EDMONTON, AB (June 8, 2012): It’s time for Premier Alison Redford to keep her promise to defend free speech in Alberta and scrap Section 3 of the Alberta Human Rights Act. Alberta Conservative MP Brian Storseth’s private members bill to eliminate Section 13 in the Canadian Human Rights Act – the free speech provision – passed on Wednesday, recognizing that this type of legislation is an infringement on freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
During the PC leadership campaign Redford made a firm commitment that she would do the same thing to similar legislation in Alberta. “Freedom of expression must be shielded and Section 3 of the Alberta Human Rights Act should be repealed,” she said. Since then she has backtracked from that promise, most recently when she tasked her first Justice Minister to only ‘review’ the legislation. Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith applauded Storseth and said it’s time for Redford to live up to her commitment to do the same in Alberta. “Albertans expect Ms. Redford to follow through with her promise to defend basic freedoms that all people are entitled to enjoy,” Smith said. “Mr. Storseth’s bill is a great step forward at the federal level. I hope Ms. Redford can show the same kind of leadership at the provincial level.” Wildrose Justice Critic Shayne Saskiw said Redford’s progress on her commitment to scrap Section 3 is unacceptable. “If there has been a review into Section 3 the Justice Minister has made no effort to make this review transparent or even be clear if they are going to follow through on their promise to get rid of this offensive provision,” Saskiw said. “It’s time for this government to get on side with Albertans and defend freedom of expression instead of sitting on the sidelines and allowing this offensive section of legislation to continue.”