action

Show your support for open science communication

From evidencefordemocracy.ca:

Over the past several years, Canadian scientists working in the federal government have experienced a substantial shift in the way they can communicate their research to the public and the media. Reports of widespread muzzling and delayed access to Canadian government scientists have been covered in prominent national and international media. Extensive coverage and concern prompted the Information Commissioner of Canada to pursue an investigation, currently ongoing, into the alleged muzzling of scientists.

More information and an online peitition in support of open science communication at
https://evidencefordemocracy.ca/canscientistsspeak/takeaction

Petition for sex education curriculum including consent

Two Toronto middle school students are campaigning to include consent as a topic in updated sex education curriculum. You can sign the petition at
https://www.change.org/p/ontario-ministry-of-education-make-consent-a-topic-in-the-2015-ontario-health-curriculum?recruiter=2662069&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

Recall that the last time the province considered updating the sex education curriculum, in 2010, the government abandoned all changes in the face of a public campaign by fundamentalists. The new proposal, over 4 years later, has much the same content as the abandoned version, which HAT had supported. Humanists should learn from our failure in 2010, and be more active in pressing for a long-overdue update.

A news article with a little background on the overall changes:
http://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2014/10/30/ontario_to_update_elementary_sex_education_program_parents_will_be_surveyed.html

An article about the aforementioned campaign:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/wynne-praises-girls-push-for-consent-in-sex-ed-curriculum-1.2895434

Avaaz - Hours to stop Uganda's horrific anti-gay law

 [this action was forwarded by HAT members]
Avaaz - Hours to stop Uganda's horrific anti-gay la
We've helped stop this bill before, and we can do it again. After a massive global outcry last year, Ugandan President Museveni blocked the bill's progress. But political unrest is mounting in Uganda, and religious extremists in Parliament are hoping confusion and violence in the streets will distract the international community from a second push to pass this hate-filled law. We can show them that the world is still watching.
http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_stop_gay_death_law/?bVHRRab&v=19495

Being gay in Uganda is already dangerous and terrifying. LGBT Ugandans are regularly harassed and beaten, and just last year gay rights activist David Kato (pictured above) was brutally murdered in his own home. Now they are threatened by this draconian law which could impose life imprisonment for people convicted of same-sex relations, and the death penalty for “serial offenders”. Even NGOs working to prevent the spread of HIV can be imprisoned for “promoting homosexuality” under this hate-filled law.

Right now, Uganda is in political turmoil -- missing millions of aid money has embroiled the Parliament in scandal. This upheaval has provided religious extremists in Parliament the perfect chance to slip in the shelved anti-gay bill, calling it a "Christmas gift" to Ugandans.

President Museveni backed away from this bill before, after international pressure threatened Uganda's support. Let's build a million strong petition to stop the gay death penalty bill again, and save lives. We only have hours -- sign below, then tell friends and family:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/uganda_stop_gay_death_law/?bVHRRab&v=19495
Last time, our international petition condemning the gay death penalty law was delivered to Parliament – spurring a global news story and enough pressure to block the bill for months. When a tabloid newspaper published 100 names, pictures and addresses, of suspected gays and those identified were threatened, Avaaz supported a legal case against the paper and we won! Together we have stood up, time and time again, for Uganda’s gay community -- now they need us more than ever.

Urgent: Canadian Women’s Rights Under Attack

Urgent: Canadian Women’s Rights Under Attack
[this alert sent in by several people]

In just 48 hours, our MPs will debate a Conservative motion that the Canadian Medical Association, representing 70,000 doctors, is calling a ‘backdoor’ attempt to criminalize abortion.[1,2]In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the abortion provision of the Criminal Code was unconstitutional. But this week, Parliament will be debating a motion that would threaten our reproductive rights - and the rights of our friends, daughters, mothers, sisters, and partners.[3,4,5]
Prime Minister Harper has chosen to allow this motion to go forward to a free vote in Parliament, so every MP must decide whether or not they will stand up for the rights that women and our allies have been fighting to protect for decades.
We need a huge public outcry to show our MPs that Canadians will not tolerate this covert attack on women’s rights.
Twenty-four years ago, Supreme Court Justice Wilson stated that governments in a democratic society must never interfere with a woman’s right to choose:
“The decision whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is essentially a moral decision and in a free and democratic society the conscience of the individual must be paramount to that of the state.” – Supreme Court Justice Wilson[3]
The motion seeks to undermine the Supreme Court’s ruling by reopening the debate on the legal definition of a human being under the Criminal Code. High-profile members of Harper’s caucus have stated that the real goal of the motion is to attack women’s rights:
“The ultimate intention of this motion is to restrict abortions at some development stage in Canada.” – Conservative Party whip, Gordon O'Connor[6]
This tactic has been used in the United States in a slow and relentless campaign to criminalize women’s reproductive rights and fan the flames of their culture war. Prime Minister Harper has publicly stated that he does not want to reopen this debate. Yet, while he exerts complete control over his own party, he has still chosen to let this covert attack on women’s rights go to a free vote that will test how Canadians react and open the door to attempts to criminalize abortion.
If enough of us speak out and contact our MPs right now, we can make sure this motion is decisively defeated and send a clear message that Canadians will defend our reproductive rights