Canada's government has reportedly banned pro-life employers from obtaining funding to create summer positions for students by requiring companies applying for government grants to sign an "attestation" that they hold pro-choice views.
Non-profits, small businesses, and public-sector employers hoping to participate in the "Canada Summer Jobs" program, "will have to attest that: both the job and the organization's core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights," according to a brief reportedly circulated to members of parliament last week.
"These include reproductive rights, and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, color, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression," continued the brief, posted on the anti-abortion website, Life Site.
The change will "prevent Government of Canada funding from flowing to organizations whose mandates or projects may not respect individual human rights," the brief reportedly stated.
Conservative House Leader Candice Bergen said in a statement Monday the move was "extremely troubling and un-Canadian."
"A Government should never be telling its citizens what they should and should not believe," Bergen said. "What we're seeing when it comes to this Liberal Government is that if you don't share exactly the same views that they do, you are likely to be left out in the cold."
She framed the issue as part of a "pattern of disrespect towards religious Canadians from this Liberal Government," referencing a Liberal Party attempt to remove a section of the Criminal Code criminalizing infringement upon religious worship.
Conservative MP Brad Trost first announced that representatives had been alerted of these changes on Wednesday, calling the new requirements "discrimination" in a video posted on Twitter.
"It automatically excludes all faith-based organizations that are traditional on their values of human life and sexual morality," said Troth. "That includes millions and millions of Canadians."
Life Site has launched a petition addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling his pro-choice views a "disgrace," and lambasting him for this "attack on people of conscience." As of Monday, the petition had reached a little over half of its goal of 10,000 signatures
Employers can apply for funding through Canada Summer Jobs to create seasonal employment opportunities for full-time students ages 15 to 30. MPs review and approve applications from their constituents, but the attestation would serve as a weeding process before representatives ever saw an application.
Trudeau has called himself "a resolutely pro-choice leader," and instituted an abortion litmus test for Liberal MPs when he was party leader, mandating that representatives "vote pro-choice on any bills."