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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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Expert group presents strong physician assisted dying recommendations

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.

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BC Supreme Court sides with Christian law school

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.

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Listen to the compassionate

On Saturday the Vancouver Sun published our letter to the editor calling on the BC and Canadian governments to stop delaying physician-assisted dying in Canada.

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Poet sentenced to death for apostasy in Saudi Arabia

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.

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