02/14/2013 09:41 EST | Updated 04/16/2013 05:12 EDT

Debate over Merry Christmas bus ads in Saskatoon still not settled

SASKATOON - An ongoing debate about a bus ad declaring "Merry Christmas" has been bounced back to the mayor and councillors at Saskatoon city hall.

On Thursday, a cultural diversity and race relations committee announced it could not decide on a recommendation about the matter.

Committee vice-chairman Michael San Miguel says there are valid points on both sides of the argument.

Saskatoon resident Ashu Solo filed a complaint in December after seeing a bus with the message "Merry Christmas" on the side.

Solo says the message violates the separation of state and religion.

He had threatened to file a human rights complaint if the city didn't stop putting "Merry Christmas" on the buses.

After Thursday's meeting, Solo was disappointed the committee didn't solve the issue or make any recommendations.

"Seems like they just copped out and didn't make a decision and they're leaving it up to the executive committee," Solo said.

"I wish they would have at least come up with a recommendation."

Solo said he'd be happy with the message "Happy Holidays" because that would "include the Winter Solstice, Festivus, New Year's Day and Kwanza."

Festivus is a fictional holiday — originating on the television show "Seinfeld" — which celebrates "the airing of grievances and feats of strength."