Elmira, ON – Canadian Council of Christian Charities is deeply concerned with government policy that would deny Christian Charities equal access to the Canada Summer Jobs program. The Canada Summer Jobs program, according to canada.ca ,“provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year.” Participating organizations have until February 2, 2018 to submit their applications.
In the Christian community, summer camps are significant users of the program. Church-run or church-affiliated summer camps rely on government funding to hire hundreds of students to work as camp counsellors and instructors. These jobs provide students with the opportunity to learn life skills while doing great work for the younger children in their care. These programs are now threatened.
The federal government’s new policy requires applicant organizations to agree with the government’s policy on abortion and its norms on sexuality in order to participate in the program. This is an unjust requirement that belies the government’s obligation to be neutral in matters of religion. The policy also lays bare the fact that government is no longer willing to allow diversity of opinion on moral issues. This troubling development will have a negative impact on our members.
Canadian Council of Christian Charities will be active in the new year to study its options for addressing this latest challenge and protect its members’ interests.
In the meantime, we wish our members and the general public a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.