Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

SCU pulls Bill 18 petition

Steinbach employee's act 'unauthorized'

  • Print
Glenn Friesen, CEO of Steinbach Credit Union, was contacted by a humanist group over an employee�s political activities.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Glenn Friesen, CEO of Steinbach Credit Union, was contacted by a humanist group over an employee�s political activities. Photo Store

STEINBACH Credit Union has removed a petition opposing Bill 18 from its Steinbach branch, CEO Glenn Friesen said Friday.

An employee had placed the petition in the customer area.

"Please be assured that the staff member's actions in this instance were not authorized," Friesen said by email.

"We do take this seriously and can assure you that we have dealt with this appropriately. Steinbach Credit Union does not condone the use of business resources to express and/or establish support for personal opinions/agendas," Friesen said.

c_

The Humanists, Atheists, and Agnostics of Manitoba had complained to the credit union after learning an employee had placed the petition where it would be available to clients at the branch at 305 Main St. in Steinbach.

"It has come to our attention that one or more of your employees has been circulating a petition asking the Hanover School Division to publicly oppose Bill 18, Manitoba's proposed anti-bullying legislation. At least one copy of this petition is available for signing at the Steinbach Credit Union office in Steinbach," HAAM told SCU in an email signed by president Donna Harris and outreach co-ordinator Patrick Morrow.

"Our group holds freedom of speech, conscience, and religion in the highest regard. They are fundamental rights guaranteed to all Canadians and therefore we would never try to deny anyone their right to sign this petition," they said.

"However, SCU now serves a growing number of diverse communities, including Winnipeg. Thus, it is in the interest of the community and the general public who do business with SCU to understand if having this petition available for signing on its premises indicates that SCU has an official position on Manitoba's Bill 18," the HAAM leaders said.

Bill 18 is the controversial anti-bullying legislation Education Minister Nancy Allan hopes to have in place by the time school opens in September.

While Bill 18 is wide-ranging and deals extensively with cyberbullying, its most controversial provision has been the requirement that any public school and any private school receiving public funding must accommodate any student wishing to start a gay-straight alliance in the school.

A prayer meeting opposing Bill 18 drew 1,200 people to Steinbach Christian High School in February.

In his Feb. 24 sermon to thousands of parishioners at Southland Church in Steinbach, Pastor Ray Duerksen specifically cited Hanover and Steinbach councillors, Hanover school trustees, doctors in the regional health authority, MLAs and MPs, police, firefighters, teachers and media members and said: "God did not place you in your position because you are the only person who can do your job that well.

"If you don't do it, God will set you and I aside, and raise up someone who will."

The Hanover School Division has said it will comply with Bill 18 when it is enacted, and has accommodated student Evan Wiens in his wish to establish a gay-straight alliance at Steinbach Regional Secondary School.

Steinbach and the RM of Hanover municipal councils have urged Allan to review the bill while the Garden Valley School Division in Winkler has urged Allan to change some clauses.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 25, 2013 A8

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Stuary Murray announces musical RightsFest for CMHR opening weekend

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press January 18, 2011 Local Standup -
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which of Manitoba's new landlord-tenant rules are you looking forward to most?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google