County council votes to retain prayer

0 County councillors choose to proceed with prayer to begin meetings
March 3, 2015 at 12:00 pm  •  Posted in News by  •  0 Comments

There was some expectation there would be a spirited debate at Renfrew County council Feb. 26 with regards to the opening prayer that is said at each meeting.

On Thursday council approved the minutes from the finance and admin committee. By doing that, they elected to keep the status quo and keep the prayer as part of their regular meetings.

Jim Gibson, the reeve of Head, Clara and Maria Township, had sent a letter to the committee last week asking the prayer be removed, as he felt the council chambers was his workplace, and having the prayer placed in front of him made him uncomfortable. He stated he shouldn’t be asked to take part in another person’s religion.

Gibson was not in attendance at Thursday’s meeting due to illness. But he will have a chance to introduce a motion at the next council meeting to have the prayer removed, and that would be debated at a meeting in April.

Council has agreed the prayer would not be distributed to Gibson at future meetings, and he can choose to sit through the prayer, or leave the room while it is recited.

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