[Vince Byfield] The only separatist ever elected to the Legislature speaks out on what Albertans should do now

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Conspiracy aficionados are going to love this one. The year was 1982. “Teflon Ron” Reagan was entering his second year as President of the United States. Alberta families were struggling with the devastating economic crash that followed Prime Minister Trudeau’s massive tax grab known as the “National Energy Program” (or NEP, which pirated revenues from oil and gas but excluded all other forms of energy — notably hydro). Despite almost no media coverage to fuel it, Western Canadian alienation had reached sufficient critical mass that Alberta had actually elected its first — and only — openly-separatist politician: Gordon Kesler. 

I managed to track down Mr. Kesler to get his perspective on our province’s current state of political unrest, and in doing so discovered a fascinating and, courtesy of this article, now de-classified rendezvous between Kesler and agents of the U.S. government.

But first a little background

Back in 1982, the economic devastation in Alberta caused by Trudeau’s NEP proved too much for the young political renegade to bear. So Kesler helped found the Western Canada Concept, a party whose main objective was that the four westernmost provinces leave behind their confederation-enforced subservience and forge a brand new future as the independent nation of Western Canada.

Kesler’s logic was that, as it is with all colonies, Canada had been founded with full economic power bestowed by Britain to a triad of city states: Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. In essence, the British North America Act destined all Canadians living in outlying regions to forever be “hewers of wood and drawers of water.” Whenever one of those outside areas began to prosper the powers invested in the BNA act enabled these three cities to inevitably “transfer” their wealth. Realistically, nothing would ever change this fundamental inequality of regions. Nothing that is, except a declaration of independence.

While door-knocking that frosty January in 1982 Kesler’s message obviously had begun to resonate throughout the riding of Old-Didsbury. By the summer — a few months following his stunning by-election win and after managing to then muster up a full slate of candidates for the upcoming provincial election — Kesler received a curious call from the United States Consulate in Calgary requesting a meeting.

Kesler’s brief encounter with the Deep State of Canada?

The consul asked Kesler to keep this meeting completely confidential. He claims to have so far honoured that request. But now — 37 years later —  he thinks what happened in that session may have important bearing for Albertans today.

“It was quite strange. They drove me in an unmarked vehicle through to a back entrance of the consulate on Eighth Avenue that I didn’t even know existed. I was then escorted up to a very “presidential” corner office on the penthouse floor. As the consul greeted me, I was shocked to see on his desk a large file folder — at least two inches thick — with my name on it.”

Kesler remembers commenting, “Boy, am I that interesting to you?” To which the consul replied, “We’ve followed you very closely and feel you would be an ally of the United States, but somebody else is sure interested in you. We made one phone call to the RCMP and that’s what they sent us. Evidently, you’re a really interesting fellow as far as they are concerned.” Kesler remembers the remainder of their hour-long interview focussing mainly on clarifying his party’s future positions relating to trade with the United States should his provincial party form the government that fall.

Meanwhile, media coverage on Kesler and his fledgling party following his astonishing election win went from none at all to a full-on blistering attack from almost every media source in the province save one: Alberta Report Newsmagazine. “Your Dad and brother Link always gave us a fair shake,” said Kesler. A reporter for the Calgary Herald at the time later informed Kesler of “things going on at the highest levels of his paper behind the scenes to destroy me that rocked me to the core. Some were absolutely shocking. They were serious about getting rid of us — whatever it took.” This smear campaign evidently accomplished its alleged objective, since Kesler and his fellow candidates lost all 79 races that November.

Fast forward 37 years

And so, when asked to comment on the current rise in western alienation sentiment here in Alberta, Kesler had four main points to make:

  1. He’s no longer so sure his original vision of the four western provinces setting off on their own is tenable for two reasons: British Columbia’s stubborn refusal to meet Alberta’s pipeline needs and the continuing consolidation of provincial power into Victoria and Vancouver. The economic avarice and short-sightedness of these two cities — currently focussed on fleecing the rest of B.C. — would likely extend eastward to the three other provinces, always using their coastal trade access as leverage.
  2. He claims to have always been a “hopeful separatist” in that his first choice would be for Alberta to remain within Canada, but in a nation where power lay primarily at the “bottom” or community level rather than being in the hands of a select few senior cabinet ministers and bureaucrats  — particularly when it came to tax and royalty collection. In Kesler’s utopia, communities would gather revenues and then remit them upward to the provincial level who in turn would forward to the nation’s capital its “due share.” Using this approach, he argues, would help to ensure that Ottawa was ever mindful of grassroot sentiments.
  3. However, since such a scenario is politically unlikely, Alberta is best to ally itself with the largest of its neighbours in order to obtain the most advantageous economic trade benefits. Since Ottawa has proven incapable of standing up for the nation’s best interests regarding resource management, and because regional rights are much better represented within the U.S. constitutional framework, it therefore makes sense for Albertans to begin exploring the possible advantages of securing special status with the United States. President Trump might even jump on this idea and agree to expedient Pacific coastal pipeline access should Alberta opt to become the first “Northern Canadian state.” Additional bonuses to signing up include:
    • Courtesy of a much lower U.S. personal income tax rate every Albertan would essentially receive an instant 10% pay raise;
    • An end to our current $1.3-Billion annual “transfer” to Quebec;
    • No longer having to pay GST.
  4. In Kesler’s political experience, most Albertans south of Calgary are already open to the idea of some form of political alliance with the United States. Many have roots and family on both sides of the border that go back for over a century. He believes it is the immigrant populations both in Calgary and further north — the British, Ukrainian and more recent immigrant groups that have no real personal American friendships to call upon and trust — that are more apt to respond emotionally, rather than rationally, to the possible advantages that come when Albertans ally themselves with Americans.

Gordon Kesler continues to act on his political values by having moved to the United States (although he still maintains dual citizenship status).

What to make of Kesler’s new “Albert-Exit” concept?

One may not agree entirely with his views but still find his political insights helpful, particularly when pondering what to do in our current political climate. I certainly see no harm in approaching President Trump to better understand what he might bring to the table. 

Christians might also bear in mind that personal freedoms in the United States (religion, speech, parental rights, etc.) appear far better protected south of the border than in Canada. This is especially true now, in light of the unfortunate Supreme Court of Canada decision last year to deny graduates of Trinity Western University’s new law school the right to practice in many provinces.

One thing is clear. Prime Minister Trudeau “The Second” is either incapable or unwilling to address our province’s economic needs. Kesler and I can agree that his actions to sabotage the economic engine of both Alberta and much of Canada are tragic; at best incompetent and at worst malevolent. Many Albertans feel helpless since our future as an independent, landlocked nation would only make matters worse. However, I encourage you to set aside national pride for a while to reasonably consider all the pros and cons of Alberta becoming the 51st state. One thing is for sure. The more you do, the more likely Ottawa is to finally sit up and take notice.

Vince Byfield

CBC’s main critic of John Carpay exposed for hypocrisy and Christian-bashing

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On November 11th, CBC Calgary reporter Sarah Rieger had a problem. During her daily Twitter devotionals she had just come across this dandy snippet of video damning John Carpay. He was that pesky lawyer defending those few pitiful parents left in the province who stubbornly refused to allow GSA clubs into their tiny Christian schools. Ms. Rieger’s problem was the source of the video, another Twitter junkie but unknown to most Albertans. In order for her to run this story on the CBC and leverage this clip into doing some real media damage against Carpay — maybe even the Alberta Conservative Party as a bonus — she needed a more credible source. After a few more thoughtful sips from her triple, venti, soy, extra shot no foam latte she had it solved. Of course! She could call Wells!

Dr. Kristopher Wells would be an unfailing source. So credible. So genderfully compassionate. Dr. Wells along with partner Dr. André Grace had worked closely together for years as co-executive directors of the University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services. The doctor had produced that beautifully progressive website for Education Minister Eggen and had organized that wonderful Camp Fyrefly for LGBTQ kids. He was perfect. Of course — if the CBC had chosen to cover it — Ms. Rieger may have heard something about some troublesome parents catching the Wells website showing hard-core gay porn to elementary children. Then, too, there was the problem of the new Dean of Education had coincidentally placed Wells on leave following rumours of “irregularities” involving teens at the Edmonton Fyrefly camp which then mysteriously closed. But no matter. Here was her chance to finally put the single nail in Carpay’s credibility coffin, and some Albertans — especially Twitter-addicted ones — have such conveniently short, 140-character-long memories. It was worth the risk.

Wells responded beautifully. Carpay’s comments are “absolutely offensive and require immediate action,” he said. “The true motivations are crystal-clear now of the kind of hate and homophobia behind this kind of opposition. I think Jason Kenney needs to immediately suspend this person from the UCP party and denounce this kind of homophobic hatred.”  Now that Wells tied in Kenney this was going to be one heck of a story! Who knows? It may one day rank right up there with the infamous ‘Lake of Fire’ article which single-handedly destroyed the Wildrose Party. One can dream.

And so it ran. Job well done. Whew! Time for another triple, venti, soy, extra shot no foam latte…

But Day Two did not go quite as well. First off, Carpay responded right away by pointing out the 30-second clip was taken out of context from a 20-minute speech and apologizing for his comparison of the rainbow flag to totalitarian ones. Since he also emailed his apology CBC had no choice but to tack it to the end of Rieger’s story. Fortunately, many CBC and NDP faithful will likely dismis his apology as further evidence of guilt and that the tar-and-feathering of Carpay should proceed as planned. Then a second setback occurred when UCP Leader Jason Kenney refused to take the bait and annoyingly brushed off all Rieger’s hard work by accepting Carpay’s apology as just that.

Ms. Rieger’s faced a new quandary. The story had run its course but 630 Ched’s Ryan Jesperson, other social lefties and even Premier Notley jumping on the Smear Carpay bandwagon were leaving such juicy condemnations on Twitter. But Ms. Rieger’s work must have met with approval from higher-ups in the CBC since what happened next was a barrage of story after story on the CBC website all castigating John Carpay:

In total, the CBC bashed Carpay with five stories on their website over six days. Who knows how many times they dragged his name through the mud on radio and television? This does not include all the other leftist media sharks who, upon detecting blood in the the water, joined in the feeding frenzy to also dine on the hoped-for corpse of John Carpay’s credibility. Sure, some people might think all this treatment a bit harsh for a man who had simply dedicated his career to defending those quaint freedoms to which some naive Canadians still cling. But it was all seen as serving the greater good.

However there was just one little problem. Was this not the same Dr. Wells who in 2016 promoted a Twitter cartoon showing a Christian killing a gay man. Wells’ tweet accused Christians of being akin to ISIS and Nazi murderers slaying homosexuals. However, this shocking image turned out to have been completely altered from its original, which actually showed a Christian not as the murderer but as the victim.

Wells never apologized for promoting such a vile image.

So one must reach one of two conclusions. Either the CBC did not know of the Wells’s blatant hypocrisy — which would be incompetent journalism for it is certainly relevant. Or the CBC did know and deliberately concealed the fact — which is not journalism at all but mere propaganda. One inclines to the latter view since a quick google of “kristopher wells” and nazi yields the story immediately. This means a fully government-funded agency has now joined the NDP and gay movements to work fundamental changes in the culture of Alberta.

Ms. Rieger is a reporter for the CBC and therefore I, along with every other Canadian, am forced to pay her salary. My wife and I and our four children are ordered by the Canadian government to come up with $210 — our share of the $1.25 billion that all Canadians are forced to pay — so that people like Ms. Rieger can churn out such socialist propaganda, often destroying the reputations of many a good man and woman in the process.

When are Canadians going to wise up and realize that the CBC, being a state-funded organization, is ultimately bent of perpetuating ever more state control? We are continuing to fund an entity dedicated to eroding the underpinning freedoms and democratic principles upon which our nation was built. Cutting just a portion of its funding is not the remedy. This is akin to reducing a cancerous tumour but not removing it. The tumour will still kill you.  

There is no other solution to the problem. Surely, the time has arrived for the Friends of the CBC to become the Funders of the CBC.

Why has Canada purged its pastors from political office?

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Despite an impressive political track record clergy are no longer welcome on our nation’s ballots

Canada’s governments are in love with the word ‘tolerance.’ It peppers most political screeds and is an indispensable requirement for any speech by Justin Trudeau. However, to quote Hamlet’s mother, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” In my experience, when politicians parade a certain virtue deeper examination often reveals the precise opposite to be true.  Case in point: one political hack is on record as saying “evangelical Christians were the worst part of Canadian society.” The source of that precious little gem of concentrated bigotry? None other than our current prime minister Justin Trudeau.

Here in Alberta, although you will not find it in any party bylaws, pastors are essentially banned from running for public office. Two elections back, while talking to a scrutineer from the Alberta Progressive Conservatives he pointed out to me that not a single candidate running for the PCs was clergy. With a very serious expression on his face he finished with, ‘That is no accident.’

The reason for my interest was that that election race included the celebrated “Lake of Fire” incident. During the 2012 Alberta election the Edmonton Journal sensationalized an old blog post by Alan Hunsberger, Wildrose candidate for Edmonton South West. Hunsberger, a pastor for a church in the nearby town of Tofield, had written:

“You see, you can live the way you were born, and if you die the way you were born then you will suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire, hell, a place of eternal suffering.”

Note that the above statement essentially condemns all humans (i.e. not just homosexuals) who choose to not change from the ‘way they were born.’ The Edmonton Journal, however, chose to twist Hunsberger’s text to imply he was only condemning gay people. This political hit piece achieved its desired effect: Hunsberger was drummed out of Wildrose and the party went on to suffer a humiliating defeat. The lesson learned by most Alberta conservatives: never let another pastor near political office ever again.

Our memories in this regard are notably short. Was not Saint Tommy Douglas of the CCF (ancestor to Canada’s NDP) a Baptist minister? And what of Bible Bill Aberhart, Alberta’s premier during the Dirty Thirties and World War Two? Or his successor Ernest Manning, Alberta’s longest-running premier and setter of the stage for our province’s bountiful energy economy? Did Manning not first host a national radio program called “Back to the Bible?” Why were these gents not pilloried out of office for their regrettable clerical connections?

So here we are, with a sociopathic socialist government bullying independent schools, essentially saying they are free to call themselves Christian just as long as there isn’t a trace of their loathsome religion to be found in any school policies. Something tells me this sort of asinine interference would never have happened under an Aberhart, Manning or even a Douglas watch.

So what can we do about this?

For a start, media could begin exposing this secularist bigotry and stop alluding to baseless fears that all Christian politicians are “intolerant.” Readers and listeners can do their part too by calling pundits out who continue to engage in such religious slander. The next time the Journal or Herald chooses to flog a Christian hit piece church-goers throughout the province should get into gear with a flurry of emails, letters, social media posts and subscription cancellations. Henceforward, being able to play the “Christian Card” is a necessary argument in our rhetorical arsenal for us to master. Finally, if you haven’t already done so, join a party. This simple act dramatically increases your personal political clout.

The next time a pastor builds up the gumption to run for office we should be ready for the inevitable media onslaught. Christian slander should trump all denominational biases. I look forward to the day when the following can be heard over Alberta dinner tables, “I was not going to vote for Jones. But since they’ve run that story slamming him as evangelical, now I *have* to choose that jackass. Thanks a lot, Edmonton Journal.”

The same would apply, of course, if Jones was a cradle Catholic and that dinner table was surrounded by Spirit-filled Pentacostals.  Regardless of denomination, he (or she) is now our chosen candidate. In this political climate divisionary thinking is holding us back. Jesus died for us all, folks. Let’s make Him proud.

One thing is undeniable. Christians are being bullied out of politics. Whether this is a change for the better society will ultimately find out, perhaps sooner than we realize. And Albertans should think carefully before voting again for such needless and unprecedented meddling in societal and economic affairs. Instead of landing in a lake of fire we may very well wind up drowning in a sea of debt.

Vince Byfield

[Update 1] Alberta’s initiatives to restore Freedom of Religion take off

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Key Developments:

  1. Faith Beyond Belief, an Alberta-based apologetics organization, announced “In One Accord” events for Calgary (November 6th) and Edmonton (November 9th). These two forums are designed to equip and empower Christians with speakers on the following relevant activities:
    • Legislating – the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom will discuss how Christians can work within the law, to defend their Biblical beliefs.
    • Educating – Parents for Choice for Education will discuss how topics of sexuality and gender are being presented to K-12 students in Alberta schools.
    • Exampling  – Pastor Kevin Cavanaugh, a pastor who helped draft BC’s West Coast Christian Accord (now called One Accord) will discuss how they are mobilizing Christians across Canada.
    • Equipping – Faith Beyond Belief will discuss our resources to equip Christians for everyday conversations
    • Cooperating – the Evangelical Office of the Public Square will discuss how Christians can work together to provide a unified voice for religious freedom in the public arena.
  2. A teleconference for the Alberta Freedom of Religion Initiative (AFORI) took place Friday afternoon on October 12, 2018 with six participants in the call. It began with the following prayer:

    Lord, we pray for total protection of freedoms for these Christian schools; That the pressure being brought to bear by the Alberta Department of Education will dissipate and disappear; That many more Albertans will stand up and be counted as Defenders of the Christian Faith; That our prayers will cause the Holy Spirit to make miracles happen in this great province of ours; That the plight of these schools and the fundamental freedom of religion that they are so valiantly defending will be brought to the attention of Christians all over Alberta and well beyond.; That Christians the world over will start praying that Freedom of Religion will be restored here in Alberta; That Almighty God will vanquish our enemies and allow the love of Christ to enter our schools, our classrooms, the hearts and minds of our teachers and administrators; That in the days to come a renewed spirit of learning will take root and Alberta schools will fundamentally shift from a victim mentality to a victorious frame of mind where God’s will becomes the cornerstone of every school in every city, every town and every county in this beautiful province of ours; That the people here participating in this call will be filled with the Holy Spirit to move our cause forward; That the items we are tasked with to accomplish will be done so with joy in our hearts; That when other Albertans witness our progress and our efforts to resist Satan’s sinister influence on our school systems they too will feel called upon to join our cause and bring back Christian values to our educational institutions; That we never lose sight of the love of God, to love our children, our teachers, our administrators and even the agents perpetrating religious oppression on behalf of our current government. Yes, Lord, we will pray especially hard for these misguided individuals. We do not condemn them, Lord, but we condemn their actions against these Christian schools. Lord, we pray you will be able to show them the error or their ways. Lord, two or three have gathered now in your name to effect change in our lands. We thank you, Almighty God, for the progress we have made thus far. Forgive us for not rallying sooner on this issue to defend and honour the awesome sacrifice of your son Jesus experienced for our salvation. Let this meeting move forward now. May our minds be clear and focused for the tasks at hand and that many more will step forward in the days to come to help bring our cause to a sweet and victorious conclusion. In Jesus’ oh-so-beautiful name, Amen!  

  3. Since that meeting we have assembled contact information for the majority of churches in Alberta and will begin contacting pastors, priests, and elders within each to:
    • Raise awareness of the plight of these schools to them and their congregations
    • Determine where each stands on the issue.
    • Discuss the possible impact this attack may have on Christians throughout the province if the Ministry of Education is successful in either censoring these schools or closing them down.
    • Record any public statements church leaders wish to place on record regarding these latest actions by Alberta’s education ministry.
    • Inform them of events taking place like ‘In One Accord’.
    • Help them to keep informed on further developments.
  4. Also following the meeting eleven more Christians have since stepped forward to assist. Thank you, Jesus! However, successfully reaching out to key members of every church in the province is a considerable challenge so more volunteers are still badly needed. In your own private moments with our Lord we ask you to pray a variant of the prayer above and that more saved souls will rise in defence of the right of every Albertan to speak freely the wisdom that God has entrusted with us.  Those interested in answering the call are encouraged to contact Vince Byfield at Vince.Byfield@chrias.org.
  5. Our next teleconference will take place Thursday, November 1st, 2018 at 5:00 pm. Please pray for outstanding attendance and that in the coming weeks the power of the Holy Spirit will move societal mountains in this awesome province.

May God bless you all!

Vince Byfield

Christians Awake! The government has formally declared you its enemies

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Abandon your faith or we’ll close down your schools, education deputy declares

Alberta’s NDP government has so far tried to appear as ‘capitalist-friendly socialists.’ Not any longer. Its latest vicious attack on more than 30 Christian schools comes right out of the playbook of that hard-core communist Karl Marx himself. In September 4, 2018 Deputy Minister of Education Curtis Clarke, began issuing threatening letters to independent schools that still dare to put in their school policies that the Bible is their authority and source of truth. Such references, he declares, are to be censored immediately. Mr. Clarke further bullies these schools with a solemn warning: failure to comply means no more funding and school closure. Some could be shut down as early as next week.

Ironically, Mr. Clarke has just done a great service to Christians. The NDP facade of a religiously-neutral government is now completely unmasked. Forcing these schools to effectively denounce their faith shows this government to be an open enemy to all Christians province-wide.

We can no longer sit on the sidelines. At the end of this article, I outline an action plan that I pray will put to a stop to this government persecution. Please join us in defending these schools and our faith.

So what exactly does Mr. Clarke find so objectionable to warrant such drastic measures as school closure? John Carpay, who heads up Canada’s Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, issued a press release identifying 15 examples that Mr. Clarke’s letter calls “unwelcoming, uncaring and disrespectful.” Here is a sample of the statements the deputy minister finds so contemptible:

  • “God created mankind as male and female, equal in dignity and worth, yet with distinct and complementary roles.”
  • “God’s institution of marriage, a covenant relationship between one man and one woman, is the sole environment within which sexual activity is permitted, and is the context in which children are to be raised.”
  • “Parents have been given the responsibility to raise their children, and are primary educators of their children.”
  • “The unchangeable and infallible truth of the Word of God.”

Why these statement are ‘discriminatory’ or who they discriminate against, Clarke’s letter fails to say. Dictionaries still primarily define ‘discriminate’ as a means to draw a distinction or to tell apart, but the mysterious world of leftist group-think has been perverting the word to mean ‘drawing an unjust or prejudicial distinction, especially on the grounds of race, sex or age.’ Conspicuously absent in this definition is discrimination based on religion.

It is quite likely that Clarke’s only image of Christianity is the twisted version often served up as factual by educational ideologues where Christians are portrayed as cold, uncaring parents applying dangerous and archaic doctrines on important matters like sex. Nothing could be further from the truth, but this government appears to have made no attempt at all to really understand the time-tested strategies encouraged by churches on the delicate issue of adolescent sexuality.

Whether these statements are indeed harmful to anyone is highly debatable. Christians obviously believe they are helpful to all concerned. But Mr. Clarke disagrees, and in a professed attempt to stop discrimination he has in reality issued a highly discriminatory, highly persecutive letter. It is such an affront to both international and Canadian human rights that Mr. Carpay, and his growing group of supporters, have no choice but to fight this government all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada if necessary. (You can aid Mr. Carpay in this crucial legal case here).

Mr. Clarke’s letter reveals a whole new level of contempt for Christians. After reading this, one thing should be crystal clear: doing nothing is no longer an option. Do you think this government will stop after they have finished off the homeschoolers and the Christian schoolers? Not at all. History shows that our continued inaction will only serve to embolden these aggressors to further human rights violations against more Christian groups. Who will they target next?

Now is the time for all Christian Albertans to come to the aid of their faith!

So what do we do about it? We need Christians, young and old, to step forward and raise the alarm throughout the province. We need a team of dedicated Albertans — drawn from every branch of the Christian tree — who are ready to reach out, both to God and to leaders of every church in Alberta.

Parts of the team will focus on all forms of intensive prayer, both personal and public. Others will contact pastors and priests throughout the province to raise awareness of the problem, encourage clergy to stand up for freedom of religion in all schools, and inform them of upcoming events being planned that provide critical information and guidance for both clergy and their congregations.

Last week 300 British Columbia evangelical pastors showed us the way by stepping forward to put their names to the West Coast Christian Accord which stands in favour of fundamental Christian values and against SOGI, their province’s sex education trainwreck.

Now is the time for Albertans to step up and show Canada how our Christian faith is the most fundamental freedom we cherish, and that we will staunchly defend our right to express that faith in our homes, our schools and on our streets.

I therefore encourage you to do your part by:

  • Forwarding and sharing this message to every Alberta Christian you know.
  • Sending an email to me ( vince.byfield@chrias.org ) and adding your name to our list of volunteers ready to help make this initiative a glorious success.
  • Subscribing to TheChristians.com. We will be keeping you up to date with regular progress reports included in our weekly issue.
  • Praying to God that He will turn the tide and help us restore common sense to our province’s classrooms.

Do not to delay. The stakes are very high now.

In the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may the mighty power of the Holy Spirit descend upon us, fill us with wisdom, love, compassion and energy to support these schools in their important struggle to defend God’s Truth. Almighty Father, let us taste the sweetness of victory in this most noble cause. Amen.

Vince Byfield
A Concerned Alberta Christian Parent

Alberta’s Bill 24 may be setting us up for ‘Residential Schools 2.0’ but with far greater danger

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All stages in life come with problems, but many vouch that adolescence is the toughest. Few trials can match the inevitable onslaughts of self-doubt that descend upon us as we transition from boy to man or girl to woman. Not making matters any easier is the growing awareness of our parents’ imperfections. And yet history shows us that, despite their flaws, moms and dads are our best bet in making it through the deep and murky forest of adolescence. Study after study shows that most often it is our family that has our best interests at heart — much more than any other institution. And when this fact is ignored by governments very bad things can happen (case in point: Canada’s residential schools). Sadly, Alberta’s NDP appear oblivious to the obvious as they blunder on with implementing Bill 24.

The Alberta NDP government brought forward Bill 24 arguing that “every student deserves a welcoming, caring and safe place to learn.” This is, of course, a most laudable goal. However, Education Minister Eggen’s first speech promoting the bill failed to mention a single instance from the past that this bill would have remedied. Presumably, Bill 24 is supposed to reduce negative behaviours often associated with homosexuality, such as suicide, running away from home, dropping out of school or drug and alcohol abuse. For the most part, however, these problems are self-inflicted, so in the vast majority of cases the aggressor and victim are essentially one and the same. How setting up gay/straight alliance (or GSA) clubs will reduce these afflictions Mr Eggen failed to say, and the witless media present at this speech similarly failed to press him for such evidence.

What he did say, however, is that “kids sometimes feel safer talking about gender and sexual identity with their peers.” Presumably this means that only “peers” (i.e. other kids) will be present in these clubs. Teachers are needed to oversee students in classrooms, gyms and schoolyards, but when engaging in conversations and activities about sex with other students? Apparently not. Some schools have students from kindergarten through Grade 12. Therefore boys and girls ranging in age from 6 to 16 will be meeting up to explore this most delicate and psychologically-sensitive issue with absolutely no adult supervision at all. What could possibly go wrong?

Either that, or adults will be present, and Minister Eggen, like his handling of the ultra-top-secret new Alberta curriculum, thinks teachers are better equipped to care for children than parents. He appears to believe this even though nearly 1,300 students fell victim to 714 school teachers and  staff across Canada over the last 20 years and often when caught not only receive no jail time at all but get to keep their teaching licenses. This mentality that government knows best is not new and seldom ends well, especially when children are involved. Just ask any of the participants in Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

From the commission’s final report:

In establishing residential schools, the Canadian government essentially declared Aboriginal people to be unfit parents. Aboriginal parents were labelled as being indifferent to the future of their children

And who did the Canadian government think was better able to care for aboriginal kids? Why agents of the government, of course. What followed over the next century the report goes on to say was the creation of an environment where “child neglect was institutionalized, and the lack of supervision created situations where students were prey to sexual and physical abusers.”

This took place over a hundred years, mostly in an age and environment where discussing sexual matters was considered taboo. Since then we’ve undergone the ‘sexual revolution’ (and right along with it some of the worst sex crimes in modern history, like the ‘Candyman’ who raped, tortured and murdered 30 boys during the 1970s).

The potential for abuse within the cloistered confines of these clubs can come from not only from adult sex predators wanting to worm their way in to groom victims under the guise of guest speakers and longer-term ‘leaders’ but also from the much more likely scenario of older teens bullying younger members.

Foreshadowing of such future abuse has already been brought to our attention this past May when the Calgary Herald’s Licia Corbella interviewed parents of a 14-year-old autistic girl who in the fall of 2016 joined a GSA club unbeknownst to her mother and father. Soon she was being pressured by club members to ‘transition’ into a boy. By Christmas the poor girl was threatening to commit suicide. Only then did the parents become aware of what had been going down in their daughter’s school.

Let’s be clear here. In this first instance it was the parents that saved the girl—not the school which if anything served only to enable the trauma to take place. In this present age of ridiculously-easy-to-access hard-core pornography and live-streaming rapes Minister Eggen is now forcing into every Alberta school an environment ripe for abuse. With teens (or younger) engaging in sexual issues either completely unsupervised or with adults that parents are not permitted to know about, the potential for harm to our children is far greater than anything our society has ever seen before.

Minister Eggen is setting up a potential powder keg of abuses that will make the residential schools look like child’s play. The responsible thing for parents — and all Albertans — is to hold him to account and stop him before such travesties occur, not after.

Vince Byfield is editor of TheChristians.com

Good news for Canadian Christians: We are not politically irrelevant!

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Was Andrew Scheer the ‘stick’ needed to rouse from sleep Canada’s Christian voting giant?

The Toronto Star was forced to eat political crow over the weekend. On Friday they predicted federal Conservative candidate Maxime Bernier had the party leadership ‘almost in the bag’. Just one day later their follow-up article showed just how out of touch Toronto can be when it comes to the rest of Canada: “Andrew Scheer wins Conservative leadership in major upset.” What? Surely this is a misprint! How could the political shamans of the Toronto Star get it so horribly wrong? Answer: social conservatives.

This year Canada’s Conservatives went with a ranked balloting system. This means that, unlike first-past-the-post, your vote is not thrown away if your initial choice is a ‘no-name’ candidate. Instead, you are permitted to ‘rank’ your vote and select a second choice, a third, and so on for as many as you like. In each round the least popular candidate drops off and his or her supporters’ votes then shift to their next-best choice on their ballot.

In Round One Maxime Bernier, a popular secularist libertarian, nabbed 29% and Scheer 22%. Canada’s social conservatives initially threw support behind two candidates: Brad Trost from Saskatchewan and Pierre Lemieux from Ontario, who together took 16%. However, even though he started with a sizable seven percent head start, Bernier ultimately lost to Scheer simply because more voters had Scheer down as an alternative. An examination of the vote count reveals that most Trost/Lemieux supporters put Scheer down as their third option.

But Canada’s SoCons may want to restrain their cheers for the moment. Despite receiving about a third of his support from them, Scheer’s recent comments and his failure to defend the definition of traditional marriage two years ago exposes him as a fiscal conservative wearing SoCon clothing. Pundits and Scheer himself say his future support for the advancement of important issues like the protection of all human life will resemble that of Stephen Harper’s. In other words, almost no serious support at all.

So what are Christians to do? StatsCan’s latest census shows that an impressive 24 million Canadians continue to call themselves Christian. But how ‘Christian’ actually are they? A 2015 Angus Reid survey concluded that 23% of Canadian Christians claim to attend church regularly. In Alberta, with a population of four million, that means that over 600,000 Albertans still say they sit through sermons at least once a month. Sadly, only 2,200 of those Albertans — or one out of every 300 active Christians — actually took the few minutes needed to participate in the recent federal leadership race.

But what if that were to change? What if this recent political ‘upset’ were to inspire Canadian Christians to start flexing their political muscle? What if groups were to begin meeting across the nation on a regular basis to discuss the political issues of the day? (Meeting right after Sunday services would be ideal.) What if these same groups then took their engagement to the next level and became active in all of Canada’s political parties? If just one percent of inactive SoCons were to begin fulfilling their civic and Christian duty there would be 50,000 new Conservatives ready to further upset the establishment’s apple cart at the next federal leadership race. With just 2% of Christians engaged in federal affairs the Conservative party would have no choice but to begin addressing SoCon issues seriously.

Were this to take place the next conservative leadership race would be forced to contend with a massive social conservative contingent whose numbers had increased ten fold. Instead of 22,000 SoCons backing Lemieux and Trost imagine 220,000 active Christians out of total of 300,000 card-carrying Conservatives. Such an inspiring majority would firmly put fiscal conservatives in the passenger seat (of the party but not the country — that task would be next).

What if during these regular gatherings at church Christians discussed upcoming legislation at all levels of government and in doing so became more aware of the dire principles that are often at stake. These Christians would naturally begin sharing their new-found knowledge within their communities, and they could alert the rest of the church when urgent political action is required. It is likely that key political players would begin asking to present themselves at these gatherings to advocate their case. Highly articulate Christians may begin to step forward and even run for office. It is entirely possible that these new meetings taking place all across Canada would actually begin getting our society back on a solid foundation.

One important point: It should be a key tenet of this new organization that it never form its own official political party, but would rather work within the framework of all existing parties.

Current Christian political lethargy notwithstanding, none of this is new. Christians have been defending western civilization for two thousand years. Christian monks brought light to the darkness of the Dark Ages. Christian knights successfully halted the initial Muslim onslaughts that had enslaved Christian societies throughout Africa and Asia. For the first time since the Romans Christian masons began building amazing examples of architecture in the form of majestic cathedrals. For almost a thousand years Christians have been founding our universities, building our hospitals and tending to society’s poor and helpless. Christian political activists have abolished slavery, protected children with labor laws and were the first to champion the right of women to vote.

For two thousand years Christians have stepped forward in political matters and now should be no exception. Political action is badly needed on many fronts. Islamic terrorism is on the rise. Over a hundred thousand helpless Canadians still die horribly-painful deaths on abortion tables every year. We must now contend with ‘assisted suicides.’ We find that our public school system is often failing to teach our children basic things like reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, their central aim seems to be indoctrinating our kids to embrace sexual immorality and ultimately replacing any real concept of right and wrong with “whatever feels good.” The definition of the family itself — the very cornerstone of our society — stands upon a precipice. Christian political involvement here in Canada could not be more needed as it is right now.

But inevitably, whenever Christians are encouraged to involve themselves in politics the detractors bring out the old “separation of church and state” argument. This canard is drawn from the United State’s First Amendment and is ironically designed to protect individuals from all religions to be able to speak freely on all matters, including politics. To shrink from controversial issues  — when political involvement is needed most — essentially surrenders the rights of Christians to the interests of all others. This is the precise opposite of what our Lord wants. When Jesus witnessed the injustice of the money-changers at the temple I do not recall the scripture having him say “Oh well. You can’t fight city hall.” Not at all. He responded immediately and rightly so. So should we.

Surely the time has come for many more Canadian Christians to step forward and be counted. Champions of social conservative values like Gwen Landolt, John Carpay, and Jonathon Van Maren continue to fight the good fight, but they badly need help.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

To that end I have unofficially begun CHRIAS.org (Christians Honoring the Resurrection In Affairs of State). We think of this as a fully Christian endeavor — neither Catholic nor Protestant but essentially, both. I have therefore drafted my father, Ted Byfield, to the cause. (This is only fair since he has been drafting me into such causes for as long as I can remember.) So right now we have three members: Ted, me, and my beautiful and ever-patient wife Grace. Where it goes from here is entirely up to God, and you.

How can you help? I can think of three ways:

First, share this article with as many of your friends as possible — by email, FaceBook, Twitter or whatever social media you prefer. When doing so, be sure to include your own comments and any suggestions you may have for this undertaking. Feel free to copy me on such correspondence if you think it may help. My email address is vince.byfield@gmail.com or you can friend me on FaceBook.

Secondly, and more importantly, consider approaching your church’s leadership with the idea of forming a club. By joining your efforts with ours we hope to work together and make these events as interesting and inspiring as possible. If you’re not sure how many will step forward or how to proceed, trust God. He has yet to fail us. Remember that even when just two or three gather in His name He is with us.

Thirdly, and most important of all, pray. Pray for the success of this undertaking. Pray that for every Canadian who has so faithfully championed our causes thus far ten more Christians will now step forward and stand with them. Pray that, with God’s mighty power supporting us, who can stand against us? Pray that Canadians will soon be triumphantly reclaiming our Christian democratic heritage!

Much is at stake. Are you with us?

Blessings,

Vince Byfield