Freedom of Expression

Freedom of speech is a pillar of an open and inclusive society. Criticism of religion and religious privilege requires the ability to speak freely without fear of government censorship.

We are a member of the International Coalition Against Blasphemy Laws and call upon governments around the world to repeal blasphemy laws and other laws that prevent criticism of religion. Section 296 of the Criminal Code of Canada declares that "blasphemous libel" is an indictable offence. We call on the Canadian Government to repeal this outdated blasphemy law.

Sign up to support our campaign to repeal Canada's blasphemy law.

Latest news


Government unmuzzles charities

As of last Thursday, charities have been freed of restrictive and arbitrary limits on so-called political activities. The BC Humanist Association joined numerous environmental and human rights charities to advocate for the changes. The restrictions and related audits had contributed to an advocacy chill and infringed on charities' free speech....

Canada repeals blasphemy law

Humanists are cheering the passage of a bill repealing Canada's prohibition on "blasphemous libel" in the Senate today. Canada's 19th century blasphemy law will be no more once the bill receives Royal Assent. Vote result on the House of Commons response to message on Bill #C51: Yeas: 49 Nays: 17...

Ways and Means Motion signals government's next moves on charities' free speech

On Thursday, Canada's Finance Minister Bill Morneau took the first formal legislative step to remove limits on the political activities of charities. Morneau introduced a Ways and Means Motion in the House of Commons on Thursday. The motion passed today with a vote of 166 to 114. Ways and Means...

Humanists submit comments on draft political activities proposals

The BC Humanist Association today said proposals in a draft charities reform bill "fall far short of the mark" by failing to implement a modernized charities framework. The BCHA welcomes the Government's move to delete references to nonpartisan political activities, thereby ending the gag on charities participating in development of public policy....

Government releases draft bill to lift restrictions on charities

The BC Humanist Association is welcoming proposed legislation to repeal restrictions on the political activities of charities in Canada but we are disappointed that the proposals don't go farther. Under existing rules, Canadian charities must not spend more than 10% of its resources on "political activities." This includes activities intended to...

Toward a modernized charity framework for Canada

The BC Humanist Association today called on the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector to support new legislation defining what a charity is and for that legislation to create equality between religious and nonreligious worldviews in Canadian charity law.

Final push to repeal Canada's blasphemy law

The Senate is considering a bill that will finally repeal Canada's blasphemy law but we still need one last push to make sure that bill becomes law. We've just launched a new push to send a message to Senators on the committee that's studying the bill with a simple message:...

Court strikes down gag on charities

The BC Humanist Association is welcoming a decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice striking down rules that restrict the political activities of charities as a victory for freedom of expression. The decision, released Tuesday, means charities no longer need to navigate the artificial and often arbitrary divide between...

Tell Canada to keep its promise and fix our broken charity laws

The Government of Canada is set to make a decision in the next 10 days whether they will fix our broken charity laws. We need to raise our voice so that it’s clear that the government must act now.

Blasphemy repeal bill moves to Senate

Canada's blasphemy law is one step closer to being repealed after MPs in the House of Commons agreed to pass Bill C-51 at third reading on Monday. The bill makes a number of amendments to the Criminal Code, including repealing the prohibition on blasphemous libel. The BC Humanist Association and other...

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