I have yet to hear back from the mayor regarding the letter I sent him. I find this surprising. When has a politician hesitated to ingratiate himself/herself to a voter? At an absolute minimum, I expected a form-letter reply about how he’s always glad to hear about his constituents’ thoughts. But no, not even that. I guess I’m just not worth the trouble.
There was a city council meeting yesterday, and I decided to attend because the practice of opening council meetings with prayer was on the agenda. It was an almost sombre affair. The meeting opened with a moment of silence and introspection, then a performer sang the national anthem. The meeting chair got right into it when he explained that the Supreme Count of Canada ruled that prayer during city council meetings was a big no-no so they were doing to stop doing it. The question was what they would do instead. The quotes I read in the newspaper seemed to indicate some councillors took the Supreme Court ruling as a personal affront, and I expected some resistance. Happily, I was wrong.
Unfortunately, the chair noted that he was certain that some would be offended by anything they might choose to do, even a moment of silence. In my opinion, poking at the city residents who spoke up about being treated unfairly wasn’t the best first step in trying to find a solution to the problem. It was a minor quip on the chair’s part, however. I’m just glad that they managed to come up with something everyone can live with.
The result is either a moment of silence followed by the anthem, or perhaps replacing the silence with an entirely non-religious inspirational quote. They also decided that if a councillor will recite an inspirational, they must run it by city staff first.
A reporter from the local paper attended (or watched the meeting on the community cable channel) and wrote about the issue.
The only real surprise was Councillor Victor Pietrangelo stating that he felt that the Supreme Court decision doesn’t include everyone, but it rather excludes everyone. I think he’s going out of his way to split hairs because there is no way to include everyone, unless Council meetings start with a prayer from every religion, and a moment of silence for the irreligious. One can see how impractical this would be!
While I disagree with Pietrangelo, I think that with Council following the Supreme Court ruling, everyone will be treated the same, which is still an improvement over the way it has been to this point.