June 2021


Happy Pride Month!

This month, we celebrate the LGBTQ2 community!

In 1965, the gay rights protest movement was organized by members of the lesbian group Daughters of Bilitis and the gay men's group Mattachine Society. Mattachine members were also involved in demonstrations in support of gay men imprisoned in Cuban labor camps. All of these groups held protests at the United Nations and the White House in 1965. Early in the morning of Saturday, June 28, 1969, LGBTQ people rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City. The Stonewall Inn was a bar popular with the gay community.

On Saturday, June 27, 1970, Chicago Gay Liberation organized a march from Washington Square Park to the Water Tower. Many of the participants spontaneously marched on to the Civic Center (now Richard J. Daley) Plaza. This date was chosen to commemorate the Stonewall riot on the last Saturday of June and today, many pride celebrations around the world are similarly scheduled.

Some of the first marches were in San Francisco on June 27, 1970; Los Angeles on June 28, 1970; and New York on Sunday, June 28, 1970.

What started as a protest for equal rights for the LGBTQ2 community is recognized today as an annual celebration of universal love. Thank you to those who fought then, so we can openly celebrate today.

Enjoy this edition of News,
Jag Parmar,
Humanist Canada Responds to the Residential School Discovery

The Board of Humanist Canada shares the grief with all Canadians upon the discovery of the remains of 215 children at Kamloops Indian Residential School in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation territory. Our hearts are with families, survivors of the Indian Residential Schools, and everyone impacted by this painful news.

As Humanists, we believe in uploading the dignity of every human being and that we have a duty of care for all of humanity. Indigenous peoples in Canada continue to be disproportionately impacted by the legacy of colonization and overrepresented in our foster and prison system.

As part of our mission to advance critical thinking and provide community, we invite you to explore the many suggestions and resources available from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (www.trc.ca)
Humanist Canada's Critical Thinking course, a huge success!
Our first Critical Thinking course was a huge success! We had 28 students and lots of positive feedback! Here are some testimonials:

"Taking this course impacted my thinking. I learned a great deal from Dr. DiCarlo about critical thinking and I found the A,B,Cs (D,E,Fs) very helpful to remember the content. I would highly recommend this course to others."

"Dr. DiCarlo was an excellent instructor. I learned a great deal and enjoyed each class."

"I thought the course was wonderful, especially because Dr. DiCarlo was willing to touch on topics that a lot of people would shun from. Especially in this political climate, talking about race and gender and other sensitive topics can only pave the way for clarity..."

Given the demand and success of this course led by Dr. Christopher DiCarlo, we are having a Critical Thinking II: Ethical Reasoning.

Starts on Sept. 15, 2021.
Wednesdays, 4-6 pm.

More details to be announced!
June Webinar

Sunday, June 27th, 2021
3:00 pm ET 

In this presentation, Jocelyn Downie will provide an overview of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in Canada. She will explain the legal requirements for access to MAiD and the data we have on MAiD in practice. She will also flag the issues that will be the subject of future debate as MAiD law and practice continue to evolve.

Jocelyn Downie is the James Palmer Chair in Public Policy and Law at Dalhousie University. Her work on end-of-life law and policy includes: Special Advisor to the Canadian Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide; author of Dying Justice: A Case for the Decriminalizing Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Canada; and member of the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on End-of-Life Decision-Making, the plaintiffs’ legal team in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying, and the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying.

She was named a member of the Order of Canada in part in recognition of her work advocating for high-quality, end-of-life care. She is also a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

To learn more, Click Here.
The Supreme Court of Canada delivers its decision.
The Supreme Court of Canada has delivered its decision in a dispute between Ethiopian Orthodox Church members and leadership in Toronto.

Five church members were expelled from the congregation in violation of its own internal bylaws. The church contended that the courts have no authority to review its internal decisions as the individuals were not officially members of the legal corporation of the church (despite attending the church for decades).

In his decision, Justice Rowe wrote: "while purely theological issues are not justiciable, where a legal right is at issue, courts may need to consider questions that have a religious aspect in vindicating the legal right."

The BC Humanist Association intervened at the Supreme Court to argue that the religious nature of the organization should not shield its decisions from the scrutiny of the courts.

"By denying that bylaws and a constitution alone form any contractual relation between members of an association, the court has rendered those documents worth less than the paper they're printed on," said Ian Bushfield, Executive Director of the BCHA.

To learn more, Click Here.
Shop online for your very own HC mask, mug, or pin.

Don't forget to visit our online store! We’re a small shop right now, but we have big plans! Check in regularly to find new HC logo items like our masks, mugs, and pins. Soon, we will be offering books from our HC family of authors, apparel, and items available from other Humanist Canada members.

If you have any ideas about what we should offer, send them our way!
Polling Results of Bill C-7
The parliamentary budget officer says a basic income program could cut poverty rates nationally by almost half in 2022.

At its core, a basic or guaranteed income provides a no-strings-attached government benefit to citizens to provide each with a minimum amount of earnings. (Global News, posted April 7th, 2021)

Here is how you responded to our poll:
88.6% of you agreed with the government's decision.
11.4% of you disagreed with the government's decision.
Poll For This Month
New Poll:
Vaccine Confusion

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), which provides advice on the use of vaccines in Canada, has been criticized for causing vaccine confusion and hesitancy around AstraZeneca, after saying mRNA vaccines werepreferred.” (CTVNws.ca)
Are you experiencing vaccine confusion?

To ensure the newsletter is relevant we invite your response to a few short questions. Having feedback from across the country is our goal. Click here!
Why membership in Humanist Canada is important!

We simply can't do it without you. We are entirely funded through memberships and donations. Your involvement is incredibly significant and goes a long way to support lasting change for a better society and a tolerant world where rational thinking and kindness prevail.

Humanist Canada has just launched a new member system that will allow you to update your own information. Click on the button below, and you will be prompted to set up your login information.
If you have any questions about renewing, please contact the National Office at members@humanistcanada.ca or 1-877-486-2671.