Alberta Politics

thorny candidates could be the wildrose party’s biggest liability.

Danielle Smith Wildrose Alberta
Danielle Smith (photo from Wildrose Facebook page)

As the face of the campaign, Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith is her party’s biggest asset. She is media savvy, personable and, despite her limited governance experience (one year as a trustee on the dysfunctional Calgary Board of Education), she talks about becoming Premier with more confidence than any opposition leader in a long time.

But looking beyond the high-profile face of the Wildrose Party, which polls from the first week of the campaign suggest could be poised to form government, Albertans should be asking important questions about who would serve as cabinet ministers in a Wildrose Party government? The Premier is only one person at the table. Which Wildrose candidate would serve as Minister of Justice, Minister of Education, Minister of Finance, and Minister of Health?

Ask most Albertans to name a Wildrose candidate outside their own riding, and they will probably respond with a puzzled face. The lack of “star-candidates” is likely a product of timing. The Wildrose Party began to hold its candidate nominations in 2010 during a time when the party was seen to have peaked and was sitting in the mid-teens in the polls. What the party ended up with were plenty of well meaning candidates, but not many who would be defined as “star candidates.”

The recent success of the federal NDP in Quebec provides a textbook example of why any party should take seriously the candidates it nominates to run under its banner, even if it does not look like they might form government at the time.

If the Wildrose Party are to form the next government in Alberta, an important question needs to be asked about whether their candidates are the kind of politicians that Albertans want running the show. Here is a look at some of the Wildrose candidates who could end up serving as a cabinet minister under Premier Danielle Smith:

Link Byfield Wildrose Barrhead Morinville Westlock
Link Byfield

Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock candidate Link Byfield is the former publisher of the right-wing Alberta Report magazine. As has been noted elsewhere, Mr. Byfield was the president of the Society to Explore and Record Christian History and the founder of the Citizens Centre for Freedom and Democracy, which stands, among other things, “against expanding influence of the Charter of Rights.”

John Carpay Wildrose Calgary Lougheed
John Carpay

Calgary-Lougheed candidate John Carpay penned an opinion-editorial in the National Post in 1994 which criticized Premier Ralph Klein for not invoking the Notwithstanding Clause to block the Supreme Court decision forcing Alberta to include protection of homosexuals from discrimination.

More recently, Mr. Carpay defended the University of Calgary Campus Pro-Life Club and was part of the legal team which defended anti-gay activist Bill Whatcott against charges in Saskatchewan. (Mr. Whatcott was recently detained by the police for distributing anti-gay hate literature to homes in northwest Calgary).

Ron Leech Wildrose Calgary Greenway
Ron Leech

Calgary-Greenway Wildrose candidate and evangelical pastor Ron Leech penned an article in the Calgary Herald in 2004 which argued “to affirm homosexuality is to distort the image of God, to insult the nature and being of God.” Perhaps this fits with Ms. Smith’s ideas on conscience rights (which has angered at least one now former Wildrose supporter).

Edmonton-South West candidate Allan Hunsperger is the self-described pioneer in the establishment of Alberta’s private schools in the late seventies and founder of Heritage Christian Schools.

Don Koziak Wildrose Edmonton Glenora
Don Koziak

Edmonton-Glenora candidate Don Koziak‘s short-lived mayoral bid in 2010 was kicked off by a promise to halt LRT expansion, calling the public transit “enormously environmentally unfriendly.” When asked what he would do differently, Mr. Koziak trumpeted the construction of more “interchanges and wider roads.” Toronto Mayor Rob Ford would be proud.

Edmonton-Castle Downs candidate John Oplanich, kicked off his campaign by offering to raffle a free big screen televisionto voters who would support him.

Andrew Constantinidis Wildrose Calgary-West
Andrew Constantinidis

– A number of Wildrose candidates running in Edmonton constituencies have indicated over the past year that they would re-open the acrimonious City Centre Airport debate, even though elected City Councillors have already made the decision to phase out operations of the tiny downtown airport.

– As I have already written, a few Wildrose candidates from Calgary have strong connections with controversial Conservative MP Rob Anders. This includes Calgary-West candidate Andrew Constantinidis, who served as Mr. Anders’ local constituency president and media coordinator during the 2011 federal election.

These are the highest profile stories around these candidates, the truth is that outside of Ms. Smith and the four established Wildrose MLA’s running for re-election, surprisingly little is known about the party’s candidates. And the Wildrose Party has done a superb job of focusing the media’s and voters attention on what they want, namely Ms. Smith and ensuring that she, rather than their candidates are the ones making headlines.

157 replies on “thorny candidates could be the wildrose party’s biggest liability.”

It’s a big tent, as you know, Dave. People should be free to practise their faith, and you shouldn’t really be scared of that. Are there any evangelicals in Alberta? Who do you think represents them the best? I really believe not giving them a home, to at least express themselves, short changes true representation. Militant homosexuals shouldn’t be worried. I believe that it’s not up to the government to tell you who you sleep with. Enough sensible people I know agree, even Wildrose members.

BTW, many people I’ve spoken to, who were around before the much trumpeted Charter, agree with George Jonas that Canadians saw their freedoms diminished by defining them.

See here’s the thing Ryan – you can’t advocate people being free to practice their faith and cheerlead for John Carpay at the same time. His advocacy for our provincial government to stop the legalization of same-sex marriage would have prevented affirming congregations from carrying out same-sex marriages in accordance with their faith. Don’t like same-sex marriage? Don’t have one. Pretty simple.

I guess we have Alison Redford to thank for this impending gong show. Had she just dropped the writ last fall, after winning the leadership and restoring Education funding, we wouldn’t be faced with this specter.

Heck, even if she had done the Ralph/Ed thing and introduced a budget and then gone to the polls, things probably would have been different.

But she will go down as the most politically tone deaf PC leader yet. The one who insisted on wielding her power before she had truly earned it in an election. And timing is everything. The all-pay no-work committee scandal really turned things against her. And now she and her hapless campaign manager Carter can’t seem to get any momentum whatsoever.

Ah well, this new bunch isn’t really that much different than the ones they are replacing. At least a change in the ruling party means all the associated cronies at the top will get shuffled out. The public service will be much better off with a fresh crop of Deputy Ministers than the dusty old PC friends it has now.

“Militant homosexuals shouldn’t be worried.”

Just for the record, homosexuals in this province aren’t packing guns and hand grenades, acting all militant and stuff.

Dave, thank you for this piece. It’s not only brilliantly written, but day after day we see the facade of Libertarianism removed from the face of the crumbling house that is the Wildrose Party.

Albertas need to know who they are voting for. Albertans need to know the unspoken agenda of any and all political parties in this election. Albertans need to vet their candidates very carefully, examine policies and platforms just as carefully, ask pointed and direct questions and accept only pointed and direct answers. More voices like yours are needed in this election. Thank you for providing good information on a consistent basis.


Way to cherry pick Dave.

You have left out a Dr., successful business people & entrepreneurs who have signed many a paycheck and built successful companies.

It’s very easy to skew data when you cherry pick….even easier when you cherry pick candidates.
More rigour please in your analysis: this one was very weak.

Christians and other religious conservatives should be banned from participating in the democratic process, including voting. In fact, we should round them up, send them to camps in Baffin Island. That way, we can show them how tolerant and open-minded we truly are.

Hyperbole doesn’t suit your blog posts either.

PS Rather than creating a bogey man list, debate us on ideas. We actually have good reasons to defend free speech, protect the rights of Catholic doctors and establish private schools. To merely list these positions and label them as scary, shows how the left has become merely an echo chamber for its ideology.

Someone should ask Joel French whether he is referring to the actual Don Martin twitter account or the fake one that pops up numerous times, says outrageous things against minorities and then gets retweeted by him and his girlfriend even days after a Journal article outs it as a fake account meant to libel people. Then they should ask the question about why the NDP like to drive traffic towards it.

dear editor
thanks for this report & your informative weblog. i really appreciate having your analysis & links – today & in the weeks to come. and lord almighty, but doesn’t this mob make social credit look good!
yours sincerely
alfred venison
(an edmontonian canuck in queen elizabeth’s australia)

Respectfully, Kikki, conscience rights are constitutionally entrenched as a fundamental freedom whether you personally respect them or not. You seem to conclude that Danielle Smith is somehow intolerant because she respects s. 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You get that legislators are bound by the Charter, right?

I am surprised that one would go after the “belief”system of candidates. Thank goodness they believe in something! Will it affect their political decision- we are a product of our beliefs, but these are people who understand that there is a separation. There is a great group running for WR.
Remember when Lougheed swept too wear, there were a bunch of unknowns also. That worked out pretty good for Alberta!
And Human Rights Commission entering the political realm – that unelected, liberal, untrained lot looking for a boogie man under every bed deserves to be done away with. Albertans are a tolerant lot – we do not need the tolerance police!

Respectfully, Herbert, the conscience rights clause in section 2 allows one to have one’s own moral point of view but it does not enshrine a right to discriminate based on one’s conscience and it does not enshrine the right for a civil servant to discriminate whom she/he will offer services to based on their conscience, which is what the WRP conscience rights platform does do.

As well invoking the Section 2 Clause in defense of the WRP platform then begs the question as to why you need that platform if it is already enshrined in the Charter of Rights and the response to that is because it does not enshrine the discrimination based on conscience being proposed by the WRP.

Nor would the discrimination be limited to “militant homosexuals” but could also be used to refuse service to Jews, Muslims, atheists, and so on as long as the person can claim it is their conscience. I imagine that could even be extended to racial and ethnic minorities if the civil servant could demonstrate that their conscience would justify that.

On the bright side such a law would eventually be struck down as a violation of the Charter of Rights but on the sad side the damage would be inflicted until it was struck down and their would be scars as well as tarnishing Alberta’s reputation in the rest of the country.

As well I would be quite curious to see numbers about how many doctors are being forced to perform gender reassignment surgeries or perform terminations of pregnancies against their will since I know that number is none: both of those are medical specialties that the doctor chooses to perform.

This list says as much about DaveBerta and his biases, as it does about the Wild Rose Candidates. There are many, many, highly qualified Wild Rose candidates out there.

There is nothing to stop Canadian Prime Ministers or Premiers from appointing unelected people to Cabinet. And sometimes they should, otherwise we get day-care managers as hospitals’ minister (Mr. Liepert, for example, whose only claim to experstise is being elected).

What is a star candidate Dave? Ken Hughes who trashed Health Care? Sandra Jansen because she has been on TV? Is Farouk in Shaw a star? One who had to be appointed after losing in Hawkwood? Who are the star Liberals? NDP? How about the AB Party. Who are their superstars?

What a drive by smear. I thought we had all grown past the scary hidden agenda crap.

Out of 87 candidates you put forward 7, one whose only “crime” is to like private schools and be religious? Why do people think it is ok to attack religious people for being religious? What happened to equal rights for all? No group should have more rights than another period. In my world that is a two way street, apparently it is not for you.

The wildrose is only interested in the rights and freedoms of those who agree with them and hold thier own biases. Which doesn’t make them that much different from any other political party that I see. But I’m interested in what the wildrose would do with left-wing nutjobs like me? Perhaps some sort of camp where we could learn to concentrate?

You didn’t mention Richard Jones, who’s an ultra social conservative from the mormon church. Nothing wrong with his religion, just keep it out of our politics please.

The trouble I have with this election is that no party offers a viable solution to the crap-shoot PCs. 40 years IS enough. They ARE presumptive and disconnected with Albertans. And now under Nanny Redford, a bunch of over-protective, all knowing, in your home telling what to do sissies. But, who is any better? Headcase Sherman with his double personality Liberals? The Alberta Party has zero steam, how sad that the only party leader I have any respect for with regards to following his ideology to a tee rather than alter it to change votes- being NDP Mason, but sorry, no room for socialism here. So then the WRP? Really? Fiscally conservative oui, but socially? Is there not a single party to represent conservative Albertans anymore? WithOUT being extremists looking to go back into time and spread hate to anyone outside of white, heterosexual and christian?

The way I see it is whether you believe in the separation of religion and state. Either you do or you do not. If you do, some of the affiliations of the candidates listed are definite red flags. To all the rabid supporters of the Wildrose, I ask this. Why are there candidates in your party who are very religious to their faith standing for election who never mention any of this divide and conquer dogma? I surmise it is because they are truly tolerant, despite their own beliefs. They do not use the position they seek to commit social engineering. All the misdirection over the HRC and “conscience rights” is merely a smokescreen to draw attention from issues that are of far greater importance to the everyday life of Albertans in general. Smith has made many promises of milk and honey without telling voters how this will occur. Looks like the etch-a-sketch campaign has come north. Along with various other methods included in the Wildrose campaign. Buyer’s remorse will be almost immediate if Wildrose achieve a majority, and many Albertans will decide they no longer desire to reside here. Which will only encourage the fringe element.
A vague promise of $300 sometime in the future, maybe, is hardly the stuff of a party with a real vision for what ails our province.

The Wildrose Party began to hold its candidate nominations in 2010 during a time when the party was seen to have peaked and was sitting in the mid-teens in the polls.

Wrong. Out of 32 polls conducted since Danielle Smith became leader, there have only been three that had Wildrose in the “mid-teens” (all of which were outliers), and they happened in July 2011, October 2011, and January 2012.

That aside, Dave, I’d like to compliment you on a post that makes a very good case for why left-wingers won’t vote Wildrose, while moderates and conservatives should. 🙂

Civil servants Charter rights aren’t protected…’conscience rights’ in some contexts (marriage counsellors) would violate s 15 right. This is not necessarily so for doctors, simply because the wildrose intend to privitize health care, and the Charter does not apply to private persons. That being said – I do agree with the cherry-picking comments, but it would be naive to suggest that if these candidates get elected their “moral conservatism” would not affect their policies on governance.

One version of Whatcott’s trashy flyer making the rounds in Edmonton has Danielle Smith and Ted Morton’s contact info, and asks the reader to contact them to support Whatcott’s views.
I contacted the Edmonton and Calgary WRP office to ask if Smith has publicly distanced her party from Whatcott’s shock tactics, or if she has not.

I haven’t heard back yet.

Link Byfield in cabinet is not a pleasant thought. His articles from the Alberta Report are actually in an English 102 textbook. They are used as examples to teach students how to identify logical fallacies, biases, and covert racism.

Rural gal: seriously? What if they believe in stomping kittens and eating babies? It matters what they believe, especially if it is radically different from how they present themselves or how most of the electorate thinks.

Funny you should mention Peter Lougheed, a red tory if ever one was. His latest incarnation, the leader of the PCs, is hated to a shocking degree by vocal Roseists fpor that very reason. That should give you some cause for concern.

@Trevor “His advocacy for our provincial government to stop the legalization of same-sex marriage would have prevented affirming congregations from carrying out same-sex marriages in accordance with their faith.”

No it wouldn’t. Churches that supported it were performing same-sex marriages for YEARS before Canadian governments first started recognizing them in 2003.

I always find it curious that, despite the perennial accusation that “social conservatives” are chomping at the bit to impose their sinister agenda on the rest of us, it is invariably the progressives who first raise those issues and try to push them to the forefront in elections.

The fact you had to go back 20 years to find dirt on some of these “dubious” folk would normally be a sign as to how relevant they consider the particular issue to be in the present election campaign. Thanks to your post, I now understand that Alan Hunsperger’s efforts to establish (shudder) private Christian schools 30 years ago is a far more critical issue in this election than those tired old canards like health care, resource royalties, infrastructure funding, etc.

At any rate, I tend to agree with the posters who suggest you’ve actually done the WR a favour by pointing out at least a few have, at one point in time, held positions that might gravely offend the likes of Kikki and Joel French, but which resonate with a far greater number of Albertans.

So keep digging, Daveberta – I’m sure there’s lots of stuff highly offensive to progressive rights zealots in Carpay’s high school essays and once revealed, the Liberals/New Democrats/Alberta Party will be carried to a resounding victory on the backs of all 12 of them.

Physician ethics isn’t controlled by the province, only by the licensing agency (Canadian Medical Association), and covers all physicians, whether in private or public practice. The code prevents physicians from discriminating based on race, sexual orientation, religion and a whole bevy of other reasons. That said, physicians are also allowed to cease treating patients (in non-critical situations), when the treatments conflict with their personal beliefs. The Wildrose policy mistakenly assumes this is a provincial issue. It’s not. Otherwise, it’s all kind of a moot point.

I hope we have better objections to the Wildrose policy ideas than “hidden agenda”. There are wing-nuts in every party.

“That aside, Dave, I’d like to compliment you on a post that makes a very good case for why left-wingers won’t vote Wildrose, while moderates and conservatives should.”

Some moderates.

You can really see the Wildrose agenda when you combine their candidates, and their platform containing conscience rights, and the dismantling of the human rights board. They want to legislate the ability to discriminate against certain groups of people in Alberta. I wonder how many of their candidates have had issues with “expensive and time-consuming” complaints from the Human Rights Commission. These issues likely wouldn’t be raised at party policy conventions if they weren’t problems for it’s members.

Teri – I have been to the AGM’s where this stuff is “debated”. wildrose does not wish to legislate the ability to discriminate. They wish to remove legislation and mechanisms that protect against discrimination. The “expensive and time-consuming” is smoke for the many times over more expensive and time-consuming method of plodding through the courts they wish to establish. This way, those with ample resources at their disposal will impose their will on those with limited resources. When a group of immigrant workers get shafted, they will have to navigate the expensive courts or shut up and take it. That is the Wildrose aim.

Thanks for the post David. Good to know. Never thought I would be rooting for the Progressive Conservatives. Hard to believe we could be headed further to the right.

“Why do people think it is ok to attack religious people for being religious?”

I have no problem with religious people as such. I DO have a problem with religious people who seem to beleive that their religion gives them greater moral authority than those who don’t share their particular set of beliefs.

It doesn’t. The moral values inherent in ANY religion are NOT exclusive to those who adhere to that religion, as evidenced by the fact that there’s a great deal of commonality of values BETWEEN religions. Furthermore, MOST of those values are also held by agnostics and atheists.

Then there’s the aspect of religious exclusivity and self-righteousness, wherein “true believers” reject non-believers as “lost” or “fallen”, or otherwise somehow deficient or even inferior.

Look, I have no problem with you holding to a particular set of beliefs, and in fact, BECAUSE the moral values involved in that set of beliefs are actually UNIVERSAL, I can be assured of some sort of “minimum standard” of moral values.

Where I draw the line is when “religious people” use their belief system to justify casting out those who don’t share their beliefs. Democratic politics is supposed to be inclusive, and government is supposed to govern ALL, not just those who share religious beliefs.

So go ahead, believe what you want. Just don’t try to shove it down MY throat, and don’t invoke some mythical entity in the sky as a justification for implementing public policy for EVERYONE.


You are so right. The fact Wildrose has the abolition of Alberta’a Human Rights Commission in its platform should be a wake-up call. But I doubt it. The joint-at-the-hip to Harper’s bullies should also say something. But I doubt that too.

The more digging I do, the more that Wild Rose turns me completely off. It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that these “libertarians” only care about liberty when it pertains to the freedom to discriminate based on your religious beliefs. When a party so openly courts closet racists and gay-bashers to be among its ranks, it should sound alarm bells in the heads of any reasonable person.

Dave, the fact that your excellent expose on some of the lunatics that might be running this province has elicited idiotic responses like “WELL AT LEAST THEY BELIEVE IN SOMETHING” or “PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS” astounds and saddens me. I can’t believe that so many people in Alberta think that the dissemination of vicious hate speech is something that constitutes religious expression, let alone something that exemplifies a qualified public official. Is inciting hate and division what Christ is all about these days? It increasingly seems to be what a plurality of Albertans are all about…..

Further, regarding Danielle’s hairbrained interpretation of s. 2(a) of the Charter – does she not realize that the Supreme Court of Canada has already ruled that government employees are NOT allowed to practice discrimination in the providing of services based on religious beliefs, and that doing so is a legitimate reason for dismissal? Well, maybe she *does* know – perhaps it’s a way to court all the so-con rockheads without having to do anything meaningful about it once elected.

Honestly, Smith is practicing exactly the same type of politics that the Republicans have repeatedly employed with success in the US – she dangles a carrot or two in front of the brainless so-cons to keep them in her corrall, but she could give a rat’s a** if any of their wants come to fruition. She’s in it to enact her short-sighted all-oil-all-the-time policies, and to position herself for a lucrative post-premiership career in the oil industry. The starry-eyed social conservatives who will get her there are little more than useful idiots.

Great article Dave. But you left out two WRP candidates tied to the “Prism Real Estate Investment Scam”. WRP candidate ‘Happy Mann’ and another That I won’t name until I’ve confirmed, were involved with misleading and scamming people out of investment money. CBC was the ONLY media that covered it so far. They highlighted the fact that he is being sued by 2 separate parties. They stopped short of calling it a scam. Here is the CBC link

But ‘Happy Mann’ (not his real name) paid a $35,000 fine to the Alberta Securities Commission to avoid going to an actual hearing. Here is a direct link to the BBB record

Can you imagine if HE ended up as our finance minister? No $300 cheques for Albertans if there’s no money left for surpluses. According to my math, 20% of nothing = nothing. And if he’s telling the truth about the WRP knowing about it, then why would they welcome him as a candidate unless they condone these types of activities. Finally – on the party’s website it states that he raised over $40,000 for their party. Where did that money come from? If I was an investor that lost all my money, I would want to know that.

Paragraph 2(a) of the Charter means the government cannot compel you to violate your conscience. That means you cannot be compelled to become a marriage commissioner or abortion provider. The government has every right, indeed the responsibility, to set out what duties its agents are required to perform. In electing to become a marriage commissioner, one swears to grant any marriage that is legal within the province. No one is compelled to be a marriage commissioner. You are distorting the charter to serve your own privilege.

Yikes – seems that this blog opened a can of worms. When we have to get to a level of discussing “stomping kittens”, then the value of debate is gone.
Thanks for the reasoning of some – there were some good comments. The rest well….

I do think that WR does stand for fiscal and socially responsible. Read their platform.

ruralgal – I’ve read the WR platform. Nothing particularly outstanding. Just another slick, PR-firm assembled collection of platitudes and unreasonable promises that’ll go into the dustbin after the election is over. Red Book, anyone?

What *won’t* go into the dustbin after the election, however, are the MPs with these unseemly backgrounds and twisted views who get elected. Believe me, I’d be open to voting Wild Rose if they hadn’t nominated a slew of candidates with such farcical worldviews and nasty backgrounds. But alas, it is what it is. If Wild Rose is still a-ok with you, that’s your prerogative. But the public should take a good, hard look at who’s running under their banner, and who will actually be governing once the “kick the bums out” mentality has faded….and if they did, I have a feeling that some of these candidates’ views wouldn’t sit as well with the public at large as they do with some of the posters here.

“There are many, many, highly qualified Wild Rose candidates out there.”

Then let’s hear about them. Tom Flanagan has lowered the cone of silence to prevent Albertans from looking closely at anyone but the photogenic Danielle Smith. The WR is largely an unknown quantity (their simplistic policy platform is as thin as Flanagan’s hair). We need more information about them and the MSM is failing us in this regard.

It is truly amazing how the opposition to a progressive form of government is voiced. I have read all kinds of innuendo and personal attacks from some of the above contributors but fail to see their reliable sources of information provided. Get smart people….quit taking information out of context…I believe that “Daves'” one sided expose’ is skewed big time. HMMMM let me count the ways…anyone with half a brain would know that media with its proclivity to attack anyone individual that may have a different set of standards than the extreme liberals has always found its way to the front page, and those of us with an equal voice are usually banished to the Obituaries. Danno and Martin (above commentators) are very verbal but lack serious content. They are reactive as opposed to being proactive. Do you want more of the same or something different? Get out there and make positive changes by getting involved. Then you can pontificate by experience rather than heralding some twerp named “Dave” contribution. You can speak from your own area of expertise and leave the slanted reporting to others such as Dave C. and the C.B.C. gargoyles.

Great work Dave.

Are you going to do the same for the other parties?

It’s understandable if you don’t, since only the Wildrose is likely to win, but if you’re having a slow blog day it might be entertaining.

And you should probably explain why what you said about Allan Hunsperger makes him unqualified.

And I’ve heard of John Carpay and you’ve left out some amazing accomplishments – wasn’t he head of the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation once? That might be more relevant than something he penned 20 years ago as a student.

Thanks for posting Dave, this is very informative. These comments confirm to me that the WRP is not the way forward for Alberta.

As for S. 2(a) of the Charter the prior comments are bang on. The Charter basically says the gov’t can’t compel someone to violate their personal consience, therefore, nobody can be compelled to become a marriage commissioner, or a doctor, etc, where they would be forced to violate their conscience. S. 2(a) does not make it OK for a doctor or a marriage commissioner to withhold a government funded or provided service based on a personal moral conviction.

Interestingly, the SCC has also stated that 2(a)’s conscience rights clause, applies to “personal morality which is not founded in religion” and “conscientious beliefs which are not religiously motivated.” from R. v. Morgentaler [1988] 1 S.C.R. 30.

Dave, thanks a bunch for opening this can of worms. It’s a conversation that is so needed.

If people need more info on Link Byfield and when his gay bashing articles in the Alberta Report held sway, check out a Tyee book review done a few years back. His stance has not changed one bit. It’s located at: bashing articles in the Alberta Rep

I find it interesting the amount of people who have swooped in to defend the WRP as being “mostly sensible” or whatever. As they say, the exception proves the rule; the WRP is Alberta’s new home for increasingly neo-liberal economics, hardline social conservatism and hollow libertarian rhetoric.

Let’s see of Alberta’s politics really needs to catch up to Albertans as Redford likes to say. If WRP seems poised to win I fear Redfort race to catch up is in vain. It means we really have a huge urban-rural divide in this province, and the urbanites are the ones who are about to get screwed.

David, you left out the fact that Danielle herself is a thorn. She scabbed on behalf of convicted felon Conrad Black during the Calgary Herald strike.

“the extreme liberals”

Ha ha ha, Brenda, do you even KNOW what the meaning of “liberal” is? It’s nearly impossible to be an “extreme” liberal. Go ahead, google or wiki “classical liberalism”; you’ll find that those views are extremely similar to those of current conservatives…with the distinction of NOT trying to impose social controls based explicitly on religious precepts.

The commonly voiced notion that “religious people” are somehow persecuted is SUCH a crock, and for people to repeat it over and over doesn’t make it true.

As for wanting “progressive” change, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get it from either the WRP OR the PC’s.

I bet there are more than these 7 in the church of their choice on Easter Sunday.
I know that there is some nasty talking points out there…
But much of this emotional rhetoric. I just heard Danielle indicate that she wants a real human rights court – you know with real judges – not the appointed human rights commission which generally have no training in the law. How is this bad? If this is not a more appropriate court for the determination of violation of rights, then are you ok with appointed lay people running other legal hearings. ( could do away with lawyers)

Thanks for all the comments. I’m glad that many of you are finding this post useful.

I made a slight correction to today’s post: Ted Byfield, the father of Link, was the president of the Society to Explore and Record Christian History.

Link Byfield told me via email today the he has never been employed by the Society to Explore and Record Christian History or its for-profit predecessor other than as an infrequent freelance contributor.

Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.



I’ve always wondered if that guy on the Harley with straight-pipes that drops a gear at 2 in the morning is a libertarian. I sense he thinks the sound of an unmufflered Harley qualifies as free speech. And that his right to free speech trumps my right to quiet enjoyment of my domicile. And I’ll wager he votes Wild Rose.

With these views.. It’s not equality for all but for some .. Depending on if your going to bed with the same gender or not.. I know who I’m not voting for!!

By the same token, if you took a survey of Alberta voters and asked them who holds the current offices of Minister of Education or Minister of Infrastructure, you’d get the same blank stare as when you asked for names of Wild Rose candidates.

Rural Gal says “I just heard Danielle indicate that she wants a real human rights court – you know with real judges – not the appointed human rights commission which generally have no training in the law.”

Please! You just echoed the chamber’s lies. Most of these mediators, not “judges”, are lawyers and have a great deal of legal expertise on human rights issues, unlike Ezra Levant, who takes fabrications and slivers of truth and turns them into money in his pocket. You know? Ezra? He’s that guy over at Fox News North who pretends to be a journalist.

Know your facts before speaking. Next you’ll be rooting for Dani to get rid of mediators for family court, or maybe employment standards would be a good target, or how about landlord and tenants? That could possibly go too. And who will pay for clogging the courts with the thousands of claims that are mostly from disabled people and women who have a few problems with their employers. Oh yes, I forgot, they wouldn’t clog the courts because they would be unable to afford it. And don’t count on the public purse to fund these types legal disputes through something called legal aide because that would be cut too. Besides they would have to pay that back, which they can’t afford.

And did not Ezra prevail? And he paid his bill, the other party did not have costs because that is how the Human Rights commissions operate.
So you can fund these type of courts without hurting those unable to afford it- just like the legal system does today-
And please do not go overboard on the rhetoric – I have no problem with mediation and with the legal system: tenant act, etc,etc,etc
I just have a problem with the Commission – and no they are not all lawyers, and they do not necessarily follow the laws of evidence. I have been to a Commission – have you

I don’t see anybody mentioning all the great and wonderful things the PC’s have done to healthcare, education and the economy of Alberta. Things like screwing with natural resources and driving a lot of oil companies to Saskatchewan. The best one is the Health Care Super Board, it is such a wonderful money saving efficient operation. How about taking the most prosperous province in the country and putting it into deficit position with great ideas like pumping a harmless inert gas into the ground. We can have a look at the PC paying off the teachers unfunded pension plan a few years back to get their vote. Yep the PC’s have done a wonderful job and could get back into power again because the sheep of Alberta are afraid of change. Sad really sad.

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