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MPs speak in favour of ending prayers in the House of Commons

At a special debate over the Standing Orders last week, two Members of Parliament spoke in favour of ending the prayers said each day in the House of Commons.

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Work with us this summer!

The BC Humanist Association has received funding through Canada Summer Jobs to hire three people to join our team this summer.

The BCHA promotes education about secular humanism and researches issues relating to human rights and secularism.

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BCHA endorses Bill C-216

The BC Humanist Association is lending its support to a private members bill that aims to end the criminal justice approach to the toxic drug and overdose crisis.

Bill C-216, introduced by Courtenay-Alberni Member of Parliament Gord Johns, would decriminalize simple possession of drugs, allow for the expungement of criminal records for people convicted of simple possession and require a health-based National Strategy to the toxic drug crisis based on a regulated safer supply, recovery and harm reduction services and public awareness campaigns.

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Standing up for Reproductive Rights and Justice in BC and Canada

Reproductive Rights & Justice Rally, May 14 2022 at 1pm a  šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn (formerly known as Queen Elizabeth Plaza) south side on Georgia Street

A network of social justice and reproductive rights groups has come together to say never again and not here in relation to changes afoot to abortion access in the United States. “There is an entire generation of women, girls, trans men, nonbinary and Two-Spirit folks that have never known a time when access to abortion was not legal”, says a spokesperson for the group. “This is why we are inviting folks in Vancouver and beyond to join us this Saturday at 1pm to rally for reproductive justice and rights.”

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Nonreligious vow to continue fight to end Parliamentary prayers following Opposition Motion defeat

Today, Members of Parliament (MPs) voted against a motion that would have abolished the practice of opening daily sessions of the House of Commons with prayer. Nevertheless, secularists are pledging to continue the fight to end the practice of legislative prayers.

Since 1877, the Speaker of the House of Commons has read a prayer at the beginning of each day’s sitting. The current prayer begins “Almighty God” and ends in “Amen.” It was last updated in 1994.

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BC Humanists Urge MPs to Support Motion to Abolish Prayer

The move would make Parliament an inclusive and welcoming space

Members of the BC Humanist Association are asking their Members of Parliament (MP) to vote in favour of a motion to end the practice of beginning each day’s sitting of the House of Commons with a prayer.

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MAID Statutory Review: Dignity in Life - Dignity in Death

A special parliamentary committee reviewing medical assistance in dying (MAID) has the chance to advance the hard-won rights of Canadians to choose a dignified life or death according to submissions made by the BC Humanist Association today.

The Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying, consisting of Members of Parliament and Senators, is in the process of completing a statutory review of MAID following the passage of Bill C-7 last year. That bill, which was prompted by a Quebec court ruling, expanded MAID eligibility beyond those at end of life.

The bill tasked a committee with a comprehensive review of MAID issues, "including but not limited to issues relating to mature minors, advance requests, mental illness, the state of palliative care in Canada and the protection of Canadians with disabilities."

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Parliamentary Prognostication Performance Proves Prayers are Past their Prime

Reviewing the predictions made one year ago today in the gaia shattering report, Separation of Religion and Government in Retrograde, the spiritual researchers of the BC Humanist Association have concluded that they achieved a 98.2% accuracy with their astrological prognostications. This unrivaled success puts all other forms of divination to shame and suggests the practice of beginning sittings with 'prayers and reflections' is clearly outdated.

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Humanist values in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine

The Board of the BC Humanist Association has released the following statement in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month.

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Seven Manitoba municipalities defy law, continue prayers at council meetings

In its latest report, the BC Humanist Association (BCHA) documents seven municipalities that have opened council meetings with prayers, seemingly in open violation of an edict from the Supreme Court of Canada. Three of those municipalities, including the City of Winnipeg, begin every council meeting with a prayer. One additional municipality, the Rural Municipality of West St Paul, discontinued its practice of daily prayers following a request by the BCHA.

In its 2015 decision in MLQ v Saguenay, the Supreme Court of Canada unequivocally determined that prayers at municipal council meetings violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Specifically, prayers said at city council breached the state's duty of religious neutrality and violated the freedom of conscience and religion of non-religious residents. The Court found that "even if [a prayer] is said to be inclusive, it may nevertheless exclude non-believers."

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