Where Will It End?

The Liberal government has introduced a troubling new eligibility requirement for organizations looking to take advantage of the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program.

The CSJ program provides funding to assist employers, including not-for-profit organizations, that create summer job opportunities for full-time students. It’s a win-win situation: students benefit by gaining valuable employment and work experience and communities benefit from the important services provided by these organizations. But for many organizations in southeast Manitoba, this essential support will be held back thanks to a new Liberal policy.

In the days leading up to Christmas, the Trudeau Liberals quietly changed the rules of the CSJ program to require applicants to sign an attestation agreeing with their government’s ideological positions or be rejected for government funding. This is a deeply concerning development and 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.

So what exactly are we talking about here? In order to be eligible, an applicant is required to agree 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 or sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

While it’s easy to agree with most of this statement, the Liberals are overstepping by forcing Canadians to endorse values that aren’t actually included in the Charter, such as ‘REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS’ – or in plain words: ABORTION.

As a pluralistic society, Canada allows for diverse opinions and protects those who may think differently than those in positions of power. In fact, the right to freedom of belief and opinion is guaranteed by the Charter. For all their talk about being the ‘Party of the Charter,’ the Liberals should be the first to recognize that they’re violating its most fundamental principle with their actions. 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 when they visit a Service Canada centre? Where will it end?

This change also hurts students who are looking for work during the summer months. Instead of limiting job opportunities for students, the Liberals should be encouraging more employers to hire them.

If your organization is effected by this discriminatory Liberal change, I urge you to submit your application anyway with a brief note explaining that in good conscience you are unable to sign the attestation. Please inform my office of your application and your inability to sign the attestation by emailing Ted.Falk.C1@parl.gc.ca so that I can work to ensure no one is punished for holding to different convictions than the Trudeau Liberals. I also want to encourage everyone – whether you’re impacted directly or not – to contact the Minister of Employment Patricia Hajdu at Patty.Hajdu@parl.gc.ca and Prime Minister Trudeau at pm@pm.gc.ca to let them know that you won’t stand for these dangerous changes.

You can be assured that I will continue to fight every step of the way to preserve Canada’s foundational beliefs and practices.