Many of our churches and ministry organizations have been notified by the Canada Summer Jobs division of our Federal Government, that their application for funding through the CSJ program is incomplete and may be rejected if they do not fully comply with the attestation that is required. We have been in consultation with several Christian organizations (which include the Canadian Council of Christian Charities and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada) who have provided us with further action steps as outlined here below.
CCCC suggests that charities who are unable to check the attestation box (unabridged) resend their application along with the following request for an accommodation under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act.
To Whom It May Concern:
We have received your notification that our application has not been processed because “…the attestation cannot be altered or modified. The “I attest” box must be checked and the application signed.”
However, as we explained to you in our application, the requirement of the government to force us to make the attestation is a violation of our constitutional rights. Compelled speech violates our long-held democratic rights that have existed before the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, have been reiterated in the Charter, and are recognized in the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Our religious beliefs and obligations, our conscience, our beliefs, thoughts, and opinions all preclude us from making the attestation as set out in the application and guide, including the supplementary information.
It is for this reason that we request an accommodation of our Charter rights to
– freedom of religion;
– freedom of conscience;
– freedom of belief;
– freedom of opinion;
– freedom of thought;
– freedom of expression; and
– equality rights;
as well as our right to not be discriminated against on the basis of religion under the Canadian Human Rights Act.
We trust that you will consider the Charter and human rights accommodations we require.
[Senior Pastor, your Church Name]
We continue to believe that any agreement with the government’s attestation (unabridged), would be a violation of our moral conscience and it would marginalize our chartered right to religious freedom in Canada. Churches within our network, who wish to gain a better legal perspective of this matter, are encouraged to contact Mr. Timothy Stonhouse LLB (a lawyer who works with the Christian Legal Fellowship of Canada) at email@example.com.
Mr. Stonhouse is currently working with many other Christian churches and ministry organizations in Canada, who are experiencing similar challenges with their application for the CSJ Funding.
In closing, it is my personal conviction that this matter will not be resolved on a political or legal level, alone. We must engage the intercessors of our churches and ministry organizations, who will pray for our government and lawmakers, so the great commission of Jesus Christ will continue to move forward with influence, provision, and fruitfulness.
Thank you for standing firm in our moral convictions. Allow me to echo the words of the Apostle Paul, “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” 2 Thess. 2:15-17.
We ask that you keep us informed on the success of your application and the government’s response to this letter to them. Click here for further updates and information available.
We're Better Together
REV. KENNETH A . RUSSELL
Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada
British Columbia and Yukon District