Latest Updates

Saanich council to debate ending automatic tax exemptions for places of worship

On Monday, January 23, Saanich council will debate a motion calling on the province to eliminate the statutory exemptions for places of worship.

The motion, "transition all statutory tax exemptions for places of worship to permissive tax exemptions," is being brought by Councillor Teale Phelps Bondaroff and would direct the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) to lobby the province for the change.

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Humanists reiterate call that Budget 2023 enshrine the duty of neutrality

In its response to the Ministry of Finance's pre-Budget 2023 consultation, the BC Humanist Association is again asking the government to recognize its duty of religious neutrality and end special privileges for religious organizations.

The BCHA previously made these calls to the House of Commons' Finance Committee.

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Why Baby Boomers Turned From Religion: Shaping belief and belonging, 1945-2021

By Prof. Abby Day (Goldsmiths, University of London); Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Religion and Society, University of Victoria.

Many members of the BC Humanists generously responded to my request in the summer of 2020 to help with interviews for my latest research project on Baby Boomers and religion. Baby Boomers, born post-WWII and defining the 1960s’ cultural revolutions, were the last generation to be routinely baptised, confirmed and taken regularly to mainstream, Anglican/Episcopalian churches. Their parents raised them to be church-attending, and yet questioning semi-conformists, enabling them to become ex-religious and to raise the Millennials to be the least religious generation ever.

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BCHA signs on to 10 Actions of BC Climate Emergency Campaign

At its December 13, 2022 meeting, the Board of Directors of the BC Humanist Association endorsed the BC Climate Emergency Campaign's 10 Actions to Confront the Climate Emergency.

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Indigenous cultural practices can be reconciled with state neutrality

Last week we published our latest report: Open for Unconstitutional Business, our detailed examination of prayers in Ontario municipalities. In it, we spent ten pages exploring the complexities raised by the growing prevalence of Indigenous territorial acknowledgements, welcoming ceremonies and even blessings at municipal council meetings. Our arguments built upon our past discussions of the issues—notably Decolonizing Legislative Prayers.

How fortuitous then that the BC Court of Appeal should release a significant judgement in the case of Servatius v Alberni School District No 70. This case dealt with Candice Servatius, an Evangelical Christian parent, who argued that Indigenous demonstrations at her children's school violated their religious freedom and the state duty of neutrality.

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New report finds nearly half of Ontario municipalities opened 2018 inaugural councils with prayer

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Almost half of the municipalities in Ontario opened their 2018 inaugural meetings with a prayer, according to the latest report from the BC Humanist Association (BCHA). The report also fingers nine municipalities for including prayers or invocations in their regular council meetings.

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BCHA congratulates Terrace on nativity scene rejection

Secularists are cheering a move by staff at the City of Terrace to reject the planned erection of a nativity scene over city hall.

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UPDATE: Invocation cancelled in Creston following complaints by Humanists

UPDATE (Nov 9, 2022): Following complaints by the BC Humanist Association, Creston's inaugural council meeting proceeding without its planned invocation.

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Parksville warned over planned "blessings" in inaugural council meeting

The City of Parksville's planned "blessings" at its upcoming inaugural council meeting is drawing criticism from the BC Humanist Association.

On Monday, November 7, 2022 at 1pm, the City of Parksville will hold its inaugural council meeting following the recent municipal elections. As part of that agenda, the City is including "blessings." In 2018, those were delivered by Dr Paul Hawkes, Lead Pastor at the Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church.

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Humanists decry planned invocation by Clearwater council

The BC Humanist Association (BCHA) is reiterating its call on the council of the District of Clearwater to drop its planned invocation from tomorrow evening's inaugural council meeting.

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