Here are the latest casualties of Justin Trudeau’s “abortion attestation”

By Jonathon Van Maren

As I noted last week, the number of organizations hurting from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent demand that applicants to the Canada Summer Jobs Program sign off on an “abortion attestation” affirming their support for a variety of progressive projects is continuing to grow. Last year, 126 organizations were rejected—so far this year, that number has grown to 1,561. The Liberals are discovering that it is not just explicitly pro-life organizations that have a problem with their explicitly pro-abortion platforms—there are many, many other groups that find they cannot sign off on the abortion attestation in good conscience.

For example, there’s a little rural museum in in Port Hood, Nova Scotia that relied on the Canada Summer Jobs Program to hire a summer student each year. As LifeSiteNews reported:

The museum isn’t aligned with any religion, but Mallette and the membership of the Chestico Museum and Historical Society decided not to check off the attestation.

Chestico Museum is located in the predominantly Catholic county of Inverness, and most of the people Mallette spoke to disagreed with the Liberal policy, she said.

“It was just the fact that the federal government has no rights asking such a question on an application to hire a summer student,” she told the Cape Breton Post.

“I’m dating myself, but another Trudeau, back in the time, said there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation — that’s private, you don’t put people to sit down and discuss this type of thing. It’s inappropriate.”

In Manitoba, a number of groups are scrambling to find ways to run their programs without the assistance of the Canada Summer Jobs Program. From the CBC:

The camps are dealing with the fallout from a new part of the application that requires them to check a box to indicate the job and the organization’s mandate respect individual human rights, including reproductive rights.

Manitoba Camping Association president Wayne Eisbrenner, who is also executive director of Camp Nutimik, said his camp planned to hire an assistant cook without the $10,000 in grant money from the program.

Nutimik’s application to the Canada Summer Jobs program was deemed incomplete because he wouldn’t check off the box due to the organization’s opposition to abortion, Eisbrenner said. Nutimik is a Christian camp started by Manitoba Baptist churches in 1954.

“I think it’s really sad,” Eisbrenner said. “Here is a job we were creating to hire a young person to get some mentoring from our head cook, and we can’t do anything about it.”

The Manitoba Camping Association represents about 40 camps, and close to 30 have a faith component, Eisbrenner said. Some of them have applied for Summer Jobs Program funding without checking the box because, like Eisbrenner, they feel it implies they support abortion and that goes against their religion, which is also protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, he said.

Eisbrenner responded to the information that his camp’s application was incomplete by sending another application, accompanied by a letter explaining why he couldn’t agree to put a check mark in the box.

“Of course we support human rights, but we can’t support a decision that compels us to make a statement or adopt a belief that conflicts with our religious conscience,” he said.

“We are requesting an accommodation of our charter rights to freedom of religion and freedom of conscience and freedom of belief, not to be discriminated against.”

The Manitoba Camping Association represents about 40 camps, and close to 30 have a faith component, Eisbrenner said. Some of them have applied for Summer Jobs Program funding without checking the box because, like Eisbrenner, they feel it implies they support abortion and that goes against their religion, which is also protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, he said.

One Hope Canada is the parent organization for five camps in Manitoba that aren’t connected to a church. The camps in Dauphin, Gimli, Turtle Mountain, Valley View and Roseau all applied for Canada Summer Jobs grants, and all five were rejected, leaving them with a shortfall of about $6,000 to $8,000 each.

“Despite the loss of summer jobs funding, no programs will be cut or reduced and no fees will be increased. Each camp is reaching out to local donors and supporters in their community to make up what was lost,” a spokesperson said in a written statement.

So in case you were wondering what the Liberals mean when they say that they are champions of “reproductive rights,” there you have it. It means forcing all applicants to a federal program to affirm that they do not have quibbles with the current government’s position on an assortment of social issues, or they will see their funding cut. As a result, rural museums in Nova Scotia and summer camps for kids with disabilities in Manitoba are left struggling. Such is the cost of progress.

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For anyone interested, my books: The Culture War, Seeing is Believing: Why Our Culture Must Face the Victims of Abortion, and How To Discuss Assisted Suicide, are available for sale here

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