The True End of An Era – The Dominion Report, March 2, 2024

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Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney Dies at 84 

The Story: Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney died on February 29 at the age of 84. A successful lawyer from Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Mulroney served as Canada’s Prime Minister after leading his Progressive Conservative Party to one of the largest electoral wins in Canadian history in 1984 and winning a second majority government in 1988. As Prime Minister, Mulroney negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), introduced the government sales tax (GST), and oversaw the Meech Lake and Charlottetown constitutional discussions. Internationally, Mulroney was a strong opponent of South Africa’s apartheid regime and led Canada during the end of the Cold War—maintaining close personal relationships with foreign contemporaries Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Mulroney also remains the only Canadian Prime Minister to introduce abortion legislation in response to the Supreme Court’s Morgentaler decision (which voided Canada’s lone abortion law). The most successful bill, which would have limited abortion in cases where the mother’s health was not at risk, was defeated in the Senate after a tied vote. 

The Significance: Mulroney entered the Prime Minister’s Office following the radically progressive tenure of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who served during a period that spanned (with a brief nine-month interruption) from 1968 to 1984. Prime Minister Trudeau aggressively pursued progressive policies including the decriminalization of abortion and homosexuality, and the introduction of no-fault divorce. In comparison to the Trudeau Government, the Mulroney Government represented an era of moderation, neither repealing the progressive advances of the Trudeau Government nor advocating for further progressive measures. This moderation was a feature of the coalition that propelled his PC Party to electoral success: a tentative alliance that included both Quebec nationalists and Western conservatives. However, following the failure of the Meech Lake Accords to meet the differing priorities of both Quebec and Western Canada, the moderate coalition began to fracture. In Western Canada, previous PC voters, frustrated with both the newly-introduced GST and a lack of representation in the Senate, began to move toward Preston Manning’s newly-created Reform Party. In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois, led by former Mulroney cabinet minister Lucien Bouchard, gained momentum. As a result, Jean Chretien’s Liberals won a majority government amid significant gains from both the Bloc Quebecois and the Reform Party—leaving Kim Campbell’s PCs with just two seats in the House of Commons. 

In total, the Prime Ministership of Brian Mulroney left a deep imprint on Canadian history, particularly his role in the then-controversial, now-popular North American Free Trade Agreement, which significantly altered Canada’s economy and increased trade opportunities for Canadian businesses. On important cultural issues, however, Mulroney’s Government did not succeed in reversing the advances of earlier progressive governments. He should, however, be applauded for his willingness to introduce abortion legislation in the aftermath of Morgentaler—legislation that, while flawed, would have likely saved thousands of preborn children from Canada’s still-lawless abortion regime. 

Canada needs leaders who will share Brian Mulroney’s ability to negotiate and build coalitions, but who will do so with an unwavering commitment to unchanging biblical truth. With regard to the former, Prime Minister Mulroney leaves a strong example. With regard to the latter, his legacy contains much to be admired but is also a warning about the limitations of a moderate worldview that does not firmly decry evil and promote righteousness. A hugely significant figure, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney has died. May he rest in peace. 

Read More: Tyler Dawson, National Post, “Former prime minister Brian Mulroney dead at 84”

Liberal Government Introduces “Online Harms” Bill

The Story: This week, the Federal Liberal Government unveiled their long-expected “online harms” legislation. The Government had claimed the Bill would focus on protecting children and used it as their reason for opposing a Liberal-appointed Senator’s cross-partisan bill to require age verification for online pornography.

While the Liberals’ Bill did not include measures to widely protect children from pornography, portions of the Bill do set stricter requirements for online platforms to remove child pornography once it is reported.

The rest of the Bill, however, contains measures that have many Canadians concerned it will have a “chilling effect” on free speech. 

Among some of the more extreme sections of the Bill, the new law would:

  1. Restore section 13 of the Human Rights Code—which had been removed by the Harper Government—allowing Canadians to haul each other in front of the Human Rights Commission over accusations of online hate.
  2. Allow life sentences for online comments.
  3. Grant the Attorney General the right to institute house arrest and GPS monitors for people who might commit a hate crime, even if they have not yet broken the law.
  4. Make it possible for Canadians to sue each other for hate crimes over any past online comment as long as the “perpetrator” had the ability to remove the comment.

The Significance: Some digital safety experts have stated that, while portions of the Bill might be overboard, its intention seems “reasonable”. Canadians would do well to ignore these soothing words and recall instead how “reasonably” this government has treated those who disagree with them. 

This is a Government that accused the Freedom Convoy leaders of “treason” and froze the bank accounts of everyday Canadians who had simply made a donation, and questioned whether we should “tolerate” those who did not believe in mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations.

Canadians, and particularly Christians who bear an obligation to the truth, should be deeply concerned about a government granting more opportunities to punish thoughts they deem wrong when the Government has already been quick to abuse every tool at their disposal. 

It’s also important to note that this Bill is not necessary for online safety. Perpetuating or inciting violence is already illegal, and Judges are already able to consider hate as an aggravating factor during sentencing. Ironically, the Liberal Government has repeatedly worked to lighten criminal sentences—including for those who hurt children—only to now introduce lifetime sentences for “online hate.” Canada does not require new legislation in order to prevent hate crimes, we simply need a justice system that recognizes the value and worth of those who are harmed, and acts accordingly. 

Read More: Cosmin Dzsurdza, True North, “Liberals’ “online hate” bill contains $70K fines for speech and life imprisonment for hate crimes”

Documents: Winnipeg Scientists Connected to Chinese Communist Party

The Story: Documents outlining a 2019 security breach at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg—Canada’s only Level 4 virology facility—were released this week after a years-long political and court battle. The documents show scientists Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and her husband Keding Cheng had extensive ties to the Chinese Communist Party and had committed multiple serious breaches of both security and containment protocols. Qui is otherwise known for her work developing one of the first successful treatments for Ebola.

Reports from CSIS state that, despite being cleared in the initial screening, Qui “repeatedly lied” when questioned about her CCP ties. She did covert and unapproved work with members of the Chinese military, was likely a member of the CCP’s “Thousand Talents Program”, and allowed two unvetted Chinese scientists into the Winnipeg lab. Qui and Cheng were fired and escorted off the premises due to the CSIS investigation.

In the four years since the breach, the Trudeau government sued Former Speaker Anthony Rota—a member of their own Party—and defied four separate Parliamentary orders to prevent the release of these documents, citing “national security.” Finally, after a panel of four MPs and three judges ruled that the refusal to provide documents was intended to avoid political embarrassment rather than national security risks, the documents were released to Parliament.

The Significance: For four years, Justin Trudeau has known that there is no national security risk to release the documents, but that there is national security risk in continuing to work closely with China’s Communist regime. Despite this—and rather than launching a much-needed investigation into interference—he hid the documents to avoid political embarrassment, watched as the CCP interfered in an election, and even tried to buy a yet-to-be-made Covid vaccine from China.

There’s an adage called Hanlon’s razor that is sometimes used in politics: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” At a certain point, however, it becomes more charitable to assume malice. 

Read More: Ryan Tumilty and Catherine Lévesque, The National Post“Fired scientists at Winnipeg lab worked closely and covertly with Chinese government, CSIS report says”

Alberta Town Bans Pride Crosswalks

The Story: Residents of Westlock, Alberta, voted 663-639 in favour of a new bylaw to remove a Pride-themed crosswalk in the community and prohibit all future Pride-themed crosswalks in the town. The community of approximately 5,000 people scheduled the vote after a resident-led petition received enough signatures to force the town’s council to either pass the bylaw or schedule a referendum on the question. 

The Significance: The effectiveness of a few organizers in this story demonstrates the remarkable impact that a small group of people can have in a single community. Although national and international politics have an allure of grandeur and often appear to be the centre of social change, we should remember that a person’s effectiveness is always greatest within their own family, their own local church, and their own community. 

As believers observe national political and social trends, we should not lose sight of the goings-on of our own communities. As Jeremiah instructed the people of Israel during their exile in Babylon: “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jer. 29:7). Although a national ban on publicly-funded Pride displays would be unlikely to succeed, a few people in Westlock, Alberta, identified a small opportunity to fight against the sexual revolution in their own backyard and successfully took advantage of that opportunity. We can learn from their example. 

Read More: Isaac Lamoureux, True North, “Alberta town bans pride crosswalks and non-government flags after town vote”

Quick Hits

Alberta opts out of national pharmacare program, highlights abortion pill coverage: Alberta will join Quebec in opting out of the Liberal-NDP national pharmacare program, instead continuing their own program. A key aspect of the national program is coverage of contraceptives—which was included in negotiations even before life-saving medication such as insulin. Alberta Health Minister Adriana LaGrange, in an apparent attempt to pre-empt criticism from abortion advocates, trumpeted Alberta’s coverage of “over 50 oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices, and emergency contraceptives.” “Emergency contraceptives” is a term used for the abortifacient commonly known as Plan B. LaGrange also specifically named the abortion pill Mifegymiso as a drug covered under the plan.

Adriana LaGrange is a former President of Red Deer Pro-Life and board member of Alberta Pro-Life.

 Read More: Carolyn Kury de Castillo, Global News, “Alberta intends to opt out of national pharmacare plan”

Pro-life presentation at Catholic school upsets students: Some Grade 11 and 12 students from Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Academy are upset after a presentation by the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform (CCBR) used what they claimed were “graphic images.” Keturah Dumaine of CCBR stated that their presentation did not include images of aborted children but did include a video with medical illustrations and a physician’s voiceover “explaining how the most common first-trimester procedure is done.” This reportedly caused several students to leave the room. Dumaine also compared abortions to slavery and the Holocaust, explaining how the “similarity is that whenever we say that some human beings don’t deserve basic human rights, bad things happen.” Abolitionists in England regularly used uncomfortable imagery to sway public opinion, as do many organizations dedicated to Holocaust memorial and other human rights tragedies.

The school stated they oppose abortion, but apologized for any offence caused. 

In 2019, girls in Grade 12 or below had at least 1,722 abortions. Most provinces do not require parental involvement for minors to have abortions.

Read More: Tina Yazdani and Meredith Bond, City News Toronto“YCDSB high school students left shocked after graphic anti-abortion presentation”

BC bans cellphones in classroom: BC Premier Eby has introduced a string of digital measures to protect children from online harm. The measures include a ban on the use of cellphones during classroom time and mechanisms to prevent the spread of unwanted sexual content. In a world that has been defined by the encroachment of the digital world into every sphere of life, BC’s actions are a good start in restoring the normalcy of both education before digital distraction and childhood before ubiquitous pornographic exploitation. Other jurisdictions should follow suit. 

Read More: Alexandra Ellison, Reformed Perspective, “BC says goodbye to phones in school”

A Truth To Consider

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