By Jonathon Van Maren
On the way to work today, I listened to Annamaria Tremonte of CBC’s The Current grill Trudeau’s employment minister, Patricia Hadju, on her government’s recent decision to insert an attestation of support for abortion into the Canada Summer Jobs grant application process. Tremonte pointed out that many organizations, including those who work to resettle refugees, are saying that this new ideological purity test constitutes ensures that their work will be negatively impacted—and the employment minister responded with a verbal shrug, saying that the groups could either sign the attestation or not receive funding. She even insinuated that abortion is a Charter right—it isn’t—but then dodged the question when Tremonte asked her whether abortion rights were specifically contained in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
I noted last week that faith-based organizations of every stripe were being impacted by the Liberal decision to insist on support for abortion as a prerequisite to being considered for a government program, and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has been posting more examples to their Twitter account. Here are just a few examples of organizations in Canada that the Liberals have rendered ineligible:
One urban church says, “We have primarily used the funds to fill positions that work with children and youth, and as an immigrant community working with a visible minority group, we have heretofore even been considered a priority population. However, with the new policy we are unsure as to whether we are welcome to apply for the CSJ grant this summer or in the future.”
A national camp organization that sees thousands of children and youth attend every summer says, “Many of these campers come from homes that are economically disadvantaged. We work hard at keeping camper fees as low as possible so that a week at camp is affordable for families.” While many of the positions are volunteer, a few key positions are usually funded through the summer jobs grant.
One Ontario church describes how the CSJ grant helps them provide services in their community, such as housing support, addiction programming, mental health supports, and more. They were hoping to launch a new social enterprise café to develop a mentorship program and offer job training skills this summer, with the help of the CSJ grant.
One group that may be affected by this change says, “We are a summer camp that works specifically with kids from single parent, foster and group homes.”
An Ontario church describes the impact of the summer students they’ve been enabled to hire over the last 20 years: “Each year, the student hired as a summer office or programme assistant has provided necessary support to facilitate programs for children and youth, and other services and programmes which have benefited minority groups including immigrants and refugees seeking welcome and integration into the wider community.
One church that planned to apply for the CSJ grant this year says, “I could not fill out the form because of the restriction.” The church helps many at-risk youth in Ontario and provides medical aid and emergency relief to victims of natural disasters overseas.
A church in the Maritimes says, “Our community stands to lose the benefit of our congregation’s work in the underserviced and overlooked people in our community. For several years we have hired students through the CSJ Grant program, and these students have provided learning programs for children in some of the poorest neighborhoods in our community. We do not agree with the proposed changes to the CSJ Grant Program, and on behalf of our congregation, I wish to voice our hope that these proposed changes do not take effect.”
Those changes have already taken effect, and much essential charity work will be hindered as a direct result. The Liberal government, Trudeau’s employment minister made clear this morning, doesn’t really care. If you won’t attest that you think there is a right to abort babies, then all your work for Canada’s most vulnerable populations means nothing to them.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.