ScienceChek-Draft03

Canada’s 42nd Election: Secularism and Science

Canada’s 42nd federal election is scheduled to take place on Monday October 19, 2015.  As an educational charity devoted to issues of science and secularism, CFIC is interested to monitor this election’s campaign content for evidence of serious consideration of the influence of science and religion on the policy of Canadian political parties, media coverage of this election and the opinions of Canadians.

As a registered charity, CFIC cannot take a partisan position in our work.  Canada Revenue Agency guidelines require Canadian charities to observe strict limitations on “political work” at risk of losing charitable status.  Our monitoring of comments and issues can, however serve as a history of this election’s public debate on partisan and public policy matters.

CFIC encourages Canadians to think critically about public policy advocated by Canada’s political parties:

Will Canada’s politicians make meaningful commitments on issues of science and secularism?  What are the political parties’ positions on issues which matter to Canadians concerned about freedom from religion or the ability of Canadian scientists to communicate in Canada?  How influential will religion or religious authorities and organizations be in this election?  Do church and religious leaders observe and respect CRA restrictions on public policy and partisan activities?  Do political leaders identify underlying religious or scientific perspectives behind issues discussed during the election?

Have any tips or perspective to add?  Please comment (below) or send an email to ned@centreforinquiry.ca.  Check back often for updates!

 

What are politicians saying during Canada’s 2015 Federal election campaign?

  • August 10: Stephen Harper commits $90 million over 4 years to ”help protect artifacts and places of worship from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”; Harper declares that, “If your policy is humanitarian assistance without military support, all you’re doing is dropping aid on dead people.” (Guelph Mercury story)
  • August 10: NDP Candidate resignation over comments about Israel CBC
  • August 11: Stephen Harper makes claims about health effects of marijuana, legalization of marijuana and a 10-year mandate for Mental Health Commission of Canada
  • September 8: Justin Trudeau on abortion in Prince Edward Island
  • September 9: Thomas Mulcair refuses to fire an NDP staffer for “anti-Catholic” tweets  CBC
  • September 15: Conservative candidate dropped due to comments about abortion, women CBC
  • September 16: Conservative candidate dropped due to comments CBC
  • September 23: NDP Candidate not aware of Auschwitz history National Post
  • September 24: NDP Candidate steps down due to criticism of religious groups and women’s rights CBC
  • September 28: Liberal Party Candidate steps down due to social media comments questioning 9/11  CBC
  • October 1: Liberal Party Candidate steps down after criticism of mosques through social media National Post

 

Canadian Opinions and Commentary

  • August 5: Huffington Post article regarding the erosion of science in Canada:
  • August 10: Veronica Abbass, at Canadian Atheist, drafted a set of questions for political candidates and provided an update which indicated her local NDP candidate had failed to reply to her queries.
  • August 10: Chris Boudreau, parent of a Canadian man killed while fighting alongside Islamic fanatics in Syria, criticizes Stephen Harper’s approach to terrorism as reported by CBC
  • August 10: Bob Rae comments on the Iran Nuclear deal  (Globe and Mail)
  • August 11: An opinion column focussing on Jewish voters in the Mount Royal riding in Montreal (Montreal Gazette)
  • August 11: Tarek Fatah’s reasons for moving away from “The Left” in this election (Middle East Forum)
  • August 12: The first seat-projection we’ve seen for the election (Dave Nickle’s Facebook post); a story covering the adjustments for polling in this longer election period (CBC)
  • August 12: Is Magical Thinking playing  role in election promises (CBC); an article with a critical look at Liberal Party promises
  • August 12: A Rabble story connecting climate change, energy and Saskatchewan for the 2015 election
  • September 8: Michael Coren taking a partisan stance in The Toronto Star
  • September 8: Climate change as an election issue
  • September 10:  The Transpacific Partnership examined as an election issue
  • September 11: CBC’s The Current examines faith in politics – an omits non-believer perspectives
  • September 28: Canada and Israel The Toronto Star
  • September 30: Marginalized communities not addressed by political parties Yahoo News
  • October 1:  Federal government track record on Science and Religion since 2008  National Observer
  • October 6: Saskatchewan Muslims unhappy with the niqab as a political issue CBC
  • October 7: Does the student vote matter? The Gateway
  • October 7: Citizenship Macleans
  • October 16: The niqab controversy continued and expanded with expected protests CBC, The Sun

 

Human Rights, Science, Culture and Canadian Values

  • August 6: CUPW reaches a resolution to deliver anti-abortion pamphlets in Saskatoon (Globe and Mail)
  • August 10: The Syrian Canadian Council indicates concern over Stephen Harper’s proposed travel ban (Globe and Mail)
  • August 10: Making student voting easier (CBC)
  • August 11: The United Church of Canada sells its “fossil fuel assets” ahead of the Canadian Election (National Observer)
  • August 12: A project to fly Israeli Canadians to Canada to vote (The Toronto Star)
  • August 13: The Keystone XL pipeline project is interwoven with economic concerns, environmental concerns and connections to global climate change science ( Globe and Mail )
  • August 13: Canada’s only openly transgender federal election candidate for 2015 is running under the Strength in Democracy banner (alongside two other candidates) (Sheena Goodyear’s story)
  • August 24: Fact Checking the Politician!  University of Toronto
  • September 3: An examination of data-mining in politics CBC
  • September 10: Examination of political party tactics to appeal to  “new Canadians”  CBC
  • September 10: Physician-assisted death discussed by The Globe
  • September 11: Halifax debate on “women’s issues” covered by CBC
  • September 28:  Revocation of Citizenship  CTV News,
  • September 30: NDP stumbling in Quebec over their stand on Niqab Reuters, Huffington Post, The Guardian,
  • October 1: Saudi Arabia-Canada arms deal CBC
  • October 1: High Tech sector The Star
  • October 5: Charities Wading into Politics CBC
  • October 6: Veterans divided on the issues  CTV News
  • October 6, Where do the parties stand on climate change Desmog Canada, Inside Halton
  • October 11: Canada’s space policy CBC
  • October 14: Climate Change issues a major concern for election outcome Bloomberg Press

 

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