MP Leslyn Lewis Defends Rights of Canadian Charities

May 17, 2022

Simcoe, ON – MP Lewis is standing with charities in Haldimand-Norfolk and across Canada who are worried about the future of their organizations as a result of the federal government’s proposal to revoke charitable status from groups who don’t pass their politically driven values test opposing pro-life values.

Last week, on the same day that Canadians across the country gathered by the thousands in rallies for the annual “March for Life” in support of protections for the vulnerable and unborn, MP Lewis tabled a petition in the House of Commons that asks Members of Parliament to prevent the government from revoking the charitable status of pregnancy care centres.

In their last election platform, the Liberal Party promised to “No longer provide charity status to anti-abortion organizations (for example, Crisis Pregnancy Centres) that provide dishonest counseling to women about their rights and about the options available to them at all stages of the pregnancy” (pg. 4), a policy that many fear will be applied with little-to-no accountability and may penalize groups simply for holding different views than the government. Since re-forming government in September 2021, the Liberal government has publicly re-affirmed its commitment to its election platform pledge, stating that they will in fact be looking to amend the Income Tax Act to make such a change.

Since even before her election in 2021, MP Lewis has been an outspoken critic of the proposed policy and an advocate of pregnancy care centres that provide key support to vulnerable women in Canada.

“I’ve heard from countless people how concerned they are about the future of pregnancy care centres and other charities with pro-life views, including churches,” said MP Lewis. “The government has tried to do this before – force organizations to agree with the government’s social values to receive funding. Many will recall the values test attached to Canada Summer Jobs Funding just a couple of years ago that left many faith groups unable to obtain the funding, without agreeing to a statement that was in direct contradiction to their faith. Later, many pregnancy care centres were simply disqualified from the program. Charities have a right to be concerned and I will be there to speak up for them and defend them against this government’s discriminatory policies.”

The petition filed in Parliament last week is one of dozens that have been received by Members of Parliament since the policy proposal was published.

Over 1,000 Canadians, including residents of Haldimand-Norfolk, signed the petition which calls upon Members of Parliament “to do everything in their power to prevent, block, organize against, and vote against any effort by the government to revoke the charitable status of pro-life organizations in Canada.”


Media Contact:

Jeremy McIntee

Director of Operations

Office of Leslyn Lewis

Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk