NEWS RELEASE

EDMONTON, January 17, 2018 – Alberta Senator Betty Unger is calling on the federal government to extend the February 2nd deadline for the Canada Summer Jobs program funding applications, saying that the government has created confusion and uncertainty over who qualifies for funding.

Summer Jobs program funding was previously made available to all small businesses, not-for-profit employers, public sector and faith-based organizations that provide summer jobs for students. This year, the government changed the application process, requiring organizations or employers to sign an “attestation” supporting “reproductive rights”.

“Churches and faith communities across the country are wrestling with what this new ‘attestation’ requirement means, and whether – in good conscience – they can even submit an application for funding,” said Senator Unger. “Many faith communities believe life to be sacred from conception to natural death. Is the government demanding that they recant their faith in order to qualify for funding through the Summer Jobs program?”

Unger says the new funding requirement is not only outrageous, it is confusing. “Churches, faith groups, organizations and even pro-life groups are happy to abide by the Charter of Rights. But the Charter does not impose conformity of belief like the Prime Minister suggests – quite the opposite. The Charter protects citizens from governments that would seek to infringe on their freedom of belief. It is Justin Trudeau who is offside with Charter values, not those who hold pro-life convictions.”

“Organizations have less than three weeks left to submit their applications, and many are still trying to navigate the confusion created by this government,” Unger said. “The government should immediately remove the required “attestation”, and extend the application deadline to compensate for the delays caused by this fiasco.”

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For more information, please contact:
Craig Docksteader, Parliamentary Affairs Advisor, Office of Senator Betty Unger
613-996-7420  |  craig.docksteader@sen.parl.gc.ca