‘Persecution’: Christian leader decries Trudeau ban on summer job grants for pro-lifers
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, January 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Christians and other faith-based groups are suffering “persecution” under Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government by being required to confirm their support for abortion in order to receive summer job funds for students, a Chaldean Catholic priest said.
Father Niaz Toma, a Chaldean Catholic priest, told the Ottawa Citizen his community of Iraqi Christians won’t be able to apply for the grant because of the new policy. He said the requirement amounted to “persecution.”
Under the new Liberal rule, employers must sign an attestation that their “core mandate” respects “reproductive” and transgender “rights” to receive Canada Summer Job grants.
“We will never compromise our faith for the sake of grants to be received from the Canadian government,” the priest said.
“Seemingly, the attempt is to be inclusive. But the end result is exclusivity, blocking certain groups.”
National pro-life group Campaign Life Coalition is asking people to spread Toma’s concern on social media.
Please share if you agree with Father Niaz Toma, a Chaldean Catholic priest, who said his community of Iraqi Christians won’t be able to apply for the Summer Jobs Grant, and referred to the @liberal_party attestation as a “persecution” of his people. pic.twitter.com/sw7C4vPGFS— Campaign Life Coalition (@CampaignLife) January 17, 2018
Toma, pastor of St. Thomas Chaldean Parish in Hamilton, was one among many faith and religious leaders who met Tuesday to discuss the attestation at the invitation of Conservative MP Alex Nuttall, who is his party’s critic for youth, the Citizen reported.
The two-hour meeting was off-limits to media, and attended by about 60 people, including representatives from “Baptist churches, Hindu temples, Sikh temples, Coptic Christians, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs,” according to the Citizen.
Trudeau and his Employment Minister Patty Hajdu have publicly defended the abortion requirement for the summer jobs program, despite a backlash from faith-based charities and non-profits who say they can’t in conscience sign the attestation and that it violates their Charter rights.
Canada Summer Jobs has a budget of $215 million and funds 70,000 summer job placements for students from ages 15 to 30.
Moreover, the Liberals have similarly decreed activities and projects that don’t respect “reproductive rights” won’t be funded under the Canadian Service Corps, the youth volunteer service program Trudeau launched on Tuesday.
Ibrahim Hindy, an imam at Mississauga’s Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre, told the Citizen people at the meeting feared the Liberal government will make “values tests” for federal funding the norm.
Campaign Life Coalition senior political strategist Jack Fonseca warned as much when Tory MP Brad Trost broke the news of the “attestation” before the Liberals officially launched Canada Summer Jobs 2018.
“This is a jaw-dropping act of discrimination against faith-based employers and non-profits,” Fonseca told LifeSiteNews at the time.
“Although the Trudeau Liberals have signaled many times they have special contempt for Christians, this new policy requires a massive negative reaction from all faith-based communities in Canada – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, etc,” he said.
“This is no minor tweak to a federal program,” Fonseca contended.
“This is a ground-breaking first step on the inevitable path to raw totalitarianism and open persecution with the sanction of the state.”