Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) is a Canadian initiative that helps private businesses provide students with experience in their field, at no cost to them. The service is widely utilized, including by yours truly, and is a great way for students to work in their desired field without being a burden on the payroll of a small business. In Service Canada’s words, “[Canada Summer Jobs] provides wage subsidies to employers to create employment for secondary and post-secondary students. Again this year, Canada Summer Jobs welcomes applications from small businesses, not-for-profit employers, public sector and faith-based organizations that provide quality summer jobs for students.”
However, on December 12, 2017, the overview was updated to include new provisions for applicants of the grant. The new mandate reads:
CSJ applicants will be required to attest that both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
The employer attestation for CSJ 2018 is consistent with individual human rights in Canada, Charter rights and case law, and the Government of Canada’s commitment to human rights, which include women’s rights and women’s reproductive rights, and the rights of gender-diverse and transgender Canadians.
The government recognizes that women’s rights are human rights. 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.
The government recognizes that everyone should have the right to live according to their gender identity and express their gender as they choose, free from discrimination. The government is committed to protecting the dignity, security, and rights of gender-diverse and transgender Canadians.
The objective of the change is 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. This helps prevent youth (as young as 15 years of age) from being exposed to employment within organizations that may promote positions that are contrary to the values enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and associated case law.
– Service Canada’s website
The new attestation has provided fright for faith-based groups who apply for the grant. Churches and Bible camps often make use of the grant to hire youth members, camp councillors, and other students looking to be involved in their church community for pay between semesters.
For faith-based groups to be able to receive funding, they must provide a signed attestation stating their core values do not infringe on reproductive rights or LGBTQ rights, including gender expression and transgenderism, which many believe are at odds with religious values.
The Canadian Government stressed that the new changes do not make faith-based groups ineligible from funding, nor do they require the groups to disclose their personal views or beliefs.
In an interview with Kamloops This Week, Kamloops North-Thompson Caribou MP Cathy McLeod said, “I share [faith groups] concerns. This is an overstep by the government.”
Regardless of your personal views, an organization should not be forced to compromise their beliefs to receive support from the government that is guaranteed to many other groups.
Another change made in the “Assessment Criteria” section states that funding focuses on:
an employer who intends to hire priority students, including youth who are in underrepresented groups (priority students are students with disabilities, Indigenous students, students who are members of a visible minority and students who are new immigrants/refugees)
While taking away funding from pro-life, anti-LGBT groups, the government wants to boost support for those groups enforcing affirmative action hiring policies.
As a Canadian who is pro-life, but more importantly pro-freedom of thought, this move by the Trudeau Liberals troubles me deeply. Hopefully we can make the nickname “One Term Trudeau” come true in the 2019 Federal Election.
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