Latest Updates

Historic Victory - BCCLA wins Dying With Dignity case at Supreme Court of Canada

It was an honour and privilege for me to be present with representatives from BCCLA and supporters to hear the Supreme Court ruling early on Friday morning. We initially received a short message stating that the appeal had been won. An overwhelmed silence ensued, not applause or joy. We needed to hear more. Josh Paterson called in shortly afterward to verify the ruling, and to let us know it was unanimous! 9-0!

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Are Humanist charities next?

This past week, Dying With Dignity (DWD) announced that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has annulled its charitable status. The CRA had been auditing DWD’s political activities and ruled it was wrong to grant the organization charitable status when it was first registered. This news follows a string of recent audits of charities, which started in 2012 when the Harper Government sought to crackdown on charities they worried were getting too political. Under Canadian law, a registered charity cannot devote more than 10% of its resources (money and time) to political campaigning and cannot support or oppose a particular politician or political party.

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The deadly terrorist attack on the staff of Charlie Hebdo in France

Yesterday’s events are one in the long and horrific history of atrocities committed by dogmatic religious extremists who live in fear of open criticism and free expression. Yet even in this darkness, the spirit of humanity can still be seen in the tens of thousands of people who poured into the streets of Paris and cities across Europe to stand in solidarity with the fallen journalists and officers. We must capture this resilience and respond with the same spirit as Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg following the 2011 shootings in Norway: “Our response is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity. We will answer hatred with love.”

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Reject TWU Law School

Hopefully by now you’ve had a chance to read our press release and statementon the proposed Trinity Western University law school.

The position statement is to be ratified at the next Board meeting – next week – so exact wording may change, but there’s a consensus among the Board that we should be taking a stand on this issue.

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Humanists in the Pride Parade 2013

It was another sunny afternoon for our fourth annual march in the Vancouver Pride Parade.

This year we had our largest contingent yet, with 35 marchers who came from Chilliwack to Whistler to the Sunshine Coast. Here’s some photos I managed to take during the day.

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Reject TWU Law School

A new statement from the Board of Directors of the BCHA joins calls for a proposed law school at Trinity Western University to be rejected.

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Why the BC Marriage Act must change

About 20 years ago, I obtained a ministry in the Universal Life Church, a somewhat infamous church in Modesto, California that issues ministries to anyone for the asking, with the most minimal possible ethical guideline of “do what is right.” Though accompanied by a good deal of incoherent, mystical, vaguely Christian theology by its founder, the ministry affords its communicants complete freedom of conscience.

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Rethinking the TWU Law School issue

In January, it came to our attention that Trinity Western University, a private evangelical university in Langley, was applying to have an accredited law school. The Canadian Council of Law Deans expressed their opposition to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, which the BC Civil Liberties Association rejected in favour of arguments for the freedom of religion. At the time, our previous Board considered the issue and opted to defer to the BCCLA’s position, though no formal motion was taken (to my recollection).

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Memories of Morgentaler

A story from Jill Harrington, one of our members of the late Dr. Henry Morgentaler.

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Remembering Kirsten Stromgren

Glenn Hardie lets us know that another long-time member of the BC Humanist community has died.

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