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It's time to end prayers in the BC Legislature

To coincide with the release of the second edition of its Legislative Prayers Across Canada report, the BC Humanist Association is launching a renewed call to end the practice of starting sittings in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia with prayers.

The new edition of the report reflects a change made by the Nova Scotia Legislature in October to begin each day with a 'moment of silent reflection.' Previously the Speaker read a version of the Lord's Prayer before MLAs began the day's proceedings.

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Legislative Prayer Across Canada

In the second edition of Legislative Prayer Across Canada, we update our original report to include the move in October 2021 by Nova Scotia to replace its practice of beginning sittings with the Lord's Prayer with a moment of silent reflection. We will continue to update the report in the future as other legislature amend their practices.


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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Conversion practices ban becomes law in Canada

The BC Humanist Association is joining members and allies of the LGBTQ2S+ community in celebrating the historic passage of a ban on conversion therapy and practices.

After multiple previous bills failed to clear the legislative hurdles in Parliament, Senators today unanimously granted the bill second and third readings. This followed a similar unanimous motion in the House of Commons that allowed the bill to be fast-tracked through the usual processes.

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Canadian Secular Alliance joins interventions in White Rock Pride human rights case

The BC Humanists are congratulating the Canadian Secular Alliance on their successful application to intervene in a BC Human Rights Tribunal case that pits the White Rock Pride Society against the Star of the Sea Parish.

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Humanists welcome new effort to ban conversion practices in BC

The BC Humanist Association (BCHA) is joining survivors and LGBTQ2S+ advocates today in welcoming a new private members bill that would ban conversion practices in British Columbia.

The new bill, introduced by BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau today, builds off a previous private members bill in 2019 and is the second attempt to ban the dangerous and pseudoscientific practice in the province.

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BCHA joins AccessBC Campaign

It's time for free prescription contraception in BC!

At its most recent meeting, the Board of the BC Humanist Association voted unanimously to lend the organization's support to the AccessBC campaign.

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Toward an inclusive society: BCHA makes Budget 2022 submissions

In its response to the province's Budget 2022 consultation, the BCHA is calling on the Government of BC to end the funding of private schools and property tax exemptions for places of worship 

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Petition calls for end to vaccine card loophole

As a requirement to show proof of vaccination at many events comes into effect in British Columbia, members of the BC Humanist Association (BCHA) are calling for an end to an exemption for religious events.

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Follow the money: BC's private school giveaway benefits wealthy and religious families

A new analysis from the BC Humanist Association shows that nearly three of every four dollars of the over $400 million that the province gives to private schools goes to religious schools; nearly all which are Christian or Catholic. And of the 19.6% of the funding ($83.6 million) that goes to secular private schools, the majority ($44.5 million or 53%) goes to elite schools.

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BCHA responds to federal pre-budget 2022 consultation

In its response to this year's pre-budget consultation, the BC Humanist Association is calling on the federal government to use Budget 2022 to end religious privileges in the tax code.

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