12/09/2012 05:22 EST | Updated 02/08/2013 05:12 EST

No room for political correctness at Christmas, says Clement

Federal employees have the right to decorate their desks and office spaces as they see fit, reaffirmed Treasury Board President Tony Clement, one year after a Christmas flap saw federal employees banned from decorating their workspaces.

"Whether it’s displaying Christmas cards, putting up tinsel or bringing out a Menorah, federal employees have every right to celebrate the holiday season in the workplace," said Clement.

And that's the message Government of Canada workers can expect to find in their inbox when they arrive to work on Monday morning.

With Hanukkah underway and just over two weeks to go until Christmas, Clement launched a pre-emptive strike against "those who would like to snuff out the holiday spirit in the name of political correctness or expediency."

"Our Government will not allow the Christmas spirit to be grinched," said Clement in a press release issued on the Treasury Board web site on Sunday.

"Christmas and Hanukkah are special times of the year that Canadians look forward to. The lights and decorations lift the spirit and instill the season with a sense of wonder and celebration."

Political wrangling over Christmas flap

Clement's reminder comes one year after Marc Simoneau, the head of Service Canada in Quebec, directed federal employees in 118 offices in la belle provincenot to put up holiday decorations in public areas leaving the main Service Canada office in Montreal devoid of any holiday decorations.

That directive set off a political firestorm in the capital with NDP and Liberal MPs from Quebec accusing the Conservatives of issuing a national directive against holiday decorations and "stealing the magic of Christmas."

The incident forced Human Resources Minister Diane Finley to issue a statement saying no national directive had been issued by the federal government and that Service Canada employees were free to celebrate and decorate their offices as they pleased.

"We like Christmas," Finley affirmed during Question Period.