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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elizabeth May Explains Why She Sides With Tories On Summer Jobs Dispute

An NDP MP also broke with his caucus on the issue.

By Ryan Maloney

Elizabeth May says the Liberal government overreached by attaching a clause on abortion rights to summer job funding applications, even though she agrees groups that "harass" women shouldn't receive government support.

"To insist on an attestation of values was a really serious mistake and a very bad precedent," the Green Party leader told HuffPost Canada Tuesday.

May was applauded by Conservative MPs Monday after she voted in favour of an opposition motion targeting controversial Liberal changes to Canada Summer Jobs funding that angered faith-based organizations.

Liberal MP Scott Simms, NDP MP David Christopherson, and Bloc MPs Xavier Barsalou-Duval, Mario Beaulieu, and Marilène Gill also backed the motion, which was easily defeated by a vote of 207-93.


The Liberal government demanded this winter that groups seeking summer job funding sign an attestation that the job and the "organization's core mandate" respect "the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms," including reproductive rights and abortion access.

Groups were also asked to attest they would not discriminate on the basis of race, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression.

The changes were brought in after it was revealed that past summer job funds went to anti-abortion groups, such as the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Employment Minister Patty Hajdu and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau encouraged faith-based organizations and churches to apply for funding and said they would not be barred because of their beliefs.

But the government would not budge on the need for the attestation, leading Tories to argue that religious groups were being subjected to a "Liberal values test" on abortion.

'The attestation went too far'

The defeated motion, tabled by Tory MP Karen Vecchio, stated that organizations engaging in "non-political non-activist work, such as feeding the homeless, helping refugees and giving kids an opportunity to go to camp," should be able to access the grants regardless of whether or not they sign the attestation.

May told HuffPost that while she supports Hajdu's intent to keep funds from anti-abortion or anti-LGBTQ organizations, the language used in the attestation created difficulty for faith-based groups who do a "lot of good work in this country."

May said she had a hard time convincing some groups in her B.C. riding, such as organizers of summer bible camps or devout Roman Catholics, just to "check the box" and voice concerns in a secondary letter.

"The attestation went too far in speaking to what values underlie the Charter in specific terms without referencing that you also have, under the Charter, the right to freedom of religion," she said.

May also doesn't believe an attestation box was needed because the summer job program is "highly discretionary" and each grant request is carefully reviewed.

"If there are groups that are troubling hot spots, they're easy to recognize. They're easy to review."

May said she has already faced some backlash online for backing the Tory motion but says she would never surrender "an inch of ground" on women's rights.

"As a feminist, I'm very clear about this. A woman's right to a legal and safe abortion is an absolute right, otherwise women die in illegal abortions. This is not a debate that we're going to open up."

The Green leader added that she told an abortion rights group concerned about her position to imagine if former prime minister Stephen Harper crafted a statement of values somebody had to check to hire summer students.

"This becomes a slippery slope and a bad precedent is one that I will not support," she said.

Christopherson, a veteran NDP MP, told HuffPost in a statement that he has been "unwavering" in his support for the pro-choice movement and LGBTQ rights. Voting against the rest of his caucus was a difficult decision.

"For me, the vote last night spoke directly to what our democracy means: You must obey the law, but you still have the fundamental right to oppose the law," he said in an email.

"As long as organizations are following the law and respecting everyone's Charter rights, then its personal beliefs shouldn't have a bearing on whether or not they can apply for funding. I'm not aware of any other government funding program that requires an attestation like this."

“You must obey the law, but you still have the fundamental right to oppose the law.
—David Christopherson

If organizations in his riding felt their rights were being compromised by signing the attestation, then the effect "was to deny them access to a government program because of their religious beliefs," he said.

Simms did not respond to a request for comment but told CBC Radio in January that groups were being asked "to do something that they shouldn't be asked to do for the sake of a summer job for kids."

The Canadian Press reported this week that while rejections for Canada Summer Jobs funding spiked after the criteria changes introduced by the Liberals, the overall number of eligible applications only slightly declined from last year.

Hajdu said this week that the government believes it is on track to fund some 70,000 student jobs this summer.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is one of the more unusual disputes we've seen in Ottawa , regardless of where you stand on the abortion or social issues , I think everyone would agree they wouldn't want to see children's safety put in jeopardy

and I think trudeau's summer jobs rule is going to do just that , most of the groups which were rejected funding in my area are summer camps which are on the water on large lakes

they need to hire a certain number of camp counsellors and staff to run these large camps during the summer , 100's of kids attend some of them .

if there not able to afford to maintain there past levels of staff and lifeguards , its not hard to envision scenarios where a child's safety could be needlessly put in jeopardy because of a stuiped dispute in Ottawa

my point trudeau is needlessly putting our children at risk and if someone drowns this summer at a camp because they didn't have enough staff to monitor them , he has blood on his hands , and is personally responsible for there death

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two reactions to this.

First, the campers themselves should be involved in doing things safely. They should be shown what and how to do things and given the right attitudes to do them. They shouldn't be able to take the canoe course until they can pass a swimming test. They can do a lot to make kids conscious of safety. I am assuming these kids are at an age where they go to schools and are learning how to paddle a canoe. After learning to swim.

The problem isn't really safety -- it's legal liability.

Second, the kids have to be exposed to risk. They have to know how to function when the plan might not work. One of the problems with the modern child is that they are almost never unsupervised. The more 'urban' your dwelling place, the more this is true. Too many kids grow up without brothers or sisters, are driven to school, go to perhaps a dance class or a martial art class, and are picked up ... blah, blah, blah ... What has almost disappeared is kid-generated play. Play where kids make up their own 'game' to play, and maybe even make up the drama. That's what Cowboys and Indians was all about. back when kids were free -- it was just two sides who pretended to go to war with cap pistols.

None of that these days. No free play because they might do it wrong!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

either way there punishing kids who attend summer camp and the young students who work at them for summer jobs to make extra money for school

its purely sickening that the liberals would decide to do such a thing .

is it a safety issue or a liability issue ? I have no idea but if the camp previous hired 10 camp counsellors and this year is only able to hire 5 . one would surely start to question if the services and standards from past years can be meet ?

to try and claim there doing this cause these groups protested abortion and gay rights is none sense . there is no evidence any of these summer camps ever sent the kids to protest such causes during the summer or encouraged them to so

its clearly an attack on them because of there religious beliefs , I wonder if any muslim groups applied for summer job funding and if any were rejected ?

it seems that the liberals have now decided traditional religions like Catholics and Christians are bad but other religions newer to Canada like muslims are good ?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( these are the people Justin Trudeau is punishing for not having the right "values " )

'Purity' test shuts down Innisfil summer camp funding

News Mar 29, 2018 by Janis Ramsay  Innisfil Journal|

No summer camp

Five-year-old Tanner Vel (left) and his sister Livia, 8, are sad to learn they won't get to go to the Innisfil Community Church camp this summer, thanks to a new federal policy. - Janis Ramsay/Metroland

Innisfil mom Cheryl Vel had to break the news to her kids they won’t be going to their No. 1 choice of summer camp this year.

“My kids genuinely loved it. I asked them where they wanted to go this year, and they said church camp,” Vel said.

Last summer, she sent her kids to the Innisfil Community Church camp. That camp has been cancelled thanks to a new federal government policy, church officials say.

Not only did the camp save her approximately $200 a week, but her children loved it, said Vel.

“It was well run and I liked the fact it was more like an old-school camp. What other camp can you have a water-gun fight? It created an environment where they could be kids.”

Innisfil Community Church Rev. Andy Hammond knows the cancellation has made a lot of kids and parents upset.

He said the church cancelled its full-day, eight-week summer camp thanks to lack of Canada Summer Jobs funding.

This year, the federal Liberals introduced a new element on the application form, which asks applicants to check a box attesting they respect individual human rights in Canada. It applies to issues like reproductive and LGBTQ rights.

“I didn’t sign the attestation and many other churches didn’t either,” Hammond said.

Hammond has applied for the Canada Summer Jobs grant for four years with the Innisfil church and this is the first time he failed at getting the funding.

“Of course we were disappointed, it’s heartbreaking,” Hammond said. “My heart goes out to the students we would have hired, but to the families as well.”

The Innisfil Community Church typically hired between 10 and 12 high school or university students for the summer, with approximately 80 kids attending from 30 to 40 families.

The reduced cost to families was an added bonus.

“We believe a religious group holding an opinion different than government’s should never be reason enough for government refusal of government benefits,” Rev. Howard Courtney wrote in his March 25 church program.

And others understand his position.

“There are 42 jobs affected by this, which means less young people working because (organizations) didn’t sign this attestation,” Conservative Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard said.

He added private businesses are also not receiving money this year. An Alcona restaurant applied for the funding in the past to hire summer help, but was declined this year, Brassard said.

They refused to tick the box, based on their belief of a fundamental right under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to believe what they want to believe.

“They do not want to have to subscribe to some ideological purity test imposed on them by the Liberal government,” Brassard added.

The Canada Summer Jobs program was introduced in 2007 and has helped 400,000 students get summer employment over the last decade.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( its been revealed the liberals punished the only liberal mp who voted for the conservative motion )

N.L. MP Scott Simms removed as fisheries chair after breaking with Liberal party line

Voted with conservatives over change to summer jobs program

Joanna Smith · The Canadian Press · Posted: Apr 19, 2018 9:06 PM NT | Last Updated: April 19

MP Scott Simms says he's not surprised voting with the conservatives cost him the fisheries chair. (CBC)

Liberal MP Scott Simms does not regret voting with the Conservatives over a controversial change to the student summer jobs program — even though it ended up costing him his job as chair of the Commons fisheries committee.

"I knew what was coming," the veteran Newfoundland MP said Thursday.

"So that's the way it works, I guess, and I have no regrets."

The Liberal government is now requiring organizations seeking federal funding through the Canada Summer Jobs program, which created nearly 69,000 temporary jobs last year, to attest to their respect for sexual and reproductive rights -- including abortion -- as well as other human rights.

Employment and Social Development Canada later clarified this was not meant to target beliefs or values, but still made it mandatory to check off a box on the application form confirming their agreement with the stipulation.

Many churches and other faith-based organizations said they were being forced to choose between their spiritual values and grants that helped them run summer camps, soup kitchens and other activities that had nothing to do with abortion.

Knew there would be consequences

Simms said he knew he would face consequences when he voted for a Conservative motion last month urging the Liberal government to allow groups engaged in "non-political, non-activist work" to access the federal jobs grant, even if they didn't express respect for abortion rights.

He said he was told it would be a whipped vote — meaning Liberal MPs were to toe the party line — but that he stood in favour of the motion anyway, because he believed the Conservatives had crafted it in a straightforward way and that the Liberals had gone too far.

"This to me was a personal issue," he said. "I just felt that it was an insensitive thing to do and we should have stepped back and worded it differently."

The decision to change the eligibility criteria stemmed from a controversy last year when officials approved tens of thousands of dollars for anti-abortion groups in at least two ridings.

Monsignor Frank Puddister, chancellor of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s, is one of the people opposing the change to the summer jobs program. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

Simms said he does not think organizations should be using federal funding to hire summer students for those kinds of activities, but that the Liberal government was being overly broad in how it tried to solve the problem.

"It was wide off the mark," said Simms, who is in Vienna this week with the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed during the 2015 election campaign that he would allow backbench MPs to vote against party lines, with three exceptions: legislation implementing platform promises, confidence matters, such as those involving the budget, and any votes dealing with "shared values," including issues involving the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

A spokeswoman for Trudeau would not comment. Nor would chief government whip Pablo Rodriguez.

"Committee membership changes are considered internal related matters which we do not comment on," said his chief of staff, Charles-Eric Lepine.

Loss of salary

Simms said he was told not long after the March 19 vote that he would be removed from the fisheries committee, but for procedural reasons the decision did not take effect until this Monday.

The punishment comes with a cost: committee chairs earn $11,900 on top of their regular MP salary.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh backed off his punishment for NDP MP David Christopherson and restored the Hamilton Centre MP to his role as vice chair of the procedures and House affairs committee. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Simms did not seem too concerned about the money.

"Well, if I missed it that much I would have voted the other way," he said.

Simms was not the only MP disciplined for supporting the Conservative motion.

New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh removed Ontario MP David Christopherson from his role as vice chair of the procedure and House affairs committee last month, but then reversed his decision after it was criticized publicly by at least three senior caucus members.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( an update to this story , liberals have apparently made changes to the 2019 application and removed wording about abortion or reproductive rights and instead refer to it as legal rights , if this is enough to please those upset , we'll soon find out )

Liberals drop anti-abortion test for summer jobs funding after backlash

Canadian Press
Canadian Press

More from Canadian Press

December 6, 2018

December 6, 2018 8:54 AM EST

Filed Under:

Canoe ›
News ›

OTTAWA — Contentious wording in Ottawa’s summer jobs program that tied pro-abortion beliefs to funding eligibility is being dropped after a backlash to what was styled last year as a values test.

Instead, the federal Liberals have re-tooled the 2019 version of the Canada Summer Jobs program to require applicants to declare they don’t work to infringe on any Canadian’s legal rights.

Wording on the application for the 2018 version of the program required groups to say neither their core mandate nor the jobs being funded actively worked to undermine constitutional, human and reproductive rights.

Labour Minister Patty Hajdu says the change — made after informal consultations over the past few months — should clear up concerns from faith-based groups who expressed outrage over this past year’s requirements.

Activists decry Liberal summer jobs pro-choice and gender identity funding demands ahead of 2018 applications

“They felt this was about their values and beliefs and not about the jobs and the performances of the students in particular roles and we took that to heart,” Hajdu said in an interview.

“We’ve been working on making sure we do what we intended to do, which is to stand up for the rights of Canadians…but that we also work closely with faith-based groups and others so that they can see how they themselves would fit into this program.”

Additional changes have been made to the program’s eligibility criteria to disqualify any project or summer job that tries to restrict access a woman’s ability to access sexual or reproductive health services. Other disqualifying traits include jobs that restrict the exercise of human rights or that discriminate based on sex, religion, race or ethnic origin.

“This is a program about quality jobs for kids, so we shouldn’t be asking kids in any circumstance to do work that would put them into a position to have to undermine or restrict the rights of others,” Hajdu said.

“That’s not the kind of job experience we would want young people to have, especially for, often times, their first (job).”

The change is one of several made to the popular program to be outlined today to MPs. Employers can begin to apply later this month.

The Liberals are opening the program to any young person age 15 to 30, no longer requiring them to be students in order to have their position qualify for funding.

Widening eligibility is a step towards a revamp of the summer jobs program that a government-struck expert panel called for last year.

The panel’s final report recommended the Liberals expand eligibility for the Canada Summer Jobs program to include those who are not in post-secondary studies and make funding accessible throughout the year and not just during the summer months.

Available positions will also be posted on a newly released mobile app that lets users search through the federal government’s job bank.

At the end of the summer, employers and employees will be required to fill out a survey so the government can get better feedback about their experiences to help fine-tune the program going forward. Hajdu said employers will also be required to follow mentorship plans for their workers as part of efforts to ensure only “quality” jobs are funded.

The data collected won’t be used to screen out employers in subsequent funding years, but to evaluate the program overall, Hajdu said.

“This is a really great jobs program for kids, they make some money, they get that experience, but we want to make sure it is actually resulting in quality experience,” she said.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a strange determination ... they are 'giving way' to public opinion while signalling that they are simply looking for another way to accomplish the same thing.

Why is it so important to them? Well, it's a dog-whistle to the feminists for whom abortion is fundamental. But is this worth riling up the traditionalists? Can it be that they want to stir up that debate again? First thing you know we'll be into it again about assisted suicide.

I am wondering if this is a distraction ...

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
There's a strange determination ... they are 'giving way' to public opinion while signalling that they are simply looking for another way to accomplish the same thing.

Why is it so important to them? Well, it's a dog-whistle to the feminists for whom abortion is fundamental. But is this worth riling up the traditionalists? Can it be that they want to stir up that debate again? First thing you know we'll be into it again about assisted suicide.

I am wondering if this is a distraction ...

well this decision follows a trend of similar fall backs over other controversial ideas and things pushed by the liberals or those inside government

they seem to be trying to eliminate various problem issues that caused them trouble , but is this simply in advance of the federal election ?

have the liberals really changed or are they just doing what they think will benefit them the most in 2019 ?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Addressing your question: I imagine they look at this as 'tweeking' the PR package that goes with this issue. They want to appease urbanites without rousing the rural types, who don't vote for them anyway. And this is how they do it. It's a way of 'messaging'.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Government are in the midst of a legal challenge on the issue they could potentially lose, this is about preempting that potential loss more than a PR tactic IMO.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes the govt can be the dumbest thing walking.

They knew this would be contested at some point, Im guessing they knew it would come after the summer when all of this ended.

But damn, it was a stupid idea from the get go.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stupid, from a certain angle perhaps ... it might be useful to see what little bits of religious 'rights' still exist ... as 'enforceable' things.

But the powers-that-be proably look at it entirely differently. For them ... it's one of those dog-whistle things that they're so good at. Look at it this way -- they advertise an ideological requirement that messes with religious feelings. If it slips by, good. If it gets challenged, you give way after a couple of days of controversy. Who really cares a week later?

It doesn't cost much, and even if it fails, it still furthers the narrative -- that is of progressives breaking down the oppressive barriers that keep people from being free.

Now they can tell their supporters they tried, they did all they can do, but what can you expect from a black-hearted woman-hating Conservative like Ford?

In a way, it's better for the party if it fails after a clamour rather than succeeds in keeping reiigious youth out of government work. It costs next to nothing and has no real down side.

That's why the Conservatives muzzle Ms. Granic, who makes very reasonable points about the topics that 'triggers' their base -- particularly on sex education and gender equality. I suspect such people stir up their opposition more than they gain for their side.
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Liberals attach Social demands to summer job funding

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