Belows are sample letters to help you prepare your own letter about the Canada Summer Jobs program
Given time constraints, we encourage you send your communication by email but it can also be sent by post. Find your local MP’s contact information.
Dear [MP's Name],
Thank you for all that you do to serve our community and advocate for our concerns. I understand that on or about March 19, Members of Parliament will vote on a motion in the House of Commons on the Canada Summer Jobs grant program.
The motion outlines that organizations that are engaged in non-political, non-activist work should be able to access summer student funding regardless of their convictions, and whether or not they sign the application attestation.
I agree, and I am writing to ask for your support of this motion in the House of Commons.
As a constituent, I believe that individuals and organizations should not be forced to make an attestation of values in order to be eligible for a government program or service. I believe this requirement fails to respect freedom of belief and expression in Canada, and in fact violates these fundamental freedoms.
I would respectfully ask that you and members of your party uphold the Charter guarantees of freedom of religion, belief, expression and opinion. These are fundamental freedoms for our country. Please let me know whether you will support this motion and what steps you are taking to remove or amend the Canada Summer Jobs attestation, which has caused great distress for thousands of charities across Canada.
[Your NameAddress - if sent by mail]
If you have written to your MP about the issue and would like to send a second letter
Thank you for acknowledging my concerns over the new application procedures for the Canada Summer Jobs Grant program.
I fully recognize that religious organizations are encouraged to apply for the program. That has never been the issue. The problem, as expressed by numerous religious organizations and other groups, is the “other rights” as outlined in the attestation. These are not rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the laws of Canada. By asking groups to endorse these “rights” through the attestation, they are being forced to act against beliefs that are part of the very core of their faith tradition.
The government provided a clarification outlining the types of groups that would be supported through the grant and those that would not. It is very clear. Therefore, we ask you to encourage the leadership of the government to remove the attestation completely or to work with faith communities to amend it so that it will respect the laws of Canada, not “other rights” that have been identified by a political party.
As a constituent, I hope that you will raise this important distinction with your colleagues and find a path forward so that so many worthwhile faith-based programs will be able to seek funding through the Canada Summer Jobs Grant program.
[Name of Member of Parliament],
As a constituent, I am writing to share my deep concern regarding changes that have been made to the Canada Summer Jobs Program for 2018. Applicants are now required to affirm an attestation to be considered for government funding.
I recognize that in Canada, citizens enjoy the privilege of expressing a variety of views and opinions on any number of topics. This is an important aspect of our democratic society. However, the attestation for the Canada Summer Jobs program requires that applicants must endorse a particular set of values that are not enshrined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is problematic for many faith-based organizations and other groups not comfortable with this approach. I would ask that you respect the fundamental freedoms of conscience and religion, thought, belief, opinion and expression as outlined in the Charter.
This barrier to funding will directly impact programs that strengthen our community. In many cases, they will prevent organizations from serving the most vulnerable across the country. (if you have an example you can list it here) I would urge you and your colleagues to reconsider this process and to include faith-based organizations in any such dialogue moving forward. The impact of Canadians serving our community, motivated by their beliefs and religious traditions cannot be underestimated.
cc. Honourable Minister Patty HadjuEmployment, Workforce Development and Labourpatty.firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a constituent in your riding. I appreciate the time you devote to serving our community.
I am very troubled by the change to the Canada Summer Jobs grant program. In order to be eligible for funding, employers will now have to attest that their organization’s core mandate affirms certain beliefs. As well, under the terms of the grant, it seems that churches or faith-based organizations may not be able to hire only students who share their faith.
Although the guidelines say that religious organizations can still apply, these organizations will not be eligible to receive the grant if they cannot agree with the statement in the application. This policy change will have a negative impact on many faith-based organizations and their ability to provide needed and helpful services in our community.
Freedom of religion, belief, thought, opinion and expression are fundamental guarantees in the Charter. This new policy seems to violate these freedoms.
Please be an advocate for our community and for our fundamental freedoms. Please let me know what efforts you are making to change this policy.
I appreciate the ways you serve our community.
I work for [name of church/ministry/organization] in your constituency. We are [describe church/ministry/organization]. We serve
[describe who, how].
I am very troubled by the change to the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) grant program. In order to be eligible for funding, employers will now have to attest that their organization’s core mandate affirms certain beliefs.
We have used the Canada Summer Jobs grant to hire students to
[brief description of activities: for example, staff low-cost summer day camps for children in the community].
Because we do not feel we can check off the required attestation in the application, our application will be considered incomplete and we will not be eligible for the grant. This will affect our ability to
[serve our community/run a program].
We are also concerned that the new requirements mean we wouldn't be able to hire only students that share our faith to carry out these religiously-motivated activities.
Without the help of the CSJ grant, our ability to offer these programs and services to our community will be severely diminished. We believe that we are being denied equal access to a government benefit because of our beliefs. This seems to violate the Charter guarantees of freedom of religion, thought, belief, and opinion.
Please consider the impact the changes to the Canada Summer Jobs grant program will have on us, on other programs in our community, and ultimately, on those who benefit from our work.
I ask you to take every step possible to change this new policy requirement. Please be an advocate for our community and for our fundamental freedoms.