OTTAWA, January 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Church groups must support abortion as part of their “core mandate” in order to receive summer student job grants, Canada’s Liberal employment minister reiterated last week.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government changed the application process for Canada Summer Jobs after vowing last year to stop pro-life groups from receiving grants through the federal program.
Employment Minister Patty Hajdu added the requirement that employers sign an attestation that their “core mandate” supports reproductive and transgender “rights.”
Online applicants must check off the attestation or the application is void.
Hajdu and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are defending the Liberal rule despite outcry from faith-based nonprofits and charities, many of which apply annually to the program to hire students to staff summer camps and various outreach ministries.
“We think it’s a fair process,” Hajdu told the Ottawa Citizen during a cabinet retreat in London last Friday.
There’s a difference between groups with a “core mandate” to change the law on abortion, and groups that are run by churches that oppose abortion, Hajdu said.
“In terms of church groups that are concerned that this may invalidate them from funding, in fact, my perspective is that it won’t, as long as their core mandate agrees with those hard won rights and freedoms that Canadians expect us to stand up for,” she told the Citizen.
Hajdu claimed a number of faith-based groups didn’t object to the attestation.
That’s because “their core mandate is actually, for example, administering the word of God, or administering spiritual guidance for people … These are the kinds of things that, if you look at the core mandates of faith groups, that they talk about,” she told the Citizen.
Her ministry is “working very closely, as I said, with faith groups to make sure that they understand that as long as their core mandate is not in violation of Canadian human rights and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and it’s not violating a woman’s ultimate right to control her own body, that they should have absolutely no problem receiving grant money, provided they, you know, fill out the application properly,” Hajdu said.
Hajdu’s statement “lunacy”: critic
Jeff Gunnarson, vice president of Campaign Life Coalition, decried Hajdu’s statement.
“How do I begin to comprehend this lunacy?” he told LifeSiteNews.
“Surely she must have had a gun at her head to say this with a straight face. The word of God commands us to not kill. These faith groups that are supposedly signing up better understand there is no going back once they accept the thirty silver coins.”
Hajdu worked with the homeless and addicted individuals before her election as MP for Thunder Bay in the Liberal sweep of October 2016, Gunnarson noted.
“Would she ask drug addicts and homeless people to attest they believe it's okay for a woman to have her unborn baby killed by an abortionist before she would admit them to government funded shelters?” he asked.
Trudeau also defended the Liberal policy during a town hall last week.
Canadians can believe what they want, but the Liberals “draw the line” at funding groups with “the explicit purpose of restricting women’s rights by removing rights to abortion and the rights for women to control their own bodies,” he said.
He too said faith-based groups can apply for Canada Summer Job grants.
The Canada Summer Job website says the attestation is consistent with “human rights” which include “the right to access safe and legal abortions” and is necessary to prevent taxpayers’ money going to groups “whose mandates or projects may not respect individual human rights.”
Backlash to the Liberal “Borg” growing
But backlash to the Liberal rule appears to be growing.
Toronto Right to Life filed a lawsuit against the Liberals, arguing that the attestation violates the Charter and should be quashed.
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada is urging members to write MPs to protest the attestation. The Canadian Council of Christian Charities is advising those of its 3,400 members that applied for summer job grants in the past to send in a paper application with an alternate attestation.
Indeed, Trudeau “has now made explicit that he espouses the views of the Borg from Star Trek fame: Resistance is futile; prepare to be assimilated,” CCRL president Phil Horgan noted in a statement.
“In words that perhaps the Prime Minister may understand, given that he has tossed aside key tenets of his Catholic faith, we will continue to oppose the Borg.”
Both Campaign Life Coalition and LifeSiteNews have launched petitions against the attestation.
Non-profit groups, small businesses, and public sector employers can apply for funding through Canada Summer Jobs to create jobs for students from 15 to 30 years of age.
Formerly individual Members of Parliament approved the applications.
But after the media picked up on Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada’s April 2017 press release that the pro-life groups had received summer job grants, the Liberals vowed to stop this in the future.
The abortion group documented that the Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform, Campaign Life Coalition, LifeSiteNews, and Priests for Life received a total of $3.5 million in Canada Summer Job grants between 2011 and 2017, including more than $56,000 to CCBR that Liberal MP Iqra Khalid approved for 2016.
The Liberals boosted revenues to the Canada Summer Job program by $113 million annually. The program’s budget of $215 million funds 77,000 placements across the country.
Editor's note: The Liberals boosted the Canada Summer Job budget by $113 million, not by $113,000, as LifeSiteNews originally reported.