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Humanists to Abbotsford superintendent: End bible distribution or permit atheist comics

In a letter to the superintendent of the Abbotsford School District during spring break, the BC Humanist Association (BCHA) called for the distribution of Gideon Bibles and other religious materials in public schools be stopped.  The BCHA calls the practice unconstitutional and in violation of the BC School Act.

Each year the teachers in the district distribute consent cards, provided by Gideon’s International, to grade 5 students. The District then distributes Gideon Bibles to each student who returns a signed card.

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Write your MP to guarantee choice

The BC Humanist Association has written to all British Columbia Members of Parliament calling for legislation that ensures patients have access to compassionate end of life options.

After studying legislative options for physician-assisted dying, a Parliamentary committee recommended an approach that puts patients first. The BCHA is calling on MPs to adopt these recommendations and ensure that healthcare institutions that receive public funding are required to provide choice in dying.

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Praise for federal committee report on physician assisted dying

In their report to Parliament, MPs and Senators on the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying have presented a set of bold recommendations to allow suffering Canadians to choose a medically-assisted death.

The report is already receiving praise from organizations in support of choice in dying, including the BC Humanist Association and Dying With Dignity Canada.

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BC taxpayers gave $1 billion to religious hospitals in 2015

Hospital and health care institutions run by religious organizations in BC received nearly $1 billion from the provincial government in 2015.

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New poll shows near-unanimity in Humanist support for physician-assisted dying

Nearly all Humanists support the Supreme Court of Canada's decision that Canadians should have the right to a physician's assistance to die according to a new poll.

One year ago the Supreme Court struck down Canada's absolute prohibition on physician-assisted dying. The new poll, conducted by Ipsos Reid for Dying With Dignity Canada, found that 98% of atheists, agnostics and Humanists support the decision as well as 93% of those with no religious identity.

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Use private member's bill to take god out of anthem

Two groups representing atheists and Humanists are asking for God to be taken out of O Canada in a letter to Liberal MP Mauril Béllanger.

Last week Bélanger tabled Bill C-210, which would make the national anthem gender neutral. The BC Humanist Association and Centre for Inquiry Canada praised this symbolic move toward gender equality and asked the MP to amend his bill to also replace the line “God keep our land” with a secular alternative.

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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.

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Federal panel releases report on assisted dying

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.

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Supreme Court agrees to delay assisted dying ruling

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.

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Questioning religious tax exemptions

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.

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