Christian leaders are vowing to fight Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau all the way to the Supreme Court over his policy that aims to force religious groups to endorse abortion. The Liberal government now expects any organization applying for Canada Summer Jobs funding to agree with a statement that they support “reproductive rights” or abortion.
Canada Christian College President Charles McVety told reporters Wednesday that the policy is contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “We ask the prime minister to reconsider this path. We feel this legislation is draconian and even communistic.”
He vowed to fight the government politically and judicially.
“We have to fight every one of those programs, and we need to continue to fight this in the court of public opinion and if need be, we’ll have to fight it through the court system and all the way to the Supreme Court if we need to,” he said at a news conference on Parliament Hill.
“Ideology tests do not belong in this country of Canada,” he said.
McVety’s concerns were echoed by Peter Marshall, the president of the Canadian Religious Broadcasters, who insisted the policy was “discriminatory and fascist.”
Marshall suggested the government’s insistence on ideological concurrence presents a grave challenge to religious freedom: “If we go down the road of what our prime minister is trying to do with this policy, then is it OK to be punitive toward those that don’t embrace your philosophy, your ideology, or your political viewpoints? That is tyrannical, and very dangerous to our country,” he told reporters.
A spokesperson for Trudeau Labour Minister Patty Hajdu told CBC the policy is only about an organization’s “core mandate” and not necessarily core beliefs.
“The Canada Summer Jobs 2018 application simply asks organizations to confirm that both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights and labour laws and do not support discriminatory practices,” he informed CBC News in an email.