Saint John Common Council (file photo)

The singing of the national anthem will become a part of Common Council meetings. Councillors have approved a staff recommendation to develop and implement a volunteer “O Canada” program to showcase local talent at Council meetings.

Council meetings used to open with a prayer – but – the practice was discontinued in 2015 following a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on a complaint filed by a secular rights group against the municipal council in Saguenay – Quebec. The Supreme Court ruled reciting a Catholic prayer at council meetings infringes on freedom of conscience and religion.

Many municipalities across the country now have either of moment of “reflection” or the singing of “O Canada” at the beginning of their council meetings.