First Nations chief condemns Justin Trudeau’s values test for Canada Summer Jobs

By Jonathon Van Maren

Now here’s a letter Justin Trudeau didn’t want to read: After his Liberal MPs came out ferociously last week to accuse those who would not sign off on the attestation of either being duped by Conservative misinformation or simply being too stupid to understand that their consciences should be perfectly okay with it, Chief Bernadette Sharpe of the Loon River First Nation wrote to Arnold Viersen, the Member of Parliament for Peace River-Westlock:

To MP Arnold Viersen:

Loon River First Nation is not submitting an application for the Canada Summer Jobs Grant 2018 in protest of the Canada Summer Jobs Application Agreement Section 12.0 EMPLOYER DECLARATIONS (I). It would be a futile exercise to complete the grant application when the Liberal Government will consider the application incomplete. The eligibility for this grant funding should not be restrictive and discriminatory based on values held by the applicant.

While we are in agreement with the Canada Charter of Human Rights and Freedom, the Canada Summer Jobs Section 12.0(i) imposes the Liberal government value of reproductive rights, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. In many aspects, these additions have nothing to do with providing supplementary funding for summer jobs for students. It is offensive to us that the implication of who we hire is contingent on those values when we strive to hire based on need and qualification.

As an Indigenous Nation that ascribes to religious values, the restriction or force infringes on our Equality Rights as per The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We hold to the values taught by our elders, and will not compromise for a few dollars.


Chief Bernadette Sharpe

Loon River, First Nation

As I mentioned last week, organizations right across the country are facing the same struggle and reaching the same conclusion. Desperately-needed community work will not be done this year right across the country, simply because Justin Trudeau and his Liberals refuse to remove their attestation requirement from the Canada Summer Jobs Program. Their attempts to deflect have failed, their attempts to alleviate or dismiss concerns have failed, and yet their hubris prevents them from simply admitting they made a mistake.

They can be assured that many Canadians will remember this in 2019.

3 thoughts on “First Nations chief condemns Justin Trudeau’s values test for Canada Summer Jobs

  1. Ruby Edison says:

    I never thought the day would come when I would be ashamed to be called Canadian, our government is overstepping its bounds by forcing us to forego our beliefs and values just to be given a grant to hire a student during the summer. Shame on every one of you who agree with this.

    • Sherry Howatt says:

      Never be ashamed of being Canadian. Ashamed of our present PM and his cabinet for not knowing that Canadians do have a core identity, maybe. This situation can and will be rectified if and only if Canadians stand together Strong and Free! Political hacks come and go but every generation must fight for what they believe is right and this is our time to fight! Chief Sharpe is right. Never compromise your values for a few measly dollars.

  2. Mark Frantzen says:

    The liberal govenment has imposed a collective conscience on their “subjects” A free society has citizens. Under the ideology of the liberals citizens have become “subjects”

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