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MEDIA RELEASE

May 22 2021

Winnipeg, MB (May 22) — SPRINGS CHURCH – Leon Fontaine, Senior Pastor, today released the following statement regarding the Virtual Springs College Graduation that occurred on Thursday, May 20, 2021.

We are so excited that our Springs College Graduated this past Thursday. Springs College is a Post-Secondary private education institution.

There are some misunderstandings that have taken place about our Drive-In Grad Thursday night.

Springs Church takes the Public Health Orders very seriously and has done everything in our power in the last 14 months to comply with the Health Orders. Over the last 36 hours, there has been a lot of misrepresentations and outright false statements made about the Springs College Drive-In Graduation.

Countless hours are spent interpreting and implementing new weekly Manitoba Health orders.

Members of the public were not put at any risk at any time as a result of the Virtual College Graduation. Springs College has been operating and complying under the post-secondary training rules of the Health Orders for the past 9 months. This class from Orientation to Graduation was 18 students, well under the 25 limit. These students remained physically distanced and remained in the same cohort throughout the school year. On the last days of classes, these same 18 students, went into one of our TV studios with the doors closed and locked to the public, to shoot the commencement proceedings. This TV shoot was done for broadcast to our Drive-In parking lot. I want to emphasize that this was a closed set and at no time were members of the public in attendance to this TV shoot inside our studio.

All attenders to the event from the public were watching it outside in their vehicles in our parking lot on our LED screen, in compliance with the MB Health Orders.

Throughout the commencement shoot, students were seated and physically distanced. Even at the end, when they were called to the stage, these students were staggered and physically distanced. Unfortunately, the pictures that were posted did not show this physical separation well. There was no requirement for the students to wear masks during classes throughout the year, nor to wear masks for a final picture because they were physically distanced as a cohort group.

Unfortunately, some pictures with no context led to a lot of misunderstanding.

I want to let the Graduates know how proud I am of them and excited for their future.