While I never really intended this blog to become what one might term an "advocacy blog" there are certain times when I feel compelled to speak out on certain issues. Motion 503, which would have required school boards to develop policies to support students wishing to establish gay-straight alliance groups and activities in their schools, was defeated on the floor of the Alberta Legislature this past Monday. While this motion would not have forced school boards to have such groups, it would have compelled them to accept their existence should students feel the need to have one.
It was disappointing, to say the least, to hear that Jeff Johnson, the Minister of Education, voted against the motion. I was heartened to see that my own MLA voted in favour of the bill. His constituency office is only a block away so I certainly know where to go if I need to track him down. Unfortunately, as mentioned. the motion was defeated by a count of 31 to 19.
I do hope our PC government recovers from its seemingly chronic state of cranial-rectal inversion and joins us in the 21st century. It's only just begun, really. I'm sure there's lots of room. Issues of suicide amongst youth due to bullying and homophobia have been unfortunately quite prominent in the media so I won't rehash everything here. I will only add that any school group that works actively to prevent these tragedies from happening is a good thing and I find it frustrating that our so-called "leaders" would rather pander to bigotry for votes rather than actually move beyond talking and actually DO something about this issue. Did Johnson actually go out and ask the opinion of his constituents or just pander to a few bigots in his church? I'd love to get an answer to that one.
I did write an email on this topic to both the Minister Johnson on this issue. Hopefully he will grow a brain, recall that government works for US and not the other way around and get back to me on why he chose to vote the way he did.
I eagerly await his response.