The Humanist Association of Toronto provides a focus of activities and discussion for Humanists in the Toronto area. Please note: HAT events are open to the public, and views expressed do not necessarily represent the official views of the Humanist Association of Toronto. For all public statements, educational events, media enquiries, please contact the webeditor, who will forward your enquiry to our Spokesperson.
The Humanist Forum meets Saturday morning 11am-1pm
The Monthly Meeting the 2nd or 3rd Saturday at 1:30pm (TBD)
The Steering Committee meets 1st Wednesday, 7pm
The Book Group meets monthly.

HAT Forum: Responses to the Parliament shootings

HAT Forum
Saturday, November 1st, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Meeting Room #303
Topic: Responses to the Parliament shootings
Proposed by: Moses Klein

Did the Parliament Hill shootings change the way we feel about security, about openness, or about Canada? How is the country reacting, and how should it react? What concerns do you have about the balance between security and openness -- have we found the right balance, or do you think we will? What are the causes of such actions, and can we do anything to address them?

HAT Forum: Jobs

HAT Forum
Date: Saturday, October 25, 2014
Time: 11:00-1:00
Location:  519 Church St, Fireplace Room 201
Proposed by: Isabel Foot
Topic: Jobs

Is astounding unemployment globally a side effect of new technology?
Where will jobs come from?
If there are so many things we'd like to do why is there nobody to "pay" for them?

October 18: No Forum, annual members party instead

There is no HAT Forum on Saturday, October 18th. Instead, HAT members are invited to the annual party that afternoon. If you have not gotten the invitation, contact us ((416) 966-1361 or for directions.

Should We Go? Combat against Islamic State

HAT Forum
Saturday, October 11, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Room 201 (Fireplace Room)
Proposed by: Bill Kennedy

This topic was drawn from features in the Globe and Mail, Saturday, October 4th.

A discussion of the opinions of government and media, and our own opinions, on sending Canadian military assistance to fight the Islamic State.

Upcoming HAT monthly events

More details on these scheduled HAT monthly events will be posted later. All speaker events are open to the public free of charge.

Saturday, October 18
HAT annual members' party, 2:00-6:00
HAT members should receive details with the Fall 2014 newsletter. If you do not receive an invitation, contact us for location information. This event is open to HAT members and their guests.

Saturday, November 15
HAT monthly speaker, 1:30-3:00
Speaker: Dale Roy, SKETCH
Topic: SKETCH: Creating Opportunities through Art for Marginalized Young People
SKETCH creates opportunities for young people ages 16 to 29 living street involved, homeless or otherwise on the margins to experience the transformative power of the arts; to build leadership and economic self-sufficiency in the arts; and to cultivate social and environmental change through the arts.

Saturday, December 13
HAT monthly speaker, 1:30-3:00
Speaker: Dr. Paola Rodriguez Hidalgo, Research Associate, York University
Topic: Understanding Quasars

Saturday, January 10
HAT monthly speaker, 1:30-3:00
Speaker: Debbie Pond, M.O.M.
Topic: Human Trafficking
Debbie Pond, RCMP – Inspector (Ret.), won many awards during her career in law enforcement, including the Order of Merit of the Police Force (2007) and the Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013). She is a member of the National Advisory Team of Defend Dignity, an organization to end human trafficking in Canada, and Chair of the Board of Directors of u-r home, a place of hope for rescued victims of human trafficking. She will bring her considerable credentials and experience to bear on an examination of this very important topic.

HAT Forum: Public Transit in Toronto

Topic: Public Transit in Toronto
Date: Saturday 4 October 2014, 11:00-1:00
Location: 519 Church St., Meeting Room #304
Proposed by: Moses Klein

What is the value of public transit to a major city?
How does public transit fit into an overall transportation strategy?
What are the most important challenges facing Toronto's public transit system?
What, if anything, should be the priorities for future transit development in Toronto?
How well are our political leaders dealing with the transit issue?

Revisiting the HAT Forum guidelines

HAT Forum
Saturday 27 September, 2014, 11:00
519 Church St. Room 304

Topic: Revisiting the Forum guidelines for participants and facilitators
Proposed by: Bill Kennedy

We will be revisiting the Forum guidelines and guidelines for facilitators. Note: because of the talk by Catherine Dunphy this will be a shortened discussion.

HAT Forum: Canada and ISIS

HAT Forum
Saturday 13 September 2014, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Room 201
Topic: Canada and ISIS
Proposed by: Isabel Foot

What should Canada do?
Who are these people; we`re going to do what to them? Why?
Is it still oil?
Beheadings/ 9-11
Shock and Awe
Are the media readying us again for war with the Arabs?
Where do you see this going?
What should Canada do?

HAT Forum: IQ

HAT Forum
Saturday, September 6, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Room 304

Proposed by Gary Higgins

0. Are IQs rising? falling?
1. Are intelligent people necessarily more socially conscious? better humanists?
2. Would it be desirable to artificially boost IQ or intelligence with eugenics, stem cell research, GMOs, drugs and chemicals, or mechanical devices?
3. Could advertising, television, and modern conveniences (i.e. computers and apps and devices) contribute to decreasing or increasing IQ?
4. Is consent required for IQ testing? Could a person, or the parent of a child, refuse permission for these tests? Who has access to these records?

Clergy Project, September 27

Due to unforeseen circumstances Catherine Dunphy's talk is cancelled, with apologies for the late notice.

HAT's next monthly speaker will be
Catherine Dunphy
speaking about&nbsp
The Clergy Project
Saturday, September 27th, 1:30-3:00 (note change of date)
OISE (252 Bloor St. W.), Room 3-311

Speaker: Catherine Dunphy - A humanist, atheist and former Roman Catholic student chaplain, Catherine is a founding member of The Clergy Project and former Executive Director. She is the Operations Manager for Rational Doubt, a blog on Patheos –,  and she is currently writing a book about the founding of The Clergy Project and her experience of losing her faith in seminary.
Topic: The purpose of The Clergy Project is to provide a safe haven for active and former professional clergy/religious leaders who do not hold supernatural beliefs. It originated from a growing awareness of the presence of these professional clergy and a concern about their dilemma as they moved beyond faith. Catherine’s talk will be of interest to anyone who faces or has faced a similar dilemma. 

HAT newsletter for download

The old URL that HAT has been using for archives and downloads is temporarily not working. Archived materials will not be lost permanently, but in the meantime, the most recent (summer 2014) newsletter can be downloaded instead from this link. Our apologies for any confusion.

HAT Forum: Media and Prejudice

HAT Forum
Saturday 30 August 2014, 11:00-1:00
519 Community Centre, 519 Church St.
Topic: Media and Prejudice
Proposed by: Cecilia Rayo

How do you think the media has portrayed visible minorities when they participate in an event that is perceived negatively?

What are the effects of this portrayal of visible minorities on the minds of children?

How do you as a humanist fight against prejudice?

Do you think that the media has evolved in the way they portray visible minorities?  If yes how?

HAT Forum: Suicide and Humanism

HAT Forum
Saturday, August 23, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Room 201

Topic: Suicide and Humanism
Proposed by: Richard Dowsett
  • What emotions do humanists experience when they think about suicide?
  • Does a humanist philosophy allow for suicide as a legitimate life choice under certain circumstances? What circumstances?
  • What consequences would this philosophy have within the greater society if it were the predominant one?
  • Whatever our thoughts on suicide, are they consistent with our thoughts on other life/death issues such as capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia?

Catholic schools force students to study religion despite court order

From today's Globe and Mail:

Catholic schools in Ontario are requiring students to take religious courses despite a recent court decision that ruled they can’t be forced to attend.

In multiple correspondences reviewed by The Globe and Mail, Catholic school board officials from across the province have denied requests from Catholic high-school students that they be excused from religious studies on the basis that their parents are Catholic school ratepayers.

All of those students requested the exemptions for academic reasons, in hopes of spending more time on courses important to university applications and apprenticeship programs. But the boards contend that Catholic students aren’t eligible for the exemption because they aren’t eligible to attend public schools.

For the full story:

HAT meetings are free and open to members and the public. Call (416) 966-1361 for location information. ___________________________________________________
The Humanist Forum meets Saturday morning 11am-1pm.
The Monthly Meeting, is usually the second Saturday at 1:30pm; specifics should be found on this blog.
The Steering Committee meets the first Wednesday of each month, at 7pm.
The Book Group usually meets on the first Saturday afternoon of the month.