“I am opposed to it. I think it is arrogant and disastrous,” says David Adams Richards, a prize-winning Catholic author from Newcastle, N.B., who is just the third senator appointed since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau initiated the new non-partisan selection process for the Senate in 2015.
Since taking his seat last August, the 68-year-old Richards has looked for ways to bring some of his long-held social concerns to the forefront of parliamentary discourse. Then along came the summer jobs policy, which allows the government to withhold summer employment funding unless applicants attest to the Liberals’ pro-choice/reproductive rights position.
WATCH: Justin Trudeau is punishing soup kitchens and summer camps by disqualifying them from Canada Summer Jobs Program funds, while giving cash to a radical activist group working to block the approved Trans Mountain pipeline. #ableg #UCP #cdnpoli #CPC pic.twitter.com/K48dBNswov
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) April 26, 2018
VIDEO: Alberta UCP leader Jason Kenney on Justin Trudeau’s latest hypocritacal stance which effectively finances anti-pipeline activists while still penalizing conscientious pro-life charities.
Canada’s Catholic bishops are just one body taking the government to task on this issue, arguing that the move violates religious freedom.
“Young kids teaching others how to canoe and hike and read, some of these kids from the poorest parts of our [Miramachi] river area having the only vacation they will have,” Richards told The Catholic Register. “I think (the policy) is burrowing into a young person’s conscience for political affirmation. It is couched in terms of liberty, but there is not a totalitarian government in the world who wouldn’t agree with it.”
Richards is unperturbed with suggestions that Canada’s legislative upper chamber and the home of parliamentary “second sober thought” is a venue for prime ministers to reward long-serving party members with patronage appointments.
“I haven’t that concern (about patronage) and I have met many brilliant men and women who want to do the best for our country,” Richards said. “That alone is humbling.”
For Richards, the Senate appointment is no sinecure, nor a reward for any partisan loyalty.
“I knew I was being considered, since I applied for the (Senate) opening at the last moment,” Richards said. “One has to apply for the Senate under the new appointment process. I wanted to see if I might be able to do something in Ottawa.”
Although he was honoured to receive the Senate appointment, Richards enters the upper chamber determined to work for his priorities and personal beliefs. He has no party affiliation and has never belonged to any of the three main political parties in Canada.
“My views are my own,” Richards said.
This article continues at [Catholic Register] Canada’s newest senator adds his voice to summer jobs funding protest