Scheer accuses Trudeau of ‘imposing’ values on abortion with summer jobs grants – Politics

Opposition leader Andrew Scheer is accusing the Liberal government of “imposing” the prime minister’s views on faith groups that fear they will be denied funding for summer jobs due to their positions on abortion. 

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a town hall in Hamilton that groups are welcome to apply for the Canada Summer Jobs program, but if those groups infringe upon a woman’s right to choose, “that’s where … we draw the line as a country.”

Scheer was asked about the policy Friday following his speech at an event hosted by the Mississauga Board of Trade, telling reporters his party has heard from concerned groups who are opposed to the application process. The revised application requires employers to attest that they uphold fundamental rights, including “women’s rights and women’s reproductive rights.”

Under the program, MPs allocate federal funds to non-profit organizations and small businesses in their ridings. The change in the application process comes after a review last year that was prompted by revelations MPs approved tens of thousands of dollars in grants to anti-abortion groups in two ridings. 

“I believe that the federal government should respect the freedoms that Canadians enjoy to have different beliefs and that by imposing personal values of Justin Trudeau on a wide variety of groups is not an appropriate way to go,” Scheer said.

Scheer on summer jobs controversy0:47

“They fear that they would not be able to provide those much needed services within their communities or provide young people with the experience. We’ve been talking with those groups and listening to their concerns,” Scheer said.

“We have concerns with the way this Liberal government is treating people with different opinions on different issues.”

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