Weekly Update: to

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

  • [] Meet the gay-straight alliance supporters who took to streets in Calgary

    There’s a lot more underlying this story than is immediately obvious. So, first, the background is that with Alberta’s election just around the corner, the campaigning has heated up, and Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party are taking a hammering over their record on LGBTQ rights. To make matters worse, Kenney and the UCP have committed to repealing a bill that protects kids who join gay-straight alliances. The result: now the UCP has protests outside their campaign offices. But there’s still something more going on here. This protest action was only one example of several just in the past few weeks carried out largely if not entirely by young people, in open defiance of the fact that they’re being ignored by those in power. There were these protests in Alberta, plus over 100,000 students who walked out of class in Ontario to defy Doug Ford, another 150,000 in Québec walking out to defy François Legault, and then there was also the Daughters of the Vote turning their backs on Justin Trudeau and walking out on Andrew Scheer. It’s simultaneously amazing and horrifying – on the one hand it’s wonderful to see the kids so engaged in civics… on the other, there’s the realization that the reason why they’re so engaged is because they’ve been so egregiously wronged for so long that we’ve basically driven them to it.

  • [] Civil liberties groups explore ‘creative’ ways to challenge Quebec’s charter-proof secular bill

    There are some intriguing ideas tossed out here, though I’m not particularly hopeful myself. As an item last week explained, thanks to his false majority and his willingness to use the notwithstanding clause, François Legault is now effectively above the law and completely untouchable by the people of Québec. There’s pretty much nothing anyone can do to stop him until the next election… .

  • [] Measles: Should vaccinations be compulsory?

    This was way outside the Overton window even just a couple months ago. But now, I see it being given increasingly serious consideration, and even implemented – more or less – in some places. What you do you think? Should vaccines be mandatory?

  • [] With new position on secularism, Quebec Solidaire redefines left-wing politics in the province

    I’m impressed! With all the shitty news of late, I was really doubting this would go through. I do have to roll my eyes at the CBC headline, though. Québec solidaire hasn’t “redefined left-wing politics”; they’ve just aligned their standards with the left, centre, and right everywhere else in Canada, and most everywhere else in the world.

  • [] Most Albertans say parents shouldn’t be notified when child joins GSA, online survey suggests

    Another item in this week’s update describes a protest organized by Albertans to criticize the UCP’s plan to narc kids joining gay-straight alliances out to their parents. This is related, showing just how badly Kenney’s policies are out of step with the province.

  • [] Green MLA’s motion aims to do away with daily Lord’s Prayer

    Kudos to Kevin Arseneau! He’s doing the right thing, and he has the courts and the Charter on his side. ’Course, that won’t matter. The two right wing parties, although they hold only a single seat majority, aren’t going to be reasonable about this. And I don’t really expect the Liberals will either. The one Liberal MLA they do interview makes an groan-worthy comment to the tune of: “hey, I’d support ending Christian prayers if I could see any non-Christians around, but I look around and don’t see none.” So apparently Arseneau himself – who literally stands outside and waits for the prayers to be over – just doesn’t exist to her blinkered perspective.

  • [] “Snake” by Zach Weinersmith (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal)

    What? Sinless eating the apple and having it too isn’t an option? So much for a perfect garden!

  • [] The legal conflict between equality rights and freedom of religion

    This is a really neat look into the situation of equality rights versus religious rights, and of the BC Human Rights Code’s Section 41. Professors Hastie and Young make a good point that a lot has changed, not just in jurisprudence but socially, over the last 30 years. It’s high time to consider re-litigating some of the early Charter battles. (Worked pretty well for Carter v Canada, after all.)

  • [] Meet 30 Candidates for Jason Kenney’s UCP Who Got Caught Promoting Hateful and Extremist Views

    Ho-lee-shit. These people go through 30UCP candidates who have said or done horrible things – including supporting literal Nazis, and several who have delivered hateful anti-LGBTQ sermons. And here’s the insane thing: they don’t even list them all! Because not only did they not list any non-candidates or nomination candidates – they didn’t list any of the campaign managers or others who have done shitty things, had dodgy connections, or are faced charges, or anything to do with the whole “kamikaze” thing – their list wasn’t even complete for what it was! In fact, the very next day, that same publication revealed anotherUCP candidate tangled up in some wacky shit: this time, a guy who’s on the board of a Christian school that bans… I shit you not… witchcraft, sorcery, spell casting, [and] activities or rituals that are associated with demonic activity. There are only 87 ridings in the whole province! More than a third of the party’s candidates have said, done, or been connected with something absolutely horrid! I really do have to credit the UCP for figuring out a way to make bozo eruptions no longer a problem for them – they put on a bozo fireworks show instead to drown ’em out.

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