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 122020

We regularly support the local chapter of Dying With Dignity in Edmonton, and wanted to give a heads up that their meeting next week has been postponed. (not updated on their facebook page as of yet, but an email was sent)

The demographic that head to these meetings are generally in the higher risk categories already, so they felt it prudent to cancel the event for now in light of the recent health situation.

 Posted by at 3:55 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 052020

TUESDAY, April 7th will be this year’s SEA Annual General Meeting (AGM), formally starting at 7:00 pm, in the Program Room at Clareview Library.  We will be there from 6:30pm onwards for anyone that requires a membership or needs to renew.

Anyone interested is invited to attend; however, only paying members will be permitted to vote in the general election or on any other business.

  • Agenda:   an agenda will be updated and available soon

If you are at all interested in running for the Board, please take a look at our explanation of the roles and responsibilities for each position, as well as some FAQs about joining the Board. This year all positions will be available to be filled.  Please note that Treasurer requires you have been a member in good standing for at least a year, and President holds a requirement of one past year (at any time) on the board.

If you would like to see our current bylaws they can be found on the website, under “About”.  We are still awaiting approval of changes made at our past AGM, as the government is backlogged.
If you would like to propose any other changes for consideration at the AGM, they must be sent to the Board for distribution to the rest of the membership in advance of the meeting.  Please try to have those into us one week before the meeting.

See you there!

 Posted by at 9:00 AM
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.



 Posted by at 8:28 PM
Nov 202019

At the last few solstice parties we’ve had too many desserts (hey, some may argue that’s okay) and not enough main entree type foods brought for our potluck.  So we thought we would try a little sign up this time around and see how that goes.

Please message the facebook page, speak to someone in person at an event, or comment on this post to sign up for food category and we’ll update this list as it gets filled up.  Once it’s completed we’ll add extra selections as required.

We generally have between 15 – 20 people who drop by to eat (more come for games afterwards) so keep that in mind when bringing food.   There are also two hot plates, and a few crock pots available, if you need your dish to stay warm.  Soft drinks are provided, as is cutlery, plates, napkins etc.   Please bring your own alcoholic beverages.

Appetizers (eg: cheese and crackers, mini-quiche, spring rolls, veggies and dip)

  1. .  Karen – garlic sausage, crackers and cheese
  2. .  Sandra – Devilled Eggs
  3. .

Salads/sides or soup

  1.  Marianne and Joe – roasted veggie salad with miso dressing
  2.  Randy – Potato and Egg salad
  3.  Martin and Tom – Caprese Salad
  4.  Harriet – tentative – sweet potato casserole

Entrees (eg: chilli, pasta bakes or casseroles,mini slider burgers)

  1. Karen – rotini pasta with tomato/veggie based sauce
  2. Tina  – sliders
  3.  Ashley – quiche
  4.  Ingrid – swedish meatballs


  1. Tamara  – black forest cake
  2. Ashley – fruit tray
  3. Margaret and Pat – cheesecake    (also bringing garlic bread to go with pasta)
  4. .
 Posted by at 1:59 PM
Sep 202019

Turns out Edmonton Comic Expo is also this weekend and a whole bunch of our regular volunteers are attending that on Saturday.

We’ll cancel the Saturday event, in favour of a whole bunch of us showing up on Sunday to clean.   Please join us on Sunday, and if you need a ride, feel free to ask!

 Posted by at 6:25 PM
Sep 122019

Recently, the topic of The Lord’s Prayer in public schools across Alberta has come back into public media discourse, after a St. Albert school sent a letter home to parents regarding their continued practice of allowing the prayer by segregating the students into prayer and non-prayer rooms each morning.

Along with this news, there has also been a lot of discussion surrounding government budgets for school systems, after the MacKinnon Report seemed to point towards major cuts to education and healthcare systems.    This has spurred a renewed interest in topics regarding public funding of duplicate systems in our province, and discussions about ending funding to Catholic Schools, including a resurgence of my OP Ed regarding the Catholic School funding issues from December of last year.  

In both these instances, the prayer issue and funding of Catholic schools issue, the media and readers miss the nuance within the arguments.  This leads to misinterpretation of the motivations behind these concerns, and people basically writing off the issues as attacks on religion, or as anti-theist in their nature due to what is seen as atheist bias.

This is not the motivation at all and while most of us leading the charge on these issues are outspoken atheists, faith and religion aren’t really the point.    These issues could easily be swapped out for concerns regarding racism, or sexism. The concern that segregation is happening, and that one group seemingly has extra special privileges over the rest of us is what we are actually calling out, not the religion itself.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 10:50 PM