On Wednesday January 25, Rev. Dr. Darren Roorda signed an interfaith statement regarding the new controversial requirements of the Canada Summer Jobs Program grant. The statement calls on Prime Minister Trudeau and the Government of Canada to amend the Canada Summer Jobs guidelines and application process so that it does not compel agreement or belief, and allows religious organizations to stay true to their communal identity and beliefs.
The new Canada Summer Job Program guidelines specifically requires applicants to uphold “individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include 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, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”
These changes would mean that churches and organizations will have to affirm the government’s view on a list of issues, including the government’s position on abortion. Organizations unable or unwilling to agree to these guidelines will be ineligible for the grant.
For churches and organizations who will be applying for the grant, the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue encourages churches to consider the advice of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities (a CRCNA partner). Visit their page on the issue here.
For more information on the issues, and to get ideas for advocacy, the Centre for Public Dialogue has suggested members of the CRCNA connect with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (another CRCNA partner). You can read more below.
Does your church receive funding from the Canadian government for student interns? Will you be applying this year?