Tamiko Charlton, who is against abortion, at Cheam Stables in Chilliwack in 2018 where she provided equine lessons to kids with special needs. Last year she was upset by a jobs grant application requirement to tick a box saying she supports reproductive rights. For 2019, that requirement is gone. (Greg Laychak/ The Progress file)

Tamiko Charlton, who is against abortion, at Cheam Stables in Chilliwack in 2018 where she provided equine lessons to kids with special needs. Last year she was upset by a jobs grant application requirement to tick a box saying she supports reproductive rights. For 2019, that requirement is gone. (Greg Laychak/ The Progress file)

Chilliwack-Hope MP says new summer jobs grant application no longer includes ‘values test’

Those with anti-abortion beliefs left out last year because of requirement to respect the Charter

The deadline is approaching for employers in the Eastern Fraser Valley and across Canada to apply for summer job funding in the federal program that proved controversial last year.

Jan. 25 is the last day to apply for Canada Summer Jobs 2019, and Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl is reminding business owners and local non-profits that the so-called “values test” is no longer part of the program.

“Now is the time for Chilliwack-Hope not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses to apply for funding through the Canada Summer Jobs program,” Strahl said in a press release.

“It’s unfortunate that so many organizations missed out on funding this year because of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal values test. Justin Trudeau’s values test has no place in a tolerant, multicultural society such as Canada. Organizations should not have to agree with the ideological positions of the Liberal Party of Canada to get government funding.”

Strahl referred to the attestation applicants were required to sign that included a promise that organization’s core mandate respects the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“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,” was the wording of the application.

That was put in place after a number of anti-abortion groups received funding to support anti-abortion efforts, something called an “oversight” by the Employment Minister at the time.

But some people with anti-abortion views, not necessarily applying for funding to promote those views, were upset about the attestation.

Tamiko Charlton in Chilliwack said she couldn’t believe the requirement when she sought to apply for funding for her horseback riding program for kids with special needs.

“Politically, I felt like I was in a twilight zone,” Charlton said last year.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack woman’s anti-abortion beliefs a roadblock for summer jobs grant

Strahl said that as a result of the values test, more than 1,500 Canada Summer Jobs applications were rejected in 2018 across Canada, up from 126 rejections in 2017. And hundreds of other organizations withdrew their applications or did not apply at all due to their refusal to sign the attestation.

“The new application for the 2019 Canada Summer Jobs program will include a modified attestation that relates to the type of work being done by prospective Canada Summer Jobs students, as opposed to the ‘core mandate’ of the organization applying,” according to Strahl’s press release.

The Canada Summer Jobs program creates summer job opportunities and work experience for youth aged 15 to 30.

Organizations or businesses looking to apply to the program can do so via Canada.ca/Canada-summer-jobs or visit a Service Canada Centre.

• READ MORE: Liberals drop contentious anti-abortion test for summer jobs funding


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in you inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.



Don't have an account? Click here to sign up