Disappointed yet grateful: A day at the Legislature

bringing binders to Legislature02

Thank you to MLA Leela Aheer for her kind words of introduction welcoming me as a guest in the Legislature this afternoon. I have included a transcript and video below:

It is also with pleasure that I am going to introduce to you Theresa and Daniel Ng. Theresa is the parent who brought our attention in the inappropriate links the provincial GSA coordinator website. Her vigilance in advocacy resulted in the links being removed from the website. I would like to congratulate Theresa for her efforts on behalf of all Albertans. We owe her a debt of gratitude for her careful attention. Later today I will be tabling the names of 2, 700 of those Albertans who stand for the protection of all children. With Theresa today is her son Daniel. I thank Theresa for bringing Daniel to remind us all in this Assembly that it is the children like him who are impacted by many of our decisions and the actions of our government. I will – I would hope that potentially the Minister will have the chance to meet with Theresa regarding her concerns. I would ask Daniel and Theresa to please stand and receive the traditional warm welcome of the Assembly.

The Tabling

While I am grateful for the kind words of public acknowledgement, I did also feel a sense of disappointment.

According to legislative protocol, five copies of any document or report are required in order to officially table them in the Assembly. Because MLA Aheer made a commitment to table the letters, my husband and I spent several hours this weekend making the requisite five copies.

Impressively, that amounted to over 3,500 sheets of paper which towered over a foot and a half tall! I couldn’t help but think about the strong visual statement that stack of paper would make when all those boxes were placed on a table in the Legislative Assembly.

However, at the last minute MLA Aheer unfortunately decided not to table the stack of personally written and mailed letters. Instead she chose to table the list of names of people who had signed my online petition – all five copies which fit into a small box.

While I appreciate that something was tabled in recognition of these widespread concerns, I was surprised and disappointed that these plans changed without any notice or explanation.

Obviously if my husband and I had known that only the petition would be tabled then we would not have invested many hours of time, as well as our own financial expense, to prepare five copies of all of those hundreds of letters.

I didn’t have a chance to touch base with MLA Aheer personally, but sent an email to her assistant later this afternoon asking that MLA Aheer provide an official written response which I could provide publicly as to why the letters were not tabled.

The fact remains that a commitment was made to table the letters and then that commitment was withdrawn with little notice or explanation. I know several people who watched the livestream this afternoon and have already expressed their disappointment that their personal letters were not officially submitted as expected, especially because the letters were so emotional and difficult to write for many people.

I can’t help but wonder:

Why is it so difficult for people’s voices to be heard?

Why are these hundreds of personal voices of concern not admissible to the public record, either through our elected representatives or the media?

I was chatting with some of the other guests in the public gallery. We were talking about what brought us there. I showed them the binders of letters and then I showed them some of the content I had found in March through the community support links which had been offered on the GSA Network website.

The people I was speaking with were appalled and shocked. When I told them that no apology had been provided and that the same people were still being entrusted with authority and influence over children in schools they couldn’t believe it.

That exchange was the most valuable part of my day because it reminded me why I will continue to do what I can to ensure that there is proper accountability. Our children deserve no less.

A summer commitment

Today is supposed to be the last day of Spring Session, meaning that MLAs will soon be heading back to their own constituencies and will not formally return to the Legislature until Fall Session, scheduled to begin October 30.

The good news is that MLAs will be attending and hosting community events throughout the summer. Brian Jean and others seeking leadership of the potential new united conservative party will be busy touring the province trying to garner support. School board trustee candidates are also starting to campaign, gearing up for October municipal elections.

I encourage you to attend events and specifically ask our elected representatives, as well as candidates seeking election, questions about education in this province. On this particular topic, ask them:

What should be done when a teacher, presenter or any person in a position of authority within our school system is discovered to be directing children to sexually graphic material, including content describing sex toys, images of nudity and videos of people engaging in sexual acts?

Indeed, any MLA/trustee who will not publicly denounce such behaviour is complicit in allowing it to continue.

We need to make education of children in this province a top priority. We need to let these politicians know that our votes depend on them taking meaningful actions to address these legitimate concerns being voiced by so many people.

No matter how many disappointments, obstacles and roadblocks, our politicians need to understand that these issues must be a top priority deserving of their time and attention.

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33 comments

    • Karen Blote

      Thanks, Theresa for your courageous stand, and for your dedication to keep our kids safe
      We can help you defer the cost of the campaign you led
      Please help us help you by sending your contact information so we can sent cheques your way
      Please let us know how much you need to be re-imbursed and then we can crowd-source
      I am sure we can all come up with $10, $20, $50, or $100.00 to help you
      You deserve much more:) Keep up the fight for our kids
      A grateful parent

      Frank and Karen Blote

      Like

      • informedalbertans

        Hi Frank and Karen,
        Thank you for your kind words and generous offer. I do what I do because I believe in preserving the integrity of our education system, but if you do feel led to contribute funds then you are welcome to mail a cheque to my PO Box and that would definitely help offset some of the costs. Thank you for your kindness. 🙂
        Theresa Ng
        PO Box 92131 MEADOWBROOK
        EDMONTON AB T6T 1N1

        Like

      • Amenla

        Thanks to Karen Blote for bringing this to our attention. If we really care for our children and the generations to come. We must help Theresa in her fight for our precious children. We must also have our voices heard by becoming politically active.

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  1. Irene Jennings

    Thanks for all your hard work. Just wondering when we as tax payers of Alberta, suddenly have no say in what the children are taught in school. Perhaps its time to withold our property taxes to boycott these changes that are being forced upon the citizens!

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  2. Don

    Thank You for all your hard workTheresa! You Do Not stand alone and know that there are many unheard voices out there that you speak for. Do not be discouraged and be of good cheer. Continue to fight the good fight for I assure you that you even have the Eyes Of Heaven watching……..and He is well pleased with your efforts!!

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  3. Patricia Gagnon

    Please don’t give up. You are doing important work and it is valued and appreciated.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  4. Verla Wilde

    Thank You for your time and commitment. I do not understand why it is so hard to let the Government know what alot of people want, say, and wish to happen. but I appreciate that you have spent so much time trying to get them to listen Thank you Verla Wilde

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  5. Sonja Farrell

    I think that most of what happens in legislature is no longer connected to the body of voters but rather the party’s agenda. That does not negate your efforts and the letters to you. That is a body of evidence that stands may they consider those words and repent. I still hold that your humble manner and unflappable perseverance is the mark of great character.

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    • informedalbertans

      Thank you for your words of encouragement, Sonja. I’ve realized in this new realm of politics and public advocacy that I’ve been involved in over the past 18 months that democracy works best when the electorate is informed and engaged in the process and unfortunately many people have become too complacent and willing to abdicate their responsibility to be actively involved in the political process and in holding their representatives accountable. When all of this slows down a bit I’m hoping to write more on my blog about that topic, including practical ways that we can all help take back the reins and restore some more balance. 🙂

      Like

      • Brigid Bishop

        I agree that Informing and engaging the electorate as we head into next provincial election is key….. The Conservative party is regenerating itself through “Grassroots…. so this is the time for Albertans to speak up and make this a prominent issue-and take advantage of social media as much as possible , to inform all stakeholders in Education…and draw coverage from mainstream media….
        Thanks for your continued efforts! Please don’t get discouraged or give up on your fellow Albertans….Even though there may be disappointment in our politicians’ lack of responses, their “no response” IS a response that communicates a strong message in itself…. and I think a lot of Albertans will be saying ” enough is enough” and push back those who are pushing their Agenda via every means possible, including through our schools. If you want to change an ideology of a nation, you start by introducing it to the youngest members of society to normalize its acceptance…and it has quietly begun here….but you helped to blow the whistle… so thanks again….

        Like

  6. Theresa Germain

    Thank you so much Theresa and Daniel for your time and commitment to addressing such an important issue concerning the protection of our children! When good men and women do nothing, evil prevails. (Proverbs 29:2). Canada needs more passionate leaders like you that are determined to protect the innocent! I have a verse for you and Daniel from my Bible. It’s from Psalm 53:2 “God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God”. My prayer for all Canadians as Canada reaches her 150th birthday is that we would seek to know God because He has all the answers for living a good and prosperous life! He is a good, good God, full of mercy and compassion and He loves us with an everlasting love!!! Many, many blessings of love, peace and JOY to you and Daniel!!! Theresa Germain

    Like

  7. inthegardenofmylord

    I agree completely with Sonja . The agenda of the Left is very much committed to put down any dissenting voices that would dare criticize any of their policies . They bring out the fear mongering rant against any right side policies . They operate in secret . Public input is neither wanted nor desired . The next election will be very nasty , with a lot false narratives . Without a committed , united right of center party the lefties will be once again in power . I digress . I want to say a huge Thank You to Theresa and her family for their sacrifice of time and resources for standing up against the ideology of the left as it will soon be required learning in the new curriculum . I wonder just how abhorrent it will be to those of us who hold conservative views ? Peter Armstrong

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  8. alhiebert

    Thank you for your faithful witness and your prayers, Theresa. Much appreciated!
    In 2013 we encountered a similar deaf ear from our Manitoba NDP government. In the last analysis politicians seem to care primarily about votes at the next election. Hence we have changed our focus to equipping Christian parents to empower their kids to grow up in Christ in a messed-up world. See http://www.growingupinChrist.com.

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  9. Donna Vert

    Thank you, Theresa and Daniel for your time and dedication to the protection of our children. The very fact that only 2700 Albertans cared enough to sign the petition is a disappointment to me. It is hard to comprehend that every parent in our Province is not greatly concerned with the direction our NDP Government and Education Minister is taking. Don’t be too disappointed. You did a wonderful job, over and above! I hope you continue advocating for our youth, as they are our future in this Province.

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  10. Leona Lowe

    Blessings to You & Your Husband for ALL that You have done and are doing. I Pray that God will Bless You in Your own Personal Lives , regarding all that You have sown into the Purpose of Awareness to Proper Teaching for Students and that those who Choose otherwise be REMOVED. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRECIOUS TIME & PERSONAL RESOURCES USED.

    On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 10:29 PM, informed albertans wrote:

    > informedalbertans posted: ” Thank you to MLA Leela Aheer for her kind > words of introduction welcoming me as a guest in the Legislature this > afternoon. I have included a transcript and video below: It is also with > pleasure that I am going to introduce to you Theresa and Daniel Ng” >

    Like

  11. Delona McKee

    Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!! We so appreciate your diligence & concern. We stand with you!! I agree the eyes have heaven have seen & will reward you!!

    Like

  12. George and Hilly VanWoudenberg

    We too add our heartfelt Thank You to your hard work. We very much appreciate your commitment to this very important issue. It is frustrating to observe how so many fellow citizens of our province are not aware of what the government is foisting on us. This unfortunate fact makes your work and commitment so important! The only way to make our representatives take notice is to spread the information of this repugnant activity that is happening in our provinces education system. More and more the wishes of special interest groups are being catered to, and the voice of the majority is ignored and if possible, silenced. We must turn up the volume of our displeasure and disgust!
    If the government officials won’t listen, reach out to the grass roots and increase the ground-swell of our opposition to this repugnant situation.

    Thank you Theresa and family

    Like

    • informedalbertans

      Thank you for your comments and words of encouragement. I have reached the same conclusion – if the government officials won’t listen then we need to concentrate on informing the public and increasing citizen/voter mobilization on these issues. It has been said that politics is downstream from culture and I have often said politicians are more followers than leaders. It is up to us to ensure that the politicians cannot afford to ignore these issues. Let’s keep spreading the word 🙂

      Like

  13. astrid

    Theresa, what can we do to have you elected as the minister of education once the PC/Wildrose party is elected in 2019? We need someone like you in charge of the education of our children. Someone who actually cares and with good intentions.

    Like

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