Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau woke a sleeping giant when he banned summer job grants to pro-life employers

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau woke a sleeping giant when he banned summer job grants to pro-life employers

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Prime Minister Trudeau announcing $650 million commitment to increase global access to abortion.
By Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon, Jan 10, 2018 – 4:08 pm EST

January 10, 2018 (The Bridgehead) – When it was announced several weeks ago that Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government had decided to insist on an “attestation” from all organizations and non-profits applying for funding from the Canada Summer Jobs Program—an attestation that indicated that group’s support for abortion and transgenderism, among other things—I noted that although the Liberals were obviously trying to specifically target pro-life groups, that everyone from churches helping refugees to the Salvation Army would be rendered ineligible by this new ideological purity test. According to the National Post yesterday, it turns out that this is precisely the case:

Churches and religious groups across the country are struggling over what to do with a confusing clause in the Canada Summer Jobs application that seems to require them to endorse access to abortions in order to get funding. The new “attestation” on the grant application is aimed at anti-abortion groups who have received the federal grants in the past. It requires stating that your organization’s core mandate respects “reproductive rights,” along with other human rights, and the online application can’t be submitted unless the box is checked.

The Liberals began this process to ensure that organizations like the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, where I serve as communications director, would no longer be able to secure funding from the Canada Summer Jobs Program after a campaign by abortion activists insisting that pro-life groups be declared ineligible resulted in the Liberals declaring that pro-life Canadians would be rejected if they applied. CCBR and several other pro-life groups took the government to court, and the Liberals were forced to settle with three pro-life groups for the amount they had been approved for by the Canada Summer Jobs Program prior to the government interference. The attestation process was intended to ensure that they would never have to pay out pro-life groups again—but it seems that Trudeau and the Liberals, in their arrogance, had no idea just how many organizations this policy would impact and just how many Canadians do not support their abortion agenda:

But hundreds of churches, charities, day camps and other religious organizations who hire students for summer programming are upset about the attestation, saying they feel like they’re being forced to sign a statement that goes against their beliefs.

“As a small Christian church that was planning to apply for the Canada Summer Jobs program to offer a summer internship, the recent changes have been quite a shock and disappointment,” said Brad Jones, the pastor at Woodgreen Presbyterian Church in Calgary. He said their church has sponsored three Syrian refugees and offers a free English-as-a-second-language cafe to the community. “And yet, because of our commitment to the sanctity of life and to biblical teachings, our government is discriminating against us,” he said.

“The very groups that the Liberal government claims to care about — students, refugees, children and people in need — will all lose because of these changes.”

What many Canadians are discovering is that while Trudeau’s Liberals may claim to care about refugees and other marginalized groups, charity will always take the backseat to ideology. Progressives have been ferocious in their attempts to shut down charities, adoption agencies, and other organizations that do much-needed work, but do not agree with every jot and tittle of their far-left ideology. The Liberals may not have intended to exclude these churches and charities, but by a combination of their ideological rigidity and their belief that nearly all Canadians have the exact same beliefs that they do, this exclusion was inevitable. More:

Rosemary Redshaw, the executive director of Ontario-based New Life Prison Ministries, a Christian organization that works with inmates, says she can’t sign the attestation because of her own beliefs and those of her organization, and thus can’t apply for the grant this year.

“We have had extremely successful summer placements of students of all backgrounds,” she said. “We will feel the loss of students this summer.”

The Canadian Council of Christian Charities, which represents 3,400 organizations, says it has been slammed with phone calls and emails about the new application form.

“Right now, many members are saying ‘we can’t sign this attestation,’ and if they don’t click it on the online application, their application is stopped,” said Barry Bussey, the organization’s director of legal affairs. He has been advising groups to send in a paper application with a letter that includes their own interpretation of the attestation.

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada says it’s heard from 160 churches and organizations so far who are disturbed or confused about the attestation and aren’t sure if they can send in a Canada Summer Jobs application this year.

“The wording of the attestation is either very ambiguous and it needs to be clarified, or it’s completely unambiguous and it needs to be changed,” said Julia Beazley, the EFC’s director of public policy. “The end result, whatever the intent may or may not have been, is that those who can’t check off that attestation are being denied equal access to a public benefit solely because of their religious belief.”

Of course, this applies not only to Christian groups, but also to any number of other religious groups that oppose or are uncomfortable with abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy or the new gender ideologies. Trudeau’s Employment Minister, caught off guard by this backlash, is telling Christian groups just to check the stupid box and they’ll get the money—after all, it’s only a pinch of incense:

Employment Minister Patty Hajdu’s office says the attestation refers only to a group’s “core mandate,” and that there’s a distinction between an organization formed solely to oppose abortion access and a group that holds religious beliefs that include anti-abortion views. It has been encouraging religious groups to apply. But that hasn’t mollified many organizations who are faced with having to check off the box. The ministry’s Applicant Guide says the attestation is consistent with “the Government of Canada’s commitment to human rights, which include women’s rights and women’s reproductive rights, and the rights of gender-diverse and transgender Canadians.” It says the government recognizes that “women’s rights are human rights,” and include “sexual and reproductive rights — and the right to access safe and legal abortions.”

As the pro-choice political commentator John Ivison noted earlier this week, Trudeau and the so-called “Party of the Charter” believe firmly in the right of Canadians to hold all of the beliefs that they hold, and if not—well, then you’re out in the cold. Trudeau sees the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a tool to implement his agenda, rather than something to be upheld for all Canadians. Now, the Liberals are discovering to their shock that Canadians have a far greater diversity of belief than they thought possible—and a political backlash is beginning:

The Canada Summer Jobs grants are normally a public relations bonanza for MPs, who build the lists of local priorities for their riding and then sign off on who gets the grants. The government announced an extra $113 million annually for the program last year, doubling the number of placements across Canada to 70,000. But now the program has become controversial, with numerous stories already in local media where MPs are having to either defend the attestation (if they’re Liberals) or attack it as an unnecessary politicization of a federal grant program.

Conservative MP Ted Falk, the party’s critic for the file, says he’s heard from groups all over his rural Manitoba riding of Provencher, including from teen drop-in centres run by Youth For Christ and churches that run daycares and summer camps. He’s been telling them to send in a paper application with a letter.

“I wrote the minister a letter on Jan. 2 asking her to immediately rescind that requirement of the application, I have not heard back from her yet,” he said. “But I’m hoping that I will.”

Toronto Right to Life is already taking the government to court, and the Conservative Party is speaking out against the Liberal move. In all likelihood, this won’t budge Trudeau—he sees pro-life Canadians as second-class citizens, and if a few organizations helping refugees and the homeless get hurt during his campaign to sideline those who believe in rights for pre-born children, then so be it. But the Liberal MPs fielding angry phone calls are beginning to realize that there are millions of pro-life Canadians living in this country—and that discriminating against them comes with a cost.

Read the source:

Pro-lifers must stand and fight against abortion activists’ attempts to silence their voices

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauLianne Laurence / LifeSiteNews
By Jonathon van Maren, Tue Jan 23, 2018 – 7:24 pm EST

January 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — In Chapter 2 of my recent book Seeing is Believing: Why Our Culture Must Face the Victims of Abortion, I examined the primary and almost instinctive response of abortion activists to the work of the pro-life movement: Censorship, with deliberate falsehood being a close second. As it becomes increasingly evident that the dusty pro-choice dogmas of the 1960s and ’70s have long since been left behind by enormous leaps forward in embryology and medicine, abortion activists are left insisting that the human being anyone can see on an ultrasound isn’t a baby, and that abortion doesn’t kill that baby.

In response to both evidence that abortion is an act of violence contained in abortion victim photography as well as our increasing ability to see inside the womb, abortion activists are now actively campaigning to have the photographic and scientific evidence that so thoroughly trashes their worldview legally censored, if not banned by law completely. In recent days, for example, abortion activists who have been campaigning for Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to exclude pro-life organizations from the Canada Summer Jobs Program have responded to the shellacking Trudeau is taking for these actions in the press by suggesting that pro-life activism and speech should simply be banned as “hate speech” entirely.

This is, at the end of the day, the final goal of the abortion movement: Feticide on demand, throughout all nine months of pregnancy, funded by your tax dollars — and laws preventing those who wish to protest this insanity firmly in place to prevent any dissent from their culture of death. This is why left-wing student unions attempt to force pro-life clubs off campus. This is why slightly older city council members try to pass bylaws forcing pro-life activists off the streets. This is why provincial legislators pass laws preventing pro-lifers from offering abortion-minded women one last alternative before they walk into the clinic to do something utterly irreversible. And this is why the federal government targets pro-lifers with such ferocity.

Justin Trudeau and his abortion activist backs have been frustrated by the recent backlash in Canada by faith groups of every background and from across the political spectrum — they were quite unaware that so many pro-lifers even existed in Canada, and that increasingly obvious fact destroys the narrative of a homogenously “progressive” country they like to promote. It turns out that a multicultural and diverse country has many cultures and a diverse range of values — and very, very few of those cultures embrace abortion with the enthusiasm of Trudeau and the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.

And so perhaps it is no accident that just as abortion activists face massive pushback from Canadians in response to their latest attempts to target and censor pro-lifers, the Liberal government has begun to toy with the idea of reviving the infamous “hate speech law” Section 13. As reported by the National Post:

Section 13 was removed from the books in June 2013 after a private member’s bill from Conservative MP Brian Storseth was passed. Liberal MP Keith Martin had tabled a bill to repeal Section 13 in 2008, but it stalled and then died on an election call.

The law had been enormously contentious, with critics of all political stripes arguing it was overly broad and had weak safeguards around speech rights. Its defenders said the law was a necessary tool to fight hate messages spread through the internet.

Section 13 made it a discriminatory practice to convey messages over the phone or internet that contain “any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt,” as long as those people were “identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”

This is the law, for example, that was used to target Maclean’s for publishing a cover story by Mark Steyn that examined demographic trends and immigration from Muslim countries — and this law serves as a handy cudgel for those who dislike certain points of view, but do not have the desire or ability to respond coherently in the public square. Abortion activists, for example, often refuse to debate pro-lifers, perhaps because they know that their insistence on viewing the developing human being in the womb as a shapeless clump of cells is both stupid and demonstrably false.

The abortion activists plan to smear pro-lifers as the purveyors of misinformation and hate, simply because that is the only weapon at their disposal when the debate centers around in-utero human beings that have been the subject of full documentaries by National Geographic. They know that as pro-lifers reach increasing numbers of people, their outdated dogmas and shrill, unscientific assertions will begin to crumble — pro-lifers see minds change on this issue every single day. And so, with Justin Trudeau as a willing ally, they will try to silence the voices that they cannot defeat.

We will have to fight back.

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