Justin Trudeau bars funding for pro-life projects in new youth volunteer program
OTTAWA, January 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Liberal government headed by Justin Trudeau will not fund pro-life activities or projects under its revamped national youth volunteer initiative.
Prime Minister Trudeau rolled out the first phase of the Canada Service Corps initiative during a live Instagram video on Tuesday. He described it as creating “an opportunity for any young person who wants to serve their country in meaningful ways, Canadian Press reported.
Similar to the stance the Liberals have taken with the Canada Summer Jobs program, it’s clear that pro-life groups who do not support “reproductive rights” are ineligible for funding.
Listed under “Ineligible Activities” on the government website for the Canada Services Corps are those activities that “do not respect existing individual human rights in Canada, including...reproductive rights.”
Campaign Life Coalition president Jim Hughes blasted the Liberal criteria that excluded pro-life projects.
“This new policy change is discriminatory. First, pro-life MPs need not apply [to be part of the Liberal party], now young Canadians need not apply. Who’s next?” he told LifeSiteNews.
“Insisting Canadians adhere to his particular ideology is totalitarian,” he said.
Campaign Life Coalition tweeted that the policy was “another attack” on pro-lifers.
Prime Minister Trudeau has launched another attack against #prolife Canadians. Much like the Canada Summer Jobs program, the Canada Service Corps will not approve funding for any pro-life projects. https://t.co/1TsZ5jwpWR #kerfuffle #prolife #discrimination— Campaign Life Coalition (@CampaignLife) January 17, 2018
The Liberal government is spending $105 million over three years to fund projects for youth-serving organizations. While the service corp won’t be fully implemented until 2019, the government is already taking funding applications.
The Liberals won’t be requiring that applicants sign an attestation that their “core mandate” supports abortion and transgender rights, as they required for Canada Summer Jobs program grants.
Trudeau has defended the summer job grants attestation requirement despite growing backlash from faith-based groups and charities, who say they can’t in conscience sign.
Faith-based groups say the policy violates their Charter rights of freedom of religion and equality. Toronto Right to Life has launched a court action that the attestation be quashed as unconstitutional.
Both the Liberal ban on funding pro-life activities in the Canada Service Corp, and the attestation for Canada Summer Jobs are based on what critics say is a “false” notion that access to abortion has become a "human right" in Canada.
“The government recognizes that women’s rights are human rights,” the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) website reiterates.
“This includes sexual and reproductive rights — and the right to access safe and legal abortions. These rights are at the core of the Government of Canada’s foreign and domestic policies,” it states.
The attestation was needed “to prevent Government of Canada funding from flowing to organization whose mandates or projects may not respect individual human rights, the values underlying the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and associated case law,” according to the CSJ website.
Canada has had no law governing abortion since 1988, when the Supreme Court’s “Morgentaler” ruling struck down the 1969 law that virtually allowed abortion on demand. The court recommended that Parliament create laws to protect the rights of the pre-born child, something that has yet to be done.
In the light of the summer job controversy, Campaign Life Coalition re-released a letter Hughes sent to Justin Trudeau in September, rebuking the prime minister for claiming abortion is a "Charter right" and a "human right."
Trudeau’s father, Pierre Elliott, who brought in the Charter, assured Campaign Life Coalition at the time that the Charter “would have no impact on the abortion question,” Hughes wrote.
“The arguments advanced to show that the Charter will create an entitlement to abortion on demand have been clearly refuted in the opinion given by the Department of Justice,” the elder Trudeau wrote in a July 1981 letter to Archbishop Joseph MacNeil of Edmonton.
“Because the public is evenly divided on the subject of abortion it was the government’s ‘considered view’ that a position favouring one side should not be enshrined in the charter,” he had stated a month earlier.
“The Government feels the issue is not one which should be defended by the Constitution,” Pierre Trudeau stated.
Hughes wrote in his letter to Justin Trudeau that Pierre's words were vindicated in the following decades.
“Over the years, your father’s words have proven to be true, as abortion has never been declared to be a ‘Charter right’ by the Supreme Court of Canada,” he pointed out.
“In fact, the Court has specifically held that there is a legitimate right for Parliament to legislate on the issue, should it so choose,” wrote Hughes.
“It was quite clear by the authors of the Charter that abortion isn’t a ‘right,’ and it is unbecoming for the Prime Minister of Canada today, to deliberately utter a falsehood and to keep repeating it.”