Prairie Provinces Follow Higgs on Gender Policy
The Story: Saskatchewan and Manitoba are set to follow New Brunswick in protecting parental rights. On August 20, the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives announced a swath of additional protections for parental rights in education as part of their re-election bid, including advanced notice of curriculum and third-party presentations.
Two days later, Saskatchewan Education Minister Dustin Duncan went a step further by announcing that, with immediate effect, schools would be required to get parental approval before changing their child’s name or pronouns. The content of sex-ed classes must be fully disclosed and participation can be declined. Additionally, all third-party presentations on sexual education were to stop immediately, pending a full review.
Saskatchewan and Manitoba’s actions follow a controversial presentation by Planned Parenthood in Lumsden, SK, and mirror Premier Blaine Higgs’ popular pro-parent efforts in New Brunswick.
The Significance: Courage is contagious. The courage Premier Blaine Higgs showed in the face of withering attacks by the media, LGBTQ activists, and even members of his own Party inspired two other provinces to follow suit and hundreds of thousands of Canadians to stand with him. One decision by one man has launched a national counteroffensive against radical gender ideology.
There are countless examples of a single person’s courage making all the difference: be that in recent history like Sir Winston Churchill’s refusal to surrender, or in Biblical history with David’s willingness to face Goliath or Mary’s courage to say to the Angel Gabriel: “Let it be with me according to your Word.” These examples, and the ultimate example of Christ carrying His cross, serve as a reminder to Christians about the importance of being courageous in our actions in both public and private life, even if it means facing the world’s scorn. As Jesus said: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.”
Read More: Elie Cantin-Nantel, TNC, “Saskatchewan mandates parental consent for name and pronoun changes at school”
Jordan Peterson Loses Free Speech Challenge
The Story: Jordan Peterson has lost his court challenge against the Ontario College of Psychologists’ demand that he undergo mandatory social media training or lose his license. The College made the demand of Peterson after receiving complaints about some of his social media posts that were political in nature, including several weighing in on the issue of transgenderism.
Peterson had challenged the directive on the basis that the College had no right to police his speech on issues that had nothing to do with his practice and that had not come from any of his patients.
The court ruled that, while the College’s directive likely restricted Peterson’s freedom of speech, the College did not have to consider the issue of freedom of speech in the first place.
Peterson has stated that he will take the fight all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary and has already started fundraising efforts to back his legal costs.
The Significance: This ruling is more disturbing than the initial demand of the College. The court not only backed the College’s directive, it doubled down by ruling that freedom of speech did not have to be considered in a ruling that ultimately was all about freedom of speech.
The message has now been sent to any therapist, psychiatrist, or professional with a governing body that using their freedom of speech may not be worth the professional consequences. The repercussions are quite serious: good, honest people will steer away from important professions like law and medicine in favour of keeping their conscience, and those who remain now know that Canada’s courts will not defend their rights.
Regardless of one’s opinion of Jordan Peterson, everyone who believes in freedom of speech and expression should be hoping that his appeal is successful.
Read More: Brian Lilley, Toronto Sun, “Lilley: Peterson denounces court’s attack on free speech”
COVID-Era Charges Dropped Against Alberta Pastors
The Story: Alberta Pastors James Coates and Tim Stephens, both of whom were arrested in 2021 for violating pandemic-era health regulations, have had the charges against them dropped. The stays of prosecution stem from a recent court decision which found that the Alberta Government had improperly usurped the role of health decision-making during the Covid-19 regulation process.
The Significance: After spending significant time in prison, both men have now been vindicated by the Court’s ruling that Alberta’s pandemic restrictions were, in fact, administered without proper jurisdiction. Most significantly, for Christian readers, is this ruling’s protection of true religious liberty in the province of Alberta. Even in a broken system, a small degree of justice has been won for Pastor James Coates, Pastor Tim Stephens, and their respective congregations. We should praise God for this gracious gift of temporary justice even in the midst of an increasingly-threatened culture of liberty.
Read More: News Release, Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, “Justice Centre pleased with stay of prosecutions over breaking Covid rules”
Toronto Teachers Reveal Board Push to Prioritize DEI Training Over Educational Basics
The Story: Teachers from the Toronto District School Board are raising alarms about how the school board is pushing them to prioritize diversity and equity training over core subjects like math and reading.
Teachers interviewed by True North claim that they will get in trouble if they do not provide evidence that they are teaching on racism or islamophobia, but receive no repercussions for failing to teach children spelling, math, or reading.
This story comes after the tragic suicide of popular principle Richard Bilkszto. Bilkszto had dared to challenge a DEI speaker and was bullied, publicly shamed, and fired for having a difference of opinion, as confirmed by an Ontario Workplace and Insurance Board investigation.
The Significance: The danger in the sheer number of stories we hear about the terrible state of our school systems is that we simply roll our eyes and groan about “woke ideology.” We must overcome this urge because an entire generation of children in Canada are being failed.
When teachers who have been fed a steady diet of DEI propaganda are the ones waving a red flag and saying they are worried about the quality of education, the rest of us should stop in our tracks and take note. As one teacher was quoted by True North, “this is not what I signed up to do for a career.”
Christians have two options in front of them: take their kids out of the public school system, or get deeply involved in trying to change it. Status quo, where our children are fed destructive ideology while not being taught the essentials of academics, is not an option.
Read More: Sue-Ann Levy, True North, “TDSB teachers say curriculum has taken a backseat to DEI Training”
Elections Canada Takes a Stand on Pride
The Story: Elections Canada is now flying a Pride flag outside its Gatineau, QC, headquarters. In a tweet announcing their decision to do so, the organization stated, “For the first time, Elections Canada will be flying the #Pride flag at our National Capital Region Headquarters to mark Public Service #PrideWeek! We’re proud to support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in all that we do.”
The Significance: Elections Canada’s decision to fly the Pride progress flag outside the head offices of a purportedly non-partisan organization highlights the myth of secular neutrality. Political power must always be directed toward some end. If not directed toward the truth, goodness, and beauty found in a God-centered worldview, political power will be directed toward some other idol—in this case, the idol of unmitigated sexual pleasure. Human beings are created to worship; either they will worship God, or they will worship mute idols. Neutrality is not an option.
Read More: Elections Canada
Canadian woman dies after being refused treatment due to vaccination status: In a shocking betrayal of Canada’s supposed values, an Alberta woman has died after being denied medical care. Sheila Lewis was removed from the transplant list when, despite being willing to get updates on all her previous vaccines, she declined the COVID vaccine due to already having contracted COVID. Lewis had lost multiple court appeals and had her case declined by the Supreme Court. Despite beginning to raise funds to seek treatment in the United States, Lewis was not able to get the treatment in time and has now died due to the delay. Everyone involved in the decision to deny Ms. Lewis the life-saving treatment she required deserves the harshest condemnation possible. While Lewis’ exact transplant needs were not disclosed, her cause of death is clear: death by health proclamation.
Read More: Tyler Dawson, National Post, “Alberta women dies after being denied transplant”
A Truth To Consider