Political Update - December 1, 2018

Here is your political update for the week of November 25th to December 1st. I may move this to a newsletter format going forward, available to those outside of the Roots group, as I've received interest to copy this elsewhere as well.

Bill 24 Legal Battle THIS MONDAY

This is the big one in the hearts and minds of Alberta parents this year. On Monday, December 3rd, the JCCF will be fighting in the Court of Appeal in downtown Calgary (TransCanada Pipelines Tower, 26th Floor, 8:30am) to have this bill stayed. Some members from AHEA are planning to support, visibly and in prayer, Jay and Marty during this legal case, and I would encourage you to join them. The AHEA Online website and Facebook page has the details.

For more on what is going on, see this story and this story from a couple weeks ago, to be informed of the most recent activity by the Education Minister.

Alberta Bill 22: An Act for Strong Families Building Stronger Communities

This bill was supposed to be a legislative response to the deaths of children in foster care, but it goes far beyond addressing this concern while not actually addressing it, in my opinion. It ensures a child’s “identity” is “repected, supported and preserved” by foster parents, even (or especially) if it goes against their own beliefs.

There are many concerns regarding this bill, several I have noted in my letter to my own MLA and the Minister in charge of the bill (no response), but the most egregious is the removal of the first point to be considered “the family is the basic unit of society” in exchange for family having “the primary responsibility for the safety and well-being” of the child. This week, Dr Starke (MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster) was able to speak on his amendment, which would have added this line back into the legislation as a guiding principle. Unfortunately, the Minister completely ignored all reasoning and rejected out of hand the amendment. You can read the total of 4 statements on this concern from the Hansard on the Assembly’s website, Nov 28th. Click here for a direct link to those statements.

If you can take a moment to read the statement by ARPA on this bill, you should have at least a top level understanding of the concerns here. For all legislative discussions on this bill, see the Bill 22 assembly records.

Please let me know if this type of thing is helpful. I’ve only mentioned two Alberta government bills at this time, and am trying to determine to what extent I should write on these types of things. Additionally, I just read a really good article on SOGI laws from a US website (here) which does apply to the ideology and worldview issues behind Bill 24.

Eldon Siemens