Politically correct 'Holiday Tree' threatening identity of Christmas Tree
Christmas is becoming an endangered word in parts of Canada in a rash of politically correct behavior - such as renaming a Christmas tree a "holiday tree" - that even non-Christians dismiss as silly.
Toronto city officials last week called the 15.2 metre tree set up outside City Hall a "holiday tree". That sparked much derision and prompted the city's mayor to set the record straight.
"Our special events staff went too far with their political correctness when they called it a holiday tree," said Mayor Mel Lastman. "They were trying to be inclusive and their hearts were in the right place, but you can't be politically correct all the time."
The mayor plans to introduce a motion in city council this week that will officially put the word Christmas in front of the word tree in all future city documents.
The name change led to complaints from Christians and left many non-Christians wondering what all the fuss was about.
"To take a generic term, slap it on a symbol that really only has significance to one religion..and then say we're being multicultural does not really fit," said Anita Bromberg of the Jewish group B'nai Brith Canada. "Whatever you call it, it's still a Christmas tree."
"You're not being inclusive when you try to apply one religious symbol to everybody. You call it what is."
City of Toronto | It's A Christmas Tree: Mayor Mel (media release) | Christmas Tree slide show
28 Nov 2002