Patty Hajdu, minister of employment, says that faith groups will not be left out of funding, so long as their core mandate aligns with the government. Prime Minister Trudeau expressed at a town hall meeting in Hamilton that faith-based groups that are anti-abortion are not in line with the values of the Canadian government.

Editorial: Scrap Summer Jobs policy

  • January 22, 2018

Changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program that for all intents blacklist employers who oppose abortion and gender theory are outrageous, discriminatory and, surely, unconstitutional.

It is difficult to fathom how a government can believe this policy is appropriate. How in the name of democracy can it be proper to compel citizens to endorse a controversial element of one party’s ideology in order to become eligible for a fair share of a public benefit?

But that’s what the Liberals are attempting when they force charities and small businesses which apply for these grants to tick a box that attests allegiance to a pro-abortion and gender doctrine. The prime minister says Canadians are entitled to whatever beliefs they like, except, apparently, when those beliefs run counter to his personal views on abortion. That’s where “we draw the line as a country,” Justin Trudeau told a Hamilton audience.

Actually, that is not a line being drawn as a country. Canada remains deeply divided on this and many social issues. This so-called line is being drawn arbitrarily by the Liberal Party to the dismay of untold thousands of Canadians. It is disturbing that the prime minister appears blind to that and instead smugly proposes that this party policy speaks for the entire nation.

All law-abiding Canadians who create employment for youth should be entitled to apply for this benefit — equally, without discrimination. But, currently, anyone who opposes the Liberals on abortion, and refuses to tick the pro-abortion box, is prevented from completing the online application form. Some employers have been printing the form and sending it by Canada Post. Then they cross their fingers and hope their paperwork doesn’t go directly into a government blue box when the unticked box is noticed. It’s no way to run a federal initiative.

The $220-million Canada Summer Jobs program, like all federal programs, is funded by taxpayer money, not a private Liberal party account. It’s not a party slush fund to be divvied up among party apparatchiks and others who get strong-armed into ticking a Liberal-friendly box. It should never be treated that way, or used as a tool to punish those who disagree with a government policy or refuse to sign an oath of fidelity to the governing party.

It is also galling to hear the government cite the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as justification for this coercion. The Charter and the rights it guarantees are exactly why this discriminatory edict — an edict that mocks the fundamental freedoms of conscience, thought, belief, opinion and expression shared by all Canadians — should be immediately and resoundingly quashed.

If the government refuses, then this brow-beating policy must be vigorously challenged in the courts and, should justice prevail, denounced as the unlawful discrimination it most surely is.

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