On behalf of all Alberta Liberal MLAs, I encourage all Albertans to take a moment today to acknowledge Human Rights Day, which is celebrated around the world to recognize the adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
That includes freedom of speech, which many in Alberta hesitate to exercise because they fear they’ll lose their jobs – particularly in the public sector. A culture of intimidation exists, which is why I believe so strongly in the need for whistleblower protection for Albertans and why I’m so impressed by those that speak out despite the risk of punishment.
Here’s another example. Bill 44, forced through this past spring, jeopardizes the education our children are entitled to as stated in the Declaration by hampering the promotion of understanding, tolerance and friendship. When teachers do not have the freedom to teach an inclusive curriclum, the spirit of the Declaration is diminished.
Human rights must be fought for every day, even here in Alberta – perhaps especially here, where it is too easy to take our rights for granted. The Official Opposition will continue to fight threats to the fundamental rights of Albertans.