Provencher MP Ted Falk says a number of local organizations are struggling with the new application form for the Canada Summer Jobs program. Ted Falk says a clause was added to the form this year that requires applicants to check off an attestation that they respect reproductive rights along with other human rights. Falk says reproductive rights means abortion and a number of faith-based organizations that typically apply for the grants refuse to agree to that condition.
"We know of at least eleven organizations that would be directly affected. So what we've done is, we've encouraged them to print off the application in hard copy, fill it all out and then send a little note along to the department saying that they are unable to, in good conscience, check off the box that is the attestation, agreeing with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as reproductive rights, which is abortion, send a little note along explaining that and that they would still like to receive government funding on a non-discriminatory basis for their organization so that they can continue to run the programs as they have in the past."
Falk adds the Conservative Party is continuing to fight this issue at a national level saying it's unfair to force people to agree to something that is contrary to their beliefs in order to access a government grant.
"One of the fundamental principles of the Charter is that people shall be free from discrimination. And now, we're seeing this Liberal Government discriminating against people that don't share their ideology and their values. And they've been very clear about it. They're attacking pro-life groups from receiving government funding because they say, 'We're the Liberal Government and we're very pro-abortion and any groups that don't support our position shouldn't be receiving government funding.' And that's very discriminatory."