Latest Updates

Humanists join letter in support of decriminalizing sex work

The BC Humanist Association joined over 100 organizations and individuals in signing a letter calling for the decriminalization of sex work in Canada.

The letter, coordinated by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and the Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform, calls on delegates to the Liberal Party of Canada's upcoming convention to support a resolution to repeal the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act.

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Iranian women risk arrest: Daughters of the revolution

By Homa Hoodfar, Concordia University

In the lead-up to March 8, I am sometimes asked whether we really still need an International Women’s Day (IWD). Though my greatest hope is to see a day when gender inequity and gender injustice are social artefacts of the past, that day feels nowhere near.

I celebrated March 8, 2016 in Tehran by walking in the streets, riding the Metro to attend a discussion group and reading some Happy Women’s Day greetings on social media. In my heart and mind, I celebrated these Iranian women in the women-only train compartments in their colourful outfits and loose scarves, resisting the regime’s attempt to control their bodies and eliminate their choices.

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A budget for science & equality? - Mar 5, 2018 Newsletter

Last week, the federal government announced nearly a billion dollars in new investments in science in its annual budget.

This follows actions by groups like Evidence for Democracy who have been pushing for a renewed investment in science and research since the last election. Some of you will recall the #SciencePledge we took part in back in 2015.

Evidence for Democracy has more about what this budget means for science.

For Humanists, the budget also talks a lot about promoting equality with new initiatives to close gender gaps in pay, ensure clean drinking water in every community and support the many indigenous children in foster care. Time will tell whether these are any more effective than past efforts.

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On Lawrence Krauss and sexual misconduct in atheism

Having gone to university in physics and been active an atheist groups for the past decade, I’ve been to something like five separate conferences where Lawrence Krauss was a keynote speaker. He’s well known in physics circles for his important theoretical work on dark energy and more broadly for being able to popularize science and scientific skepticism. I’ve found his books (I own several, including a couple signed copies) and talks to be entertaining and accessible.

At each of those conferences I attended though, it was an open secret that there was a whisper campaign that followed him. So the multiple, independent and documented sexual misconduct allegations that came out against him recently were honestly not that surprising to me. I believe these women.

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A child's right to Secular Schools - Feb 26, 2018 Newsletter

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We pointed out last week that the Government of BC continues to give hundreds of millions of dollars to religious independent schools in BC. This includes schools that teach creation in science class and exclude LGBTQ2+ students and families.

This isn't about a parent's choice but the rights of children to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and their right to a good quality education.

With the support we've build over the past few months, we're going to hold the BC government accountable for the money it continues to give to these faith schools. You can help us by inviting people to join our Secular Schools campaign.

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BC Budget continues faith school giveaway

Humanists are disappointed that today's provincial budget continues the multimillion dollar giveaway to independent faith schools across the province.

Budget 2018 estimates that independent schools across BC will receive over $425 million in public funding for 2018/19.

Independent schools across BC can qualify for up to 50% of the per-student funding as neighbouring public schools. The majority of independent schools that receive this funding are religious. 

These include schools that "teach creation in science class", prioritize students on the basis of whether they can speak in tongues and ones that discriminate against LGBTQ2+ families.

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February 19, 2018 Newsletter

On Saturday, thirteen happy Humanists helped sort donations at the Vancouver Food Bank for three hours.

On Friday, our Humanist Chaplain from Kwantlen University Polytechnic Dr Marty Shoemaker and his ex-wife spoke to fourth graders at Stratford Hall.

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Happy (belated) Darwin Day - Feb 13, 2018 Newsletter

Yesterday was Darwin Day, the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and a chance to reflect on the theory of evolution.

While we didn't participate in formal celebrations in BC this year, one event that caught my eye was a Darwin Day lecture in Pittsburgh. At this lecture, Princeton emeritus professors Peter and Rosemary Grant discussed their research into how Darwin's finches are continuing to develop and evolve. Their research found that some new species evolved in as few as three generations!

As I told Gurpreet Singh on SpiceFM over the weekend, the theory of evolution is alive and a vibrant area of study.

But it's also under threat from religious fundamentalists in India and Turkey, despite the victories we achieved in BC in the 1990s.

Let me know if there's something we should do next year to stand up for evolution and to celebrate Darwin Day 2019.

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Millennials abandon hope for religion but revere human rights

By Galen Watts, Queen's University, Ontario

A sea change in the religious landscape of Canada is underway. Led by millennials, Canada is increasingly moving towards a secular culture. “Spiritual but not religious” has become our new normal.

A 2015 Angus Reid poll found 39 per cent of Canadians identify as “spiritual but not religious.” Another 27 per cent identify as “neither religious nor spiritual;” 24 per cent as “religious and spiritual;” and 10 per cent as “religious but not spiritual.”

What sparked this dramatic change in beliefs and self-identification? And what does it mean for the future of Canadian society?

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O Canada becomes more inclusive

The BC Humanist Association welcomes news that Canada's national anthem is now officially gender neutral.

The Senate passed bill C-210 yesterday, officially changing the line "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command." The bill now awaits Royal Assent before becoming law.

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