CALGARY, AB, May 28, 2009 – A coalition of five family organizations, including the League, has come out in support of the Alberta government’s proposal to enshrine parental rights in Alberta’s Human Rights Act.
These organizations have long argued that the family is the fundamental unit of society and that parents have the right to choose the kind of education that shall be given their children.
“As the primary educators of their children, parents have the right to choose the education that they believe is in the best interests of their children,” said Michele Dow of Calgary, President of United Mothers and Fathers Canada.
Alberta’s Bill 44 includes a proposal that the province enshrine in Alberta human rights legislation the right of parents to be notified when school curriculum or materials include the explicit teaching of religion, sexuality or sexual orientation, as well as the right of parents to opt their children out of participation in such curriculum or materials without academic penalty to the child.
“We heartily endorse the right of parents to choose the kind of education that is given to their children – and that includes both the right to be informed about instruction regarding religion, sexuality and sexual orientation and to seek accommodation of their beliefs, including the right to opt out of such instruction,” said Corry Morcos, President of REAL Women of Canada’s Alberta Chapter, an Edmonton based organization.
The bill passed second reading on May 13, 2009. Amendments to the bill were passed on May 26, 2009. The bill is expected to return to the Legislature for third reading next week.
Family and faith groups all recognize the right of parents to choose the education of their children, and this right is also spelled out in Article 26 of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The coalition hopes to see it explicitly included in the pending changes to Alberta’s human rights legislation.
The coalition consists of the Catholic Civil Rights League, REAL Women of Canada, United Families Canada, REAL Women Canada Alberta Chapter, and United Mothers & Fathers.
For further information:
Corry Morcos, President, AB Chapter REAL Women of Canada,
Tel. 780-455-5249 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill Cahoon, President United Families Canada,
Tel. 780 – 662 – 2785 email@example.com
Michele Dow, President, United Mothers, Fathers & Friends Canada,
Tel. 403-933-3271, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanne McGarry, Executive Director Catholic Civil Rights League,
Tel. 416-466-8244 Joanne.email@example.com
Gwen Landolt, Vice-President, REAL Women of Canada
Tel. 905-731-5425 firstname.lastname@example.org