Moose Jaw city council is doing away with reciting a prayer before every meeting.
Councillors voted four to three in favour of eliminating the opening prayer Monday night.
Moose Jaw Mayor Deb Higgins told News Talk Radio’s MainStreet program Wednesday their prayer was fairly generic but could be interpreted as a Christian prayer.
“We felt like we needed to abide by the laws of the land and move to something else and do away with the prayer,” explained Higgins.
The current prayer has been used for over 50 years. Higgins said council never received any complaints that a prayer was being recited before meetings.
This decision stems from a Supreme Court of Canada ruling last April. Canada’s highest court ruled the council in Saguenay, Quebec could not open its meetings with a prayer. The court stated reciting a Catholic prayer at council meetings infringes on freedom of conscience and religion.
“When you read the decision from the Supreme Court of Canada, that whole framework of religious neutrality of the state is something that we hold very dear, I think, here in Canada,” Higgins explained.
Higgins said nothing will take the prayers place at the next council meeting, but there might be something added in the future. Higgins pointed to that possible addition being something generic but inspirational.
Regina city council scrapped its opening prayer last April after the Supreme Court’s decision.