The government should not have needed a one-size-fits-all checkbox

On Friday, March 2nd, 2018 in Debate, Parliament

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to be able to intervene on this matter again. It is an important thing that MPs work with their constituents to help them through this process. I do not think it is politicized by political parties. I will, on the appropriate occasion, take that up with Conservatives for politicizing issues if they do not need to.

This really is coming from the grassroots. There are a lot of really good projects run by local church and religious groups in my riding. Every year they have qualified for summer grant funding. Every year they have people in the community doing good work. They have never had a political objective with those summer grants programs.

There was that one bad example I mentioned earlier of the wrong group that should never have gotten funding. The ministers should use their discretion and communicate it through their departments that political groups who harass women seeking their legal right to abortion should never receive funding. They should not have needed to go to a one-size-fits-all checkbox.

I wonder if my hon. colleague would agree with me that some groups should not have received funding in the last round.

John Brassard – Member for Barrie-Innisfil

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, one of the abilities we as members have is to disseminate money to certain organizations and certain groups. In that case, a lot of discretion is left to the member of Parliament. The business owner in Alcona I cited does not have any core beliefs in terms of religion or faith or anything else. He just does not believe that he is required to sign this attestation.

In dealing with constituents and walking them through this, I want to make sure as a member of Parliament that I am putting them in the best position I can, but I am not going to ask them to sign something they do not fundamentally believe they should sign. As I said at the outset, and I gave this example, I do not believe there is anyone in the government who, if I told them to sign something they do not believe in, would actually sign it for the sake of government funding. It just does not make sense.

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