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Family Business Sues Trudeau Government After Losing Funding for Refusing to Support Abortion

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms announced earlier this week that it has filed a court application against the federal Minister of Employment, Workforce and Labour Patty Hajdu, on behalf of small, family owned-business providing agricultural irrigation services in southern Alberta.

Their application was meant to provide a summer position for a student interested in water conservation or environmental sciences through the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program but was rejected after they refused to comply with the new 2018 attestation, which requires applicants to express agreement with the Liberal governments’ views on abortion and sexuality.

The program furthermore requires charities and small businesses to express agreement with the idea that abortion is a Charter right, even though the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in R. v. Morgentaler that Parliament can legislate to protect unborn life.

The applicants, Rhea Lynne Anderson and William Anderson, are a married couple in Alberta and are the sole owners of  A-1 Irrigation & Technical Services, which offers responsible irrigation services to local farming operations.

They have no connection to any anti-abortion group, and I struggle to see how their beliefs on abortion would have any effect on the summer student hired.

Believing that they could provide a good summer job, the Andersons submitted a CSJ application on January 24, 2018.

However, the Andersons submitted their 2018 CSJ application without checking the “I attest” box, because they object to being compelled to express their agreement and respect for ideological positions as required by the new attestation requirement, which reads:

On February 9, 2018, the Andersons received the following reply from Service Canada:

“The essential requirements listed below are missing from your application, and  therefore we are unable to determine your organization’s eligibility or the eligibility of the activities proposed in your application:

The signatory must check the “I attest” box to confirm eligibility and add his/her initials next to the box.

On February 10, 2018, the Andersons responded to Service Canada, stating that they will not be checking the “I attest” box because they viewed it as unconstitutional for the Government “to require a specific prescription of personal beliefs” to qualify for participation in a government program.

The court application seeks a declaration that the new attestation requirement violates section Charter 2(a) and 2(b) freedoms of conscience and expression. “The new attestation requirement also breaches the duty of state neutrality, because it compels the Andersons to profess their agreement with, and ostensibly adopt, specific beliefs and values in order to qualify for a government benefit to which they would otherwise be entitled.”

The court application further seeks a declaration that the new attestation requirement violates section 32 of the Charter by compelling private entities to assume the legal obligations of the Charter that only the government is required to honour.

The Andersons also seek a declaration that the new attestation requirement is ultra vires the authority of the federal government, and a court order to strike the new attestation requirement and to approve their CSJ application.

As Rhea Lynne Anderson explains in her filed affidavit:

“My husband and I, and our business comply fully with human rights legislation, and with all federal, provincial and municipal laws. The New Attestation Requirement is not simply a commitment to comply with legislation, but instead asks us to agree with the government’s “values” and to be bound by the Charter as though we are government actors.”

Ideological Coercion

“This is pure ideological coercion: telling Canadians that they must agree with certain beliefs in order to access a government program which they have paid for with their own tax dollars,” – John Carpay

Yanky Pollak

Yanky is an activist, business owner, and photographer.

Comments

  • Watch. ..the liberals will fight this like they fought the first nation girl for a dentist bill that cost taxpayers over 100, 000 dollars for a 6000 dollar bill. ..of course just their arrogance they are protraying....shame on every liberal in government and those who voted for them.

  • I don't know why more people are not disturbed by this. This is taking away a
    Our rights from The Charter of Rights while every chance Trudeau gets he says he upholds the Charter of Rights. This is unacceptable. I have the right to my own opinion while still accepting the rights of others to believe in what they like. This has no business being on any application. When I apply for a job this line of questioning is unacceptable. While I'm on it I'm sure lots of people will want to tear me a new one But women do have the right to what happens to their bodies, I agree. But they also have a responsibility to look after their bodies. In this day and age with all the products available to prevent getting pregnant there is almost no excuse to get pregnant. I know of one girl who has had 9 aborations and another that has had 11 abortions which the Canadian people are paying $800.00 a pop. Teach responsibility for your actions. It seems like people are treating the abortion clinic like a drive thru diner. My opinion. I was taught to be responsible for my actions and the consequences that come with them.

  • People are free to have whatever beliefs and values they want, but if they have values that are counterproductive to a progressive society, why should they receive grant money? If these people were brown and wore a turban of head scarf, how many people would tell these folks that they wanted special treatment?

    • Darc Webb. In one breath you say two things. #1. People are free to their belief s and value. #2. You say they should not receive grant money because of their unprogressive beliefs. What the hell is wrong with your head. !st of all they pay taxes. Funny that their unprogressive beliefs are not taken into account then. They are not wanting special treatment. Their business helps some young person/people to have a summer job, thus helping these young people go to university etc etc. Funny that people like you , who really are not progressive, think they are. You can have your way, because you pay taxes, but these people who are dealing with a program for water cannot. My goodness. You are not progressive Darc, in my books and my opinion you are an Arse. Keep it up, be a bigoted Arse even more than you are not. Get a life. You are going to need it.

    • And who gets to decide, in a democratic society, which values are “counterproductive to a progressive society”?

    • Who decides what values are "counterproductive"? Who decides that a "progressive society" is actually the kind of society that is best for Canada? Even on the political front there are vastly more perspectives on this than the 4 Federal parties currently holding elected seats.

      It is one thing to disagree with someone's beliefs - we each have a Charter right to do so. It is another thing to treat someone differently based on their beliefs, especially under the law or under government programs. This is the actual reason the Charter was created in the first place: to protect all Canadians from such discrimination at the hands of government. Full stop. The Charter is binding upon nobody except the Government of Canada itself. Not private companies, not charities (religious or non-religious), and certainly not private individuals. There are other Human Rights Codes which govern these groups, and the family/business in question are in full compliance with the laws that do apply to them.

      The family/business in this case is not asking for special treatment, only equal treatment. By the very definition of the word, they have been discriminated against by the government, as have hundreds of other organizations similarly denied funding.

  • I feel all our rights as Christian’s are. Being taken away and Trudeau’s beliefs are being forced on usMoreof us should be suing the Trudeau government stand firm in your quest

  • Shame Shame Shame on the Liberal Government. Those who voted Trudeau into power should be addressed as the problem here too. Are you happy your embarrassment of a leader has made Canada and Canadians the joke of the world. Can't wait to vote him and his band of idiots out of office!

    • His band of idiots includes every "Canadian" that put his sorry ass in the PM's chair, and there's LOTS of idiots! Talking with someone the other day that stated they thought he wasn't doing a bad job!!! So the idiots don't pay attention to this enemy of the state and what he's doing to destroy and embarrass Canada ... all they know is his name is Trudoh, he's good looking and he's gonna legalize pot ... nothing else sinks in.

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Yanky Pollak

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