Opinions expressed on the BC Humanist Association's blog do not necessarily reflect those of the BCHA or the Board of Directors.
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
2020 In Review
This past year has been an unprecedented one on many levels. With the mass lockdowns, deaths, and other losses brought on by COVID-19, it has been an important time to stay true to our humanist values of morality, compassion, scientifically backed reason, and compassion.
In the face of these challenges, we at the BC Humanist Association have strived to continue empowering humanists and fighting for religious equality. To that end, our team completed numerous presentations and reports, launched new campaigns targeted at our member’s needs, and created a series of regular virtual events.Read more
BC Humanist Association welcomes proposed legislation to expand access to medical assistance in dying
Since our last response in January 2016, there has been a significant amount of research into the demand for medical assistance in dying (MAiD), and experience of the 13,000 Canadians who received their wish of an assisted death in Canada since legislation. However, there are also many people who would have otherwise wished for MAiD, but were excluded from the eligibility criteria until now. Amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada will pave the way for more Canadian adults to fulfill their wishes of a death with dignity, a cause that the overwhelming majority of Canadians support.Read more
Farewell for a while
A special note from our Executive Director, Ian Bushfield:
Today is my last day of work before I take off for a few months to raise a young Humanist.
It's been an incredibly productive summer. Our amazing team of Emily, Alexandre, Adriana and Teale have hosted livestreamed events, finished what was called "a masters thesis worth" of research and put us on solid financial footing going into the fall.Read more
Secular home and online school options for BC parents
As the Government of British Columbia rolls out its Education Restart Plan, some students and parents are considering their own options for their return to school in September. A popular option is some form of homeschooling.
Parents in BC have three main options for homeschooling their children: Enrolling in a public or independent distributed learning (DL) program or registering as a traditional homeschooler.Read more
Nonbelievers still minimized by Census 2021
Statistics Canada calls the census "the country's storyteller" but the accuracy of that story depends deeply on the quality of the questions being asked of Canadians.
For years, Humanists, atheists and other nonreligious Canadians have been concerned by the wording of the question that Statistics Canada includes in the census. Similar to the census in England and Wales, Statistics Canada asks "What is this person's religion?", which is problematic enough for the presumption of religious belief that it carries with it.
But Statistics Canada goes further and asks census takers to indicate a religion "even if this person is not currently a practising member of that group."Read more
Our comments on BC Budget 2021
The Government of British Columbia is currently consulting for Budget 2021.
On Monday, I spoke before the BC Legislature's Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services and presented two of our ideas for that budget. First, that municipalities be given the ability to tax places of worship. And second, that the public subsidy for private schools be fazed out.Read more