The following letter was written by Melissa MacDonald a contributor to The Empty Tomb Ministry.  It was written to the community of Wellington here in Edmonton. 



March 18, 2012

Dear Neighbour,

We have a burning issue on our hearts that we believe will concern many of you as well. Our Alberta government has tabled Bill 2 Education Act which contains a section which could directly influence the content of materials taught in every school in Alberta. Up until now, media coverage has focused on the impact to Home Educators, but the impact it can have on all Alberta Schools is very real and significant. Section 16 of the Act states that All courses or programs of study offered and instructional materials used in a school must reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta, promote understanding and respect for others and honor and respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act.” (1)

What this means is that all decisions made by Alberta Human Rights Tribunals will be infused into all programs of study in schools. Typically the Alberta Human Rights Tribunals have made decisions which are not consistent with the common values of Alberta, but if this legislation passes, these values will be required to be taught to every student in every course and program of study. There is a very real danger for all schools in Alberta. We are not talking about basic humans rights, we are talking about the right of the parent to teach that their set of religious or moral beliefs are true and others are false. There is no point to teach a set of beliefs to your children and then tell them that it really doesn’t matter because all religions or moral beliefs are equally true. (no matter how they contradict!)

Raymond J. De Souza states “Who decides what children get taught when it comes to moral and religious questions? Parents or the state? These questions are being asked in Alberta, as a result of the provincial government's proposed new Education Act.“

This is the question that is up for debate. Are we okay with the government having that kind of control? In Quebec, Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled, “That a mandatory Quebec curriculum in Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC), from which a Drummondville Catholic couple wished to exempt their son, does not infringe the couple’s constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion.” Barbara Kay says in her article. Parents cannot exempt their child from this course. Barbara continues: “But it was not the facts about other religions that bothered the parents, nor do they deny or object to the reality that Canada is a multicultural society. The mother argued that the ERC courses are ideologically based in religious relativism, which is offensive to her. Religious relativism teaches that all religions are diverse and equally valid manifestations of human creativity. In the ERC courses, children learn that Catholicism is no truer or more respect-worthy than Wicca or Earth-worship or the tinfoil-hat cult of Realism.“ Essentially, that they ALL false, made up of human creativity.

That DOES infringe the couple’s constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion, doesn’t it? I am concerned that parents are losing authority over their children. Our children are becoming property of the state. Waterloo Regional School district superintendant Gregg Bereznick told QMI Agency’s Kris Sims: “We do work hand-in-hand with these families because we CO-PARENT, so we hope that we could move forward.” Are you prepared to have government “co-parent” your children or grandchildren??

This will affect all parents. I am asking that you join this cause and phone or e-mail our Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk at (780) 427-5010 , the Premier’s office at 780-427-2251 and our MLA, Doug Elniski at (780) 427-0858. There is a very short window of time to affect change before this Bill passes and becomes law. I urge you to call and ask to have Section 16 changed back to the wording in the current School Act and tell them which school your child goes to if you are in that season of life. Mr. Anderson of the Wild Rose Party Has done this. He moved to have Bill 2, Education Act, be amended by striking out section 16 and substituting the following:

Respect 16
Education programs offered and instructional materials used in schools must not promote or foster doctrines of racial or ethnic superiority or persecution, religious intolerance or persecution, social change through violent action or disobedience of laws.

I believe that this is what we want as a multi-cultural society. Stop violence and persecution, not to have our convictions in religion and moral codes reduced to “human creativity.”

Sincerely,

Concerned Parents of Wellington

P.S. There is a meet and greet at the legislature tomorrow (March 19) at 10:30 followed by a peaceful protest at noon. If you agree in any way I hope that you can make it out.

( I apologize for the extremely short notice.)

(Please feel free to contact us at otf@hotmail.ca or go to http://aheaonline.com/ for more information and links to the full articles I quoted from.)

 

1) Paragraph used from AHEA: http://aheaonline.com/