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.

One School System Rally update, Monday Sept 13, 12-2pm

Thank you for posting info about the rally on your webpage.  We appreciate it.  Please note the following update so the changes can be made: Please let us know if you are coming at:

Date:   Monday, September 13
Place:  Royal York Hotel 100 Front Street  Toronto
Time:  12 noon - 2:00 pm

On September 13-14, the Ontario government will host an international two-day summit on education: The Building Blocks for Education: Whole System Reform.  There will be speakers from six countries:

There will be a demonstration on September 13th in Toronto, at the Royal York where the conference is being held, to tell about the world about the disastrous educational policy we have in the province of Ontario.  We wan tto push for one school system for all.

It's been eleven years since the UN made a ruling that Ontario's education policy of having separate school systems is discriminatory.

We know that John Tory's platform of providing funds for other religions to have schools failed.  In the last election voters served notice that the public would not support that platform.  Therefore we can be confident that this option will not be taken.

Consider this:  With only one school system we would free up $250.00 PER CHILD or about $7,500 PER CLASSROOM per year! The Ontario Provincial Government is not going to take action unless the electorate makes one school system an issue. In other words a grassroots has to galvanize itself to make a lot of noise.

Check us out on

Canada's Dirty Little Secret - One School System Rally Sept 13

Canada's Dirty Little Secret
Here's another article on the Education Summit, and the One School System campaign.
"We’re 50 years behind Quebec, but better late than never. Do you have plans for Monday, September 13th, noon? Drop them!
This is our golden opportunity to tell Premier McGuinty and his international guests that things are not going well in Ontario’s education system. No. It reeks of religious segregation and homophobia.
Mr. McGuinty seems proud to be hosting an International Education Summit (at the Royal York hotel, 100 Front Street, Toronto), September 13-14, where he plans to show off how well we do education in Ontario. How dare he! Well, we plan to put a fly in the ointment of McGuinty’s smoke and mirrors (if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphors) and make sure his visitors get a clear picture of our harsh and unsavory truth.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall when McGuinty explains – while mopping sweat off his brow–to President Obama’s Secretary of Education why he thinks it’s such a good idea to funnel a billion dollars each year into building a wall between Catholic and non-Catholic school-children in Ontario!
See you at noon on September 13!

HAT FORUM: Special Guest, Sat Sept 18, 11am-1pm : Gary Bauslaugh, on Robert Latimer

Topic: The Persecution of Robert Latimer: how the Canadian justice system failed in this hardest of hard cases.
Presenter: Gary Bauslaugh
Location: OISE Room 4-218, 11am-1pm
Date: Sat. Sept 18

Gary Bauslaugh, author of Robert Latimer - A Story of Justice and Mercy. His investigative writing has appeared in many publications, including the Skeptical Inquirer, the Vancouver Sun, The Humanist and Humanist Perspectives. He was Editor of Humanist Perspectives from 2003 to 2008 and during that time also served for a year as President of the Humanist Association of Canada. He was a teacher and administrator in the Canadian college and university system for many years, and has a PhD in Chemistry from McGill. He lives in Duncan, BC.

During the first half hour Gary Bauslaugh will outline the major legal issues that have arisen during the lengthy prosecution of Robert Latimer. We will ask discussion groups to respond to some of these issues, with Gary Bauslaugh joining in, and discussion and responses to follow.

NOTE: We would have liked to feature Gary for a Monthly Meeting, but we already have a monthly meeting on Sept 11. We hope that you will be interested in attending this very special Forum meeting to meet Gary on Sept 18.

HAT FILM PROGRAM: Sun Sept 26, 3pm, 216 Beverley St.

The HAT monthly film series will resume, after a summer hiatus, with a screening of American History X,

Date: Sunday, September 26, 3:00 PM
Location: 216 Beverley St.
(Note: change of date from previous announcement)

A drama about the making, and unmaking, of a hardline racist.

One School System rally, Sept 13, Toronto 11:30-2:30 Royal York

From Simon Parcher, President of HAC:

September 13 · 11:30am - 2:30pm
Location Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto
100 Front Street W, Toronto

Member organizations of One School System will protest the discrepant funding of Ontario Catholic Schools via a Separate School Board in defiance of two UN disciplinary rulings against the Government on Ontario.

The event will take place on the first day of a two day international summit on education held by the Ministry of Education

Come join your fellow humanists and atheists along with other individuals and groups who oppose the public funding of religious schools in Ontario!

This September 13-14 in Toronto, the Ontario government will host a two-day summit that will bring together experts and education policy makers from across the globe. The Building Blocks for Education: Whole System Reform international summit will feature speakers and participants from six countries who will share ideas and look at new ways to help solve the challenges facing students from Ontario and around the world. What an opportunity to show the world what Ontario is doing and to expose the Ontario government's dirty little secret!

The rally was conceived by Ottawa Humanist Richard Young and soon supported by Richard Thain, Renton Patterson, Malcolm Buchanan, Leonard Baak and I. Richard Young and Richard Thain funded the printing of 1000 extra copies of Humanist Perspectives Magazine. The lead article, written by Richard Young is entitled, "Canada's Dirty Little Secret - Getting Schooled in Ontario!" See a copy in your local Chapters, if you are not a subscriber. The magazine is being mailed to MPs and other influential people before the rally and will be distributed to delegates at the summit. Some partners in the rally so far are members of CHP, HC, and several groups in the One School System Network, formed by CFI, e.g. Renton Patterson of CRIPE.

This is your opportunity to make a difference and stand up for what you believe in! Sheila Ayala of HAO, HC and Secular Ontario has agreed to be the event organizer. The exact place in downtown Toronto and the time of the rally will be announced shortly. Please advise Sheila if you can attend on September 13. We are hoping to have at least 500 protesters to turn out. Sheila's email address is

HAT Forum Sat Aug 28 11am OISE

Saturday Aug 28, 11am - 1pm. OISE Room 11-200
Topic: Is Canada An 'easy mark' for refugee claimants?
Facilitator: Ann Benedek

Topic provided for discussion:
Ottawa’s former High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Martin Collacott has said Canada is seen as 'the easiest mark in the world' for prospective refugees.

Recent controversy has centered around the arrival of 490 Tamil migrants whose ship landed on Canadian shores; it had previously intended to go to Australia before being deterred. According to the United Nations refugee agency, all 490 on the ship are seeking asylum. Concern has also been registered that Canada is an easy target for human smugglers. And, in the case of Tamils seeking asylum, there is concern that some may be linked to "terrorist groups": (in June 2,000 the National Post reported Toronto police as saying 'up to 8,000 Tamils living in Toronto are linked to Tamil terror groups 'including the Tamil Tigers')


Is Canada too welcoming to Tamils seeking asylum?

Are Canadian Immigration policies too complex, too time consuming and too lenient, enabling those who are not legitimate refugees to remain in Canada?

Is Canada obliged to accept anybody and everybody who lands on its shores requesting asylum?

HAT Forum: Sat. Aug 21, 11am-1pm, OISE Room 11-200

HAT Forum, Saturday, August 21
Topic: The Canadian Senate
Facilitator: Moses Klein

Is an appointed legislative body appropriate to a democratic system? Is it important to have an upper chamber for "sober second thought"? Should the Senate be abolished? If not, what powers should it have, and how should it be constituted?

HAT Forum Saturday Aug 14, 11am-1pm OISE Room 11-200

HAT Forum Saturday Aug 14, 11am-1pm, OISE Room 11-200
TOPIC: FACTS: Are there any?
Who asks such a silly question? In fact, there are only facts.
Sorry, my friend, facts is precisely what there is not, only interpretations


NEWS: Deception used in counselling women against abortion - Toronto

Deception used in counselling women against abortion - Toronto
This article is cross-posted on the HumanistNewsWire
Consider writing to the reporter, Joanna Smith,, to thank her for this piece, which exposes 'abortion counseling' in the GTA.

Toronto is now honouring "artists, thinkers and scientists".

Plaques Mark Toronto's Heritage Heroes - Torontoist

See the EARLIER POSTon the British Humanist Association Humanist Heritage blue plaque program for comparison.

Toronto is now honouring  "artists, thinkers and scientists".

While London has blue plaques and New York City has bronze plaques and medallions, Paris has thousands of plaques  mounted throughout that city paying homage to citizens who died in its  defense during the Second World War. Cities the world over honour distinguished citizens and the places they lived — or, in the  case of Paris, where they died — with a variety of heritage programs. 

So how does Toronto recognize citizens who made a significant  contribution to the character of this city, and mark the location where  they domiciled? Until recently, it was through an ingenuously named heritage program known as Cabbagetown People. Since 2002, Cabbagetown People has honoured a slew of Heritage Heroes [PDF] (their terminology), commemorating the likes of author Morley Callaghan and world-famous magician  Doug Henning. Though well-intentioned, this heritage program lacked  scope, recognizing only those Heritage Heroes who had resided in the  Cabbagetown neighbourhood.

Like other metropolitan centres, Toronto was in need of a citywide  commemorative plaques program. Earlier this year, that's finally what it  got.In March, Mayor David Miller, along with Toronto’s first poet laureate Dennis Lee, and representatives from Heritage Toronto and the Toronto Legacy Project launched the Heritage Toronto Legacy Plaques Program. The citywide heritage program  recognizes Toronto’s artists, thinkers, and scientists by identifying  their homes or other significant locations in their lives.

Humanists may wish to RECOMMEND candidates or to recognize humanist luminaries in a similar program.  Ideas welcome.

HAT Forum, Sat. Aug 7, 11am - 1pm OISE Room 11-200

Sat. August 7, 11am - 1pm.  OISE Room 11-200
Topic: The issue of the "mandatory long census form" in Canada's next census.
Facilitator:  Jodi Perrin

What are some of the uses of such a form and why do experts in the field (like the head of Stats.Can.) feel so strongly about its cancellation ?
Are there other ways to gather accurate information reflecting our diversity?
How intrusive is it and what are the privacy issues it raises?
Why has this become an issue now although we have had this mandatory long form for certainly the last several census periods and it appeared not to engender large protest from privacy advocates?
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.