Authentic educational choice in Alberta under threat

rally2016 (10 of 42)

Authentic educational choice exists in Alberta because families have the freedom to choose the educational settings that best meet the needs of their children.

However, today that freedom of choice is under direct attack in Alberta.

Dr. David Swann, leader of the Liberal party, has suggested the government should consider withdrawing funding, removing charters or dissolving boards that refuse to implement the sexual orientation and gender identity Guidelines provided by Alberta Education.

Not only do his statements show a complete lack of regard for the Minister of Education’s clear assurances to Albertans in March that the Guidelines document was provided as a “resource” that was not “not legally binding”, but he also forgets that he does not fund the entire operation of Alberta’s education system.

Taxpayers do.

Which means that the diversity of educational choices, funded either fully or partially through public dollars, reflect the diversity of Albertans who provide that funding through their tax dollars.

To suggest that only some educational choices are “valid” to receive public taxpayer funding demonstrates a shockingly discriminatory premise of inequality which declares that the needs and values of some people are worthy of inclusion in our publicly funded education system – and others are not.

This alarming premise undermines and fundamentally corrupts the functioning of a pluralistic, multicultural and free, democratic society.

And that is not progress.

Unfortunately, others are also actively advocating to undermine educational choices in Alberta.

Dave Beninger started a petition today demanding that the Minister of Education cut funding to specific Christian private schools.

Dr. Kristopher Wells and Public Interest Alberta have resorted to a public smear campaign to undermine educational choice, in an apparent attempt to coerce faith-based school boards to conform to their bidding.

And last week the Minister of Education David Eggen made an unprecedented declaration over Facebook that undermined the authority of democratically elected school boards.

Frankly, it is irrelevant to this discussion which values you personally happen to agree with.

The fundamental question is not whether any one person believes a set of values to be right or wrong, but whether the government should be permitted to use public purse strings to impose a “one size fits all” approach on all children and their families within our public, independent, home education, charter, and Catholic schools across the province.

Freedom of choice is meaningless if all “choices” are forced to be the same.

In terms of Dave Beninger and Kristopher Wells, they have the freedom to disagree with how Pastor Brian Coldwell chooses to run his private Christian school and how certain school districts choose to write their policies.

But you know the great thing about Alberta?

They also have the freedom to make other choices. And if they don’t like the options available at Pastor Brian Coldwell’s school or anywhere else, then they can feel free to not enroll their children at those schools.

I invite you to communicate your support for authentic educational choice by SIGNING MY PETITION in order to demonstrate that you:

a) support public funds toward a variety of educational options that will continue to serve the diverse needs of families across the province.

b) support the operation of secular and faith based schools to exist and operate according to their foundational beliefs, without coercion from government and special interest groups

Each time a person adds their name, an email will be sent to:
Premier Rachel Notley
Minister of Education, David Eggen
Leader of the Official Opposition, Brian Jean
Interim Leader of the PC Party, Ric McIver
Leader of the Liberal Party, Dr. David Swann

Please also forward this link to others over email and social media to ensure that Albertans make their voices heard loud and clear.

In order to preserve authentic educational choice and meet the needs of all children and families in our multicultural, pluralistic province of Alberta we must advocate that our current model of public funding not be compromised.

Remember that your voice matters.  Not speaking up has a 100% success rate of accomplishing nothing.

Thank you for helping to preserve the diversity of educational choices in this province – for everyone.




  1. Ron Voss

    Kitty Werthmann is living survivor of Nazi-controlled Austria. In this presentation she talks about growing up in Austria before and after the Nazi party and Hitler took control. She gives an eye-witness account of how the transformation of Austria under Nazi rule didn’t happen overnight, but rather, it evolved into a dictatorship gradually, over a period of a few years, and raises a concern about history repeating itself. In the segment from 7:13 minutes to 12:32 minutes she speaks about how the education system changed under Nazi rule. She talks about Sunday becoming National Youth Day and it was compulsory for parents to send their youth you at 8 o’clock in the morning to the local gymnasium. She explains (9:09 minutes), “The first two hours we had political education. Today, I would call it political indoctrination. We were told not to listen to our parents. You young people here, listen to your parents. They have the best interest in you; nobody has more interest in you than your parents. So when we were told not to listen to our parents, they were old-fashioned old fogies. That they didn’t understand the young people. Only Hitler did. And we only listen to Hitler from now on. Not to our parents…I argued with my parents constantly because we had freedom and we had rights”. In response, her mother took her out of the public school and enrolled her in a private school. Looking back Werthmann concludes, “Today if she hadn’t intervened I would be a radical Marxist”.
    ‘Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.’ – Edmund Burke


  2. Concerned parent

    I think is high time we stop playing nice with these folks and demand that the minister of education resigns his position for permitting child abuse and abuse of power. If he was a principled man or cared about children, he would not play the political games the gay mafia and politicians are playing. Instead he would resign for the sake and safety of children.These folks act and behave like Hitler., is either their way or the highway and they want to use our taxes and children to promote their agenda. They won’t take us seriously if we keep beating around the bush. They ask for us to be politically correct but they don’t , specially K Wells.They insult christians, catholics, etc. How come they have the right to speak their mind and we do not?
    We should have another rally with very clear and serious demands.


  3. Duncan Kinney

    Private schools that do not respect the laws and values of Albertans are welcome to free themselves from the tyranny of public taxpayer funding at any point.


    • informedalbertans

      Dear Duncan Kinney,
      With all due respect, isn’t it rather presumptuous on your part to speak for all the public taxpayers in this province?

      It seems you would find it most informative to refer to the petition page link provided below and allow taxpayers to speak for themselves when it comes to their taxpayer dollars and their values.

      In fact, in less than 36 hours, well over 1000 Albertans have already made their perspective quite apparent when it comes to how they want their taxpayer contributions spent.

      It may be time to re-evaluate your perception regarding the values that Albertans have – contrary to whatever you may presume, it seems that many Albertans actually value their hard-earned taxpayer dollars directed to a system that provides authentic educational choice for all Albertans.

      Thank you for taking the time to engage in discussion on this important topic.


  4. Ron Voss

    In the CBC report, Liberal party ‘leader’ David Swann makes note of “The legislation” having been “supported by every provincial party”, namely Bill 10 and Bill 7, and that together with “the policies set forth by the government” provides “kids with the right to be who they are”. They have every right to be who they are, that is, male or female. In fact scientifically it is impossible to be otherwise. But the kids don’t have right to determine what sex they are based upon their feelings. Feelings are fluid. One’s sex, male or female is not. Noteworthy is the recognition in this CBC report that the transgender guidelines have NO legislative force given the call by Joel French, executive director of Public Interest Alberta to legislate LGBTQ rights: “If school boards or private schools refuse to provide the supports and the protections that are necessary, then we think it may be necessary for the minister of education to introduce legislation to ensure that all students in the province have those supports and protections”. It is also clear from what was said by the Edmonton mother who insisted that her seven-year old transgender daughter be allowed to use the female washroom, providing the pretence for Eggen to issue his guidelines: “It’s a clear slap in the minister’s face. Here the minister put out guidelines, which shouldn’t have been guidelines. Guidelines is an indication that there’s an option to implement this or not.” Consistent with Eggen’s earlier assurances to Albertans in March that the Guidelines were “not legally binding”. I presume that Eggen and the NDP have a long-term strategy in mind to up the ante in this battle which may include the introduction of legislation in the Legislative Assembly that would, for example, allow a student to use whatever bathroom aligns with that student’s feelings as to his or her sex. They probably have this in mind as stage 2 in their plan if unable to bully a broad cross section of the school boards to comply with the non-legislated guidelines.


  5. Ron Voss

    For the CBC report, “Pull funding for school boards defying LGBTQ policy: Liberal leader”, also weighing to demand the same was Joel French, executive director of Public Interest Alberta. Those so-called “critics” who are giving various school boards a failing grade in meeting the Alberta government’s directives are hardly unbiased, non-partisan voices. Apart from Kris Wells, who is certainly not an unbiased observer, consider the group described as Public Interest Alberta. Who or what is Public Interest Alberta (PIA)? PIA describes itself a non-profit advocacy group focusing on education and public interest issues and claims to be “non-partisan”. Although Public Interest Alberta declares that it strives “to have a Board of Directors that reflects the diversity of Alberta”, its Board of Directors reads like a Who’s Who in the Alberta labour movement, reflecting the diversity of the labour union movement. The 15 directors represent or have been associated with the Alberta Teachers’ Association, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, Alberta Federation of Labour, Health Sciences Association of Alberta, the National Union of Public and General Employees, United Nurses of Alberta, CUPE, Calgary & District Labour Council, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, the Non-Academic Staff Association at the University of Alberta, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The current president of Public Interest Alberta was the former President of the Alberta Teachers’ Association and Vice President of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. One can imagine where PIA gets the bulk of its funding. One of the directors once ran unsuccessfully for the NDP in an Alberta election. Three of PIA’s directors also serve on the board of directors for the Friends of Medicare, which The Edmonton Journal once described as “a left-leaning advocacy group that supports public health care”. Noteworthhty that Education Minister David Eggen has strong ties to Friends of Medicare as he served as the Alberta executive director for Friends of Medicare from 2008 to 2012. To top it all off, PIA’s Executive Director, Joel French, managed the constituency office of Brian Mason, Leader of Alberta’s NDP, from 2010 until 2012, when he joined the staff of Friends of Medicare as the Communications and Administrative Officer. With such a lineup, Public Interest Alberta is anything but a “non-partisan” organization, but, rather, a pro-Alberta-NDP advocacy group and mouthpiece.


  6. Ron Voss

    The author of this article, “Church in fight over Alberta LGBTQ policy espouses far-right ideology, has close tie to advocacy group”, takes issue with PCE as an advocacy group. However, he has no problem with the advocacy group, Public Interest Alberta, manned and generously financed by his union friends: From the lofty heights of a far left leftist on the political spectrum anything even marginally to the right is identified as “far-right”. The extreme far right is anarchy (zero government) on the political spectrum and the extreme left corresponds to totalitarian state-controlled (100% government) regimes (Communists, Fascists, Marxists, Nazis). He also assumes the posture of a theologian.


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