The time has never been better to make a call for a more Secular BC.
Every year, fewer British Columbians affiliate with a religion. In 2016, nearly two-thirds of people said they did not practice a religion of faith.
The BC legislature has risen for 2018 with most of the Government's priorities enacted into law. As the Government hasn't announced its priorities for 2019, we can put secularism on the agenda.
Below are some of the priorities that the BC Humanist Association has been working on to make a more Secular BC. With your voice, we can get these priorities on the Government's 2019 agenda.
If you support a Secular BC, add your name below.
Once you've added your name, email us to let us know what else you'd add to the list.
We'll share the list with Premier John Horgan and members of his cabinet before MLAs return to Victoria in February.
Public funds for public education
BC gave $425 million on private schools for 2018/19. A majority of those schools are religious and many openly teach creationism in science class. Some schools exclude students with same sex parents. It's time we keep public funds for public education.
Protect choice in public hospitals
BC gives over $1 billion to religious hospitals. Many of these facilities are exempted from having to perform abortions or medical assistance in dying. It's time the province ensures our healthcare system is truly universal.
Secular addictions recovery options
In the midst of the opioid epidemic, people are still being forced into disproven, faith-based treatment programs. It's time to end religious coercion in addictions recovery and ensure everyone has access to secular addictions recovery.
Legalize Humanist marriages
BC refuses to recognize Humanist marriage officiants. The Health Minister can issue a directive to recognize Humanist groups under the Marriage Act as they are recognized in Ontario.
Fair property tax exemptions
Municipalities across BC grant tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars of property tax exemptions to religious organizations without any accountability. Cities should apply a public benefits tests to make sure they get a fair return.
End municipal prayers
It is unconstitutional to begin a municipal council meeting with a prayer, yet many communities across BC continue to do so. It's time to end this practice in favour of a more secular and inclusive democracy.
No funding for discriminatory housing programs
People in precarious housing should be free from religious coercion and the fear that they may be evicted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The province needs to stop funding affordable housing projects run by anti-LGBTQ+ faith groups.