Revoke Pandemic Wage Subsidies from Anti-Abortion Groups

For immediate release

In two petitions sent today to the Liberal government, the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) is demanding that the Finance Minister revoke funding given under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program (CEWS) to 45 anti-choice groups and several hate groups. The group also wants the government to revise the criteria to exclude such groups from eligibility.

  • ARCC’s 30-day Parliamentary e-petition to the Finance Minister and Prime Minister closed on April 25 with 663 signatures. The government is now required to respond.
  • ARCC’s petition has collected over 11,700 signatures since Dec 2020. This petition contains the names of all anti-choice and hate groups known to have received CEWS funding.

Employers should not receive funding if they pay employees to oppose human rights, as does the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR), for example. This group distributes hateful flyers of aborted fetuses to homes and works to take away reproductive choice. Prime Minister Trudeau stated in 2018: “That is not something the federal government is going to fund.” But last fall, CEWS funding helped the CCBR to blanket the city of London Ontario with graphic flyers and signs. The CCBR continues to spread these hateful images in other cities in Ontario and across Canada.  

“Why is the government of Canada paying for work that attacks the Charter rights of Canadians?” asked Joyce Arthur, Executive Director of ARCC. “Why are taxpayers paying the wages of workers so they can traumatize children with graphic images and shame people into not having abortions?”  

In response to citizen letters to their MPs and the Finance Minister demanding that CEWS funding be revoked from anti-choice and hate groups, and according to a March 26 Question Period in Parliament, it appears that the Finance Ministry is reviewing the issue and “will consider how we can change programs to ensure they meet the needs of Canadians.”

“We expect a constructive response to our two petitions, including concrete commitments to recouping CEWS funding received by anti-choice and hate groups, and to revising the eligibility criteria to exclude such organizations,” said Arthur. “The Liberal government must commit to the principle that no organization is entitled to any government funding if they work to oppose human rights.”


Joyce ArthurExecutive Director /
Directrice générale,
ARCC-CDAC, Vancouver
Carolyn EganOntario Coalition for Abortion Clinics, Torontoc.egan@sympatico.ca416-806-7985
Tasia AlexopoulosARCC-CDAC, New Brunswick 
Christopher Kaposy, PhDEthicist, Memorial University / Éthicien, Université Memorial,
St. Johns NL / T.-N.
christopher.kaposy@ med.mun.ca709-864-3375 (w / bur.)

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