May 302016
 

Hey NDP government!!

The Society of Edmonton Atheists would like to make you aware that we do not agree with the provincial decision to allow an entire health care facility to speak on behalf of all it’s doctors and staff.

The news from the province today is that Covenant Health will not have to follow the ruling of the Supreme Court. We understand and support an individual right to conscientious refusal, however when we allow an entire publicly funded organization that right, it is an overstep.

Covenant Health own 90% of the palliative care beds in Edmonton and those patients are the most likely to ask for assisted death. You do not have a choice of which palliative care bed you are placed into, so this seems a rather cruel decision. Moving a patient in a fragile medical state is an insensitive suggestion, why not allow for the doctors and nurses that are willing to help come to them, regardless of where they are placed?

Shanaaz Gokool, the CEO of Dying With Dignity Canada in a news release today stated: ”Though physicians, as individuals, have a right to conscientious refusal, taxpayer-funded institutions have no such right. Instead, they have a duty to provide a full range of compassionate healthcare options for patients at end of life.”

We fully agree with Dying With Dignity’s statement and hope the wants of the entire Canadian population (not just the Catholic demographic) will be taken into consideration.

 Posted by at 10:46 PM
Mar 042016
 

Many of our members have followed the Dying with Dignity movement for awhile now, and all seemed victorious when last year the Supreme Court gave a 1 year notice of Physician Assisted Dying becoming legal.   The legislation was meant to commence on February 6th this year, but our last federal government didn’t do enough to gather information from various groups in order to enact it in time, so when the new Liberal government took over they requested an extension.  It was granted and the time frame extended to June 6th, 2016.   As of June 6th, PAD will become legal, regardless of what legislation is in place.

In Alberta we have a slight problem though.  The vast majority of people who request PAD are already in palliative care, at the end of their lives.  The majority of palliative care beds in Alberta are owned and run by the publicly funded Catholic Covenant Health group.   The church has stated that Physician Assisted Dying is against their Catholic teachings and will not be provided at their hospital.    Here’s the issue though…you don’t get to pick which bed you are given so you can’t request a non-catholic bed, you are just assigned.

The Catholic Bishops of Alberta released this statement:

We want to be clear that, from a Catholic perspective, the intentional, willful act of killing oneself or another human being is morally wrong. Therefore, no Catholic may advocate for, or participate in any way, whether by act or omission, in the intentional killing of another human being either by assisted suicide or euthanasia.

Just this past week a Calgary woman was granted an exemption to the June 6th date but she had to travel to Vancouver to finally end her life.  This raises the issue of access to the right to die with dignity in Alberta.  
Dying With Dignity
So what can we do to help?  
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta currently have two campaigns where you can leave your feedback and views on PAD.    Help shape these policies!   Informed Consent and Conscientious Objection are available to be filled out until March 7th.   Dying with Dignity Canada have some recommendations in their toolkit to help you fill out these forms.

Alberta Health is also looking for your feedback, you can fill out their form until March 31st.

You can also write to your MLA and lend your support to the movement.

 Posted by at 2:32 PM
Oct 162015
 

The AB Secular Conference in Red Deer is happening this weekend. You can get late tickets (no meals) for the conference on Eventbrite until noon on Friday, October 16, or you can get tickets to the Saturday evening debate until midnight on Friday.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/none-of-the-above-ab-secular-conference-tickets-16240596060

For the schedule and other details, refer to the Conference’s website:
http://notacon.yolasite.com/guest-speakers.php

Aug 302015
 

The Society of Edmonton Atheists are pleased to sponsor Alberta’s first secular conference featuring some amazing guest speakers and inspiring presentations!  Come join us in Red Deer the weekend of October 17th and 18th.

AB Secular, celeb speakers oct
Guests include Nathan Phelps (son of Fred Phelps, Westboro Baptist Church), Matt Dillahunty (Atheist Experience),  Ali. A Rizvi (author ”The Atheist Muslim”), Rob Breakenridge (radio personality)and Shelley Segal (singer/songwriter ”An Atheist Album”)

AB secular, local guests oct

Local guests include Kathy Dawson (AIM), Bradley Peters (Dying with Dignity), , Luke Fevin (APUPIL), Lynne Honey (Grant MacEwan Prof), Scott Rowed, and Greg Hart (Critical thinking skills) .

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!   Society of Edmonton Atheists members receive a discounted rate!

order now

 http://notacon.yolasite.com/

Jun 142015
 

The Society of Edmonton Atheists are pleased to sponsor the AB Secular Conference!

ASC SEA logo
The Alberta Secular Conference will be the first event of its kind in our province, and we are dedicated to creating a welcoming atmosphere for atheists, agnostics, freethinkers and skeptics while providing an educational weekend that will inspire and inform.

The theme for this first conference is ‘’None Of The Above’’, and will deal with issues faced by anyone who doesn’t fit into a religious category in Alberta.   We have some celebrated guest speakers flying in from around North America as well as local guests to speak about issues that affect us here in Alberta.

Join us for this two day conference at Red Deer College, October 17th and 18th…the event is sure to inform, inspire and entertain!

Guest speakers are listed on their website and tickets are available on eventbrite now!   Please note there is a discounted rate for members of The Society of Edmonton Atheists (you will be required to show your membership card at registration).   You can sign up to be a member of SEA on our membership tab or at any event where a board member is present.

 Posted by at 5:11 PM
May 212015
 

Recently the debate over the Lord’s Prayer in Taber schools has been heating up again, and a lady named Glenda was interviewed for the Lethbridge Herald.   We would like to make it abundantly clear that the Society of Edmonton Atheists is neither pursuing legal action nor are we directly involved with the Dr Hammans equality group as the article leads readers to believe.  While a great many of our members support the removal of religion from the school system in Alberta, this is not something that the SEA is directly advocating at present.

If you have any further questions regarding our stance on this issue you can contact us at info@edmontonatheists.ca

http://lethbridgeherald.com/news/local-news/2015/05/21/lords-prayer-issue-heating-up-again/

 Posted by at 5:58 PM
Apr 222015
 

The Alberta provincial election is on Tuesday, May 5 – get out and vote!

You may have noticed that our usual roundtable event would also be on May 5, we will be moving it to another day, so that all our SEA volunteers can get to the ballots, and our members don’t have to choose one or the other.

The SEA does not support a particular political party; we mostly want you to go and vote, and for you to make an informed choice based on what you value when you cast your ballot. To help with that, here are some resources.

  • Elections Alberta: How to make sure you’re on the List of Electors, where to find your polling station, and information about special ballots and advanced polls.
  • VoteKit: All the basics for new voters, including video tutorials in 8 languages and opportunities to practice voting before the big day.
  • Vote Compass: A questionnaire to help you determine which political party is closest to your priorities.
  • Albert Politics: Possibly the best Alberta political blog, with links to candidate webpages and other opinion pieces.
Apr 162015
 

A Supreme Court Ruling this week has stopped prayer in municipal courts in the Quebec town of Saguenay.  You can hear Luke (one of the Society of Edmonton Atheists directors) discuss this ruling on Ryan Jesperson’s 630 ched talk show this morning.

Our Vice President Allan Bassil was also interviewed yesterday by CBC Francais, a seven minute interview cut down to a seven second soundbite, and the SEA being represented as ”militant secularists”.   You can watch the video here (it would help if you can speak french!) http://ici.radio-canada.ca/widgets/mediaconsole/medianet/7273764

What are your views on this?   Join our discussion on our facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/EdmontonAtheists/

 

 Posted by at 7:51 PM