Yes you read that correctly. The Alberta Liberal Party is "firmly opposed" to the concept of a specific charter right. In this case section 2.a of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which reads:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
- (a) freedom of conscience and religion;
- (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
- (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
- (d) freedom of association.
"The Alberta Liberals are firmly opposed to the concept of conscience rights, and are deeply disturbed by the Wildrose Party's suggestion that there is a place for such a repugnant and antiquated notion in contemporary Alberta."
This is not about certain instances of an individual expressing their freedom of conscience, and I do not want to even get into that here, this is about not just being opposed, but firmly opposed to the concept of an existing Charter right.
Now who are supposed to be the scary ones again?
Are they really opposed to the idea of it? I don't think so, it seems they are more likely to be the victim of a very poorly worded press release than actually against the concept of a charter right, but it did provide for some interesting discussion on the entire issue over the weekend.
Including a guest appearance from Justin Trudeau, whose father Pierre was instrumental in giving us our Constitution and Charter of Rights, and the weird part was that I was in agreement with him on both the Charter and the law.
The bottom line on all of this is that our Charter and our existing laws make all those claims that the Wildrose will somehow be able to take rights away due to conscience rights total BS. It hasn't happened in Alberta where someone has been denied a government service that they were entitled to and it will never happen because can't happen thanks to already existing laws.
Namely Section 15.1 of the Charter, and the law is very clear on this when it comes to individuals working on behalf of the government; they cannot discriminate.
And yes, that does include those that perform civil marriages. Because that is ALREADY the law of Canada and any law that is written that tries to change that will never survive a Charter challenge.
This is such a non issue I can't believe that sane people are buying the BS. It just will not happen.
Glad to go at it in the comments if you disagree but fair warning; the charter, the law and Justin Trudeau are on my side. ;-)