Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Saying goodbye to council opening prayer

Executive committee decides to discontinue reciting opening prayer at city council meetings
City clerk/solicitor Myron Gulka-Tiechko talks about
 the opening prayer at council meetings at the
March 28, 2016 executive committee meeting.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

By Lisa Goudy

Council meetings will no longer begin with an opening prayer, executive committee has decided.

"It is nice to start out the meeting with a bit of a reflection, but I understand the need to be more inclusive as we are a province and a city that welcomes newcomers and has a motto of many peoples' strengths," said Mayor Deb Higgins. "We're becoming more and more multicultural and more diverse and I think we need to adjust accordingly."

The move comes after the April 4, 2015 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Mouvement Laique Quebecois and Alain Simoneau vs. the City of Saguenay and Jean Tramblay that "The recitation of the prayer at the council's meetings was above all else a use by the council of public powers to manifest and profess one religion to the exclusion of others."

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