I was quite surprised that Danielle Smith jumped to the conclusion that there is systemic indoctrination in our classrooms based on two incidents involving two teachers, especially when these two events were separated by over 30 years.
Does Ms. Smith use the same logic to conclude that because there were multiple incidents of election fraud involving a number of members of the UCP, all occurring within a relatively short period, that all UCP members commit election fraud?
Warren Phillips, Camrose
Indoctrination charge misleading
Danielle Smith was guilty of spreading fake news in her Friday column, stating that Alberta’s schools are indoctrinating our children. First, she took lines out of context from a Grade 10 social studies exam to make it appear that a teacher was giving her students only one side of controversial issues when, in fact, the teacher was asking students to critique those arguments. Critical-thinking skills are an important curriculum goal.
Then, she goes on to say that if a parent is unhappy with what his child is being taught and complains to the principal, the principal won’t do anything about it because the principal is a member of the ATA. Principals definitely supervise the teachers under them. They can and do recommend the dismissal of teachers when necessary.
Earl Choldin, Edmonton
Don’t underestimate students
So Danielle Smith is opposed to a cartoon on a social test that she agrees with because she thinks 15-year-olds are too ignorant to understand it. Then, she implies the current curriculum (created by the previous Conservative government) may be rigged to the extreme left.
Don’t underestimate young people, Danielle; they know adult hypocrisy when they see it.
Tom Trottier, Edmonton
Kenney wrong to attack academic
Mr. Kenney, your comments about Melanee Thomas, a professor with the University of Calgary, has shown your contempt for the whole academic community or anyone, for that matter, who disagrees with you. So much so, that 625 of her colleagues have signed a letter addressed to you to protest her treatment by you in the legislature where she could not defend herself.
Some years ago, weren’t you involved in a movement to prevent gay people from visiting their sick partners in hospital who were suffering from HIV? Didn’t you ask for forgiveness because you were young and have since changed your opinion on this matter? Please extend the same courtesy to Melanie Thomas for her flirtation with the NDP.
Phyllis Stone, Sherwood Park
UCP cuts are damaging Alberta
How can I adequately register my disgust with the damage the UCP are doing to Alberta’s economy and services? From education, healthcare, justice, social services, every facet of our lives will be affected. Privatization is the name of the game. Lower wages, but the same level of taxation because of increased fees and costs.
Impending layoffs of thousands are causing untold stress and fear. The UCP has lied about their real intentions from the beginning. How is investment and business going to thrive in a demoralized province? It has already cost Calgary a 1,000-person tech head office.
Premier Lougheed would surely be ashamed at what the Conservative Party has become.
Brenda Niven, St. Albert
UCP must respect dissenting opinions
Minister Toews and his cabinet colleagues seem to believe that their election win gives them a mandate to attack anyone whose opinion isn’t in line with their UCP truth. What they don’t seem to understand is that their truth is not the only truth.
The UCP was elected by 54.9 per cent of Alberta voters. The other 45.1 per cent of voters wanted someone other than the UCP to form the provincial government. As the governing party, the UCP is charged with representing and listening to all the residents of Alberta — not just the ones who voted for them.
At the national level, the UCP is demanding to be heard by the federal government. However, if Justin Trudeau was to say that the concerns raised by the UCP are “nonsense,” I suspect that Minister Toews and his UCP colleagues would be furious.
If the UCP want their truth to be heard and respected at the national level, it might be wise to model these expectations here at home.
Bill Godfrey, Edmonton
Apple’s map policy satisfies Putin
I am appalled to learn that Apple has officially recognized Crimea as Russian territory on its maps — albeit in Russia. This is a treachery not just to Ukraine, but to any sane democratic nation which has taken a stance on Russia’s so-called “referendum” in 2014.
Apple’s decision to change its maps for Russian users can be referred to chief executive Tim Cook’s stance on conforming with the laws and regulations with wherever its foreign outlets operate. Nonetheless, complying to these geopolitical changes only justifies Russia’s claim over Crimea.
Apple needs to properly recognize and stand up to the amoral principles of such countries and their regimes. Clearly, the message being sent here is: “it’s nothing personal — it’s just business.”
I hope Apple receives a similar berating from other democratic societies, as Russia did from its annexation of Crimea five years prior. “Kudos” for making Vladimir Putin all the more satisfied.
David Matheson, Edmonton
Shortsighted to dump Scheer
I am not going to praise Andrew Scheer, nor criticize his failings, but I think the rush to overthrow him as Conservative party leader is ridiculous.
It is a sign of our disposable and instant-gratification society that the knives are out for a leader who increased his party’s seat count, and put the Conservatives in a strong position to be the next government if the Liberals’ minority falters.
Why is it that people have no patience anymore? Just throw away anything that doesn’t work and replace it with something lesser for the sake of convenience. The rush to oust Scheer is symptomatic of people with no foresight. Do you think the NDP in Quebec are happy they dumped Tom Mulcair?
Bruce Heringa, Edmonton
Doctors oppose conscience rights bill
This letter is written by physicians who have privileges at the Grey Nuns and Misercordia Hospital, Covenant Health-run facilities in Edmonton.
We note that Covenant Health has expressed support for Bill 207, but we have significant concerns that this bill will negatively impact patients. Many of our colleagues, including Dr. Molnar, president of the Alberta Medical Association, have expressed their concerns about this bill, which threatens access to health care services by vulnerable populations.
This bill is perceived to be redundant and unnecessary, as there are safeguards already in place for health-care providers who refuse to provide services citing conscientious objection. Furthermore, physicians are accountable to their regulatory body, and a bill that leaves patients without recourse except litigation when practitioners fail to provide necessary services citing conscientious objections is not only dangerous but unethical.
As medical professionals, we should provide compassionate and expert care to all populations, especially the vulnerable, despite our varied religious beliefs and backgrounds. Bill 207 potentially limits access to services like abortion, medical assistance in dying and medical care to LGBTQ and visible minorities like Indigenous populations, as well as those living in rural communities, where a limited number of health-care providers may preclude them from getting a second opinion. In most situations, patients need more than a website to help them make significant medical decisions.
The potential for patient abandonment and to jeopardize patient well-being in the name of conscientious objection is worrisome and conflicts with the very essence of the medical practice.
Dr. Shelley Duggan, Dr. Sabin Shurraw, Dr. Janek Senaratne, Dr. Mark Ewanchuk, Dr. Elizabeth Rokosh, Dr. Lotje Wasilenko, Dr. Tracey Bryan, Dr. Michael Bowman, Dr. Susan Reid, Dr. Tanya Tran, Dr. Sayra Khandekar, Dr. Colleen Sweeney, Dr. Suhaib Alkurtass, Dr. Jon Zaozirny, Dr. Howard Evans, Dr. Salma Murji, Dr. Blair St Martin, Dr. Michael Hobart, Dr. Erika McIntyre, Dr. Carmen Gingles, Dr. Derek Bochinski, Dr. Michael Mengel, Dr. Kaili Hoffart, Dr. Christina Dolhaniuk, Dr. Tom Corbett, Dr. Kilary Komder, Dr. Jaret Olson, Dr. Michelle Fairgrieve-Park, Dr. James Wolfli, Dr. Matt Simmonds, Dr. Dan Stollery, Dr. Dominic Carney, Dr. Jeremy Katulka, Dr. Richard Hanelt, Dr. Gerrit Winkelaar, Dr. Dave Waldner, Dr. Holly Hoang, Dr. Curtiss Boyington, Dr. Sean Bagshaw, Dr. Leah Remington, Dr. Greg Hyrynchyshyn, Dr. Lisa Korus, Dr. Mike Bow, Dr. Andrea Skorenki, Dr. Nadia du Toit, Dr. David Rayner, Dr. Lakshmi Puttagunta, Dr. Cassandra Hirt-Walsh, Dr. Neils Jacobsen, Dr. Jacquie McCubbin
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