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Imagine No Religion

What are you doing this weekend?

If you're in the Greater Toronto Area - you may want to attend the Imagine No Religion (7) conference.

Sheraton Toronto Airport Conference Centre
801 Dixon Road

The speaker list for this year's conference includes several of our long-time friends and colleagues.

Jerry Coyne
Lawrence Krauss
Gretta Vosper
Christopher DiCarlo
Richard Dawkins
Ali Rizvi
Henry Biessel

(and more!)

If you swing by the conference - come and visit CFIC's sponsor table to say hello!

Free Speech and the Canadian Constitution

The 2017/2018 session of Canadian parliament and politics.  Based on recent news articles and statement by politicians, several important Constitutional and freedom of expression issues will be receiving attention: (click the titles for media links)

Quebec and the Constitution

With Quebec's Premier calling for constitutional talks, the "Charter of Values" not so very distant in memory and the lesser known (outside of Quebec) Bill 62  a matter that differentiates Quebec secularism from the rest of Canada, secularism should be considered a major factor in Canadian politics.

Despite recent attention to the UK case of comedian Stephen Fry or Denmark's possible repeal of its blasphemy law, Canada continues to retain a blasphemy law.  The federal Liberals have side-stepped Canadian secularist's petition to remove the law, despite undertaking "zombie law" changes to the Criminal Code.

Given the Alberta Premier's recent comments, how far away is Canada from serious Constitutional consideration of national priorities on the matter of access to BC's coast..and on the related matters of Canada's oil industry and climate change?  To what extent will public policy and national priorities on significant issues such as these be driven by science and evidence?

Despite the "sunny" dispositions of current federal leaders , to what extent is Canada becoming a more restrained environment?  CBC has reported a significant increase in "gag orders" on public officials:

In total, these most recent reports add at least another 361 public servants who risk up to 14 years in prison if they ever discuss the secrets of their time in government, whether in memoirs or at family reunions.

Security and intelligence historian Wesley Wark says the gagging system under the Security of Information Act of 2001 is unworkable and poorly conceived.

It "rests on an idea that there is such a thing as a permanent or eternal secret," the University of Ottawa professor said. "This is clearly a myth and an unhelpful one."

While national security is an extremely important topic, it might be wise to consider there is  (or will be) generally more free discussion of national affairs and issues or generally less free discussion of national affairs based on the federal government policies and attitudes of the current government.

Please Renew Your Membership with CFIC

Please take a moment to renew your membership with CFI Canada.

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