ARPA’s ‘Fall Tour’ has a Chilliwack stop on election day according to this invitation. (ARPA)

ARPA’s ‘Fall Tour’ has a Chilliwack stop on election day according to this invitation. (ARPA)

Christian political group issues response to BC NDP election salvo

‘It is our desire to advocate for equal respect for everyone,’ ARPA Canada countered

Christian advocacy group, Association for Reformed Political Action, (ARPA Canada) expressed “disappointment” in an election-related salvo launched by the BC NDP.

“Earlier today the BC NDP issued a press release with a false and misleading statement,” ARPA officials said in an Oct. 8 release.

The BC NDP alleged there were partisan ties between some BC Liberal MLAs and ARPA, citing the group’s aim to: “to influence government on issues like anti-gay conversion therapy, LGBTQ+ rights, and abortion” and also calling ARPA “anti-gay.”

Both candidates for the BC NDP in Chilliwack and Chilliwack-Kent ridings were quoted saying the BC Liberals needed to “cut ties” with ARPA.

READ MORE: Christian political group will be in Chilliwack on election day

In response, ARPA asked the BC NDP to issue a correction to the “misleading”allegations. When they did not hear back from the party, they fired off their own release later the same day.

“ARPA Canada believes that all human beings are created in the image of God and it is our desire to advocate for equal respect for everyone.

“ARPA Canada is a non-partisan advocacy group, and while our organization does not make any efforts to elect MLAs from any of the provincial political parties, we do meet with them regularly.”

They cited the example of an ARPA group in the Bulkley Valley which has had “encouraging and respectful” meetings with a sitting NDP MLA, which they described as a relationship of “mutual respect.”

The Chilliwack date on the ARPA tour is set for the morning of Oct. 24 at the Yarrow Canadian Reformed Church. The online invitation reads: “Join ARPA Canada on our 2020 Fall Tour, as we dig deeper into the challenge of defending freedom while submitting to and respecting the authorities that God has put in place over us.”

The provincial NDP was suggesting APRA would be campaigning “in the communities of BC Liberal candidates Laurie Throness (Chilliwack-Kent), John Martin (Chilliwack), Mary Polak (Langley), and Margaret Kunst (Langley East) just before the election,” according to the original release of Oct. 8.

But the mission of ARPA Canada is to “educate, equip and encourage” Reformed Christians to political action, the group clarified.

ARPA staff have also attended consultations with the premier and cabinet members.

“The ability for citizens to present their concerns and their political perspectives is central to the healthy functioning of democracy,” the ARPA release continued. “Politicians of all parties should also be encouraged to listen to the concerns of their constituents rather than being condemned for doing so.”

READ MORE: Wilkinson defends keeping Throness on the ballot

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BC politicsBC Votes 2020