Saskatoon man opposed to Christmas bus alleges retaliation
Ashu Solo says his complaint over prayer also resulted in retaliation
Ashu Solo, the Saskatoon resident who opposes Christmas messages on city buses and prayers at civic events says he has launched three new human rights complaints over how he's been treated in the wake of these controversies.
Solo, an atheist, accuses the City of Saskatoon of retaliating against him as a result of the negative publicity his earlier human rights complaints received.
He says he applied to join two city committees as a citizen volunteer — the cultural diversity and race relations committee and the library board — but was rejected.
"Everyone except me easily gets reappointed year after year to the cultural diversity and race relations committee if they want to be," he said in a news release.
"This was clearly retaliation by the executive committee for my prayer recitation human rights complaint and Christmas message human rights complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.
He also alleges that the city administration has been instructed not to talk to him when he contacts the city to discuss various issues.
He's also upset that his literary submission for the city's Living in Harmony Contest was rejected, even though it was the only submission in the adult age category.
This too was retaliation, Solo says, although he doesn't cite any concrete proof and none of his allegations have been proven by a court or human rights tribunal.
"I wasn't born yesterday," he said.
Although Solo says the city's "Merry Christmas" buses are a form of religious discrimination, the human rights commission refused to proceed on Solo's complaint.
However, it is proceeding with the earlier complaint about prayer at civic events.
That complaint concerned an award event where city councillor Randy Donauer began with a Christian prayer.
Meanwhile, the City of Saskatoon was saying little in response to Solo's most recent human rights complaints.
"The City of Saskatoon has not received notice of any new complaints from the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission," city solicitor Patricia Warwick said. "If the City is notified, it will reply to the Commission and let the process unfold accordingly."