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
The BC Humanist Association joins free speech organizations and writers in a joint letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling for urgent action to provide humanitarian assistance to secular and Humanist writers, bloggers, and academics in Bangladesh.
The letter is the latest pressure put on the Government of Canada by freethought organizations. Tareq Rahim, one of the victims of the most recent attacks, remains in hospital in Dhaka while his wife (a Canadian citizen) continues to press for him to be allowed to recover with her in Canada.Read more
The BC Humanist Association and Centre for Inquiry Canada have spoken out against events on Vancouver Island featuring alternative medicine proponent Brian Clement.
Clement has been widely criticized for reportedly claiming that after attending his clinic people have been cured of a wide range of conditions including multiple sclerosis. Last year, two Canadian aboriginal girls with leukemia abandoned their evidence based treatments in favour of Clement's treatments. One of the girls later died and the other was withdrawn from the clinic.Read more
The BC Humanist Association today called on BC Minister of Health Terry Lake to reverse his decision to refuse recommendations to guarantee access to assisted dying through the BC health care system.
The all-party Select Standing Committee on Health had presented its recommendations on assisted dying regulations in BC following a year-long consultation with British Columbians. Rather than adopt the recommendations, the Minister and BC Government instead chose not to endorse the report until the federal government acts.Read more