Update from Omer

by Sandra Dunham

[In case you missed it: Please see Secular Rescue: Help us Help Omer for background information.]

Omer remains in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, amid this difficult situation, there was some good news. Omer has received notice from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada that his application for permanent residency has been approved. His file has now been transferred to the Canadian Embassy in New Delhi, India, for further processing.

Unfortunately, Omer still faces a long wait. The next steps include interviews and medical checks. Omer must wait for the staff from India to visit Nepal before this takes place. Based on what has happened in the past, Omer believes that the visit will happen early in 2021 and he will be heading to Canada next summer. Neither Omer nor CFIC has found any official information to confirm this timing, nor do we have any insight into how the COVID-19 crisis might affect the timing.

We have raised almost $5,000 for Omer. We have enough money in the deferred revenue account and from future monthly pledges to provide an additional six months of support. It takes $629 a month to provide food and shelter for Omer. If you can help, please consider making a tax-deductible one time or monthly donation.

Launch of Humanist Freedoms

It’s hard to be a humanist and not know the name Richard Thain. As well as being a valued supporter of CFIC, Dr. Thain has membership with a number of other national and international humanist organizations.

The story of his attempt to place ads on City of Winnipeg buses for four weeks during the period of the Gala Opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights; the rejection of that advertising campaign; and his subsequent court challenge of the issue has been reported previously in Critical Links and is the fodder and inspiration behind a new online magazine, Humanist Freedoms.

Humanist Canada Essay Contest

Humanist Canada is hosting another essay contest. The 2020 theme is “Religion and Humanism in Education.” To find out more about the contest, please visit Humanist Canada.

Difficult Discussions: Why Secularists Disagree on Bill 21

June 6, 7:00 PM EDT

Join the CFIC Virtual branch meetup on June 6, 7pm EDT, for a robust discussion of Bill 21. The event will start with a presentation about the background of Quebec’s Secular Bill and the subsequent legal challenge, followed by a moderated Q&A and discussion.

Whether you have a strong opinion about this bill (either for or against) or have watched the dialogue and not come to any conclusions, this webinar is for you.

Click here for details.

Medical Research in the Time of COVID-19: Making Sense of Health Reporting

June 13, 3:00 PM EDT

Masks? Cleaning? Hydroxychloroquine? Vitamin D?

It seems that many people who had previously rarely given a second thought to medical research have recently become “experts” in the field of infectious disease treatment and control. This session will cover the common types of health research methods, design of studies, and how results lead to health guidelines and recommendations.

Click here for details.

Living Without Religion: Virtual, Ottawa, and Toronto Editions

Physical distancing doesn’t mean we can’t meet online for social support.

No higher powers, no dogma. Free expression, empathy, understanding, without judgment. We’re here for you. We are Living Without Religion, and you can too. Come join the discussion!

(Note that everyone is welcome to attend any of the online events, regardless of the location of the host branch.)

Virtual branch
June 4, 2020, 7:00 pm EDT

Toronto branch
June 18, 2020, 07:00 pm EDT

Ottawa branch
June 7, 2020 12:00 pm EDT
June 14, 2020 12:00 pm EDT
June 21, 2020 12:00 pm EDT
June 28, 2020 12:00 pm EDT