Two weeks ago I began Tweeting my reactions to Humanist Canada’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Report. I heavily criticized the organization for it’s response, which in my view used the opportunity to make an easy attack on religion while doing nothing on promoting reconciliation with Canada’s aboriginal peoples. I expanded upon my Tweets in a Storify, which I posted here, on Twitter and Facebook, tagging Humanist Canada.
To his credit, Eric Thomas, President of Humanist Canada thanked me for my comments and promised to circulate them with the Board. My hope was that Humanist Canada would engage with my critique and together we could work toward a stronger and more constructive statement. I have belonged to Humanist Canada in the past (I mostly don’t right now as I’m living in the UK) and, while Twitter is a glib medium, did hope my public criticisms would prompt action.
Continue reading A full response to Humanist Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation statement
I want to promise this won’t become a habit but sometimes it seems easier to just Tweet a bunch of random thoughts about an issue that I can collate and publish as a Storify. So here’s my latest.
Continue reading Multiculturalism, interculturalism and secularism
Earlier today I finally had some time to sit down and read parts of the Truth and Reconciliation report and set out why Humanist Canada’s response was woefully inadequate (at best). I Tweeted my responses and then built my first Storify. Hopefully this works. Continue reading Humanists must engage with the Truth and Reconciliation Report
Canadian Atheist blogger Veronica Abbass emailed me a couple days ago to say:
More than three years ago, I wrote a post on Canadian Atheist about prayer in Peterborough municipal council meetings. In the comments you suggested I contact CFI Canada. I did and CFI connected me with Dan Mayo and Secular Ontario. Thank you for that advice. My case against the City of Peterborough for saying the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of its council meetings has been successfully resolved in my favour.
Continue reading “I’m glad it’s over”
It’s been only 5 days since the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously that the prayers said by the City of Saguenay discriminated against atheists, and already cities across Canada are reviewing their own practices. But I suspect (although caveated with the standard, I am not a lawyer) this ruling will have wide reaching consequences as there are very few Supreme Court precedents on cases of religious freedom in Canada.
Reading the ruling, I think secularists should feel confident. Here’s my interpretation of my 10 favourite parts of the ruling (in the order they appear).
Continue reading 10 reasons the Saguenay ruling establishes Canada as a secular country
Citing media “intolerance and bigotry”, anti-science Canadian MP James Lunney has quit the government caucus to sit as an independent. Among Lunney’s claim to the crown as Canada’s least scientifically literate MP are:
- He doesn’t believe in evolution
- He’s a chiropractor
- He’s claimed there’s a link between vaccines and autism
- He doesn’t believe the climate is changing
In his surreal press release (dated March 31, not April 1), he states that he will address his religious beliefs in Parliament at his next opportunity, which sounds like it will be a hoot. Lunney claims that Christians are being persecuted in Canada, a claim that is thoroughly debunked by the excellent Ottawa Citizen editorial:
Add MP James Lunney to the list of people who somehow have come to believe they’re being persecuted — that indeed, their fundamental human rights are under threat — when people disagree with them on Twitter.
Lunney is standing down before the election in October so we’ll only have a few more of his public gems of wisdom.
Congrats to Burnaby MP Kennedy Stewart on getting enough support to make his dream of e-peitions in Parliament a reality. After the next election, Canadians will be able to submit petitions online, forcing a response to every petition over 500 signatures.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s probably a small change, but it’s one that makes democracy easier, not harder. In an age of restrictive voting ID laws and robocall fraud, it’s good to see a positive tool for democratic engagement win support.
Currently, petitions in Canada have to be signed on paper and the originals sent to an MP to sponsor it.
Another old article, this one a review of Marci McDonald’s 2010 expose on the influence of the Christian Right in Canadian politics. Still relevant given that Harper has since gained his majority government and faces another election in October.
Continue reading Republished: The Christians are coming!
Canada, my home country, turns 147 today. This number elicits smirks from my British born coworkers. It still sounds better than the more accurate answer of 32 years since we patriated the constitution and divorced the country from the UK Parliament, making it truly independent though.
Of course, that current Government of Canada seems like it would rather forget that document existed…
Stephen Harper and Canada’s Conservative government received rare praise from people in my social media circle for his quick decisions to recall Canada’s ambassador to Russia in condemnation for their occupation of The Crimea in Ukraine.
Continue reading Canada, Ukraine, and Missing Internationalism