Legal group to go to court after bible camps denied federal summer jobs grant

A legal group says it's suing the federal government over its denial of a Canada summer jobs grant to bible camps in Ontario and Nova Scotia.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms says it will back an action on behalf of Bible Centered Ministries International, which runs a camp near Omemee, Ont., west of Peterborough, and another in Cooks Brook, northeast of Halifax.

The federal Department of Human Resources and Social Development declined comment on the camps' specific application, but says in an email that the department refuses applications if the organization's activities "work to undermine or restrict" a woman's right to abortion.

It says applicants were given the opportunity to provide added information on their projects and "needed to demonstrate that they didn't include ineligible activities."

A news release signed by John Carpay, the leader of the Justice Centre, says Mount Traber Bible Camp and Mill Stream Bible Camp have received the job grant money for over a decade, but Service Canada rejected its most recent applications on May 2, and there isn't a clear indication of why.

Carpay says his group will ask the court for a declaration that the minister's decisions were unreasonable, and unreasonably interfere with the camps' rights to religious freedom.