A recent study found that 100 Mile House and Williams Lake municipal council have allegedly violated the Saguenay Decision.
The Saguenay Decision dates back to 2015, when the City of Saguenay, which is in Quebec, would have a Christian prayer before all council meetings. The Supreme Court ruled having religious prayer before a council meeting was unconstitutional, and “the state has a ‘duty of religious neutrality'”. The City of Saguenay was ordered to pay $30,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.
The study, done by the BC Humanist Society, says 23 British Columbia communities, including 100 Mile House and Williams Lake allegedly violated this rule.
The lead author of the study Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff explains the decision’s reasoning by saying “what it’s doing is essentially creating a hierarchy of beliefs where the state is endorsing one over others”
When asked about the study, 100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall says he recalls no instances of religious prayer in District of 100 Mile House meetings.
Phelps Bondaroff says the instances occurred in the inaugural meetings in 2018. In both instances, a priest or preacher from a Christian church gave a prayer at the meeting.