Latest News

Clergy residence deduction cost $1 billion over last decade

In its latest report, the BC Humanist Association (BCHA) has estimated that the clergy residence deduction has cost the Canadian government over $1 billion over the past decade as individual religious officials are able to reduce their taxes by one-third.

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Religion doesn't protect contracts from judicial scrutiny

The BC Humanist Association is welcoming a unanimous decision by Canada's highest court that affirms that religious organizations can be subject to judicial scrutiny.

The case stems from five individuals who sued their former church following their expulsion from the congregation. The members alleged church leadership failed to follow their own internal bylaws and they asked the courts to uphold their rights as members of the church.

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The "support group" loophole?

Religious services remain banned in BC during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet at least one Vancouver church has continued meeting under the guise of a support group.

Love Quest International Church says on its website that it launched "The Good Life Support Group" in late February 2021 as a response to the pandemic. It appears to have been meeting in person weekly at Strathcona Church in East Vancouver. Dr Bonnie Henry, BC's Provincial Health Officer (PHO), first issued an order prohibiting in-person religious gatherings and worship services on November 19, 2020 - an order that was upheld by the Supreme Court of BC in March 2021.

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BCHA joins calls for COVID-19 data transparency

At its April 19, 2021 meeting, the Board of Directors of the BC Humanist Association adopted a motion joining calls for greater data transparency from governments and decision makers to provide for greater accountability in their response to COVID-19.

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BCHA reacts to 2021 provincial and federal budgets

Yesterday the Government of Canada released its 2021 budget and today the Government of BC released its budget.

The BC Humanist Association is celebrating investments in childcare, reconciliation and efforts to combat systemic racism.

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BCHA joins call to decriminalize poverty in Vancouver

The BC Humanist Association has joined calls from community to divest from policing and invest in community programs in the City of Vancouver.

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The stars are aligned: It's time for legislative astrology

Building on its research-driven advocacy around religious prayers in the legislature and municipal councils across British Columbia, the BC Humanist Association is asking today why our provincial politicians have thus far limited their spiritual considerations to more traditional approaches to understanding the universe.

In its new report, Separation of Religion and Government in Retrograde, the BCHA considers the impact of the astrological star signs of MLAs on the province's prosperity.

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End-of-Life: A Guide for Humanists and Non-Religious People in B.C.

End of life care in Canada has historically been a field of medicine steeped in religion, believed to be the work of Christian chaplains—not doctors—for the purpose of preparing for an afterlife. With a growing number of non-religious people in the world and the multiculturalism of Canada, the landscape of end of life care is changing. The legalization of medical assistance in dying, non-religious pastoral support networks, and advance care planning education offers an opportunity for non-religious people to think of death and dying in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.

With that in mind, the B.C. Humanist Association have created a guide that discusses issues that humanists and other non-religious people may encounter when considering and planning for the end of their lives. This guide also sheds light on the unique experience of living a life with no expectation of punishment or reward when it’s over and identifies barriers to a death with dignity, along with measures to improve it.

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BCHA condemns proposal to create College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The BC Humanist Association is calling for the scrapping of a proposal to create a "Regulatory College of Complementary and Alternative Health and Care Professionals" by a committee tasked with modernizing BC's provincial health professions regulatory framework.

The new regulatory college is being proposed to amalgamate existing colleges for chiropractors, naturopaths, acupuncturists and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. In January, the BCHA called on the committee to "end the recognition" of these professions and enshrine evidence at the core of its reforms.

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Legislative Prayer Across Canada

Canada is often viewed as a diverse and multicultural country. Multiculturalism and ‘freedom of conscience and religion’ are enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. From this, the Supreme Court of Canada has established that Canada is a secular country through what has been called the state’s duty of religious neutrality. Nevertheless, legislative assemblies across Canada continue to begin each day’s sitting with a prayer, which is most often Christian in nature.

Here we provide an overview of the diverse practices that surround legislative prayer across Canada today.

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