Today's front-page story of the Nanaimo Daily News asks whether it's time to end the millions of dollars in property tax breaks that are given away each year to religious organizations.
Journalist Spencer Anderson reports that the City of Nanaimo alone approved $170 736 in tax relief for church properties last year. These permissive exemptions are in addition to property tax exemptions for houses of worship required by BC law.Read more
The BC Supreme Court has overturned the Law Society of BC's decision to deny accreditation to a proposed law school at Trinity Western University, an evangelical private university. The Court ruled yesterday that the Law Society made procedural errors in making its final decision.Read more
A proposal to reduce tax exemptions for religious organizations and charities in Langley City failed on Monday evening following concerted protest from local churches. Councillor Rudy Storteboom presented, for discussion, a motion that would have reduced property tax exemptions for 29 church and non-profit properties. No one seconded the motion.
Currently, the Government of BC provides automatic tax breaks on houses of worship while municipalities can create exemptions for other properties, such as parking lots. The proposal before Langley City would only have affected this latter category.Read more
Ex-military Humanists wrote to the Grandview Legion today asking for future Remembrance Day ceremonies to represent all who have served.
In a letter to the Vancouver Sun on Monday, November 16, Suzanne Salter wrote that this year's ceremony at Grandview Cenotaph included "long prayers and Christian references to the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" but "there wasn't an attempt to include other religions into the ceremony." The ceremony was organized by the Royal Canadian Legion, Grandview Branch #179.Read more
This morning The Vancouver Sun published our letter regarding Trinity Western University's proposed law school. Our letter was in response to an opinion article by Barry W. Bussey, Director, Legal Affairs, at the Canadian Council of Christian Charities. Read our letter below and make sure to share it.
While a private university, TWU has received several million dollars in government grants in recent years. We support the Law Society of BC's decision not to recognize TWU's law school and call on the provincial and federal governments to stop spending public money on a discriminatory organization. You can read the BCHA's position on the proposed TWU law school here.Read more
The BC Supreme Court begins hearing today into whether Trinity Western University, an evangelical private university, should be able to accredit lawyers. TWU requires all students to sign a community covenant which prohibits sex outside a heterosexual marriage, thereby excluding gay and lesbian students as well as non-Christians.Read more
This is a great legal victory in the battle to push back against those who would drag Canada back to the dark ages of religious domination of politics, and hopefully will serve as a precedent in to get similar situations in other jurisdictions around the country to stop inserting their religious biases into government functions from schools to government meetings of all kinds and at all levels.Read more
Hopefully by now you’ve had a chance to read our press release and statementon the proposed Trinity Western University law school.
The position statement is to be ratified at the next Board meeting – next week – so exact wording may change, but there’s a consensus among the Board that we should be taking a stand on this issue.Read more
A new statement from the Board of Directors of the BCHA joins calls for a proposed law school at Trinity Western University to be rejected.Read more
In January, it came to our attention that Trinity Western University, a private evangelical university in Langley, was applying to have an accredited law school. The Canadian Council of Law Deans expressed their opposition to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, which the BC Civil Liberties Association rejected in favour of arguments for the freedom of religion. At the time, our previous Board considered the issue and opted to defer to the BCCLA’s position, though no formal motion was taken (to my recollection).Read more