Religious groups, charities, and nonprofits in Canada are extremely upset about a recent government move demanding that organizations who wish to participate in the Canada Summer Jobs program must support abortion.
The youth-based program is financed by Canadian taxpayers and provides about $200 million a year to organizations to use as funds for youth-based programs. The government endeavor is supposed to encourage the youth of Canada to participate in community service and add life work experiences.
The 2018 grant application says it requires participating organizations to respect “reproductive rights” which naturally means abortion, and forms of contraception that cause abortions.
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.”
There has been a strong public outcry in response to the new stipulation. MP’s also make use of the program for good public relations, as they sign off who among their territories gets the grants. The new regulations have naturally raised division among the MP’s with the liberals praising the move, and the conservatives attacking the new stipulation.
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.”
Religious organizations , nonprofits, and even churches in the state of California have been facing a similar situation – being forced to pay for health insurance plans for their employees that cover elective abortions and abortion-inducing contraceptives.