The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, opinion, and expression. These rights are afforded to all of us in the Canadian family and governments have a duty to ensure that they protect and uphold them. But Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are attacking these cherished rights with their discriminatory change to the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program.
The CSJ program provides federal funding to assist employers, including not-for-profit organizations, to create summer job opportunities for full-time students. But a new rule introduced by the Liberal government wants these organizations to sign an attestation that their beliefs conform to those of the Liberal Party. And by the Liberals’ own admission, if you refuse to do so, you’ll be denied funding.
To the Liberals’ credit, they were telling the truth. Organizations that could not in good conscience sign the attestation have been getting rejection letters over the past week. The rejection letters outline that applicants have 10 days to sign the Liberal government’s values test or their application won’t even be considered.
These are organizations that hire summer students to help run children’s camps, to serve at soup kitchens for the homeless, or to teach English to newcomers to Canada. The jobs created by this program provide not only valuable employment opportunities for students; communities also benefit from the important services provided by these organizations. Despite this, Justin Trudeau refuses to rescind the discriminatory requirement, instead demanding that CSJ applicants fall in line with his beliefs in 10 days in order to receive the grant money.
Conservatives believe in a country where individuals can live without fear that their beliefs will make them targets for discrimination. We strongly believe in the freedoms Canadians enjoy – the same freedoms the Liberals are failing to protect with their values test requirement. And we will keep fighting to defend the rights of all Canadians, whether they share the beliefs of those in positions of power or not, because we know that’s the right thing to do.