Episode 22 Cardinal Thomas Collins on giving and keeping one’s word

In this edition of the podcast, part one of a conversation with His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins. Cardinal Collins is the Archbishop of Toronto, Canada. I sat down with him while he was in town for a round of meetings – he took mine very much out of the blue, and on the fly – and though I had planned on talking a little shop, our conversation turned on a pair of hot-button issues.

Cardinal Collins Portrait

The first thing we discussed was the controversial change Canada’s labor government has introduced to the standard application form used to request funding through a long-standing program of the Canadian federal government, which provides wage subsidies to various outfits for summer hires.

Until recently, applicants have had to attest to having read and understood the Articles of Agreement and referred to the Applicant Guide as needed, that the job or jobs for which the applicant is requesting the funding would not be created without the financial assistance provided under a potential contribution agreement, and that the applicant has all the necessary authorities, permissions and approvals to submit this application.

All that, Cardinal Collins told us, is perfectly reasonable.

Now, however, in the wake of alleged misuse of government funds for purposes not countenanced by the program, all applicants are required to attest to something further: that both the job and the applying organization’s core mandate respects individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

Next time on the podcast, Cardinal Collins and I will discuss the disquieting developments in end-of-life care in Canada. Euthanasia, and the deleterious effects of euphemism on the national discourse will be our subject.

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