Sunday, January 13, 2008

Toronto: Regulators' assault plan puts church in crosshairs

Proposal considers taxes, fees, restrictions on numbers, sizes

WORLDNETDAILY - By Bob Unruh - January 6, 2008

A regulatory plan being considered by a Toronto suburb would put churches in the crosshairs of an assault that would include dramatically higher taxes and fees as well as restrictions on the sizes and numbers of worship centers.

A series of reports by the No Apologies website featuring WND columnist Tristan Emmanuel has revealed the stunning proposals in Brampton that one source confirmed would be used in multiple cities should the Brampton effort prove successful.

WND already has reported how many Biblical standards of behavior are under attack by the "bastardized courts" of Canada, where activists who claim they have "hurt feelings" are demanding - and getting - penalties imposed against those who oppose the homosexual lifestyle.

That description of the courts, also known as the provincial and national Human Rights Commissions, comes from the Canada Family Action Coalition, which is warning that the United States is not far from having similar assaults on traditional family values.

Now comes the report from the site launched by Emmanuel, the founder and president of the ECP Centre - Equipping Christians for the Public-Square as well as the host of "No Apologies," a weekly web- radio show "dedicated to illustrating the absurdity of political correctness."

"One person who's involved --- has told us at that Brampton is considered a test scenario for dozens of other municipalities in Canada, and that if the tax changes can be pushed through there, other cities are almost sure to follow," the report said.

Among the changes being reviewed:

  • A plan to subject all "non-worship" space owned by religious groups to property taxes. This "non- worship" space would include offices, kitchens, nurseries, fellowship halls, parking lots, restrooms, etc. Not even the sanctuary would all be exempt: only the area "where the congregation sits/stands/gathers for actual worship."
  • A new definition of "places of worship" to eliminate current provisions allowing church properties to be used for day care centers or soup kitchens.
  • New limits for start-up churches, who would be allowed to rent only 3,000 square feet of industrial space for a maximum of three years before being required to buy property.
  • A limit allowing only one "place of worship" for every 10,000 residents.
  • A stratospheric rise in fees for things like zoning and variance issues. One church reportedly had to pay Brampton $400,000 for the paperwork required to build a new sanctuary.
  • Ban religious meetings in homes if they involve more than 20 people, children included. - - - -

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