Wildrose has a choice to make. Will it be the right one?

With the Wildrose AGM behind us, and the secretary of the party making public tweets and calling members “kooks, cranks, socons & morons,” we are now going to be faced with a tough decision in the legislature. Enter Laurie Blakeman’s Bill 202.

Bill 202 is a new iteration of Kent Hehr’s Bill 503 brought forward in the last legislative session. At the forefront of the bill is the forced creation of GSA’s (Gay-Straight Alliances) in all Alberta schools. Hehr was attempting a social experiment, utilizing Alberta’s children as his test rats. Hehr went so far as to say, “I’m not worried about people’s religious values,” as part of his defense of his social experiment. Well, I am not concerned with his lack of concern with our religious values. He makes perfectly clear what I have been saying all along, the social policy of the Liberals is to remove my right to have religious values in order for them to forward their secularist agenda, and force it down our children’s throats. Sounds like the days of the state programming of “young communists” in the former USSR.

Fortunately Hehr’s motion 503 wound up in the trash where it belonged. Hopefully, unless there are changes in Blakeman’s bill it will end up in the same trash receptacle.

Any bill brought by any party asking for section 11.1(I) of the Alberta Human Rights Act to be repealed should be immediately and precisely voted down.

Alberta Human Rights Act:1

Notice to Parent or Guardian

11.1(I) A board as defined in the School Act shall provide notice to a parent or guardian of a student where course of study, educational programs or instructional material, or instruction or exercises, prescribed under the Act include subject-matter that deals primarily and explicitly with religion, human sexuality or sexual orientation.

The Liberals, great proponents of the Human Rights Act, seem to have no problem, at any time, asking for the act to be changed specifically to suit their needs, and always to the detriment of social conservatives, or parents who want to have the last say in the education and moral teaching of the children.

Blakeman’s argument is having Section 11.1(I) of the Human Rights Act in play makes it unsafe for kids to be Gay.  Is she on drugs?  Allowing parents to have the ultimate say in what their children learn in school does not, as Ms. Blakeman would want us to believe, make it unsafe for a child to be gay.  I don’t get how she draws a line from Parental rights to gay kids’ safety.

Teaching tolerance or acceptance of ALL, regardless of differences in religions, culture, sexual orientation, or gender is perfectly acceptable.  It is not the job of the school to get into the meat and potatoes of sexual orientation.  If I were a gay kid, not ready to come out, I would be so devastated by Ms. Blakeman’s lack of concern for my feelings.  The Liberal members seem to think that tolerance is a one way street.  There are parents who do not want their kids being taught that what their bible says is false.  There are parents who may want to teach their children their own moral and social beliefs.  Ms. Blakeman has no business taking that away from them.

There will always be haters.  There will always be bigots.  This law will not change that.  I don’t find anything wrong with schools being permitted to have GSA’s.  I don’t have a problem with it being mandatory for a PUBLIC school to have to provide space for the clubs, if the kids ask for it.  I do have a problem with schools whose belief systems are not based in secularism are to be forced to have the clubs.

From a legislative point of view, it is impossible for the Wildrose Party MLA’s to vote for any bill that removes a Parent’s right to choose.  One of the party’s flagship promises to Albertans has been to protect the rights of parents to choose where their children are educated, and to have the ability to opt-out of any curriculum that involves discussion of religion, sexuality and sexual orientation.  To now vote to pass a bill that includes the removal of Section 11.1(I) from the Human Rights Act, would be tantamount to alienating the very principles they have been advocating for since the inception of the party.

Rob Anderson, MLA for Airdire worked extremely hard to fight Bill 44, and Bill 3, ensuring parental rights in education.  Now that the Liberal member intends to strip parents of these rights, how could any Wildrose MLA slap the members, and Mr. Anderson in the face, by supporting any bill that in anyway takes away from those Parental rights?

Wildrose MLA’s must stick to their original stance of protecting Parents’ right to choose.  They must continue to be parents’ voices in the legislature.  To move away from this would be to alienate a vast number of their constituent base.

Wildrose Party Policy:2

Educational Choice

  • Eliminate mandatory school fees in the public, separate, and public charter school systems
  • Protect a parent’s right to choose that school their child attends (public, Catholic, charter, private or homeschool) and maintain the current Alberta government school funding model
  • Recognize the social and economic importance of keeping schools open in smaller urban nd rural Alberta communities, and better fund the costs associated with them
  • Provide schools with more flexibility and resources to provide specialized courses and curriculum in the trades, financial literacy, science, languages, arts, music and entrepreneurship including university and college level classes for advanced students
  • Expand the model established by Olds College, and local more community colleges and high schools on the same site, allowing students to receive joint credit toward both a high school diploma and a certificate in the trades simultaneously.

All this aside, this writer is prepared to support Bill 202.  What?  How?  Why?

Look at my blog descriptor:  “Thoughts of a moderate socon”  This pretty much says it all.  I support the human rights and equality of All people.  So long as something doesn’t directly affect me, live and let live.

LGBTQ kids really have no impact on me.  They exist, I exist.  If they want to have their clubs, that’s fine.  This is something that isn’t going to go away.  I accept that.  I also do not believe anyone should be treated with intolerance, disrespect or hatred because of their sexuality.  My question is, how does removing a parent’s paramount right to be the decision maker, when it comes to schools attended, or curricula studied by their children help remove intolerance or hatred?

Blakeman’s Bill 202:3

Bill 202, the Safe and Inclusive School Act, is aimed at making all Alberta schools safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environments for every student regardless of sexuality, sexual orientation, or gender identity by:

  • Requiring all school boards to develop policies to support students who want to lead and establish gay-straight alliance activities and organizations.
  • Repealing section 11.1 of the Alberta Human Rights Act, which requires a parent or guardian be notified if sexual orientation will be discussed in the classroom.
  • Referencing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act in Alberta’s Education Act.

Alberta Liberals have pledged to keep fighting until all LGBTQ students feel safe at school.

There are true bigots out there.  There are true haters out there.  There are people who, regardless of legislation are going to teach their children intolerance and hate.  Legislating away the rights of the rest of us is not going to change this.  Did the long gun registry change the fact that criminals rob and kill with guns?

I fear the Liberal party is moving in stages.  If they are able to remove this section of the act, what section will be next?  Will they ask that religious freedoms be removed?  Will they ask that conscience rights be removed?  It will be a never ending process whereby all rights are stripped from anyone who doesn’t sing the praises of the secular masses, bowing at their feet, and kissing their rings.

I don’t remember, when ISCF (Inter-School Christian Fellowship) groups started up, that there was anyone demanding a change to the human rights act in Canada, or Ontario.  GSA’s are a club.  Let the kids have their club.  Of course this should only be in Public schools and private or charter schools who’s codes of conduct allow for said clubs.  I have no problem with FULLY publicly funded schools being required to allow a club if the students ask for it.  Not a bit.  But what on earth does this do with taking away a parent’s right to decide what their children are exposed to in the classroom.  A club is not a mandatory part of school  No child is forced to join a club.  On the other hand, attending classes is required.  Parents should have the paramount right to decide if their children be exposed to OFFICIAL teaching on matters of religion, sexuality and sexual orientation, period.  If a parent doesn’t want their child to join a club, that is between the parent and the child, and the government has no business interfering.   Educators are educators, not co-parents.  The government needs to get their noses out of the relationship.  Provide the funding and other resources and STOP social engineering projects at the expense of our children.

This author encourages the Wildrose MLA’s to support this bill, as far as it opens the door for these kids to have their clubs.  I encourage them to FIGHT Ms. Blakeman’s attempt to remove parental rights from the Human Rights Act.  If parental rights mean anything to the Wildrose Party MLA’s, this bill, without the removal of the attack on Section 11.1(I) of the Human Rights Act, should be voted down.

Remove the Repealing of section 11.1(I) of the Alberta Human Rights Act and I will get on board supporting this Bill.

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  1. Alberta Human Rights Act , Current to 5/27/2013 []
  2. Wildrose.ca []
  3. Blakeman’s Bill 202 will make schools safer and more inclusive – Alberta Liberal Opposition Website []

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