Title Excerpt Author Date Total Comments Recent Comment
Debating Imam prayers in public schools with Sun TV Ezra Levant, plus IVF debate on AM640 Radio   Yesterday afternoon I joined Raheel Raza, Muslim Canadian journalist, author,  public speaker, media consultant, anti-racism activist, and interfaith coordinator, on Sun TV News’ The Source with Ezra Levant. Levant is a polarizing figure you either love or hate. He’s well known for his book Shakedown,  which documents the censorship… Justin B. Trottier 08/10/11 1 08/11/11
Video posted: Secret Footage of “Faith Healer” Peter Popoff in Toronto last month The story of James Randi exposing Peter Popoff, the faith healer fraud and con artist (that’s exactly the section in which Wikipedia appropriately placed him!), is now legendary. So when we were approached by a secret source who had gotten 4 invitation only tickets to an event in Toronto, we… Justin B. Trottier 06/08/11 2 06/10/11
Ontario’s Catholic School System Unfair but “Works”. Oh really? Toronto Sun reporter Moira MacDonald interviewed me and other leaders of member groups of the One School System Network on our conference to defund tax-payer funded catholic schools in Ontario.  She reported on it in a Sunday column: “Catholic School Debate Too Spicy for Politicians”.  She quotes from me as… Justin B. Trottier 05/30/11 1 05/31/11
Canadian Secularists Send Questions to Party Offices The following letter was sent to the national party offices for the Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Green and Bloc Quebecois Parties.  PDF version Responses will be provided on our website here. Please feel free to use this document in its entirety or by choosing specific questions for local use, but we… Justin B. Trottier 04/21/11 0
Kevin Smith:  Attending a Catholic School Board meeting I’m happy to post remarks from friend and colleague Kevin Smith on his fight to defend gay high school activists who have had their “Gay Straight Alliance” club banned at Ontario publicly funded Catholic high schools.  We’ll be posting coverage of this issue on our youtube channel for those interested,… Justin B. Trottier 04/14/11 0
Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing: A Visit to the Body, Soul & Spirit “Alternative Thought” Expo It’s the Holy Trinity. Within the last year, I’ve completed the Holy Trinity of the new age, alternative medicine and holism expos in Toronto.  First, I attended the Total Health Show and reported my findings with friend Michael Payton in commentary that appeared on the National Post (”If it talks… Justin B. Trottier 03/30/11 1 03/30/11
Another Crazy Night at the Spiritualist Church! Following up on an interesting trip to the Britten Memorial Spiritualist Church that I reported about a month ago, this time we returned in force!  Five of the regular members of the Centre for Inquiry’s Living Without Religion meetup group decided to see what all the fuss was about (5… Justin B. Trottier 03/21/11 2 03/31/11
A Skeptic Visits a Spiritualist Church (and hears from his dead great aunt) If you’re interested in the kind communication with the spirit world you see on TV shows like Crossing Over with John Edward, I have a place for you in Toronto! And it’s free (small donation to the church not withstanding). This weekend I visited the   Britten Memorial Spiritualist Church… Justin B. Trottier 02/23/11 2 03/03/11
Elton John Too Gay for Grocery Store+ ReligiousRight Calls Canadian Justice Plan non-Evidence Based! This week I debated Scott Mason, Associate Pastor of Westminster Chapel, on the John Oakley Show, “Culture Wars” on AM640. john-oakley-show-culture-wars-feb1-2011 While we ended up spending the entire period debating the involvement of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) in advising the Ministry of Education on their new Equity policy,… Justin B. Trottier 02/04/11 0
Anti-Gay Activist Charles McVety: Extraordinary Claims Campaign “hateful” This morning at an hour that I much prefer to be sleeping through Gretta Vosper of the   Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity and I faced off against Evangelical Christian Reverend Charles McVety on the topic of the   Extraordinary Claims Campaign (“Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence: Allah * Bigfoot*… Justin B. Trottier 12/07/10 1 12/08/10
Skeptics Harassed & Threatened with Violence @ Whole Life Expo for Alt Med by Organizers & Workers On Sunday November 28 between 10:00 am and 1:00pm about 20 members of the Centre for Inquiry, the Skeptics North blog and the Association for Science and Reason attended the Whole Life Expo 2010, an Alternative Medicine fair, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  The following are the events that… Justin B. Trottier 11/29/10 22 12/04/10
Religion Is a Force for a Good Education? Hitchens/Blair Debate in Toronto Motivates Some Reflection As thousands of people watch   Christopher Hitchens and Tony Blair debate “Religion is a force for good in the world” here in Toronto tonight (and many more follow online or at public screenings like the ones we’re hosting in Toronto, Calgary and elsewhere), I’m reflecting on one of my… Justin B. Trottier 11/26/10 1 11/27/10
What is Skepticism?  Series of 4 articles clarify misconceptions about the skeptical enterprise What is Skepticism?   Convinced that this very basic question was poorly understood by the public and plagued by countless misunderstandings and confusions,   CFI Canada’s Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism (CASS) undertook to clarify four key issues as part of “What is Skepticism?”, a series of articles authored… Justin B. Trottier 11/02/10 0
Atheist Know a Thing or Two About Religion, so Settle Down Benedict! Thank god only the Pope has the power of infallibility - and not just any average catholic!  As has been discussed on this     blog   a couple of times, a recent Pew survey shows that atheists and agnostics - along with Jews and Mormons - seem to know… Justin B. Trottier 09/30/10 4 10/28/10
The Armageddon Comes to Ottawa While the role of the conservative Christian evangelical movement in shaping politics is generally considered far less pronounced in Canada than the US, that traditional view is being seriously called into question by journalist Marci McDonald who, in her highly controversial book “   The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of… Justin B. Trottier 08/21/10 2 08/24/10
BC’s provincial slogan - “Super, Natural” - should now be changed to to “Superstitious” While the slogan for Canada’s beautiful British Columbia is “Super, Natural”, I doubt they had in mind by that the desire to welcome just any sort of pseudoscience and superstition-promoting quack.  Yet that is the impression that the last few months might give you.  In that time BC has played… Justin B. Trottier 08/09/10 0
CFI’s Skeptics Get Naturopaths to Disown Homeopathy, Reiki & Energy Therapy on TV While I don’t usually get the warmest welcome defending atheism on the religious program the Michael Coren Show, yesterday my nemesis Coren was possibly even harder on a couple of naturopaths that he had on as part of a show on Alternative Medicine that we had in fact recommended to… Justin B. Trottier 06/23/10 0
Canadian University Faith Centre Recongizes Atheists, Promotes Doubt Recently I picked up a copy of the pamphlet for the University of Toronto Multifaith Centre entitled "Spiritual Life on Campus".  As usual with such literature, I prepared for substantial eye rolling.  But I was pleasantly surprised.  The pamphlet included many statements that show that the involvement by CFI and… Justin B. Trottier 06/06/10 1 06/07/10
Wishful Thinking Will Not Grant Good Health. Details on Deepak Chopra's "quantum mysticism" talk in Vancouver and the organized response are provided on the blog Crommunist Manifesto The following media release was circulated late last week: The Centre for Inquiry Vancouver (CFI), is urging skeptics and freethinkers to take a stand on the promotion of ill conceived and… Justin B. Trottier 06/05/10 2 06/05/10
Open Letter to the Royal Ontario Museum:  Inviting “Quantum Mystic” Deepak Chopra Was a Big Mistake! The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto is sponsoring an evening with "quantum mystic" Deepak Chopra.  An open letter is being circulated.  Please sign it at http://ap.io/cfi/chopra/ .  E-mail me with any questions (justin.trottier@gmail.com).  See Larry Moran's blog post for more details.  The idea is to collect as many signatures, especially… Justin B. Trottier 05/22/10 6 05/25/10
Keep Chiropractors Away From Children Recent articles published by a variety of Canadian newspapers have promoted chiropractic treatments for children suffering from colic, ear infections, and digestive problems.  These include a Canadian Press piece " Chiropractors treat infants: Gentle touch is key when taking care of babies " as well as an editorial in the… Justin B. Trottier 05/18/10 15 06/06/10
Do Atheists Care Less?  Yes, says MacLean’s Magazine MacLean's, one of Canada's most read magazines (Americans may be familiar with it as the publication that was hauled before the Human Rights Commissions after Mark Steyn wrote his piece "The Future Belongs to Islam"), recently published a piece entitled "Do Atheists Care Less?" in which the editors superficially copied two… Justin B. Trottier 05/07/10 12 05/13/10
Simon Singh, Chriopractics, Libel Reform and the Canadian Situation The following is from a statement drafted by colleague Iain Martel at CFI's Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism:   Scientists, skeptics, and free speech activists around the world are breathing a sigh of relief now that the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has dropped its libel suit against renowned science journalist… Justin B. Trottier 04/28/10 0
Homeopathy: Watering Down Mental Health Issues In case you weren't aware of it, we're just wrapping up Homeopathy Awareness Month here in Canada.  CFI Canada's Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism had a front section nearly full page piece in Tuesday's National Post .  Check that out and read this well researched piece by a… Justin B. Trottier 04/22/10 4 04/22/10
Stop “Psychic” Sylvia Browne Has psychic Sylvia Browne aided the police to find a missing person? In the case of the missing girl Opal Jennings, the answer was NO . In the case of the missing boy Sean Hornbeck, the answer was NO . In the case of the missing man Richard Kneebone, the… Justin B. Trottier 04/15/10 4 04/23/10
World Homeopathy Awareness Week 2010: A Celebration with No Substance PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE World Homeopathy Awareness Week 2010: A Celebration with No Substance Toronto, Ont. (Date, 2010)— Starting on April 10, 2010, Homeopaths will be celebrating World Homeopathy Awareness Week in honor of their founder, 17th century homeopath Samuel Hahnemann.  There will be free lectures, discounted visits, homeopathic… Justin B. Trottier 04/06/10 4 05/01/10
Ann Coulter Gets Exactly What She Wanted in Canada It seems Ann Coulter is lying about the police shutting down her talk at the University of Ottawa, having claimed a near riot threatened her security at the venue.  This was reported by Dan Gardner of the Ottawa Citizen , who I am a definite fan of, and then mentioned… Justin B. Trottier 03/25/10 4 03/28/10
University of Toronto Health Fair Brings Everyone but Actual Health Providers Quackery abounds. First on March 7 the Centre for Inquiry's Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism reports on the harsh critique of homeopathy offered by the British Parliament - " Time to Call Time on Homeopathy ."  Within a couple of weeks, coverage by me and my friend Michael… Justin B. Trottier 03/24/10 0
Winnipeg & Federal Government to Fund $5.5 million into Youth for Christ Centre Last week the City of Winnipeg (Manitoba) voted to fund in the amount of $2.5 million a Youth for Christ Community Centre.  This public funding opens the door to a possible stimulus funding of $3 million from the federal government. Christian youth centre gets public funding:  Proposed youth centre likened… Justin B. Trottier 03/15/10 2 03/25/10
CFI’s Day in Church - Audio Recording This Tuesday I reported on CFI's big day in church - CFI Gets the “Calling” to go to Church! (by Kevin Smith, CFI Canada board member)  - to engage in dialogue with the head reverand.  Click here for the audio recording Justin B. Trottier 02/25/10 0
CFI Gets the “Calling” to go to Church! (by Kevin Smith, CFI Canada board member) Sometime ago I reported on CFI Canada Board Member Kevin Smith being featured in the gay newspaper the Toronto Xtra on our Living Without Religion group ( Gaytheism! ).  Now Kevin provides comments on an exciting experience that resulted from that publication:  In response to an article in the gay magazine XTRA about… Justin B. Trottier 02/23/10 2 02/28/10
A belief in science: Dalhousie Atheist Community receives warm coverage, interesting comments follow The Dalhousie University campus newspaper recently ran a piece reporting on the activities of our Dalhousie Atheist Community, and in particular featuring an interview with Derek Rodgers, one of the key leaders of the group.  The end of the piece come across so beautifully it's worth quoting in its entirely:  He… Justin B. Trottier 02/16/10 2 03/16/10
Students raise challenging questions during my high school world religions presentation This week for the fourth time I was invited to give presentations to a high school World Religions course.  About a year ago I reported in Skeptical Inquirer magazine on my first set of presentations in an article entitled " Talking Skepticism to Generation Y ."  I had stated at… Justin B. Trottier 01/23/10 1 01/23/10
CFI’s Broad Mandate: Debating a Christian Canada followed by Major Coverage of Skeptical Programs I thought I'd pass on some links to recent CFI media hits in Canada.  Last Friday I appeared on Strictly Right Radio on a panel arguing whether Canada is a Christian nation and whether we should be.  It’s a web-based political talk show that tackles issues from a conservative point… Justin B. Trottier 01/12/10 0
Atheists and agnostics, stand up and be counted in the 2011 Census!  Currently, most of us are not. In 2001 the Canadian government had its last major census which, among other questions, polled our citizens on their religion.  This is precisely what they asked 22. What is this person’s religion? Indicate a specific denomination or religion even if this person is not currently a practising member of that… Justin B. Trottier 01/08/10 14 01/26/10
A Humanist Reflects on the Meaning of the Holiday Season (Published in Globe and Mail Jan 2008) Originally published in the Globe and Mail Online January 4, 2008 This was part of an online panel that includes jewish, muslim, and christian reps.  To reach each panelist's remarks as well as public comment and Q & A, go here Humanists hold an ambivalence regarding this season.  Like mostly everyone,… Justin B. Trottier 12/22/09 3 12/28/09
Gaytheism!  CFI’s Living Without Religion Group Featured in the Toronto Xtra Newspaper Last week the Centre for Inquiry received an excellent and long coverage of our Living Without Religion Group in the Toronto Xtra, the major gay and lesbian newspaper.  The front page of the paper has the word "Gaytheism!" and the article is titled " Gay without god:  Atheist Kevin Smith… Justin B. Trottier 12/08/09 2 12/15/09
Naturopaths in Ontario granted right to prescribe certain drugs Firstly I'm excited to announce to the Centre for Inquiry community a new blog called Skeptic North which bring together leading bloggers and commentators in the skeptic and critical thinking community of Canada.  And they've already made a name for themselves.  Our friends and allies at  Skeptic North blew the… Justin B. Trottier 12/02/09 2 12/03/09
Creationist Comfort Hits North American Campuses with “Amended” Version of Origin of Species Today is November 24th, 150 years to the day since the publication of Charles Dawin's "On the Origin of Species".  And unfortunately it is also the day when Ray Comfort, who famously referred to the banana as an evolutionist's greatest enemy for its obvious intelligent design as the perfect food… Justin B. Trottier 11/24/09 9 11/27/09
Environmentalism Gets Religious Status Protection in Britain A recent ruling qualifying environmentalism for legal protection as a philosophical position within the British Religion and Belief Regulations raises interesting questions about religious accommodations. While the ruling is correct, it might be indicative we should rethink the accommodation paradigm. Non-religious worldviews ought to be granted equal protection to those… Justin B. Trottier 11/17/09 4 11/21/09
Canadian Monarchy Debate Rekindled:  Should We Dare to Depose Our Foreign Head of State? Yesterday I raised the matter of the continued role of the British monarchy in Canada as a potential church-state separation issue for the Centre for Inquiry. The monarchy debate has been rekindled in part because of an 11 day visit to Canada by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess… Justin B. Trottier 11/10/09 3 11/13/09
An Interview with the Leader of the Swiss Atheist Bus campaign While conducting a series of interviews for the pilot episode of a major upcoming new multimedia project called Think Again! TV, whose mandate is given below, I had the opportunity to interview Claude Frankhauser of the Freethought Association of Switzerland about the Swiss participation in the very global Atheist Bus… Justin B. Trottier 11/03/09 0
Reverend says humanist funerals about money, then pop “in the oven with no hope of resurrection” Apparently secular humanists - rather than Christians - are seeking to make money by promoting a cult of the dead!  At least that's the conclusion reached by Reverend Ed Tomlinson, a Church of England vicar. According to the report in a London Times article Vicar fed up with Tina Turner… Justin B. Trottier 10/27/09 4 11/04/09
My Multicultural Weekend: A Humanist @ World Religions Seminar & Progressive Christian Conference I generally consider myself skeptical about the ultra-tolerance and political correctness run amok that characterizes ideological multiculturalism, especially in Canada where it's practically illegal to criticize another's beliefs.  But I have to admit this past weekend I engaged in productive multicultural dialogue at two conferences I was invited to participate… Justin B. Trottier 10/20/09 0
Blasphemy Day Across Canada: Freedom Party Prez, Satanic Verses Thrown in the trash + much else You were warned: Next week, blasphemy gets its own holiday , declared the Religion News Service. in an advanced feature coverage. Why do the heathens rage? , asked the Christian Post just days before. Free Speech Advocates Rally for Blasphemy went online on the Toronto Star's website the morning of… Justin B. Trottier 10/05/09 4 10/16/09
Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” Good on History, Lost on Science In the months leading up to the release of the new thriller “The Lost Symbol” there seems to have been a general turn away from Dan Brown and a deeper criticism of his writing style. While I admit his prose are extremely simple and his metaphors silly, I remain a… Justin B. Trottier 09/28/09 5 09/29/09
2012: Never Before Have So Many Lies Been Concocted About Such a Random Date It’s nice when Hollywood blockbusters make some attempt to get people excited about ancient civilizations or science, but couldn’t they avoid getting it all utterly wrong at least some of the time?  I won’t dwell on it in this post but “Knowing” with Nicholas Cage is one good example where… Justin B. Trottier 09/10/09 3 09/17/09