The BC Humanist Association is welcoming new guidelines from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that permit charities to engage in advocacy that connects with its mission.
In fall 2018, the Government of Canada announced that restrictions on the so-called "political activities" of charities would be repealed. The new rules, which permit "public policy dialogue and development activities", simply require that charities activities connect with the charity's stated purposes and provide a benefit to the public.
The draft guidance from the CRA provides clarification on what the legal changes mean for boards and staffs of the approximately 85,000 charities operating in the country.Read more
Stephanie Vande Kraats resigned as a teacher at Surrey Christian School after administrators allegedly told her that her contract would not be renewed because she was living with a man she wasn't married to, according to a story from CBC's Go Public.
I didn't want to continue in a place where I already felt humiliated and judged. It was traumatic for me.
-Stephanie Vande Kraats
Religion and ignorance should no longer be acceptable excuses to not vaccinate children, according to the BC Humanist Association as Vancouver is in the midst of a measles outbreak.
The provincial government is in the process of establishing an immunization registry that parents will have to record their children's vaccination status prior to their school enrolment. A similar law in Ontario requires anyone claiming a philosophical or religious objection to vaccines to attend a 30-minute presentation on the benefits of vaccines.Read more
Faith-based organizations that refuse to provide medical assistance in dying should not be awarded new public contracts said the BC Humanist Association in response to news that a Catholic group will be leading a redevelopment plan for a Comox hospital.Read more
As of last Thursday, charities have been freed of restrictive and arbitrary limits on so-called political activities.
The BC Humanist Association joined numerous environmental and human rights charities to advocate for the changes. The restrictions and related audits had contributed to an advocacy chill and infringed on charities' free speech.Read more
Through a crowdsourced effort, the BC Humanist Association is planning to transcribe every one of the 644 prayers said in the British Columbia Legislature since 2003.
Every day the Legislative Assembly's sittings begins with a prayer led by one Member of the Legislative Assembly.
There exists no study of the religiosity of those prayers or how diverse the worldviews represented are.Read more
A trio of studies released by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) have provided the scientific and ethical grounding for policymakers to restore access to medical assistance in dying (MAiD), according to the BC Humanist Association.
The studies, commissioned by the federal government following the passage of Bill C-14, examine aspects of expanding access to MAiD to groups currently excluded by the law: mature minors, those with a mental illness and individuals with degenerative conditions who want an advanced request.Read more
The BC Humanist Association is supportive of any municipality reviewing whether public funds are being spent in a secular and inclusive manner.
During a line-by-line debate over the City of Victoria's annual budget, Council approved a motion by Councillor Ben Isitt to have staff review the $64,000 the city spends on seasonal decorations.
The motion has drawn significant coverage, following a front-page story in the Victoria Times Colonist. It's since been picked up by most local news outlets and several national and international publications.Read more
Humanists are cheering the passage of a bill repealing Canada's prohibition on "blasphemous libel" in the Senate today. Canada's 19th century blasphemy law will be no more once the bill receives Royal Assent.Read more