CCCC’s Response To Government’s Supplementary Information on CSJ

This entry is part 7 of 21 in the series Canada Summer Jobs.

 

​Minister Patty Hajdu called CCCC last evening to inform us of the rationale behind the attestation requirement of the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program.  We were given an opportunity to express our views.  The Minister then said she would take the information to her staff and see what to do. Today, we are pleased that the government has recognized the need to clarify the ambiguity of its attestation requirement for CSJ applicants by releasing Supplementary Information.

However, today’s release fails to rectify the problems we have raised since the beginning. There has been no change to the attestation clause, which continues to create confusion over the government’s position concerning “Charter values” and “other rights”.

Even if many of our members, based on the government’s definitions, believed they could sign the attestation, the basic problem still exists.  The attestation itself is flawed:

  • It still refers to “respecting” “Charter values” even though it is a hotly contested concept among lawyers, academics and politicians. Attesting to undefined values that are subject to government policy is neither right nor safe as governments change;
  • “Reproductive rights” still remain in the attestation with no definition of what those rights are. The unresolved issue, about abortion regulation, arising from the 1988 Supreme Court of Canada decision remains a legitimate matter of public debate despite the government’s belief that the debate is over. It is not;
  • It still references freedom from discrimination without any mention of the right granting provisions of Human Rights legislation across the country for private organizations to maintain their identity in hiring those in compliance with their beliefs and practices.

We remain concerned that the government is continuing to place certain conceptions of human rights in hierarchy. It is a long standing legal principle in Canada that Charter rights are equal.

Organizations that are faithfully carrying out their charitable mission, in compliance with all applicable rules and laws (including human rights obligations) could still face a rejection from the CSJ program. If organizations are violating their legal obligations under human rights legislation, then there are appropriate avenues of recourse against such conduct which should be pursued. But denying funding through vague language to organizations that are operating lawfully and which provide much needed public benefit to their communities is an inappropriate solution to the issue the government says it is trying to address.

The effect of the required attestation is that not all minority associations will be treated alike.  Those that hold and maintain lawful beliefs and practices which this government finds offensive may be denied eligibility for CSJ funding.  This is not acceptable.

If the government makes funding available for specific objectives, such as ensuring that young people are given an opportunity to gain experience in quality jobs and learning important career enhancing skills, they must do so in a fair and equitable manner.

We are concerned that using attestations of beliefs and values in order to receive government funding will become the norm.  That remains a problem for a free and democratic society that today’s release fails to address.

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Thoughts on CCCC’s Response To Government’s Supplementary Information on CSJ

  1. Darrell

    Thanks for this. The reality is they continue to “explain” their intentions but have not changed the attestation to reflect anything else. It needs a complete rewrite before we sign it as is.

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  2. John McIntyre

    Perhaps the government assumes that since the words they use are generally relative, re-definable or meaningless according to the desire of the moment, that Churches and charitable organizations operate along the same lines. We dare not sell out on this one. If it comes to it, let them keep their 30 pieces of silver.

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  3. Mel Middleton

    This is a true test for the integrity of God’s people today. We can not bow to this attempt by our “Liberal” government to manipulate Canadians into going down the proverbial (and dangerous) “garden path” to a godless tyranny. It is an appropriate time to consider strongly the words of the Almighty in Matthew 25, where, in separating the “sheep” from the “goats”, He says: “…Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto me”. Is it possible to imagine anyone who qualifies more for the status of “least of these” than an unborn child in Canada today? He/she has no legal protection whatsoever; no rights; no voice; no standing, and can be put to death at any time during gestation, for any reason whatsoever, (including being the “wrong” gender in the eyes of her mother), and in the most cruel and barbaric manner imaginable. God will not hold us guiltless if we continue to cave in on this quintessential injustice. We need to stand firm and raise a united and powerful voice. “Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless.” Proverbs 31:8

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