Controversy around Christmas trees at CIUSSS

Christmas trees will not be installed this year for religious reasons at the CIUSSS of Estrie-CHUS, suggests a message posted on Facebook and shared more than 2200 times. The organization, however, denies these claims.

The message was posted on the “Chus-Csn Workers Union” page, which is not an official union page, but is rather maintained by employees who wish to remain anonymous. It reads that the Christmas tree on the roof of the CHUS Fleurimont and that on the roof of the Pavilion Émile-Noël of the Hôtel-Dieu will not be installed this year, just like the Christmas tree on the place Royer (interior garden of the Hotel-Dieu). It would be material equipment workers from the CHUS and spiritual care technicians who allegedly reported this information, but neither did they want to identify themselves.

CIUSSS Communications Coordinator Annie-Andrée Émond acknowledged that these trees had not yet been installed, but said it had “nothing to do with religious beliefs”. She also noted that fir trees have been installed at other CIUSSS service points, including the Argyll Pavilion cafeteria and the Granby hospital entrance.

As the case took place over the weekend and the affected employees were not available to answer the questions, it was not possible to know why the fir trees had not yet been installed, nor how to have confirmation that they were going to be installed.

The Facebook message has sparked a wave of comments, many offended by the situation. The author of the message encouraged the population to make a complaint to CIUSSS “so that it changes”.

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