Changes to the Canada Summer Job Program

The Federal Government has just introduced new requirements for those seeking grants to employ students through the Canada Summer Job program.

See updated info and post here: http://baptist-atlantic.ca/news/update-changes-canada-summer-job-program!

Organizations applying for these grants “will be required 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 Freedom as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”

The Canada Summer Job website (https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/canada-summer-jobs.html) further delineates the government’s “values” about sexual & reproductive rights, abortions, and gender identity.

In order to be eligible for the grant, organizations will have to attest that they agree with the government’s positions on these topics. Organizations that cannot sign the document will not be able to receive the Canada Summer Job grants.

Many of our CBAC churches, camps and programs have, through access to these grants, been able to do significant work in our Atlantic Canada community for people regardless of their belief system. CBAC organizations seek the betterment of people’s lives and communities through caring for the poor, providing for the marginalized, welcoming refugees, supporting single parents, supplying children and youth programs, creating leadership development opportunities and so much more.

This troubling change could affect our churches, camps, programs and students and the communities they serve. We are also concerned what this means for Canadians “freedom of conscience and religion” and “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression” which are also included in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

We are encouraging all our churches, camps and partners to join with others across the country in a response through the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.

The EFC’s recommendations for response and updates on this issue can be found here: https://www.evangelicalfellowship.ca/Topics/Religious-Freedom-in-Canada/Canada-Summer-Jobs-Grants-Policy-Change. They have also posted a video: http://TheEFC.ca/SummerJobsGrantsVideo.

They currently asking us to help in three ways:

  1. If your organization usually applies for this grant and will potentially be affected by this change in policy, please contact feedback@TheEFC.ca and let them know. They want to track the impact of this change.
  2. Call or email your Member of Parliament (http://www.ourcommons.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members) to express your concern, and ask them to seek changes to the policy. The EFC have posted a sample letter on their website – https://www.evangelicalfellowship.ca/Topics/Religious-Freedom-in-Canada/Canada-Summer-Jobs-Grants-Policy-Change.
  3. Pray for religious freedom in Canada to be protected and respected, for EFC affiliates to be able to continue to work for the good of our society without hindrance, and for God to be glorified.

Other related links from some of our CBAC family and affiliates:

Thank you for your help in responding with concern and love.


  • Deborah Carlyle Enman

    Just wondering if you could talk about your use of the word “agree” in the 4th paragraph? I’m thinking it’s not necessarily an exact match for “respect” and that knowing what the government thinks is the difference between the two is critical to our response.

    • Thank you for your comment Deborah. You’re right, there is a difference. We should be able to respect one another’s position on ideas; and we do respect other’s freedom to choose. We also believe that we do not need to agree on everything. However, we have a strong sense that the government’s position is that we should agree (much of what the PM has said recently lends to this). Our struggle is that the wording is unclear – we’re not sure if they’re saying we should respect this policy or if we must agree with it. As well, the attestation language is strong and legal like: “The Employer declares, represents, attests and warrants that:” (section 12.0, https://catalogue.servicecanada.gc.ca/apps/EForms/pdf/en/ESDC-EMP5396A.pdf). The language and intent should be clear. All we can do is is our best to understand it, listen to others taking a lead on our behalf (EFC, CCCC), and pray that God will help us make the right choices.

      • Deborah Carlyle Enman

        Thanks!


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