QUEBEC CITY, QC, February 16, 2011 – The crucifix is staying in Quebec’s legislature despite an order by the province’s human rights tribunal that the city of Saguenay end the practice of reciting a Christian prayer at the start of council meetings. (Quebec town council told to cut out prayer time, CCRL, January 5, 2008.) In ruling that the council prayer infringed on the freedom of conscience of Alain Simoneau, the local resident who made the complaint against the city and its mayor, Jean Tremblay, Quebec’s human rights tribunal ordered the municipality to remove all religious icons from City Hall. The decision also requires Mayor Tremblay and the city to pay Mr. Simoneau $30,000 in moral and punitive damages. (The mayor and council have said they will appeal the decision.)

– Postmedia news story by Kevin Dougherty