Here’s an activist reader: Veronica Abbass of Ontario filed suit against the Peterborough City Council for opening its meetings with prayers. This was back in 2012, but, as I reported recently, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled last week that, in Quebec, the Saguenay City Council couldn’t say prayers at its meetings, for that violated the Quebec Charter of Human Rights.
That ruling, however, is likely to hold throughout Canada. And so, on Monday, the Peterborough Council didn’t say its customary prayer:
Monday evening (April 20) marked the first time in years (and possibly decades) that Peterborough city councillors didn’t open a municipal meeting with the Lord’s Prayer.
The prayer was listed on the agenda for the Committee of the Whole, but councillors aren’t reciting it until the City’s legal staff can determine whether it’s against the law, according to Councillor Andrew Beamer, who chairs the Committee of the Whole.
The Supreme Court ruled on a specific case out of Saguenay, Quebec on April 15 — a decision that’s likely to set a precedent for all Canadian municipalities. Coun. Beamer can’t say yet whether the City will stop using the prayer altogether.
Veronica Abbass has taken issue with the City over the practice for years, and even filed a lawsuit against the City in 2012. That legal battle was put on hold to wait for the Supreme Court ruling.
Ms Abbass says city council will be breaking the law if they refuse to obey the Supreme Court ruling. She says she’ll continue with the lawsuit she’s filed unless the City hands over a written decision that states it’ll stop reciting the Lord’s Prayer for good.
Who’s a good reader? Here’s Ms. Abbass: