BCHA calls on Parliamentary committee to enshrine physician-assisted dying rights in healthcare system
The BC Humanist Association submitted a brief today to the Parliamentary committee studying physician-assisted dying. Its brief argues that a physician-assisted death should be available to all who freely choose it and that so-called "conscientious objection" clauses pose a threat to universal access.Read more
The expert panel established by the federal government last summer has delivered its final report on its consultations on physician-assisted dying, citing the BC Humanist Association's response.
After months of inaction, the previous Conservative government established the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v Canada in July 2015. The report does not make specific recommendations but discusses the different responses the panel received.Read more
The Supreme Court of Canada agreed today to a four month extension before Canada's assisted dying law is struck down. Those in suffering today will be able to apply to a judge for permission to hasten their death in the meantime. The decision follows a request by the Liberal government for a six-month delay.
The ruling also allows Quebec's assisted dying law, which came into force in December, to go ahead.Read more
Today's front-page story of the Nanaimo Daily News asks whether it's time to end the millions of dollars in property tax breaks that are given away each year to religious organizations.
Journalist Spencer Anderson reports that the City of Nanaimo alone approved $170 736 in tax relief for church properties last year. These permissive exemptions are in addition to property tax exemptions for houses of worship required by BC law.Read more
A new report on physician assisted dying from a provincial and territorial governments expert group echos calls the BC Humanist Association and others made earlier this year.
The report sets out a clear blueprint for how federal and provincial governments can implement last February's Supreme Court of Canada ruling that granted Canadians the right to choose a physician-assisted death.Read more
The BC Supreme Court has overturned the Law Society of BC's decision to deny accreditation to a proposed law school at Trinity Western University, an evangelical private university. The Court ruled yesterday that the Law Society made procedural errors in making its final decision.Read more
The BC Humanist Association today wrote to Canada's ambassador to Saudi Arabia calling for him to join over 60 human rights and free speech organizations who are calling for Saudi authorities to release poet Ashraf Fayadh. Fayadh was sentenced to death for apostasy in a widely discredited trial.Read more
A proposal to reduce tax exemptions for religious organizations and charities in Langley City failed on Monday evening following concerted protest from local churches. Councillor Rudy Storteboom presented, for discussion, a motion that would have reduced property tax exemptions for 29 church and non-profit properties. No one seconded the motion.
Currently, the Government of BC provides automatic tax breaks on houses of worship while municipalities can create exemptions for other properties, such as parking lots. The proposal before Langley City would only have affected this latter category.Read more
Ex-military Humanists wrote to the Grandview Legion today asking for future Remembrance Day ceremonies to represent all who have served.
In a letter to the Vancouver Sun on Monday, November 16, Suzanne Salter wrote that this year's ceremony at Grandview Cenotaph included "long prayers and Christian references to the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" but "there wasn't an attempt to include other religions into the ceremony." The ceremony was organized by the Royal Canadian Legion, Grandview Branch #179.Read more