Convention 2018: Embrace the Unexpected

Human Rights Ruling affects Toronto District Schools

October 11, 2012
The practicality of human rights commission rulings hit education hard last week in Toronto.  The Toronto District School Board has implemented a policy which allows any individual who is ‘feeling’ a different gender than they were ‘assigned at birth’ to use the public school washroom of their gender choice.  No medical documentation to ‘prove’ their gender is required and no individual may question a person’s motives for using a bathroom inconsistent with their ‘gender assigned at birth’.
Practical Application: The practical application of this policy is that anyone on Toronto District property can use any bathroom at any time.  During school hours, Toronto District parents are faced with the reality that ‘physical’ men and older boys will be welcome to use the same bathroom as their little girls.
Where did this new Policy come from?  A Human Rights Commission ruling
Ryan Bird, Communications Officer for the Toronto Disctrict School Board responded to the question of “Where did this policy come from?”  He stated, “... this came out of a mediation decision from the Ontario Human Rights Commission last year between the TDSB and a student. So this is coming out from the Ontario Human Rights Commission.  So we are taking our lead from them in putting together these guidelines.”   http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/1876267283001
Human Rights Commissions non-judicial rulings ARE affecting education in a significant way.
What can we do in Alberta?
1.Tell people about the new policies in Toronto and about how human rights commission rulings are affecting the overall society in a profound way. Alberta’s Department of Education is still considering imbedding the Alberta Human Rights Act into the Provincial Education Act. Ask people to call their MLA to voice their opposition to this.


2.Learn more about Provincial and Federal human rights legislation and speak to your MLA about your concerns.
3. Contact your MLA to voice  your opposition.  To find your MLA, click http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.aspx?p=mla_home

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

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