“I’m glad it’s over”

Canadian Atheist blogger Veronica Abbass emailed me a couple days ago to say:

More than three years ago, I wrote a post on Canadian Atheist about prayer in Peterborough municipal council meetings.  In the comments you suggested I contact CFI Canada. I did and CFI connected me with Dan Mayo and Secular Ontario. Thank you for that advice. My case against the City of Peterborough for saying the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of its council meetings has been successfully resolved in my favour.

The case was on hold while the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on whether opening meetings with a prayer was constitutional in a different city. That decision, in April, effectively banned city councils across Canada from opening their meetings with a sectarian prayer. Peterborough was one of the many cities to end the practice at the time and this week the council voted to make the change permanent. Instead, the council will open its meetings with the chair saying:

The Council for the City of Peterborough recognizes the principles contained in our Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that enshrine rights and freedoms for all. We also acknowledge that our Constitution provides that Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.

The phrasing is still a bit of a sop to the religious (but only because the Charter contains that same phrasing).

Overall it’s great news to Veronica, who has campaigned for over three years for this change. While the Canadian Atheist piece is missing, I first wrote about it on 31st May 2012.

Good work.