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The federal government has released the reworked and newly worded Canada Summer Jobs attestation.

Early in 2018 the federal government changed the rules when it came to receiving funding through the Canada Summer Jobs program. In order to qualify for funding, employers and employees were required to sign an attestation.

The attestation in 2018 said that you had to agree that your core mandate is to respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You also had to respect other rights, including reproductive rights and the right to not be discriminated based on sex, religion, or sexual orientation, among others.

Many faith-based groups - not just Christians - felt they couldn't agree with if they disagree with abortion. There are at least nine ongoing Federal Court challenges over last year’s summer jobs attestation.

The text of the new version was released on Friday morning. Below is the full wording of the 2019 attestation, as well as the eligibility criteria for employers and projects.

Attestation

  1. I have read, understood and will comply with the Canada Summer Jobs Articles of Agreement;
  2. I have all the necessary authorities, permissions and approvals to submit this application on behalf of myself and my organization;
  3. The job would not be created without the financial assistance provided under a potential contribution agreement;
  4. Any funding under the Canada Summer Jobs program will not be used to undermine or restrict the exercise of rights legally protected in Canada.

Eligibility Criteria

Ineligible Employers:
• Members of the House of Commons and the Senate
• Federal Government Departments and Agencies
• Provincial and Territorial Departments and Agencies
• Organizations that engage in partisan political activities

Ineligible Projects and Job Activities:
• Projects consisting of activities that take place outside of Canada;
• Activities that contribute to the provision of a personal service to the employer;
• Partisan political activities;
• Fundraising activities to cover salary costs for the youth participant; or
• Projects or job activities that:
– restrict access to program, services, employment or otherwise discriminate, contrary to applicable laws, on the basis of prohibited grounds, including sex, age, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression;
– advocate intolerance, discrimination and/or prejudice; or
– actively work to undermine or restrict a woman’s access to sexual and reproductive health services.

The Canadian Council of Christian Charities is pleased that the federal government has removed the problematic 2018 values language in the 2019 Attestation for the Canada Summer Jobs program.

Barry Bussey, director of legal affairs with the Canadian Council of Christian Charities says this is a positive move.

"We're thankful that the values test is now gone. How the government is going to implement that, we're going to watch very carefully and we will be supporting our members if any of their projects fail because of whatever the government's criteria is- which is still a bit vague, but we will work with it," explained Bussey.

He says the 2019 Attestation is not without some troubling aspects.

"It states, 'Any funding under the Canada Summer Jobs program will not be used to undermine or restrict the exercise of rights legally protected in Canada.'  What exactly does 'undermine or restrict' mean?  That we do not know," said Bussey.

The CCCC is encouraging all of its members to apply for the 2019 Canada Summer Jobs program. Any projects that the government does not fund, the CCCC will work with its members to find out why they were denied and will assist them in any way they can to ensure they receive a favourable response from this program.

 

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