If churches and other Christian groups in Canada want to receive government grants for student summer jobs, support for abortion must be part of their “core mandate,” according to a Canadian government official.
The Canadian government recently issued a rule stipulating applicants for the Canada Summer Jobs grant had to attest to specific views, in order to qualify. This attestation was purportedly exclusively aimed at groups opposed to abortion. Roman Catholic, evangelical and other religious organizations contend the rule is unfair and potentially illegal to be forced to make known their stances on abortion during the application process, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
Employment Minister Patty Hajdu stated last week that she was comfortable with requiring the grant applicants to check a box stating they have a “core mandate” which respects “reproductive rights.” Unless that box is checked, the online application cannot be submitted for consideration.
“In terms of church groups that are concerned that this may invalidate them from funding, in fact, my perspective is that it won’t, as long as their core mandate agrees with those hard won rights and freedoms that Canadians expect us to stand up for,” she said.
What exactly “core mandate” means is disputed.
Hadju’s office is attempting to distinguish between groups whose sole focus is to oppose abortion and a religious organization and faith-based groups that hold pro-life views.
The summer jobs grant currently funds approximately 70,000 placements for students, and religious groups that have run summer camps, daycares, drop-in centers and other programs have counted on the funding.
“We think this is a fair process,” Hadju said, noting that many faith groups have no problem with checking the box since “their core mandate is actually, for example, administering the word of God, or administering spiritual guidance for people … These are the kinds of things that, if you look at the core mandates of faith groups, that they talk about.”
Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Post