Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bill 44 Going Through

...because "we're not able to retract", according to Alberta Culture and Community Spirit Minister Lindsay Blackett. However, there may be minor changes to the parental opt-out section, particularly:

11.1(1) A board as defined in the School Act shall provide notice to a parent or guardian of a student where courses of study, educational programs or instructional materials, or instruction or exercises, prescribed under that Act include subject-matter that deals explicitly with religion, sexuality or sexual orientation.

[Teachers] had a problem with the wording . . . when it talks about instruction and instructional materials. Some teachers take that to mean any instruction," said Blackett.

"We're looking at how to clarify that."

Not quite sure what is meant here, but my guess would be the teachers are concerned that parents might be able to request an opt-out where, for example, a biology text containing a chapter on Darwin was being used even though the class in question did not concern that chapter.

Meanwhile, Rob Breakenridge laments. He's quite right that AHRC opponents like Bishop Henry have sold their souls over this bill (which the Bishop supports with caveats), but this part is baloney:

Just when it seemed that public demand and political will would finally result in a reining in of the province's much-maligned human rights regime, the Alberta government has fashioned a resurrection of almost Biblical proportions.

Public demand? Or the demands of a few hundred journalists, fringe righties, and blogosphere scribblers?

You know, one thing politicians know how to do better than anyone is count votes. The Stelmach government looked around and realized that the over-haul of their Human Rights Act would involve balancing the demands of the Gay and SoCon communities. If Speechies got stiffed (and they did), that's because the Stelmach government realized there weren't enough of them to be worth the fuss.

(And of course the Aryan Guard marched this year with renewed strength. That helped change a few minds in caucus, I am sure.)

1 comment:

MgS said...

The Stelmach government proves that just when you think things have sunk as low as they can, someone lifts up the barrel and starts digging.

These guys are starting to make Don Getty look good.