Facts twisted into fake news
- Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2018 17:07
I am surprised to learn that my MLA Allan MacMaster is so careless in his approach to the “attestation” furor. His characterization of the issues (Oran, May 2nd) is misleading and ripe with hyperbole. With apologies to Bill Dunphy (who provided the full text in his March 21st column), let me repeat the initial words of the attestation clause of the 2018 Canada Summer Jobs Application: “Both the job and my organization's core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada …”.
Let us start with what is being requested. Respect. Let me put that in all caps: RESPECT. This is not a “values test”. This is not an attestation that the undersigned “agree abortion is okay”. This in no way requires that the signatory is not “free to hold their own beliefs”. This manifestly does NOT infringe on the “right to freedom of conscience” of any individual. The application only requires that the applicant attest that the job and their mandate have respect for rights of individual Canadians. It should be clear to everyone that to respect a right (or for that matter to respect another person) does not mean that we must agree with that right or that person. We do not have to attest to any specific normative value of that right. All we must do is RESPECT that the rights exist. You may disagree with the right and choose to not exercise your freedom to act on that right. Or, you may agree with the right and take advantage of its purview. As an individual, these are your rights and we ought to respect them – even if we think you have made a “wrong” choice when you exercise that right. We RESPECT the right to chose; perhaps not the choice.