A letter was sent to Canadian Christian Reformed Churches from Canadian Ministries Director, Darren Roorda, on April 10 with regard to potential legal action around the Canada Summer Jobs Program. A copy of that letter is attached below.
As the Canadian Ministries Director for the CRCNA, I know that this has been a difficult year for many of you. Many local churches are struggling to find and support students through the federal government’s Summer Jobs Program and this has created new and unexpected challenges for you.
It has been a pleasure to serve you through this situation and to serve alongside our partners at the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and the Canadian Council of Christian Charities. Together with them especially, but also with other ecumenical partners, we are doing our best to help you walk through the mire of difficulties.
As you may have heard, the latest challenge for your congregation to consider has to do with deciding if you wish to take part in legislative action. We have considered this as staff and we feel that the most effective means to participate would be to have those local churches that have been turned down for funding be the ones who bring the challenge. As such, it is the local churches that we think would be most appropriate for signing up to participate in the legal case.
As a denominational entity (the CRCNA within Canada), we are also planning on providing support to our ecumenical partners as they consider this case. We have already communicated with them to let them know that we are on board. However, we would not be the kind of institution that is named in the particular legal action, as we did not apply for summer students. It is our churches who did so.
In this two directional manner of encouraging local churches to sign up and also signaling we wish to be a part of the legal empowerment, no church needs to feel they are going on their own - they need to feel that they are part of a growing support structure.
If you would like to participate in the legal case, please send an email about your negative experience with the Summer Jobs Program to firstname.lastname@example.org. These emails will be received by Barry Bussey, director of legal affairs for the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, who will review the submissions and will be in touch.
In the meantime, CRCNA staff will continue to monitor the situation and work with our partners to provide the best possible case.
Your partner in ministry,
Canadian Ministries Director