Latest Updates

Memorials & Grief: A Guide for Humanists and Non- Religious People in B.C.

The B.C. Humanist Association has created two guides to discuss issues that humanists and other non-religious people may encounter around the ends of their lives. This guide, on Memorials & Grief, is for anyone non-religious (humanist, atheist, agnostic) and living with the death of a loved one, or simply interested in learning more about the humanist perspective of life & death.

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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.  

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End-of-Life: A Guide for Humanists and Non-Religious People in B.C.

End of life care in Canada has historically been a field of medicine steeped in religion, believed to be the work of Christian chaplains—not doctors—for the purpose of preparing for an afterlife. With a growing number of non-religious people in the world and the multiculturalism of Canada, the landscape of end of life care is changing. The legalization of medical assistance in dying, non-religious pastoral support networks, and advance care planning education offers an opportunity for non-religious people to think of death and dying in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.

With that in mind, the B.C. Humanist Association have created a guide that discusses issues that humanists and other non-religious people may encounter when considering and planning for the end of their lives. This guide also sheds light on the unique experience of living a life with no expectation of punishment or reward when it’s over and identifies barriers to a death with dignity, along with measures to improve it.

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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.

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BCHA condemns proposal to create College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The BC Humanist Association is calling for the scrapping of a proposal to create a "Regulatory College of Complementary and Alternative Health and Care Professionals" by a committee tasked with modernizing BC's provincial health professions regulatory framework.

The new regulatory college is being proposed to amalgamate existing colleges for chiropractors, naturopaths, acupuncturists and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. In January, the BCHA called on the committee to "end the recognition" of these professions and enshrine evidence at the core of its reforms.

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Legislative Prayer Across Canada

Canada is often viewed as a diverse and multicultural country. Multiculturalism and ‘freedom of conscience and religion’ are enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. From this, the Supreme Court of Canada has established that Canada is a secular country through what has been called the state’s duty of religious neutrality. Nevertheless, legislative assemblies across Canada continue to begin each day’s sitting with a prayer, which is most often Christian in nature.

Here we provide an overview of the diverse practices that surround legislative prayer across Canada today.

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Prorogation kills bills to ban conversion therapy, reform MAID

The BC Humanist Association is calling on Members of Parliament (MPs) to commit to the quick reintroduction and passage of two bills this fall after an announcement yesterday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was proroguing Parliament until September 23.

With prorogation all bills are wiped from the order paper. This included ones that would ban conversion therapy and make changes to Canada's assisted dying laws. The BCHA recently launched a petition in support of the ban on conversion therapy and has long campaigned for broad access to medical assistance in dying (MAID).

Both bills had not passed first reading in the House of Commons.

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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.

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Anti-LGBTQ2S+ Christian camp received over $600,000 from government

Despite accusations of discriminating against LGBTQ2S+ staff, evangelical Bible camp Young Life has received over $600,000 in government funding in recent years, according to its charitable tax returns. This included over $150,000 from the federal government in 2019.

A movement of current and former members of Young Life is rallying behind the hashtag #DoBetterYoungLife calling on the organization to abandon its anti-LGBTQ2S+ "sexual conduct" policies. That story is documented by Kathryn Post in Religion News Service.

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Humanists petition for conversion therapy ban

In a petition launched today, members of the BC Humanist Association are calling on parliamentarians to pass a bill banning conversion therapy in Canada.

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