Friday, August 14, 2009

What's the Hold up - Proclaim Bill 44 Amendments into Law NOW!

So we are getting some Ministerial musings about the timing of the proclamation of the "new" Alberta Human Rights Act. We are hearing it is set for this October or November, well after school starts and up to 6 months after the new Act was passed.

I can't see any reason to not proclaim it now and lets get this litigation circus and abuse of teachers going right off the bat when school starts in September.

Surely this law was well enough thought out in the first place that all they have to do is proclaim it and get on with it. Or, is it the case that "the powers that be" don't have a frigging clue about what the real implications of this law will be and it is now just starting to sink in?

Could it be that there are wiser minds and some bigger brains in the back rooms of provincial power are having a serious second thought? Is Cabinet getting cold feet about proclaiming the opting out provisions in Section 9 of the new law? I don't think so.

This ill-conceived law was rammed through with a reckless "damn the torpedoes" attitude in a show of pure and raw political power at play. Nothing has changed in the meantime and to retreat from a folly is never seen as preferred political option.

Besides isn't the strategic political plan to just get past this public rage over Bill 44 so it will be forgotten by the next election. Further delay just gives more time for more events to happen that would just rekindle the public rage. I see nothing to indicate that the government has all of a sudden had an epiphany and received some enlightenment and would now decide to repeal Section 9 "opting out" provisions instead. That would be good government. It just seems too late for our policy makers and law makers to choose that good government road. Sadly , it is road that is much less travelled by in Alberta these days.

If this horrendous law is as benign as the government assures us, what's the hold up? Cabinet makes the proclamation and it meets in the summer. School starts in a few weeks. Give teachers, trustees and parents some certainty (sic) and proclaim the damn law now and lets see what happens sooner than later.


  1. I will be at the first witch hunt tribunals with an "I told you so" look on my face!!

  2. Its frustrating to see that mistakes made publicly are being poorly covered. Clearly everyone in the AB gov't sees the irresponsibility of elected officials to Albertans which is reflected in this legislation.

    I want to see the PC member's public reaction to their elected party members decision. I am spurred on by Chris LeBossiere's tweets about his local PC working on changes to Bill 44. More of this transparent work is need in our one party Albertan system.

  3. Anonymous10:36 am

    Yes. "I told you so" being that Bill 44 is a victory for parents, children, and education. I agree. Proclaim it now. I was going to take out a wild rose membership until this legislation was introduced.

  4. "Besides isn't the strategic political plan to just get past this public rage over Bill 44 so it will be forgotten by the next election"

    I think that's your answer right there. If history has taught us nothing else, Alberta has a horrendously short memory when it comes to issues like this. They flare up, and are forgotten 2 - 3 months down the road.

  5. "I was going to take out a wild rose membership until this legislation was introduced."

    Well you may have made the right decision about which party is the best fit for you because the frontrunner for the Wildrose Alliance leadership, Danielle Smith, agrees with the Sheldon Chumir Foundation re Bill 44 in both opposing the parental rights amendment (see SEE magazine, July 30) and protesting the bill's failure to eliminate the threat to free expression presented by s. 3 of HRCMA.

    That said, do you realize that the PC Party is playing you? How is it that you should be in the same party as Ken Chapman, who could not disagree with you more strenuously on this point? You may wish to investigate whether the leadership of the Alberta PC Party is not, in fact, just cynically throwing out a bone to various constituencies to keep them onside while not taking the concerns of ANY of them truly to heart.

  6. Good points on all counts Brian. I have exchanged correspondence with Danielle Smith and have read her policy papers. I don't know if she is a front runner in the WAP but she sure is a social progressive on these points.

    I also have heard from other sources, who I know and respect, but I also consider to be reactionary social conservatives. They are outside the legislature and tell me they didn't want the opting out teacher persecuting provisions either. As one said the Christian fundamental elements left the public school system long ago.

    They don't know where the political motivation for that additional set of provisions came from.

    They, like me, also agreed with the Sheldon Chumir Foundation elimination of hate speech from human rights legislation. They, like me, don't understand why that consensus recommendation was politically ignored by the PC Party.

    We will likely disagree on lots of issues Brian but not on these.

  7. Dunkler - I would agree with you historically. Now we have the internet and networked communities. We have active and organized citizens who are on social media with access to search engines and who link to blogs that do not disappear like tv, radio or newspaper stories.

    It is hard to expunge the social media record on the Internet and to disband a Facebook Group with 11,000 members who oppose Bill44.

  8. Ken:

    I have to think that a delay into November will allow them to rebiew or at least reflect this thing at the AGM. I have no doubt that the Cabinet has heard the rumblings of the province, and perhaps they are wishing this woudl simply go away.

    Perhaps our Whitemud Resolution will get some legs? I know that I will be at the AGM fighting for this to be heard, even if I am pissing into the proverbial wind.

  9. Anonymous6:57 pm

    Good on you Ken for expressing your passion about this subject, and not comming up with a mechanical post on this topic.

  10. I agree with you regarding Bill 44, and I came here to post largely what Chris did. It certainly looks like this otherwise pointless delay is intended to provide the opportunity to air the matter before the party at the AGM. Perhaps the hope is for a resolution in support of it before the bill is proclaimed into law?

  11. Anonymous5:27 pm

    I am sure all is waiting for the PC AGM but I beleive it is to delay the enactment of the Bill until afterwards. As you have already indicated in previous entries Ken, the PC Brass are quietly concerned about the Leadership review so they may not want to upset the applecart too much until after that. The saving Grace is that this government has already demostrated that it will buckle under public pressure. Its kinda like "reverse public consultation".

    I wait anxiously for the review in November to see the strength of the party or the short term memory of the candidates. I hope that all PC delegates send a respectful message to the PC Brass and remind them where their support base is!!!!

    WAP just keeps looking better and better every day-The results of the November PC AGM will go a long way and helping me make my mind up-Should I stay or should I go!!!!

    30 Year Card Carrying PC Member

  12. Anonymous11:57 pm

    Actually, Brian Dell, if anyone is being played it's well intentioned people like Ken Chapman - in thinking that the best home for him is the PC Party. It is a right wing party and ideas like his, which I admire, are better represented in the Liberals or the NDP. The party is moving further and further to the right. The true place for a more progressive voice isn't in this party at all.

  13. Anonymous10:51 pm

    Ok, maybe it is just late at night. But

    "If this horrendous law is as beguine as the government assures us, what's the hold up?"

    I thought beguine was a ballroom dance - as in begin the beguine - by Cole Porter.

    What does that sentence mean?

    Or am I missing something?

  14. Could be benign - meaning - Having little or no detrimental effect.

    Funny spellchecks can do that.

  15. Thx David for the correction - I will revise the post - spellcheck also needs a human cheque er I mean Chek ;-)