Humanists oppose Kamloops pro-life banner

The BC Humanist Association calls on the Mayor and City Council of Kamloops to remove the Protect Human Life banners that have recently appeared around the city.

In an open letter to the Mayor and Council, the British Columbia Humanist Association notes that the banner violates the city’s own policies banning political, religious, and controversial viewpoints.

BC Humanists Executive Director Ian Bushfield argues that these banners represent a municipal endorsement of a religious viewpoint, threatening the separation of church and state.

The organization previously opposed the City of Kelowna’s proclamation of Protect Human Life Week this year and last year.

Since 1984, the BC Humanist Association has represented atheists, agnostics, and secular humanists across the province. Its vision is a secular society based on the universal values of reason and compassion.

The following open letter was sent to the Mayor and City council of Kamloops regarding the Protect Human Life Week banners hanging in the city.

Dear Mayor Peter Milobar and the Kamloops City Council:

The British Columbia Humanist Association calls on your council to reverse its decision to allow Voices 4 Life’s (also known as Kamloops Pro-Life Society) Protect Human Life Week banners that are currently hanging across various streets in the city. These banners promote a narrow religious view and represent an affront to women’s legal rights and the separation of church and state.

These banners are in clear violation of the City of Kamloops own policy [1]. The policy states that banners “shall not promote political parties or points of view, religious points of view … or controversial issues.” This banner is arguably a political statement in light of MP Stephen Woodworth’s failed motion M-312 and the Carter v. Canadacase which is before the BC Court of Appeal, arguing for the repeal of Canada’s ban on assisted suicide [2]. The banner also represents a religious point of view, as Voices 4 Life’s website links to numerous religious websites and organizations. Finally, the banners present a controversial viewpoint, not representative of the majority of Canadians [3].

Our organization believes that city councils and mayors should avoid using the power of their office to promote any one religious viewpoint. We therefore call on the City of Kamloops to remove these banners immediately.



Ian Bushfield
Executive Director
BC Humanist Association

[1] PROCEDURES FOR DISPLAYING OVERHEAD BANNERS, City of Kamloops. 11 February 2010.

[2] Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2012 BCSC 886

[3] Canadians Decisively Pro-Choice on Abortion, Ekos Politics. 1 April 2012.

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