they were doing to him. They were treating him like a walking disease and visibly segregating him,” said Stephanie.

Stephanie said Darius had to stay within his taped boundaries for about a week until Christmas break.

“After the break, the principal notified us that Darius wouldn’t be welcome back if he wasn’t willing to wear a mask,” said Stephanie.

“In fact, one of the communications with the school referred to his asthma as his ‘apparent asthma’ like we were making it up or something.

“They said he could move to the online schooling system or do their D2L system from home,” said Stephanie referring to a web-based learning system offered throughout the school division.

“He doesn’t do well online so we are just trying to do the best we can. He’s in Grade 9, he should be able to be with his peers to finish off his last year in middle school.”

Darius said he has mixed feelings about not returning to school.

“I’m just really upset that I don’t get to see my friends anymore, but I also feel like I have less distractions at home,” said Darius.

Stephanie said it’s been a hard year for Darius as he also had to walk away from community hockey due to the vaccination mandates and additional costs associated with frequent rapid testing.

“He is totally destroyed,” said Stephanie.

The Lynns have two other sons — both attending Notre Dame High School — one in Grade 11 who is special needs and one in Grade 12.

“The real kicker for us is that we have a special needs son who has never worn a mask, doesn’t social distance and we have never been required to show a doctor’s note for him,” said Stephanie.

“They have totally humiliated my son and I’m angry. We just want our son to be treated with dignity and compassion. He has lost hockey because of the mandates and now he isn’t allowed to go to school.”

The family has since been referred to Area Director Deana Helton with regard to their son’s situation.

The Western Standard has contacted the school principal along with Helton but hasn’t heard back yet.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Copping strikes EMS advisory committee amid system strains, red alerts

The Alberta Provincial EMS Advisory Committee will provide recommendations on a provincial EMS service plan by May.

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Health Minister Jason Copping has appointed MLAs R.J. Sigurdson (Highwood) and Tracy Allard (Grande Prairie) to co-chair a new EMS committee to address “unprecedented” demands on the healthcare system.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is also rolling out a 10-point plan to maximize EMS system capacity.

The government listed many aggravating factors driving the system strains including “EMS staffing fatigue and illness, hospital offload delays, more requests for patient transfers, delays in receiving new ambulances and specialized vehicle parts caused by global supply issues.”

The province has seen a plethora of “red alerts” reported by EMS members and tweeted by the Union of Health Care Professionals @HSAAlbertaEMS. A red alert is when there are no available ambulances for emergency calls.

The government also reported a 30% increase in 911 calls in recent months. There was no mention of personnel shortages caused by the government’s COVID-19 mandate.

“Alberta’s government has been supportive of EMS throughout the pandemic. As we approach the peak of Omicron cases, we know the EMS system is seeing significant strain, which impacts service. We recognize this is a challenge and are taking immediate steps to improve emergency care access while we explore longer-term solutions,” said Copping.

AHS will immediately hire more paramedics, transfer low-priority calls to other agencies, and stop automatic ambulance dispatch to motor vehicle accidents with no injuries. AHS is also “launching pilot projects to manage non-emergency inter-facility transfers, and initiating an ‘hours of work’ project to help ease staff fatigue.”

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO of AHS is confident these actions “will allow us to better support our EMS staff and front-line paramedics, and in turn this will ensure our patients receive the best care possible.”

Additionally, AHS will issue a request for proposals in February to conduct a third-party review of Alberta’s provincewide EMS dispatch system.

“The objective review by external health system experts will provide further opportunities to address ongoing pressures, improve effectiveness and efficiency through best practices, and provide the best outcomes for Albertans who call 911 during a medical event,” the government said.

The Alberta Provincial EMS Advisory Committee will provide recommendations on a provincial EMS service plan by May. Committee representatives include “contracted ambulance operators, unions representing paramedics, municipal representatives and Indigenous community representatives.”

Sigurdson said the committee will consider taxpayers’ needs.

“Albertans expect that when they call 911 in their time of greatest need, EMS will always answer. The committee’s goal will be focused around ensuring and improving service to Albertans while supporting the most critical piece of that equation: our EMS staff across all of Alberta.”

Amber Gosselin is a Western Standard reporter.
agosselin@westernstandardonline.com

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WATCH: O’Toole will not be welcoming the truckers in Ottawa

“It’s not for the leader of the Opposition to attend a protest on the Hill or a convoy, it’s up to politicians to advocate for solutions, in a way that’s responsible and respectable to the health crisis we are in.”

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Conservative leader Erin O’Toole was asked six times during a Monday press conference about his stance on the truckers Freedom Convoy 2022, before giving a vague answer.

“We have been talking with the Canadian Trucking Alliance for several months,” said O’Toole told reports.

“We’ve seen a crisis in the supply chain coming for several months and we’ve proposed policies to try to help alleviate that. The most important of which is vaccines. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”

O’Toole press conference

Other specific. questions on the truckers’ comments were left with vague answers.

But the end of the conference O’Toole said it’s not his place to get involved.

“It’s not for the leader of the Opposition to attend a protest on the Hill or a convoy — it’s up to politicians to advocate for solutions, in a way that’s responsible and respectable to the health crisis we are in,” O’Toole said.

“We’ve been trying to tackle the supply chain crisis, encourage vaccination, not ignore problems and divide the country like Mr. (Justin) Trudeau does.”

O’Toole said policies cannot be put in place which could contribute to supply chain issues, as Canadians are already worried about their grocery bills.

O’Toole said he was focused on the economic strain Canadians are having, with record inflation, cost of living, 30% higher gas prices and the housing market’s rising costs,.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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