OTTAWA — About two dozen organizations were denied youth summer job grants this year because Ottawa felt they were trying to weaken or limit access to abortion or other sexual and reproductive health services.
Employment and Social Development Canada says it received nearly 40,000 applications for the Canada Summer Jobs program this year.
About 400 of them were ruled out of getting funding under new rules that say the money cannot be used to undermine human rights, including 26 groups over their approach to abortion, family planning, sex education or related issues.
WATCH: Liberals changing Canada Summer Jobs attestation after reproductive rights controversy
The Liberals brought in controversial changes to the 2018 version of the Canada Summer Jobs program that required applicants to declare that neither the job nor the core mandate of the organization opposed human rights, including those related to abortion, sexual orientation and gender identity.
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Many faith-based organizations balked, arguing that forced them to choose between their religious values and money that helped them run summer camps and other programs that had nothing to do with abortion.
The Liberal government responded to the outcry by changing the wording in time for this year, requiring applicants to declare instead that the organization does not actively work to infringe human rights.