The federal government has extended the deadline to apply to the Canada Summer Jobs program, as a new attestation policy continues to cause controversy.
The Liberal government announced Friday applications to receive funding from the program will be accepted for another week, until Feb. 9, 2018.
The CSJ provides funding to public-sector employers, non-profit organizations and small businesses with 50 or less full-time employees to create employment opportunities for full-time students between the ages of 15 and 30 that intend to continue their studies the next school year.
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MP Larry Miller continues to speak out against the addition of a new attestation statement. It requires applicants to agree with certain values -- including reproductive rights and right to be free from all forms of discrimination -- before they can submit applications for funding.
Miller has said in the past, the values applicants are required to uphold align with the Liberal Party's own ideology and are inconsistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He said religious organizations who may not necessarily agree with certain values may have to sign the attestation against their own beliefs and religion or lose funding.
The Conservative MP says he's met with numerous faith-based and other organizations
on the issue, and says it is making it impossible for some groups to
apply for funding they should be eligible for.
Despite the outcry, it doesn't look like the government intends to backtrack on the policy change.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the issue publicly this week, saying the change was made as there are certain groups that are dedicated to fighting abortion rights for women and rights for LGBT communities, and that is wrong.
He says that is something the federal government should certainly not be funding summer students to do: to roll back the clock on women's rights.
Miller is encouraging groups to apply for funding to despite the attestation, but says it's a shame the Liberal government continues to play politics with youth summer employment.