Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .
 Clashing rights: Behind the Québec hijab debate
This is a really interesting article that looks into the “clash of rights” underlying Québec’s Bill 21 (the religious accessories ban). Professor Howard-Hassmann defines three different ways that the “debate” can be viewed as a “clash of rights”. She takes care to only describe the clashes, and not actually come down on any side, but seeing them laid out so clinically really does make it clear where the side of reason really is.
 Bill proposes banning conversion therapy in BC
Wonderful news! Good to see yet another province picking up the slack after the federal Liberals dropped the ball on this file. Conversion therapy is already banned in Vancouver; this bill would make it province-wide.
 Barrie city councillor reprimanded by integrity commissioner
The last couple of weeks I’ve been mocking Hamilton for being one of the most Nazi-friendly cities in Ontario… then along comes Barrie, saying “hold my beer”. The back story here is that Barrie city councillor Keenan Aylwin put up a Facebook post on March 21st for International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In it he criticizes the current political climate and its strangely tacit acceptance of particularly virulent racism, and particularly calls out Barrie MPs Alex Nuttal and John Brassard for not only failing to criticize Scheer’s public support of neo-Nazi Faith Goldy, he also points out that Nuttal is Facebook friends with Goldy (who was banned from Twitter, but not (yet) Facebook). Nuttal and Brassard howled outrage and threatened to sue Aylwin. So far this is a pretty standard story. But then things took a wild turn. The entire Barrie city council – including the mayor – then opted to not only reprimand… not the Nazi sympathizers, but Aylwin!!!… and they had the city’s Integrity Commissioner open an investigation. Crazy right? We’re just getting started. Because the Integrity Commissioner must have been feeling left out of the insanity, because she not only found Aylwin’s post to be “offensive and insulting” – and I defy you to read Aylwin’s post and come to the same conclusion – she actually implied it might be hate speech! Yes, really! At one point the city was even seriously considering suspending Aylwin without pay for two months. Of course, the people you usually see screaming about how free speech is being suppressed on college campuses immediately stepped up to condemn th― ha ha fuck no! Of course they didn’t! You know those assholes only care about “free speech” when it’s the Nazis being “silenced”, never when it’s critics of Nazis actually facing real government censorship.
 Crisis of Faith? Even practicing Catholics say Church has done a poor job handling sexual abuse issue
This survey has been generating a lot of snickers among Canadian atheists due to its really stupid title. (Most frequent response: “ya think?”) But when you actually look into the meat of the survey… well, it’s still pretty stupid. There are no surprises here, not even of the mildest sort. Well, I suppose it’s a little surprising just how insistently the most devoted Catholics are trying to will away the problems in the Church. Also, the change in the favourability of religions between 2015 and 2019 is interesting: every group except Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Buddhists (?) improved – even Muslims – with Catholics showing a 10 point drop while atheists more than doubled their favourability. The only other thing I found interesting in the report was that Canadians care less about the Catholic sex abuse scandal than about #MeToo.
 ‘Why can’t I buy some munchies?’ Customers, owner question store’s $10K fine for opening on Good Friday
I’m honestly not sure how much of this is religious-based; if it were Ontario I’d say “not at all”, but this is Manitoba. It may just be a very stupid, poorly-thought-out law in any case. However, the fact that Good Friday is included as one of the special holidays is… well, it raises one’s eyebrow. I may have been misinformed, but I’ve been told that the law even includes Sundays… which would be really weird because it would have been passed years after the Supreme Court found blue laws illegal. I’d love to hear from an expert on this.
 Who Is To Blame For Forest Fires? Apparently Muslims, Left-Wing Politicians, Environmentalists, and “Lazers”
Wow. I mean, I see enough of this shit that I shouldn’t be surprised by it… but I still can’t help being surprised by it. In some corners of Canada, islamophobia is just completely out of control.
 Vaccination: In Canada, many teenagers don’t need parental consent
Timothy Caulfield points out something I sorta-kinda knew but didn’t really put together before: minors in Canada don’t need parental permission to get vaccinated (or to get most medical treatments). That’s good to know! Quite a few surveys have shown that dumbass anti-vax beliefs are mostly confined to certain kinds of parents, while kids are generally very pro vaccination. If they don’t have to be subject to their parents’ stupidity, that’s great news!
 General Assembly Proclaims 22 August International Day for Victims of Violence Based on Religion, Other Beliefs
This is pretty big news, though it’s probably not immediately obvious why. This is the very first official UN day recognizing religious violence in any sense. See for yourself. For fuck’s sake, there’s a day about asteroid impacts, but until now there hasn’t been a day recognizing religious violence.
 Defunding Separate School Boards: Rhetoric and Reality
This is a very brief but pretty decent rebuttal of a really dumb editorial attempting to fear-monger against ending the separate school system in Ontario.
 Can ethical veganism be counted as a creed?
This may seem like an odd thing for Canadian Atheist to concern itself with… unless you’ve actually read the article. Because, as it points out, the issue in this case is what counts as a “creed”, and what the government’s duties with respect to creeds are… and those are issues that are very relevant to atheism, because atheism gets its protected place in Ontario law by virtue of being recognized as a creed. The article discusses the issue quite well, and even covers reasonable accommodation.
 Goop Is Getting Into Men’s Wellness Now
This is going to be interesting to watch, if nothing else. There’s plenty of pseudoscientific bullshittery in men’s health… but I don’t see it quite rising to the level where men’s magazines sell rocks for guys to shove up their asses. I do find the branding amusing though: I wonder if anyone in Paltrow’s employ clocked the fact that if “Goopfellas” is supposed to be a cutesy pun on Goodfellas, then they’ve literally named themselves after a bunch of crooks.
 Committee erupts after Tory MP tells Muslim witness he ‘should be ashamed’
Holy shit. Fuck this guy, man. So, what happened was a Parliamentary committee studying online hate heard evidence that numerous violent extremists had not only been fans of far-right rhetoric, they’d actively sought out that shit in the days leading up to their attacks. Cooper chose to respond by getting pissed off that “conservativism” was mentioned, insulting the witness, making a bunch of random “whataboutery” swipes, and then reading the Christchurch shooter’s manifesto into the record. Remember, that was a document riddled with memes and traps to troll mainstream media and confuse the discourse about the shooter’s motivations. What’s important to note is weasel boy, in all his rambling “response” to the evidence, never actually addressed the evidence: the witness was absolutely correct – those murderers did gorge on a diet of far right talking points that the Conservative Party has also been flirting with.
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RE: Tory MP
I guess one could say the same thing about a stereotypical Hollywood caricature of a terrorist but this guy even looks like a stereotypical Hollywood caricature of a Nazi.
Michael Cooper should be burned at the stake as a heretic!
That seems a bit excessive….
It’s looking like there’s going to be even more Cooper fucknuttery in the next Update, though.