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RPTV: Hamilton-bus pro-life ad ruling is a technical win, but still a win


TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to Reformed Perspective, I’m Alexandra Ellison. Today we are here in Hamilton, Ontario right outside the Provincial Court to cover ARPA‘s legal battle against the city of Hamilton in a case that has captured the attention of pro-life advocates. The central issue is whether ARPA Hamilton has the right to display a pro-life advertisement on the side of a city bus. In the spring of 2021 ARPA Hamilton attempted to post a pro-life ad on a city bus when MP Cathay Wagantall’s bill to ban sex-selective abortion was before Parliament.

John Boekee: The work we were doing at the time was advocating for the sex-selective abortion bill. The ad said we’re for women’s rights, and through pictures, it applied that to women of several different ages. We thought to say that we’re for women’s rights shouldn’t be that controversial. Yet they were able to connect it to abortion, so for that reason, it was rejected.

The city’s reasoning for rejecting the ad is rooted in their assertion that a pre-born child does not qualify as a human being under the criminal code, and thus is not a person. Using a personal pronoun implied personhood and was thus misleading.

John Sikkema: In our case against the City of Hamilton, we had a fairly brief hearing at the Ontario Court in the city of Hamilton. The court decided that Hamilton was not justified in rejecting our ad, so in that sense, the case was a win for ARPA. The court said that the city had not explained to us, in writing, how it limited our freedom of expression, and so the court sent it back. The court said this decision fails – you, the city of Hamilton, need to give reasons on freedom of expression. Now, truth be told, that’s not how we wanted to win. We had actually framed the case, not as a freedom of expression case, first of all, but as questioning the city’s finding that our ad violates the city’s advertising policy. So what we had wanted was for the court to look at that policy and to find that the ad does not violate it and we think we had pretty good arguments for why that was the case. The court didn’t hear those arguments and kind of decided it on, again, a bit of a more technical issue. So while it’s a technical win, it’s not really what we wanted to accomplish with this case because pro-life ads keep getting rejected as being allegedly misleading, and violating advertising policy. So, at this point, we have to decide, do we wait to see what the next decision is from the City of Hamilton and challenge that? Do we possibly appeal the decision of this court even though technically we won? Those are things we’ll have to decide as we get the written reasons from the court for its decision, which we don’t have yet.

John Boekee: When you are frustrated with human judges and human courts, we turn to that, that He is the judge of all the earth, and in the end there will be justice. We are thankful for that, and we can rest in that. But there is also frustration at human judges who give us so little time after so much work had been put in, so that is very frustrating. But we can be thankful that there is still appeal, and there is still a justice system. So trusting that God is the Judge of all the earth, that also gives us the motivation to keep working and to keep going day-to-day to do what He’s called us to.

And that wraps up our coverage of the ARPA Hamilton case. We’ll continue to follow this case closely and bring updates as they unfold. Thank you for joining us today – please feel free to support our work by subscribing to this channel and sharing this video with friends and family. For Reformed Perspective, I’m Alexander Ellison in Hamilton, Ontario.

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RPTV

Canadian women's unfulfilled fertility goals and the country's declining birth rate

TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Reformed Perspective. I'm Alexander Ellison. Today we are diving into a pressing issue – Canada's record low birth rate. Statistics Canada recently confirmed that in 2022 just over 350,000 babies were born, marking the lowest number of live births since 2005. This raises a critical question: what do Canadian women really want when it comes to family size? "So, do you guys have children?" "No, no." "Yes." "Do you have children?" "No." "Uh no." "Do you have children?" "Yes." "Do you plan to have children in the future?" "We don't think so. We actually just talked about it, like two days ago, and I don't know. Everything is just getting so expensive. We rarely know if we will make it, everything's rising up so much." "Honestly, I did think I was going to do it when I was younger, but recently, I've changed my mind, not just because of the whole financial thing, but security, and everything in my country. And then the whole idea of having children is just so big a responsibility. I don't know if I want it or not." "I had three, and that was enough." "I feel like I'd like to build a family of my own. I found that quite a nice future idea, to kind of like raise people like I was raised, hopefully give them a good future." "Yeah, pretty much the same. I just like the idea of family."  "Just having people to support you..." "Yeah, by your side." "It's really important, especially the fact that I don't have siblings, you know. So I want to have children." "Well, we had four children, two girls and two boys, and life was busy, but it was enough. I wouldn't want it to be busier, but I can't imagine my life without them." A Christian think tank, Cardus, took a closer look, through a survey they did, discovering some eye-opening facts. They found that when it comes to family size, there's a significant gap between what Canadian women desire and what they actually have. Andrea Mrozek: "So we found that almost half of Canadian women wish they'd have more children than they do have at the end of their reproductive lives. So we asked a range of women, up to the age of 44. And that's the key takeaway: that women would like to have more kids than they have. Fertility ideals are much higher than intentions. What that means is that the future people have for their family is not typically fulfilled. "My thought for changing the culture is around recognizing that you can be fulfilled over the life course in every way – that the career is something you can have the entire life course to work on – but having children is something you only have a more limited amount of time to work. I think we're really fortunate to live in a world where we have a lot of options and possibilities as women today. I think now is the time to speak more strongly to the joys of a family life. At one point in time you needed to speak more strongly to the desires of doing waged work and getting out into the world and having a career, but those things are completely accessible, they're accessible over the life course, but having a family is something that is deeply fulfilling and can only be done in a certain time frame. We kind of lost the plot on why that matters, how it feels to not achieve that. I really am hoping young men and young women can live in freedom and trust God with their lives. That means trusting him with every aspect of our lives including our family and our fertility. In a secular worldview, it's quite constrained – you have to do things in a particular way, in a particular order, and definitely take the birth control pill till you're good and ready, and really constrain, actually, how you live your life. I think you could view a secular worldview as being quite constrained. Then the joy of being Christian, and the beauty of being Christian is living in the freedom of God's plan for us, and being open to all aspects of that, at whatever time in life that they do come. I think we as Christians have more capacity to live imaginative lives, and that includes our family lives." As we conclude our discussion on women's fertility goals, let us remember that children are a blessing and an integral part of God's plan for families. In a world where fertility rates are declining, it is crucial to support and understand the desires of women when it comes to building their families. We hope this video has shed light on the importance of considering women's wishes in family planning and how societal challenges can impact their fertility choices. Remember in all our pursuits let us honor the call to "be fruitful and multiply" (Gen. 1:28), trusting in God's divine wisdom. Thank you for watching this video. Please like this video and subscribe to this channel, and feel free to share with friends and family. For Reformed Perspective, I'm Alexandra Ellison....


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