Secularism

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.

Latest news



New report finds nearly half of Ontario municipalities opened 2018 inaugural councils with prayer

Français suit 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.

BCHA congratulates Terrace on nativity scene rejection

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: Invocation cancelled in Creston following complaints by Humanists

UPDATE (Nov 9, 2022): Following complaints by the BC Humanist Association, Creston's inaugural council meeting proceeding without its planned invocation.

Parksville warned over planned "blessings" in inaugural council meeting

The City of Parksville's planned "blessings" at its upcoming inaugural council meeting is drawing criticism from the BC Humanist Association. On Monday, November 7, 2022 at 1pm, the City of Parksville will hold its inaugural council meeting following the recent municipal elections. As part of that agenda, the City is...

Census 2021: Majority of British Columbians are non-religious

The BC Humanist Association is celebrating the latest data from the Census shows that 52.1% of British Columbians are non-religious. This is a reflection of the growing trend of people in BC and across Canada who are choosing to live their lives without religion. In the 2011 National Household Survey...

BCHA reminds newly elected councils not to open meetings with prayers

The BC Humanist Association (BCHA) is asking BC municipalities to confirm that this year's inaugural council meetings will be secular.

Only seven districts enshrine secularism in BC schools

Despite the legal requirement that all schools be “strictly secular,” our initial review has found that only 7 of the 60 public school districts in British Columbia have a policy that explicitly limits religious proselytization in schools.

BCHA asks all MPs to end prayers in House of Commons

The BC Humanist Association today wrote to all 338 Members of Parliament to ask them to end prayers in the House of Commons.

BCHA submits Budget 2023 response

The BC Humanist Association today renewed its call for a Secular BC in its response to the finance committee's consultations for Budget 2023. In its response, the organization calls for an end to funding of religious and elite private schools, the end of the statutory property tax exemption for places...

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