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Steinbach city council has approved a motion calling on the federal government to change the application form for the Canada Summer Jobs Program.

Councillor Earl Funk made the motion Tuesday. He says many local organizations have refused to check a box on the form that indicates they support reproductive rights such as abortion. Funk says these groups are then being denied funding.

"Organizations and institutions in our community are receiving their applications back as incomplete. They have ten days to re-file. The challenge they have is that they can't, in good faith, agree with the attestation that is required. My question to council today: Could you support writing a letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Employment to ask them to remove that (requirement)."

Councillor Susan Penner seconded the motion.

"I think it is a good idea for us to also express our support for those people that, because of their values and beliefs, cannot, in good conscience, check that box."

"A lot of these groups that cannot check the box do a lot of heavy lifting in terms of social programs, in terms of what they offer and provide to Canada. So, in that way, it is concerning about what the impact will be if a lot of these organizations don't receive the funding."

Deputy Mayor Cari Penner also supported the motion.

"Council, this is something that certainly has been in the minds of many people in the city, many business people that have relied on the Summer Jobs Program. I think it is a good idea for us to also express our support for those people that, because of their values and beliefs, cannot, in good conscience, check that box."

City council was unanimous in approving the motion although councillor John Fehr and Mayor Chris Goertzen were not in attendance at Tuesday night's meeting.

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