Statement: Canada Summer Jobs Attestation Vote
March 21st, 2018 - 7:02pm
Nathan Cullen Statement
"Over my 14 years in office I have rarely if ever chosen to not vote on a motion or bill in the House of Commons. But I did that this week.
The motion that was presented from the Conservatives sought to eliminate the so-called ‘attestation’ requirement of the Canada Summer Jobs program. Much of this motion I agreed with as I have seen the confusion and anger that this new test introduced by the Liberals caused in the Northwest. I chose to abstain on this vote. This was not an easy decision or one I took lightly.
I believe that we must be able to support Canadians and groups they work with regardless of their personal beliefs or faith and judge applications for government support based on the quality and usefulness of the work.
I am committing today to help those groups who were unable or unwilling to sign the attestation to appeal any refusal they received from Service Canada. The policy was poorly thought out, badly communicated and I believe cynically motivated from the very beginning.
I also believe that the Conservative motion was a similar attempt to politicize this program and issues of reproductive and equality rights must be treated with the respect they deserve rather than a political football to score points.
I will be reaching out to those who came to me with concerns and welcome any conversation to understand how to fix this program and have it do what it was intended to do: help young Canadians gain experience and bring communities together and not further divide."
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