Letters: week of Jan. 11

Canadian values aren’t always the same as Christian values

Regarding Keith Patrick’s Dec. 28 letter, ‘Trudeau government putting our freedoms at risk.’

The letter declares the Trudeau government is forcing Canadian employers to “support in writing LGBT, abortion, and transgender views” or forgo student summer job funding. It also compares the government to Stalin and Hitler in its “attempts to control what people think.”

The Trudeau government is asking employers (and Canadians generally) to respect the Constitution and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter happens to include women’s reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

One unfortunate outcome of Andrew Scheer being chosen Conservative Party leader — largely on the backs of religious fundamentalists — is the outcry of those asserting a pro-Christian heritage and pro-life viewpoint that Trudeau is ‘taking people’s freedoms away’ — while they themselves oppose the rights of women and the LGBT community.

Our country and Constitution were founded on concepts that predate Christianity. The pagan Roman Empire made citizens free before the law, regardless of religion or culture. When Orthodox Christianity was imposed it made non-Christians non-citizens and forbid other beliefs and practices.

Our legal system is largely based on British common law that tried to limit religious power, and Henry II’s unified court system attempted to curb church court authority.

Later, the Magna Carta established that everyone is subject to the law, including the King of England. Similarly, democracy, freedom and rule of law are values resulting from open, secular society, not religious values.

Fundamental Canadian values like freedom and democracy, together with processes like common law, are the result of a 5,000-year history when we learned, in a secular manner, what worked best.

Christian religious code (or any religious code) was never the basis of our laws, democracy or societal constructs.

Canada’s Constitution and Charter stand for freedom and human rights, with no exclusions, and that is what the Trudeau government is asking Canadians to respect.

Regrettably, even in 2018, some still disrespect basic human rights, as outlined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and prefer to prioritize their politics around intolerance.


Stanton Earle


Mayor has history of making City Hall work for the people


Sir: Regarding the Dec. 21 letter from Brad Cullis.

Mr. Cullis stated his opinion clearly and well. He referred to the Mayor Mike Bradley’s base, “who he has spent years ingratiating by adopting and championing their causes – big and small.”

Yes, indeed. I guess I am guilty as charged. However, when I was instructed to air my complaints toward our City Manager for her to delegate to staff, I never even received a reply, for whatever reason.

Mr. Cullis was allowed to state his opinion (very eloquently) and I would like to respond.

My correspondence with the mayor goes back about 20 years.

When I aired a concern, I received an immediate reply, sometimes acting on my concern and sometimes informing me my concern was unfounded.

When my concern was well founded, I’m pretty sure the mayor contacted the appropriate department and asked them to rectify the situation. I’m pretty sure such action is the type of “interference” that the city manager, council and Integrity Commissioner considers “harassment.”

I consider it “getting the job done.”

Also, I would like to tell of an experience my husband and I had shortly after the last election.

One of the newly elected first-time councillors told us the new councillors intended to get rid of the dead weight (I am taking the liberty of paraphrasing here, but the meaning was clear). And so, they have certainly taken the appropriate steps, haven’t they?

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to remark on the situation from the other side of the coin.

Janet MacKey