OTTAWA, March 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Canada’s House of Commons voted 207 to 93 on Monday to defeat a Conservative motion amending the controversial Summer Jobs Program requiring employers sign an attestation supporting abortion and transgenderism in order to receive student summer job grants.
The motion sought to allow some (but not all) employers who oppose abortion to have continued access to summer jobs funding, even if they refuse to sign the pro-abortion attestation.
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.
The motion was supported by numerous religious leaders and people of faith, including Canada’s Catholic bishops, who would benefit from summer job funding should the government adopt it.
However, the motion would not cover many pro-life groups that had received funding in the past, such as Campaign Life Coalition, the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, and LifeSiteNews.
Jeff Gunnarson, Campaign Life Coalition’s vice president, said in an email Monday that his organization was unable to support the measure based on the following principled objections:
1. The motion does not seek to protect ALL Canadian employers from being coerced to pledge fealty to abortion and transgender ideology in exchange for government funding.
2. Implicit in the motion, the Scheer Conservatives are giving tacit approval for Justin Trudeau to continue his ideological discrimination against some employers. Namely, those employers who engage in pro-life “political activist work”.
3. Front-line, pro-life workers in organizations like Campaign Life Coalition, Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform and Toronto Right To Life, who sacrifice so much to save preborn human lives are being thrown under the bus.
This is unfair.
Why should Conservatives betray front line workers in the pro-life movement to this Liberal tyranny? Why is it acceptable to violate our constitutional rights to freedom of religion and conscience?
Are our rights any less important than those of other employers? It is our tax money that is being distributed too. Our conscience rights are to be respected, as are those of every other Canadian citizen.
4. The motion does not directly seek to strike down the main problem, i.e. the abortion loyalty oath itself. By merely requesting an exemption, it does not go far enough.
For these reasons, Gunnarson and the CLC urged Conservative MPs “to vote against the motion, and to ask their Party leadership to go back to the drawing board to craft a stronger motion which protects all Canadians from Justin Trudeau’s ideological authoritarianism.”
“The motion appears to be designed as a clever trap for Liberals,” said Gunnarson, “to get them on record voting to defund charitable organizations that feed and clothe the poor.”
“A constitutional challenge to the attestation is also working its way through Federal Court, with a hearing set for June 19,” reports the National Post. “The case was launched in January by a Toronto anti-abortion group. Religious organizations have not joined the case, but have said they are weighing their legal options.”
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is using the attestation as a trial balloon, laying the groundwork for denying tax-exempt status to faith-based organizations, a pro-family women’s advocacy group is warning.
The Liberal summer jobs abortion attestation is, in effect, a “dry run” for such a move, says Gwen Landolt, vice-president of REAL Women of Canada.
If the Liberals don’t experience “serious political fall-out” and “get away with the summer job program, and cutting out faith-based groups as they are now, I think that will serve as encouragement to proceed further,” Landolt told LifeSiteNews.