Danielle Smith speaks up for the “conscience rights” of Alberta civil servants; raw milk anyone? UPDATED!

Danielle Smith, from a recently photo op in an ice cream store. Photo via Danielle's Facebook page.

The following quote is taken from a newspaper story by Warren Kinsella, in the Calgary Sun, that’s in general harshly critical of the views of Wildrose Alliance leader Danielle Smith. Danielle’s party is a strong contender in the upcoming Alberta elections.

“How does she get away with that? How, in particular, does her caucus — who are, overwhelmingly, hard-Right social conservatives — let her get away with that? How can she, for example, say she’s “pro-choice” and also call abortions at four months “horrific?”

To do that, Smith has come up with an interesting little bit of “doublespeak” — she calls it conscience rights. It means, under a Wildrose government, if a doctor or nurse’s “conscience” opposes abortion, then they can refuse to perform them.

If a marriage commissioner opposes same-sex unions, they can refuse those, too.

If a public servant’s “conscience” is against anything, apparently, they can refuse to do it.

You can see where this might go, in Alberta and elsewhere.

If a bureaucrat’s “conscience” is troubled, they can say no to just about anything. Licensing oilsands extraction. Building a road. Cutting down a tree….”

And while this news story focuses on abortion, just consider the implications for food rights and raw milk. Just imagine, regulators letting their conscience override government diktats.

Read the whole story here.

Update 6:11 pm Sunday: From Darren Woods, Chief Policy Correspondent, Wildrose Alliance:

Thank-you for contacting us with your question. The Wildrose believes in free market enterprise, and we oppose unreasonable government intervention between producer and consumer in any market. We support the right of our dairy producers to sell their product wherever demand exists for it, along with the right of Alberta consumers to purchase unpasturized milk if they so desire.

This issue is not frequently raised by our members or stakeholder groups, and as a result, it is not officially addressed in Wildrose policy. However, Wildrose Agriculture Critic Paul Hinman has acknowledged the issue of excessive government intervention in the dairy sector, and has indicated his support for the right to purchase unpasturized milk given properly mandated truth in product labelling.

Please contact me with any additional questions or concerns.

Best regards,

-Darren

Wow, this is great news. Is this the first time in recent Canadian history that a political party has come out in support peoples rights to buy and sell raw milk?

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Danielle Smith speaks up for the “conscience rights” of Alberta civil servants; raw milk anyone? UPDATED!

  1. Does she have any idea what a can of worms she is opening?

    How about the tax auditor who is sympathetic with a conscientious objector to the violence government does with their tax money?

    If this goes through in BC, I will do my best to get a government job — any old job — and then begin aggressively exercising my “conscience rights” in that job.

    No, I am not going to use a disposable pen. Either supply me with pencils or a refillable fountain pen. No, I am not going to use those chemicals to clean that toilet. No, I am not going to drive that gas vehicle to read those water meters. It’s my “conscience right” not to — speak to my union rep, please.

    In fact, it’s largely my “conscience” that keeps me out of traditional employment entirely these days — I’ve never had a “real job” that didn’t require me to do something against my conscience!

    Think I’ll go plant some seeds, now. That has never troubled my conscience.

    • nedlud

      @Jan Steinman:

      Great comment.

      And no, she has no idea. The bureaucratic principle of constantly applying a linear (one-dimensional, one-directional) set of rules as THE correct response to the ever shifting patterns of life in multi-dimensional reality (where what was good, becomes ‘bad’, and bad becomes frequently ‘good’ depending on natural movements and change) and then backing those rules amd creating obedience to them (as government always does) with brutal, accumulated, force (again: BIG government) in an atttempt to control it (life, the processes that life represents, particularly the human), is nothing other than a blinding, killing, mutilating obsession….

      …it would be comical and farcical indeed, except for the fact that with present technology this notion is blinding and killling and mutilating us all.

      NO EXCEPTIONS! (Unless one recognizes this sickening trait and chooses to oppose it, which we should do, if we wish to live, truly live.)

      nedlud

  2. thebovine

    Jan, you may have to move to Alberta if you want to share in the fun.

  3. Kinsella drivel is just more of the same, recycled socialist yelping. Notice that what really terrifies him, is, the notion that this party would de-fund artificial abortion procedures from the public purse. when I was out picketing the abortuaries ( 2 decades ago) one thing we found out is, even if citizens accepted abortion on demand, they did not want to pay the bill to have someone else’s baby killed.

    What’s this got to do with raw milk? You brought it up. Abortion is the monster lurking below the consciousness of America

  4. BC Food Security

    Jan: Your comments make sense to me ! How about running for Mayor/BC MLA of Salt spring as a first step under a new “Conscience Party” flag ?

  5. Bill Anderson

    You have to be very careful, because this can cut both ways. I actually do agree, in part, with the articles author.

    If a public servant is free to exercise his/her conscience when it comes to (say) abortion, then s/he can also “exercise his/her conscience” when it comes to (for example) protecting the free speech rights of those they disagree with, or allowing environmental destruction. In other words, should public servants simply be free to do whatever they want, while on the job, under the pretense of this policy? No, I’d hope not… The point of a public servant is that they are supposed to serve the public and follow the rule of law. The problem we have with the raw milk issue is precisely that they are not serving the public, but instead are serving the private interests of the dairy processing corporations.

    I think that there are certainly cases of conscientious objection that should be taken seriously, especially when it comes to the military. For example, there were numerous military objectors to the war in Iraq who deserve medals, even though they were prosecuted. And Bradly Manning, in particular, deserves to be supported. But you have to do these on case-by-case basis. You can’t just make a blanket statement that all public servants on whatever your pet social issue is should just be allowed to do whatever they want. The fact that this is coming from a hardcore social conservative ought to give us pause. If her goal is to strip rights away from certain minorities (i.e. gays) its only a matter of time before such a right-wing government starts going after other civil rights.

  6. Fun in Alberta! I asked all Political parties, “Will your party support
    Cow Share Canada to operate in Alberta?”
    From the Conservatives, “In Alberta, raw milk sales are not supported
    under the regulatory frameworks supporting our dairy industry.”
    From the Wildrose.ca, “—. We support the right of our dairy producers to
    sell their product whenever demand exists for it, along with the right of
    Alberta consumers to purchase unpasteurized milk if they so desire. —
    , Wildrose Agriculture Critic Paul Hinman has acknowledged the issue of
    excessive government intervention in the dairy sector, and has indicated
    his support for the right to purchase unpasteurized milk given properly
    mandated truth in product labelling.”
    No responds from all other parties.

    Everyone please help by going to http://www.rawmilkconsumer.ca
    Print the Petition and sign it with all your friends. Thanks!

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