Re: the Lord's Prayer in the Legislature

    TORONTO, Feb. 13 /CNW/ -

    Hon. Dalton McGuinty
    Main Legislative Building
    Room 281, Queen's Park
    Toronto, ON M7A 1A1

                   Re: the Lord's Prayer in the Legislature

    Dear Premier McGuinty;

    Thank you for your letter this morning concerning the Lord's Prayer. As
is the case with your letter on parliamentary reform, it comes somewhat out of
the blue, and in commenting in a news conference this morning I made the
following points:

    1.  We are prepared to be part of the committee you have requested and to
        assist in its work in a constructive and productive manner. I did say
        it would be better if these things were dealt with on a comprehensive
        basis rather than in a series of one-off letters issued from time to

    2.  We will be strongly advocating that any changes that are made, to use
        my words from this morning "...recognize the modern day reality as it
        is in Ontario in 2008 but also make sure we recognize the traditions
        and history of this place because I think that is important."

    I hope you have no intention of embarking on another "Merry Christmas/
Christmas tree" episode here. In your letter you talk about "moving beyond"
the recitation of the Lord's Prayer. That carries with it the implication that
the committee would begin its work with the Lord's Prayer gone from the
Legislature. That is completely unacceptable to us. Part of respecting the
tradition of the Legislature is keeping the Lord's Prayer. That doesn't mean
we wouldn't be open to other prayers being added, but a starting assumption
that we would eliminate the Lord's Prayer would not be acceptable to us.

    If we have learned anything from the "Merry Christmas/Christmas tree"
discussions it is that we evolve best when we broaden and build on our
historic traditions in Ontario as opposed to trying to eliminate or obscure

    I sincerely hope you will take these concerns into account as this matter


    John Tory
    Leader, Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario

    Michael Bryant, Government House Leader
    Howard Hampton, Leader, Ontario NDP
    Peter Kormos, House Leader, Ontario NDP
    Elizabeth Witmer, House Leader, PC Party
    Bob Runciman, Interim Leader of the Official Opposition

For further information:

For further information: Catherine Pringle, (416) 325-2202

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