Jonathon van Maren

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Lianne Laurence / LifeSiteNews

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Trudeau gov’t forced to settle with pro-life groups over denial of summer jobs grants

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

December 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — As most of you will already know, the Trudeau government recently announced that any organization or business that wishes to apply to the Canada Summer Jobs Program must first prove their eligibility by submitting an “attestation” that affirms their organization’s support of abortion, transgenderism, and a laundry list of other progressive causes. Justin Trudeau’s idea of diversity is limited to those who actually agree with him on nearly every issue, and his government is now setting an extremely dangerous precedent by insisting that Canadians meet certain ideological criteria before becoming eligible for a previously neutral government program.

It seems that the Liberals have not learned their lesson. When they denied pro-life groups Canada Summer Jobs grants earlier this year, three groups — the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, Guelph Right to Life, and Toronto Right to Life – commenced lawsuits against the Ministry of Employment, claiming the denials were a breach of their Charter 2(b) right to freedom of expression. Last month, the Ministry settled with the three organizations by awarding funds each group should have received while admitting the groups “were denied funding on the basis of a criteria neither set out in the Applicant’s Guide nor included in the MP’s list of local priorities for 2017.”

In other words, when Trudeau’s Liberals were informed, via a publicity campaign by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, that pro-life non-profits were also accessing this government program, they hastily intervened in the process and imposed an ideological purity test on applicants for the first time. As the result of these actions, they were forced to pay out three pro-life groups for the amount they had applied for in the province of Ontario. It must have been extraordinarily painful for the government to mail those cheques. Carol Crosson, the legal counsel for the three pro-life organizations, says that further legal action against the government to combat this new ideological purity test is probable.

The Conservative Party is already stepping up to oppose the Liberal move as well, with Andrew Scheer’s spokesman Jake Enright telling LifeSiteNews that, “Canadians should be very concerned that the government of Canada is basing its funding decisions on whether or not you hold a certain belief. We’re also concerned that individuals who hold private convictions may, for example, no longer be able to help care for the disabled or refugees or provide day camps for children in need.”

This is precisely the case — under the criteria laid out by Trudeau’s Liberals, organizations from the Salvation Army to Samaritan’s Purse could be rendered ineligible for this program. As I mentioned in a previous column, the very religious convictions that drive so many Canadians to reach out and help their less fortunate neighbors are the same convictions that will render them ineligible in the eyes of Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada.

This new decision will be opposed. The Trudeau government has already been forced to settle with pro-life organizations once. The millions of Canadians excluded by Trudeau’s new criteria can meet this challenge again.

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Jonathon van Maren

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.