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Majority of Canadians oppose abortion requirement for summer jobs grant

Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau (Getty)

The majority of Canadians oppose the requirement for a summer job grant which means organisations must support the government’s pro-abortion stance to receive public funding.

A survey by the Knights of Columbus shows 51 per cent of Canadians think requiring support for abortion to participate in the Canada Summer Job Grants programme is unfair, while just 27 per cent think the opposite.

The programme helps fund summer schemes run by small businesses, non-profit organisations and faith-based employers, and has provided an estimated 70,000 jobs for university or secondary school students.

It was announced earlier this year that organisations must tick a box agreeing with Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms which includes government commitments on “reproductive rights”.

The survey also showed that 44 per cent of Canadians who identify as pro-choice think the new rules are not fair, compared to 36 per cent who think it is. Meanwhile, 47 per cent of Canadians, compared to 31, disagree with forcing religious groups to comply with this requirement.

The results of the survey were released on May 9, the day before thousands gathered in Ottawa for the March for Life in a county in which 62 per cent of people describe themselves as pro-choice.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said the new grant rule “seriously undermines the right to freedom of religion since the Government of Canada is directly limiting the right of religious traditions to hold, teach and practices their principles and values.”

This came after a speech by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in January who said that groups explicitly opposing abortion “are not in line with where we are as a government and, quite frankly where we are as a society.”

The poll was conducted through a 15-minute online survey among 1,837 Canadian respondents, who were all of voting age in Canada and nationally representative.