Gender Equality - Stephen Lewis at Ryerson, April 17, Free

General_Public - News & Events - Ryerson University
After the excellent presentation on Education of women and girls in Afghanistan at the HAT monthly meeting yesterday, here is an opportunity to hear Stephen Lewis on Gender Equality at Ryerson

 Gender Equality: the Most Important Struggle on the Planet

All are welcome and admission is free.
  • WHAT:
    Gender Equality: the Most Important Struggle on the Planet
  • DATE:
    April 17 - April 17,  2013
  • TIME:
    6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • WHERE:
    upper level of the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre: 245 Church Street

Our guest will be Stephen Lewis, internationally renowned humanitarian, political figure, diplomat, author, and scholar. Board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, he is currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University. Among many accomplishments, he is co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World in the United States and Senior Fellow of the Enough Project. He served on the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and is an Emeritus Board Member of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. He also served as a Commissioner on the newly formed Global Commission on HIV and the Law, whose landmark report was released in July 2012. Lewis’ work with the United Nations spanned more than two decades. He was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa from between 2001 and 2006. From 1995 to 1999, Lewis was Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF at the organization’s global headquarters in New York. From 1984 through 1988, he was Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations. Between 1970 and 1978 Lewis was leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, during which time he became leader of the Official Opposition. His awards include the Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest honour for lifetime achievement, and being named the inaugural recipient of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Lewis is the author of the best-selling book Race Against Time and holds 35 honorary degrees from Canadian and American universities. 

JAMES “The Amazing” RANDI Talk and Reception | CFI event Sept 27

JAMES “The Amazing” RANDI Talk and Reception | Centre for Inquiry
(Posted by request from CFI)

James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world's most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims.

Randi has pursued "psychic" spoonbenders, exposed the dirty tricks of faith healers, investigated homeopathic water "with a memory", and generally been a thorn in the sides of those who try to pull the wool over public's eyes in the name of the supernatural. He is the author of numerous books, including The Truth About Uri Geller, The Faith Healers, Flim Flam!, and An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural. His lectures ( and television appearances (Johnny Carson, Penn and Teller's Bullshit) have delighted and vexed audiences around the world.

Hear "The Amazing One" talk on his unique perspective on science, magic, and how even the smartest among us can easily be fooled, and support CFI Canada. An open reception (refreshments provided) will follow in the foyer area directly adjacent to the Courtyard Hall, where the talk is held.
Tuesday, September 27th 2011 at 7:00 pm, Courtyard Marriott
Tickets are only available through online purchase HERE.
Tickets WILL NOT be sold at the door. $25 General Public (+ticketing fee) $20 CFI Canada Members (+ticketing fee)

Schedule | Humanist Canada Conference 2011

Schedule | Humanist Canada Conference 2011.
Here is the schedule of speakers for the Humanist Association of Canada conference Sept 30-Oct 2 in Toronto. The theme is:

Planetary Overload: The Survival of the Human Species.

Speakers include: Madeline Weld, Chris di Carlo, Matt Cherry (IHEU), Mike Nikerson, John Shook, Khalid Sohail, Jason Wiles, Dale Jackaman

Does religion belong at AA? Fight over ‘God’ splits Toronto AA groups

STAR: Does religion belong at AA? Fight over ‘God’ splits Toronto AA groups

AA uses 'fellowship' to help chronic drinkers quit the bottle. But there is little fellowship in a schism that splintered the Alcoholics Anonymous umbrella group in the GTA this week.

At issue is this question: Do alcoholics need God? On Tuesday, Toronto’s two secular AA groups, known as Beyond Belief and We Agnostics, were removed or 'delisted' from the roster of local meetings. They’ve disappeared from the Toronto AA website and will not be in the next printed edition of the Toronto directory.

The dispute started when Beyond Belief posted an adapted version of AA’s hallowed “Twelve Steps” on the Toronto website. They removed the word “God” from the steps, which are used as a kind of road map to help drinkers achieve sobriety.

'They took issue with a public display of secular AA,' says Joe C., who founded Beyond Belief, Toronto’s first agnostic AA group, 18 months ago. (In keeping with AA’s tradition of anonymity, members are identified by first names only.)

It proved popular enough that a second group started up last fall; it took its name from a chapter in the AA bible entitled Alcoholics Anonymous, commonly known as the Big Book. The group, We Agnostics, had only recently completed the paperwork to be part of AA before being booted out. 'What is unusual is that this didn’t happen in some backwater, but that it happened in a liberal, democratic, pluralistic place like Toronto,' says Joe.

The name of God appears four times in the Twelve Steps and echoes the period in which they were written — the 1930s. It invites those seeking sobriety to turn themselves over to God, who will remove their 'defects of character.' They go on to speak of God’s will for the recovering alcoholic.

'They (the altered Twelve Steps) are not our Twelve Steps,' says an AA member who was at Tuesday’s meeting of the coordinating body known as the Greater Toronto Area Intergroup. 'They’ve changed them to their own personal needs. They should never have been listed in the first place.' He says that in the early days of AA, meetings ended with the Lord’s Prayer. 'That has obviously stopped in all but hard-core groups. We welcome people with open arms. In our group we still say the Lord’s Prayer. One guy was uncomfortable with that. I told him to just step back when we pray. He does. He’s doing what he needs to do for him.'

The issue of AA’s use of God has come up frequently over the past 50 years. For the most part, the organization — which claims 113,000 groups around the world — permits other agencies to imitate its program, but not to call themselves Alcoholics Anonymous.
Other secular organizations, including Save our Selves (or Secular Organizations for Sobriety), offer addiction help similar to AA. But with some 100,000 members in 2005, SOS is far less popular than AA, which reports a membership of about two million. In Toronto alone, there are 500 AA meetings a week.

'This is not the first we’ve gone up against bigotry,' says Larry of We Agnostics. 'This has been an ongoing struggle in North America.'

Fair Vote Canada National Day of Action for Electoral Reform : Toronto Time now 3pm

Fair Vote Canada to participate in National Day of Action for Electoral Reform | Fair Vote Canada

The Canadian federal election of May 2 returned a majority Conservative government with 167 seats, but the Conservative party received only 39.62% of the votes, one of the least legitimate majority governments in Canadian history.

This blatantly distorted election outcome has generated a spontaneous reaction in the electorate. Saturday, May 14 has been designated a national Day of Action for Electoral Reform, and protest rallies are being planned across the country.

All demonstrations to be held at 2:00 pm local time except Toronto at 3:00 pm. @ Queens Park
Toronto info:
Wayne Smith, Executive Director

[NOTE: the Toronto Rally time has been changed, so it is possible to attend the Toronto Fair Vote Rally after the Monthly Meeting Presentation at OISE on May 14]