Events and Engagements


On January 11, the CCRL released the statement, “The Trudeau Government – Abortion Absolutists – Imposes its Will over the Conscientious and Religious Freedoms of Canadians” regarding the 2018 Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program and the compulsion for charities and non-profits to conform to an ideology of “reproductive rights.”

On January 31 the League issued a press release expressing our disappointment in the Ontario Divisional Court ruling in the case CMDS et al v. CPSO. The court upheld the policy that requires life affirming physicians to act against their religion and conscience by being compelled to provide an “effective referral” to another physician or caregiver who would perform the objectionable service.


2017 Annual General Meeting

On February 2, the League hosted our 2017 AGM at Holy Rosary Church in Toronto with guest speaker journalist and author David Warren.  He is the proprietor of the blog Essays in Idleness and he is a regular columnist for The Catholic Thing.

His talk on the “Twisted Nanny State” can be found by clicking here:

On February 9, the CCRL released a statement welcoming the PC leadership campaign of our then board member (currently on hiatus) Tanya Granic Allen.


On March 2, the CCRL issued a second release and a petition in opposition to the Trudeau government’s demands for ideological conformity, “Just check the box!” regarding the 2018 Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program.


On April 7, CCRL President Phil Horgan issued an Easter message to all of the League’s supporters and friends.

On April 12, the League expressed its disappointment with the Alberta NDP government’s introduction of Bill 9, Protecting Choice for Women Accessing Health Care Act, a clear overreach and Charter infringement vis a vis freedom of speech, expression, assembly, and religion.


March for Life, Ottawa

On May 10, the Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) was pleased to extend its continued support for the national March for Life in Ottawa with representation from across the country. The theme for this year’s march was Prolife, ALL IN.

CCRL Director from the National Capital Region, Richard Bastien, participated in EWTN’s live coverage from Parliament Hill.

Dr. Catherine Ferrier Wins CCRL’s Archbishop Adam Exner Award

On May 18, the Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) was pleased to announce that it had chosen physician Dr. Catherine Ferrier, of Living with Dignity, Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia, and the Association Jérôme Lejeune des Médecins Catholiques de Montréal as winner of the 2018 Archbishop Adam Exner Award for Catholic Excellence in Public Life.

On May 31, the CCRL issued a release applauding the unanimous ruling in the appeal of Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses v. Randy Wall, a strong statement in recognition of the independence of private religious institutions and the further recognition that secular courts are not qualified to rule on theological or ecclesiastical concerns.


On June 15, the League issued its release regarding the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) majority decision regarding the accreditation of the proposed Trinity Western University (TWU) law school. The ruling limits diversity of legal education options of a previously approved law school, by expanding the notion of a public interest test over enumerated grounds for religious freedom in the Charter.

CCRL Spring Dinner

On June 18, the CCRL hosted its annual dinner in Toronto. This year’s talk was given by Tanya Granic Allen. The Exner award was presented to Dr. Catherine Ferrier.


On July 17, the Catholic Civil Rights League filed a submission with Health Canada in response to their public consultation “a framework for palliative care in Canada”. According to the federal government this framework “will help support improved access to palliative care and will provide a useful reference point across jurisdictions to help identify opportunities, address gaps, and share promising practices”.


On August 16, the League reported on the TWU decision to no longer require students to sign its Community Covenant as an inevitable compromise that removed a point of contention that will now hopefully lead to the actual pursuit of a Christian law school.


Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Canada

Both Phil Horgan and Christian Elia presented papers at the 2018 national conference of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Canada conference in Calgary. Both of their papers will be published shortly, and they will be made available via

More about the conference can be found at


In October, the CCRL issued it’s first Newsletter in over a year. The high cost of printing and postage limits our ability to distribute a newsletter with greater frequency.


On November 15, the CCRL announced that on October 1 our application to intervene in the appeal of the Ontario Divisional Court decision in the case CMDS et al v. CPSO was accepted. This case concerns the conscience and religious rights of Ontario doctors who refuse to participate in morally objectionable procedures, such as euthanasia or abortion and the compulsion of physicians to make an “effective referral”.


On December 7, the CCRL issued a release decrying that there is no victory in the government’s move from an attestation requirement regarding the 2019 Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program. It now seeks applicants to confirm that it will not engage in certain “proposed activities” in respect of otherwise legitimate beliefs with which the current government disagrees. 

2018 Annual General Meeting

On December 12, the CCRL hosted our AGM in the atrium of St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica, proceeded by Mass in the Crypt Chapel.

Our guest speaker was Catholic filmmaker Kevin Dunn.

Kevin Dunn is the director and producer of The Euthanasia Deception (2016).

His most recent film is Fatal fLaws: Legalizing Assisted Death (2018).

Kevin Dunn’s presentation included excerpts from both films.


Throughout the year, Phil and Christian supported fellow agencies and groups, as follows:

  • attendance at the University of St. Michael’s College Vespers event, and the St. John Fisher Dinner in Kingston, ON, both featuring a presentations by His Eminence, Cardinal Sarah.
  • the Ordinandi Dinner in Toronto.
  • fundraising talks in Port Perry and Oshawa, ON.

Christian and Phil both maintain active engagements on matters in the media on all issues related to faith in the public square and anti-Catholic defamation.  We are quoted regularly in the Catholic Register, Canadian Catholic News, and LifeSite News. Christian appeared recently on Global News regarding the rise in violence against prolife protesters.

About the CCRL

Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) ( assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. The CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization with a large nationwide membership base. The CCRL is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.

To donate to the CCRL, please click here.

For further information:

Christian Domenic Elia, PhD
CCRL Executive Director