Bishops denounce Canadian gov’t ban on funding to faith groups: ‘remains unacceptable’

Bishops denounce Canadian gov’t ban on funding to faith groups: ‘remains unacceptable’

[Canada Employment minister hints pro-abortion pledge could be expanded to other grants (see comment below)]

OTTAWA, January 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The Canadian government isn’t backing down from its controversial rule that employers must sign an “attestation” in support of abortion and transgender “rights” to receive summer job grants.

But opponents to the attestation, implemented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, aren’t backing down either.

That includes the Catholic bishops, who collectively responded to a Monday phone call from Employment Minister Patty Hajdu by denouncing the attestation as “coercion on matters of conscience and religious belief” and “unacceptable.”

And some bishops are advising groups not to sign the pro-abortion pledge, but send in a hard copy with an alternate attestation, according to the Catholic Register.

Trudeau and Hajdu have doubled down in their defence of the new policy, which requires employers applying for Canada Summer Job grants sign an attestation that “both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada” including “reproductive” and transgender “rights.”

If an employer doesn’t check off the attestation when applying online, the application is void.

However, the Liberals are now contending with a growing backlash that includes a pending Charter challenge, objections from faith-based groups who say they can’t in conscience sign the attestation, and increasing denunciations in the media.

In response to the controversy, Hajdu’s ministry released “supplementary” information on the attestation on Tuesday.

The information attempts to distinguish between “activities” and beliefs, provides “examples” of what summer jobs the Liberals deem eligible for funding, defines terms of the attestation but does not alter its wording nor remove the requirement.

Hajdu also defended the attestation while in Toronto Tuesday to announce funding for the Youth Employment Service.

She brought in the attestation because of complaints last year that pro-life groups and pro-family groups were receiving the grants, which fund summer jobs for students from ages 15 to 30, she told CBC’s Power and Politics.

“In order for organizations to receive funding, they have to affirm that they will not actively work to undermine the rights of Canadians,” Hajdu said.

The CCCB rejected the supplementary information and the attestation in a statement Tuesday.

“Minister Hajdu did reach out to the CCCB yesterday 22 January 2018 for the first time with a short telephone call,” the bishops wrote.

“Despite her statement today and the recently added definition of terms (‘supplementary information’), the CCCB remains seriously concerned that the beliefs and practices of Catholics and other faith traditions will exclude them from receiving funding through the Canada Summer Jobs Program,” they stated.

“The attestation and examples still amount to the government’s coercion on matters of conscience and religious belief. They foreclose the possibility of wide ranging views and even healthy disagreement. The attestation remains unacceptable.”

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa also slammed the attestation in an Ottawa Sun commentary Monday. His archdiocese is recommending groups send in a paper application with an alternative attestation supplied by the archdiocese, Deacon Gilles Ouellette told the Catholic Register.

“We have essentially indicated to our parishes that the attestation cannot be checked off,” said Neil McCarthy, communications director for the Archdiocese of Toronto told the Catholic Register.

“We are in the process of gathering data to determine just how many parishes/groups are impacted within the Archdiocese of Toronto,” he said.

“Some groups may follow the paper copy example but the government has clearly stated they will not consider these to be completed applications. It is, however, a way to track those who cannot sign the attestation.”

Even the Ontario Civil Liberties Association slammed the attestation as “forced speech” and “antithetical to Charter values, including freedom of expression and freedom of association,” reported the Catholic Register.

“All such forced speech requirements degrade Charter values by supplanting the individual’s right to form and express one’s own opinion about societal matters (without which no society can be democratic) with the government’s position,” executive director Joseph Hickey told the Register in an email.

“Forced speech policies thereby diminish the fundamental rights of all Canadians. Such policies are a characteristic of totalitarianism, not of democracy, and must be constantly and vigorously opposed.”

RELATED

‘Lawless’: Former U.S. Ambassador rips Justin Trudeau’s ban on summer job grants for pro-lifers

Liberal media excoriate Canadian gov’t for denying funding to pro-life churches

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5 comments on “Bishops denounce Canadian gov’t ban on funding to faith groups: ‘remains unacceptable’

  1. Canada Employment minister hints pro-abortion pledge could be expanded to other grants

    Claire Chretien

    CANADA, January 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Canadian government representative repeatedly refused to say whether the requirement that employers sign a pro-abortion attestation in order to receive summer job grants may be expanded to other government programs.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his liberal government require that employers affirm they support abortion and transgender “rights” in order to receive government grants to hire students during the summer. It is facing backlash around the world, even from liberal media outlets.

    “When we’re delivering funding for programs through the Canadian government, we need to be reflective of the rights that Canadians have, and the right for Canadians to (have) employment experiences in a non-discriminatory way.”
    Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Patty Hajdu, defended the pro-abortion pledge in an interview with Global News. She repeatedly dodged questions from reporter Vassy Kapelos about whether going along with the pro-abortion attestation might become a requirement for “other areas in the future.”

    “At this point my responsibility is for the Canada summer jobs program so we’re focused right now on the unrolling of the Canada summer jobs program,” said Hajdu.

    “Are you ruling out adding the attestation box to other government employment programs?” Kapelos pressed her.

    “When we’re delivering funding for programs through the Canadian government, we need to be reflective of the rights that Canadians have, and the right for Canadians to (have) employment experiences in a non-discriminatory way,” Hajdu responded.

    When Kapelos pressed her a third time on whether the pro-abortion attestation will be extended to other programs, Hajdu said, “Right now, my focus is Canada summer jobs.”

    According to Hajdu, “quality job experiences” for students, subsidized by taxpayers, “should be with organizations that have a respect for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other fundamental rights of Canadians.”

    When asked, Hajdu also wouldn’t say whether support for physician-assisted suicide would be added to the attestation in the future.

  2. Trudeau is a vicious chastisement visiting Canada and the product of a long march targeting that otherwise peaceful nation since the early days of the USSR, even when she still remained within the British Empire. Canadians are self-deprecating when it comes to their famous civility and good will towards all, all of which is charmingly accurate.
    /
    And which cultural affability, of course, made them low hanging fruit for Marxist agents to feast upon for the past nine decades.
    /
    Fortunately, their fighting men have justly earned a reputation for ferocity in combat. I just hope something less dramatic may yet occur in what Trudeau has now turned into an existential war for the nation’s moral and financial survival.

    • “Ditto” for Ireland for its “famous civility and good will towards all” and the consequences of its enemies taking advantage of those qualities to undermine its Catholic identity.

  3. True, Tom. It does seem that the last time any nationalist Catholic resolve well and truly exerted itself with rigor – specifically for the Faith alone – was in the 1930s under Portugal’s Salazar and Spain’s victory against the Reds under Franco. That is not to slight Polish, Hungarian, etc. heroes in WW II but I refer only to wars specifically to defend the Catholic Faith and not for the general survival of a political state, per se – noble and just as such campaigns truly are.
    /
    Countless unsung martyrs and heroes died throughout the 20th Century under Communism and each of them deserves the full veneration of the faithful.
    /
    I’m sure my conclusion is too narrow but I am only going by what I’ve read on these matters in the past few years.

    • To which we may add the brief four-year reign (1966-1970) of Juan Carlos Ongania as President of Argentina. According to the New Catholic Encyclopedia article on Argentina:

      In 1966 the [Argentine] military struck once again in an attempt
      to check and purge the persistent and growing Peronist
      movement, naming General Juan Carlos Onganía president.
      An admirer of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco,
      Onganía established a conservative, pro-Catholic, anticommunist
      regime which initially enjoyed a broad base
      of popular support. Business, industry, and even labor
      looked to the military to put an end to the economic
      chaos, crime, and corruption that now permeated society
      and politics. Over a four-year period Onganía’s government
      pushed ahead with economic and industrial development,
      but it could not cope with the emerging guerrilla
      and urban terrorist movements…[In 1969, Ongania dedicated the country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.]…In 1970 terrorists in Buenos Aires kidnaped and murdered
      General Pedro Aramburu, who had overthrown
      Perón in 1955. Kidnaping for ransom and political murder
      soon became commonplace strategies of fanatics intent
      upon driving the country to armed revolution.
      Onganía’s comrades-in-arms lost faith in his ability to
      govern, and they replaced him eventually with General
      Alejandro Agustín Lanusse.

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