Bill 25: Children First Act was tabled by Minister Hancock on May 7, 2013. 7 days later, the Bill had passed 3rd reading and received Royal Assent on May 27, 2013. Opposition MLAs began to make people aware of the bill on May 10, but AHEA did not become aware of this Bill until after 3rd reading.
AHEA has been in contact with HSLDA regarding this legislation (HSLDA monitors legislative bills)ÂÂ and, at this point, there does not appear to be anything which will directly affect home educators specificallyÂÂ within this legislation.
The Bill allows for the establishment of a Children's Charter in Alberta:
2(1) The Minister shall establish a Children’s Charter to guide the
Government of Alberta and its departments in the development of
policies, programs and services affecting children and to guide
collaboration among departments and agencies, service providers
3 The Minister shall conduct a Government-wide review of
policies, programs and services affecting children and shall, after
concluding the review, lay a report respecting the review before the
Legislative Assembly if it is then sitting or, if it is not then sitting,
within 15 days after the commencement of the next sitting.
It will be important to see what the "Government-wide review" recommends in the early days of the next/fall 2013 sitting of Alberta's legislature. When you hear about this, please share the information with AHEA and others.
It allows for the possibility of limiting information sharing to parents and service providers, but also expediating information sharing toÂÂ service providersÂÂ when planning for services and benefits to a child:
Information-sharing for purposes of providing services
4(3) A service provider may disclose personal information and a
custodian may disclose health information about a child to a
guardian of the child if
(a) the disclosure is not contrary to the express request of the
(b) the service provider
4(1) For the purposes of enabling or planning for the provision of
services or benefits to a child, a service provider may collect and
use either or both of the following:
(a) personal information about the child or a parent or
guardian of the child from another service provider;
(b) health information about the child from a custodian.
It is important to read the complete legislation, including the explanatory notes. To read the Bill, go to http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.aspx?p=bills_status&selectbill=025&legl=28&session=1
Please continue to make AHEA aware of any potential legislation which you think may affect home educators.