Jacobsen's Jabberwocky BLOG - "What is Canadian Humanism?"

Check out Scott's latest blob on Humanism in Canada. The read certainly does make one think….

HAT responds to Premier Ford's repeal of the Sex-Ed curriculum.

The Humanist Association of Toronto (HAT) has reiterated its support for many of the changes to Ontario’s physical and health education curriculum that were proposed in 2010 and adopted in 2015, specifically those relating to sex and sexuality. Among the features of the 2015 curriculum that HAT considers important:

  • The updated curriculum helped students approaching and experiencing puberty understand what they are going through regardless of their sexual orientation. In contrast, the 1998 curriculum, which has been restored for the 2018-19 year, recognizes only heterosexuality. It dates from a time when Canadian law did not recognize same-sex marriages, and even acceptance of same-sex relationships was controversial in Canadian culture. HAT welcomed the updating of the curriculum to reflect changing attitudes about diverse sexual orientations, and regrets the reversion to the 20-year-old curriculum.

  • The curriculum recognized, and taught students to recognize, how different family, cultural or religious backgrounds, as well as different personal feelings, may lead people to deal with adolescence in different ways. In this respect it is well suited to modern, multicultural Ontario, and does not contradict whatever values parents may pass on to their children.

  • The curriculum presented a holistic approach to sexuality, with consideration of emotional as well as physical issues. In fact, it included lessons on relationships before it ever taught about sexual activity.

  • The curriculum was proactive. By teaching children about puberty before they experience it, it helped students recognize and understand the physical and emotional changes they undergo.

As public debate around sex education in Ontario continues, HAT will continue to advocate for the inclusion of all the above features in an updated health curriculum.

2018 Winter Newsletter…Hot off the Presses!

It's packed full of news of the successful events over the past few months AND a few tidbits of events we have planned for the coming months. Take a peek. You can download your copy below.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70

Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being -- regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.

Drafted by representatives of diverse legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration sets out universal values and a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. It establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person. Thanks to the Declaration, and States’ commitments to its principles, the dignity of millions has been uplifted and the foundation for a more just world has been laid. While its promise is yet to be fully realized, the very fact that it has stood the test of time is testament to the enduring universality of its perennial values of equality, justice and human dignity.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others. We can take action in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings.   


§ The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all.

§ Human rights are relevant to all of us, every day.

§ Our shared humanity is rooted in these universal values.

§ Equality, justice and freedom prevent violence and sustain peace.

§ Whenever and wherever humanity's values are abandoned, we all are at greater risk.

We need to stand up for our rights and those of others.

Discussion with Dan Weaver - "What is the Role of Evidence and Scientists in a Democracy?"

On December 9th at OISE, Dan Weaver gave us an excellent talk on the current state of scientific input into public policy decisions in Canada and the important effort Evidence for Democracy is making to persuade our government to act based on evidence.

The following are some key take-aways from his presentation:
1. Politicians listen to people. Emails, phone calls, letters, signing petitions and showing up at your MP's office during key decision times can sway their opinions.
2. Respond to the Government survey Go Canada Your Budget 2018 https://www.budget.gc.ca/2018/prebudget-prebudgetaire/index-en.html
and ensure Science funding is one of your indicated priorities.
3. Follow Evidence for Democracy on Twitter @E4Dca and amplify their messages by retweeting
4. Support Evidence for Democracy's important advocacy work in whatever way you can https://evidencefordemocracy.ca/en
5. Watch Silence of the Labs, a great Fifth Estate documentary on science suppression in Canada https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMC9fsn-3is

Thanks to the many attendees of this great event and to Dan Weaver for being such an amazing speaker!




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