Letter: Canada Summer Jobs program open to faith-based employers

Editor: The government’s Canada Summer Jobs program gives valuable summer work experience to tens of thousands of students each year by providing wage subsidies to employers who apply for funding to hire a young Canadian.

Recently, misleading information has been published implying that religious or faith-based organizations are ineligible for Canada Summer Jobs funding. Let me set the record straight: churches, religious and faith-based organizations are encouraged, welcome and eligible to apply.

The application process includes an attestation that 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. For many, their “mandate” may be similar to the description of “ongoing programs” that they provide to the Canada Revenue Agency at tax time, which focuses on what the organization does in a given year.

Contrary to what has been implied by some, applicants are not asked to provide their views, beliefs or values as these are not taken into consideration during application for the program.

Faith-based groups provide tremendous value to our communities and they, like all other companies and not-for-profits that have applied for this funding, will help to grow the local economy this summer and help young Canadians gain the experience they need to succeed in the job market.

John Aldag, MP

Cloverdale-Langley City

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