We acknowledge that this event takes place on the traditional and unceded shared territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skxwú7mesh (Squamish) & səlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Attend nearly any event in Vancouver in the past few years, particularly ones held by progressive organizations, and you are likely to hear some variation on those words. The practice of territorial acknowledgements has spread farther, with variations in communities across Canada and the USA recognizing the local indigenous peoples.
For many Humanists, these statements can be reminiscent of ritualistic Christian prayers that have often been said before formal events (and in some places still are). This is further complicated when a local indigenous elder is invited to give the acknowledgement and they invoke a deity — either from their own spiritual traditions or in some cases the Christian God.Read more
Canadian Twitter was ablaze today over a story that seemed to allege that any charity that talks about climate change during the election will be censored by Elections Canada.
The story comes from Mia Rabson’s scoop for The Canadian Press. She reported that Elections Canada may consider charities that run campaigns about climate change during the election to be captured under the Canada Elections Act.Read more
Last year, over 2600 scientists signed a statement that underlined the reality that gender cannot be defined along a strict binary.
The relationship between sex chromosomes, genitalia, and gender identity is complex, and not fully understood. There are no genetic tests that can unambiguously determine gender, or even sex. Furthermore, even if such tests existed, it would be unconscionable to use the pretext of science to enact policies that overrule the lived experience of people’s own gender identities.
Building on the BCHA's previous positions, and our Executive Director's statement on Quebec's Bill 21, the Board of Directors of the BC Humanist Association last week reiterated our opposition to the Quebec government's ban on religious symbols.Read more
By Dennis Rasmussen, Associate Professor of Political Science, Tufts University
As the Scottish philosopher David Hume lay on his deathbed in the summer of 1776, his passing became a highly anticipated event. Few people in 18th-century Britain were as forthright in their lack of religious faith as Hume was, and his skepticism had earned him a lifetime of abuse and reproach from the pious, including a concerted effort to excommunicate him from the Church of Scotland. Now everyone wanted to know how the notorious infidel would face his end. Would he show remorse or perhaps even recant his skepticism? Would he die in a state of distress, having none of the usual consolations afforded by belief in an afterlife? In the event, Hume died as he had lived, with remarkable good humour and without religion.Read more
The BC Humanist Association has today asked the BC Legislature's Finance Committee to use Budget 2020 to advance secular values in British Columbia.
In its brief, the organization identifies four ways the budget can be used to end the privileging of religious views in the province.
- Phase out public funding of independent schools
- Reform property tax exemptions for “places of public worship”
- Secularize the public healthcare system
- End funding for discriminatory housing programs
Recognizing that the laws governing Canadian charities are “outdated, convoluted”, a Senate committee is recommending a full review of whether Canada should define what a charity is in law.
Whether an organization can be registered as a charity is currently determined based on a list of "good, godly and charitable" purposes set out in the Statute of Elizabeth in 1601. Those purposes are the relief of poverty, the advancement of education, the advancement of religion and other purposes deemed beneficial to the community by the courts.
The BC Humanist Association and many other charities have been calling for a modernized legal framework to end uncertainty in the sector.Read more
The passage of Quebec’s Bill 21 is bad news for the state of freedom of expression, religious freedom and secularism itself in Canada. Humanists should stand united against the clear infringement on our fundamental freedoms by the Government of Quebec.Read more