Founded in 2005, the Halton-Peel Humanist Community (HPHC) is a community group that advocates separation of government and religion. We are also affiliated with Humanist Canada, which is a non-profit charitable organization.
We support the searching for meaning in a non-supernatural world. Science, reason and compassion are at the heart of this secular world view. We work toward secular and rational approaches to law, ethics, and social welfare.
To promote a secular society in which civic affairs are free from religious influence. To promote rational dialogue and thought in the formation of public policy. To protect the rights of Humanists, Secularists, Atheists and Freethinkers and to oppose any attempts to impose religious-based laws and beliefs on the general population. To respect the rights of individuals to decide their own futures and their belief systems without interference from, or fear of, dogma, mythology, religious stigma or persecution.
Religion is not necessary to lead moral and meaningful lives. The Halton-Peel Humanist community, with members in Mississauga, Oakville and Caledon, is guided by several important principles, including the acceptance of personal and collective responsibility, the application of critical thinking, respect for others and actions that are fair, honest and cooperative. About 16 per cent of Canadians are not religious. Edgar Coxeter, one of the founders of the original Oakville Humanist Community says that the time has come for the non-religious to make their voices heard.
"A Humanist group is needed to provide intellectual and emotional support for people as they explore what they believe and how to articulate it clearly," he said. "We have no deity," added founding member Elka Ruth Enola, a well-known Oakville poet and Humanist since the 1950s - she writes poems of conscience and has published a book titled Womenfolk – and activist who helped lead the opposition to Sharia being used in Ontario's family law arbitration. "We look at the world with compassion and empathy, but without dogma," she said. "Humanism is a philosophy of life," said Coxeter. "We believe in honesty, rationality, cooperation, fairness and respect for each other." Enola adds that Humanists accept responsibility for our lives, values and the environment. "People with religion pass off responsibilities to their Gods.”
Enola has explained that she opposed Sharia on the basis that religion should not influence law. "Church and state must be kept separate. "I'm not against personal religious beliefs, but please don't impose them on others or use them as an excuse for violence." Although the roots of Humanism can be traced to the philosophers of ancient Greece, the modern Humanist movement evolved in Western Europe and the first Canadian group was founded in Montreal in 1954. The International Humanist and Ethical Union has grown into a worldwide organization with more than a million members in 30 countries and consultative status at the United Nations. There are a number of core principles that Humanists adhere to, such as democratic principles, logic and scientific inquiry, to find realistic solutions to problems. They are also dedicated to upholding the separation of church and state in all levels of government to ensure equality and fairness for all.
Humanists visit hospitals and hospices to talk to people who don't accept a deity and afterlife and in order to give support to those who are at the end of their lives. "We very specifically used the term 'community' in our name (Halton-Peel Humanist Community) instead of 'organization' or 'association' because we want the emphasis to be on people and our inter-relationships and not on the formal structure of an organization," said Enola. Each meeting is part business and part social, with an opportunity to discuss current issues such as stem cell research and dying with dignity. Educating with an emphasis on critical thinking and sponsoring guest speakers on Humanist topics are also core activities of the Halton-Peel Humanists.
The Halton-Peel Humanist Community and affiliated regional Humanist groups provide Atheists/Agnostics and other freethinkers with an extensive network of people who share their philosophy and support their way of life. This includes monthly discussions, socializing, officiant services for weddings and funerals, and outreach programs such as non religious support for agnostic hospital patients.
By mobilizing our human resource network, skills and funds, we are an effective vehicles for initiating socio-political reform in Ontario. We actively campaign for civil rights issues dealing with marriage, health, employment, education and social welfare. For example, we are actively involved with the One School System Network in Ontario seeking to eliminate the public funding of religious education.
You can join our online discussion group by sending a blank message to: firstname.lastname@example.org or using the form below.
We hold regular events and meetings. More information can be found in our Meet Up Group
Subscribe to H-PHC
Please download the registration form below or buy a membership online:
By signing up online you are subscribing to an automatically renewing annual membership in HPHC. If you prefer a membership for only ONE year, please use the DONATE tab on the right and include special instructions for the Seller.
Additionally, as Humanist Perspectives are bulk delivered, members selecting that option need to pick up their copies during meetings.
Our brochure in both English and French can also be downloaded below.
We are not a registered charity so cannot issue a tax receipt but donations are gratefully accepted to offset our costs.
You can get a membership for ONE year through Donation - Don't forget to add special instructions to the Seller
- Individual (includes Humanist Perspectives) : $50.00CAD - yearly
- Individual (without Humanist Perspective) : $35.00CAD - yearly
- Family (includes Humanist Perspectives) : $65.00CAD - yearly
- Low Income Individual (No Humanist Perspectives) : $15.00CAD - yearly
- Low Income Family (No Humanist Perspectives) : $25.00CAD - yearly
- Student (No Humanist Perspectives) : $10.00CAD - yearly