Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 27, 2011

In Canada, advocating genocide or inciting hatred[10] against any 'identifiable group' is an indictable offence under the Criminal Code of Canada with maximum prison terms of two to fourteen years. An 'identifiable group' is defined as 'any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.' It makes exceptions for cases of statements of truth, and subjects of public debate and religious doctrine. The landmark judicial decision on the constitutionality of this law was R. v. Keegstra (1990)

(Below is taken from the Criminal Code of Canada)

Section 319(3) identifies acceptable defences. Indicates that no person shall be convicted of an offence if the statements in question:
  • are established to be true
  • were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds it was believed to be true
  • were expressed in good faith, it was attempted to establish by argument and opinion on a religious subject
  • were expressed in good faith, it was intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada

My reason for posting the above article from the Criminal Code of Canada, is because of a phone call I recently received from someone in leadership at the Pembina Valley Baptist Church.

He said, that if they did not see a "marked change in your blog" they had grounds to sue me for "in-sighting hatred".

I do not appreciate being threatened and told that "as I'm sure you are aware,we have several business men that attend the church."

I am not against the Pembina Valley Baptist Church, I am telling the truth as to what has happened between my father and I, and about my life.

I am allowing my grandparents to tell their story on here as well, as it directly/indirectly involves me.


  1. Inciting hatred?
    Oh pshaw.
    Technically, you could get THEM in legal trouble for threatening you. You are doing nothing wrong, and you know that.
    If you can get in legal trouble for this, then they should probably crack down on all the kids on facebook talking about how their teacher sucks, or how much they hate Justin Bieber.

  2. They are proving your side. If you question or oppose him he resorts to threats and heavy-handedness. Unfortunately (for him) once you trample on that many people, you can't keep them all shut up indefinitely.

  3. Laura, they have no grounds to sue you. You, yourself have not said anything against the Pembina Valley Baptist Church on your blog.

    It is the commenters that have said hateful things.. in both directions.. both towards PVBC and towards you and us.

    Stand strong.

  4. There is no court in the land that would convict anyone here of hate. The phone call was a scare tactic, that's all.

    This about settles the issue:

    "were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds it was believed to be true"

  5. Laura, maybe you should seek some legal advice regarding how you were treated when you left your parents. Then the next time you get a phone call you can make "threats" of your own. :)

  6. maybe you should look at the accrual criminal code instead of secondary sources. It has much to say about even publishing things that are true.

  7. Not sure about Canadian law, but bloggers holding churches accountable in the U.S. have come out victorious. See Tom Rich, for example

    Nothing in your blog seems to even come close to actionable offense. Don't let them intimidate you, Laura!

  8. Freedom of speech! Imagine if every person that spoke up against the Prime Minister was sued by parliament. There would be no election debates :-).

    Regardless. You haven't said anything hateful or even against the church. If they have something against some of the comments than they need to find those people and sue them. It has nothing to do with you.. they are simply trying to scare you into deleting this blog.

    Stand strong Laura. This is YOUR story, your father has a pulpit to tell his story. This is your blog. Tell your story. And.. rightfully you can threaten to sue him for all the lies he has told about you. Yet, you are a bigger person than he is. Christians don't sue.. they forgive, they turn the other cheek.

  9. "And don't you try riding your horse outta here either! I'll have the RCMP on you so fast you won't know what happened!!!"

    "He said, that if they did not see a "marked change in your blog" they had grounds to sue me for "in-sighting hatred"."

    So there is a similarity here - legal threats to control. It's great to see you know your rights by now, Laura! Don't be intimidated by those who are shaking in their boots, scared of losing ground.

  10. IF they were in the right, this blog wouldn't scare them. Stand strong in the Lord Laura & be of good courage :)


  11. no one is scared of thi blog, but many are being hurt by it.

  12. The way some people comment, this blog is the greatest thing to happen to PVBC in a long time. Just look at the attendance records! So why would the leadership want to you to shut down or change the blog?

  13. On April 13, 2011 7:12 AM on "Irwin's Story" you can see where H Siemens identifies himself as being the man with the THREE asterisks as ***. Yes three ***'s is H Siemens. Remember the three asterisks. ***

    He is a VERY CLOSE FRIEND of PMS. Pete Reimer and Laura need to know who Harry(***) is so that they know who they are "sparring" with.

  14. Don't change a thing, let them TRY to sue you.

  15. So they want a "marked change" in the blog, eh? Here's an idea that's so crazy it just might work. How about your dad resign his position of pastor, and apologize to you, his parents, and every assistant pastor, youth leader, college staff member, deacon, and general lay-person that he has wronged.I'll bet there will be love and rejoicing all over this blog.

  16. On April 13, 2011 7:12 AM on "Irwin's Story" you can see where H Siemens identifies himself as being the man with the THREE asterisks as ***. Yes three ***'s is H Siemens. Remember the three asterisks. ***

    He is a VERY CLOSE FRIEND of PMS. Pete Reimer and Laura need to know who Harry(***) is so that they know who they are "sparring" with.

  17. Rebecca "Elias" HarderApril 27, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    I pray for that time to come 4:44 every day! amen!

  18. Well folks it,s time to bring this whole thing to the bottom shelf where even brother Davis can reach it. This is not about how anyone has been blessed by pms or pvbc.Ask yourself this question,can I without reservation put my blessing on how pms dealt with his Father,Mother,daughter and many others,if not you have no choice but to come out from under the leadership of pms.If you put your blessing on his behaviour and would have done the same then you deserve the same fate as he does.

  19. Actually Laura is accountable for every post she allows on the blog as she has to approve each comment. Trust me I've talked to lawyers about it. She is the publisher. And responsible for everything here.

  20. Give me a break 7:10, you don't have a clue. Which lawyers did you talk to then, huh?

  21. and, not only is she responsible but she is also responsible for:

    Responsible communication on matters of public interest:
    In a December 2009 case, the Supreme Court of Canada established this new defence to a libel claim. The court said that journalists should be able to report statements and allegations – even if they are not true – if there’s a public interest in distributing the information to a wide audience. This defense, which looks at the whole context of a situation, can apply if:

    *the news was urgent, serious, and of public importance, and
    *the journalist used reliable sources, and tried to get and report the other side of the story.

    The court defined “journalist” widely to include bloggers and anyone else “publishing material of public interest in any medium.”

    I'm sure people think this is urgent, public importance but has there been an honest effort to report the other side of the story.

  22. umm what is stopping them? No one here! Lets hear it! Lets hear there side....spill it....

  23. Anonymous April 28, 2011 9:54 AM
    First of all, if Laura is a journalist, then Anne Frank was a news anchor. She's telling her story, a autobiographical true story, not reporting on the stories of others.

    Plus, your source defeated your own argument. Your source states that the court said under certain circumstances a "journalist" can publish statements and allegations EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT TRUE! Unfortunately Laura has confined herself to "reporting" the truth, so she doesn't have to be worried about looking at the criteria for defense.

    And FYI, the "other side of the story" has been widely publicized over the pulpit of PVBC for years. Ask your friendly neighborhood deacon for a CD of the other side of the story, they are sure to have a copy in their back pocket.

  24. Go and Get PMS and write down his side and let's post it on here! That is ridiculous to threaten to sue Laura! After that these people who are threatening Laura can shut up about it!!!

    And yes this only shows how stupid the other side is and what kind of 'church' the PVBC is!

  25. I manage a blog on spiritual abuse and I find both the posts and comments on this blog of serious public importance.

  26. Lets backup in the criminal code a bit.

    298. (1) A defamatory libel is matter published, without lawful justification or excuse, that is likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or that is designed to insult the person of or concerning whom it is published.

    Mode of expression

    (2) A defamatory libel may be expressed directly or by insinuation or irony

    (a) in words legibly marked on any substance; or

    (b) by any object signifying a defamatory libel otherwise than by words.

    R.S., c. C-34, s. 262.


    299. A person publishes a libel when he

    (a) exhibits it in public;

    (b) causes it to be read or seen; or

    (c) shows or delivers it, or causes it to be shown or delivered, with intent that it should be read or seen by the person whom it defames or by any other person.

    R.S., c. C-34, s. 263.

    Punishment of libel known to be false

    300. Every one who publishes a defamatory libel that he knows is false is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

    R.S., c. C-34, s. 264.

    Punishment for defamatory libel

    301. Every one who publishes a defamatory libel is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

  27. There is nothing wrong with a discussion on religious belief. The problem comes when one starts calling specific people or organizations out.
    I am not a church member, just an outsider looking in. What I see with some of the comments that have been allowed is criminal.

  28. Oh Come on why don't they just do what Jesus did when accused. He did not open his mouth. Well he did admit he was God, I'm sure the leadership there would have no problem doing the same.

  29. Anon. Apr 28, 7:21, maybe your opinion would be worth something if we knew who you were. You speak as though you have some authority, or you know what you're talking about, but you're just some anonymous, faceless person making assertions.

  30. I am not a church member, nor do I support Laura. I do have a large portion of my family that does attend PVBC, but I do not myself attend.

    I would like to make a few points.

    First off I have talked to a lawyer and there is grounds for certain people to take civil or legal actions against Laura. But not for what she has said in her blog entries but for what the comments say.

    Now you may ask yourself how is Laura responsible for what other people say? Well she is responsible under Canadian law because of how she is moderating these comments. She has to personally allow each and every comment to be posted. And because of that she falls under the legal definition of a publisher.

    Second, I ask you, the supporters of Laura, have you examined everything she has posted, said or supported as closely as you have examined her opposition? If you have you would have found that not everything that has been posted to be true.

    Thirdly, to all you people posting as anonymous, if legal action does arise, your anonymous shield won't be so anonymous anymore. In this day and age of technology nothing is anonymous anymore. I personally believe that there is a reason that Laura removed the stats link box from her page. However that doesn't stop the blog host from keeping logs, all it does is keep it from public view.

    Now if you are still so sure you want to keep posting and supporting Laura I ask you to please go read the following link.

    That is the defamation act straight from the Manitoba Laws website. Not from some third party site that has reworded it.

  31. Laura, have you ever thought about bringing this story to the media?something like the fifth estate? It really could be used as a great tool in bringing awareness to others. Just a thought .

  32. So now we can't write our biographies anymore with out being harrassed. Please!! Laura has everyright to write what ever happened to her. She isn't bashing anyone. She is just telling her story.