FCS President on Conscience Discrimination in Canada "...that cannot, in conscience, be made by Catholics or many other faith communities."


FULL TEXT Release by : Fellowship of Catholic Scholars

President and Journal: Dr. Robert N Berard, Faculty of Education, Mount Saint Vincent University,  
                  Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 3T3, robert.berard@msvu.ca

Financial:  Dr Patrick Redmond, 44 Augusta Drive Way, Markham, Ontario, L6E 1B5, pmredmond@sympatico.ca

News Release

The federal government, through the Canada Summer Jobs Program, has annually made
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.

In a dramatic change from past practice, applicants for these funds have been informed that,
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.”

This new policy has generated broad opposition among Canadians, particularly
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
transparent falsehood.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does establish several freedoms,
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

So-called “reproductive rights” or “reproductive freedoms” are not part of the
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.

While members of many faith communities and those who take seriously the Charter’s
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.  

Catholics recognize that, in the absence of any law or other restrictions related to
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.

As the Archbishop of Ottawa, the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast has asked,
“Do Canadians have freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of thought, belief,
opinion and expression, or not?”

The Fellowship of Catholic Scholars (Canada) calls upon Canada’s Liberal
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.

Dr. Robert Berard
President, Fellowship of Catholic Scholars (Canada)

(902) 457-6274


Dave said…
Every Catholic in Canada should not vote for the Liberals at the next election.
They are the party of Death.
Dave said…
Every Catholic in Canada should not vote for the Liberals at the next election.
They are the party of Death.
Mary J. said…
Thank you for the article

It is unbelievable what Trudeau and his cohorts are doing to Canada, and we Canadians.

He has become a dictator.. His extremist policies are destroying the very fabric on which Canada was built.

He has destroyed the relationship between Canada and India - and quite frankly he is actually laughed at by many also at the level of government.

He needs to step down now ... But what he is doing is completely illegal..
he is using the bullying aggressive methodology of the very dictators in various countries today........
Canadians cannot accept any of this...

Anonymous said…
The question I have is why does the Roman Catholic Church not excommunicate these apostate Catholics in parliament who have promoted and legalized such horrendous anti-Christian things, simply to cover up their own criminal or immoral behaviour? By their actions they have already declared themselves as enemies of the Church, of Christ and of God the Father, yet they can still call themselves Catholic?
Freela said…
As a noted legal scolar said recently regarding this issue, the CCRF is in place to protect CITIZENS from the encroachment by GOVERNMENT, not the other way round.