Trudeau government stands firm in clash with faith-based groups over summer jobs

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quizzical

exactly pogo. every program or project has to have its own accounting breakdown. but all the money is in the same account except for gaming.

but let's say you have a pgm called community outreach you have funding for. who knows what your community outreach really consists of.

no government or government associated money should go to any org which has or is doing anti-human rights activities. period.

Pondering

For any grant there is a set of criteria that must be met to be eligible. This could have been placed in that set of criteria. No need for applicants to check boxes or make declarations. 

The way in which this was introduced was designed to get airtime for the Liberals and to bring back the social conservatism boogie man. It's a shot at the Conservative party. It's a reminder to voters that Liberals are progressive especially in standing up for women's rights. 

6079_Smith_W

Yup, I agree Pondering. And it isn't the first time they have done it. It does nothing to reduce discrimination; all it does is give ammunition to those who think the "lefty" authoritarians are out to get them.

SocialJustice101

Considering how this was executived, I doubt this was a Liberal political ploy.   Last year, anti-choice activist groups (not churches) took the government to court because they were denied funding without a specific reason.   They were told that there is no more money available for the program.  The goverment had to settle and admit that the actual reason for the decline was not available as an official response.   Thus, the new "Core Mandate" requirement was implemented, in reaction to the anti-choice activist groups' demands and lawsuits.

6079_Smith_W

As was mentioned upthread, these requirements are stated in the criteria for these grants. And there is already a box stating what the group's mandate is. So there is no reason to also to have a check box, which puts groups in the position of having to lie.

It might not seem like a big difference if you aren't the one who has to decide to put your name to that lie.There are already some churches which have submitted the form and left the box unchecked.

It is a good thing that the government is cracking down and not providing funding for projects that oppose human rights. They are making a mistake by doing it this way.

SocialJustice101

Is there a difference between checking the box or signing an application where you confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria, among them the core mandate requirement?  The Liberals would have been accused of hiding the new requirement in the "small print."  

6079_Smith_W

There is a big difference, actually. Because the one doesn't require someone to declare support for a principle they don't support, even if the job has nothing to do with it. It is still a situation where the government has the option of refusing, and targetting those groups which really are working to oppose choice, but it wouldn't catch other groups as well by requiring a false declaration.

It would be fine if it was just anti-choice projects that were caught by this, but that isn't what is happening.

 

SocialJustice101

Court dismisses anti-abortion group’s injunction request over Canada Summer Jobs funding

The Federal Court of Canada has dismissed a request by an anti-abortion group suing the government over changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program for an injunction barring the change from applying to applications submitted this year.

In a decision announced Tuesday evening, a judge ruled that the Toronto Right to Life Association did not meet the burden of proof required to qualify for an injunction against a rule, implemented by the government in December, that requires groups seeking funding through the Canada Summer Jobs program to sign an attestation stating that they respect the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights.

Those include reproductive rights, which the group has argued violate their right to freedom of belief and expression.

http://globalnews.ca/news/3996508/canada-summer-jobs-injunction-anti-abortion-group/

SocialJustice101

Canada Summer Jobs attestation endorsed by 80 Canadian rights groups

Eighty pro-choice and human rights groups including Oxfam Canada have signed an open letter applauding the government’s move to require all groups seeking funding through the Canada Summer Jobs program to sign an attestation stating they support Canadian constitutional rights as well as the right to reproductive choice.

The letter, coordinated by Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights and National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL), praises the government for a move advocates have said targets anti-abortion and anti-gay groups to restrict their access to federal funds being used to support activities that seek to restrict access to abortion or discriminate against LGBTQ Canadians.

https://globalnews.ca/news/3993867/canada-summer-job-attestation-endorsed-by-80-canadian-rights-groups/

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
In a decision announced Tuesday evening, a judge ruled that the Toronto Right to Life Association did not meet the burden of proof required to qualify for an injunction against a rule, implemented by the government in December, that requires groups seeking funding through the Canada Summer Jobs program to sign an attestation stating that they respect the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights.

Wait!  What???

Did NOBODY think to tell that judge just how WRONG it is to require a benevolent group like "Toronto Right to Life Association" to check a box that they don't want to check?

Quote:
Those include reproductive rights, which the group has argued violate their right to freedom of belief and expression.

Damn straight!  What next?  No public funding for groups whose only "crime" is wanting to outlaw homosexuality???  Those envelopes don't magically lick themselves!

SocialJustice101

Liberals’ summer jobs program controversy on reproductive rights overblown

The Charter-protected rights to religious and expressive freedom are, for the most part, negative rights. The government can neither compel nor impede expression of religious belief or religious practice unless such action can be justified in a free and democratic society. As the new eligibility criteria for the Canada Summer Jobs program neither compels nor impedes expression or religious practices, a Charter challenge is bound to fail. The jurisprudence is also clear that the Charter does not require governments to support expressive or religious rights. Governments can, unbound by the Charter, choose the advocacy projects it wishes to support.

http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/author/karen-busby/liberals-summer-jobs-program-controversy-on-reproductive-rights-overblown-15238/

6079_Smith_W

And there has already been a ruling that funding is not a right, and it would be difficult to prove if it was. And organizations don't have rights in any case. As I said upthread, this isn't really a legal issue.

Thing is, you'd think the Liberals would have learned their lesson on not unnecessarily overstepping a good measure from what happened to the gun registry. Evidently not, considering they seem unaware this will galvanize many who actually support choice against them.

SocialJustice101

The attestation could definitely have been worded better, to prevent the right-wing from claiming belief policing by the Liberals.   Most people just don't understand the term "Core Mandate."   Self-servingly, right-wing organizations interpret it as "core values" instead.

6079_Smith_W

Well maybe they should think about changing it so the language is clear, and there is no misunderstanding. It is one thing when they say it; quite another when they expect others to put their names to it.

SocialJustice101

They did issue a clarification on the official website that Core Mandate means the primary activities, rather than beliefs or values of an organization.   They also clarified that "respecting" the rights means not seeking to undermine them, rather than agreeing with the rights.   I suspect the government will not change the actual wording of the application for legal reasons at this point.   Perhaps next year, the wording will be more precise.   The Liberals made an error in political style rather than in substance.    They should have seen the right-wing attack coming.

6079_Smith_W

Of course they should have seen it coming because it isn't just right-wingers who are concerned about it.

They should also not have tried to use this issue to make political hay in the first place.

SocialJustice101

Everything is political.   If a government isn't making any waves, it means no changes are being made to the establishment system.   However, in this instance, the Libs should have consulted communications experts, not just lawyers, on wording of the conditions for government funding.

6079_Smith_W

There is a difference between progressive social change and exploiting something to play to your base or rub it in the faces of political opponents. Pondering alluded to this upthread. That hubris is the problem because it is unnecessary. And if it was just a mistake, they should be clear about that and fix it. It is no one else's fault for misunderstanding. It is their job as government to get it right for everyone, not put some in a position where they are humiliated.

SocialJustice101

Defunding anti-choice and anti-gay groups absolutely had to be done.   From a media perspective, it could have been handled better stylistically, but the so-cons would have screamed bloody murder in any case.   You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.

SocialJustice101

I doubt most Canadians are even aware that anti-choice and anti-gay groups used to receive taxpayers dollars' under Harper, who also de-funded women's groups.   I'd argue that there hasn't been enough political play and not enough media exposure for such issues.   The Liberals quietly made the changes without making a big deal out of them, until the neo-con corporate media blew it out of proportion.

6079_Smith_W

SocialJustice101 wrote:

Defunding anti-choice and anti-gay groups absolutely had to be done.

No one here is arguing against that. I wasn't aware Paula Simons was the neocon corporate media.

 

voice of the damned

6079_Smith_W wrote:

SocialJustice101 wrote:

Defunding anti-choice and anti-gay groups absolutely had to be done.

No one here is arguing against that. I wasn't aware Paula Simons was the neocon corporate media.

 

Well, her employer, The Edmonton Journal, is definitely corporate, as far as ownership goes. I wouldn't say she's neocon, though. In fact, in the last provincial election, when Postmedia headquarters in Toronto ordered their Alberta papers to endorse the Conservatives, Simons was one of the columnists who publicized this meddling and criticized it in her column. And I don't think it was because she wanted people to vote Wildrose, since she's generally left-of-centre on most issues.  

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
not put some in a position where they are humiliated.

If respecting Charter rights is humiliating to some Canadians, we should revisit the Charter, and maybe dial it down a notch or something.

I can't stand the thought of anyone having to, say, hire a gay man if this humiliates them.

6079_Smith_W

That isn't what this is about and you know it.

In fact, as SJ101 pointed out the government clarified this is about actions, not beliefs. So what is the problem with them making their attestation more accurate to reflect that?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
That isn't what this is about and you know it.

I agree it's not about "humiliation".

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

SocialJustice101 wrote:

I doubt most Canadians are even aware that anti-choice and anti-gay groups used to receive taxpayers dollars' under Harper, who also de-funded women's groups.   I'd argue that there hasn't been enough political play and not enough media exposure for such issues.   The Liberals quietly made the changes without making a big deal out of them, until the neo-con corporate media blew it out of proportion.

Thanks for supporting what is a positive move by the government with facts and rational advice, Social Justice.

When Harper axed about 20,000 jobs in the civil service, he also bolstered the number of communications jobs. I'm starting to wonder whether the current government is saddled with some dud communications directors. With this change and the  changes to stopping the independent business taxation loophole, getting the message out clearly and effectively hasn't been as strong as when they were on the campaign trail.

Plus you got to figure you're on the side of angels when Charles "Chuckles" McVety of Canada Christian College keeps stoking the fires.
Faith-based groups made a plea Wednesday for the Liberals to drop the requirement, calling it a "draconian ... and even communistic" measure that will rob hundreds of Christian organizations of funding for summer jobs. Charles McVety, president of Canada Christian College, said he and other groups would oppose similar requirements for funding that required someone to support creationism.

https://www.guelphmercury.com/news-story/8101908-group-loses-court-bid-o...

The same guy that still managed to violate other core mandates in 2010:

Christian broadcaster CTS has taken the television show of evangelical minister Charles McVety off the air, after an industry watchdog ruled that statements he had made about homosexuals violated its broadcasting codes.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/broadcaster-suspends-reverend-s-tv-show-1.584804

6079_Smith_W

Forgot to mention these guys:

https://nowtoronto.com/news/mens-rights-group-used-feminists-names-on-ch...

Thing is, we don't undo that legacy by taking it out on groups that have nothing to do with those abuses. Unless this some scattershot game of tit for tat.

And unless we are fine with some groups that got it from Harper getting it from the other direction.

 

josh

Those who are smug now be forwarned:  what's good for the goose, is good for the gander.

SocialJustice101

Trudeau firmly defends summer job grant policy at Winnipeg town hall (Jan 31, 2018)

"There are certain groups that are specifically dedicated to fighting abortion rights for women and inclusion of LGBT communities. And that is wrong," he said to loud applause from the crowd at the University of Manitoba. 

"That is not something the federal government is going to fund. We are not rolling back the clock on women's rights."

Trudeau said church groups do good work in the community and he hopes that continues.

"No religious group is going to be barred from Canada's summer jobs on the basis of their beliefs, period. Anyone who tells you otherwise is pushing a political agenda," said Trudeau.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/justin-trudeau-winnipeg-town-hall-1.4513399

josh

That takes chutzpah.  If anyone is pushing a political agenda, it's Trudeau.  Playing wedge politics.

SocialJustice101

josh wrote:

That takes chutzpah.  If anyone is pushing a political agenda, it's Trudeau.  Playing wedge politics.

Since the people were not even aware of anti-abortion activists getting taxpayers' dollars from the Harper government, clearly the Liberals have NOT played politics enough.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

One more "volunteer" hired by a right-wing religious group using taxpayer money is one more available for the Conservative Party. The clearing house between the CPC and these groups is the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. Check it out!

josh

And in the U.S., something similar:

Elman added, “They’ll be free to continue to do that, after he’s confirmed. But if they continue to do so at the institutional level — in the form of instructional programming of entire centers and departments — then Marcus will work to make sure that they’ll be forced to kiss federal funding goodbye.”

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/jewish-and-civil-rights-groups-urge-congress-to-prevent-abuse-of-federal-education-funds/article/2647764

6079_Smith_W

oops. wrong thread.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Those who are smug now be forwarned:  what's good for the goose, is good for the gander.

If both the goose and the gander have to respect the Charter before reaching into the big sack of Everyone's Money, that's actually good for all of us.

FWIW, if recipients of a grant had to pledge fealty to the government of the day, I would have already started three threads about that.  But respecting the Charter is too much now?

SocialJustice101

Funding so-con organizations in the hope of reciprocity is a fool's errand.    The next con government, God forbid, will defund all progressive groups for sure.   So just campaign hard to ensure it doesn't happen anytime soon.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

It seems to me that many of the activist right wing religious fundamentalist groups that have unprecedented clout in the US and were trying to make huge inroads during Harper's government, got their well funded foothold on government policy when Reagan introduced "Faith Based Initiatives" funding as a way to reduce spending and unload responsibility for social, economic and mental well being. Any measures that ensure that we don't introduce the frightening scenario that exists in the US today is fine by me, especially when it's charter proof.

Pondering

Why do you think the Liberals chose to do this now? Did they fund anti-choice groups the past 2 years and just decide now that it was inappropriate?

SocialJustice101

They've actually been fighting the so-cons in the courts for the past 2 years.  Look up the background above.

6079_Smith_W

Mr. Magoo wrote:

FWIW, if recipients of a grant had to pledge fealty to the government of the day, I would have already started three threads about that.  But respecting the Charter is too much now?

Good to know you're totally on board with supporting prevention of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, Magoo. Is that pronouns and all?

Thing is, it isn't simply a pledge of respect for the Charter. It specifically mentions a question of values - reproductive rights. It might seem as clear as day to you that it isn't humiliation, but then it isn't a case of semantics getting a bit too close to your values. And whatever we might think about people who are anti-choice, it isn't against the Charter to feel that abortion is murder; it actually protects those who hold that belief from discrimination

You only disrespect the charter by violating it.

It has already been acknowledged by a few people here that the passage might have been better worded. And the feds seem to have also acknowledged that in stepping up and making their clarification that this isn't about values, but actions.

So why is Justin still insisting this misunderstanding is just some right wing ploy and he bears no responsibility for the confusion? He did it again today. It would have been just as easy to say sorry and that there would be a correction next year. So why another reactionary smackdown?

SocialJustice101

The attestation could have been worded better, but it's still a huge stretch that the CSJ program can somehow restrict the freedom of religion/speech/expression.   The opponents are the same people who've been spreading lies about the anti-islamophobia motion.  They said once the *non-binding motion* passes, freedom of speech will cease to exist in Canada.  Those people are nasty and are pushing a dispeakable political agenda.  With that said, the Libs should have done a better job by not giving them more ammunition than necessary.

6079_Smith_W

A lot of people say a lot of things, and "those people" contribute to the federal coffers just as we do. I think it might be helpful to dial back some of the rhetoric on this. At least as it concerns people who aren't looking for grants to torch health clinics.

Near as I can see this was the Liberals' gaffe, and they should probably be taking a more graceful path to making it right, especially since they have already clarified that they aren't targetting people for their values.

 

 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I disagree, Smith. Some of these groups are definitely out to "torch health clinics" if they provide birth control, abortions and family planning services. Look at what has happened in the US. Look at the attack on women's rights and on services offered to them by Planned Parenthood. If we don't stop this trend towards carving away our rights as women, we will embolden the McVetys and others to totally turn our society back many decades.

 

6079_Smith_W

Hey laine. I said "at least as it concerns those who aren't".

Yes we know there are some who did want this funding for anti-abortion purposes. They should be refused.

There are far more which do not have that mandate, including many which are doing progressive work, but are still caught up in this.

brookmere

6079_Smith_W wrote:
So why is Justin still insisting this misunderstanding is just some right wing ploy and he bears no responsibility for the confusion?

Because he wants to keep all those voters he poached from the NDP in 2015 by portraying himself as the arch-foe of the religious right and Scheer as their stooge. Cheap politics? Sure. But that's what wins elections.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Yes we know there are some who did want this funding for anti-abortion purposes. They should be refused.

On the basis of what?

Quote:
So why is Justin still insisting this misunderstanding is just some right wing ploy and he bears no responsibility for the confusion?

Because anyone who cares can Google "difference between beliefs and mandate"?

6079_Smith_W

We've already been around this mulberry bush Magoo. Applicants have to state their mandate and the purpose of the job in the application.

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