The BC Humanist Association has launched a petition in support of new application requirements for the Government of Canada's Canada Summer Jobs program.
The program provides wage subsidies to employers to hire high school and post-secondary students. The new policy requires applicants to attest that neither the job nor the employer's "core mandate" are contrary to human rights, including reproductive rights and the rights of transgender Canadians.
Until now, many churches, bible camps and other faith-based organizations could apply for funding under the program, some received tens of thousands of dollars in support to hire summer staff. Religious organizations are still eligible for the funding but those groups must now affirm their support for safe access to abortion and LGBTQ2+ rights.
Unhappy with the change, some conservative faith groups are suing the government claiming religious discrimination.
Ian Bushfield, Executive Director, BC Humanist Association
While we'd hope to see an end to public funding going to religious organizations entirely, ensuring that public funds aren't given to groups that work to undermine fundamental human rights is a positive step.
It's important for the government to hear from Canadians who support these actions, not just the small but vocal lobby for the religious right.
Sign the petition: No funding for anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ2+ groups
Update: The BC Humanist Association submitted the petition to the government on February 2, 2018 (when applications closed for the Canada Summer Jobs program). You can still add your signature to the petition above. Another letter, signed by over 80 rights groups was sent on January 28 by Action Canada.