Canadian Birth Rate Declines Amid Fading National Optimism
The Story: According to recently-released Statistics Canada numbers, Canada’s fertility rate has hit a new all-time low of just 1.33 births per woman. While birthrates have been dropping throughout the Western world for several decades—in large part due to the contraceptive separation of sex and procreation and the effects of the sexual revolution on family dissolution—Canada’s birth rate decline accelerated when the Covid-19 pandemic began and has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
The National Post’s coverage of the trend attributes the decline to the rising cost of living and increasing housing prices, an incomplete argument that nevertheless has merit given a recent report that the Canadian economy stagnated in July. The impacts of the stumbling economy are also being felt elsewhere in Canada: the Federal government has announced plans to cut $1 billion in planned National Defense spending and Ontario’s healthcare system reported a shocking 49% year-over-year increase in surgery waitlist deaths.
The Significance: The role of any government is to provide the environment necessary for human flourishing. In fact, Paul commands Timothy to pray for political leaders so that “we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, Godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim. 2:2). The Christian’s prayer should be directed toward the common good of society, asking God for political leadership that maintains the necessary prerequisites for a peaceful and prosperous society. Of course, Christians can—and have—persevered through tyranny and political chaos. However, Paul writes with the understanding that stable societal circumstances are good for Christians and conducive for living Godly lives.
After creation, God commanded the first couple to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28). This command is not suspended anywhere in Scripture. Christians who are married and able to have children should give full consideration to this responsibility as they plan for the future—even amid tightening economic and societal conditions. Children are a blessing not only to parents but also to the entire society. In fact, no society can long endure falling birth rates. Even as each generation depends on the previous generation to care for them as children, the older generation depends on the younger generation to provide for them in old age.
Read More: Tristin Hopper, National Post, “FIRST READING: Canada’s birth rate has dropped off a cliff (and it’s likely because nobody can afford housing)”
Manitoba NDP Win Majority Government
The Story: After a decisive victory in Tuesday’s election, Manitoba’s NDP have formed the first Majority NDP Government in the Province since 2011. Led by Wab Kinew, who will soon be sworn in as Canada’s first Indigenous provincial Premier, the NDP defeated the incumbent Progressive Conservatives.
The PCs, formerly led by Brian Pallister, had been in power since 2016 and have consistently trailed the NDP since late 2020 due to unpopular COVID policies, including the arrest of a Christian pastor for holding a drive-in service. After Pallister’s resignation, Premier Heather Stefanson took over the party’s leadership and regained support in the polls by campaigning on the importance of parental rights, but ultimately failed to match the Kinew’s political momentum.
The Significance: The NDP’s victory in Manitoba is a saddening win for the pro-abortion, anti-parental rights extremism of the Canadian Left. Regardless of the Progressive Conservative Government’s many failings, the radical nature of the NDP platform should be a cause of significant concern for faithful Christians committed to the sanctity of human life and the integrity of God’s design. Premier-elect Wab Kinew spoke against parental rights in addition to funding so-called improvements to Winnipeg’s abortion centre. However imperfect our options may be, every election presents a choice between differing degrees of righteous governance. In this case, Manitobans have selected a government that seems intent on maximizing the public unrighteousness of their Province.
Unfortunately, the Manitoba PCs hurt their own moral credibility by actively campaigning on their refusal to fund a potential $184 million search for the bodies of two murdered Indigenous women whose bodies are believed to be in a Winnipeg landfill. Regardless of the financial wisdom of this policy, the PCs missed one critical factor in their campaign strategy: every human being has a conscience, and that conscience—even while marred by sin—tends to have some measure of compassion for the innocent victims of heinous crimes. We should be thankful for this reality. Because of this, however, the PC Party’s advertising incurred the moral vitriol of many voters—ironically and inadvertently aiding the Left’s attempt to expand two seriously victimizing procedures: abortion and gender transition surgery.
Read More: Katherine Dow, National Post, “NDP to form majority government following historic Manitoba election.”
Saskatchewan First Nation Declares State of Emergency Over Drug Crisis
The Story: Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan has declared a state of emergency after seven people overdosed on the same day in the small community. Due to the quick response of medical staff, all seven people survived the overdoses.
The near-death of seven band members highlighted the severity of the problem facing the reserve and sparked a day-long community meeting where plans were made to combat drug use. Measures being implemented include a curfew for minors, requested increases in RCMP patrols, a crackdown on drug dealers’ properties, and a community security-RCMP task force intended to vacate properties associated with drug dealers.
Community leaders have also requested that an addictions and mental health plan be coordinated between the Province, the Federal government, and the Cree Nation with the goal of ending drug use in the community.
The Significance: Red Pheasant’s leadership expressed the significance of these measures in a press release: “Red Pheasant believes these actions are necessary to protect the Treaty and the inherent rights of First Nations people and to ensure their health, well-being, and dignity.” The non-medicinal use of drugs is a grave injustice against the dignity of the person and God’s gift of life.
The community’s response to this crisis damages progressive claims that police presence and anti-drug policies harm minorities. Instead, like everyone else, minorities benefit from political order and drug reduction. In fact, it’s a moral imperative for a Godly society to create the conditions that allow its citizens to thrive both physically and spiritually. Justice demands that, like Red Pheasant Cree Nation, we fully combat the deadly plague of drug use.
Read More: Rory MacLean and David Prisciak, CTV News Saskatoon, “Sask. First Nation threatens to evict residents of suspected drug houses”
Federal Government Announces National Podcast Registry
The Story: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced that all online streaming services, including podcast providers or video platforms, will be given until November 28 to register with the CRTC.
The CRTC issued a recent statement demonstrating how their implementation of Bill C-11 will ensure that podcasts and video platforms conform to CRTC rules regarding content—including the mandated production of a specific percentage of “Canadian stories.” Failure to register could result in a $10 million dollar fine.
The Significance: The Liberal government promoted Bill C-11, Canada’s most recent internet censorship legislation, as a policy that would not affect independent content creators. However, targeting podcasts is an extreme move that will provide government bureaucrats with the opportunity to shut down independent Canadian voices.
The Liberals continue to insist that they aren’t trying to control speech in Canada, but placing podcasts under CRTC guidelines that enforce specific content requirements can only be described as speech control.
Christians in Canada must recognize this slow slide toward controlled speech. Already, Canada’s governments are not afraid to tell churches when they can or can’t be open. They have even passed legislation that limits what pastors can say to their own congregations (Bill C-4). None of these policies were defined as attacks on freedom of religion, but they restricted religious practice all the same.
Christians in Canada should not wait until the Government of Canada begins implementing Soviet-style bans on churches and religion. Instead, we should recognize that attacks on religious liberty are almost always subtle. A country where you do not have the freedom to say or hear what you want does not need to ban religion in order to control it.
Read More: Tristan Hopper, National Post, ”Yes, the Liberals are absolutely coming for your podcasts.”
Liberal MP Greg Fergus elected Speaker of the House of Commons: Greg Fergus, a Liberal MP and close ally of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has been elected as the new Speaker of the House of Commons. The election took place after former Speaker Anthony Rota resigned in the aftermath of the Yaroslav Hunka scandal. Fergus formerly served as National Director of the Liberal Party and later as Trudeau’s Parliamentary Secretary, leading many to question whether he is capable of fulfilling one of the key roles of the Speaker: restraining the power of the government and serving as the neutral voice of Parliamentarians.
Read More: Catherine Lévesque, The National Post, “Who is Greg Fergus, Canada’s first Black Speaker of the House of Commons?”
A Truth To Consider