March 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – After months of backlash, the “abortion attestation” inserted by the Trudeau Liberals into the application requirements for the Canada Summer Jobs Program finally hit the floor of the House of Commons on March 1, when the Conservatives proposed a motion:
That, in the opinion of the House, organizations that engage in non-political non-activist work, such as feeding the homeless, helping refugees, and giving kids an opportunity to go to camp, should be able to access Canada Summer Jobs funding regardless of their private convictions and regardless of whether or not they choose to sign the application attestation.
Considering the fact that the Liberals—and Justin Trudeau himself—have consistently claimed that their attestation was meant to specifically target those who do pro-life activist work, you’d think that the Liberals would have no problem voting for the motion—especially after universal condemnation from the commentariat, a request from nearly 90 different religious organizations of every stripe that the attestation be scrapped, and a nonstop deluge of news indicating that many organizations doing much-needed community work felt that they couldn’t in good conscience “just check the box.”
The Conservatives pointed out that the attestation was being condemned by Canadians right across the country—MPs Diane Finley, Stephanie Kusie, Alice Wong, Rosemarie Falk, Bob Saroya, and Linda Duncan all presented petitions that opposed the attestation, while Harold Albrecht referred to an electronic petition that had already been signed by more than 6,000 Canadians. “It is a totalitarian action to force groups to agree with the ideological position of the government,” Albrecht told the House.
“In my riding, over the last 12 years, there are probably hundreds of groups, organizations, and small businesses that have benefited from this funding and they would continue to benefit,” he continued. “This year many of them have signed the application without signing the attestation. According to what we are hearing, they will be rejected. They are the ones who drew my attention to the fact that there was such a thing. They came to me. Many of them, even after reading the full application along with the attestation, are not going to bother to apply. That is the bigger shame.”
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“The notion that people who disagree with the government on controversial moral issues…must either adopt the government’s view or be excluded is acceptable in totalitarian regimes,” MP Karen Vecchio concurred. “It is not acceptable in Canada — a country that strives, in the words of the Charter, to be a ‘free and democratic society.’”
Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder reminded the Liberals that this attestation was impacting faith groups of every kind—and attack true diversity. “Government is in place to serve the people of the country, and in this case, a very vast country,” she said, “composed of people from different ethnic backgrounds and religious or faith backgrounds. People from different countries all over the world come to Canada and call it home. The government has decided it is going to create an attestation statement within the summer jobs grant application. That attestation statement is incredibly discriminatory in nature toward Canadians and the diversity that exists within our country.”
The Liberals, for their part, responded by again insisting that those organizations who felt they could not sign the attestation simply did not understand the attestation, proving that they fundamentally do not understand what “conscience” means: You cannot tell someone else that their conscience is wrong when they explain that they have a conscientious objection to being asked to do something. Several MPs even accused the Conservatives of being at fault for the “kerfuffle,” and the Conservatives had to patiently explain that many of them had not even been aware of the issue until concerned constituents brought it to their attention. The Liberals simply accused Conservatives of being associated with social conservatives and reiterated that those who felt they could not sign the attestation were either essentially too stupid to realize what was being asked of them, or should revise their consciences in order to more closely resemble that of the Liberals’.
Perhaps Robert Sopuck, who is incidentally a pro-choice MP, put it best. “Mr. Speaker, the other two parties in this House always claim that they are progressive,” he noted. “I am reminded of what the great free market economist Friedrich Hayek said: That inside every progressive is a totalitarian screaming to get out.”
That sums up the Trudeau Liberals extremely well.
Editor’s Note: The final vote on the motion will take place on March 19.