The Centre for Inquiry (CFI) is a nation-wide educational charity advancing reason, science, secularism (church-state separation) and freedom of inquiry. Our organization, which consists of branches in cities across Canada, provides a voice for atheists, agnostics, and, skeptics, and secular humanists. CFI hosts a public education series, engages in campus outreach, provides secular social and community services, and produces the two YouTube channels “CFI Canada” and “Think Again! TV“. CFI is increasingly influential in the media and in the public square on issues related to church-state separation, freedom of expression, science education, and advocating on behalf of atheists and agnostics on a variety of ethical, social and public policy issues.
The Canadian Secular Alliance (CSA) is a national non-profit organization seeking church-state separation and government neutrality with respect to religion. We advance a variety of policies on issues like religious accommodations, the public funding of religious schools, special tax status for religious organizations, and repeals of the Canadian blasphemy law and other affronts to free criticism of religion
Major Highlights of the “Reason for a Change” Convention
National Prayer Breakfast: May 18-19
We feel it’s critical that atheists and pro-secular advocates maintain a presence at the National Prayer Breakfast held in Ottawa every May. From the initiative’s website, “The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual ecumenical event offered under the auspices of the Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons and organized by a group of dedicated volunteers.” Representatives of the highest ranks of parliament, the Supreme Court, and the armed forces are guests of honour.
CFI and CSA members attended the 2010 National Prayer Breakfast and produced a video for CFI’s Think Again! TV entitled “Who Represents Us?“. Among others at the head table were NDP Canada Leader Jack Layton, Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board, and Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada.
This event affords religious leaders a rare and highly coveted opportunity to network with key Canadian decision makers for the purpose of advancing religion and religious values. We question the motives for such a tight interconnection of religion and state. Our goal is twofold. Firstly, to observe politely, question attendees respectfully and report on our impressions. Secondly, so long as this event takes place, we desire the opportunity to present, as part of the seminars and break-out sessions, an argument for the benefit to both the religious and political spheres of respecting the separation of church and state.
Secular Supper: May 18
Centre for Inquiry Ottawa (CFI-O) will be hosting it’s first annual Secular Supper: Food for thought in 2011, providing a secular alternative to the National Prayer Breakfast. This year, the event will feature guest speakers Alex Cullen (former Ottawa City Councillor) and Anthony Furey (columnist at the Ottawa Sun). The goal of the dinner is to raise awareness about the encroachment of religion in the public sphere and to explore the more inclusive alternative of Secularism.
Lobbying and Political Action Training
Join us for a series of sessions dedicated to exploring secular and related issues hosted by various policy experts and spokespeople with the CFI and CSA
Meetings with Politicians and Decision Makers
Meetings are being lined up with officers of the following ministries:
Charity status for Religious Organizations
- Ministry of National Revenue
- Canada Revenue Agency
- Charities Directorate
God in the National Anthem
- Heritage Ministry
- The Human Rights Program
This is your convention! We encourage you to get involved. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-971-5676 and notify us of your interest. We also encourage you to be in touch with any ideas or recommendations.
National Prayer Breakfast:
Date: May 18 & 19, 2011
Location: Westin Hotel – Ottawa, Ontario
Date: May 18, 2011, 7pm
Location: Ottawa Citizen Conference Room – 1101 Baxter Road, Ottawa, Ontario
Cost: $10 ($5 for Friends of CFI)
Date: May 19, 2011, 1pm
Location: D’arcy McGee’s – 655 Terry Fox Drive, Kanata, Ontario
*The CFI and the CSA are non partisan organizations and do not endorse specific parties or candidates.