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U.S. senator Josh Hawley wants Canada on religious freedom watch list over pastor COVID-19 arrests

U.S. senator Josh Hawley wants Canada on religious freedom watch list over pastor COVID-19 arrests

Bob Weber The Canadian Press Published 2 days ago Updated 2 days ago Comments Text Size % buffered 00:00

Supporters gather outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church appears in court after he was arrested for holding Sunday services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Stony Plain, Alta., on Feb. 24, 2021. JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

A U.S. senator has asked that Canada be investigated for violating religious freedom over the arrests of Alberta pastors accused of flouting COVID-19 restrictions.

In a letter released Thursday, Missouri Republican Josh Hawley asked his country’s Commission on International Religious Freedom to consider putting Canada on its special watch list.

“I am troubled that our Canadian neighbours are effectively being forced to gather in secret, undisclosed locations to exercise their basic freedom to worship,” Mr. Hawley wrote.

“Frankly, I would expect this sort of religious crackdown in Communist China, not in a prominent western nation like Canada.”

Judge dismisses charter application of Alberta pastor on trial for violating health orders

Mr. Hawley refers in his letter to the arrests of Alberta pastors James Coates and Tim Stephens.

Mr. Coates spent a month in the Edmonton Remand Centre after he violated a bail condition not to hold church services that officials said were ignoring COVID-19 measures on capacity limits, physical distancing and masking. He was released March 22 after pleading guilty and was fined $1,500.

Mr. Coates, who is a pastor at GraceLife Church in Spruce Grove, has argued provincial regulations meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 infringed on his and his congregants’ constitutional right to freedom of religion and peaceful assembly.

Earlier this month, a judge ruled his religious freedoms under the Charter were not violated.

Mr. Stephens remains in remand after being arrested last week following repeated public complaints over an outdoor service that officials say broke public-health orders. Calgary police and Alberta Health Services allege that Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church chose to keep holding services without respecting orders on physical distancing and capacity limits, even after his church had been twice ordered closed.

Litigation director Jay Cameron of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which is representing Mr. Stephens, has accused Alberta Health Services in a statement of being “engaged in an intentional act of public deception and abuse of authority in arresting pastor Stephens and others.”

A criminal offense to affirm actual gender?

A criminal offense to affirm actual gender?

Friday, December 27, 2019  |  Charlie If Canada passes recently proposed legislation, a young person who is uncomfortable with his or her gender will have limited choices, and so will the parents.

The Senate in Canada will soon be voting on Bill 202, a measure that criminalizes so-called conversion therapy for young people to accept their born gender. It would make doctors, psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists, and pastors, as well as the person who schedules the appointment, in violation of the criminal code.

“That psychologist, if they counsel that child that this is something that child will grow out of, or if they counsel the child that biologically that child is either male or female; they are in the correct body — that would be an offense under the act,” explains Jay Cameron, litigation manager at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

And parents would not be able to seek help for their children.


“It deprives parents of the statistically most successful means of treating gender dysphoria; it’s the most successful way to treat gender dysphoria because gradually a person becomes comfortable in the body they are in,” Cameron submits. “They come to recognize I am a girl or I am a boy, and they stop being uncomfortable, and they go on and they live the rest of their life.”

But under Bill 202, there is only one choice left for parents and counselors, and that is to affirm the young person’s gender confusion, provide hormone treatments and surgery to transition to the opposite gender — which is impossible, even with hormone and surgery treatment.

BREAKING: Canada tribunal rules beauticians don’t have to wax genitals of man claiming to be ‘female’

Featured Image
Jonathan ‘Jessica’ Yaniv. @trustednerd / Twitter
LifeSiteNews staff


BREAKING: Canada tribunal rules beauticians don’t have to wax genitals of man claiming to be ‘female’

October 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled today against transgender activist Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv who had made formal “discrimination” complaints against a number of female beauty technicians for refusing to wax his genitals on the premise that as a “woman” he was entitled to be serviced by them. The court ruled that aestheticians who work from home have a right to refuse to handle male genitalia against their will.

“Human rights legislation does not require a service provider to wax a type of genitals they are not trained for and have not consented to wax,” the decision stated.

The decision further found that Yaniv “engaged in improper conduct,” “filed complaints for improper purposes,” and that Yaniv’s testimony was “disingenuous and self-serving.”

The Tribunal finally noted that Yaniv was “evasive and argumentative and contradicted herself [sic]” while giving evidence.

“Self-identification does not erase physiological reality,” stated Jay Cameron, the Justice Centre’s Litigation Manager, and counsel for the aestheticians. “Our clients do not offer the service requested. No woman should be compelled to touch male genitals against her will, irrespective of how the owner of the genitals identifies.”

The trans activist, who calls himself a “proud lesbian,” made international headlines this summer for his discrimination complaints launched against 16 beauticians for refusing to wax his male genitals.

Reports the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms:

Jessica Yaniv identifies as a woman but possesses male genitalia. In March 2018 Yaniv approached the aestheticians and requested a “Brazilian” to remove pubic hair from the groin area. When the aestheticians refused to provide the requested service due to a lack of personal comfort, safety concerns, a lack of training, and/or religious objections, Yaniv filed complaints against them alleging discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. In total, Yaniv filed 15 complaints against various aestheticians in the Vancouver area seeking as much as $15,000 in damages against each aesthetician.

Yaniv has made numerous public comments against immigrants. At the hearings, Yaniv contended that immigrants use their religion to discriminate against trans people because they refused to wax the male genitals of those who identify as women.

The Justice Centre represented Blue Heaven Beauty Lounge and its owner, Sandeep Banipal, who is an adherent to the Sikh religion. Ms. Banipal testified that she was not trained to wax male genitals and that it “is not something I am comfortable with.” The Justice Centre also represented Sukhi Hehar Gill, who was forced to close her business due to the complaint against her. Ms. Gill, also a practicing adherent of the Sikh faith, provided waxing services only to female clients, attending alone at her clients’ homes. She explained in her response to Yaniv’s complaint against her that it “is contrary to my faith” to provide waxing services to a biological male. Yaniv had requested that Gill attend at Yaniv’s personal residence to provide arm and leg waxing services. Finally, the Justice Centre represented Marcia Carnauba, a third aesthetician who was suspicious about Yaniv’s behaviour in advance of the appointment and canceled it as a precaution. Ms. Carnauba also does not have the necessary training, tools or comfort level to perform waxing services on male genitalia. Ms. Carnauba closed her aesthetic business following the complaint against her.

The Justice Centre noted that an expert in genital waxing testified at the hearing, informing the Tribunal that aestheticians who are not trained in male genital waxing should not attempt to wax a penis and scrotum due to the risk of serious injury to the customer.

“The expert also testified that the necessary prolonged manipulation of a client’s penis and scrotum often results in sexual arousal and a request for sexual services. The expert said her salon’s refusal to provide sexual services has resulted in name calling, intimidation and customer requests to masturbate in her salon,” the Justice Centre reported.

The Justice Center noted that most of the women who were the target of Yaniv’s complaints work out of their own home, are of immigrant background, and have small children with them in the house during the day. A publication ban had identified Yaniv only as JY for most of the proceedings until the aestheticians successfully brought an application to have it lifted.

The Tribunal ordered costs against Yaniv in the amount of $2000.00 payable to both Banipal and Carnauba.

CAFE & JCCF Granted Intervenor Status for Bill Whatcott’s Motion to Have Oger’s Transgendered Discrimination Complaint Dismissed as Meritless

CAFE & JCCF Granted Intervenor Status for Bill Whatcott’s Motion to Have Oger’s Transgendered Discrimination Complaint Dismissed as Meritless
On December 1, the Canadian Association for Free Expression and the Justice Cenre for Constitutional Freedoms , both pro-free speech intervenors in a complaint before the British Columbia Human Rights Commission were granted intervenor status in a special application filed by Mr. Whatcott seeking summary dismissal of the complaint by flamboyant transgendered activist and failed NDP candidate Rona Oger, formerly married and who has fathered two children, but now styles himself a woman and uses the name “Morgane”. Oger filed the complaint in retaliation for Mr. Whatcott’s distributing 1,500 leaflets during last May’s provincial election arguing that, if Oger cannot even get his gender right, he dopes not have the judgement to be a good MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly.

​Ronan Oger                                                                                                    Now “Morgane” Oger

CAFE and JCCF were both accepted as intervenors in this motion and have until December 22 to file their submissions, CAFE’s Director Paul Fromm and JCCF attorney Jay Cameron were told today.
The following is evangelist and victim Bill Whatcott’s motion, filed December 8.
Dear Mr. Rilkoff, Ms Quail and others,
I am filing my application to dismiss on the following grounds,
BC Human Rights Code:
27 (1) A member or panel may, at any time after a complaint is filed and with or without a
hearing, dismiss all or part of the complaint if that member or panel determines that any of the
following apply:
(b) the acts or omissions alleged in the complaint or that part of the complaint do not
contravene this Code;
(c) there is no reasonable prospect that the complaint will succeed;
And the Word of God:
“He who created them from the beginning made them male and female.”
Matthew 19:5
There is a very high threshold which must be established for a finding of ‘hate speech’ under
provincial human rights codes further to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision
in Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott, [2013] 1 SCR 467, 2013 SCC 11
(CanLII). The flyers are not even remotely close to meeting that threshold.
According to the Supreme Court in that case:
The definition of “hatred” set out in Canada (Human Rights Commission) v. Taylor, 1990 CanLII
26 (SCC), [1990] 3 S.C.R. 892, with some modifications, provides a workable approach to
interpreting the word “hatred” as it is used in legislative provisions prohibiting hate speech.
Three main prescriptions must be followed. First, courts must apply the hate speech prohibitions
objectively. The question courts must ask is whether a reasonable person, aware of the context
and circumstances, would view the expression as exposing the protected group to
hatred. Second, the legislative term “hatred” or “hatred or contempt” must be interpreted as
being restricted to those extreme manifestations of the emotion described by the words
“detestation” and “vilification”. This filters out expression which, while repugnant and
offensive, does not incite the level of abhorrence, delegitimization and rejection that risks
causing discrimination or other harmful effects. Third, tribunals must focus their analysis on the
effect of the expression at issue, namely whether it is likely to expose the targeted person or
group to hatred by others. The repugnancy of the ideas being expressed is not sufficient to
justify restricting the expression, and whether or not the author of the expression intended to
incite hatred or discriminatory treatment is irrelevant. The key is to determine the likely effect of
the expression on its audience, keeping in mind the legislative objectives to reduce or eliminate
discrimination. In light of these three directives, the term “hatred” contained in a legislative hate
speech prohibition should be applied objectively to determine whether a reasonable person,
aware of the context and circumstances, would view the expression as likely to expose a person
or persons to detestation and vilification on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.
In my submission, simply expressing the opinion that the Complainant is a man does not
possibly rise to the level of hate speech. The fact that the Complainant was a political candidate
and narrowly lost is irrelevant to whether the speech is hate speech under Whatcott SCC 2013.
The Tribunal must first ask, “whether a reasonable person, aware of the context and
circumstances, would view the expression as exposing the protected group to hatred.” The flyers
do not expose the Complainant to hatred. The flyers express the opinion that the Complainant is
a man, and that people should not vote for someone who pretends to be a woman for the
purposes of an election. The purpose of the flyers is to bring transparency to the democratic
process – voters deserve transparency. Saying that someone should not vote for a candidate is not
exposing them to “hatred”. The flyers express a protected religious belief that gender is male and
female, and not subject to change. That is not hate speech. That is an opinion, and we have
freedom to have those under section 2(b) of the Charter in this country.
Second, the Tribunal must restrict its consideration of the whether the flyers were “hateful” to a
definition of hatred that restricts itself to the one the Supreme Court of Canada outlined
in Whatcott: “extreme manifestations of the emotion described by the words “detestation” and
“vilification””. The flyers do not even begin to approach extreme manifestations described by
“detestation” and “vilification”. The flyers don’t advocate violence or persecution – they advocate
not voting for the Complainant. That does not even remotely qualify as “hate”.
Third, the Tribunal must focus on the expression and consider whether it was “likely to
expose the targeted person or group to hatred by others. The repugnancy of the ideas being
expressed is not sufficient to justify restricting the expression, and whether or not the
author of the expression intended to incite hatred or discriminatory treatment is
irrelevant.” The result of the community was predictable: they either told me I was an
idiot, or they ignored me. No one read the flyer and “vilified” the Complainant. No one
acted out against the Complainant. The Complainant has pointed to no harm at all from the
flyers, except to claim that the Complainant lost the election because of them, which is
irrelevant to a consideration of this matter, and no link has been established between the
election result and the flyers, in any event.
I could not be successfully sued for defamation for the content of the flyers: the
Complainant fathered two children with a biological woman that the Complainant was
once married or in a common law relationship with. It is not hateful to highlight biological
reality. The Complainant identifies as a woman, but the Complainant differs
physiologically from a biological woman. It is not hate speech to point this out.
Lastly, many millions of people in Canada believe and express the biological reality of sex
as being male or female. The statements in the flyers are not unusual. They represent a
common understanding of biology that is both accepted in science and taught in religion.
In Whatcott, the Court delineated the line between protected expression under the Charter
and hate speech:
“In my view, expression that “ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity of” does
not rise to the level of ardent and extreme feelings that were found essential to the
constitutionality of s. 13(1) of the CHRA in Taylor. Those words are not synonymous with
“hatred” or “contempt”. Rather, they refer to expression which is derogatory and
insensitive, such as representations criticizing or making fun of protected groups on the
basis of their commonly shared characteristics and practices, or on stereotypes. As
Richards J.A. observed in Owens, at para. 53:
Much speech which is self-evidently constitutionally protected involves some measure of
ridicule, belittlement or an affront to dignity grounded in characteristics like race, religion
and so forth. I have in mind, by way of general illustration, the editorial cartoon which
satirizes people from a particular country, the magazine piece which criticizes the social
policy agenda of a religious group and so forth. Freedom of speech in a healthy and robust
democracy must make space for that kind of discourse . . . .
I agree. Expression criticizing or creating humour at the expense of others can be
derogatory to the extent of being repugnant. Representations belittling a minority group or
attacking its dignity through jokes, ridicule or insults may be hurtful and offensive.
However, for the reasons discussed above, offensive ideas are not sufficient to ground a
justification for infringing on freedom of expression. While such expression may inspire
feelings of disdain or superiority, it does not expose the targeted group to hatred.”
The complaint should be dismissed because there is no reasonable chance it will succeed in
light of the law in regard to hate speech from the Supreme Court of Canada.
Under section 27(1)(b), the Complaint should be dismissed because the flyers are not a
contravention of the Human Rights Code.
Finally, the flyers are clearly in harmony with Matthew 19 in the Holy Bible, and I would
like to remind the Chairperson and everyone else reading this; God is the highest arbiter of
right and wrong and one day we will all stand before Him.
In Christ’s Service,
Bill Whatcott

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