How a Maritime church is pushing back on Canada Summer Jobs

19 March 2018

Calvary Temple Church in Saint John, N.B., on writing letters and scaling back

Calvary Temple Church, a busy and community-minded congregation, have received Canada Summer Jobs grants for 15 years, until this year. When Chad Nickerson, lead pastor at Calvary Temple Church in Saint John, N.B., first heard of the new required attestation to receive government funding through grants, he was “very surprised. I didn’t hear anything about the changes coming. We are unashamed of our own stand and beliefs,” Nickerson adds, “but we felt in conflict over this very narrow attestation.”

What was on the line? Hot meals for community members, summer camps for children, and poverty reduction initiatives that have been a source of hope and practical help for families in need.

A vigorous congregational letter writing campaign ensued, that, resulted in at least four MPs receiving letters from members of the congregation lodging their disappointment with the Canada Summer Jobs grant situation and how it will impact the church’s work in the community this summer. “We felt as a people of faith,” says Nickerson, “that we were almost pushed into a corner.”

Listen to this EFC podcast to find out what happened next and how this Maritime church is coping.

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