Starting in 2020, the British Columbia Legislature will begin each day with "prayers and reflections" instead of "prayers."
The change comes after Members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia unanimously supported a motion from Government House Leader Mike Farnworth to make the change in the Standing Orders.
In its House of Prayers report released earlier this fall, the BC Humanist Association set out arguments for ending the practice of daily prayers at the legislature. The report also analyzed over 15 years worth of prayers said by MLAs in the legislature and found they were overwhelmingly religious. Among the report's recommendations was to rename the the period.
Ian Bushfield, Executive Director, BC Humanist Association:
This is a step forward for an institution that is often incredibly reluctant to change. The unanimous support for this motion by MLAs shows that our research and the hundreds of emails our supporters sent had an effect. Humanists will continue to work toward a more secular and inclusive British Columbia.
The BCHA plans to continue to analyze the content of the prayers and reflections said by MLAs at the start of every day.