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Summer student job funding pulled from pro-life group

The federal government has applied what amounts to a “values test” to determine eligibility for funding on the Canada Summer Jobs Program. The program is supposed to provide wage subsidies for employers to help them train full-time students, and to provide those students with some income so they don’t have to rely exclusively on student loans to fund their education.

However, the government is looking at changing the rules to ensure that no Liberal MPs would be allowed to allocate money to any pro-life groups. The issue came to light after a Liberal MP allocated more than $56-thousand dollars to the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR). That money has now been retracted, and the government called it an “oversight.”

Jonathon Van Maren with the CCBR concedes that this is government funding, and nobody’s “entitled to it”, but he says the government is now imposing an “ideological purity test” due to pressure from the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada. He says it’s very clear that the government is making subjective value judgements on “which citizens of Canada do work which is worthy of support and which don’t.” And he says the work of pro-life groups is now considered something “unworthy of government support.”

Van Maren says they’ll do some fundraising to make up the financial shortfall, and they’re talking with lawyers to see if the government can actually discriminate with its funding on the basis of ideological concerns.

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