Standing Up For Freedom of Conscience, Opinion and Belief

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.”
Those are the words of Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. They come from the Canadian Bill of Rights (1960), a ground-breaking piece of legislation that enshrined human rights and helped to define what it meant (and means) to be a Canadian. Its preamble states the Parliament of Canada affirms “that the Canadian Nation is founded upon principals that acknowledge the supremacy of God, the dignity and worth of the human person and the position of the family in a society of free men (and women) and free institutions.”
The Bill of Rights laid the framework for our Charter of Rights and Freedoms: The same charter that the Trudeau Liberals are now using to bully charities, people of faith and anyone who disagrees with their particular worldview – at this particular point in time.
I’ve written several times over the past three months regarding the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) Program and how the Trudeau Liberals are violating the Charter by forcing a values test upon Canadians.
The message from the Liberal Government is simple; if you don’t agree with their worldview on social issues you need not apply.
More than 1500 organizations from across the country were unwilling to sign the new discriminatory attestation and have received notices over the past few weeks that their applications have been rejected.
To attempt to put a stop to this new attestation requirement, Conservatives put forward the following motion:
“That, in the opinion of the House, organizations that engage in non-political non-activist work, such as feeding the homeless, helping refugees, and giving kids an opportunity to go to camp, should be able to access Canada Summer Jobs funding regardless of their private convictions and regardless of whether or not they choose to sign the application attestation.”
On Tuesday, the motion was defeated 207 to 93 with all but one Liberal in attendance voting against the motion. All Conservative MPs in attendance voted in favour.
Canadians should be extremely skeptical of a government that is basing funding decisions on whether or not you hold the same beliefs and values as they do. And if the Liberals are forcing Canadians to pass their ‘values test’ in order to receive CSJ funding today, what’s next? Will Canadians have to agree with the Liberals’ views to get their pensions when they retire? To receive certain tax credits or student loans? To get help with their Employment Insurance or even to receive their tax refund?
Yet, despite the outcry across the country on this issue, Mr. Trudeau has already stated that he would like to see such attestations put in place to access other Government funding.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms exists to protect Canadians from the government infringing on their rights guaranteed therein. Mr. Trudeau’s approach is a clear breach of the Charter and downright un-Canadian. It is not a reach to say that the Trudeau Liberals are trampling on our heritage and the rights and freedoms so cherished by generations of Canadians.
Conservatives will continue fighting for Canadians on this important issue.