Canada Summer Jobs Grants: Changes, Impacts and Action

From Bishop Brian Dunn:

The (federal) government has made a policy change in the application process for the Canada Summer Jobs Grants.
This change is substantially contrary to Church teaching. 

In response, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on the recent changes to government requirements for “Canada Summer Jobs” program.

Canada Summer Jobs: CCCB concerns and statement

Emplois d’été Canada : Préoccupations et déclaration de la CECC

For the past week I have been working with the Office of Sean Fraser, MP, (as well as the CCCB) to deal with the issue of how Catholic parishes will complete the application for Canada Summer Student Funding. I have formulated the statement below.

The CCCB has advised that the attestation cannot be checked and this is certainly the opinion of anyone who supports the Church’s stand on abortion. On the other hand, the government has been insistent that the attestation must be checked and an application can include wording to explain the attestation. Sean’s Office states: “Your statement is beautiful and would serve to reassure parish members applying for funding on behalf of their organizations. Unfortunately, we have been told that the attestation has to be checked off in order for an application to be complete, and the wording of the attestation is not going to change. Your statement would accompany the complete application, and could not be seen to be an amendment to the attestation.” In the end, our applications may be considered incomplete and not be considered for funding.

I believe this is the only stance that we can make in light of the government’s views. As an alternative, perhaps parishes could apply for provincial funding and this might be more successful.

Statement Regarding the Readiness of Parishes to Uphold the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Our parishes and diocese have been established to provide pastoral care to those who are members of the Roman Catholic Church in the are of North Eastern Nova Scotia. This pastoral care includes the proclamation of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the celebration of the sacraments. The mission and mandate of our parishes are unique and important as we apply for this funding and as we provide services and assistance to our communities. As parishes we underscore our Catholic mission to proclaim the Gospel to all peoples and to be faithful to that mission in keeping with the teachings and tradition of the Catholic Church, including those on the protection of life and human sexuality.
With this in mind, we apply for summer students who are typically involved in activities such as, office work, work in archives, work around the properties of the parish, including cemeteries, helping to provide services to parishioners, provision of summer camps, etc. Often these summer positions provide students with valuable opportunities for apprenticeship.
Our parish upholds and protects the dignity of each human person, made in the image and likeness of God, and as citizens and people of Canada endeavor to uphold the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, even while disagreeing with the government’s interpretation of the Charter and the coercion it is using.
Our parish enjoys the rights guaranteed under section 2 (a) (b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – freedom of conscience and religion and freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression.
Our parish believes that the attestation is forcing believers to make uncomfortable or impossible choices about matters of religious belief and conscience. At the same time we are ready to affirm that our parish upholds and protects the dignity of each human person, and as citizens of Canada, we endeavor to uphold the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We realize that we make this affirmation in order to access funding through Canada Summer Jobs for worthwhile activities in our communities. We affirm that we are ready to respec tindividual human rights upheld by the Charter and the employee hired will work in an environment that respects the rights of all Canadians.

Download this statement (PDF)


Other actions to respond to this new policy
which seems to exclude Christian employers and other employers with traditional views about life, marriage, and sex from obtaining grants to employ students for the summer.

Sign the petition to Employment Minister Patty Hadju:

For additional information:

Attestation – Supplementary Information

Questions and Answers on the changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Grants programs:
Canadian Council of Christian Charities

National media links:

Editorial: Trudeau Government Needs to End Bias in Summer Job Funding
Catholic Register

National Post

Religious groups meet to discuss concerns over abortion clause in summer jobs grant application


Kelly McParland: Our flippant prime minister simply won't tolerate differing views 

Trudeau's love of dictatorships is showing again at home

Rex Murphy: No summer jobs for you! And other decrees from Bishop Trudeau


John Ivison: Trudeau's stubbornness over summer jobs application defies common sense


The Globe and Mail

Liberals must remember their values aren't the only ones that count


Anti-abortion activities, projects ineligible for Canada’s revamped youth service program (The Canadian Press)

Can Justin Trudeau tolerate real diversity?

The Globe and Mail Editorial
: In Canada abortion is a right. But so is criticizing it

Ottawa Sun

Prendergast: The freedom to hold beliefs — as long as they are the government's


The London Free Press

Abortion question complicates church funding


Grandin Media

Religious freedom under threat


Summer jobs policy strikes at religious freedom, bishops say


Opposition grows as Liberals fight backlash on jobs funding


Charities grapple with Canada Summer Jobs policy change


The B.C. Catholic

Justin Trudeau, meet George Orwell

Catholic Register

Charles Lewis: It’s official… pro-lifers are second class citizens

Le Devoir

La position de Justin Trudeau sur l’avortement irrite la droite américaine

Le Soleil

La position de Trudeau sur l’avortement irrite la droite américaine (texte de La Presse Canadienne)



Trudeau confronte les groupes anti-avortement au sujet du financement des emplois d'été


Présence information religieuse

Les évêques catholiques ulcérés par une clause d'Emplois d'été Canada