Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Suit Challenges Canada's Denial of Grants to Pro-Life Group

In Canada last week, a pro-life group filed suit in Federal Court in Alberta challenging new rules that bar it from receiving grants under the Canada Summer Jobs Program.  According to Life Site News report on the lawsuit, Canada Summer Jobs provides grants to non-profit groups, small businesses, and public sector employers in order to create jobs for students between 15 an 30 years old.  The complaint (full text) in Right to Life Association of Toronto and Area v. Canada (Minister of Employment, Workforce and Labour), (Fed. Ct., filed 1/4/2018), contends that the grant restrictions infringe plaintiffs' freedom of religion, conscience and belief, as well as their equal protection rights, under Sections 2(a)-(b) and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Last December, Canada's Employment Ministry added a requirement that in order to receive a grant under the program, an organization had to attest to the following:
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.