Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to present today from Canadians across the country who are concerned about the Liberal Party's platform in the last election. They are concerned about the politicization of charitable status. They are concerned that the values test the Liberals put on the Canada summer jobs program, or a “values test 2.0”, will be placed on charitable status. They are also concerned that churches, food kitchens, summer camps and these kinds of organizations could have their charitable status jeopardized by the Liberals' activism.
The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to prevent the politicization of charitable status and to ensure that Canadians have the right to free expression and the right to free assembly.
The second petition I have is from Canadians across the country who are similarly concerned about the Liberals' platform promise to go after charitable organizations they deem to be dishonest. This could affect houses of worship, schools, homeless shelters and other charitable organizations that do not agree with the Liberals on this matter of conscience. Many Canadians depend on benefits from the charitable work done by these organizations.
The petitioners point out that the Liberal government imposed a values test that discriminated against worthy applicants to the Canada summer jobs program and denied funding to organizations that were not willing to check a box that endorsed the political position of the governing party. Charities and other non-profit organizations should be free from discrimination on the basis of their political or religious views and should not be subject to a politicized values test.
Therefore, the Canadians who have signed this petition are calling on the Government of Canada to ensure that our charitable status rules remain politically and ideologically neutral, without discrimination or interference from the ruling political party.