Canadian coalition launches lawsuit against federal government over summer jobs attestation
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The Canada Summer Jobs Program offers money to groups that hire students for summer positions. In a break from previous years, it now requires participating organizations to sign an attestation that their “core mandate” agrees with a variety of left-wing positions, including a “right” to abortion — regardless of whether the organization is involved in political advocacy against abortion.
The new group, called Free To Do Business Canada, is challenging the attestation as a violation of freedom of speech, the National Post reports.
“It forces them to publicly agree with government ideology in order to access a public program that should be equally available to all small businesses,” spokeswoman Tamara Jansen said during a press conference in Ottawa. “This is unfair and unjust.”
The group is framing their effort as bigger than the abortion debate, refusing to take a position on that or any other issue covered by the attestation and refusing to identify with any specific religious or political group.
“This is an initiative or policy decision of the government that compels organizations to say something they otherwise would not say,” attorney Albertos Polizogopoulos added.