Mar 122020
 

Social distancing helps to slow the rate a disease spreads, and the sooner it’s started, the better for everyone.   Our healthcare system won’t be overwhelmed if we spread the growth out over a longer period of time, and many more people then can recieve care in order to recover.

Because our events are non-essential but also in very public places, we will be cancelling them for the rest of the month (and we will review after that time – we may possibly be postponing the AGM by a month as well) so we can help to “flatten the curve”.    Events hosted by the Secular Humanists and Westwood Unitarian will be updated if we hear from them.  For right now we are cancelling SEA hosted events.

This may seem like a hasty decision to some, seeing as only large events have been cancelled in our province so far, but with many cases still waiting for test results it’s a time of uncertainty as to how many actual cases there are here right now.   We have a few members who fall into some higher risk categories, so taking a few weeks off of some social events seems like one small thing we can do to help protect them, and our larger community as a whole.

For advice if you have flu like symptoms and think you may have been exposed, call 811.   Call volumes are high, but trying at midnight has been a suggestion.

Updated information on the Alberta Government Health Page is HERE

Canada Health advice for travel and other Covid-19 information (although it seems to be a day late in updating numbers) can be found HERE

 Posted by at 11:48 PM
Mar 092020
 

A few years ago, we welcomed a Gail Miller as a guest speaker to our group to discuss the Critical Thinking Project (spearheaded by Christopher Di Carlo. )  Gail grew up in Edmonton (now lives in BC), and is a passionate advocate for critical thinking skills and humanist values.  Her history within the atheist movement and various related organisations goes back over 10 years!

We’re excited to see that Gail’s new venture is as a founding member of the IAA, the International Association of Atheists.

Looks like they have lots of great ideas and work planned, so check out their website and become a member if you want to help!   There are partnership options for individual groups as well, so we’ll get some more information on that to discuss with our membership.

Hoping for lots of success for this new organisation with reaching their goals!

 Posted by at 7:24 PM
Mar 042020
 

From Humanist Canada:

Webinar Series 2020  Sunday March 8, 2020 – 3 pm EST

Canada’s Medical Assistance In Dying (MAID) Legislation

In June 2016, the Parliament of Canada passed federal legislation Bill C-14, allowing eligible Canadian adults to request medical assistance in dying. Since MAID has been legalized, more than 6,700 Canadians have chosen to die peacefully with the help of a physician or nurse practitioner.

On September 11, 2019, the Superior Court of Québec found that it was unconstitutional to limit access to MAID to people nearing the end of life. The Court declared the “reasonable foreseeability of natural death” criterion in the federal Criminal Code, as well as the “end-of-life” criterion in Quebec’s provincial law on medical assistance in dying, to be unconstitutional.

The Court’s ruling will come into effect on March 11, 2020, unless an extension is granted by the Court. While this ruling only applies in the province of Quebec, the Government of Canada has accepted the ruling and has committed to changing the MAID law for the whole country.

Shanaaz Gokool, former CEO of Dying With Dignity Canada and one of the country’s foremost subject matter experts on MAID will be providing insight on the current legislation and the status of accessing medical assistance in dying across Canada. Join us to learn more about the law and what it means for your right to a peaceful death.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED:    Register Today

 

 Posted by at 8:28 PM
Apr 072019
 

Thanks to everyone who came out to our annual general meeting this past week!   We discussed quite a few things, including what types of secular causes SEA will be supporting this year, as well as discussions on how we can be better LGBTQ+ allies, and different ideas for outreach.   Overall, a very productive meeting with lots of great ideas that will be researched and acted upon in the upcoming months.

Your executive members have remained the same, as those are 2 year terms, and 4 director positions have been filled.    Your 2019 – 2020 SEA Board members are:

President: Karen Lumley Kerr
Vice President:  Alexander Delorme
Treasurer: Mark Terpstra
Recording Secretary:  Tamara Pawluk

Directors:
Rob Chamberlain
Margaret Wardell
Ashley Zinyk
Tina Dmytryshyn

 Posted by at 4:51 PM
Apr 122018
 

Thanks to everyone who came out to our Annual General Meeting and helped shape the next year for our Society.   We are adding a quarterly volunteer event at the Food Bank, we will be having a 10 year anniversary party/1 year memorial for Michael Vester this year, and look forward to continuing to share events with other local like minded groups, including the Secular Humanists, Secular Ethics group in Stony Plain, and the Unitarian Churches in the city.   We also voted to include a low-income membership, on a case by case basis.  This will be added to our website soon.

A few bylaw concerns came up during the meeting, which we were too late to vote on that night as members need prior notice, however, we did work on the re-wording and will have an General Meeting prior to the next round table event in May to quickly vote on these so they can be submitted this year with our filing.  This would allow us to implement them for next April’s AGM.
Our current bylaws allow us to have one person sit as Treasurer and Secretary, which we wanted to update.   You can find the proposed changes in red here:   2018-BYLAWS PROPOSED CHANGES (changes include adding line 34, removing line 37,  updating line 43 and adding a word to line 46.)

A big thank you to our previous board members and congratulations to your new 2018-2019 board!

 Posted by at 10:58 AM
Nov 232017
 

Join the SEA in supporting OURIDEA.CA’s upcoming event.


Why do a Former Education Minister, Parent advocate, and former Catholic School Trustee believe it is time for a referendum on separate Catholic schools? Join Former Education Minister David King, Former Catholic School Trustee Patricia Grell and Public Education Advocate Luke Fevin for an evening of discussion and debate around the question:

What is the future of Catholic School Boards in Alberta? Continue reading »

 Posted by at 9:52 PM
Oct 242017
 

Join us on Saturday October 28th, 7pm for this special event!
University Campus, Alberta School of Business
Room 1-6

Dr Elliot Hanowski works at the University of Manitoba Libraries, and will be coming to talk to us about the History of Activist Atheism and Humanism in Canada. He is one of the founding members of the International Society for Historians of Atheism, Secularism and Humanism (ISHASH) which brings together historians worldwide who are contributing to this growing field. He is also an editor with the journal Secularism and Nonreligion.

Free event, although ticket-by-donation would be appreciated (suggested: $5 students and SEA Members, $10 everyone else)

 

 Posted by at 9:40 AM
Sep 082017
 

The Society of Edmonton Atheists has submitted a letter of support to review and amend the current Bill C-14 legislation on your behalf.  We would urge anyone that feels strongly that advanced directives, severe mental illness, or mature minors who would fulfill the requirements for MAID if they were older, should be included under this legislation, to also submit personal stories of support.

From the Dying With Dignity website:

Dying With Dignity Canada has called for the CCA to consult Canadians directly about how the current assisted dying framework affects their right to choice. Unfortunately, the CCA has opted only to consult “groups and organizations affected by, or involved in MAID.” Submissions may only be 1,000 words long, which is not enough space to detail how the federal assisted dying rules unfairly discriminate against particular groups of suffering Canadians.

However, there is no limit on the amount of “evidence” (such as academic research, historical documents, traditional knowledge and court decisions) that can be included as attachments. This got us thinking: Don’t the personal stories of our supporters count as evidence? Of course they do. In fact, the experiences of individuals who have cared for someone who was denied choice, or who fear they may be denied their right to choice themselves, should be at the heart of any major policy discussion about the future of assisted dying in Canada.

Voice Your Choice by Sept. 15!   Submit it by email to consultation@dyingwithdignity.ca.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:57 AM
Jun 222017
 

Sadly, a founding member of the SEA (member 001!), our friend, Michael Vester passed away on Sunday, June 18th. Michael was instrumental in starting the group, getting it incorporated as a non-profit, was the very first SEA President, and was the driving force behind our first few years marching and having a booth at the Edmonton Pride Parade.   In 2010 he was voted in as the first lifetime member due to this involvement in creating the group and he was always a strong supporter of the group both financially and with his time.

If you were new to the group, when you met Michael you were sure to hear the story of how he was raised an atheist but was taken to Sunday School as a child (the nuns ensured he was thoroughly turned away from religion) and that he was a ”third generation atheist”.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:33 PM
Jun 042017
 


Ibrahim is an atheist blogger and activist in Bangladesh who has received repeated death threats because wrote about atheism, LGBTQ freedoms & Islamization.  He not only expressed his beliefs, but stands up courageously to uphold the principle of basic human rights. The penalty for doing so is death, often carried out by vigilante groups; the violence generally condoned by local governments.

Talking and writing about a humanist way of living is not tolerated in many parts of the world. Many of Ibrahim’s friends have been murdered by AL-Queda in Bangladesh, others have fled to escape brutal murder; he is one of those seeking safety for his family.

We won’t let them journey alone! Now you can help bring them to Canada.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 10:40 PM