From now on there will be no more prayer to open meetings of Renfrew County Council.
On Wednesday (June 24) after careful consideration of a legal opinion of the County’s solicitor, it was decided by council the non-denominational prayer would be discontinued.
Warden Peter Emon said the scrapping of the prayer does not mean the municipality is not turning its back on the community and its traditions, rather it is “an opportunity for our community to embrace other beliefs, other ways of thinking, and welcoming all to our community.”
Earlier this year County Council had decided to continue with the prayer, despite an objection from Jim Gibson, the reeve of Head, Clara and Maria Township. He sent a letter 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.
County Council will discuss the addition of a moment of quiet reflection to replace the prayer at a future meeting, when they review the procedure by-law amendments.