More than 1,550 applications were rejected for grant money through the Canada Summer Jobs program this year because groups refused to check the controversial new box on the form, according to the federal government.
The summer jobs grants provide taxpayer dollars to groups across the country that want to hire summer students.
Under rules introduced last winter, organizations must check off a box on their application confirming that both their “core mandate” and the job they want to use federal money to fill respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which “includes 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,” notes the application.
Faith-based groups, backed by the Conservative party, have said they can’t check the box without violating their beliefs surrounding abortion or LGBTQ communities.
They’ve argued that the government has no business forcing its own ideology on them.
Some groups, therefore, chose to not check the box at all, while others had “modified” the wording about respecting rights before checking it.
The total number of rejections for 2018 is much higher than last year before the new box was introduced. In 2017, only 126 applications (out of a total pool of 41,961) were declared ineligible.