Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie, and their three children in traditional dress (Ajit Solanki/AP)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, lately courting Indian nabobs dressed in traditional local attire and joining his hands at every opportunity, would like you to believe that he is the guy who will bring peace, love, and harmony to the world.
He wants you to know that he hears you, that he sees you, and that you, living on the edges of society, should be accepted for your beliefs. You are a valued and valuable person in this world, and your contributions to society are important to everyone.
Unless you hold anti-abortion, pro-life views.
The Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program was designed to help businesses hire students for the summer. Giving young people valuable experience, the grants help companies who might not be able to otherwise pay for extra summer help. It is a fairly simple idea: apply, get money, hire a student.
Prolife groups and Christian camps have received funding along with other non-profit, public sector and business applicants.
Personal politics and ideological views were not supposed to be a part of the equation.
After complaints from abortion rights and LGBT groups, the Canadian government, led by Justin Trudeau and his Liberals, have declared that to now be eligible to receive any money from the government, business owners must tick off a box on the application form that states that groups applying for the funds must “respect the 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.”
In theory, it sounds good. You want the money? Don’t discriminate. Except it’s that tiny box that needs to be marked, wherein an employer must agree to support and respect his or her employees personal birth control choices, the “reproductive rights” that include the right to an abortion, that has many people loudly protesting the Canadian government’s overreach.
The Toronto Right to Life Association filed a lawsuit against the government, seeking an injunction against the rule change, stating that the attestation violates the freedom of belief and expression that is a part of the Charter of Rights in Canada. A judge ruled against the group, claiming that they had not met the burden of proof requirement for such an action to be taken.
Several dioceses across the country, including those as far apart as Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, have also decried what amounts to bullying from the Canadian government. Even the leader of the Official Opposition, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, came out against the change, publicly stating that the Liberals are imposing their own values on faith based groups with whom they disagree on topics like abortion.
In a country like Canada, that claims to be progressive, is it not more than a little hypocritical to shut down anyone who doesn’t “toe the party line”? Why should a business owner, who is simply looking to hire a student for the summer, be forced to publicly state that abortion is perfectly fine with them, if they do not actually agree with it in the first place?
Bullying has been a hot topic for years now, with most of us paying attention to what happens on school playgrounds and in classrooms. We talk to our children, trying to let them know that even if they are facing torment, there is always an end to it. We tell them they are strong, and capable, and that they can rely on us to help with the problem. We teach them that everything passes in time, and that they will not only survive, they will change things in the future, so that this kind of thing never happens again.
But what if the bully is your government? And like all abusers, they try to convince you that you are the one with the problem? This is essentially what the Justin Trudeaus of the world are doing. They have a certain world view, a way of thinking how things should be, and if you don’t agree with them they will beat you over the head with their “progressive” ideas, and force you to change or be labelled a homophobic, racist, anti-feminist, anti-progress, knuckle-dragging caveman.
We are open and accepting of everyone, so says the Canadian government (not to mention those of other western countries, like Australia, Great Britain, the United States and Germany). Unless you happen to disagree with them on abortion. Or euthanasia. Or same-sex marriage. Or transgenderism. Pick a topic, any topic, and you will find progressives demanding that their voices be heard while they shut down any discussion that goes against their arguments.
It’s not like the Canadian Prime Minister is being subtle about his pro-choice, pro-gay agenda. He told reporters straight out:
“On the actual mechanism for this, we’re happy to work with organizations that have concerns … our goal on this is to make sure that an organization that is focused on taking away rights from women and the LGBT community does not get government funding for summer students.”
The hypocrisy is a little overwhelming. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a solution to this problem of liberals bullying conservatives. All we can really do, is to try to remain calm when stating opinions, not resort to the tactics of the opposition, and hope that one day dissenting voices will once again be heard.
Barbara Lilley writes from Ottawa, Canada.