#Motion503: The Problem with Cusanelli

700x700 voted which way on motion503

Allow me, for a moment, to rant.

If you’ve been watching this blog, or twitter, or any major newspaper or television broadcast, you may have heard of Motion 503, a private members motion that was moved April 7th by Liberal Education Critic Kent Hehr. Between a petition on his party’s website gathering more than 1,300 signatures, a twitter storm, forty or more mentions in the media from coast to coast, this motion has gathered a lot of attention.

Essentially, the motion boils down to this: it’s a call by the province to have all schools — public, private, separate, or otherwise — support Gay Straight Alliances where a student wants to start one. A Gay Straight Alliance is a student club where students, either part of the LGBT community or allies, gather together to support one another in a manner as decided by them. It’s a pretty simple thing and a thing that makes a lot of sense.

The need is there, the benefit is clear, and the support is broad.
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Gay Straight Alliances.

What if I told you there was a tool to use in our schools that could drop heterosexual male suicide rates by 50%? And that can reduce by more than half the homophobic discrimination and suicidal thoughts by LGBT youth versus schools without this tool?

Gay Straight Alliances make the lives of kids better. Full stop.

Ontario gets it. Manitoba gets it. The Alberta Teachers Association has a guide [PDF] on starting them.

But there are spaces in this province and this country where these clubs can’t flourish because of the politics surrounding them. Between Section 11 of the Human Rights Act encouraging parents to pull their kids when topics like LGBT or basic health enters the classroom — preserving hatred and persecution in our communities — and then the ability of administrators, school boards, and, as Liberal MLA Kent Hehr puts it, “adults” to kibosh these programs, it’s an unforgivable state in Alberta.

And so very, very wrong. If you want this changed, and have Alberta be a place… Continue reading

Time to fold the Progressive Conservatives of Alberta.

Rest in PeaceIt’s over.

When a party is on its third leader in three years, offends both conservative and liberal wings of its party, and its message offends Albertans so much that party fundraising dies off, it’s the end. After 43 years of running the province the Progressive Conservatives may just have finished their final lap.

Nobody probably thought of ‘what next’ after the old boys club in the Conservatives ditched Alison Redford. Now that she’s gone PC partisans are looking around and asking just who they’ll be selecting for leader next. And it isn’t a pretty comeuppance.

No one wants to lead a party where if you turn your back, or look weak, or have a run of bad scandals it sacrifices you to the public.

No one wants to be involved in a negative culture where bullying and tearing down others is the expectation.

No one wants to kowtow to the same set of old boys in the old boys club that removed Getty, Klein, Stelmach, and now Redford.

Some are hopeful Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi will swoop down from the city of Calgary, like some sort of super hero, to rescue the Conservatives. But even with a boost… Continue reading

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