Faith-based organizations are breathing a sigh of relief now that the Federal government is removing wording that made support for abortion a prerequisite to apply for Canada Summer Jobs funding.
Last summer the Child Evangelism Fellowship, which operates bible programs for kids across the country including the popular Gospel Tent that tours many local summer festivals, lost approximately $70,000 in funding because of the Liberal government's previous requirement on the summer jobs grant application.
Provincial Director Ibukun Akin says they weren't able to hire summer students based on the wording, and still wonders why the approach was taken in the first place.
"It was a very tough summer," he says. "We had a reduced workforce... we felt it a lot."
CEF operates bible programming year-round, but Akin explains their work ramps up in summer as they hire college students and train them to teach bible clubs across the Province including in Thompson, The Pas, and Winnipeg. The organization also hosts Gospel Tents that are seen at the Winkler Harvest Festival, Morden Corn and Apple among others around the region.
"We'll be looking forward to communicating with our students that the programs will be happening next year," he says.
The fed's 2019 application has been reworded, and now simply asks applicants to "declare they don't work to infringe on any Canadian's legal rights."
The government had originally inserted an attestation in the application that many faith-based groups felt they couldn't agree with if they disagree with abortion.