Musings —04.20.2012 11:38 AM—
Jen Gerson thinks it’s “fear mongering” to take a look at the public record of Wildrose extremists, such as the one who has called for David Suzuki’s murder. That’s a quote: “fear mongering.” It’s not “actual reporting,” says Gerson. Her bosses at the National Post, who have done exemplary work on Alberta-based neo-Nazi activity recently, may feel differently. Who knows.
Fortunately, the Calgary Herald believes in providing voters with, you know, information and actual reporting:
* Health Minister John Carpay? Within the first five minutes of meeting Carpay at a Fraser Institute event a few years ago, he was selling me on the merits of private health care. The candidate for Calgary-Lougheed is a social conservative and lawyer, who has written columns for the Herald about some of the controversial free-speech cases he’s defended as executive director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation. They include defending William Whatcott’s right to oppose homosexual behaviour, and the right for pro-lifers to display graphic fetuses on a university campus.
It’s Carpay’s views on health, though, that disturb me most. He’s an ardent believer in a parallel private health-care system, which has been tried elsewhere in places like Australia, and hasn’t reduced wait lists. In a July 2010 column, Carpay wrote: “Albertans should be outraged at the Alberta government’s clear commitment to continue its monopoly over essential health services, by making it illegal for Albertans to spend their own after-tax dollars on their own health.”
* Education Minister Rev. Allan Hunsperger? He’s a pastor with the House Church and the founder of Heritage Christian Schools, but that doesn’t make him Education minister material. In a church blog post written last year, which was deleted shortly after being reported in the mainstream media during the campaign, Hunsperger identified public education as “godless,” meaning “profane or wicked.” The candidate for Edmonton-South-West also condemned the Edmonton School Board’s policy to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all students, including lesbian, gay and transgender.
* Justice Minister Richard Jones? Jones, a University of Calgary graduate and a practising lawyer, should know there is no provincial jurisdiction in Canada to enact criminal law. Yet, he disseminated flyers in the Calgary-Acadia riding where he is running that said the province’s new drinking and driving bill makes criminals out of Albertans: “PC candidate (Solicitor-General) Jonathan Denis championed this bill that turns everyday Albertans into criminals.”
In fact, the province toughened sanctions against those caught driving with a blood-alcohol content higher than .05. Since 1991, Alberta police have always had the discretion to impose 24-hour roadside suspensions, but it is not criminal. Criminal charges can’t be laid on anything under .08, as per the federal Criminal Code.
* Environment Minister Tom Copithorne? I don’t think so. This candidate, running in Banff-Cochrane, suggested the risk to grizzlies, which the province has declared a threatened species, is that they will be overprotected. He told the Rocky Mountain Outlook he reached this conclusion after consulting with a “good friend and lifetime Kananaskis resident Rick Guinn … Rick cautions that one must be careful not to overprotect one species, as this will have an adverse effect on other animals such as elk and moose, as the small calves are prey in the spring. He says grizzly populations appear to be at all time highs in the mountain regions.”