Thursday, 24 May 2018

Post 225--Centennial of (Some) Women's Suffrage in Canada


This blog contains more critique of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau than praise, something I am not proud of and does not make me happy. I would much rather have reasons for praise than critique. I would much rather be happy with my PM than unhappy. But as a Christian, I cannot not see myself happy with a Liberal government, for the essence of liberalism is to downgrade, if not actually despise and have contempt for established age-old traditions, many of which belong to the order of creation.

The last statement in the above paragraph probably sounds like I'm a dyed-in-the-wool kind of conservative. I'm not! Definitely not!  But that's for another post. Actually, my deepest attitudes and theories are embedded in this entire blog. If you've been reading my previous 224 posts, you will have grasped at least something of my perspective--neither liberal nor conservative but Reformed Christian. As I said, for another post.

But today I agree with and support our PM, something that gives me joy. Again, it is not 100%, but when you celebrate something, you don't major in qualifications; you just joyfully celebrate. And that's what I'm doing today. And I invite you to join the PM and little me.

You may remember that one of the first actions of our PM was to appoint a Cabinet marked by gender parity as well as racial diversity. And, you may remember, I expressed praise and gratitude for that move.  Unfortunately....  No, no, I don't go there today. Just celebrate! That step by the PM was a huge step forward in the process of empowering women in our country. It wasn't all women at that time, something the PM acknowledges below, but it was a huge and significant step forward in the dynamics of developing history. Please remember my "Tomato Post" no. 224. Tomato history is an interesting example of history developing forward and opening up towards richer variety and differentiation; The suffrage issue is not merely an example but actually a huge step towards the liberation of 50% of Canada's population. It significantly pushed history forward and opened it up.

Today, we join the PM in celebrating the centennial of that first huge step of women suffrage. Please read his statement below and celebrate. 

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Statement by the Prime Minister on the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in federal elections

May 24, 2018
Ottawa, Ontario

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in federal elections:
“One hundred years ago, women in Canada gained the right to vote in federal elections for the first time. Today, we recognize the countless women who have transformed politics in Canada and shaped a better country for all of us.
“This decision was a turning point for gender equality and a victory for Canadian democracy. When more voices are heard, we shape laws that reflect who we are and decisions that improve the lives of Canadians. Social activists and feminists worked hard to win the right to vote. Our democracy is stronger because of their commitment to their convictions, and their vision for a more just future.
“While this anniversary represents an important milestone in the quest for equal rights in Canada, not all women benefitted from this progress. Indigenous women, Asian women, and others were denied the right to vote. These exclusions remind us that progress does not always happen equally, and we must do more to make sure everyone’s rights are respected, promoted, and valued.
“Canada continues to work hard to address the obstacles women and girls face. Here at home, we are taking steps to promote women’s participation in the workforce, support women’s leadership, reduce the gender wage gap, and fight gender-based violence. In 2018, Canada put gender equality at the core of the federal budget, and made empowering women and girls a key theme for our G7 presidency. Thanks to measures like our Feminist International Assistance Policy, we are working to empower women and girls and advance gender equality around the world.
“The 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in federal elections reminds us that we are stronger when everyone, no matter their gender identity, can participate freely, fully, and equally in our democracy. A century later, women’s leadership continues to push Canada forward. Today, let’s celebrate the achievements of the many women who have shaped our country. Let’s honour their legacy, push for justice and equality, and make sure all voices can be heard.”

PMO Media Relations: media@pmo-cpm.gc.ca
This document is also available at https://pm.gc.ca

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Post 224--Tomatoes: Opening up of History


I have occasionally used the word "Reformational" or "Reformational Philosophy," a perspective to which I adhere.  It is also known by other names like "Neo-Calvinism" or "Kuyperianism" and, more recently, "Transformationalism." These names all have their reasons in history and are valid. However, "transformationalism" seems to be taking over as the most popular right now.  Fine. I have no problem with it.  In fact, my pastor, Trevor Vander Veen of the Vancouver Christian Reformed Church has outrightly adopted it as his favourite term in his recent doctoral dissertation. I go along with him, except that I have used "Reformational" or some derivative for long in all my writings and publications, so that I will stick to that one, though I have come to prefer "transformationalism."  Bear with me and remember that, please, in subsequent posts. The "scientific" formula from now on in this blog is:

                                        Reformationalism=Transformationalism

I use "Reformational" or "Reformationalism;" you think "Transformational" or "Transformationalism."  Agreed?

The Reformational perspective is big on the idea of the dynamic opening up of history as central to its philosophy of history. Today, as you may have suspected from the title of this post, I will refer to the history of the "humble" tomato as an example of this opening up process.  Brian Minter of Chilliwack BC is one of the main gardeners in our province. Just check out many of his online articles. In this post, I refer you to his article in the Vancouver Sun of May 12, 2018, (p. C2). See the website at the bottom of this article if you want to read it in its entirety. He wrote the history of the acceptance of the tomato among the nations and cultures of this world.

As popular as the tomato is today, probably in every nation where it can grow, that has not always been the case. Minter writes that it "suffered from bad PR for 300 years." Its early history may be a bit foggy: among the people of the Andean Mountains in South America, "they may have been eaten by the local indigenous peoples," but there is no evidence they cultivated it. Animals also ate them and may have been responsible for its spread. The Aztecs were the first to cultivate them.  In 1520, Hernan Cortes saw the tomato in a local market, took it home to Spain, from where it spread elsewhere. Early "experts" declared it dangerous and thought it provokes "loathing and vomiting."

From Europe it was carried back to the Americas, where the Puritans thought it looked "too sensuous" and must be evil. However, an American world traveler Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson brought home a collection of various seeds and sought to dispel the notion they were dangerously poisonous. He announced he would publicly eat a whole basket full of them in Salem, NJ.  His physician predicted dire health consequences such as "foam and froth at the mouth,... double over with appendicitis,...and expose himself to brain fever." Enough to scare anyone away, I should think.

He survived the ordeal and gave the tomato a new start. By 1835 it had become a staple in the American diet. Sorry, Minter lives in BC, but I do not know his history. Whatever, it is a pity he ignores the Canadian history of the tomato. Well, I have complained about that issue before and do not know just how to avoid that annoyance without spending a lot of extra time on these blogs, which I do not have. At least, Minter lives and writes in Canada, BC even. Today, Canadians as well as their American cousins, grow "hundreds of varieties."

Since I am generally fascinated by food (probably too much!), I find this a very interesting story. Something so common and yet such a convoluted history.  As a half-baked Reformational philosopher, I....  No, wait, I am not a philosopher, not even a half-baked one; I am an adherent, a consumer of philosophy, a practitioner. This is a great example of the opening up of the historical process from near nothing to hundreds of varieties, from the almost unknown to the highest refinement and popularity.                                                         

So, thanks, Mr. Minter, for your hard work of gardening and for helping people enjoy not only the fruit of your research, but even the tomato itself. A great story. I encourage you, readers, to read his whole story at <  http://vancouversun.com/homes/gardening/brian-minter-tomatoes-are-making-up-for-lost-time >, and then look him up for more of his stories on the internet. An interesting example of the opening up of history--and a delight to eat!

Friday, 11 May 2018

Post 223--Gentleman Law vs Foreign Thugs

One of the topics on which I collect data, especially newspapers, and even more especially, The Vancouver Sun.  One of the columnists I follow on this topic in that paper is Kim Bolan. She does a great job of reporting on all the shenanigans of criminals, especially gangsters.  Did I use the term "shenanigans?"  That's way to mild a word. These guys are thugs, murderers, professional murderers. For them human life has no meaning or value.  Money, power, lifestyle and girls are more important to them than anything else. If someone stands in their way along one of these lines, they do not hesitate to kill.  Either they do the killing themselves or they'll pay someone to do it for them.  

Now it's bad enough to have local boys engage in all this, people born in the country, but I consider it even more intolerable for immigrants or refugees turn into criminals and gangsters.  I am in no way suggesting that there is a disproportionate number of that scum among criminals and gangsters; that they harbour more than their share of those pigs. I am an immigrant myself and I know that the vast majority of us are industrious citizens that are eager to contribute to Canadian society.  But there are some and I have no use for them.  In fact, I promote the denial of human rights and protection to them.  

I once wrote to Kim Bolan that all members of gangs should be considered free from the law's protection. They have chosen a life of violence and the police and other security bodies are spending fortunes in terms of time, resources and money on these idiot. In the meantime, the killing goes, not infrequently even victimizing innocent people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Kim seemed to be horrified at this barbaric proposals. Absolutely, we don't want to go there, she "yelled" at me in writing. I suggested this once to a retired policeman who similarly reacted very negatively. Perhaps he was trying to protect the interest of the police establishment, for I saw no other good reason for his rejection of the proposal.  

Anyway, I am going to leave you with a link to the latest article from Kim to show you how confused the various government entities are with regard to these barbarians. It's ridiculous, nothing short of it. They obviously have no clear ideas or, perhaps, courage, when it comes to dealing with that underworld. In addition they are hampered by a lot of laws that tend to be contradictory or, at the very least confusing. Gentlemen laws cannot cope with thugs without moral or conscience.  

The title of her piece is "Federal court stays order releasing gangster gunman." The link is:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=kim+bolan+federal+court+stays+order+releasing+gangster+gunman&rlz=1C1AVNG_enCA658CA662&oq=kim+bolan++federal+court+stays+order+releasing+gangster+gunman&aqs=chrome..69i57.20407j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 I will have more to say about this in the next blog. If you've been with me a long time, you may remember some of the things I wrote in times gone by.  You're likely to get some more of the same. 

  

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Post 222--Boy Scouts--Mormons-- Post-Gender


The components of this post title seem like strange or, at least, unusual "bed partners," a term that in this context is kind of a pun. I don't know about you, but I love puns and frequently look for them. After you read this post, you may well appreciate this one.  

Not only does the title consist of unusual bed partners, but I may well have just coined a neologism, that is, a new word--"Post-Gender."  At least, I do not recall ever having come across the term.That's another thing I love to do: coin neologisms in my writings. Just because a word is not in the latest dictionary does  not mean it is wrong or illegitimate. Languages grow because of people like me, who create new words that then slowly gain in popularity, till even the dictionary editors agree and include it. Language is one of the most democratic entities in the world. Even the most oppressive civilizations continue to create new words and no one can stop that process--or progress!

As to the connection between these bed partners, I invite you to read the article below by Jim Denison.  Yes, it's an American story, but it will undoubtedly affect the Canadian scout movement as well. I have not done any research on the Canadian scouts and have not come across any media stories about them on the issue of this post, but I would not be surprised if they have beat the Americans to the draw, for Canadian culture is often more quickly accepting of such changes in culture, something I am not proud of. 

I am not sure of my reactions to this change in the Scouts, for I am not familiar enough with them to know what practical effect it would have.  Furthermore, I am wary of gender changes among children and teens, for apparently research is showing that tendencies at that early age are often reversed in the early twenties. I believe that we should fully accept genuine trans-gendered persons, for they are not that by choice but by factors over which we have little control and which they do not voluntarily choose.  
But I also suspect that we need to be careful of this feature in early life.  So, for me the jury is still out.

I do have some advice for my Mormon neighbours. Instead of creating your own scouting equivalent, consider joining the very successful equivalent my own church, the Christian Reformed Church, has been operating for years already.  

Nevertheless, I pass on this article to give you a feeling of the social disruption such radical changes introduce into society.  Should I say, "Enjoy the read?" Not sure.   

The Boy Scouts are dropping "Boy" from their name
Dr. Jim Denison | May 10, 2018
READ TIME: 4 minutes--plus 1 minute for my intro.
I remember fondly my years with the Boy Scouts. Overnight campouts with my father. Lessons in outdoor survival and the care of nature. Building camaraderie in an environment uniquely suited to develop boys into men.
As a teenager, I became too involved in academics and other activities to continue in the Boy Scouts, but I have always admired the Eagle Scouts I met and consider their achievement to be enormously significant. The list of notable Eagle Scouts includes President Gerald Ford, astronaut Neil Armstrong (the first man on the moon), Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, and businessman Sam Walton.
The Boy Scouts have been one of America's great cultural institutions. Five years ago, things began to change.
What the BSA has done
From their inception in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) excluded openly gay people from membership or leadership. The Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that they had a legal right to continue this position.
Then companies such as UPS, drug manufacturer Merck, and the United Way began opposing the organization's policy, choosing to stop or postpone their financial support. A gay advocacy group gathered more than 1.2 million online signatures to protest the BSA's position.
In response, the BSA voted on May 23, 2013, to open the organization to openly gay individuals. On July 27, 2015, they chose to permit openly gay Scout leaders.
On January 30, 2017, the BSA announced that transgender boys would be allowed to enroll in boys-only programs, effective immediately. On October 11, 2017, they announced that girls would be allowed to become Cub Scouts in 2018 and that a separate program for older girls would begin in 2019.
To further the inclusion of girls, the BSA is now dropping "Boy" from the name of its signature program. Starting in February 2019, the Boy Scouts program for boys ages eleven to seventeen will be called Scouts BSA. The overall organization will remain Boy Scouts of America.
The organization said the decision was in response to the needs of families and because of dropping membership. The BSA has lost about a third of its members since 2000.
Why the Mormon response is important
When the BSA decided to include openly gay Scouts five years ago, a leader in the organization told me that the key reaction to watch would come from the Mormon Church.
For a century, any boy who was part of a Mormon congregation was automatically part of the Boy Scouts. As a result, more Scouts have come from Mormon churches than from any other organization.
However, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced it will sever all ties with the BSA. Their affiliation will end on December 31, 2019.
This change will affect hundreds of thousands of Mormon boys in more than thirty thousand congregations across the country. The church will create its own youth program, to be launched in January 2020.
The church said it was "deeply troubled" by the BSA's decision to lift the ban on openly gay adult leaders in 2015. The Mormon Church opposes same-sex marriage, teaches that sex outside of marriage is sinful, and does not permit openly gay men or women to hold leadership roles.
Abandoning vital distinctives
I recently read an advance copy of John S. Dickerson's Hope of Nations: Standing Strong in a Post-Truth, Post-Christian World. Dickerson is a pastor, researcher, and award-winning journalist. His latest book is an illuminating, troubling, and inspiring look into the likely future for our culture.
In light of Dickerson's outstanding research, it is clear to me that BSA leaders are responding to a culture that should trouble us all. Dickerson notes that 89 percent of Americans believe "people should not criticize someone else's life choices." A frightening 74 percent of Millennials believe morality to be a matter of cultural consensus (compared with 39 percent of Elders who agree).
Bernie Sanders ran for president in 2016 as an overt socialist. More Millennials voted for him in the 2016 presidential primaries than for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton—combined. Clearly, the younger Americans are, the less committed they are to traditional values and biblical truth.
BSA leaders apparently believe that compromising their traditional values and distinctives by including all sexual identities and genders is the way forward in this pluralistic, relativistic day.
I would respond that they are abandoning what made them such a unique and vibrant part of our national ethos.
If a ship in a storm jettisons the cargo it was intended to protect, it fails its mission.
How to be good ambassadors
You and I are "ambassadors for Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:20). Ambassadors have three jobs: (1) understand the foreign culture where they now live; (2) represent the authority on whose behalf they serve; (3) work faithfully until they are called home.
Today, you will be the presence of Christ to those you meet. They will judge your Master by his messenger. If you ask the Holy Spirit to author your words (Mathew 10:19) and sanctify your character (Galatians 5:22–23), he will.
Jesus came "to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:18–19).
Let's join him.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Post 221--Trudeau: An Emerging Secular Dictator


I promised you yesterday that I would continue with the topic of secularism trying to impose, force, its will on the rest of us. Even secular writers and media have joined the chorus of objections about Trudeau's hierarchy of rights that places, well, forces actually, pro-abortion and women's rights at the top of the pile, regardless of the negative impact on other rights that our legal system considers equal.  

The specific issue at stake here is Trudeau's withholding long-standing grants to the Canada Summer Jobs programme. Any organization that does not accept his views on abortion and on women's rights will no longer accept grants under that programme. The women's rights referred to here are their right to abort or not, long a volatile issue in Canadian politics and culture that even a conservative Prime Minister like Steven Harper did not dare touch. 

I will give the podium once again to yesterday's guest, lawyer John Carpay of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (www.JCCF.ca).  Below Carpay's article there is reference to another hard-hitting piece supporting Carpay. Go, read, and judge for yourself.   



Trudeau's Troubling Insistence That Charities Pick A Side On Abortion

One of the differences between a free society and a repressive regime is the right to remain silent.

A law that requires Canadians to say "please" and "thank you" would be a bad law.
Not because these are bad words, but because in a free country, nobody should be compelled to say anything. One of the differences between a free society and a repressive regime is the right to remain silent.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/JOHN WOODS
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question about Child and Family Services at a town hall meeting at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg on Jan. 31, 2018.

In medieval England, King Henry VIII passed a law requiring all to declare their support for him (and not the pope) as the head of the Church of England. Thomas More had his head chopped off in 1535, merely for remaining silent and for refusing to say that the king was the supreme head of the church. So insecure and thin-skinned was Henry VIII that he could not stand Thomas More's silence.
And so it is with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his belief that abortion should be legal during all nine months of pregnancy.
That is the state of the law in Canada today. It has been so since 1988, when the Supreme Court of Canada (R. v. Morgentaler) invited Parliament to pass new legislation to provide at least some protection to the unborn, particularly during the latter stages of pregnancy. Parliament has not done so.
For our post-modernist prime minister, the silence of Canadians on the subject of abortion is not good enough. Like Henry VIII, Trudeau needs to hear his people say that they agree with him.
Starting this year, charities must state that they support abortion being legal if they wish to access a grant through the Canada Summer Jobs program, which provides federal government grants to non-profits and to businesses, to hire a summer student. Charities must further state that abortion is a Charter right, in spite of the fact that Parliament can legislate to protect unborn life.
This means that the Mustard Seed, which helps tens of thousands of Alberta's poor, homeless and addicted, regardless of the client's faith, creed or colour, will hire fewer students. Its CEO Stephen Wile stated:
"The Mustard Seed doesn't take a position on abortion, but with the government making this a requirement for funding, it's trying to force us from a neutral position to an affirmative position on abortion, and we're not prepared to do that. ... We're not willing to support the government's position in order to get the funds; it's just not worth it for us."
In response to a public outcry, Trudeau and his Labour Minister Patricia Hajdu have declared that this new attestation only applies to pro-life groups, not to charities who might happen to adhere to pro-life beliefs. As Trudeau put it: "Of course, you're more than allowed to have whatever beliefs you like." As Hajdu explained: "This is about the activities of the organization and the job description. ... This is not about beliefs or values."
These assurances have now proven to be utterly false.

AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Minister for Status of Women Patricia Hajdu.

Since the Feb. 9, 2018 deadline for applying for Canada Summer Jobs funding, numerous charities have been told, in writing, that they will not receive funding unless they check off the "I attest" box on the application, to confirm their support for legal abortion as a Charter right.
"It seems," stated Mustard Seed CEO Wile, "like the government is saying, 'The issue of where you stand on abortion is more important than the work you do and the people you serve,' and that's really sad. At the core of who we are, we're really against fear and hate, and unfortunately, the government is taking a position that instead of decelerating division, it's accelerating it."
Losing several thousand dollars of government funding is nothing compared to losing your head. But the underlying issue of government-compelled speech should not be dismissed lightly.

More blogs from HuffPost Canada:


Pro-choicers should be just as worried about this policy as pro-lifers.
Even if a charity shared Trudeau's opinions about abortion, it would still violate freedom of expression to be compelled to state one's belief about abortion as a condition for accessing a government program that one is otherwise entitled to access.
How is this Canada Summer Jobs attestation different from requiring seniors to agree with Trudeau's beliefs in order to receive their pension cheques? If some seniors spend their days doing volunteer work for pro-life groups, should their pension benefits be cut off, for disagreeing with the prime minister?
If Trudeau can get away with this, what stops a future prime minister from compelling Canadians to express support for his — or her — beliefs, as a condition of accessing a government program or benefit?
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The URL for the above:   https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/john-carpay/trudeaus-troubling-insistence-that-charities-pick-a-side-on-abortion_a_23368528/
There are dozens more articles from all sorts of directions on this subject. A major one is Don Hutchinson's, "Justin's Pipe Smoke," found at            https://www.convivium.ca/articles/justins-pipe-smoke?_cldee=Ym9lcmpmQGhvdG1haWwuY29t&recipientid=contact-f45cf8cbefe7df118766001e0b613b64-cc4416a08b8f47f1857c08db376e408d&esid=ab8baaf4-054f-e811-80f6-3863bb35dde0


Thursday, 3 May 2018

Post 220--Easter Bunnies and Secular Emptyness


I keep writing against secularism and you keep reading the stuff. I am grateful to you.  This issue is not a mere hobby horse on my part; this is serious stuff.  Our reading today is basically a story of the emptyness of secularism, but also its intolerance and its insistence on imposing itself, forcing itself upon Christians. Probably not as much on Muslims and other religions. For some reason a shield of protection has grown up around these religions so that secularists tend to keep a distance.

Today is a story about an Ontario social worker trying to shut down the foster home of a Christian couple who did not fully or enthusiastically support the myth and practice of the Easter bunny.  Now Easter is a most holy feast the celebrates the resurrection of Christ. Since the resurrection probably cannot ever be touched or proven by science, secularists deny the resurrection.  It beats me how they come to that conclusion, at least how they come to that conclusion on basis of science!  But so they believe!  Yes, do not misunderstand them: they are believers, as fully as Hindus, Sikhs and the rest of us. It is secularists' belief that makes them deny the resurrection, not science.

I am sorry that the format is too wide for this frame. I don't know how to fix that. But you can access both ends of the line by using the Home and End keys.  If one of you knows how to fix such problems, please contact me at  <  boerjf@hotmail.com >.

Well, let me not waste your time on my rants. Read the story by John Carpay himself. He is one of the very few lawyers for whom I have any use or respect as lawyers. I am trying hard to respect them as persons.

Easter Bunny ruling an affirmation of the freedom of conscience, religion, expression

Foster parents had a right not to be compelled to speak, John Carpay writes

 Mar 18, 2018 by John Carpay Hamilton Spectator
Easter Bunny
The Baars had refused CAS demands to proactively tell the two young girls in their care that the Easter Bunny is real. - Hamilton Spectator file photo
Government agencies have been reminded that they must respect the constitutional rights of foster parents. This month, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice rebuked the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton (CAS) for having closed down the foster home of Frances and Derek Baars. The Baars had refused CAS demands to proactively tell the two young girls in their care that the Easter Bunny is real.
The Court's recitation of the facts is almost surreal. CAS accepted the Baars as foster parents, knowing full-well that this Christian couple does not promote the cultural traditions of Santa and the Easter Bunny, as they would not lie to children. Two young girls, then four and three, were placed with Frances and Derek in December of 2015. The girls' biological mother communicated with the Baars by way of a journal, and thanked the Baars for having provided a good and happy Christmas for her girls. She made no mention of Santa Claus. But social worker Tracey Lindsay upbraided Frances and Derek for not having taken a photo of the girls with Santa. Ms. Lindsay then began to demand that Frances and Derek celebrate Easter by actively telling the young girls that the Easter Bunny is real. The Baars tried to compromise with Ms. Lindsay, informing her they intended have a hunt for chocolate eggs, buy the girls new dresses, and refrain from saying anything at all about a large imaginary rabbit.
CAS was stubbornly focused in its intention to control the minds and mouths of the Baars. CAS refused the Baars' offer to have the girls stay with another family over Easter. CAS refused the Baars' offer to keep their foster home open for infants, who are too young to appreciate or process information about mythical beings. CAS refused the Baars' offer to foster only children coming from religious or cultural backgrounds that do not celebrate Santa or the Easter Bunny.
The removal of the young girls from the care of Frances and Derek, on only one day's notice, was heart-breaking. The Court accepted the testimony of social worker Kathleen Kufeldt, that sudden removal of the girls from their environment would be traumatizing, and detrimental to the girls' best interests. The girls' own mother had expressed nothing but satisfaction with the loving care that her daughters were receiving from Frances and Derek.
When cross-examined on her affidavit, Ms. Lindsay readily admitted that the girls were loved, cared for, protected, clothed, sheltered and well looked after. In court, CAS argued that the Baars lacked the capacity to meet the children's cultural needs. But neither Santa nor the Easter Bunny was a high priority for the girls' biological mother. No law requires foster parents to uphold the pet fancies of social workers.
The Court also took a dim view of Ms. Lindsay's hostility in questioning the Baars about same-sex marriage, and expressing fears that the Baars would mistreat or disrespect same-sex couples. The Court rejected Ms. Lindsay's claim that these questions and comments were somehow necessary or relevant. The Court noted that "there is potentially further evidence of an underlying animus" in the actions of CAS toward the Baars.
CAS violated the Baars' Charter-protected freedom of conscience and religion, by attempting to coerce Frances and Derek to violate their religious beliefs, as a condition of continuing to serve as foster parents. Further, the requirement to say something that the Baars did not believe (that the Easter Bunny is real) is compelled speech, which violates Charter-protected freedom of expression.
The court's denunciation of compelled speech is especially relevant to the Canada Summer Jobs program "attestation" in support of abortion being legal, and Ontario's Law Society now requiring lawyers to express their agreement with "equity, diversity and inclusion." This court ruling will help protect Canadians' freedom of conscience, religion, and expression. It will also help protect religious foster parents and religious adoptive parents, by preventing social workers like Tracey Lindsay from closing good homes to needy children. Last but not least, vulnerable children will benefit from having more foster homes become available.

Lawyer John Carpay is president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (www.jccf.ca) which represented Frances and Derek Baars in their court action against the Hamilton Children's Aid Society.