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Canadian Psephos: Can the NDP Win Without the GTA?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is why risk it?

A recent article pointed out, maybe correctly or wrongly, that Thomas Mulcair is deciding to form a government without being competitive in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), that belt of support surrounding the City of Toronto that in the last election broke for the Conservatives by nearly 50%, compared to 29% for the Liberals and just 18% for the NDP.

As it stands, it makes a lot of sense. Mulcair’s New Democrats do indeed have a a number of paths to winning a stable minority that don’t (Read more…)

Canadian Psephos: Predicting the Unpredictable

With the first full day of official campaigning underway, where is the state of the race?

Luckily we know, since it seems that everyone and their mothers have set up election projections or predictions in time for this campaign. Even I have maintained a rolling average offline, currently showing a tight three-way race (though with an obvious third place for the Liberals).

Predicting the election is a favourite past time of all politicos, so this isn’t surprising, but now we have a plentiful number of people that not only show off their numbers but also allow the average person to (Read more…)

Canadian Psephos: Editable Map of #elxn42 boundaries

Looking for a map of Canada’s new 338 constituencies that you can colour code on your own? Are you a visual learner and like to see how support looks on a geographic projection? Do you like pretty colours?

Look no further! Below is a map that anyone can use for their own purposes. I drew up the boundaries based off 2011 map done by Gael L’Hermine over at World Elections, who should take full credit for the base – however, I did all the fancy new lines.

If you would like a labelled version, let me know and I’ll (Read more…)

Canadian Psephos: #Elxn42 is Called – and a New Site

On October 19th, Canadians will decide who gets the govern this country for the 42nd time.

An election has been called after Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Governor General David Johnston this morning, asked for Parliament to be dissolved and the writs to be drawn up, and started the longest election campaign in Canadian history – 11 weeks, nearly three month.

No matter how long it is, the 42nd federal election promises to be among the most exciting elections in recent memory. There is a genuine three-party race currently in the works at the start of the campaign, with all (Read more…)

Maple-Flavoured Politics: The Silliest Anti-Abortion Argument

Of all the anti-abortion arguments that get thrown about, I think I saw the silliest one today. (Disclosure: I’m pro-choice.) It didn’t come from an anti-abortion activist, but rather from a pro-choice person who was relating an argument that was directed at her some years ago. It came in the form of a string of … Continue Reading

Bene Diction Blogs On: Charisma magazine and the dog that did nothing in the night

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission

An article from Charisma magazine this morning reminds me of Sherlock Holmes.

Jennifer LeClaire, the magazine’s Senior News Editor, posted an article on the magazine’s website, which gives a rundown on several “prophetic words” of 2014. It is “Did 2014’s Prophetic Words Ring True?” which you may see here:

I have to commend her for her piece. Getting “prophetic words” down for the record is something valuable for accountability reasons and she and the magazine are to be praised for that.

But the Sherlock Holmes story Silver (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: The Crossroads Communications network renames and rebrands itself

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

An interesting story in the National Post a couple of days ago.

Reporter Claire Brownell reports on changes to Christian broadcasting in Canada.

She concentrates of Oakville, Ont. bible teacher Bruxy Cavey who has his virtual parishoners go to 15 movie theaters around the province to hear his sermons.

Buried in the story ia news that Crossroads made some changes in September. It’s now Yes TV on air, and has started to air reality shows like The Biggest Loser, in an attempt to get viewers. [Given that (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: Todd Bentley’s new wife is pregnant

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission

It should be noted for the record that Jessa Bentley, the second wife of Todd Bentley, is well along with being pregnant. It was confirmed by an e-mail to his supporters a few weeks ago, complete with photo of a very pregnant Jessa.<br/></br>

A few days ago, she tweeted this:<br/></br><br/></br>

<i>”I feel huge! #27weeks, 6months and 3weeks along. Can’t believe I only have less than 13weeks to go! ???? Please…″</i> <br/></br>

Whether Todd Bentley should have remarried was probably a central issue in the aftermath of the (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: Marci McDonald, “friend” of Faytene?!?

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission

Did you know that reporter and author Marci McDonald was at one time part of “The hand of Hell”?

Or that at one time, she was a “friend” of Canadian evangelist and activist Faytene Grasseschi (nee Kryskow), who was a portrayed as a poster child for religious extremism in McDonald’s 2010 book The Armageddon Factor?

Oh, don’t worry, I’ll bet McDonald is surprised too.

This follows up on a bit of a “nine day wonder” in the spring and summer of 2010 where The Armageddon Factor was discussed extensively in the (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: Harper signed trade agreements with China, while Canadian Christians rot in prison

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission

Can’t say that Stephen Harper doesn’t know the value of a dollar.

Over the past few days he has been In China, finalizing trade agreements with the government of China worth $2.5 billion. As he did, Canadians Kevin Garratt and Julia Dawn Garratt are still in Chinese prisons.

The couple, as the Wall Street Journal reported in August after their arrest, ”are under investigation for suspected theft of state secrets about China’s military and national defense research,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said at the time. It added that the couple’s actions had “harmed (Read more…)

Maple-Flavoured Politics: Questions of Harassment

Two Liberal MPs were recently suspended from caucus for what statements from the Liberal Party of Canada and Justin Trudeau called “personal misconduct.” Media reports went further, describing it has harassment of MPs in another party. Some media reports were even more specific, calling it sexual harassment. This incident raised questions in my mind. When … Continue Reading

Bene Diction Blogs On: Rewriting history for the past five years, and counting

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

Winston Churchill once said, or wrote: “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”

Or rewrite it, in the case of Faytene Grasseschi, perhaps?

The Canadian born evangelist and activist was at Toronto City Church in late September to speak.

One evening, she mulled out loud that she might “live out of a motor home” in Canada during our upcoming federal election season next year.

Streaming versions of her, and her and her husband Rob, sharing may be found at the church website.

Faytene’s second (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: They could use that old barn out back

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission

There will be at least one sequel to the new Left Behind with Nicolas Cage, says filmmaker Paul Lalonde.

In a statement released on the Left Behind fan page on Facebook…

…Lalonde announced that he feels compelled to keep the series going:

“… I woke up in the night, and for whatever reason, the answer seemed clear. Of course we are’! I’m not sure what it might look like or how big it might be. But we will continue the story. We have to…”

It will be “a challenge” he says. (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: An apology on behalf of “social media” Christians to Nicolas Cage

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

Ted Baehr’s Movieguide has felt burdened to apologize to Bicolas Cage about the occasionally visceral reaction to the new Left Behind film.

The open letter…

…argues that Christians on the Internet discussed the film with the bark off.

Anthony D’ Amore writes:

These self-proclaimed Christian critics who have been slamming Nicolas Cage and his movie on social media channels have seemingly lost sight of God’s purpose. It’s as if posting a judgmental rant on a web site is more important than a Hollywood actor experiencing the (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: The Ottawa/Parliament Hill shootings

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.

Following yesterday’s shootings in Ottawa, I thought creating a thread might be helpful. Discuss in the comments.

And pray offline. Thank you.

Bene Diction Blogs On: “No airline attendant would wear a blouse two sizes two small.”–On the new Left Behind film

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission

Quite the crash and burn, for the new Left Behind film starring Nicolas Cage, as it were.

According to the movie grosses site, Indiewire, as I write, Left Behind has dropped to number 10 on their list of movie grosses, earning just under $ 3 million in revenue in its second week of release.

I myself went to see it twice, the first time in order to make sure that it didn’t disappear from theaters before I had a chance to see it. This was on the Saturday of the (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: God TV founder resigns because of adultery – for now

God TV:

GOD TV Co-founder Rory Alec steps aside

GOD TV Co-founder Rory Alec has today announced he is leaving the Network, standing aside as Chairman and CEO with immediate effect. This follows what he terms ‘a moral failure’ concerning his marriage.

GOD TV Co-founder and Director of Television, Wendy Alec will continue to lead the Network along with its senior management team and the support of the GOD TV Board.

GOD TV has confirmed the organisation will continue its international operations as well as the work it is doing in Plymouth, UK. This includes the completion of its Revival (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: Yellow light for Todd

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

Todd Bentley evidently sees his recent trip to British Columbia as a success, as he’s planning more.

From Sept. 25-28 he’ll be back at Windword church in Langley Township, B.C.. This is where Brent Borthwick is pastor, and Bentley’s starter wife and kids fellowship. {Borthwick has been involved in Bentley’s providing of child support.)

I specify Langley Township, as it is not Abbotsford, his old stomping grounds. Windword is near Abbotford, but not *in* Abbotsford. But, as the video of his recent sermons there has Bentley implying or stating (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: Cracked on faith healers

By Rick Hiebert. All Right Reserved. Used by Permission

The humour website Cracked is exposing faith healers. A Robert Evans, who says he is a retired faith healer, explains how he did it, or rather faked it, in this blog post here.

Would be interesting to know if his back story stands up. To Google!

Bene Diction Blogs On: Berated for not being able to predict Mark Driscoll’s and Todd Bentley’s futures

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission

Blogger Jeffrey Yoder is even harder than I can be in the case of Todd Bentley, if that were possible. But I think it a bit much to expect people to predict the future.

In his new post

Yoder notes that the recent enforced sabbatical of Mark Driscoll reminds him a lot of the crash and burn of Todd Bentley.

But whose fault is it? Anyone who offered Driscoll and Bentley a pulpit. And I read between the lines that Yoder seems, to me anyway, to be as (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: Scriptures for ’71

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.

Do you recall my post on the “Good News for British Columbia” booklet? Well, I have a small update.

When I was out on errands this afternoon, I found another copy of the booklet. As you may recall, this was a “Good News Bible” Gospel of Mark issued in 1971 to tie in with the 100th anniversary of B.C. joining Canada. Now copies are thin on the ground and hard to find.

This new copy to me, however, has a blurb on the back cover which explicitly makes the tie (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: MK Safety Net Canada

Christian Week highlights the entry of MK Safety Net into Canada, and the tremendous pro-active work they do ’immersed in the struggles and pain experienced by survivors.’

“When MKs start talking about their abuse and they are told, ‘Get over it. Stop being bitter. Forgive.’ I think the Church believes God is sovereign, but when we have abuse claims in our ranks, we feel we have to protect God’s reputation by not talking about it or calling it a crime.”

Another issue Bissell identifies is that when abuse happens agencies are not doing enough to notify (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: Crossroads Television System (CTS) re-branding

It appears that Crossroads Television System (CTS) is re-branding itself, CTS will become YES TV this fall. was registered by Crossroads Christian Communications Inc. out of Burlington in 1998, and was updated last month according to WHOIS.

While still categorized as a religious broadcaster, Crossroads continues to branch out in it’s programing according to it’s sales blurb at Marketing Magazine. Clicking on the CTS saleskit link takes you to a Yes TV page. (thanks to Channel Canada forums).

What’s in a name? Don’t know, given this has been registered since /98. It is interesting that Bruce (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: Good News for British Columbia, indeed.

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

In the run-up to the B.C. Day long weekend, a bit of obscure history related to sharing the Gospel in the province.

Back in 1971, local Christians wanted to do something unique to celebrate the 100th anniversary of B.C. becoming part of Canada. This now rare booklet was the result.

“Good News for British Columbia” is a Gospel of Mark from the Today’s English Version translation. This is confirmed by several line drawings inside by the late artist Annie Vallotton, whose artwork is intimately associated with the translation. This (Read more…)

Bene Diction Blogs On: Two of the most scary video soundbites that I have recently heard

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission

It takes some doing for Todd Bentley or a friend/supporter of his to leave me a bit gobsmacked by something they say.

Let’s turn a last time to Todd Bentley’s appearance on the History TV Canada program Miracles Decoded June 1, 2 and 4

A couple of soundbites contained in the Todd Bentley segment of that episode of Miracles Decoded are a bit unnerving, to say the least. I’ll try to save the relevant clips on YouTube, but in case they disappear, I’ll type them out.

Todd Bentley says something unnerving (Read more…)