The Leap Manifesto

The Leap Manifesto – Canada’s Need To Change Course

Presenter: Barrie Webster

October, 2015

The Leap Manifesto is a bold statement about the need for Canada to change course. Naomi Klein and associates have released the Leap Manifesto (please read):

Interestingly, the Manifesto (yes, that’s a perfectly respectable word for a statement of principle) reflects much of what came out of the cross-Canada Man and Resources Program consultative process carried out in 1972-1973 by the Pierre Trudeau government. The solutions have been quite clear for more than 40 years. The report from that process was shelved at that time for much the same reasons being offered now in opposition to the recommendations made in the Manifesto. But the opportunity to change course is arguably even more important to consider now than it was in the early 1970s.

Not radical, says The Guardian, but “…a way out of Canada’s head-in-the-sand policy.”

Panned (and quoted out of context) by the Canadian corporate press

But the Toronto Sun gives it grudging support but pans those well-to-do celebrities who speak for Canada but don’t live here. Look at the comments, too.

It is backed by the Council of Canadians. So, does the Leap Manifesto fit with our Humanist principles? Have a look. Here, for example is The Victoria Secular Humanist Association Declaration of Principles (note number xii below):

(i) Humanism aims at the fullest development of every human being.

(ii) It strives towards the broadest application of democratic principles in all human relationships.

(iii) It advocates the use of the scientific method as a guide to distinguish between fact and fiction, and wishes to see technology used creatively not destructively.

(iv) Humanism affirms the dignity of humanity and the right of the individual to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others.

(v) It acknowledges interdependence, the need for mutual respect, and believes in the community of feeling between all people and the interrelationship of all living things.

(vi) It calls for continuous improvement of society so that no person be deprived of the basic necessities of life and for institutions and conditions that will provide every person with opportunities to develop their full human potential.

(vii) It calls for the development, support and refinement of fundamental human freedoms such as freedom of speech and expression, freedom of conscience, freedom of association, of electing representative governments, of separation of state and religion, equality of opportunity and justice regardless of colour, creed, ethnic origin, language, gender or sexual orientation.

(viii) It calls for peaceful resolutions of conflicts between individuals, communities, nations or blocs.

(ix) Humanist ethics accepts no outside absolute standards; encourages development of the positive potentialities in human nature; and approves conduct based on a sense of responsibility to ones-self and others.

(x) Humanism affirms that freedom from religion is as much a basic right as freedom of religion.

(xi) Humanists affirm that individual and social problems be resolved by means of human reason, intelligent effort, critical thinking joined with compassion, and empathy for all living beings

(xii) Humanists affirm that human beings are completely a part of nature, and that our survival is dependent upon a healthy planet which provides us and all other forms of life with a life-supporting environment.