The Humanist Association of Toronto provides a focus of activities and discussion for Humanists in the Toronto area. Please note: HAT events are open to the public, and views expressed do not necessarily represent the official views of the Humanist Association of Toronto. For all public statements, educational events, media enquiries, please contact the webeditor, who will forward your enquiry to our Spokesperson.
The Humanist Forum meets Saturday morning 11am-1pm
The Monthly Meeting the 2nd or 3rd Saturday at 1:30pm (TBD)
The Steering Committee meets 1st Wednesday, 7pm
The Book Group meets monthly.

Hat Forum July 3, 11am - 1pm; "Nationalism". OISE ROOM 2-198

HAT FORUM: Saturday, July 3
LOCATION: OISE, 252 Bloor Street West, Room 2-198
FACILITATOR: Cornelis van de Graaff
Topic: Nationalism (s) and National Pride.

Questions to be asked: Our Country, right or wrong?
With what entity do we identify?
Does Nationalism skewer our view of the world?
Does Reason enter into National Pride?

GTA EVENT: People's Summit: Maternal health, MDGS, Education, Climate Change - workshops

See the full schedule of workshops HERE, on Global Justice, Climate Change, Human Rights, Civil Liberties, and Activism. Sessions are held at UofT and Ryerson
Session opener features Maude Barlow on Friday nite @ the Carlu, pwyc

GO: Reproductive Justice Rally, June 19, Toronto

From SDTC -
"...Have you been fuming about how the Federal Conservatives are –supposedly – spearheading maternal health at the G8, but refusing to fund abortions as part of that initiative? Or were you disturbed when Senator Nancy Ruth advised that aid agencies should 'shut the f** up' about abortions till after the G8 for fear that Stephen Harper will harden his stance for political reasons? The time has come to vent your fury. Join The Rally for Reproductive Justice beginning at 1pm at Ryerson’s Pitman Hall (160 Mutual St) this Saturday, June 19th as it marches to the Ministry of Health and Education at 900 Bay Street. The rally will be advocating for full funding of family planning and safe abortions as part of Canada’s G8 Maternal / Child Health Initiative. Plus, it will be supporting the implementation of changes to Ontario’s sex education curriculum. Why? Because women in developing nations should have access to the same options that Canadian women have to control their bodies and safety".

HAT Event: Monthly Meeting with David Boultbee - Blog report

Please visit David Boultbee's blog, to see comments about his talk to the HAT monthly meeting last week!

"This weekend I spoke to the Humanist Association of Toronto (HAT*) - a very enjoyable experience.

I sold two books and received an honorarium but more importantly I got to speak to some wonderful people about a topic near and dear to my heart - naming writing.

I had prepared some notes as I wasn’t sure of how many people would be there - I wanted to have something on hand in case I was placed behind a podium. As it turned out the gathering was just the right size for a round table forum, so my notes weren’t needed. However the process of preparing them ensured that I was prepared, which was the whole idea anyway..."

HAT Forum June 19: Free Speech in Toronto, 2010 OISE, Room 11-200, 11am

HAT Forum, 11 am
Facilitator: Jodi Perrin

Pride organizers ban "Queers Against Israeli Apartheid" from this years Pride Parade, though they have marched in previous years. The Pride Committee caved into threats from City Council, orchestrated by Martin Gladstone and the B'nai B'rith group, to withdraw funding and perhaps even permits.

Question 1:
Why do our corporate media and cultural institutions rush out to defend free speech when some insensitive cartoonists create images that offend a billion Muslims yet those same groups led by B'nai B'rith actively deny free speech to a few persons who wish to express their conviction that Israeli state policies resemble apartheid? (Would they deny Nobel prize winner and Archbishop Desmond Tutu the right to march as he was one of the first to make the apartheid connection?)

Our cash-poor government devotes over 1 billion dollars to policing, security and equipment to lockdown the heart of our city entailing further loss of income for persons and business in that area.

Question 2:
How does this "shock and awe" exercise affect the ability of those who might dissent from the agenda of the G20 to express themselves in free speech?

Question 3 (or is it a Koan):
Who is afraid of What and Why?

GTA Event: CFI hosts Nate Phelps, June 18

Nate Phelps, estranged son of “God Hates Fags” Pastor Fred  Phelps, to Speak in Toronto. The event will take place at the University of Toronto Macleod Auditorium on Friday, June 18th at 7:30 pm.

The newly turned atheist and estranged son of "God Hates Fags" pastor Fred Phelps will speak about his experiences growing up in the Westboro Baptist church, the  most controversial family in the US. The Centre for Inquiry Canada (CFI) will host the event as Nate denounces the violent and discriminatory rhetoric of his family.

Nate will outline his family's anti-gay campaign and share his experiences growing up with the indoctrination and violence of his father. He will recount the journey since he left home at 18, from fundamentalism to mainstream Christianity to finally letting go of any notion of God.

This is an official Pride Toronto Affiliated Event.

GTA EVENT, FILM: Agora (2010) - The story of Hypatia and the burning of the library of Alexandria

 Currently showing in Toronto:

Agora (2010)

The 2009 movie by Alejandro Amenbar, Starring: Rachel Weisz, Max Minghella, Ashraf Barhom, Michael Lonsdale, Rupert Evans, is in town.

Set in Roman Egypt in the fourth century, "Agora" tells the story of the legendary astronomer and philosopher Hypatia (Weisz), trapped in the legendary Library of Alexandria, and her fight to save the old world's wisdom from the religious riots sweeping the streets of Alexandria....  A large-scale investigation into religious hysteria, the film is a stunning spectacle, piloted by a filmmaker drawn to the frayed ends of human irrationality.

In Alexandria during the 4th century, Hypatia (Rachel Weisz) is an astronomer and philosopher eager to convey her enthusiasm for the cosmos to her band of students and her particularly inquisitive Christian slave, Davus (Max Minghella). As the Christians rise up to overthrow Pagan control of the city, Hypatia is forced to relinquish her status while Davus joins the opposing army, finding himself torn between his devotion to God and the affection he carries for his master.  Years later, Hypatia has inched closer to her dream of understanding the mystery of Earth’s rotation, while a former student, Orestes (Oscar Isaac), becomes prefect, struggling to keep order as the city’s Jewish contingent clashes with the power-mad Christians. As another round of violence is about to erupt, Hypatia’s brilliance is declared blasphemy, forcing Davus back into her life... It’s a war of education for Hypatia, who values the might of the cultured mind, thrilled with Davus and his interest in the solar system in the moments before their relationship takes a dark turn. The film abrasively contrasts the threat of enlightenment and theory against the wrathful superstition of organized religion, and how that combustibility could never coexist peacefully, much less in Alexandria during such a volatile age.

"Agora is a multileveled portrait of zeal. Hypatia's zeal for learning positions her in the highest ranks of her society, but it also blinds her to the real dangers she faces from those who see science and humanism as a threat to faith. The Christians' passion to establish their new faith turns into a campaign to silence all others. To this day, the dark side of zeal is evident in those who turn from the ideal of diversity and try to stifle a plurality of voices in the marketplace, schools, and religious centers. Agora is one of the best films of 2010 with its impressive mix of rich thematic material, fascinating characters, and an astonishing performance by Rachel Weisz as Hypatia"

HAT Book Group: Sunday June 13, 11am

The HAT Book Group will meet on Sunday, June 13, at 11 am at Manic Coffee at 426 College near Bathurst. The book under discussion is LONELY, by by Emily White. All are welcome.

HAT FORUM: Sat June 12, 11am OISE

HAT FORUM Saturday June 12, 11:00am-1:00pm Room 11-204
TOPIC: Is rehabilitation necessarily a part of imprisonment and is Harper correct in calling for extension of the pardon process?

-54 Canadian Federal Penitentiaries hold 12,700 prisoners serving more than 2 years at a cost of $110,000 per year, per male inmate, and $150,000 per year per female, as of 2001
-there are somewhat over 32,000 inmates in total in Canada
-cost is over $70,000 per year, per inmate in medium and minimum security prisons
-in the US, cost of rehabilitation per inmate per year is $2000, vs incarceration at about $63,000 per inmate per year
-in provincial prison in Canada it costs app. $52,000 per year to guard one prisoner
-Pardons Process in Canada: person can apply for erasing criminal record after 3 years for summary offenses (up to 2yrs prison) and after 5 years for indictable offenses.


1) What is roughly the total cost of incarceration of prisoners in Canada?
2) Would you like a non-rehabilitated ex-con to move in beside your house?
3) Left alone, do prisoners lose their criminal attitude on their own in prison?
4) Should there be a criminal record? How does the criminal record contribute toward re-offending? Is it in the nation’s interest to have criminals re-offend?

GTA Event: June 17, Luminato: (un)veiled, documentary on hijab

Luminato - Toronto Festival of Arts + Creativity 2010 - (un)veiled: Muslim Women Talk About Hijab (36 min)
June 17 National Film Board - Toronto Mediatheque 150 John Street Toronto, ON
As part of the Luminato Festival, here is a free event - a documentary Introducing the audience to modern Muslim women living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, (un)veiled discusses the controversial topic of the hijab.
It shows the diverse and lively debates in Muslim societies about the meanings of modernity, emancipation and feminism.


We regret to inform you that we will not be meeting on Saturday June 26, as the University of Toronto will be closed during the G20 and we do not have access to the OISE building.
HAT meetings are free and open to members and the public. Call (416) 966-1361 for location information. ___________________________________________________
The Humanist Forum meets Saturday morning 11am-1pm.
The Monthly Meeting, is usually the second Saturday at 1:30pm; specifics should be found on this blog.
The Steering Committee meets the first Wednesday of each month, at 7pm.
The Book Group usually meets on the first Saturday afternoon of the month.