Canadian Women’s March

“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai

Canadian women (and allies) have come together in a grassroots effort to support initiatives happening on January 21, 2017 for human rights.

As a secular humanist organization, CFI Canada stands up to defend the rights of women, LGBT persons, people of minority faiths and people of no faith.

  • When religion is imposed on women’s bodies, we fight back.
  • When religion is used as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT
    persons, we fight back.
  • When absence of religion or religious differences are used to justify restricting human rights, we fight back.

A Canadian Delegation will be participating in the Women’s March on Washington, DC.
CFIC branches are participating in some of the local marches are also happening across Canada:

Edmonton, AB
Calgary, AB
Halifax, NS
Kelowna, BC
Lethbridge, AB
Montreal, QC
Nanaimo, BC
Ottawa, ON(CFI Ottawa)
St. Catharine’s, ON
St. Johns
Toronto, ON
Vancouver, BC


Critical Thinking Workshop in Ottawa with Chris DiCarlo

Critical thinking is the corner stone for personal & professional development and it lies at the heart of what it means to become a thoughtful, considerate, and responsible citizen.

Centre for Inquiry – Ottawa is pleased to host a workshop on Critical Thinking, presented by philosopher, educator, and author Dr Christopher DiCarlo.

Saturday, April 30

5:00 pm

Ottawa City Hall – Honeywell Room (110 Laurier Ave W)


$10 for CFI Members (must present membership card)

$15 for non-Members (join CFI here)

Purchase tickets online:

Critical Thinking Workshop - Ottawa

or at any CFI event


See Jerry Coyne in Ottawa in February

Biologist and best-selling author Jerry Coyne explains why any attempt to make religion compatible with science is doomed to fail.

February 26, 2016
7:30 pm
Centrepointe Chamber
101 Centrepointe Dr

For the next in our “Teach the Controversy” speaker series, the Centre for Inquiry is pleased to present University of Chicago biologist Jerry A. Coyne discussing his new book, Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible

In this talk, Jerry Coyne explains why the toolkit of science, based on reason and empirical study, is reliable, while that of religion—including faith, dogma, and revelation—leads to incorrect, untestable, or conflicting conclusions.

Coyne warns that religious prejudices and structures in politics, education, medicine, and social policy are on the rise, and demonstrates the grave harm, to both individuals and to our planet, in mistaking faith for fact when making important decisions about the world we live in.. Expanding on the bestselling works of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens, he demolishes the claims of religion to provide verifiable “truth” by subjecting those claims to the same tests we use to establish truth in science.  He demonstrates the grave harm, to both individuals and to our planet, in mistaking faith for fact when making important decisions about the world we live in.

There will be a reception and booksigning with light refreshments following the talk.


$20 general admission

$15 Centre for Inquiry members (must present membership card)

$15 Students (must present student ID)

Special discount:  if you renew or join today, you can receive your membership plus ticket for just $35.

See below to purchase your tickets online, or contact ottawa@centreforinquiry.ca for additional options.
[If you make an online purchase, you will receive a PDF ticket by email. You can present a printed copy, or display it on your smartphone. For other options, please contact ottawa@centreforinquiry.ca]





CFIC Discourse #4: Respect?


The scene:  A soccer match in the “senior boys’ league” between a team from private Islamic school (ISNA High) and a team from a public Catholic school (Robert F. Hall Catholic Secondary School). 

Little did the team from the Muslim school know that the team from the public school included…a GIRL! This has become commonplace these days, based on rules set by the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations, which states if a sport is not available to girls at a school, they can join the boys’ team after a successful tryout.

Somehow, though the girl was in the starting lineup, it took the ISNA coach until halfway through the game to notice the young woman, and notify the referee that his team “could not continue playing because there were girls on the field.  The two girls on the team decided to voluntarily sit out the rest of the game.

ISNA Coach, Essa Abdool-Karim, said that the team was “caught off-guard” by the presence of girls on the team.

“We assumed this was a senior boys’ league and we thought it was exclusively for boys,” he said “Understand that free mixing is something that, generally speaking, we do not do, more so out of respect than anything. It’s got nothing to do with discrimination.”

So just what does respect mean?

  • The Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations deserve respect for designing and applying a policy of gender equality that advances our society by mandating that boys and girls should have equal access to competitive sports.
  • The girls on the Robert F Hall soccer team deserve respect, not only for the athletic skill they clearly demonstrated in order to be able to represent their school on this team, but, more importantly for their sporting attitudes and commitment to their team, as evidenced by their decision to sit out the game rather than cause problems for their teammates.
  • The Region of Peel Secondary School Athletic Association (ROPSSAA) deserves respect:  Paul Frier, chair of the association emailed the ISNA coach has clarified that schools must abide by the rules, and that if they don’t like [the rules], they are free to leave the athletic association.

On the other hand, Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, has explained: “This restraint is considered by some Canadian Muslims to be an expression of personal modesty and is not meant to be regarded as a personal insult or affront.”  And ISNA High says that they intend to seek some sort of “reasonable accommodation”.  On the contrary:  If they were truly reasonable, they would have to realize that there is no “respect” in a policy of gender discrimination, regardless of how it is tied to their religion.