"Example 1: An organization whose primary activities are focused on removing, or actively undermining existing women's reproductive rights, applies for funding. This organization would not be eligible to apply," begins the list.
The next example differentiates a situation in which "a faith-based organization with anti-abortion beliefs applies for funding to hire students to serve meals to the homeless. The organization provides numerous programs in support of their community. The students would be responsible for meal planning, buying groceries, serving meals, etc. This organization would be eligible to apply," according to the Employment and Social Development department of Canada.
However, a summer camp that "does not welcome LGBTQ2 young people" would not be eligible to apply for funding to hire students as camp counselors, while "a faith-based organization that embraces a traditional definition of marriage" could hire students for the primary purpose of assisting the elderly "regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression," according to other examples.
The examples thus hinge on whether the core mandate, which is defined as the "the primary activities undertaken by the organization," respect the "established individual human rights of Canada," rather than the beliefs or values of the organization.
Father Raymond de Souza, a priest of the Archdiocese of Kingston, commented on this distinction saying, "It is embarrassing that the employment minister seems unaware a basic element of political liberty, freedom of expression and religious liberty is that the state does not determine what the "core mandate" of a citizen is," in an opinion piece at the National Post.
Patty Hajdu, the Canadian Minister of Employment, Workforce, and Labour, wrote on Twitter Jan. 23 that "Canadians expect us to defend their hard-won rights. Canada Summer Jobs funding will no longer support activities that seek to remove individual rights, like a woman's right to choose or LGBTQ2 rights."
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops told CNA Jan. 24 that they remain "seriously concerned that the beliefs and practices of Catholics and other faith traditions will exclude them from receiving funding through the Canada Summer Jobs Program."
"The attestation and examples still amount to the government's coercion on matters of conscience and religious belief. They foreclose the possibility of wide ranging views and even healthy disagreement," the bishops explained.
"In the Archdiocese of Toronto alone, we know that at least 150 summer jobs will be impacted by the new application requirements," Cardinal Collins said at the interreligious press conference.
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.