Convention 2017: Home Education: Education with a Purpose

Human Rights Legislation: How Could There Possibly be a Problem?

October 11, 2012
The name – human rights legislation – brings thoughts that a legislation of this sort must provide the maximum protection for individuals from human rights atrocities.  However, in Canada and the USA, this is not the case.  Many people don’t realize that there is a fundamental difference between human rights legislation  and other forms of freedom documents.  Typical freedom charters/bills of rights limit the amount of control government can have on its citizens.  Human rights legislation does the opposite; it takes power from individuals and gives it to the government.
Bills of rights or Charters of Rights and Freedom provide protection for citizens from the government so that we are protected from encroachments on certain rights by the government.  They, in effect, take power away from the government and give it to individuals.   In addition, these types of freedom documents have nothing to do with interactions between individuals or interactions within family life.
Human rights legislation is radically different because it does the exact opposite; it takes power away from individuals and gives it to the government.  The way it does that is by  regulating how individuals in the public sphere interact with each other.  i.e. who a business can hire, who you can rent your building to, etc.  These are private interactions that are  being regulated by the government.  This legislation is not giving individuals more power, it is giving the government more power to regulate private interactions.  That’s the first problem with human rights legislation...whether the legislation is good or bad,  it gives more power to the government to regulate private lives.
A second problem with human rights legislations is that they have been used to attack Christians.  In the written words, human rights legislation protects freedom of religion, but in practice, Christian’s complaints are rarely heard or acted upon by the bureaucrats who oversee the tribunals.  Conversely, attacks from other faith positions against Christians are often taken to the full length.  For example, individuals who have problems with teachings from the Bible have made human rights claims which have been acted upon to the fullest extent possible.
Human rights tribunals, not courts of law, are responsible for the procedures and rulings made by these commissions.  Due process and the basic presumptions which guide the legal system are not the foundations on which these tribunals work.  Human rights tribunals are run by appointed bureaucrats who are not required to be trained in law or legal procedures.  Often, rulings are made based on individual biases and opinions.  When human rights legislation is incorporated into other legislation, like the Bill 2:  Education Act, 2012, biased and often values based tribunal rulings take on a strong life which affect great multitudes within society.  If the Alberta education act were to incorporates human rights legislation, it would affect all those associated with any school (and that, by definition in Alberta, includes home schoolers).

 In June of 2012, The Canadian Federal Government voted to reduce the power the federal human rights legislation has by deleting Sections 13 and 54 of the Canadian Human  Rights Act.  This was done “to ensure there is no infringement on freedom of expression guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms”, a positive step taken to protect the freedom of Canadian Citizens.  Brian Storseth, the Member of Parliament responsible for the amendment to the legislation, is working to encourage Provincial governments to make similar amendments to provincial Human Rights legislation.

 For additional information, on the serious problems with Human Rights Legislation, please see the March 2011 study conducted by John Carpay and Carol Crosson, From Bad to Worse - Examining Restrictions on Speech and Procedural Fairness in Human Rights Legislation in Fourteen Canadian Jurisdictions

Letter sent to Minister Johnson regarding AHRA from AHEA

September 5, 2012
Dear Minister Johnson,
AHEA has become aware that the PC caucus will be meeting today, on Wednesday, September 5, 2012.  We continue to urge you to remove the Alberta Human Rights Act from the Education Act.
The embedding of the Alberta Human Rights Act into the Education Act sets off red flags.  Why is it that an existing legislation is being embedded into the Education Act?  If the AHRA is already overarching as is the common explanation, what is the purpose to it being placed in into another Act?
Home educators are not against human rights.  In fact, many home schooling families stand up for the rights of those who don’t have a voice, those out of the majority and who are suffering or injured, not because standing up is popular, but because someone suffering needs help.  We believe in true human rights.
It would seem that the legislation name ‘Human Rights’ Act invokes thoughts that this legislation is all about Human Rights.  In actuality, this legislation has been used as much to harm individual rights and liberties as to protect them.  When people have to be afraid of prosecution by Kangaroo courts due to speaking words, even if true,  which offend, then this is the true violation to individual rights.  The Alberta Human Rights Act takes away an individual’s ability to express their opinions openly.  It makes speech the crime.
Individuals will have varying ideas and thoughts, and this variety of thought leads to robust communities and societies.  Limiting a society’s words and thoughts, simply because they might offend, is the true loss of liberty.   Take away a person’s ability to speak freely, and we truly are moving towards a controlled society, one in which true hate crimes are more apt to occur.  Prosecuting individuals who speak their mind is a type of social engineering and societal control that is a loss of human rights.
True hate crimes need to be prosecuted, and to be prosecuted to the fullest extent under the law.  Hate crimes are criminal, and need to be treated as such.  Criminal code prosecution of hate crimes is appropriate to ensure heinous hate crimes are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  They are also necessary to protect individuals from unjustified prosecution by bureaucratically appointed, not legally trained, tribunals with little to no training in the foundations of law.
I urge you, to take out the AHRA from the Education act and replace Section 16 from Bill 2 with:
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.
And, of utmost importance, please don’t forget about Parental Rights.  The Education Act has relegated parental rights and elevated Human Rights Legislation.  A parent’s right to make decisions for their children, simply because they are their parents, needs to be stated clearly in this act and this right needs to be protected.
Thank you for your efforts.
Patty Marler
Government Liaison for the Alberta Home Education Association
Cc  Premier Redford
Deputy Premier Lukaszuk

Action Required Regarding the Upcoming Education Act

AHEA has confirmed that the Education Act will be reintroduced into the legislature in the fall sitting. The PC government caucus will be meeting on Wednesday, September 5 to make key decisions, one of them being if the AHRA will be embedded into the Education Act. While home schoolers have done a significant amount of work already, it is urgent that we act again, prior to Wednesday, September 5, 2012.
Please contacting your MLA directly or writing a letter/e-mail. In the letter to your MLA, please consider including the following points:
  • We are aware that the Education Act will be reintroduced this fall
  • We want all references to the Alberta Human Rights Act to be removed from the Education Act
  • We take human rights very seriously and teach respect, consideration for all people, and individual human rights. We believe that hate crimes need to be addressed, and the Federal Criminal Code legislation is the appropriate place to deal with these serious offenses. Embedding the Alberta Human Rights Act into the Education Act is NOT the appropriate place to do this.
  • The Alberta Human Rights Act is an over-arching legislation. The imbedding of this and any other legislation into the Education Act is redundant, unnecessary and inappropriate.
Recommended wording to for the Respect clause:
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. (this clause is virtually identical to the second half of the previous section as it was written in the old Schools Act)
  • Parents’ Paramount Rights in the education of their children needs to be clearly stated so the integrity of freedom in this province is preserved and maintained.
  • The reference to “informed decisions” by parents is alarming and offensive.  This term is used in the legal and medical fields to require a party with superior knowledge/expertise to act in a fiduciary capacity to advise clients and ‘seek their instruction’ toward advocating on a client’s behalf.  This type of language implies that parents are NOT foremost in autonomy or authority, but needing advice from a ‘superior authority’ with more advanced knowledge or expertise in order to make decisions about their children’s education.   Again, this is alarming and offensive in the realm of parental authority in education.
Please contact your MLA this week as the government caucus is meeting on Wednesday September 5, 2012 to make key decisions.
Please send letters/e-mails to:
  • your MLA
  • cc copies to :
    Premier Redford This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
    Deputy Premier Lukaszuk  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
    Education Minister Jeff Johnson This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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