Canada’s Conservative Party condemned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for “imposing” his pro-abortion views on people of faith, CBC News reports.
Amid growing outrage from pro-life groups, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said Friday that the federal Liberals should not be making abortion a litmus test for receiving government funding — as they have a with the Canada Summer Jobs program.
After pro-life groups began complaining that they were being denied access to the fund because they could not support the government’s unrestricted abortion policies, Trudeau told a town hall meeting in Hamilton, Ontario on Wednesday that he offers no apologies for insisting that faith groups endorse “women’s reproductive rights” because “that’s where…we draw the line as a country.”
Scheer said the policy does not represent the country but Trudeau’s narrow ideology.
“I believe that the federal government should respect the freedoms that Canadians enjoy to have different beliefs and that by imposing personal values of Justin Trudeau on a wide variety of groups is not an appropriate way to go,” Scheer told the Mississauga Board of Trade.
“They fear that they would not be able to provide those much needed services within their communities or provide young people with the experience. We’ve been talking with those groups and listening to their concerns,” Scheer continued.
“We have concerns with the way this Liberal government is treating people with different opinions on different issues.”
The Southern Alberta Bible Camp is just one group affected by the policy decision, with the executive director telling CBC News that they are no longer eligible for $40,000 in summer jobs funding.
“We don’t believe that abortion is right and we’re being told that in order to be able to access these [federal summer job] grants we need to affirm that,” Jon Gartly, executive director of the SABC, told CBC News.
Employment minister Patty Hajdu insists the policy is in line with Canadian values and reflects her government’s commitment to not “discriminate” against women’s rights.
“We think this is a fair process,” the minister told a cabinet retreat in London, Ontario on Friday.