Blog

Opinions expressed on the BC Humanist Association's blog do not necessarily reflect those of the BCHA or the Board of Directors.


In defence of dignity and bodily autonomy

Progressives are still reeling at yesterday's report from POLITICO about a leaked draft majority decision from the Supreme Court of the United States. That decision, from conservative Justice Samuel Alito, would overturn Roe v Wade and lead to the near instant criminalization of abortion in as many as half of the states. The draft has been thoroughly condemned by many groups, including our Humanist allies at Americans United, American Humanist Association and Center for Inquiry.

Canada's legal restrictions on abortion were struck down in 1988 following the fights by activists and former Humanist Canada president Dr Henry Morgentaler. Nevertheless, the potential American ruling is rippling through Canada, raising the spectre that abortion rights could one day be under similar threat here.

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2021 in Review

This past year has continued to be one of unprecedented challenges as we’ve learned how to adjust to the “new normal” of COVID-19, extreme natural disasters, the ongoing legacy of residential schools and the continued rise of reactionary nationalism.

However, as a community, the BC Humanist Association’s (BCHA) staff, board and members have continued to meet these challenges with compassion, morality, and scientifically-backed reason.

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"No religious dogma or creed is to be taught in a school"

Despite inflammatory headlines suggesting otherwise, the rules of the School Act and policies of the Vancouver School Board apply to student clubs in public Vancouver high schools.

That was the message that was delivered to students at Eric Hamber Secondary who recently founded a Catholic students club.

On November 15, BC Catholic reported that grade 11 student Timothy Que had launched a Catholic Club, "to help people get holier and teach the teachings of the Catholic Church.” On December 2, the publication alleged that officials had "slapped restrictions" on the club.

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Saanich endorses COVID-19 denial through permissive tax exemption

Without benefits tests for permissive tax exemptions (PTE), municipalities risk funding organizations that only provide services to their members, run commercial operations, exclude and discriminate against people or flout the law. This is exactly what the District of Saanich did at its meeting on Monday, October 25th when this municipal council unanimously voted to renew a PTE to a prosperity gospel church known for equating child disobedience to witchcraft, for preaching homophobia, endorsing and engaging in so-called ‘conversion therapy,’ and for outspoken COVID-19 denial and anti-vaccine rhetoric.

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WTF (Weird, That's Funded?): The bizarre

While they receive hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding, private schools in BC are excluding LGBTQ2S+ parents, families and staff; teaching creationism and even banning Halloween and school dances, according to our latest analysis.

In the first part of our three-part series, we looked at schools teaching creationism in science classrooms. In the second part, we looked at schools that exclude same sex couples by defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman. In this final part, we look at various other bizarre, WTF moments.

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WTF (Weird, That's Funded?): Homophobia

While they receive hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding, private schools in BC are excluding LGBTQ2S+ parents, families and staff; teaching creationism and even banning Halloween and school dances, according to our latest analysis.

In the first part, we looked at schools teaching creationism in science classrooms. In this second part of our three-part series, we look at schools that exclude same sex couples by defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.

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WTF (Weird, That's Funded?): Creationism

While they receive hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding, private schools in BC are excluding LGBTQ2S+ parents, families and staff, teaching creationism and even banning Halloween and school dances, according to our latest analysis.

In this first part of our three-part series, we look at schools where the teaching of evolution is seen as optional (at best).

If you agree its time to end the private school giveaway, write to your MLA.

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Marking the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

The Government of Canada has declared September 30 to be the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a new national holiday. The Government of BC has not formally made the day a statutory holiday but is commemorating the day and many public services and some private businesses and organizations are closed.

In August, the Board of the BC Humanist Association passed a motion to recognize the day as a holiday and our staff have the day off.

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Private school funding increases outpace inflation

Despite the change in government in 2017, the handout of public funds to private schools has neither decreased nor even slowed down.

Since the BC NDP formed government in 2017, funding increases for private schools have outpaced inflation every year. Further, the total growth in funding for private schools has outpaced the growth in funding for public schools.

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Have an omelet and pray, with the Prime Minister

This morning, the Prime Minister, leader of opposition and an untold number of Members of Parliament gathered, over Zoom, to join in the annual National Prayer Breakfast. While the American version of the event is probably more familiar to most people, Canada has in fact had its own Prayer Breakfast for several decades.

We had Adriana Thom, our Policy Researcher, look into answering a few questions about the event.

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