Don Hutchinson

Don is the Principal of Ansero Services, a Canadian charity furthering the task of Christian witness through partnering for religious freedom, and author of Under Siege: Religious Freedom and the Church in Canada at 150 (1867–2017). A graduate of Queen's University in Kingston and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law, Don has been a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 1990. Not coincidentally, he is also a long time member and former board chair of Canada's Christian Legal Fellowship. 

Bio last updated September 10th, 2021.

Don Hutchinson

Articles by Don Hutchinson

  • Marking Your X With Neighbourly Love

    Don Hutchinson offers a primer on how to let Christian precepts guide voting choice.

    The first I will call Christian political idealism―the idea that a political party has the potential to form a government that will govern based on Biblical principles The second is based on American theologian Reinhold Niehbuhr’s concept of Christian realism―identifying the available political opti...

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  • Pierre’s Vision Begot a Justin Society

    This just in: the current prime minister is steadfastly refusing to follow his father’s footsteps, especially on human rights and justice. Don Hutchinson traces the divergent path.

    The culminating work of Pierre Trudeau’s designs for a just society is found in the Constitution Act, 1982, which features the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (sections 1 to 34, the Charter), and recognition in section 35 of “existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of...

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  • Unmasking the Match Lighting Mob

    Don Hutchinson asks who has fuelled church burnings across Canada, and notes Indigenous leaders from coast to coast have been most stalwart in condemning the two dozen arson attacks.

    We call upon the federal government to work with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, churches, Aboriginal communities, former residential school students, and current landowners to develop and implement strategies and procedures for the ongoing identification, documentation, maintena...

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  • When Covid Constraints Come to Church

    Don Hutchinson considers the complementary roles of Church and State vis-à-vis the pandemic and public health.

    Third, in 2009 the Court decided the Government of Alberta was justified in requiring photographs on all drivers’ licenses because of national security concerns, even though the requirement violated the religious freedom of the Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony, Christians who believe being photog...

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  • Pandemic Pancake Tuesday

    On this day before Lent, Don Hutchinson counsels Convivium readers to prepare for the 40 days before Easter as a mix of self-denial and doing unto others as we would have them do for us.

    There are two different stories told about William Booth, co-founder of The Salvation Army along with his wife Catherine, sending a telegram containing the single word, Others The second story suggests that in 1911 Booth sent a Christmas telegram to Salvation Army leaders around the world ...

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  • Call Him Mr. Trudeau

    We can agree or disagree over policies, but the Prime Minister and other party leaders deserve the respect conveyed by the honorific preceding their names, Don Hutchinson writes.

    Trudeau made a campaign announcement on environmental policy at a lakefront from behind a podium that had Green Party green signage instead of Liberal Party red was the day I started writing furiously about this apparent hypocrisy Over the last year, Prime Minister Trudeau has led a government deali...

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  • Why Not a Notwithstanding Pause for MAiD?

    Don Hutchinson argues the Trudeau government should consider the Constitution’s Section 33 opt out rather than rush to pass expanded medically assisted dying legislation under a court-imposed deadline.

    Then Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould presented Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying), as the government’s response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2015 decision in Carter v Canadians remain divided, but most had...

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  • Is Politics Putting POGG on Ice?

    Canada’s Constitution gives paramountcy to peace, order and good government (POGG), but Don Hutchinson argues bills on conversion therapy and medically assisted death prioritize progressive expediency.

    The prayerful direction found in Psalm 72 describes what Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau termed “a just society,” one in which good government brings peace and order to all the people it governs Introducing legislation to include Canadians with disabilities or living with chronic illness, and mental i...

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  • For Whom the Polls Toll

    Fixated as Canadians are on soundings of popular opinion that foretell who will govern us next, Don Hutchinson writes, the only poll that counts is in the booth where we mark our ballots on Election Day.

    In Canada’s 39th Parliament, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative minority government introduced legislation to establish a fixed election date for federal elections, the third Monday in October in the fourth year following the previous election Whether by lost confidence vote in Parliament ...

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  • Throne Speech is a Matter of Confidence

    Convivium contributor Don Hutchinson sets up resumption of Parliament by explaining the historical significance of the Speech from the Throne – and its potential political pitfalls for Justin Trudeau.

    Will Trudeau use the Throne Speech to recalibrate in an effort to buy time, perhaps even for a winter walk in the snow like his father 36 years ago? Will he try to snooker one or more opposition party leaders into unfastening themselves from their parties’ notable political proposals so Liberals can...

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  • The Unbearable Whiteness of Jesus

    Questions about the Christian Messiah’s skin colour offer a fascinating complex of archeological, historical, migratory, linguistic and theological answers that ultimately won’t matter, Don Hutchinson writes.

    Questions about the whiteness of Jesus, White presence in Bible times, and the whiteness of the North American Church have become widespread in public debate during recent months Does it matter to the mission and ministry of Jesus and his Church whether Jesus was White? Does the gospel change based ...

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  • Canada Must Boycott Beijing Olympics

    Ottawa lawyer Don Hutchinson says it’s “beyond belief” Canada would participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics given the Chinese regime’s reprehensible persecution of religion.

    Just before Parliament adjourned in June 2008 for summer break the Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) of The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada released a report called Broken Promises: The Protestant Experience with Religious Freedom in China in Advance of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games The invitatio...

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  • All Men Are Liars. Some Are Politicians.

    Convivium contributor Don Hutchinson says Andrew Scheer might have been speaking Biblically last night with his inflammatory charge that Justin Trudeau is a liar. The real question is whether that disqualifies the PM from another term in office.  

    In convoluted statements reminiscent of those he made in regard to SNC-Lavalin, Trudeau has said: i) he became aware of the harm caused by wearing blackface makeup after he was elected to Parliament in 2008; ii) he lied on his application to become a candidate for the Liberal Party in 2007 because h...

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  • Must Coren Demonize Decency?

    Convivium contributor Don Hutchinson finds dishonourable fear-mongering at the core of columnist Michael Coren’s recent anti-faith attacks on Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.

    But Coren’s recent attack pieces targeting Andrew Scheer for his religious beliefs are dishonourable, including Does Andrew Scheer have a religion problem? and Calling out Andrew Scheer’s religious extremism By all means, reflect on the religious beliefs of Andrew Scheer, Justin Trudeau and others T...

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  • Crucifixes, Kippahs, and Quebec’s Bill 21

    Constitutional lawyer and legal commentator Don Hutchinson says it’s “unthinkable” the Quebec government would override Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom to proclaim a State-sponsored doctrine of secularism.

    In fact, the treatment of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Quebec was stimulus for much definition of pre-Charter understanding of rights to religious freedom, including juridical definition of the responsibility for government to adhere to the laws and freedoms of the land ...

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  • Doing Right By Asia Bibi

    While the Trudeau government has given Canadian Christians little reason to cheer, writes Convivium contributor Don Hutchinson, it deserves praise for its effort to save the persecuted Pakistani woman condemned to death for blasphemy against Islam.

    We remember all and are thankful for help given to even one; thankful to God and thankful to politicians who risked and gave their lives, governments who intervened, non-governmental organizations who advocated and called for prayer, Bibi’s lawyer, the judges of Pakistan’s Supreme Court, and Canadia...

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  • When Diversity Imperils Democracy

    In the second of his two-part Convivium essay, Don Hutchinson details how the recent Supreme Court decision on Trinity Western University puts Canada on an enigmatic path toward an ill-defined ideal of diversity – and puts foundational democratic principles at risk.

    The narrow requirement of responsibility for diversity in the venue of private education, specifically pertaining to equality of opportunity for potential LGBTQ students, was accepted by a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada as a reasonable concern for the two government regulatory agencies to h...

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  • Divesting Diversity of Meaning

    Canadians have developed a swelling pride about creating a country where respect for difference is key to the national spirit. But in this deep dive into what we mean by diversity, Ottawa writer Don Hutchinson says recent developments risk draining the concept of any common understanding.

    The professional anxiety expressed by these legal leaders about diversity, as presented to the Court by the two government authorized agencies, may be reduced to the question, “What kind of message would be sent to the nation if the potential for attendance at a private religious institution became ...

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  • Justin's Pipe Smoke

    Prime Minister Trudeau must clear the air with Canadians about his government funding anti-pipeline activists while at the same time violating religious freedoms by denying church charities summer job funding, writes Convivium contributor Don Hutchinson.

    The twinning project was approved by the Trudeau government in November 2016, following a 29 month review process.The Prime Minister will not tolerate even a hint of potential opposition from religious charities with long histories of meeting the needs of Canada’s disadvantaged, and with no history ...

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  • Calling For True Pluralism

    Convivium returns to the testimonies of Convivium’s editor-in-chief and two regular contributors whose statements were highlighted in this week's Commons Heritage Committee report on a motion to combat religious discrimination.

    Father Raymond de Souza as well as Cardus Law program director Andrew Bennett and Ottawa writer Don Hutchinson were all cited in the report, which produced 30 recommendations for the government, the last one being the designation of a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia to mark th...

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  • Speaking Grace To Political Power

    As Oprah urges us to speak truth to power, a Canadian Coptic bishop teaches us to speak with powerful grace by correcting Justin Trudeau's mockery of Christians, Don Hutchinson writes

    Many of us have seen a recent picture, where the Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his brother are (each) wearing a sweater that depicts Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ with an emoji of a smiley face seated at the last supper On the Julian calendar’s Christmas Eve – January 6 2018...

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  • Disorder in the House

    Ottawa lawyer and writer Don Hutchinson argues two government measures now making their way through the House of Commons are so contradictory they show the Liberal left hand doesn’t know what the Liberal right hand is doing when it comes to religious freedom.

    What are Canadians to make of a government that considers it a matter of our national heritage to put an end religious discrimination, while at the same time a matter of justice and human rights to embolden the disruption of religious worship? The motion, M-103, that resulted in the first study, by ...

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