Premier Dalton McGuinty says it's time Ontario changed the Lord's Prayer at the legislature to better reflect the province's multicultural population.

"More than one-half of people living in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), for example, were born outside the country, and one-third of (residents in) the province were born outside the country," McGuinty told reporters on Wednesday.

"I think it's time for us to assure that we have a prayer that better reflects our diversity."

The premier wants an all-party committee to work with the speaker's office to look for alternatives to the Christian prayer, which has opened daily proceedings at the legislature since 1969.

The committee will be seeking advice from citizens and faith communities, but it is expected the Lord's Prayer will be replaced.

"I think we're the second-last province in Canada which has not changed its basic prayer that was adopted over a hundred years ago," said McGuinty, who denied the move is an attempt to counter some of the negative feelings stirred up by the debate over funding faith-based schools in last fall's election.

Quebec's National Assembly has only a daily moment of reflection, while Newfoundland and Labrador has no prayer in the House of Assembly. Alberta uses a set list of non-denominational prayers that are rotated, and British Columbia also rotates the prayers but allows individual members to select the daily reading.

A House of Commons committee agreed on the wording for a new, non-sectarian prayer in 1994, which was adopted in 2004.

Ontario's opposition parties were informed of the plan with a letter from the premier.

"We have to make sure we recognize the modern day reality of Ontario as it is in 2008, but also make sure that we recognize the traditions and history of this place because I think that's important," Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory told reporters.

Tory also criticized McGuinty for stirring up religious unrest when he used the PC party's proposal to fund faith-based schools.

"I think Mr. McGuinty has a lot to answer for, frankly, in terms of what he did to actually inflame discussions that took on an unfortunate tone during the election campaign," said Tory.

NDP house leader Peter Kormos said McGuinty is treading a dangerous line in his efforts to appear open to different faith communities.

Kormos said the premier "better be careful, because there are going to be folks from the humanist perspective who are going to argue that if you open that box, then let's not have any prayer at all.''

With a report from CTV Toronto's Paul Bliss and files from The Canadian Press