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  1. Over 2,500 people from the far corners of northwestern BC, to as far south as 100 Mile House came to Prince George this weekend for the annual Jehovah’s Witnesses Convention. With evacuation orders issued in central parts of the province, 130 families (a total of 306 people) who attended the convention are now unable to return home. “We have an agreement with the CN Centre for a number of days where we rent the facilities, and it includes the grounds. We rent the stampede grounds and the parking lots,” says Dale Johnson, the Chairman of the Disaster Relief Committee at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. “After our convention was over, we asked permission from the City and CN Centre if they would mind if these refugees- these people who have been displaced– could stay for a few extra days. The City was kind enough to allow them to stay parked.” 5 local congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses are looking after the needs of evacuees. They are providing sewage, water, food and anything else that is required on-site. More trailers have been brought in from the Prince George Jehovah’s Witnesses. Families in the local congregations have also taken in evacuees. Johnson says the community has been great. “The CN Centre, they’ve allowed us to stay. They have offered us the use of their facilities there. We had a contract with them and so they have been very kind to allow us continue that contract for our use only. The City has been great. We have had some of the local politicians come and check on our folks to give them direction as to where to go to register. They have offered food at no cost. We think about the fire fighters; local folks that sometimes aren’t appreciated, but we have been given such clear direction from these people that we feel really secure and looked after.” Now all that’s left to do is wait.”Our friends are concerned and our families are a little bit stressed, but they are getting the emotional and spiritual help that they need on a daily basis,” says Johnson. “We have made visits to almost every family over there. They are playing the waiting game. There’s rumors floating around, but as the information comes in from the authorities that’s what we pass on so people don’t get upset. They are happy, they are content and looked after.” A disaster administrative centre for the group has also been set up at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on 15 Avenue. http://www.ckpg.com/2017/07/10/cn-centre-opens-facility-to-jehovahs-witness-evacuees/
  2. Mr. Wall was a member of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, in Alberta, Canada. He was dis-fellowshipped by a Judicial Committee of elders because he was not sufficiently repentant for two incidents of drunkenness, one of which included verbal abuse of his wife. He was shunned by the congregation. As a real estate agent, he lost congregation members and other Jehovah’s Witnesses as clients. He appealed to internal church authorities for reconsideration but failed. Then he decided to go to the regular law courts for compensation for his alleged mistreatment by the church. Justice Wilson of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta ruled that the Court had jurisdiction to hear Mr. Wall’s application for judicial review. The Church lost its appeal at the Alberta Court of Appeal and has now appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Alberta Court of Appeal (ABCA) decision raises a number of questions that have to be resolved. Generally speaking, courts have been loathed to get involved in church disputes. Courts have no expertise in dealing with theological matters that are often the underlying cause of why members of a church are asked (or told) to leave. Imagine a court discussing topics like the proper understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity; or the process of salvation. Such matters are not part of the law school curriculum. The point is, a court is incompetent in dealing with religious disputes. The majority of the ABCA decided that the courts have jurisdiction over procedural matters – basically ensuring that the parties were treated fairly. In law, we call it issues of “natural justice.” That is to say, the law protects people in organisations to the extent that the organisations own internal rules of procedure were properly followed. There is a reasonable argument to be made for that position. However, a church is not a public body that should be subject to judicial review. The ABCA was also of the view that a church could be sued for the economic loss a member incurred as a result of expulsion. This is new ground for Canadian law – new ground for any law of a western democracy. Membership in a religious community is voluntary. No one is forced to stay. If a person is no longer willing to abide by the teachings then they are free to go and make their way elsewhere. If that person limited his business to only those within the church community and subsequently finds that none of his former co-religionists will do business with him that is not the congregation’s responsibility. He took that risk himself when he so limited his business. Religious communities have been immune from litigation of former members who were asked to leave. Membership in a religious community is privilege not a right. Allowing courts the jurisdiction to hear judicial review applications of such matters will entangle the court unnecessarily in the internal affairs of religion. If a court is granted the right to hear such a review it is then able to grant orders of relief against the religious community for making religious decisions about membership. The law has no business there. The SCC is scheduled to hold its hearing on November 2, 2017. Case name: Re: Wall v. Judicial Committee of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 2016 ABCA 255 (37273) (Wall Case) http://leidenlawblog.nl/articles/a-former-member-sues-his-church-for-disfellowship
  3. DOES ANYONE HAVE A PDF TO SHARE OF THE TRACT FROM 1946 ENTITLED "QUEBEC'S BURNING HATE FOR GOD AND CHRIST AND FREEDOM IS THE SHAME OF ALL CANADA". THANKS.
  4. On April 13, 2017 the Supreme Court of Canada granted, to the Judicial Committee of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, leave to appeal the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision on the availability of judicial review over their disfellowshipping of Mr. Randy Wall. As assessed by my colleague Adam Aptowitzer in one of our earlier newsletters, the appeal court’s decision is of interest to “other Church and religious organizations that must discipline their members and now must worry that the Courts will reach in and review those decisions.” He stressed the importance that “decisions to discipline members be taken with utmost regard for the traditional concept of procedural fairness and a consultation with a lawyer that can advise them of these issues.” Let’s revisit the facts. Mr. Wall is a real estate agent whose episodes of drunkenness (including a consequent instance of verbal abuse of his wife)—or rather, his insufficient repentance for these episodes (as deemed by the elders of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses)—brought about his disfellowshipping from the congregation. Disfellowshipping, in this case, involved Mr. Wall not only not being admitted to the congregation’s services, but also being officially shunned by other members. Wall’s shunning further impacted his relations with family members, and also, he alleged, his business prospects. The Alberta Court of Appeal majority decision ruled that the courts had jurisdiction to review the Congregation’s Appeal Committee’s decision, and that the assessment of any economic loss incurred by Wall due to the disfellowshipping could be made by on the eventual application for judicial review. The Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). On the SCC website, the case summary[1] prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch) points to the issues to be argued: Charter of Rights and Freedoms – Religious freedom – Freedom of Association – Courts – Jurisdiction – Judicial review – How do the fundamental freedoms of religion and association protect membership decisions of religious communities and other voluntary associations from state and judicial interference – What are the boundaries between what is and is not justiciable with regard to membership and other disputes between members of voluntary associations – Whether the public law remedy of judicial review applies to membership decisions made by voluntary associations such as religious communities? The granting of leave to appeal by the SCC is supported by the invoking of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms—the raising of a constitutional question. However, it also seems warranted given the public importance of the legal issues raised in this case—an essential basis of SCC involvement. In particular, the availability of the public law remedy of judicial review to a private actor such as Mr. Wall is a matter of serious relevance to private organizations. Properly of the realm of administrative law, judicial review is a tool with which the courts can hold to account government agencies, boards, commissions, etc., which wield delegated executive power , but it has also been granted against private bodies in certain cases. In the common law tradition, the court is loath to intervene in the internal decision-making of private organizations, especially when they follow their own constitution and bylaws. However, among other reasons, a court may claim jurisdiction where a breach of the rules of natural justice is alleged, or where the organization’s internal appeal process has been exhausted. The majority decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal found for Mr. Wall on both these bases. Another of Mr. Wall’s allegations, of consequent economic loss, could then be considered during the eventual judicial review. The ABCA minority opinion was against the availability of judicial review in this case under Alberta law, stated that the private organization’s expulsion of a member did not raise a justiciable issue, and argued that a court cannot force members of the Congregation to bring their real estate matters to Mr. Wall—any economic loss he might prove does not stem from anything potentially subject to the Court’s power. This case should be of interest to all private organizations, but it takes on special importance with the layering in of the Congregation’s invoking of Charter rights of freedom of religion and association. Parties interested in potentially intervening in this case are invited to contact us if they have something to add to the argument. http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=0b84577c-6c04-4259-af99-669a0ca6e41a
  5. I never realized how messy this border really is.... And how very "ungreen" is cutting down all the timber across a continent. Isn't that worse than building a "wall"?
  6. Radio-Canada's Enquête investigates allegations that the closed religious movement fails to protect children Mélanie Poirier was 10 when she started taking piano lessons and it would prove to be an experience that changed her life forever. At that very first lesson, she said, her piano teacher sexually assaulted her. It went on for five years. "Week after week, at every piano lesson, he would masturbate in front of me. And he would ask me to touch him," Poirier told Radio-Canada's investigative program, Enquête. Her father, Benoît Poirier, was in the next room waiting for her lesson to be over, completely unaware, she said. Poirier said she couldn't tell her father, who was a Jehovah's Witness elder, or anyone else what was happening because her piano teacher was also an elder in the congregation that her family belonged to in a Montreal suburb. "He was well-known, an elder, an example to follow," she said. The biggest obstacle, however, was the fact she didn't have a second witness to the alleged abuse — a key requirement of the church's internal judicial system. "If I told anyone, nothing would have happened. I wouldn't be believed. The elders wouldn't have even stopped to listen to me," Poirier said. Internal policies — and no police The Poiriers are among several former Jehovah's Witnesses in Quebec and the United States who spoke to Enquête about the church's policies for dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse and their failure to protect victims. Among those policies: complainants are made to answer inappropriate questions if they report an assault, and their stories must be corroborated by a second witness for a case to even be heard by an internal judicial committee. Until this past summer, accusers were also forced to confront their alleged abuser before a panel of elders. Radio-Canada also heard allegations that a five-year-old boy from a Quebec congregation was made to repeat his story in front of the man he said abused him. The boy's mother told Enquête the allegations were dismissed because the child did not have a second witness to the alleged assault. In its investigation, Radio-Canada obtained a questionnaire designed to guide Jehovah's Witness elders interviewing children alleging sexual abuse. It includes the question: "How many elders believe the victim is to blame or willingly participated in the act?" The questionnaire was drafted by the headquarters of the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, in the state of New York. The Watchtower Society declined Enquête's request for an interview. Rules rooted in scripture The Watchtower Society's leadership bases its policies on a strict interpretation of biblical scripture. Its policy on making an accuser justify her or his allegations in the accused's presence, for example, is based on a line from the Book of Matthew: "If your brother commits a sin, go and reveal his fault between you and him alone." — Matthew 18:15 An elders' manual distributed to congregations cites the books of Deuteronomy and John as the basis for the two-witness policy. "There must be two or three eyewitnesses, not just people repeating hearsay." — Deut. 19:15 "No action can be taken if there is only one witness." — John 8:17 While the Watchtower tells elders it is the "absolute right" of members to report allegations of child abuse to police, doing so is effectively discouraged by an organizational emphasis on dealing with such matters internally and avoiding "unnecessary entanglement with secular authorities," as stated in an internal document from 2014. A recent royal commission in Australia found the Jehovah's Witness church there had recorded allegations of child sexual abuse against 1,006 members. Not one allegation was reported to authorities outside the church. Since 1997, the Watchtower leadership has required that every allegation of child sexual abuse brought to a congregation's attention be sent to the organization's national headquarters. Earlier this year, a California court ordered the Watchtower Society to submit a database of the alleged pedophiles among its ranks, but the society has yet to do so. 'Catastrophic' complaint process Mélanie Poirier kept her story of alleged weekly assaults by her childhood piano teacher to herself for 20 years, until she met another alleged victim of the same man. Together, they decided to bring their case to the congregation's elders. Both women were made to defend their allegations in a meeting at which their alleged abuser was present. "I thought it would be difficult, but it wasn't difficult — it was catastrophic," Poirier said. "He asked me questions. He said I was mistaken, my memories were wrong, why do I want to do this to him. I was revictimized that evening," Poirier said. Based on his alleged victims' testimony, a judicial committee composed of elders expelled Poirier's former piano teacher from the Jehovah's Witnesses. He appealed, however, twice — meaning Poirier and the other alleged victim were made to confront the man a total of three times. The story doesn't end there. Poirier's alleged abuser soon joined another Jehovah's Witness congregation, despite never having admitted to any wrongdoing or repented for the sin he was accused of committing — conditions set by the Watchtower Society for regaining membership. Enquête contacted Poirier's old teacher, who is still a Jehovah's Witness and doing door-to-door work. He denied the allegations and refused an interview. Poirier left the Jehovah's Witnesses soon after her ordeal, as did her father. Benoît Poirier said he's never recovered from seeing his daughter treated the way she was, and he's encouraging others to come forward with their stories. "You're not sullying the organization by speaking out," he said. "These people are traitors, abusers, criminals.… They're sullying the organization with their actions." Poirier has since taken her case to police in Laval, Que. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/jehovah-witnesses-abuse-1.3874884
  7. ( MMC-NEWS ) You are reading the article "Abuse allegations in Newfoundland casting a cloud over Jehovah's Witnesses" latest updates. Allegations of abuse against two members of the Jehovah's Witnesses religious movement in Newfoundland have emerged, though details of the charges are protected by a court-ordered publication ban. Allegations of abuse involving two members of the Jehovah's Witness religious movement in Newfoundland have emerged, though details of the charges are protected by a court-ordered publication ban. CBC News has learned that a former volunteer church elder and his son are facing charges. The former elder is charged with sexual assault and sexual exploitation relating to allegations dating from 2009 to 2012 in central Newfoundland. According to court documents, a second man is charged with sexual assault, with the information referencing a period between May 2011 and December 2013 in a community on the Avalon Peninsula. CBC News has confirmed that the pair are father and son. The RCMP also confirmed Thursday that both cases involve the same complainant. A sexual exploitation charge involves anyone in a position of trust or authority who commits an offence against a young person. The matter involving the older accused was called at a provincial court on Wednesday. It was set over until next month, when a date is expected to be set for trial. The younger accused is scheduled to make a court appearance later this month. 'We're all human' The father of an alleged victim told CBC News it's been a difficult time for his family. The father said he is still involved with the Jehovah's Witness, and spoke in a forgiving tone. "Things happen. We're all human. No matter what religion you're of, things can happen," he said. CBC News also spoke briefly with the former elder. He declined comment, but did say he is still involved with the church. The man did not appear in court Wednesday, but is expected to plead not guilty. An RCMP spokesman said he could not comment on either case because of the publication ban. However, he stressed that officers take such allegations very seriously. Members throughout the province A member of the congregation linked to both of the accused said that it has been a difficult time, but declined to comment. Jehovah's Witnesses are a U.S.-based religious movement with an estimated eight million followers worldwide, including about 1,200 members in Newfoundland and Labrador, with churches known as a Kingdom Hall in communities throughout the province. They are Christians, but have sometimes been described as an insular sect. The essence of their movement is to serve as God's "witnesses." Followers are best known for door-to-door evangelism, and free publications called Awake! and The Watchtower. They also follow strict rules that prohibit, among other things, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, smoking and drugs. The movement has also made headlines for refusing to allow blood transfusions, even when a life is at risk, and to refuse to celebrate occasions such as Christmas, Easter and birthdays. Co-operating with police In Canada, the movement is headquartered in Georgetown, Ont., outside Toronto. 'We do abhor that kind of wickedness … and we do not protect any of these individuals and we allow the authorities to do their work' - Simon Picard CBC News spoke with Simon Picard at the Jehovah's Witnesses "public information desk" in Georgetown. When asked about the charges, he also referenced the ongoing investigation and publication ban, but strongly condemned any abuse against young people. "How we feel about child sexual abuse has been very clear for years now," said Picard. "We do abhor that kind of wickedness … and we do not protect any of these individuals and we allow the authorities to do their work." Picard confirmed the older accused is no longer a church elder, and that the church is co-operating with the investigation. He also stressed that the Jehovah's Witnesses have measures in place to protect members of the church. "Our publications give all kinds of tools to our parents on how to teach and train their children to be protected from these kind of things," he said, adding the organization's website also offers tips. http://mmc-news.com/canada/abuse-allegations-in-newfoundland-casting-a-cloud-over-jehovahs-witnesses.html
  8. A letter was just read at my midweek meeting that Georgetown (Canada Bethel) will have renovations done on it beginning Spring 2017. The letter asked for publishers who are electricians/plumbers/etc. and in good standing to apply to help out. Those helping out will be considered "part-time commuters" and will only be at the property for about 3 days a week and must reside outside of Bethel and pay for all their own expenses. I believe the last major work done at Canada's Bethel was in the 80's when they built another residence and renovated some of the rooms in the main housing center (I forget the building name) and in 2009/2010 when they got the new Manroland press. I don't understand any of this, the org is laying off so many Bethelites, why bother doing any renovations? Are they really just renovating it only for it to be sold in 5 years time? Too many questions, no answers. There's less than 400 full time Bethelites there now too so quite a few of the rooms will be empty anyway
  9. Los miembros de esta religión creen que la Biblia prohíbe las transfusiones de sangre y que someterse a una es pecado. Los testigos de Jehová que se encuentran frente a la necesidad de recibir una transfusión de sangre no están en condiciones de rechazar tales tratamientos de forma libre y contando con una adecuada y verídica información, informa la cadena CBC News citando a varios exfieles de esa religión. En el 2002, Bethany Hughes, una adolescente de 16 años fue el foco de una batalla judicialen Canadá, debido a su rechazo a recibir transfusiones de sangre tras ser diagnosticada con leucemia. "Los años de intenso adoctrinamiento, asistiendo a cinco o más reuniones semanales, junto con una influencia, presión y coerción indebidas, privan a un testigo de Jehová de la libre elección", afirma Lawrence Hughes, un extestigo y padre de Bethany. Los testigos de Jehová creen que la Biblia prohíbe las transfusiones de sangre y que someterse a una es pecado. En octubre pasado, las autoridades sanitarias canadienses informaron de la muerte de dos mujeres, que argumentando estar "perfectamente informadas" sobre los riesgos, habían rechazado las transfusiones de sangre a pesar de haber sufrido fuertes hemorragias por complicaciones en el parto. Una forma de "controlar la mente" Hughes alega que la información que los Testigos Cristianos de Jehová imparten entre sus fieles a menudo son falsas y dificultan un rechazo informado. "Dicen que si se hace una transfusión de sangre, se puede contraer el sida o el alma de la persona que donó la sangre. Si el donante estuviera loco, el receptor también se volverá loco, o si esa persona fuera homosexual, el que recibe la sangre también se volverá homosexual. Cuando te dan toda esa desinformación, ¿cómo puedes tomar una decisión informada?", critica el extestigo. Además recuerda que cuando se unió a esa religión, le hicieron firmar un documento que declaraba que rechazaría transfusiones de sangre, y que si no lo hacía estaría "en un gran problema". Además comenta que los predicadores de esa iglesia mantienen reuniones con los fieles para "ajustar su pensamiento". Hughes asegura que el resultado de esa supuesta "desinformación" y coerción es una forma de "control de la mente" sobre los testigos de Jehová. "Así es como un padre puede sentarse y ver a su hijo sangrar hasta morir y no hacer nada al respecto, eso va totalmente en contra del instinto, incluso los animales salvajes protegen a sus crías. Esto demuestra el poder que tiene esta religión en la gente", agregó. "Hay que ser fiel y morir por Jehová" En el caso de Bethany, su padre, cuenta que casi a diario llegaban al hospital donde se encontraba internada miembros o enviados especiales de los Testigos Cristianos de Jehová para asesorar o para asegurarse de que la joven no recibiera ninguna transfusión. Además les hacían llegar cientos de cartas de testigos de todo el mundo "alentándola a ser fiel y morir por Jehová". Lawrence decidió romper con esa religión al no encontrar nada en las escrituras sagradas que prohíban las políticas relacionadas con la sangre que promovían los Testigos Cristianos de Jehová. Pero tras aprobar las transfusiones de sangre para su hija, su esposa junto a sus demás hijos lo abandonaron. Además fue marginado por sus amigos y otros en la comunidad de esa iglesia. "Sabía que iba a perder a mi familia, pero quería que mi hija tuviera la oportunidad de vivir, así que hice todo lo posible para que ella recibiera los tratamientos apropiados", dijo Hughes. Un tribunal finalmente ordenó que Bethany recibiera las transfusiones, pero murió poco después debido al avanzado y agresivo estado de la leucemia. ¿Qué dicen los Testigos Cristianos de Jehová? Según la página web de la organización, los testigos hacen lo posible por buscar atención médica de calidad. "Cuando uno de nosotros —o alguien de nuestra familia— se enferma o tiene que ser operado, consultamos a médicos y cirujanos con experiencia en el uso de técnicas sin sangre. Y estamos muy agradecidos por los adelantos que se han hecho en este campo. Es más, las técnicas sin sangre concebidas para pacientes Testigos se usan en muchos países para tratar a otras personas. Hoy día cualquiera puede optar por tratamientos que no conlleven los riesgos relacionados con las transfusiones, como enfermedades transmitidas por la sangre, reacciones del sistema inmunitario y errores humanos", sostienen. Y argumentan el rechazo a las transfusiones citando a la Biblia: "Es debido a razones religiosas, más bien que médicas. Tanto el Antiguo como el Nuevo Testamento nos mandan abstenernos de la sangre (Génesis 9:4; Levítico 17:10; Deuteronomio 12:23; Hechos 15:28, 29). Además, para Dios, la sangre representa la vida (Levítico 17:14). Así que los Testigos obedecemos el mandato bíblico de abstenernos de la sangre por respeto a Dios, quien nos dio la vida". https://actualidad.rt.com/actualidad/223082-testigos-jehova-negar-transfusion-sangre
  10. Mirlande Cadet, 46, died of suspected hemorrhage day after giving birth by C-section. Mirlande Cadet left behind two daughters and her newborn son. (Isaac Cadet) A Quebec coroner is investigating the death of a 46-year-old Jehovah's Witness who died Oct. 3 from complications shortly after giving birth by caesarian section in a Montreal hospital. A spokeswoman for the coroner's office, Geneviève Guilbault, confirmed that the bureau was launching an investigation into Cadet's death in an email to CBC Montreal. "Based on information that's been circulating … and other information we received from the hospital, it's been decided that a coroner will investigate the death of Mrs. Cadet," Guilbault wrote. The inquest is the second coroner's investigation this month into the death of a Jehovah's Witness following childbirth in Quebec. Unclear circumstances Cadet experienced complications after she gave birth to a healthy son by C-section at St. Mary's Hospital on Oct. 2 and required a blood transfusion, according to her brother Isaac Cadet. It is unclear if Cadet got a blood transfusion, or if she did, when she received it and what the circumstances were that led to its approval. Blood transfusions are forbidden under Jehovah's Witness doctrine, which holds that the Old and New Testaments command them to abstain from blood. Isaac Cadet says his family welcomed the news of the coroner's investigation after getting little information from hospital. (CBC) All Jehovah's Witnesses are expected to sign and carry a card refusing a blood transfusion. Isaac Cadet questions whether his sister would have signed a card and refused a blood transfusion. He described her as a loving mother to her two other children and a devoted aunt who loved to get family together. "I have a lot of doubt that my sister signed that document," Cadet told CBC News. He welcomed news of the coroner's investigation, saying his family needs to know what happened to its "leader." "It's a relief because we've tried to find out what happened, tried to access documents, and we weren't allowed. We were told they're confidential," he said. Mirlande Cadet's husband declined to be interviewed when contacted by CBC Montreal. Church elders at hospital 'intimidating' A Quebec coroner is already investigating the death of Éloise Dupuis, 27, who is said to have refused an emergency blood transfusion for a hemorrhage after delivering a baby by C-section at Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis Hospital near Quebec City. She died Oct. 12. Coroner Luc Malouin is working to determine whether her refusal was free and informed as required by medical and legal standards. After her death, Dupuis's aunt, Manon Boyer, filed a complaint with police in Lévis alleging her niece was pressured into refusing consent by a Jehovah's Witness hospital liaison committee. The committees are composed of Jehovah's Witness elders who are dispatched to a hospital when a member is facing a blood transfusion decision. According to the faith group, their role is to advocate for bloodless medical procedures and ensure their members' wishes are respected. Their presence, however, has been criticized by a former Jehovah's Witness, who said it's "intimidating." http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-coroner-investigates-death-of-another-jehovahs-witness-1.3822768
  11. PORT DOVER - The Port Dover congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is no more. The 20 or so members remaining in the congregation were dispersed to congregations in Simcoe, Waterford and Hagersville late last year. This week, “For Sale” signs were posted on the two-acre property on Blue Line Road between St. John’s Road and Highway 6. Jim Henderson of Port Dover, an elder in the faith, said the Port Dover congregation had about 80 members several years ago. The numbers dwindled in recent years as younger families moved to other communities. “This move had nothing to do with the property,” Henderson said Friday. “The building was very well maintained. This move happened because a lot of members moved to look after older family members.” Henderson says all concerned are sorry to see the property go. However, he pointed out that the new members in Simcoe, Waterford and Hagersville have fortified these congregations “not only spiritually but monetarily as well.” “We hope the building will be put to good use,” he said. The former Kingdom Hall started out as a two-room schoolhouse. The Witnesses bought the property in 1980. Coldwell Banker Coastline Realty in Port Dover has the listing. The asking price is $349,000. The interior of the 2,500-square-foot building was renovated in 2012. Washrooms were remodelled in 2015. A new well was drilled this year. Henderson isn’t sure how proceeds from the sale will be handled. However, Coldwell Banker literature lists the seller as “an international charity.” More specifically, the vendor is described elsewhere as “Trustees for the Port Dover congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” The property is zoned “Rural Institutional.” Permitted uses include residential, animal hospital, cemetery, crematorium, day care centre, place of worship and private club. There is parking for 26 vehicles. For taxation purposes, the assessed value of the property is $256,000. http://www.simcoereformer.ca/2016/10/21/jehovahs-witnesses-fold-in-port-dover
  12. Éloïse Dupuis was giddy with excitement the day before she gave birth to her first child, a son she and her husband named Liam. In a Facebook message to her aunt Manon Boyer, the 27-year-old said “she couldn’t wait to see him, to hold him and to rock him.” “She said the dream of her life was about to come true and she couldn’t wait to introduce him to me,” Boyer recalled, one week after her niece died in a hospital following complications from a difficult delivery. Dupuis was a Jehovah’s Witness and had signed a document, when she became an adult, saying she would not accept a blood transfusion. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that passages in the Bible order them to abstain from taking blood, even when their life is in danger. The young woman died six days after giving birth in a hospital in Lévis, near Quebec City, after being transferred from a birthing centre when complications arose. The exact cause of death has not yet been determined. However, reports suggesting she didn’t accept a blood transfusion have created a stir in Quebec, with friends, some family members and politicians questioning whether she made the decision freely. Her parents, her husband and her in-laws were with her for six days before she died, Boyer said. “I don’t believe she would have refused blood after having her baby if she knew her life was in danger. I don’t think she had the capacity to make a free choice because she was ill from two surgeries. The family never notified us that she was ill.” Boyer said she is happy that coroner Luc Malouin is investigating her niece’s death, because he will probably question the nurses and doctors who treated Dupuis at the hospital. Boyer said she has already spoken to Malouin about the death. Boyer said she felt that something was amiss when Dupuis, and her niece’s mother, failed to answer Facebook messages she had sent inquiring about the birth on Oct. 6. “I sent a message congratulating her on being a grandmother, but she didn’t answer,” Boyer recalled. “The next day, I sent a message saying I know they’re busy, but could they let me know if Éloïse is fine. But that wasn’t answered either.” A few days later, Boyer noticed a message on Dupuis’s Facebook wall, congratulating her and her husband on their second wedding anniversary. However, the person who posted the message said that they knew “it wasn’t a happy time but that the couple would have other times to celebrate.” Boyer said she was confused by the message, so she replied to it asking for news about her niece. “Why isn’t it a good day to celebrate when you just had a baby?” she wondered. It was then that someone wrote that Dupuis was fighting for her life and had lost a lot of blood. Boyer said her daughter called the hospital to find out what was going on. A nurse said she would ask a member of Dupuis’s family to speak to her, but family members refused to come to the phone, she said. “The nurse said we could come to the hospital to visit, but she said that Éloïse’s heart was beating slowly and it was just a question of hours before she would die.” After hearing the news, Boyer contacted Cassandra Zélézen, a childhood friend of her niece. Zélézen and her two sisters, who are triplets, drove to the hospital from their home in Rawdon, in the Lanaudière region, to try to see their ailing friend. Zélézen told the Montreal Gazette that Dupuis’s father refused to allow them to see his daughter. Dupuis’s husband told the triplets that he had regrets about having the baby at the birthing centre and wondered about the decision not to have a blood transfusion. “Now, it’s too late,” Zélézen recalled the husband saying. Her friend died a short time later. While at the hospital, Zélézen said that Dupuis’s husband showed her a note that Dupuis had written, while intubated, after having her uterus removed. “It’s OK, we can adopt,” the note read. After Dupuis’s death, her friends messaged her aunt saying: “She’s dead, she’s dead.” On the day Dupuis died, three elders from a Jehovah’s Witness congregation were present at the hospital, according to Zélézen. John Redwood, a former Jehovah’s Witness from Maryland who wrote about Dupuis’s death on his website, said the organization has a Hospital Liaison Committee made up of trained elders who are dispatched to hospitals any time a Witness may require a blood transfusion. “Their purpose is to support the family in their decision (and) to avoid being coerced into taking blood,” said Redwood, 49, who left his congregation three years ago. “They may not have ever met the patient, but these are the enforcers of the policy.” He said there is a second committee, called the Hospital Visitation Committee, made up of members who visit and pray with sick patients but don’t “interfere with blood policy.” Simon Picard, a spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada, denied that elders are sent to hospitals to ensure that blood transfusions do not take place. “We have members who will be there to provide support, but the choice to not have a blood transfusion is an individual choice,” he said. “When you’re in a crisis situation, you like to have members to support you in a decision you have made.” Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard called Dupuis’s death “terrible,” but said it was important for society to respect the law and individual choice. “The jurisprudence has been very clear: if a person of sound mind refuses medical treatment, even if it costs them their life, we can’t go against their will.” In Quebec City, the Coalition Avenir Québec described the incident as “troubling,” and said it raises serious questions about the health care system. “I don’t have answers today, but I say to myself: ‘How can it be that we let someone die in Quebec for religious reasons?’ ” CAQ Leader François Legault said. Nathalie Roy, the CAQ critic for secularism, wondered whether Dupuis “had really given free and clear consent. Are there people who spoke for her, who decided for her? Did she know she was going to die leaving her child there?” Dupuis, whose immediate family could not be reached for comment, had moved to the Beauce region two years ago, following her marriage, but still remained in touch with Boyer and her family. “It’s unbelievable that you could die a few days after having a baby,” Boyer said. “The baby will be raised by them (Dupuis’s family) and we will never see him. We have lost a beautiful girl. She was full of love and was ready to help anyone, anywhere, any time.” http://montrealgazette.com/news/aunt-questions-whether-niece-refused-blood-transfusion-before-death
  13. (QUEBEC) The Government does not intend to restrict access to hospital rooms to specific groups, religions of the disciples, said yesterday the Minister of Health, Gaétan Barrette. “You ask me to decide on a person can receive visits from his entourage. You are going away, “said Mr. Barrette briefing. Mr. Barrette has acknowledged that as a physician, he had already faced JW representations to patient. Earlier in the National Assembly, the caquiste MP Simon Jolin-Barrette had claimed that Quebec clearly gives hospitals the right to restrict access to patients. In addition, a judge should be asked to intervene to assess if a patient refuses treatment rightly whose life may depend, proposed caquiste Member for Borduas. The young Eloise Dupuis, died last week at the Hotel Dieu de Lévis, refused a blood transfusion because she was a follower of Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, shortly before his death, the young woman had been in the hospital, visiting senior members of the sect. This “Jehovah’s Witnesses Hospital Liaison Committee” had pressured the young woman to conform to the dogma and refusing to receive blood. The Sun reported yesterday that relatives of M me Dupuis had indicated that members of this group were found in the room of the young mother until the final hours of his life. “We know that a font of blood is present in Québec hospitals,” said Simon Jolin-Barrette, caquiste Member for Borduas. “[The policy of blood] put pressure on patients and their families, it denies access to people who are not members of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the patient’s room,” reported Mr. Jolin-Barrette. According to him, access to in-patients should fall away. Can not let the “blood police” control access to rooms. It exceeds certain limits” According Gaétan Barrette, it is an exaggeration to talk of “blood police”; the opposition would, in fact, create a “police visits.” But the patient is “autonomous in his choice must be done independently.” It is a “situation is dramatic.” “But to use inflammatory language, when we talk of” blood police, “I think here we exceed certain limits,” said Gaétan Barrette. A coroner examines the circumstances of his death. For the PQ member Agnes Maltais, not need a judge. “Decisions on the free and informed consent, he takes daily by doctors, and it faces, in general, this kind of situation. We do not agree with the position that says that they can attack the doctors. The doctors do their job. In this case especially, we know very well that there were lawyers, there was an ethics committee and there were doctors who intervened, “said she summarized. http://stopru.org/quebec-said-no-to-a-police-visits-in-hospitals/19694
  14. The Alberta Court of Appeal is located inside the TransCanada building in downtown Calgary. Monday, September 12, 2016 Canadian Appeals Court Allows Review of Church's Expulsion of a Member In Wall v Judicial Committee of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, (Alberta Ct. App., Sept. 8, 2016), the Court of Appeals of the Canadian province of Alberta held, in a 2-1 decision, that Canadian civil courts have jurisdiction to review a formal decision by a Jehovah's Witness congregation to disfellowship one of its members. The congregation's Judicial Committee took the action against the member, Randy Wall, on the basis of charges of drunkeness. A church Appeal Committee upheld the decision over Wall's defense that his action resulted from stress over the church's previous disfellowshipping of his 15 year old daughter and the requirement that he shun aspects of his relationship with her. The majority held that civil courts have jurisdiction to review the decision of a religious organization where the decision impacts property or civil rights, or if a breach of the rules of natural justice is alleged. Here Wall alleged sufficient procedural irregularities to give jurisdiction to determine if rules of natural justice were breached. The appeals court majority also held that Wall can submit new evidence to the trial court on whether the impact of shunning by fellow congregants will result in an economic impact on his real estate business. Judge Wakeling dissenting said in part: Where one appellate judge dissents on an issue of law, an appeal as of right to Canada's Supreme Court is available. (Background.) National Post reports on the decision. source
  15. Wall v Judicial Committee of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, 2016 ABCA 255 (CanLII) http://www.canlii.org/en/ab/abca/doc/2016/2016abca255/2016abca255.html?autocompleteStr=highwood congr&autocompletePos=1 In the Court of Appeal of Alberta Citation: Wall v Judicial Committee of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, 2016 ABCA 255 Date: 20160908 Docket: 1501-0120-AC Registry: Calgary Between: Randy Wall Respondent (Applicant) - and - Judicial Committee of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses (Vaughn Lee - Chairman and Elders James Scott Lang and Joe Gurney) and the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses Appellants (Respondents) _______________________________________________________ The Court: The Honourable Madam Justice Marina Paperny The Honourable Madam Justice Patricia Rowbotham The Honourable Mr. Justice Thomas W. Wakeling _______________________________________________________ Memorandum of Judgment of the Honourable Madam Justice Paperny and the Honourable Madam Justice Rowbotham Dissenting Memorandum of Judgment of the Honourable Mr. Justice Wakeling Appeal from the Order by The Honourable Mr. Justice Earl C. Wilson Dated the 16th day of April, 2015 Filed on the 24th day of April, 2015 (Docket: 1401 10225) _______________________________________________________ Memorandum of Judgment _______________________________________________________ The Majority: I. Introduction [1] The respondent was expelled from the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He filed an originating application for judicial review of that decision. A chambers judge concluded that the Court of Queen’s Bench had jurisdiction to hear the application. The Congregation (and its Judicial Committee and named Elders) appeal. The appellants also apply to strike parts of the respondent’s authorities and the respondent applies for permissions to adduce new evidence.
  16. Now a group of scientists in the UK have claimed to have discovered the right way to manufacture synthetic blood and have even succeeded in doing so. The National Health Services of UK has announced its decision to start experimenting on synthetic blood in 2017 on a group pf 20 people. The blood substitutes are not meant to replace blood, the scientists said. Instead, synthetic blood is only meant to carry out the functions of actual blood wherever it fails. As such, synthetic blood transports oxygen.

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