Will the Canada Summer Jobs “abortion attestation” be a factor in Trudeau’s political demise?

By Jonathon Van Maren

The Canada Summer Jobs controversy just won’t go away, and those who championed the “abortion attestation” are getting noticeably frustrated that Canadians simply won’t understand that the Liberals understand what “in good conscience” means far better than the ignorant religious Canadians protesting what many consider to be compelled speech. Abortion activists on Twitter, including the pseudonymous Fern Hill as well as the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, have been desperately tweeting at journalists and politicians with enormous spreadsheets in hilarious high school fonts detailing which pro-life groups received government funding in the past in order to change the narrative.

It hasn’t worked. What must have been hours upon hours of work for the abortion activists hasn’t amounted to a single media story, while condemnation of the abortion attestation continues almost daily. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer told Maclean’s that, “What the Liberals have done here is allowed the government to peer into the minds of Canadians to see what goes on up there, what their views are, what their personal opinion is. That’s not right. Every country in history that has gone down dark paths, where governments take on too much control and really intervene and take away those freedoms, often start with an attack on the freedom to disagree.”

On Monday, long-time NDP Member of Parliament David Christopherson shocked many by breaking with his caucus and voting for the Conservative motion to allow non-political organizations who wish to access the funding without signing the attestation to do so. “Canadians have a right to disagree with the law, recognizing they will respect it and will honour the law,” he said. “You have the right to say anything you want about a law, and that attestation took that right away. I cannot condone that.” One Liberal MP, Scott Simms, also voted with the Conservatives on principle.

Over in the Globe and Mail, which has been consistently publishing editorials that oppose the attestation, Lorna Dueck opened fire on Trudeau’s move:

Smart, ambitious, innovative …. and religious young Canadians just got kicked to the curb by the Liberal government. Faith-based youth have had their prospects for summer jobs dimmed and their convictions marginalized as all but one Liberal member of Parliament voted Monday night to limit access for summer job grants to those who believe in a pro-choice ethic.

Something simple and open such as the funding for summer jobs has become a public relations nightmare for a government that champions inclusion and diversity…

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who recently modelled high religious respect with his Indian tour wardrobe, is now facing a fierce image issue regarding religious respect at home. “The state of religious freedom in Canada now is alarmingly restricted, more so in than at any time in the nation’s history” Christian Elia of the Catholic Civil Rights League told The National Post. Well aware that religious voters are a swing constituency on hot-button issues, Conservatives crafted a motion to “support access to Canada Summer Jobs funding regardless of their private convictions and regardless of whether or not they choose to sign the application attestation.” On Monday night, the House of Commons defeated the motion, 207 to 93…

For all its progression on diversity, the Liberals missed out on the reality that students are an energizing lifeblood to both charity work and religious convictions. Students challenge the old guard about how they are positioning beliefs and actions. Yes, a few students stuff mailboxes with flyers of fetuses (the example Liberals give as requiring the CSJ attestation), but they do so with a deep sense that human rights are applicable to the unborn. Other students act upon a respect for human rights by bringing value, hope and love to every Canadian, regardless of any belief-based differences. We need more of that participation in charity life, not less. The political battle on this has been lost, and the government is free to do what governments do: run the shop according to their values, which are secular. Religious people must now do the same, run their shop according to their values.

Trudeau and his Liberals enjoy accusing the Conservatives of secretly wishing to wage a culture war should they attain power. In reality, it is Justin and his progressive friends that are waging the culture war—and they are doing so in broad daylight, while a handful of abortion extremists urge them on. It seems from Trudeau’s tanking poll numbers, however, that Justin may have picked the wrong fight to define his tenure as prime minister.

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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.

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