July 5, 2018
THREE ALBERTA BUSINESSES JOIN CANADA SUMMER JOBS LEGAL CHALLENGE
EDMONTON, AB — Three Alberta businesses have joined the legal fight against the federal government’s anti-business imposition of a values attestation in the Canada Summer Jobs program, Tamara Jansen Free To Do Business Canada, spokesperson announced today. Remuda Building Ltd. in the Calgary area, Edmonton-based Saturn Machine Works Ltd., and Lethbridge-based Vantage Trailer Sales Inc. joined the challenge of the 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.
Remuda Building president, Steve Schouten, says that unlike the previous year when they received a grant, the federal government rejected his business’ application for a Canada Summer Job grant this year because he refused to sign a values attestation.
Els Van Hierden, owner of Vantage Trailer Sales noted that hardworking business owners don’t need more government interference.
“Businesses shouldn’t be compelled to take a position on contentious issues that our customers and employees have diverse views on in order to qualify for a public program, like Canada Summer Jobs,” said Van Hierden. “These programs must be available on an equitable basis.”
Saturn Machine Works owner Kurt Feigel agrees.
“No government should be using the power of the state to coerce a business to express agreement with government ideology in order to receive funding to help employ students” said Feigel.
Combined, these three companies would have provided three young Albertans much needed income and work experience this summer had they 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 brings us to five the number of businesses that are legally challenging 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 challenges announced previously by Ontario companies Sarnia Concrete and The Wood Source Inc., Albertos Polizogopoulos (with Vincent Dagenais Gibson LLP) will serve as legal counsel for these cases.
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Backgrounders – Notice of Application (Court Documents)
Images – Photos of Tamara Jansen and Albertos Polizogopoulos
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.