If we hope to see the Canada Summer Jobs policy changed, it is important that we keep talking about it and raising the issue with MPs and others. Here are two ways you can still engage.
1. Contact your MP regarding the March 19 vote in the House of Commons
On March 19 MPs voted on a motion on the Canada Summer Jobs program, a disappointing 93 in favour to 207 against. The motion would have affirmed that organizations that do non-political, non-activist work should be able to access summer student funding regardless of their private convictions and whether or not they sign the attestation of values and beliefs.
This motion brought critical attention to our concerns and can still help shape the public and political debate on the issue.
Over the past two weeks leading up to the vote, MPs were in their ridings, and we thank our many supporters who took the opportunity to call or meet with their MP about this issue and ask if they will support this motion.
It’s not too late to discuss this issue with your MP, for example to ensure a correction for next year. Before you call or write, you may find it helpful to read through the EFC’s Talking Points on the policy for background (.docx or .pdf, Feb. 27, 2018).
Find your MP’s contact information here. Find out how they voted on the motion March 19 here.
Here’s a sample letter to an MP, focused on basic CSJ issues (doesn’t mention the March 19 House of Commons motion). Download the sample letter as either .docx or .pdf (Feb. 27, 2018). Here’s a sample letter written for use in the weeks leading up to the motion that you can use with your MP (.docx or .pdf, March 6, 2018).
The Opposition Day motion was introduced on March 1, and said:
That, in the opinion of the House, organizations that engage in non-political non-activist work, such as feeding the homeless, helping refugees, and giving kids an opportunity to go to camp, should be able to access Canada Summer Jobs funding regardless of their private convictions and regardless of whether or not they choose to sign the application attestation.
2. Consider the petition
An online petition on the House of Commons website, available until June 6, calls on the government to remove the new attestation from the Canada Summer Jobs application. It also asks the government to allow Canadians to exercise freedom of religion and expression without facing discrimination. Consider signing the petition and sharing it with others.
What else you can do
All along, we have been asking for help in the following three ways:
- If your organization usually applies for this grant and is being affected by this change in policy, please contact feedback@TheEFC.ca and let us know. We want to track the impact of this change.
- Call or email your Member of Parliament to express your concern, and ask them to seek changes to the policy. If your organization is directly affected by this policy, let your MP know. The EFC continues to offer updated sample letters you can use (see TheEFC.ca/SummerJobs, where you will also find our latest updates).
- Pray for religious freedom in Canada to be protected and respected, for our affiliates to be able to continue to work for the good of our society without hindrance, and for God to be glorified.