FULL TEXT Release by : Fellowship of Catholic Scholars
Financial: Dr Patrick Redmond, 44 Augusta Drive Way, Markham, Ontario, L6E 1B5, email@example.com
available public funds to non-profit organizations and charities that hire young people for
summer jobs and service projects. These jobs provide important services to local
communities and help students earn money to support their education and to acquire
useful work experience.
to be eligible for such funding, they must attest 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, sexual orientation, or
gender identity or expression.”
among a variety of faith communities. Requiring this attestation, in effect, denies
to many faith-based organizations access to funds to support some 70,000 student
summer jobs. We have also learned that the same attestation is being demanded of
organizations that wish to participate in the new Canada Service Corps.
Most troubling is that this unprecedented and arbitrary decision is justified by a
including “freedom of conscience and religion,” “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and
expression,” and “freedom of association.” It also guarantees freedom from discrimination
“based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms nor, for that matter, are references to
“gender identity or gender expression”. Yet, Employment and Social Development
Canada can now deny funding for summer student employment if their recipients fail to
affirm not just rights established under the Charter but also, in the words of Prime Minister
Trudeau, “where the government of Canada is” on contested issues outside of the Charter.
guarantee of “freedom of conscience and religion,” have objected to these new
requirements for access to public funds, the attestation would deny to any Catholic
organization funds to support the hiring of a summer student.
abortion, procuring or performing abortions is not illegal in Canada, that same-sex marriages
are recognized in Canadian law, and that transgendered persons have acquired legal
protections against unjust discrimination. Catholics also recognize the importance of
tolerance and respect for persons in a diverse society. The Catholic Church and Catholic
organizations cannot themselves, however, affirm or condone abortion, same-sex marriage,
or reductionist views of transgenderism.
“Do Canadians have freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of thought, belief,
opinion and expression, or not?”
government to rescind the requirement that organizations seeking funding to support
summer student employment make affirmations that cannot, in conscience, be made by
Catholics or many other faith communities.