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.
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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.
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HAT EVENTS | GTA EVENTS | GTA NEWS | HUMANIST NEWS | HAT NEWSLETTER | ETHICAL ACTIONS | UNIV of TORONTO EVENTS

HAT Monthly Meeting: Darwin Day, Feb 12, OISE 1:30pm

Saturday, Feb. 12, 1:30pm - 3pm,
OISE, 252 Bloor Street W,  Room 2-212
“Darwin: The Voyage that Shook the World”  - a documentary and a discussion

This documentary is presented as a great tribute to Charles Darwin, with gorgeous production values, and has been acclaimed as “one of the best produced documentaries.” But is it a tribute – or is it in fact a subtle attempt on the part of creationists to undermine all that Darwin stood for and to justify the creationist point of view? Join us to view the documentary and participate in a lively discussion afterwards. The controversy rages on!

We invite all members and interested visitors to join our HAT group on Darwin Day and exchange thoughts and good fellowship.

HAT Forum: Sat. January 29, OISE 11am "Mental Illnes and Criminal Justice"

HAT FORUM, Sat. January 29, 2011
LOCATION: OISE, 252 Bloor Street W, Room 2-198
TOPIC: MENTAL ILLNESS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Facilitator: Bill Kennedy

Canada’s prisons are overburdened with mentally ill inmates, but Ottawa’s millions
are going toward new cellblocks - not the care that’s so badly needed. -- Kirk Makin, Globe and Mail, Sat. Jan 22 Focus 1

The headline on page 1 says: 'To heal and protect.'
To heal whom? Only 'the thousands of mentally ill people flooding Canada’s prisons?' (13,300 inmates in federal penitentiaries; nearly 35% have a mental impairment requiring treatment)

Getting tough on crime could 'bloat the system with 4,500 new inmates by 2014' opined Suzanne Leclerc, a Corrections Canada spokesperson.

Request to HAT members re transporting signs to Cobourg for Jan 27/28

A letter from Richard Thain - "Please circulate this message to HAT members and other Toronto folks.

We are requesting help regarding transport of the yellow One School System signs used in the Toronto demonstration to Ottawa for the January 28th Pre-Budget Consultation meeting there.  We need one or more persons to transport the signs from Toronto to Cobourg, Ontario. Specifically, to John Draper, 10 Madeison Avenue, Cobourg, ON K9A 5R2.

If the signs can be gotten as far as Cobourg, we can bring the signs on further to Gananoque where others can meet and deliver them".

The budget meetings will then move to Toronto for Jan 31 and Feb 1
For more info, contact Richard, rthain23@sympatico.ca, or Bill, broderic@kos.net

OHS Statement on One School System for Budget Hearings

The Ethical Action Committee of the Ontario Humanist Society (OHS) has issued the following statement to The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, who are conducting pre-Budget consultations.

You may wish to submit your own comments to the Clerk, listed below.  DEADLINE is FEB 1.

Sylwia Przezdziecki
Clerk/Greffière
Room 1405, Whitney Block
Queen's Park, Toronto, ON M7A 1A2
sylwia_przezdziecki@ontla.ola.org

STATEMENT ON PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING
When the establishment of Separate (Roman Catholic) and Public (Protestant) school boards was first mandated, we lived in a different society, and at a different time. This act may have secured equal funding to education in the 19th century. But as the United Nations has informed us, we are now in contravention of universal Human Rights. In the modern multicultural world, it is time to discard this outmoded legislation, for both economic and social reasons, and to support One School System – which is open to all, accepts all, and educates all equally.

The Ethical Action Committee of the Ontario Humanist Society wishes to convey to The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs our unequivocal support for a school system that provides equal rights and privileges for all students and teachers in the Province of Ontario. This is only achievable by having one public school system.

In the interests of brevity and clarity, we include the following major points:

1. The cost to deliver education will be substantially reduced and yield a quality experience that is more sustainable over the long term.
2. The service, especially in lightly populated areas, will be improved, a more equitable outcome to students no matter where they reside in the Province.
3. Our children will be able to grow up knowing children from other traditions, thereby increasing familiarity and tolerance between groups.
4. This will eliminate giving special privileges to a single identifiable group at the expense of any others; both children and teachers.
5. Our tax dollars will not be used to subsidize the education of children into a belief system we do not all share.

In conclusion, Ontario is home to a multicultural society. Given that circumstance, the Ontario Humanist Society supports education that allows children to learn about multiple cultures including the religions and traditions that stem from those cultures. When this sort of education is provided through a sociological lens through one public school system, children also come to recognize that they have a shared culture that unifies them as citizens of Ontario.

Mary Beaty, Chair, Ethical Action Committee
Ontario Humanist Society,
January 25, 2011

TVO: The Story of Science - How Did We Get Here?

How did we get here?
Just in time for Darwin Day, here is the episode from TVOs "Story of Science" on Evolution:

"The question of our human origins is one of the most controversial science has wrestled with. Michael Mosley tells the story of how scientists came to explain the beauty and diversity of life on earth, and he reveals how its evolution is connected to the long and violent history of our planet."
screening:
Tuesday, February 01 at 9:00 PM
Thursday, February 03 at 10:00 PM

HAT Monthly meeting, Dying With Dignity, Report

Here are members of the HAT Steering Committee (Tanya, Mary and Gail) with Wanda Morris (scarf) Executive Director of  Dying with Dignity Canada (DWD). 

This is from our well-attended Monthly Meeting in January, where Wanda presented a complex subject with passion, intelligence, and humour. She reviewed key milestones, both in Canada and around the world, as more and more jurisdictions have moved to increase patient autonomy and 'choice at the end of life'. DWD 'supports your right to be informed of your end-of-life options, so you can make choices for yourself, and maintain control of your dying process, and so that your choices and not someone elses, will guide your care. '

Wanda explained the importance of making an Advance Care Directive (Living Will), and informed us DWD provides advance care planning tools free of charge to members.  We also learned that for individuals with a terminal or progressive physical illness, DWD provides information and emotional support, through their Client Support Program, to help those individuals should they wish to self-determine their dying. 
A number of us decided to support their work by becoming members of Dying With Dignity, and HAT also joined as an organizational member, so that we can be kept updated about their advocacy.    For more information:

Dying with Dignity
802-55 Eglinton Avenue E
Toronto, M4P 1G8
416-486-3998, 10800-495-6156
info@dyingwithdignity.ca

GTA Event: Unraveling the Universe, UofT Symposium Jan 28

Astronomy and Space Exploration Society SYMPOSIUM
Please check the new symposium website for more information.

8th Annual Expanding Canada’s Frontiers Symposium: Unraveling the Universe
Friday, January 28, 2011, 7:00 PM (Doors open at 6:00 PM, Reception at 10:00 PM)
Location:     Convocation Hall, 31 Kings College Circle
Featuring     Prof. Alexei V. Filippenko (UCalifornia at Berkeley), Prof. Gil Holder (McGill), Prof. Michel Lefebvre (U of Victoria)
Admission:      Students: FREE (with ID and pre-registration) from ANY university, college or school
Public: $20 ($25 at the door) UofT Tickets

McCleans on Campus Article: Defund Ontario’s Catholic schools

McCleans on Campus Article: Defund Ontario’s Catholic schools - Thanks to HAO for posting this. You can read the OHS POSITION PAPER ON EDUCATION FUNDING

The Halton Catholic District School Board has overturned its ban on gay-straight alliances—and yes, it was probably something  you said.  The board was subject to international ire after its decision  to ban gay-straight alliances caught the media’s attention earlier this  month. Rubbing salt in the already-festering wounds, board director  Alice Anne Lemay decided to draw an unwise parallel to Nazism while  defending the board’s decision. “We don’t have Nazi groups either,” she said to Xtra,  Canada’s gay and lesbian newspaper. “It’s not in accordance with the  teachings of the church. If they wanted to have a club outside of  school, fine, just not in school.”

Well, it turned out people didn’t take to that analogy too well, nor  did they accept the exclusionary rhetoric implied by the decision. So,  unsurprisingly, the board met Tuesday night and voted 6-2 in favour of  scrapping the ban on gay-straight alliances. Michael Pautler, Director  of Education for the Halton Catholic District School Board, reflected on  the decision in a statement released by the board. “The most compelling  voices on this issue have come from some of the students in our care,”  he said.

It would be silly to buy that explanation, of course. When local  MPPs, pundits across the nation, and even celebrity blogger Perez Hilton  chastises the board for its obstructive and prejudicial decision, it’s  hard to believe board members when they proclaim that they suddenly and  spontaneously decided to listen to their students after all. The  controversy tarnished the board’s reputation and promoted the impression  that its interests lie with the Catholic Church, not with the social  wellbeing of its students. When that allegiance is so blaringly  apparent, it becomes all the more outrageous that public dollars are  still fueling Catholic school boards in Ontario.

It’s not just this unfortunate blemish that highlights the  incongruity involved with publicly funding Catholic schools (though  “Public Pays School to Discriminate Against Own Students” is an awesome  headline). Some Catholic schools across the province still refuse to  teach methods of birth control and STI prevention (even though it’s part  of Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum) leaving it up to their students to  educate themselves on preventing pregnancy and sexual diseases.  Creationism is still taught alongside evolution (albeit, supposedly only  in religion class), and the hiring practices invoked by some Catholic boards could, arguably, be called discriminatory. Make no  mistake – churches and religious schools have every right to conduct  themselves in any manner they see fit, but they should not be entitled  to the public dime, especially when their methods and philosophies are  so subjective.

Catholic schools’ exclusive privilege to public dollars is unjust.  Ontario needs to follow Quebec and Newfoundland and move to invest  wholly in secular education, tailored to all students regardless of  religious background. This Halton scandal shows why funding schools  concerned with following the teachings of the church, and not  necessarily the interests of its students, should come to an end. -  author, Robyn Urback

GTA event: The Scientific Mind and Culture, Univ of Toronto, Jan 22.

The (Scientific) Mind in Performance and Culture: Symposium
Jan 22, 1 - 4 pm @ Centre for International Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, and UC. Hart House

We invite you to attend a symposium which will feature presentations, workshops and open discussions led by distinguished panelists each of whom are uniquely exploring the integration of mind, science and culture through performance. Attendees from a broad range of disciplines are encouraged to attend and contribute to as we consider its implications for both 'scientist and artist.'    RSVP to elayna.fremes@utoronto.ca  ATTENDANCE IS FREE BUT SPACE IS LIMITED

Advances in the study of cognition have profoundly changed our understanding of how the mind works, carving a sophisticated new pathway into studies of philosophy, technology, and aesthetics. We invite you to join us as we consider how these advances, explored through performance, can impact issues of health and global citizenship. The study of consciousness is a rigorously interdisciplinary pursuit, embracing academic disciplines as diverse as cognitive linguistics, sensorimotor theories of perception, and artificial intelligence.

HAT FORUM: Sat. Jan 22, 11am-1pm OISE: The Gap between Rich and Poor

HAT Forum:  Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. OISE
Topic: Growing Gap Between Rich and Poor in Canada.
Location: OISE, 252 Bloor Street W. Room 2-198
Facilitator: Marilyn Miller

Over the past two years frequent articles appear in news media presenting views that there is growing inequality in income distribution between the rich and poor and a shrinking middle class in Canada as well as in the U.S. Numerous books over the past decade have described this trend as primarily emerging in the States, but is the trend growing in Canada?

'Earnings of full-time full-year earners rose for those at the top of the earnings distribution, stagnated for those in the middle and declined for those at the bottom' (National Post May 1, 2008, 2006 census report from Statistics Canada).

In December, 2010, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a report showing that income inequality is growing in Canada. “This generation of rich Canadians now takes a bigger cut of the action than any previous generation .” (Globe and Mail transcript of live on-line chat December 20, 2010, with senior economist Armine Yalnizyan of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.)

  • Is this a trend that Canadians should be concerned about?
  • How is this different than usual up and down economic cycles?
  • What can we do about it?
  • Is the answer in economic policies or in our culture?

HAT Book Discussion Group, Sun. Feb 6, John Ralston Saul's "A Fair Country"

HAT book discussion group
DATE: Sunday, February 6th, at OISE from 11:00 am to 12:30.
BOOK: First 2 parts of A fair country : telling truths about Canada by John Ralston Saul, 2008.
May be available at Chapters around $15.00pb.

In this startlingly original vision of Canada, thinker John Ralston Saul unveils 3 founding myths. Saul argues that the famous "peace, order, and good government" that supposedly defines Canada is a distortion of the country's true nature. Every single document before the BNA Act, he points out, used the phrase "peace, welfare, and good government," demonstrating that the well-being of its citizenry was paramount. He also argues that Canada is a Metis nation, heavily influenced and shaped by aboriginal ideas: egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and group, and a penchant for negotiation over violence are all aboriginal values that Canada absorbed. Another obstacle to progress, Saul argues, is that Canada has an increasingly ineffective elite, a colonial non-intellectual business elite that doesn't believe in Canada. It is critical that we recognize these aspects of the country in order to rethink its future.

NOTE: John Ralston Saul is presenting a free lecture Friday, January 21
see earlier postSAUL LECTURE

HAT Newsletter, Winter 2011

Can be downloaded from the Humanist.Toronto.On.Ca website, as usual. Or you can download a copy HERE

International Women's Day event in Oakville, March 3

A HAT member has forwarded this information:

To celebrate 100 Years of the United Nations International Women's Day, you are invited to a banquet, fundraiser and speaker.

Date: Saturday March 3, 5:30, Afghan Market & Auction, 6:45, dinner, speaker.
Location: Oakville Conference & Banquet Centre, 2515 Wyecroft Rd., Oakville, Ontario
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Samantha Nutt, Human Rights Activist and founder of War Child Canada.
Fundraiser for Sexual Assault & Violence Intervention Services Halton (SAVIS) and Canadians in Support of Afghan Women (C.S.A.W.).
Tickets and info: Elka Ruth Enola, ere@bell.net, or SAVIS, 905 825-3622

NEWS: Include homosexuals in Roman Catholic schools - Globe & Mail

Globe Editorial: Include homosexuals in Roman Catholic schools

The Globe and Mail has now written an EDITORIAL about GSAs in Halton:

Taxpayer-supported Roman Catholic education in Ontario is guaranteed by the Constitution. But a conflict in Halton Region shows the risk that Roman Catholic educational leaders take when they place their own faith ahead of the expectations of the public.

The Ontario government requires school boards to have an 'equity and inclusive education strategy,' and the Halton Catholic District School Board complies, with a policy that seeks to 'foster racial and ethno-cultural understanding and respect.'

But, for a time, understanding stopped when it came to gay teens. A policy passed in November by the outgoing board banned 'gay-straight alliances or clubs,' after Rev. Paul-André Durocher, the chair of the education commission of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario, had written a letter saying such alliances 'imply a self-identification with sexual orientation that is often premature among high school students.'

The ban sent a chilling message that homosexual teens in Catholic schools should be shunned, not recognized or supported, by their peers.

The Roman Catholic Church is in the best position to interpret its own teachings. But it is not for the Church, by itself, to run Roman Catholic education in Ontario. That is the job of school trustees, who answer to many authorities: the Roman Catholic Church, yes, but also the Ministry of Education, human-rights laws, and parents and taxpayers.

On Tuesday night, a committee of new trustees recommended that the ban on gay-straight alliances be lifted. Several showed a commendable understanding of their political duties. Paul Marai, an openly gay 22-year-old trustee, said, 'Bishops should have their input, but it’s a collective decision.'

The foundation on which publicly funded Roman Catholic education exists may be legally solid, but its political support can never be taken for granted. No board should flirt with anti-homosexual edicts, as did the former trustees of Halton.

HAT FORUM: Sat. Jan 15, 11am-1pm OISE: The United Nations

HAT FORUM, SATURDAY JANUARY 15, 11am to 1pm
LOCATION: OISE, 252 Bloor Street W, Room 2-198
Topic: The United Nations in the 21st Century
FACILITATOR: Rob Thistle

The United Nations was created over 60 years ago to bring some sort of peace to a community of nations reeling from the ravages of World War II. The UN has certainly been more successful than its predecessor, the League of Nations, and there has been no global conflict since the Second World War. However, the structure and challenges of 2011 are vastly different than those of 1949. Is the UN still relevant?

1) After 60 years, how would we grade the UN
2) When it was created, the UN was the only game in town when it came to multi-lateral engagement. However, there are now a variety of international bodies that allow nations to meet, including economic, trade and regional political entities. Where does the UN fit now?
3) One of the advantages of the UN is it allows a forum for smaller nations to stand on equal footing with larger ones. However, can major powers like the US and China really be expected to sacrifice their interests on the based on UN dictates?
4) Canada recently failed in its attempt to acquire a seat on the UN Security Council, due largely in part reports suggest to the failure on the part of the Obama administration to support Canada's bid. Should Canadians care?
5) As Humanists, do we feel that the UN is living up to what we would expect?

Halton Catholic school board under fire for banning gay-straight alliances - The Globe and Mail

Halton Catholic school board under fire for banning gay-straight alliances - The Globe and Mail
A decision to ban student gay-straight alliances earned strong criticism for the Halton Catholic District School Board days after the board’s chair defended the ban by listing Nazi groups as another example of clubs not allowed in the district’s schools.

The chair, veteran trustee Alice Anne LeMay, apologized for her statements but also said her words were taken out of context. She and her fellow trustees will reconsider the ban at a board policy committee meeting on Tuesday evening.

Trustees voted in November not to permit gay-straight alliances shortly after Ontario’s Ministry of Education introduced a new inclusion and equity policy that required school boards to create such clubs if requested by a student. Ms. LeMay defended the decision last week when speaking with Xtra!, a gay and lesbian newspaper. 'We don’t have Nazi groups either,' Ms. LeMay was quoted as saying. 'Gay-straight alliances are banned because they are not within the teachings of the Catholic Church.'

Reached on Monday evening, Ms. LeMay said she didn’t know yet whether she would vote to support the ban or to repeal it at Tuesday’s meeting. Several new members who were elected to the board in October didn’t participate in the November vote, including an openly gay trustee, 22-year-old Paul Marai. Mr. Marai called the ban a divisive 'waste of time' that distracted the board from the more important issue of education. He also expressed his support for Ms. LeMay. 'I do know her to be quite a tolerant and accepting individual,' he said.

Opponents of the ban formed a Facebook group, Fight the Halton Catholic School Board's Ban on Gay Straight Alliances, and an online petition has collected more than 1,000 signatures. The controversy even caught the attention of celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, who posted a link to the Xtra! article and called Halton Catholic’s decision not 'cool.'

This is the second time in less than a year that Catholic beliefs have clashed with education policies developed by Ontario’s Ministry of Education. Last spring, a new sex-education curriculum that introduced the notion of same-sex families in early grades was pulled for revision after religious groups raised objections.

'The church teachings teach our children to accept everyone whether they’re gay or lesbian, whether they’re poor, black, white, whatever,” said Nancy Kirby, president of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association. “But the church teaching also says that we don’t condone the action of gays [and] lesbians.'

Early last year, the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario sent a letter to Catholic school boards raising concerns regarding the ministry’s equity and inclusion policy. The letter urged the boards to consider groups other than gay-straight alliances, which 'imply a self-identification with sexual orientation that is often premature among high-school students,' according to minutes from the board’s November meeting.

A motion that the policy be approved with an amendment that gay-straight alliances or clubs not be permitted and that other types of dialogue groups that remain in conformity with Catholic teaching be encouraged instead passed almost unanimously. Mr. Marai is hopeful that the new group of trustees will have a more thorough discussion of the issue this time around, and ultimately undo that decision.

He is familiar with the kind of thinking that led to the ban: One voter took down his campaign lawn sign after learning the then-candidate for trustee was gay. 'You can’t take it personally; people have their own ideas,' he said. 'That said, I think the Catholic community in Oakville is a very accepting and tolerant one.'

Halton Catholic school board under fire for banning gay-straight alliances

Globe and Mail, Kate Hammer

A decision to ban student gay-straight alliances earned strong criticism for the Halton Catholic District School Board days after the board’s chair defended the ban by listing Nazi groups as another example of clubs not allowed in the district’s schools.

The chair, veteran trustee Alice Anne LeMay, apologized for her statements but also said her words were taken out of context. She and her fellow trustees will reconsider the ban at a board policy committee meeting on Tuesday evening.

Trustees voted in November not to permit gay-straight alliances shortly after Ontario’s Ministry of Education introduced a new inclusion and equity policy that required school boards to create such clubs if requested by a student. Ms. LeMay defended the decision last week when speaking with Xtra!, a gay and lesbian newspaper.

'We don’t have Nazi groups either,' Ms. LeMay was quoted as saying. “Gay-straight alliances are banned because they are not within the teachings of the Catholic Church.'

Reached on Monday evening, Ms. LeMay said she didn’t know yet whether she would vote to support the ban or to repeal it at Tuesday’s meeting. Several new members who were elected to the board in October didn’t participate in the November vote, including an openly gay trustee, 22-year-old Paul Marai. Mr. Marai called the ban a divisive 'waste of time' that distracted the board from the more important issue of education. He also expressed his support for Ms. LeMay. I do know her to be quite a tolerant and accepting individual, he said.

Opponents of the ban formed a Facebook group, Fight the Halton Catholic School Board's Ban on Gay Straight Alliances, and an online petition has collected more than 1,000 signatures. The controversy even caught the attention of celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, who posted a link to the Xtra! article and called Halton Catholic’s decision 'not cool.'

This is the second time in less than a year that Catholic beliefs have clashed with education policies developed by Ontario’s Ministry of Education. Last spring, a new sex-education curriculum that introduced the notion of same-sex families in early grades was pulled for revision after religious groups raised objections.

'The church teachings teach our children to accept everyone whether they’re gay or lesbian, whether they’re poor, black, white, whatever,' said Nancy Kirby, president of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association. 'But the church teaching also says that we don’t condone the action of gays [and] lesbians.'

Early last year, the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario sent a letter to Catholic school boards raising concerns regarding the ministry’s equity and inclusion policy. The letter urged the boards to consider groups other than gay-straight alliances, which 'imply a self-identification with sexual orientation that is often premature among high-school students", according to minutes from the board’s November meeting.

A motion that the policy be approved with an amendment that gay-straight alliances or clubs not be permitted and that “other types of dialogue groups that remain in conformity with Catholic teaching” be encouraged instead passed almost unanimously.
Mr. Marai is hopeful that the new group of trustees will have a more thorough discussion of the issue this time around, and ultimately undo that decision.

He is familiar with the kind of thinking that led to the ban: One voter took down his campaign lawn sign after learning the then-candidate for trustee was gay.

'You can’t take it personally; people have their own ideas,” he said. 'That said, I think the Catholic community in Oakville is a very accepting and tolerant one.'

NEWS: Sask. Court: Marriage Commissioners cannot refuse Gay Weddings

CBC - Saskatchewan Court rules for Same Sex Wedding equality

Saskatchewan's highest court has ruled that marriage commissioners who are public servants cannot refuse to marry same-sex couples.

The decision by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal rejects two proposals from the provincial government that would allow some or all marriage commissioners to refuse to perform a service involving gay or lesbian partners if it offended their religious beliefs.

The government proposed that marriage commissioners who were employed before the law changed in 2004 could refuse to perform the services. It also proposed a second option where all marriage commissioners could refuse.

The court of appeal said the proposals were "contrary to fundamental principles of equality in a democratic society" and rejected both options.

"Both of the possible amendments offend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Either of them, if enacted, would violate the equality rights of gay and lesbian individuals," the court said in the 74-page ruling.

HAT FORUM Sat. Jan. 8 11am-1pm "Conversation"

HAT forum, OISE 252 Bloor St. West, 11am-1pm Room 2-198
DATE: January 8, 2010
FACILITATOR:  William Kennedy
TOPIC:HUMANIST FORUM – January 8, 2011
1)What has 'listening' got to do with turning sovereign states into “conversational partners?
2)How might conventional negotiation be altered in the direction of conversation?

EVENT: Showing of 'The Bohemian Embassy' on Bravo Jan. 25

A screening of the film Bohemian Embassy, starring HAT member, Don Cullen, will be held on January 25, @ 9pm.  If you missed this excellent film on the famous Bohemian Embassy coffee house, which includes interviews with Margaret Atwood, Gordon Lightfoot, Lorne Michaels, Ian and Sylvia, the late David French (whose debut play, "A Ring for Florrie" was launched at the Embassy in 1963), and other literary and musical lumaries.

HAT MONTHLY MEETING Sat. Jan 15, 1:30-3pm "Dying with Dignity"

HAT Monthly Meeting, Saturday January 15, 1:30 - 3pm
LOCATION:   OISE, 252 Bloor Street West, Room 3-311
Speaker:  Wanda Morris, Wanda, Executive Director of Dying With Dignity Canada
TOPIC:  What are our Choices in Dying?

With recent advances in health research and medical technology, more and more of us are living longer.  While that is generally a good thing, it comes with some unintended consequences.  Compared to even 40 years ago we are now more likely to suffer from chronic (long-term, ongoing) diseases then to be killed by acute (sudden, dramatic) ones.  We are more likely to suffer dementia or die slowly from an ongoing illnesses than to have a fatal heart attack and be done.  While we may wish to live out our lives and end our days at home, many of us are spending our final years in an institution and our final weeks in a hospital or hospice.

Medical research and its healthcare practitioners have increased our life-spans, but there has not always been a corresponding increase in quality.  Some patients have been left thinking  the treatment has become worse than the disease!   For some individuals, death has become a preferred option to living life in a greatly diminished way. 

In this session, Wanda Morris will talk about choice in dying in Canada.  She will provide information about the arguments for and against assisted dying, our current legal rights as Canadians and the practical applications of those rights.

Wanda Morris is the Executive Director of Dying With Dignity Canada.  She is a Chartered Accountant, holds a Master of Arts Degree and is a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.

THIS EVENT IS FREE and ALL ARE WELCOME.
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.