2014-12-05 00:40:43 UTC
Ed Stelmach and Ralph Klein. No such progress in a rightwing,
Conservative-encased, intolerant province it seems . . . .
CBC News Posted: Dec 04, 2014
Premier Jim Prentice held a hastily-organized news conference to announce he
was putting Bill 10 on hold for more consultations.
Third reading of Bill 10, a highly controversial bill about student-led
gay-straight alliances has been put on hold for more consultation, said Premier
Jim Prentice Thursday afternoon.
"We will pull back. We will pause," Prentice said in a hastily-arranged news
conference. The Alberta premier was out of the province all week while debate
raged on social media and in the Alberta legislature over the bill.
The province’s Progressive Conservative Party introduced the legislation on
Monday, which effectively killed a private member’s bill to make GSAs mandatory
in schools where students want them.
An attempt by the PCs to amend the bill last night only inflamed the debate
“Bill 10 has added to, rather than resolved these divisions, and I accept
personal responsibility for that as the premier," Prentice said. "I’m most
disturbed that our gay and lesbian youth are caught in the middle of a very
Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman said earlier this week that pressure from Catholic
school boards compelled the Tories to jettison her Bill 202.
The proposed Tory legislation would have given students the option of appealing
to the Court of Queen’s Bench if the school refused permission for a GSA.
Public outrage compelled the government to pass an amendment that sends
students to the education minister instead.
Opposition members said the amendment made matters worse by forcing the GSAs
off school grounds if the boards object to them.