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 Forum Saturday, Oct 31 2015
11:00am to 1pm
519 Church St. Room 304
"Belonging: Becoming a Part of Canada’s Future"

HAT Forum
Saturday, Oct 31 2015 11:00am to 1pm
The 519 Community Centre, 519 Church St. Room 304
"Belonging: Becoming a Part of Canada’s Future"
Proposer: Richard Dowsett
The concept of Belonging in a national context refers to “being rightly placed” in a society – to know that you deserve to be recognized by a country, to feel as if you are recognized. There is a dual aspect of you belonging to the country (that “it” has some expectation of you, can judge you, can change you) and the country belonging to you (that you can have expectation of it, can judge it, can change it).
The degree to which you feel all of these things as a citizen or resident of Canada can be determined by many factors from birthplace to personality but there is no doubt that these feeling affect your connection to Canada, your happiness in being here and your willingness to participate in building its future.
1.    Describe your feelings of Canadian Belonging, why they might be this way and how they have affected your life.
2.    In what ways could you say strong feelings of Belonging are a positive? A negative?
3.    In what ways could a lack of Belonging be a positive? A negative?
4.    Do you view your sense of Belonging as changing or static? What circumstances lead to this?
5.    Some view having innate feelings of Canadian belonging conveyed by first to be a form of privilege. That being so sure of your belonging blinds you to others’ struggles to belong.
6.    With HAT embarking on a Sponsorship Agreement for a Syrian Family a important questions might be:
·         is it worthwhile to have a plan to try to engender a sense of belonging in our Family? How might we accomplish this if we wanted to?
·         Is it enough to cater to their physical well-being and leave them to sort their mental needs out for themselves?
For more background, listen to this fascinating audio presentation from CBC Radio’s “Ideas” program 

HAT Forum Saturday, Oct 24 2015
11:00am to 1pm
519 Church St. Room 304
"The HAT Forum: Questions for the Future"

HAT Forum
Saturday, Oct 24 2015 11:00am to 1pm
The 519 Community Centre, 519 Church St. Room 304
"The HAT Forum: Questions for the Future"
Proposer: Richard Dowsett

​The HAT Forum is one of HAT's core programs. Since the beginning, The Forum has been a source​ of education and community for our members.  But we must not be complacent about its future. With the internet and media so easy to use, we need to ensure that The Forum adapts to remain a relevant and vibrant feature of our members' and the wider communities' lives.
1. What questions need to be asked of our members to serve our members in the best way?
2. How can we cast our net wider to appeal to members and guests alike?
3. What topic changes and format changes are necessary to properly service our community and keep the Forum thriving?
4. Are there features of The Forum (time, place, manner of discussion etc.) that may be holding people back or turning them off attending?

History of Humanism

History of Humanism

When:          3 evenings : October 28, November 4 and November 11
Time:           7 p.m.
Where:         Don Heights, Unitarian Congregation.  
                   18 Wynford Drive, Unit 103, Toronto, ON  M3C 3S2 (near Don Mills and Eglinton)
Registration:  Minimum of 10 people  Please e-mail office@donheights.ca 
                     or call the office at 416-444-8839 to register.
Cost:             Free  

Learn about the beginnings of Humanism and how it has changed over the years.  
The first session will describe the some history and the relationship to Unitarianism.
The other two will look at the relationship of humanism to Unitarianism, Paganism, Christianity etc.

Led by Tom Brown.

For more information go to www.donheights.ca

N.B. This event is hosted by the Don Heights Unitarian Congregation, not by the Humanist Association of Toronto (HAT). 

HAT Monthly Speaker
Saturday, October 17, 1:30 – 3:00
OISE, 252 Bloor St. west, Room 8-170
The Syrian Refugee Crisis

Topic: The Syrian Refugee Crisis: What can we do? What should we do?
Speaker: Suzanne Silk Klein is a former university professor and retired provincial civil servant. Much more germane to this talk, she is co-chair of the Congregation Darchei Noam Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Committee, a learning opportunity that has generated a lot of activity lately.  She will give a little background to this Syrian crisis and tell us what she and her group are doing to help make things better. Please join us for an elucidating and hopeful talk.

HAT Forum Saturday Oct 3rd 2015 11:00 - 1:00 at 519 Church Street Rm 304 "Carding or Street Checks - A Humanist Perspective"

HAT Forum
Topic:  “Carding or Street Checks – A Humanist Perspective”
Location: The 519 Community Centre, 519 Church St. north of Wellesley, Rm 304 
Time: 11:00 to 13:00
Proposer: Richard Dowsett
Currently in Toronto, the practice of “Carding” a.k.a. Street Checks, has been suspended pending review of its detrimental effects on the community, possible racism or unconstitutionality and ineffectiveness as a policing tool.

Other jurisdictions (Peel Region, Hamilton) have refused to discontinue it against the advice of their civilian oversight boards, activists and experts (ombudsman, former Chiefs-of-Police and Attorney Generals).

Some facts as per research by The Globe:
  On average, in 2014 police forces had stopped 0.86 per cent of their jurisdiction's 2011 population.
  The majority of police forces that disclosed the length of time they keep records on community members who are stopped and questioned, reported keeping records indefinitely.
  All but two police forces interviewed have no formal procedure in place to guide interactions between officers and community members who are stopped and questioned.
 
Departing Ontario ombudsman André Marin’s reported that “the detrimental effects of street checks on individuals and the community are simply too great to justify this practice.”

Here is a very informative short video by The Star called “Known to Police” about how carding works:  http://bcove.me/xse3e3y8
Questions:
1.   1. What are the pros and cons of Carding as it has been recently employed in Toronto?
2.   2. What personal or close experience do the members have of carding, if any?
3.   3. According to Humanist principles, on what grounds could carding be criticized? On what grounds could it be upheld?
4.   4. Is there a way to change carding such that the criticisms are properly addressed?
5.   5. Is it reasonable in social questions such as this, to weigh utility versus harm and decide in favour of the weight of evidence or is any harm unacceptable?
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.