Centre for Inquiry Canada
|Type||Non-Profit Educational Organization|
|Key people||Current:Justin Trottier
Former: Pam Walls, Derek Pert, John Xu, Katie Kish
|Focus||Public understanding of science, secular ethics, skepticism|
|Method||Research, education, outreach, and advocacy|
The Centre for Inquiry (CFI) is a non-profit educational organization with headquarters in Toronto, Canada whose primary mission is to promote and advance the causes of reason, science, secularism and freedom of inquiry in Canadian Society. It is the Canadian branch of CFI transnational.
CFI Canada is the Canadian branch of CFI transnational, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Originally established and supported in part by CFI Transnational, CFI Canada has become an independent Canadian national organization with several provincial branches. Justin Trottier served as executive director from 2007 to 2011, when he was dismissed by the CFI Canada board. Michael Payton currently serves as executive director.
 Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism (CASS)
The Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism (CASS) is, science-focused working group of CFI Canada, acting as a national Canadian science advisory group that encourages evidence-based inquiry into scientific, medical, technological and paranormal claims using scientific scepticism. CASS conducts research, provides educational programs in schools, and publishes papers on a variety of scientific topics in a proactive approach to public outreach, and also acts reactively to non-evidence based scientific, medical, and paranormal claims in public discourse.
CASS was formed in 2010 as a working group of CFI Canada to act as point of contact for science outreach for the organization. The committee is a volunteer driven panel of experts and enthusiasts. CASS is run by two co-chairs, with one chair currently held by Iain Martel, a University of Toronto contract lecturer with a background in the metaphysics of physics, and one chair currently vacant after the departure of Michael Kruse, a contributor to Skeptic North with a background in health, in late 2011.
 Campaigns and outreach activities
CFI Chapters host a public education series across the country featuring leading academics, scientists, authors, performers and artists. National campaigns on relevant themes are also a key focus for the organization's activities.
 Extraordinary Claims
The Extraordinary Claims Campaign is series of advertisements developed in 2010 based on the Carl Sagan quote "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". It is designed to be a follow up to the Freethought Association of Canada's Atheist Bus Campaign in 2009. The ads will feature a list of "extraordinary claims" on topics of pseudoscience, religion, and alternative medicine, including Allah, Christ, Bigfoot, Chiropractic, and many more. The campaign also focused on public education, running a series of events and publishing articles throughout the campaign that explored each extraordinary claim in more detail. The Campaign received coverage in The National Post, The Toronto Star. As 2011, no ads have been put up.
CASS takes part in the annual 10:23 campaign, an international campaign aimed at raising awareness about what homeopathy is with the slogan: "There's nothing in it." In cities around the world, individuals get together to take an 'overdose' of homeopathic pills to highlight their dilution and ineffectuality. In 2011, members of CASS in Vancouver were featured taking their overdose on a CBC Marketplace episode dedicated to homeopathy called: "Cure or Con?"
In March 2011, CASS sent an official complaint to The Honourable Deb Mathews, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, to express concern over a move in the province of Ontario to create a college of homeopaths as a regulated health profession. Key demands have been to ensure that the term "doctor" remain and be enforced as a protected term and to ensure public health safety with particular reference to the promotion of homeopathic vaccines.
 Public education and events
During the Canadian federal election in 2011, CASS sent questionnaires asking candidates their position on public health as it relates to homeopaths and alternative medicine practitioners, scientific integrity and political influence, climate change, and critical thinking education. Responses received were posted publicly.
In the summer of 2011, CASS sent a team of four members to speak on a variety of skeptical science topics at Polaris 25 in Toronto. The panel was the first of its kind at a Canadian science fiction conference and was modelled after Skeptrack at DragonCon in Atlanta.
 Affiliate organizations
- "About". Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- "Ditching God". www.nationalpost.com. 2007-07-23. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- "Letter from the Board" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- "CFI National Director Announced". canadianatheist.com.
- "Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism | Centre for Inquiry". Cficanada.ca. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- "Skeptics plan to bring controversial atheist ads to Calgary buses". Globaltvcalgary.com. 2010-12-02. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
- "Encyclopaedia Galactica". Carl Sagan (writer/host).Cosmos. PBS. December 14, 1980. No. 12. 01:24 minutes in.
- "Extraordinary Claims". Extraordinary Claims. 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- "Kelly McParland: Atheists’ only faith is in not having faith | Full Comment | National Post". Fullcomment.nationalpost.com. 2010-12-03. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- "New bus ads to take on Bigfoot, Christ". The Star (Toronto). 2010-12-07.
- "Homeopathy: there's nothing in it | The 10:23 Campaign | #ten23". 1023.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- "Cure or Con?". CBC News.
- IFRS Learning says: (2011-06-25). "Skeptical Track at Polaris 25 « Critical Thinking « Skeptic North". Skepticnorth.com. Retrieved 2012-06-18.