Members of Parliament met with religious leaders on July 12 in Vernon. (Submitted photos)

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP meets with religious leaders

Discussion included effect of attestation requirement and other legislation on faith communities

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold met with Christian and Sikh leaders in Vernon on July 12 to discuss the effects of legislation on faith-based communities.

Arnold was joined by fellow Conservative MPs Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan) and Martin Shields (Bow River), who met with representatives of the Vernon Ministerial Association and the North Okanagan Sikh Temple.

According to a spokesperson for Arnold’s office, the religious leaders shared concerns about government policy changes they say have made funding and project applications more complex.

The spokesperson gave the Canada Summer Jobs Program attestation requirement as an example, which the government announced in 2017 after a number of anti-abortion groups received money to support anti-abortion efforts.

It requires applicants to attest that the job and the organization’s core mandate respect human rights in Canada, including the reproductive rights of women.

Arnold has spoken out against the requirement in Parliament in the past, calling it a “cold-hearted attack” on faith-based organizations.

“The current Liberal government has decided to place its own values test on employers applying for the Canada Summer Jobs Program, a values test that organizations in my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap cannot in good conscience support,” he said in a March 2018 statement at the House of Commons.

“These organizations for years have supported Canada’s summer jobs and provided services to children, seniors, and the disadvantaged.”

READ MORE: B.C. woman’s anti-abortion beliefs a roadblock for summer jobs grant

Aside from the attestation requirement example, the spokesperson said the conversation was generally around added administrative requirements for their organizations’ operations locally and abroad, as well as improving communication between legislators and faith communities.

“I appreciate my parliamentary colleagues and leaders of local faith communities coming together to participate in our discussions,” Arnold said in a news release.

“Faith is an important part of Canada’s heritage and traditions of tolerance; as legislators we must continue to keep our doors open to all faiths to understand how to ensure Parliament’s work respects all faith communities and our constitutional rights.”



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Spallumcheen adventure park concerns

Neighbour to proposed adventure park in Spallumcheen offers up his concerns on project

Entrepreneur gives Vernon’s homeless women a boost

The woman says she’ll continue to package and send out bags of products from her self-run business

Vernon mom rescues sleeping baby from burning home

UPDATE: Investigation still underway into cause of blaze

Access to Okanagan Rail Trail to be limited by erosion work

The work will be done throughout September but won’t begin before the Labour Day weekend

Rain in the forecast for much of the Southern Interior

Rain for much of the day in most areas clearing in the evening

Madchild brings demons of drug abuse to Vernon

Swollen Members rapper takes Status stage

Civil claim filed over motocross track west of Summerland

Track was constructed on agricultural land around 2016

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Car catches fire while being towed by motor home on Hwy. 97

The incident occured just north of Sage Mesa Rd., no injuries have been reported

On-foot brewery tours in Okanagan give ‘beer runs’ a new dimension

Brew Crew Kelowna celebrated its kick-off year in this summer

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Repair work to begin on lakeshore paths in Summerland

Paths were damaged during spring flooding in 2017 and 2018

Smash and grab at Okanagan pot shop

Cash register and products stolen from Starbuds store in Lake Country

Most Read