Weekly Update: to

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

[A photograph of a complicated-looking desktop device with knobs, switches, dials, and analog gauges.]

The Canadian War Museum claims this device was used in an attempt to detect homosexuals, but Gary Kinsman from Carleton University says that galvanic skin response tests were not used, but rather pupillary dilation while viewing gay porn was used instead… meaning a queer-sniffing session would have been less like a Scientology audit, and more like a Voight-Kampff test.

  • [] Montreal churches fear stricter taxation after visits from inspectors

    Trying to suss out the true story here is a nightmare; how do you figure which side is more honest when it’s between politicians and preachers? If the city is being honest, then it’s surely a good thing that they’re catching tax cheats, though one wonders if it’s the most efficient use of city resources. If the clerics are being honest, then this is all little more than a shakedown… but frankly, the city is making the more plausible case.

  • [] Security consultations suggest preference for freedoms over new powers

    More often than not, polls of Canadian opinions on important topics produce results that swell my heart with pride. Here we have a result that recalls the oft-quoted wisdom that giving up liberty for security is a terrible idea, and Canadians seem to agree. Whether this will actually prompt the Liberals to undo the things the Conservatives put in place because of terrorism panic remains to be seen.

  • [] Child abuse linked to witchcraft a ‘hidden crime’

    There are no Canadian examples given, but if we’re going to open our borders to immigrants from countries where these kinds of practices are widespread, we should be conscious of the possibility of them being imported into Canada.

  • [] Roger Tasse, Architect of Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms, Dies At 85

    I bet you didn’t even know this guy’s name. But we have a lot to thank him for. The Charter came long after the real battles for fundamental rights and freedoms, fought during the middle of the 20th century (and Canada was not always on the right side of them), but even 40 years late to the game, it was still a remarkable achievement.

  • [] Salman Abedi, suspect in Manchester concert bombing, described as ‘withdrawn’ and ‘devout’

    If the rhythm of Salman Abedi’s story seems familiar, it’s because we hear essentially the same damn thing about every new perpetrator of similar atrocities: A second generation immigrant, often from a Muslim country, who cannot reconcile his new life and that of his family with their lives in their country of origin and is somehow driven to violence. That’s a quote from former National Security Advisor Richard Fadden. Luckily, it seems that the people in charge do understand the problem much better than the general public, because Fadden also says: It also points, I believe, to the necessity for Canada and other Western countries to be concerned about – and do more about – the effective integration of newcomers. The key to combating radicalization is not blocking immigration or harassing immigrants to take off their veils, it’s providing the means for them to effectively integrate into Canada. Historically, we have done a fantastic job of that – one of the best in the world… but we’ve been slipping in recent years.

  • [] The Canadian federal apology for gay arrests, firings is coming — by the end of 2017

    The Imitation Game helped raise awareness of the ghastly injustices done by the British government in their persecution of LGBT people in the middle of the 20th century. But not many people realize the same thing happened here in Canada. And, unlike the UK, Canada has yet to show any sign of remorse for it. (Though, to be fair, the UK only did the honourable thing .)

  • [] Canada ‘poured thousands and thousands’ into ‘fruit machine’ — a wildly unsuccessful attempt at gaydar

    This article gives a peek at some of the absurd lengths Canadian authorities went to in trying to detect and harass gay Canadians during the Cold War.

  • [] Climate policy report card: how does your province measure up?

    Behind the Numbers does excellent work actually checking the data to see if things stand where we think they do. I’ll be honest, the results here held some surprises for me, with both BC and Newfoundland and Labrador doing worse than I would have guessed, and Alberta and especially Manitoba doing better (though still doing very badly).

  • [] Manchester bombing suspect Salman Abedi reportedly linked to former Ottawa extremist imam

    It seems a rather tenuous link, but any connection between Canada and yet another murderous asshole is depressing.

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2 thoughts on “Weekly Update: to

  1. •[19-May-2017] Montreal churches fear stricter taxation after visits from inspectors

    As usual the whole thing is a complete non-issue. Religious organizations should simply be required to meet the same taxation standards as all other charitable organizations, like the Boy Scouts, Universities, Hospitals, the Kiwanis Club, etc., etc. All charitable organizations in Canada are accountable to all levels of government in Canada EXCEPT RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS. This is simply discriminatory and unfair to all non-religious people and organizations in this country. It is simply legalized tax evasion for a privileged group and should be prosecuted for the crime it really is. When criminals can get away with one type of crime they are always tempted to see what other crimes they can get away with. History has shown time and again to what murderous lengths Christians will always go whenever their criminal special privileges are threatened.

    • In the United States for legal purposes atheist/Humanism is considered a religion, even though it’s not. But for Canadian charity status I discovered, on the phone with CRA, that a “belief in a deity” is required. So your claim of discrimination is pretty valid.

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