The Chief Commissioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission has dismissed a complaint from Ashu Solo against the City of Saskatoon and City Councillor Randy Donauer about the occurrence of a public prayer at a City of Saskatoon volunteer appreciation banquet 4 years ago.
Solo argued that the prayer interfered with freedom of conscious, contrary to Section 12 of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. The Supreme Court has previously said that interference must meet two criteria: The complainant has sincerely held beliefs, and the interference must not be trivial or insubstantial. Commissioner David Arnot says the prayer offered at the banquet may have been contrary to the need for separation of religion and state, but the interference did not meet the threshold of the Court’s test. As well, he says he also understands that the city has ended the practise of offering prayers at civic events.