Employers opposed to Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) should not receive job grants from the Canada Summer Jobs program, according to one advocate.
"Rights include not just reproductive rights but also LGBTQ rights, racial equality, the right to medical assistance in dying and any other fundamental right protected under our Charter and human rights codes," wrote Joyce Arthur, executive director of the Vancouver-based Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.
In her submission to MPs, she claims regardless of the type of work that requests funding, all who oppose MAID should not get subsidies for worker salaries.
"If it is to mow the lawn, that work gives sustenance to the group’s harmful mandate and activities," penned the executive director.
According to an Angus Reid poll published last March, support for MAID fell from 56% to 31% when offered to people with irredeemable mental illness. Parliament hastily passed legislation in March 2023 to delay that expansion of MAID, which will enter into effect on March 17, 2024.
Most Canadians support Ottawa's first two iterations of the legislation that include those expected to die in the "reasonably foreseeable future" and those in "an advanced state of irreversible decline," excluding mental illness.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Arthur also comes from the same group that successfully lobbied for the denial of funding to pro-life employers.
Since 2017, the Department of Employment required employers to proclaim "the right to access safe and legal abortions" by signing a government oath later struck by legal challenges.
Instead, the department chose to disqualify employers who "promote, foster or actively support intolerance, discrimination or prejudice," according to the Applicant Guide. The federal government did not define the terms, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.
"My understanding is the changes put in place in December 2018 still have the same basic effect as the original attestation," said Arthur.
The Commons human resources committee is reviewing management of the Canada Summer Jobs programs. Christian employers continue to be disqualified regardless of the reasons they hire students, church petitioners earlier wrote MPs.
The closed-door values screening has earned widespread condemnation from the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, who attributed its case-by-case assessment of applications to "ideological screening."
"We have heard from enough faith-based groups that we are concerned these are not just isolated incidents," they said.
The Canadian Centre for Christian Charities said it also had evidence of "different treatment for religious charities" compared to other employers.