Decor ban reversed for Service Canada in Quebec
Published Saturday, December 3, 2011 4:18PM EST
Break out the boughs of holly. Employees at Service Canada offices in Quebec will be allowed to deck their halls after all.
Human Resources Minister Diane Finley has reversed a directive from the federal agency which advised employees not to put Christmas decorations on public display in its Quebec offices.
Finley said Friday that Service Canada welcomes holiday decor, a stance that runs contrary to an order sent to each of the agency's 118 Quebec offices last month.
In the memo, employees were directed not to display any festive furnishings in places that the public would see or have access to.
Wreaths, tinsel and other holiday decorations were instead relegated to employee-only areas as long as they didn't pose a safety hazard -- which likely ruled out any chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
The intent behind the partial decoration ban was not to offend citizens who don't celebrate Christmas, La Presse reported Friday.
Marc Simoneau, the head of Service Canada in Quebec, was reportedly the man behind the missive.
When the order finally made headlines, it didn't take long for Quebec's opposition MPs to take Finley to task on the issue.
Responding to a chorus of questions, Finley told the House of Commons that there was no national directive to ban Christmas decorations.
She added that as the government, "we like Christmas."
Earlier on Friday, CTV Montreal report Rob Lurie said the head of the union that represents Service Canada workers in Montreal supported the original directive against Christmas decorations.
"The union does agree with this, saying that it will greatly cut down on complaints from people who find religious symbols to be offensive," he said.