The British Columbia Humanist Association supports a secular society that affirms:
- the right of every individual to practice any religion or none, free from coercion by the government, private institutions or their community and
- that the state has a duty of religious neutrality, meaning it must neither endorse nor prohibit any belief or non-belief.
Open secularism is the best way to fully guarantee the freedom of religion and conscience of all citizens in a plural society. Secularism is the principle that the government should not privilege or disadvantage any religious or non-religious belief over any other.
We oppose government funding being given preferentially to religious organizations and tax exemptions that only benefit the religious (for example, permissive exemptions for houses of worship or the Clergy Residence Deduction). We call on the federal government to remove "the supremacy of God" from the preamble of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and to create a secular national anthem.
Despite an increasingly secular population, the school acts and regulations in five provinces still permit religious exercises in Canada according to a new analysis from the BC Humanist Association. Court cases in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia have deemed the practice illegal but the school acts of three prairie provinces...
How did we end up in a situation where some publicly funded facilities are permitted to refuse to provide healthcare services in BC? To answer this question we need to look at the history of healthcare in BC and how religious hospitals came to play a part in our medical...
The distribution of Gideon Bible in BC actually only ended in December 2016.
Did you know that BC requires every public school to be "strictly secular and non sectarian"?
In fact, this requirement has been in place since the School Act was first introduced in 1872.
In its response to the Ministry of Finance's pre-Budget 2023 consultation, the BC Humanist Association is again asking the government to recognize its duty of religious neutrality and end special privileges for religious organizations.
The BCHA previously made these calls to the House of Commons' Finance Committee.
Last week we published our latest report: Open for Unconstitutional Business, our detailed examination of prayers in Ontario municipalities. In it, we spent ten pages exploring the complexities raised by the growing prevalence of Indigenous territorial acknowledgements, welcoming ceremonies and even blessings at municipal council meetings. Our arguments built upon our...
Almost half of the municipalities in Ontario opened their 2018 inaugural meetings with a prayer, according to the latest report from the BC Humanist Association (BCHA). The report also fingers nine municipalities for including prayers or invocations in their regular council meetings.
Secularists are cheering a move by staff at the City of Terrace to reject the planned erection of a nativity scene over city hall.
UPDATE (Nov 9, 2022): Following complaints by the BC Humanist Association, Creston's inaugural council meeting proceeding without its planned invocation.
See more secularism posts.