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Alberta

Christian attorney sues Law Society of Alberta for mandating left-wing trainings

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3 minute read

From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

Robert Song likened the trainings, which push left-wing viewpoints, to what he experienced during his childhood in communist China

A Christian lawyer is suing the Law Society of Alberta for forcing members to undergo training pushing critical race theory, gender theory, and “intersectionality.”  

On October 27, Alberta lawyer Roger Song filed a public-interest lawsuit against the Law Society of Alberta (LSA) after it mandated that members undergo left-wing cultural and political training.  

“The Political Ideologies are wrong and destructive, do not reasonably describe reality, and do not represent a morality valuable to Canadian society,” Song argued.  

According to LSA’s rulebook, updated October 5, 2023, LSA can “prescribe specific continuing professional development requirements to be completed by members, in a form and manner, as well as time frame.” 

Lawyers who fail to complete the mandatory training “shall stand automatically suspended.” 

The suit challenges the LSA’s authority “to compel lawyers to believe in, express affirmation of, and actively promote any political objective including the ‘Political Ideologies’” such as “critical race theory,” “gender theory,” and “intersectionality.” 

The lawsuit also includes an “expert opinion” report  from Dr. Joanna Williams, author of How Woke Won: The Elitist Movement That Threatens Democracy, Tolerance and Reason. 

Song’s case, which is supported by the Council of Alberta Lawyers, stressed the rights of lawyers to hold and share views contrary to the LSA, a right which Song argues is protected under the Canadian Constitution. 

He further pointed out that forcing lawyers to adhere to one political viewpoint would “harm the reputation of the profession as competent and loyal to the client’s legitimate interests” and “impair the ability of lawyers to fulfill their professional duties.” 

Song compared mandating lawyers embrace one political ideology to his childhood in China, where he was forced “to believe in and advance the CCP’s socialist ideology including dogmas relating to legal, historical, political, social, economic, moral, spiritual, and cultural issues.” 

“Western institutions like freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and science have proven excellent systems for discovering truth and moving away from error,” he continued. “Freedom of thought and speech are necessary aspects of genuine democracy.” 

Song declared that “socialism is destructive to society,” warning that “there is a significant overlap between socialism and ‘equity’ as that term is used by modern social justice movements.” 

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Alberta

TDF funds defence of the “Coutts Three”

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The “Coutts Three,” Marco Van Huigenbos, Alex Van Herk and George Janzen

News release from The Democracy Fund

A jury trial is expected to proceed after pretrial applications.

LETHBRIDGE: The Democracy Fund (TDF) is funding the defence of three men charged with mischief in Lethbridge, Alberta. The men, known as the “Coutts Three,” are Marco Van Huigenbos, Alex Van Herk and George Janzen. All three are alleged to have been leaders of the 17-day trucker protest against COVID-19 restrictions that shut down the Coutts border in February 2022.

The matter is expected to proceed to a jury trial after pretrial applications are heard over the next few days. Jury trials are only available for serious criminal matters where the accused faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment or more.

The men should not be confused with the “Coutts Four,” who were among the twelve persons arrested in connection to an RCMP raid that resulted in the seizure of weapons and the end of the protest. According to Van Huigenbos, the message of the Coutts protesters “had been lost” following the arrests and the border blockade was voluntarily dismantled.

Donations for the three men can be made on this page.

About The Democracy Fund:

Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education. TDF supports an access to justice initiative for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.

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Alberta

Taking wildfire operations to new heights

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Drone and helicopter testing being performed by Alberta Wildfire personnel. Photo Credit: Alberta Wildfire

Budget 2024 enables Alberta to make use of leading-edge technologies to prevent and respond to wildfires.

As Alberta heads into wildfire season, many areas of the province are experiencing heightened wildfire risk. Alberta’s government continues to prioritize new technologies and tactics that will enhance front-line response and suppression efforts.

Budget 2024 will invest an additional $151 million over the next three years for wildfire preparedness, prevention, response and mitigation. This additional funding will enhance wildland firefighting capacity with increased wildfire resources such as personnel, aircraft, drones, artificial intelligence (AI) and night-vision technology.

“Alberta’s government is well prepared for the 2024 wildfire season. We have emerging technologies that will enable us to better protect forests and communities while continuing to prioritize proactive measures that build wildfire resilience throughout the province.”

Todd Loewen, Minister of Forestry and Parks

Aerial operations are integral to firefighting efforts and increased funding will enable the province to add two additional long-term helicopter contracts, two new air tanker contracts and additional drones for aerial wildfire surveillance. Budget 2024 will also support the renewal of 130 helicopter contracts by April 1.

“We live in a time where we have access to incredible technologies and last year, we recognized some great successes from various firefighting technology pilot programs. I can say with confidence that the additional night-vision equipped helicopters and drones will make a big difference in our wildfire mitigation and response efforts this year.”

Bernie Schmitte, executive director, Alberta Wildfire

Alberta Wildfire will continue to explore, research and test new developments in wildfire prevention, mitigation, smoke detection and suppression to assess how innovative technologies can support a rapid response and help extinguish wildfires. Wildfire management best practices are always evolving, and Alberta’s government is working to stay ahead of the curve.

For future wildfire seasons, the government is exploring options to potentially expand the province’s air tanker fleet and pilot more emerging firefighting technologies.

Quick facts

  • Night-vision goggles amplify light 60,000 times and allow helicopter pilots to work overnight and conduct activities like bucketing operations.
  • Wildfire suppression efforts are more likely to be successful at night, as temperatures are usually lower, humidity is typically higher and wildfires are less active.
  • Alberta has been successfully using an AI wildfire occurrence prediction system since 2022 to identify areas where wildfires are likely to occur.
  • Budget 2024 also includes hiring 100 new firefighters, which will result in five additional 20-person crews.
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