OTTAWA BUSINESS JOINS CANADA SUMMER JOBS LEGAL CHALLENGE
OTTAWA, ON — Ottawa-based The WoodSource has joined the legal fight against the federal government’s anti-business imposition of a values attestation in the Canada Summer Jobs program, Free to do Business Canada announced today. The 65-year-old company is the second small business in Canada to join the challenge of attestation that forces businesses and their owners to express support for government ideology on controversial social issues in order to qualify for a grant to hire summer students. The WoodSource Inc. President, Tim Priddle, says the federal government rejected his business’ application for a Canada Summer Job grant because he refused to sign a values attestation to indicate his company supported the government’s views on contentious issues.
“Government business grants should be available to all businesses equitably – not based on whether we agree with a particular ideology,” says Priddle. “And no government should have the power to coerce a business to express agreement with government ideology in order to receive funding to help employ students.”
The WoodSource would have provided a student with much needed income and work experience this summer had it received a Canada Summer Jobs grant.
Free To Do Business Canada is supporting small businesses in their efforts to fight the Canada Summer Jobs values attestation. Spokesperson Tamara Jansen noted that this is the second time in just over a week that a small business has legally challenged the attestation, reflecting “the growing concern businesses have that this government has overreached and trampled on the fundamental rights that all Canadians expect their government to uphold.”
“The Canada Summer Jobs values attestation compels speech in order to access a government benefit,” said Jansen. “If the attestation goes unchallenged, governments will make more grants, programs, and services contingent on the expression of support for a particular ideology. Today, it’s farmers, small retailers, and general contractors who must parrot a political ideology for access to funds; soon major corporations and individual Canadians could be in the same boat.”
As with the challenge announced by Sarnia Concrete last week Albertos Polizogopoulos (with Vincent Dagenais Gibson LLP) will serve as legal counsel for this case.
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Free To Do Business Canada champions the democratic rights of business owners and businesses to serve their customers free from governments dictating what business owners must think and believe. We seek to protect these democratic rights found in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by supporting legal action and raising public awareness.
Free To Do Business Canada is a registered non-profit society and represents Canadian businesses working in a variety of industries from across Canada.