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What we have feared has come true: the government has rejected the applications of Christian charities who could not, because of conscience, sign the government’s attestation requirement. CCCC’s sent the following message to our ministry leaders in response to the Government’s rejection:
Dear Ministry Leader,
Over the past days, we have received a number of notices from charities that their applications for funding through the Canada Summer Job Grant program have been returned due to “missing information” as a result of submitting an altered or modified attestation.
According to the Service Canada notification, any alteration or modification of the attestation will result in be considered an incomplete application.
However, Service Canada permits applicants to resubmit their application within 10 days of the rejection, with the offending attestation completed in order to perfect their application.
Essentially, Service Canada is asking charities to accept the Government’s attestation despite their religious and conscience rights.
CCCC suggests that charities who are unable to check the attestation box unamended resend their application along with the following request for an accommodation under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act.
To Whom It May Concern:
We have received your notification that our application has not been processed because “…the attestation cannot be altered or modified. The “I attest” box must be checked and the application signed.”
However, as we explained to you in our application, the requirement of the government to force us to make the attestation is a violation of our constitutional rights. Compelled speech violates our long-held democratic rights that have existed before the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, have been reiterated in the Charter, and are recognized in the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Our religious beliefs and obligations, our conscience, our beliefs, thoughts, and opinions all preclude us from making the attestation as set out in the application and guide, including the supplementary information.
It is for this reason that we request an accommodation of our Charter rights to
– freedom of religion;
– freedom of conscience;
– freedom of belief;
– freedom of opinion;
– freedom of thought;
– freedom of expression; and
– equality rights;
as well as our right to not be discriminated against on the basis of religion under the Canadian Human Rights Act.
We trust that you will consider the Charter and human rights accommodations we require.
We ask that you keep us informed on the success of your application and the government’s response to this letter to them.