Reality May 18, 2018                                                                                                    Ottawa, ON

The controversial Summer Jobs Program that denied grants to faith-based organizations because they oppose abortion, contrary to Justin Trudeau’s personal beliefs, has recently given a grant to a BC environmental group, Dogwood Initiative, to hire an employee to picket, protest and obstruct the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer, raised concerns about this grant in the House of Commons on April 25th, 2018. Trudeau replied that his government believed in “freedom of speech” and that was why the application by the environmental group was accepted.  Trudeau obviously believes that freedom of speech should be allowed and funded by the government, providing that the speech in question is in accordance with his own personal views.  This is hypocrisy since it fails to support the freedom of speech of faith-based groups.

Moreover, it is difficult to understand how the grant to the BC environmental group, Dogwood, which has $1.6 million in funds, to hire a protestor, would even qualify as a “job”, since its purpose is to stop the development of the Alberta oil sands.  This is in contrast to the religious charities whose work is aimed directly at helping the truly poor, homeless and displaced.

Fortunately, Trudeau’s discriminatory policy on the Summer Jobs Program is now being challenged in the courts. The Toronto Right to Life’s challenge of the policy is currently before the Federal Court which has released an affidavit signed by Rachel Wernick, a Senior Assistant Deputy Minister with Employment Canada.  The affidavit indicates that the government’s policy on the Summer Jobs Program was based on the complaint organized by a single pro-abortion lobby group.

A floodgate of litigation is also occurring elsewhere against the Program by other rejected groups.  For example, a small irrigation company near Brooks, Alberta has launched a legal challenge against the Program.  Also, twenty Christian groups are preparing their court challenges against the Program.

Even the BC Civil Liberties Association is challenging the Trudeau government’s policy on summer jobs, arguing that it is unconstitutional for the government to demand specific beliefs before providing funding to a group.

It seems that the Trudeau government’s hope that its troubling policy on the Summer Jobs Program will die, is not going to happen.   Nor should it.