If you had told me a year ago that accessing government funding to hire a summer student would be politicized by the Liberal government, I might have been intrigued but I wouldn’t have believed you. Sadly, Justin Trudeau has managed to make a program meant to help young people find good summer employment into a tool to demand conformity to the values of his Liberal Party.
The Canada Summer Jobs program provides funding to assist employers, including not-for-profit organizations, which create summer job opportunities for full-time students. Students benefit by gaining valuable employment and work experience and communities benefit from the important services provided by these organizations. But now, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have introduced an attestation requiring ideological conformity with the Liberal Party. And by the Liberals’ own admission, if you refuse to agree with their beliefs, your funding will be denied.
Prime Minister Trudeau has brushed off criticism of the move as a ‘kerfuffle’. His attempt to minimize the issue betrays a startling truth: the Liberals seem to have forgotten the purpose of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms! The Charter was designed to be a shield protecting Canadians from government overreach. It identifies certain areas, including freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, which the government cannot encroach upon. The Trudeau Liberals are taking the shield from individuals, and using it as a club with which to beat individuals who hold different beliefs than them.
Prime Minister Trudeau has forced his caucus to either adhere to his personal beliefs or keep quiet about it. He has controlled Parliament and used foreign aid to force his personal beliefs on other parliamentarians and upon other nations. He is now seeking to force Canadians to submit to his worldview, or to be ineligible for federal funding. This is a worrisome trend. In fact it is downright dangerous.
If the Prime Minister believes he is right to force his beliefs upon all Canadians, and that he can do so just like he did with his Party, what’s next? To qualify for tax rebates individuals and businesses have to sign an agreement indicating they believe in the tax structure? Or to qualify for Old Age Security individuals have to swear their allegiance to all the values of the Liberal Party? This sort of behaviour is not uncommon in totalitarian regimes, but until now, has not been a feature of free and democratic nations like Canada.
Prime Minister Trudeau has said time and time again: “In Canada, we defend everyone’s rights, whether or not we agree with them.” If he actually means it, he needs to rescind his discriminatory requirement immediately.