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August 17th newsletter roundup

Through our weekly newsletter, we let our members and supporters know about our upcoming events as well as a number of issues and campaigns that we think might be of interest to them. However it’s recently grown in length and has been difficult to read.

So we’re trying something new. From now on, each week we’ll be posting our news items of interest on our blog and linking to these posts from the newsletter. Then, those who want to explore more can do so while our newsletter is kept to a more manageable level.

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Provinces launch independent panel on assisted dying

All of the provinces and territories (except Quebec) have come together to launch a panel on assisted dying. This is good news, as the Ontario-led panel is already more credible than the one announced by the federal government earlier this year.

Read more on Dying With Dignity’s website.


BC Humanist Response to Climate Leadership Plan

British Columbia was one of the first jurisdictions in North America to introduce a carbon tax and has committed to aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. More action is needed to reach those targets and the Government recently released a consultation asking for input on what it’s priorities and strategies should be to reach those targets.

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Watch John Oliver on sex education

John Oliver takes on the failings of sexual education across the USA in his latest episode of Last Week Tonight. It’s worth watching the full 20 minute clip.

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If the United Church expels its atheist minister, should her congregation join a Humanist group?

Gretta Vosper, the atheist and Humanist minister of a small United Church of Canada congregation in Ontario, is facing expulsion from her church for heresy. You can read the full story in the National Post. Vosper is a member of The Clergy Project which supports current and former religious professionals who have lost their beliefs in the supernatural.

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Poems for an atheist's funeral

Kirsten Brawn, one of our Board members, wrote the following poems for a friend’s funeral and wanted to share them. Let us know if you have your own humanist-inspired art that you’d like to share.

 

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Humanists in the 2015 Pride Parade

For the sixth consecutive year, the BC Humanist Association marched in support of Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community. This year, we were one of the many organizations to sign a pledge calling for federal and provincial legislation to ensure gender identity and gender expression are protected by human rights laws.

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Are city taxpayers on the hook for Papal visits?

Darwin Toivo, a member of the BCHA, forwarded me the letter he recently sent to the Mayor of Philadelphia. Darwin argues that the city shouldn’t have paid for a Catholic mass during the Pope’s recent visit to the city to investigate the city’s issues with homelessness. You can read his letter below.

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Religious advertising continues in Abbotsford schools

Christian summer camps, parenting workshops and the Gideon Bibles are being advertised through Abbotsford schools, despite neighbouring Chilliwack having recently ended the practice.

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Blasphemy Law Abolished in Iceland!

Iceland’s parliament agreed today to abolish the blasphemy provision of the Criminal Code. The Pirate Party’s parliamentarians submitted the proposal in January, which received broad support from all other political parties in Parliament and the matter was unanimously supported by the committee examining the proposal. Icelanders have now taken an important step in guaranteeing human rights and joined other nations which respect freedom of speech and expression.

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