The fight over whether to say the words “Merry Christmas” on buses in Saskatoon is apparently over — for now. The city council last month kicked the issue for review by the local human rights council for suggestions and they came up with nothing in response. So the city decided the messages would stay, much to the chagrin of the atheist activist who registered the original complaint. He plans to appeal to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission next week.
The city councilâ€™s executive committee said Monday they had already made up their minds about the messages, and they have not received any direction to include other religious messages.
â€œWe already made the decision to keep the Merry Christmas messages on there and I support that decision,â€ Coun. Ann Iwanchuk told the committee.
Iwanchuk did express her frustration with the cityâ€™s cultural diversity and race relations committee, who did not come to a consensus on the issue. Council had asked that committee to come up with suggestions for including other messages alongside Merry Christmas, but at a meeting earlier this month the committee did not come any concrete conclusions.
â€œI am disappointed, I guess, that we did not get what we asked for,â€ Iwanchuk said.
The debate about displaying â€˜Merry Christmasâ€™ on the scrolling electronic message boards on city buses flared up after activist Ashu Solo said the signs were â€œinappropriateâ€ and â€œdiscriminatory.â€