JULY 2022 

Even though the Summer Solstice marks the beginning of summer, for most of us, it doesn't kick in until Canada Day, July 1st. The children are out of school for a few months, cottages are calling, the many lakes and rivers are ready to receive us, and we take time for vacations and gatherings with family and friends. 


This Canada Day, we can be grateful for many things. We have universal health care, which is non-existent in other countries. We have a reasonably functioning democracy. There are many threats to our democracy coming at us from many directions, and we must be steadfast in protecting, embracing and further developing it. We live in a peaceful nation with a reputation for maintaining peace in other areas of the world. Canadians live in a country filled with natural elements to foster our sense of well-being,  and we have the freedom to explore and experience it. In Canada, we have a sense of belonging and a sense of community, and we are respected when we travel the world. 


Canada has its challenges, just like the rest of the world. There is inflation and the rising cost of everything from groceries to where we lay our heads at night. Homelessness and social inequality are on the rise. Climate change is a concern with increased temperatures, wildfires, and weather disturbances.  And the shifting dynamics of work; how we work, where we work and why. We have work to do with our First Nations peoples. We must strive for inclusion, acceptance and diversity in our multicultural society. 


Being a Canadian Humanist is not just a philosophy; it’s an overall approach to living a happy and fulfilling life. As Canadian Humanists, we commit to standing and delivering on the promise of the future. As Canadian Humanists, we believe we can make the world a better place. In believing this, we are responsible for making the effort and promoting our Humanist values in our society.


Happy Canada Day everyone!  

Member Profile of the Month:
Devin Mahnke

Hi! I’m Devin. I consider myself a free thinker and a seeker. I’m a recent addition to Humanist Canada (Fall 2021) and could not be happier to have found "my people"! Like many of HC's members, I've been a humanist for my whole life, but only recently did I realize it. I first encountered Humanist Canada while looking to officiate a wedding. I didn't have enough time to consider training, so I performed an unofficial ceremony instead. But afterwards, I was still thinking about Humanist Canada, and after attending my very first online discussion, I was hooked.


Little did I know just last year that Humanism would become such a big part of my life! At this point, I am focused on securing a position as a Humanist Chaplain at a university — volunteer, for now, but with luck, someday I will make this kind of work into my day job. I have a lot to learn about chaplaincy, but the starting point is to offer compassion and nonjudgmental support to anyone who needs it. As I grow into this role, I'm looking to discover ways to be the most effective and impactful version of myself.


I love working with young people and frequently find inspiration there, and I'm also aware that they have a hard road ahead. It feels that many things are on the brink of falling apart - ecologically, socially, politically, and economically. The ways of our predecessors do not work anymore if indeed they ever did. And while that's deeply troubling, I also see it as an opportunity whereby we can begin remaking our world into something kinder and more humane.

Humanists International 
General Assembly

By Srishti Hukku


From June 3-5, 2022, Humanists from all over the world had an opportunity to gather for the first time since the pandemic in Glasgow. As Scotland’s largest city, the culture and history of Glasgow provided a thought-provoking backdrop to the humanist debates and merriment. The People’s Palace was the most memorable part of the city. Designed as a cultural centre for the people, the People’s Palace was declared to be "Open to the people for ever and ever".


As the Humanist Canada representative at both the Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) conference and Humanists International General Assembly (GA) in Glasgow, I had a first-hand opportunity to develop meaningful connections with our counterparts. The weekend opened with a reception in which a number of influential Scottish humanists were recognized for advancing human rights. This event was followed by a very well-attended Games Night organized by Young Humanists International.


Day 1 of the meeting at the University of Glasgow featured a number of panels designed to tease out the idea of whether it was time for a new enlightenment and the role of humanism in this context. In the evening, we gathered for a traditional ceilidh featuring poetry, dancing and a celebration of Scottish culture. On Day 2, Humanists International welcomed a number of new affiliates, re-elected Board members, and declared the 2022 Amsterdam Declaration.


Overall, for me, the weekend represented the power of human potential and connection. In true Humanist fashion, it also gave me an opportunity to reflect on the importance of intellectual independence, integrity and inclusion as we shared a wide range of perspectives on the future of Humanism. As you consider how to become more involved in Humanism both domestically and internationally, I encourage you to consider attending the World Humanist Congress in Copenhagen in August 2023.

An Interview with Young Humanists about the Humanists International 2022 General Assembly 
By Ian McMillan

Evan Clark is the North American Regional Coordinator for Young Humanists International. He recently attended the Humanist International General assembly on behalf of Young HI, so I connected with him to get a fellow young Humanist’s perspective on the event and to chat a bit about the future of Humanism from YHI’s perspective. Below is an edited and abbreviated transcript of our chat.


You recently attended the HI General Assembly in Glasgow — I’m really jealous. How was it?


It was exciting. It was my first time really networking and interacting with the international Humanist movement and I think the most exciting part is just meeting your counterparts around the world. Getting the sense that Humanism is really different depending on where you are. Read more ......
Every Wednesday at 6 pm EDT

Join us for the new "Members Connect" every Wednesday, 6.00 – 7.00 pm EDT on Zoom throughout the month of July. 


If you are a Humanist Canada member, join us to connect with fellow members to catch up on the latest news, share your concerns and accomplishments, or just tell us what’s on your mind.


If you are a new member, stop by to say "Hi", learn more about our work, and make new friends!


* This event is for current Humanist Canada members. Log into your account to register.


To join Humanist Canada click here.


Abortion Care in Canada

with Jill Doctoroff

This presentation will start with a brief historic context of abortion in Canada to better understand the contemporary landscape. There will be an overview of myths surrounding abortion care and information on accessibility. Barriers and facilitators to access to abortion will be discussed as well as gaps that still need to be addressed. Finally, potential implications of increasingly restrictive abortion legislation in the United States will be discussed.


Jill Doctoroff is the Executive Director of the National Abortion Federation (NAF) Canada and the Canadian Director at the National Abortion Federation. The bulk of Jill’s career has been in the non-profit sector focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights. She briefly worked in the public sector as a Public Health Program Manager with Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.


Prior to that, Jill was the Executive Director of the Elizabeth Bagshaw Clinic, a community-based facility that provides abortion care. Jill has also worked at Planned Parenthood Ottawa, which focused on education, information, outreach and pregnancy options support counselling.


Jill has served on the Boards of Directors with Canadians for Choice, NAF and Options for Sexual Health. She is currently on the Executive of 100 Women Who Care Vancouver, a giving group that harnesses the power of community.

Coffee Chat: 
Have you joined our coffee chats?  We have had some great conversations and invite you to join us!  
We are always looking for new and interesting topics and the best place to find them is with you! 
Are you knowledgeable and passionate about a topic? Do you (or maybe someone you know) have an eye-opening story you would like to share in a candid conversation with other Humanist Canada members? Consider being a coffee chat guest.
We'd love to chat!
Email a brief proposal to anna.popovitch@humanistcanada.ca. 
The Bluewater Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics (BAHA) are having a conference!  It has been a long time since we saw a conference like this in Canada and they have a lineup of amazing speakers.  Come to Sarnia and meet up with "your people". 
Humanist Canada will be there.  It is sure to be an amazing weekend!  
We are looking for book reviewers
Do you love to read?  Are you looking for a new book to read?
Humanist Canada periodically receives books from authors who would like us to sell their books in our website store. Before we put them up for sale, they need to be reviewed to ensure they meet our Humanist values.  If you would like to help us out by reading and providing a review of a book, we want to hear from you.  
A universal basic income can change poverty in Canada -- dramatically.  
The Basic Income Canada Network describes a universal basic income as this: 

"A basic income is an unconditional cash transfer from government to individuals to enable everyone to meet their basic needs, participate in society and live with dignity, regardless of work status. 


It is a simple, common-sense alternative to an income security system that is full of gaps and problems, privilege for some and disadvantage for others. In our fast-paced, precarious world  we all face financial risk at times. As individuals—and as a society and economy—we need better options to weather setbacks, stay well, manage transitions and create opportunity."


UBI Works has a petition to contact your local representative and sentors and let them know you support a basic income for all Canadians.  


Humanist Canada supports the ideal and the work of these two organizations.  Please consider signing the petition.  Your voice and your helps is greatly appreciated.  

If you’re in the Ottawa area, show your colours as part of a Humanist Canada contingent in Ottawa’s Capital Pride Parade on Sunday, August 28th at 1 pm.


Plans are in the making to partner with other Humanist groups. It promises to be a fun day with Officiant and DJ, Bill McElree, spinning tunes, President Martin Frith and a host of members walking in the parade. This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Humanist Canada’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in our capital.


More details to follow, but now’s the time to add Ottawa Pride to your schedule. 


Click here to receive more information

About Humanist Canada
Humanist Canada endorses Humanism as a life stance. We promote the separation of religion from public policy and foster the development of reason, compassion, and critical thinking through education and community support. We are funded entirely through memberships and donations. 
If you are not a member, join Humanist Canada to continue your journey with us!
You can support our many programs by making a Donation Today.  
Your involvement is incredibly significant and goes a long way to contribute to lasting change for a better society.
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