Latest Updates

Should Humanists oppose sex-selective abortions?

Humanists in Canada have long fought for the right for women to control their own fertility.

However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that East Asian immigrants in Canada are having fewer than average baby girls, suggesting that some parents may be aborting foetuses based on their gender. This has even prompted the Canadian Medical Association Journal to call for doctors to withhold the sex of a foetus until 30 weeks into a pregnancy – past the point that most physicians in Canada would perform an abortion.*

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The growth of the nones

Two interesting polls came out in the past week, both documenting the growing strength of the non-religious in Canada and British Columbia.

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Words Engraved

As part of my electronic spring cleaning, I came across a number of emails that I meant to respond to or that merited more attention than I first gave them. Below are videos entitled “Words Engraved” that were designed to inspire humanist and enlightenment values.

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Quebec moves towards Dying With Dignity

About a week ago Quebec’s Dying With Dignity Committee released their final report on assisted suicide in the province.

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Progressive secularism

This past weekend while we enjoyed sunny blue skies in Vancouver, 20,000 atheists, humanists, and freethinkers gathered in Washington, DC for a rainy Reason Rally. The speaker’s list was a veritable who’s who of the New Atheist movement, with Richard Dawkins, Tim Minchin, and Adam Savage taking the stage.

But what interests me isn’t so much how successful the Rally itself was, but how we build off the success of this event and translate that momentum.

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Humanism and prostitution

The Ontario Court of Appeal today upheld an earlier ruling that the federal laws banning “bawdy houses” (brothels) is unconstitutional. They further ruled that the law against “living on the avails” of prostitution could only apply to exploitative relationships. Finally, they overturned an earlier ruling and upheld the ban on solicitation.

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Canada, a relatively irreligious place

The latest poll from Leger Marketing [pdf] asked the standard “who will you vote for” type questions, but then dug deeper to try to expose a difference between Quebec and the rest of Canada. One question in particular sparked my interest. They asked “Do you personally consider yourself as a person who is religious?” and showed that a mere 22% of Quebeckers agreed versus 36% of Canadians. I transcribed their data to a graph to better illustrate the regional breakdown of religiosity in this country.

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A secular heroes program?

I am always tossing a lot of ideas for projects around in my head. I get some down in writing and solicit opinions on others. Most don’t make it very far but others are actually implemented and affect change.

Almost every idea is sparked by an initial outrage to a story in the media. So before I get to my idea-of-the-day, let’s discuss the spark.

Xtra! is reporting that REAL Women of Canada, a notorious anti-feminist group, is involved in deciding who will be awarded some of the 60,000 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medals to “outstanding” Canadians. Xtra! notes that pro-LGBT groups like Egale Canada were not asked for their input.

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Religion booted from Delta schools, programs remain in Vancouver

Some good news from the Vancouver Sun:

Volunteers from a global evangelical group are no longer welcome in Delta public schools.

That message was delivered recently by school superintendent Dianne Turner after The Vancouver Sun published a story about the Pais Project and its success in placing young missionaries in two schools — South Delta secondary and University Hill secondary in Vancouver.

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Why Alain de Botton annoys me

At a recent Sunday morning meeting we showed Alain de Botton’s TED talk where he argues for an Atheism 2.0, which most of our members quickly identified as the Humanist project.

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