Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hancock Steps Up to the Plate to Defer Bill 44 to Avoid Disaster for Teachers

Terrific developments on the Bill 44 fiasco. Looks like Minister Dave Hancock has asked Minister Lindsay Blackett to delay proclamation of the offensive sections that are part of the Alberta Human Rights Act. Hat tip to Chris Labossiere for bring this to my attention.

We need progressive voices in the PROGRESSIVE Conservative party to take back their place in the party. Progressive party members and MLAs need to promote socially progressive and fiscal conservative ideals that are at the heart of the party.

Failing to do this leaves the Alberta Progressive Conaservative Party vulnerable to the same fate as the federal PC party - takeover by the Reform/Alliance social conservatives.

This action by Hancock to delay proclamation is a practical reality to ensure that the efforts to make this "law" effective and enforceable. The language in the new act now is the usual wishy-washy weasel words used by politicians when they try to skirt around the hard job of trading off one competing principle for another.

It is this poor legislative drafting and fuzzy policy process that force judges to "make law" in their decisions. That is the job but the judiciary but they often have to exercise their power of interpretation because the politicians do a substandard job of drafting a clear law in the first place.

So good for Hancock. Here's to Blackett to do the right thing and leave this ill conceived laws in limbo and then to press for its repeal in the fall session.


  1. Anonymous11:14 pm

    I can't believe Liberal David Hancock for stepping in where he has no business. Our children will be harmed unless Bill 44 comes in now. I called Rob Anderson my MLA to talk about my disgust on this delay.

  2. Anon @11:14 - I can't believe we still have this kind of unsubstantiated inanity passing off as sound public policy and commentary...and the fact it comes from an anonymous coward is even more galling.

    Come out from under your rock and be prepared to stand up for your comments publically as is your right. Them more you hide and hit and run with such stupidity just undermines the crecibility of the things you stand for.

    Hancock is a life long Alberta Progressive Conservative. Quit lying about him.

    He is Minister of Education and Bill44 goes right to the heart of the public school system. It is about curriculum, teaching methods and our social responsibility to children. It is his business. To say otherwise displays astonishing ignorance about Bill 44. Read it before you comment next time.

    No children will be harmed in Alberta by being taught about inclusion, tolerance, social justice, appreciating differences in faiths and sexual orientation.

    As for human sexuality, so long as parents do their job of teaching this important part of being human to their children, the schools need not pick up the slack.

    If parents don't do their job teaching their children well about human sexuality, their children still need to know about it and the school system has to pick up the slack.

    Do your job as a parent and all will be well. Let your kids down by promoting ignorance and lies aobut sexulatiy and you are the one harming your child.

  3. Well put Ken. People need to quit sticking their heads in the sand and deal with the reality our children face. Educating them is essential, after all one day they will be faced with it. I have three children I hope I have taught proper, I hope where I lack intelligent people can pick up the slack. I have intolerance on some of the issues, but I try to teach them to use their own mind. Confirmation by someone they trust can't be all that bad.

  4. A Christian12:36 pm

    I am am evangelical Christian and used to buy into the idea that Alberta's Christian faith and traditions was under threat requiring laws to protect them. When I try to comprehend Bill 44 and its concenquences I realized that I needed to focus on my responsibility to teach my kids the faith and values I want them to know, and not avoid them through government legislating difficult questions away that I as a parent must answer.

  5. Anonymous5:51 pm

    The Alberta PC party has definitely been moving closer to the Reform/Alliance ideology the last few years. This is a good development for the party. Look at the federal party in Alberta - they get almost double the votes than the provincial party. Clearly that's where Albertans want the province to go.

  6. George1:05 pm

    Bill 44 with this Section 11.1 parental opt-out clause is a Pandora's Box that hopefully will never be opened (by being made law). It would be like trying to unscramble an egg. Albertans have been given more time to demonstrate to our government that this is a mistake and must never see the light of day. The ideas and concepts it purports to protect defy concrete definitions. It would be like removing the actual limit of 110 km/h on a highway, but still telling people to not speed. At what speed are you then speeding? Who decides?

    If the School Act already provides the means for parents to exclude their kids from classes for certain reasons, then leave it at that. I find it hard to believe that any reasonable teacher would currently want to offend parents by not respecting the rules in place right now. Having the threat of being dragged before a human rights tribunal in no way benefits the teaching profession or education in this province.

  7. It is time to repeal Section 9 (the optong out provisions from Bill44) not to appease and then promote institutionalized legalized ignorance.

  8. Anonymous5:40 pm

    Not having the opt out clause only benefits narrow-minded teachers and the unions that they serve. Education is about students and parental rights first. Teachers need to serve them, not the other way around.

  9. Anon @ 5:40 - How on earth do you come to that conclusion. Not allowing disucssion about religion, sexual orientation and yes human sexuality in our public education system is narrowminded, bigoted and discriminatory - not to mention downright dangerous to social cohesion, creating thinking citizens and keeping kids safe.

    YOU have some obvious convictions so tell us who you are so we can give them some credibility. With this comment you just sound ignorant. Please explain yourself and identify yourself. Otherwis quite wasting our time.

  10. Anonymous11:43 pm

    I agree with Anon @ 5:40. Ken @ 6:11 is wrong. Children are going to be harmed by teachers unions and teachers. Of course they should be brought before the human rights commission if they disobey the law. In fact so should ministers who use bloggers as puppets.

  11. Thx for the comment Anon @11:43. Again like your cohorts, you make unsubstantiated and out of context comments. Teachers are not immune from the rule of law but the Human Rights Commission is not the place to settle those legal matters. Courts are for that.

    The question here is do we need Section 9 opting out provisions of the Alberta HRA when the matter was being handled effectively for 20 years in the School Act.

    You can't change the channel on this with shallow statements of the obvious that do not relate to the core issue. Try and keep up with the conversation.

    Give us your name too so we can get you some help in focusing and concentrating on the real issues instead of wandering off into some irrelevancies.

  12. Rob B9:58 pm

    I'm a little late arriving at this discussion, but I think that people claiming 'harm to children' have to assume the burden of proof. The cheapest political shot is to say that the other side "threatens children," and it happens so often in politics that my friends and I now burst out laughing if someone says "Won't someone think of the children?"

    Further, I'd like to ask some commenters here why they are just assuming "parental rights" in every question involving your child, and why they are asserting those rights in the gestures of censorship. You find this peculiar assumption in the States, where you now find parents wanting to withdraw their students from hearing a non-political speech by President Obama because they don't want their kids "exposed" to "socialist speech." This is holding politicians too literally to the assumption that parents must be the "ultimate gatekeepers" of information for their children.

    I think A Christian's attitude is bang-on: "When I try to comprehend Bill 44 and its concenquences I realized that I needed to focus on my responsibility to teach my kids the faith and values I want them to know, and not avoid them through government legislating difficult questions away that I as a parent must answer."

    A Christian's still being a gatekeeper, but guess what? He or she is taking up the more realistic task of framing existing information, rather than the impossible task of restricting information. Through discussion with your kids, rather than censorship, I think you also arrive a very pleasing result: you convey your values as a parent, and at the same time, you don't stunt your kid.