Liberal MPs break rank with Trudeau over Canada Summer Jobs “abortion attestation”

By Jonathon Van Maren

Behind the scenes, Liberal Members of Parliament have been panicking about Trudeau’s insertion of an “abortion attestation” into the application requirements for the Canada Summer Jobs Program for months already. One Liberal MP, Scott Simms, broke rank and voted with the Conservatives on their motion protesting the attestation—the NDP’s David Christopherson did, as well. Now, a second Liberal MP, John McKay, has also condemned the attestation in a letter to a constituent on March 21. McKay’s letter reads in full:

Dear [name redacted],

Thank you for contacting me to express your concern regarding the Canada Summer Jobs employer application process.

When the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was first conceived in the 1980s by its authors, it contained two critical components:

  1. It was designed to protect the citizen from the state.
  2. It provided a mechanism to balance competing rights claims.

The converse of these two critical components is therefore that the Charter was not designed for the state to claim protection from the citizen and that it was not designed to promote one right over any other right. It is my view that the current government has inadvertently fallen into the trap of preferencing one right over another and of using the Charter to protect itself from perceived abuse by citizens.

The attestation clause is a regrettable example of that error. It is my view that applications for government grants that engage in non-political non-activist work should be free of ideological bias and political preference.

Unfortunately, this has led to some applicants being unable, in conscience, to sign an attestation that they do not believe, and may indeed have absolutely nothing to do with their proposal to employ students.  This in turn has led to the disqualification of a number of otherwise very well qualified programs; the effect of which will reduce employment opportunities for students.

In my riding of Scarborough-Guildwood, I am personally aware of a number of organizations negatively impacted. I consider this to be a lamentable state of affairs, and have expressed my views both inside and outside of caucus in the strongest possible. I intentionally absented myself from the vote on Monday after much discussion with the Whip’s office. This entire process, in my judgement, is a regrettable error, and I hope it will not be repeated.


Hon. John McKay, P.C., M.P.


John McKay, some of you might remember, was one of a handful of pro-life Liberals caught off-guard by Justin Trudeau’s announcement that pro-lifers would not be allowed to run for his Liberal Party, telling one newspaper that it was a “bozo eruption.” Since then, he’s been firmly muzzled—until now. It is telling that the Canada Summer Jobs Program attestation was the final straw for McKay. There may be more defectors as 2019 draws closer.


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.

One thought on “Liberal MPs break rank with Trudeau over Canada Summer Jobs “abortion attestation”

  1. Jeff Durham says:

    McKay also declined to vote for Bill C-225/Cassie and Molly’s Law. He wasn’t absent then, he just didn’t vote either way. This non-action illustrated to our families that the vote had been whipped by Trudeau despite his campaign promise to allow a free vote in “matters of conscious”.
    We had met with McKay earlier that year to discuss our situation and the bill. He implied we had his support. He and MP Dhaliwal were two current Liberal MP’s that had voted in favour of Bill C-484 eight years before, but this time, Dhaliwal opposed holding a murderer accountable for killing a woman’s pre-born child.
    As well-meaning as McKay’s silent support for Bill-C225 may have been, the situation called for more than silence. I’m glad to see, at least in this case, he is willing to do more to speak up against what is very obviously wrong. It continues to shock me how few and how seldom members of the current majority actually will.

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