Canadians don’t need a Liberal values test

by Postmedia NewsMore from Postmedia News

It’s pretty obvious what’s going on with the Canada Summer Jobs Grant scandal. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants us to all think like him. He is so adamant that it’s his way or the highway, that he won’t even let faith groups receive grants for summer students without literally signing on the dotted line that they’re on board with his sunny ways agenda.

If an organization wants to receive funds, and many faith groups have in the past, they’ll have to sign an attestation that “both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including … reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability or sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.”

It’s one thing to vow not to discriminate, which is what provincial labour and human rights laws already compel employers to do. It’s another to say you’ve got to be pro-choice. And not just be passively pro-choice, but to have it as part of your “core mandate”.

This has caused public furor across the country and even generated national headlines in the United States. Whatever your view on this contentious issue, the government shouldn’t be demanding stakeholders share their worldview or lose funding.

It’s curious the things the Liberals prioritize. As Lorne Gunter put it recently: “Returning ISIS fighters are not being asked to disavow their loyalty to ISIS’s death-to-the-West, radical Islamist ideology or to swear a new oath to uphold Canadian values and security. Yet faith-based groups looking for a few thousand bucks to hire a summer camp counsellor or office temp are being told they must first declare support for abortion-on-demand, LGBTQ rights and same-sex marriage or risk being denied funding under the Canada Summer Jobs program.”

On Tuesday, the Liberals reaffirmed their commitment to this, despite the outrage. They claim the change happened after they learned some of these grants were being used to fund pro-life activism.

But there’s a difference between funding activism and supporting a soup kitchen that happens to be pro-life.

The Liberals need to revise their criteria to reflect this important nuance.

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