In a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Employment Patty Hajdu dated February 2, 2018, Patrick Daly expresses concern on behalf of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association and its 29 member boards over additional requirements in the Canada Summer Jobs Program application process.
“The requirements in the current application process clearly and most unfairly violate religious freedom and will serve to deny many vulnerable and disadvantaged young people summer employment,” he writes.
Read full letter below.
February 2, 2018
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment?
House of Commons?
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau & Minister Hajdu:
I am writing you to express the deep concern of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association with regard to the additional requirements of the application process of the Canada Summer Jobs Program. Our Association was founded in 1930 and represents the 29 English Catholic District School Boards in Ontario. These publicly funded school systems educate approximately 545,000 students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 and many thousands more through our Continuing Education Programs. Collectively the locally elected trustees who serve on these boards represent the almost 2.2 million Catholic School ratepayers in Ontario.
For many years Catholic School Boards in Ontario have applied for and received grants through the Canada Summer Jobs Program. The grants received enable them to provide meaningful employment to a number of young people. Consistent with their missions, these Catholic School Boards often target this funding to socio-economic disadvantaged youth in their communities.
The requirements in the current application process clearly and most unfairly violate religious freedom and will serve to deny many vulnerable and disadvantaged young people summer employment. We urge and call upon you to immediately amend the Summer Jobs guidelines and application process so as to permit faith based organizations like those we represent to remain true “to their communal identity and beliefs.”
Yours very truly,
Patrick J. Daly