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 Monthly Meeting, Sat March 22, 1:30 pm Dorothy Rosenberg, Toxic Trespass

Humanist Association of Toronto Monthly Speaker Meeting
Saturday, March 22, 2014
1:30 – 3:00 pm
OISE, 252 Bloor St. West, Room 4-414
Speaker: Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg
Topic: Toxic Trespass – a film about health and the environment
Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg is an executive producer of the award-winning NFB film Toxic Trespass, an investigation into the effects of the chemical soup around us. Filmmaker Barri Cohen starts with her 10-year-old daughter, whose blood carries carcinogens like benzene and DDT. Then Cohen heads out to Windsor and Sarnia, Canadian toxic hotspots with clusters of deadly diseases such as respiratory illnesses, leukemia and brain tumours. She journeys into toxic nightmares all too common in industrialized countries and meets passionate activists working for change and doctors and scientists who see evidence of links between environmental pollution and health problems. And she learns how quickly barriers can go up when anyone asks questions about these links. A moving and empowering documentary, Toxic Trespass is essential viewing for anyone concerned about the effects of pollutants on our health – and our very DNA. Join us as Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg leads us through a screening of the film followed by discussion and Q&A.    

HAT Forum Saturday March 1, 11am OISE "Open-Mindedness"

Date:  Sat. March 1, 11am- 1pm
Topic:  "Open Mindedness"
Facilitator:  Deborah Jenkins
Location:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street West

Discuss open-mindedness in relation to some of the following topics:
Media, History, Personality, Conversation, Problem-solving, Our Society/Culture, Education, Politics, Religion, Technology, Ourselves

All are welcome.

HAT Monthly Speaker: Dorothy Rosenberg, March 22 - save the date!

Date:  Sat March 22
Location:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street West
Time:  1:30 -3pm.

First notice - please save the date.
We are pleased to announce that on Saturday, March 22, Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg will be our monthly speaker on the topic "Toxic Trespass, how the toxic chemical environment in which we live contributes to disease".

Her presentation will include a National Film Board of Canada film, of which she was one of the producers.

We are working on further details, and will let you know as soon as they are finalized.

Hope to see you there!

HAT FORUM Sat Feb 15, 11am, OISE

HAT FORUM: Sat Feb 15, 11am
LOCATION:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street West
TIME:  11:00am - 1pm
TOPIC:  What do you think is the importance of a good public library system in a city?
FACILITATOR:  Cecilia Rayo

Toronto libraries provide many services to the public, what do you suggest we could do to keep those services going?

Many cuts to the libraries have already been made and every year the threat of more cuts is looming.  What could we do as an organization to prevent this?

HAT FORUM SAT FEB 8: Hate speech – should we have legal sanctions against it?

H.A.T.  DISCUSSION TOPIC FOR  February 8th, 2014 – Topic Proposer:  Norine Earl


DATE: Saturday 8 February
TIME:  11am 
LOCATION: please contact the Coordinator, via the HAT website blog, to determine location


Canadians have had four general levels of legal sanctions effecting what we ordinarily call hate speech.
The Charter of Rights, the Criminal Code, The Canadian Human Rights Act (federal) and the provincial and territorial human rights acts.

  1. Should 'truth' be allowed as a defense of hate speech?
  2. What about the defense of religious opinion – what would you wish to live with?
  3. What was the most likely reason(s) for repealing the federal hate speech provision? What, if any, problems do you have their having done that?
  4. Boding well for the survival of the provincial human rights act provisions, the Supreme Court of Canada last year upheld Saskatchewan’s provisions against hate speech where the speech was extreme enough that it was “likely to expose a certain group to unusually strong and deep-felt emotions of detestation and vilification”, but struck provisions against speech tending to “ridicule, belittle or affront the dignity” of a group.  What do you think of their decision to uphold the provision on that basis they did?  What do you think of their decision to strike the provision on the basis they did?
  5. In ordinary civil law (libel) there exists, in addition to the truth of a statement, the defense of a good faith belief in the statement in a matter of public interest. But this does not apply as a defense to hate speech. Should a good faith belief in the statement in a matter of public interest be a defense?
  6. What do you think are the pros and cons, in general, of having hate speech legislation or of abolishing  it?

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.