By Andy Labdon
Changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program announced by the Liberal government last month sparked controversy over where to draw the line between freedom of expression, religious beliefs, the Liberal’s overreach, and the reproductive rights of women in Canada.
Most people don’t use the program, but those who have a vested interest in the program will see the subsidies of hiring students for summer work drastically change. For years the program has survived unscathed from political correctness and meddling with the only changes being how much money the programs receive until now that is.
Cathay Wagantall has been making every effort on behalf of her constituents who will be affected by the changes (“Summer student application changes cause uproar,” Wadena News, Jan. 22, 2018) to combat the new values test the federal government has attached as a precondition to receiving funding.
“We recognize that this policy isn’t about the activities or services an organization is engaged in, it’s about targeting the personal beliefs of the individuals who run those organizations,” says Wagantall. “This is an issue in our riding, and I am asking those organizations who applied for the Canada Summer Jobs grant but either did not check the attestation or added an explanation as to why their organization could not ‘attest’ to contact me.”
Last week Wagantall stood up in the house to voice her concerns and concerns about applications from business and organizations who fail or refuse to sign the new attestation are denied.
“Mr. Speaker, university students are concerned over this prime minister’s assumption that he has his finger over the heartbeat of what Canadians value. Angered that he demands they forgo their charter rights and place his values ahead of their own or lose the opportunity to receive 2018 summer jobs funding,” said Wagantall. “One university student contacted me to say that she is very disappointed in this government for choosing them for their political agenda. She can determine her personal values and where she wants to work without government interference.
“More than any one ideology, Canadians value our democracy where freedom of religion and individual thought are protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms from the overreach of this Liberal government or any government in power.
“This domestic social engineering tactic harms what makes Canada the most sought-after country to call home. By reducing diversity stifling free speech and affirming the false accusation that if you don’t agree with me, you hate me. This partisan values test must be removed Canadians know what we value it’s our individual freedoms.”
Wagantall also asks for people within her riding of Yorkton-Melville to sign an online petition put up by Conservative MP Harold Albrecht for Kitchener–Conestoga in Ontario.
The link to Wagantall’s speech can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srSbCoPDaTc.
The link to the e-petition can be fount at: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-1484.