Alberta Government should enshrine parental rights, says Coalition

    CALGARY, May 28 /CNW/ - A coalition of five family organizations 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

    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:

For further information: Corry Morcos, President, AB Chapter REAL Women
of Canada, Tel. (780) 455-5249,; Jill Cahoon, President,
United Families Canada, Tel. (780) 662-2785,;
Michele Dow, President, United Mothers, Fathers & Friends Canada, Tel. (403)
933-3271,; Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, Catholic Civil
Rights League, Tel. (416) 466-8244,; Gwen Landolt,
Vice-President, REAL Women of Canada, Tel. (905) 731-5425,

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