The Liberal party sent the wrong Easter Message when it denied funding for summer students sponsored by faith-based organizations.
Churches and other faith-based organizations should not be forced to choose between staying true to their values and seeking grants for summer students to help them run programs — from summer camps, homeless shelters to soup kitchens. — that have nothing to do with so-called liberal party values.
In 2017, Trudeau’s Liberals provoked a huge backlash by adding an attestation clause to the application for federal summer student funding that essentially required any organization that wanted a grant to “bend the knee” to Liberal Party social values.
What this meant in practice was faith-based groups, like the Knights of Columbus, St. Vincent de Paul Society, or the Salvation Army, would not be eligible for federal funding to hire summer students as camp counsellors for underprivileged kids, or to make sandwiches for the homeless, or to help a battered woman move into her new apartment unless they signed away their faith in favour of an attestation to an ideological values test.
Among the non-profit groups denied summer job grants last year for not signing the attestation are a summer Bible camp in Alberta, an Ontario farm that provides vacations to poor urban families, a family-run irrigation business in Alberta, and a rural historical museum in Nova Scotia.
In December 2018, the Liberals claimed to have changed the eligibility criteria for the Canada Summer Jobs Program. While the 2019 application form did not ask about a group’s “core mandate” or what rights it respects, in practice faith-based organizations are still having their applications rejected.
Canada’s former Ambassador for Religious Freedoms Andrew Bennett, said the Trudeau government is displaying “totalitarian tendencies” by tying federal funding to deeply personal moral and religious beliefs. In fact, the liberal policy contradicts itself by appealing to both the Charter of Rights, (which guarantees freedom of conscience and religion) and insisting on rights which are not included.
If the government wants to foster a pluralistic society where diversity is truly respected, it has to uphold the fundamental freedoms of all Canadians, “even when those fundamental freedoms are exercised in a way that goes against what the government says it believes.”
Compelling belief is a “tendency that one can see in totalitarian societies,” Bennett said because if Trudeau links belief to specific values that define our country, “you’re saying person’s citizenship is not as valid, or you’re marginalizing them by saying, ‘you’re outside the tent’.”
After last year’s outcry against this discriminatory liberal policy, Canadians were promised it would be stopped. Another fake promise from a fake Prime Minister.