TORONTO, July 31, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – At least 4,500 people have responded so far to a call by Toronto’s Cardinal Thomas Collins to protest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s summer jobs abortion attestation.
One of Canada’s highest-ranking Catholic clerics, the cardinal launched the Save Summer Jobs campaign in June with a letter to his 221 parishes.
He urged Catholics to write MPs asking for a reversal of the “unjust” and “discriminatory” policy which requires employers attest support for abortion and gender identity to receive Canada Summer Job grants.
Archdiocesan communication director Neil MacCarthy tweeted results as of last week:
Recently Cardinal Collins wrote to 22 Members of Parliament in Greater Toronto Area ridings where Catholic organizations were rejected for the 2018 #CanadaSummerJobs program. More than 4,500 letters have been written to date.
Recently Cardinal Collins wrote to 22 Members of Parliament in Greater Toronto Area ridings where Catholic organizations were rejected for the 2018 #CanadaSummerJobs program. More than 4,500 letters have been written to date. https://t.co/0fI82Hl1FM pic.twitter.com/0hh9OXub20
— Neil MacCarthy (@neilmaccarthy) July 26, 2018
When someone tweeted in response “Were you planning on making sure LGBTQ kids didn't get hired? Too bad,” MacCarthy responded:
“About 15 summer camps as well as programs for deaf children, welcoming refugees, working with seniors, inner city kids. Those are the ones who were most directly impacted and no – hiring was not the issue. The attestation was.”
Or, as the archdiocesan SaveSummerJobs website puts it, “You either agree with Liberal government’s values or you’re out of luck.”
Collins also made a plea for donations to offset a shortfall of $1.1 million to fund 150 summer jobs in the archdiocese.
Despite ongoing backlash, Trudeau has staunchly defended the abortion attestation even while attempting to portray Liberals as defenders of free speech.
“We will not remove funding from advocacy organizations because we as a government happen to disagree with them,” he declared in April when under fire for approving a summer job grant to a B.C. non-profit to bankroll a student to lobby against the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer promptly called Trudeau’s bluff.
“There is nobody who believes that the Prime Minister is committed to free speech when he punishes all those in this country who do not agree with his personal point of view,” Scheer said.
“We will not apologize for ensuring that women’s rights are protected across this country!” retorted Trudeau.
But the Liberals face a reckoning as court challenges mount against the reviled attestation.
Ottawa-based litigation lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos has launched five separate legal actions on behalf of as many small businesses, the Catholic Register reported in mid-July.
These include three Alberta companies — Remuda Building Ltd. from the Calgary area, Edmonton-based Saturn Machine Works Ltd. and Lethbridge-based Vantage Trailer Sales Inc., — and two Ontario companies, Windsor-based Sarnia Concrete, and Ottawa-based Woodsource.
In April, Calgary-based Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms launched a court challenge against the attestation on behalf of A-1 Irrigation & Technical Services of Brooks, Alberta.
And constitutional lawyer Carol Crosson launched a legal action in January on behalf of Toronto Right to Life, arguing that the attestation was “compelled speech.”
To send a letter to an MP or make a donation to the Toronto archdiocesan campaign, go here.