2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
- (a) freedom of conscience and religion;
- (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
- (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
- (d) freedom of association. "
Our Charter provides us as individuals with certain rights, and is intended to protect us from any government passing laws infringing on those rights.
So would anyone who is currently aghast about the PC smear du jour of conscience rights and spinning that rights are going to be violated, why should anyone have to surrender their charter guaranteed right of freedom of conscience just because they happen to 'work' for the government? And that invitation also includes Premier Redford, a lawyer and 'human rights' expert, who called the conscience policy "frightening". Our charter is frightening? I don't think so but would be happy to hear you try to defend that and your playing politics with charter rights.
So now that we got that charter right business out of the way lets look at what the governments role in all of this is, or at least should be.
Someone is entitled to receive a 'government service'. They get that government service.
Done. That's it.
That is the role of government.
It isn't to force a specific individual to surrender his freedom of conscience by forcing them to perform that service, it is just to make sure that the service does get performed.
And that is why this isn't near the issue that it has been blown up to solely for political reasons. The truth is that no one has been denied a government 'service' because of conscience rights and everyone who has been entitled to be married has been given that opportunity and everyone who was entitled to any other government service has also received that service.
It just isn't happening and it hasn't happened for a long long time in Alberta and even then it they ended up getting the services they were due through the courts. Because that is what courts are for when it appears that rights collide.
Which incidentally is exactly what Danielle Smith said this morning.