The Refusal of Conscience in Justin Trudeau’s Government

As expected, I received a rejection letter from Service Canada for an application for Canada Summer Jobs. This is the first time funding for our organization has been rejected. We have received funding since 2009.

The reason for this rejection is that as a Christian church, we reject human abortion and the marriage rights of those who of the same sex.

The 2018 application required a signed attestation that reads:

“Both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”

Below is a screenshot of the repairs I made to the application I submitted. I marked over the words in bold above:

Yesterday I received an email from Service Canada:

Your application must be resubmitted because the attestation cannot be altered or modified. The “I attest” box must be checked and the application signed.  You can resubmit the last page only, which contains the requested jobs, the attestation and the signature.”

So, this year we will not receive a Canada Summer Jobs grant because of a conscientious objection to sodomy and the murder of infants. Bad idea for the Government of Canada: Ontario has just raised the minimum wage 22% on January first, and now has lost 59,000 jobs since then, mostly part-time.

This is unconstitutional and against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Follow this blog until it’s deemed illegal.

Three Reasons Why Signing the Attestation as Written, is Wrong.

Important background information here.

We are now assured by the Prime Minister’s own words and his employment minister that what the attestation means is not as it appears (offending sentences in bold italics):

“Both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”

There are at least three red flags here:

First: Anyone who has ever signed a contract knows that what is written has priority what is said verbally. If I have misread this statement to mean, “our church must believe, as part of our core mandate, that abortion is acceptable” (as well as the other abominations–you sort that out), so have all the other religious charities in Canada who hold to traditional understandings of human life and marriage.

But our leaders are telling us it is only the charity’s activities that matter. But this isn’t what is stated in the attestation. To sign it is to sign an abomination The core mandate of any Christian church is to be pro-life, whether or not they are actively engaged in outwardly visible activities. Being Biblically faithful is the air that Christians breathe, and there is no way the activities of the church can be separated from its beliefs.

So just as I wouldn’t sign any contract that differed so materially from what the other party says it means, no one should trust this government to keep their word. In another year when there is another issue, do we want this signed attestation brought out to show our approval in 2018 of these things? Once faith is sold, it is very hard to redeem it.

Second: The government’s attack on legal, registered charities must not go unanswered. These are not terrorist groups and are not operating illegally, nor are they advocating for law-breaking. To the contrary, they are advocating for changing the law to protect the unborn.

Besides being a dangerous move to trust the government on this issue, to accept the grant while it is denied to others on this basis is a breach of faith with those who are on the frontlines of pro-life activities. If we are pro-life, we must stand with those who are more active than we are.

Third: This government, as is the habit of governments, is expanding its perceived ownership of life-and-death issues. This is just not a pro-life problem but shows the government’s desire to politicize everything in life, and reduce the sphere of faith to one’s own person and in one’s church. I once heard an officer of the charities branch of the Canadian Revenue Agency speaking to a crowd of charity officers actually use pro-life activism as something the agency does not disapprove of. 

It is likely that the Prime Minister would like to secularize all of society (as much of it was, while Christians slept), and to do so he would have to eliminate charitable status for all but atheist organizations. I do believe this is his end-game, and he has a lot of cheerleaders.

The Prime Minister’s approach reflects the idea that a tax break is a grant. This can only be true when the state is all, and all is the state’s.

THIS is the problem with the Canadian Charter of Rights: "Reasonable Limits" (a repost from the National Post)

“. . . and guess who gets to determine “reasonable!”

Karen Selick: The language police come to Ontario

  Jun 20, 2012 – 7:00 AM ET | Last Updated: Jun 19, 2012 3:38 PM ET

Blair Gable/Reuters

Blair Gable/Reuters

The wish of some Ontario francophones to live in a fantasy world regarding the importance of the French language outweighs their neighbours’ Charter right to freedom of expression — according to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Okay, okay — that’s not quite how the court put it. But that is nevertheless the essence of last week’s decision in the case of Jean-Serge Brisson and Howard Galganov against Russell Township.

Four years ago, 70% of the commercial signs outside businesses in Russell Township (a municipality of about 15,000 people near Ottawa) were bilingual. For a group of francophone zealots, 70% wasn’t enough. They entreated town council to make bilingual signs mandatory for all businesses.

The proposal was highly controversial among both anglophones and francophones. Two local chambers of commerce opposed it. A committee struck by council recommended against it. Nevertheless, council passed the by-law by a 3-2 vote, requiring all new exterior commercial signs to be bilingual, with the dimension and style of lettering being identical in French and English.

Jean-Serge Brisson owns a radiator repair shop in Russell. Despite being fully bilingual, Brisson erected a non-compliant sign, with his business name solely in English and his services listed solely in French. Brisson then challenged the by-law, together with bilingual anglophone Howard Galganov (who had posted a sign written entirely in English).

The two were slapped down by Justice Métivier of the Superior Court of Justice in a 2010 judgment that I described in an article back then as “disturbingly illogical”. Unfortunately, last week’s decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal was not much better.

The Court of Appeal did at least correct one error made by the lower court: It correctly held that the bylaw violated citizens’ rights to freedom of expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Freedom of expression includes the right not to express oneself in a particular language. “Freedom consists in an absence of compulsion,” they wrote, quoting the Supreme Court of Canada.

But then, astonishingly, they said the violation was justified under Section 1 of the Charter — the section that allows governments to violate fundamental freedoms if the violations are “reasonable limits … demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

The appellate court seemed completely hoodwinked by evidence that confused the behaviour of free citizens acting voluntarily with the behaviour of dragooned citizens acting under state coercion. For instance, the court accepted the expert opinion of a bureaucrat with the Eastern Ontario French School Board to the effect that “the by-law indicates that the French language has value in the community outside of schools and family life.”

Nonsense. When the francophones of Russell henceforth see business signs in both official languages, they will no longer know whether anyone inside can actually talk to them in French. They will no longer know whether the “bienvenue” genuinely welcomes them, or is merely an artifact of coercion forced upon an unwilling — and possibly resentful — anglophone or allophone. Anyone who accepts this as an indication that French is either valued by the sign’s proprietor or valuable in communicating with him is accepting an illusion — a fraud — manufactured by Russell’s town council. The inference that French is valued by businesses could not validly be drawn unless businesses chose voluntarily to use that language.

Another expert gave his opinion that the by-law is a “symbolic recognition of the equality of the French and English languages and cultures.” Symbolic indeed. Symbolic and false.

The truth is — and the court had these facts before them — that the use of the French language at home in Eastern Ontario decreased from 23.8% of the population in 1971, to a mere 15.6% in 2006. If the francophone population themselves lack the motivation or wherewithal to keep their numbers up, why should other people be coerced into maintaining the illusion of parity for them? Is phony symbolism really an important enough objective to override a freedom so important to Canadians that it is enshrined in our constitution?

Also absent from the decision was any explanation of how the by-law, which would force Brisson to add English to his mostly French sign, achieves the goal of promoting or preserving the French language. Charter jurisprudence requires that Section 1 overrides be rationally connected to their objective, but this connection can only be described as irrational.

The decision contains other leaps of illogic too numerous to discuss here. One can only hope that Brisson and Galganov will be able to mount an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, and that the SCC will place greater value on a constitutional freedom than on a charade designed to mollify some busybodies’ wounded pride.

National Post

Karen Selick is the litigation director for the Canadian Constitution Foundation, which intervened in this case to support freedom of expression.