Liberals cut funding for summer pro-life jobs; students turn to crowdfunding
OTTAWA, May 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has make good its vow to cut federal summer job grants to pro-life groups in a move instigated by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.
That has left some pro-life groups in a pinch, with the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform turning to Crowdsourcing to make up a $150,000 shortfall.
The CCBR hired 30 student interns this summer to spread the pro-life message to four million Canadians, and so far a Crowdsource appeal has brought in $15,935.
The Abortion Rights Coalition gunned for the CCBR particularly in its lobby to strip pro-life groups of federal funding.
The ARCC’s April 10 press release detailing the funding for pro-life groups called CCBR an “extremist political organization,” alleged it caused traffic accidents with its highway banners depicting victims of abortion, and labelled its Genocide Awareness Project “anti-Semitic” for comparing abortion to the Holocaust.
The pro-abortion group’s campaign got traction when iPolitics ran a story singling out rookie Liberal MP Iqra Khalid for approving $56,000 in job grants last year for CCBR.
In reaction, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patty Hajdu made it clear no Liberal MP would do that again.
“Any funding provided to an organization that works to limit women’s reproductive rights last summer was an oversight,” Hadju spokesman Matt Pascuzzo told iPolitics.
“That’s why this year we fixed the issue and no such organizations will receive funding from any constituencies represented by Liberal MPs.”
Pascuzzo reiterated this in an email to the Catholic Register, writing: “We have been unequivocal in our support for a woman’s fundamental right to choose.”
Since then, Alliance for Life Ontario and LifeSiteNews also received notification they have been denied summer job funding.
Pascuzzo suggested that the Liberals would try to change the way the summer jobs program is administered so that no MPs could approve grants for pro-life organizations next year.
Under current rules, non-profit groups, small businesses, and public sector employers can apply for funding through the Canada Summer Jobs program to create jobs for students from 15 to 30 years of age. It’s up to individual MPs to assess and approve funding applications from groups in their ridings.
Alberta Conservative MP Arnold Viersen told the Catholic Register that the Liberal move “is completely disrespectful of the individual Members of Parliament and their privileges.”
Carol Crosson, a Calgary-based constitutional lawyer who represents CCBR, is “in communication with a number of groups who have been refused” and that the “CCBR is also looking into what sorts of legal options they have.”
“The big concern is that members of the Liberal Party openly communicated that they would be refusing summer student job funding on the basis of the opinions and beliefs of organizations being pro-life,” Crosson told LifeSiteNews. “They clearly identified the nature of their refusal.”
The CCBR echoes this on its Crowdsourcing page: “Trudeau's Liberal Government has inserted an ideological purity test into a taxpayer-funded program and politicized a program simply intended to get students a paying summer job.”
And the Catholic Register, official newspaper for the archdiocese of Toronto, lambasted the Liberals in a May 11 editorial.
The Trudeau Liberals are “laying the foundation” to turn the $220 million federal summer job program into “little more than a partisan slush fund to be shared among government supporters,” it noted.
“There is no legitimate reason to bully or muzzle pro-life groups or to punish students who wish to work for them.”
Trudeau “has often suggested unrestricted abortion is a woman’s Constitutional right. Besides being blatantly false — the Supreme Court actually said the government has a right to restrict abortion — polls show most Canadians want limits on abortion.”
And while the prime minister prides himself on being a feminist, he is “blocking summer jobs that often go to young women. What about their rights?”
Moreover, “if a government can blacklist pro-life lobby groups from taxpayer-funded programs, what’s stopping it from targeting others with similar sympathies?” noted the editorial.
“Summer Jobs Canada is funded by taxpayer money, not a private political party account.”
To express your concern, contact:
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
House of Commons
email: [email protected]
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
House of Commons
email: [email protected]
MPs addresses are available here.