[June 9th Update: In total, I conducted two video interviews with Minister Blackett. The first interview was conducted on June 6th and then 8th (see below YouTube videos). I was unprepared for and a bit shocked by the “justifications” and “reasonings” provided by Mr. Blackett to my questions & concerns in the first interview. After further research and readings, I was much more prepared in my second interview and less able to simply accepting Mr. Blackett’s “explanations”.]
[Note: The goal for this post is to add grounded reasonings to this passionate debate/discussion. Thanks.
I will update this post as more information becomes available.]
Interviewing Minister Lindsay Blackett
I pointed out to Minister Blackett that Alberta Teachers Association has expressed serious concerns about Bill 44. To my surprise, Blackett was dismissive and said the union doesn’t speak for all teachers and implied the 20-30 supportive teachers he has spoken to are more representative of the general teachers’ opinions about bill 44. Is the teachers’ union really this misinformed about bill 44?
Your help (please share your grounded comments and insights)
While trying the best I could in my first interview with Mr. Blackett, I was no match against the well briefed and studied minister in the interview and I probably missed many important concerns and potential problems. So I have done more research and conducted a second follow up interview (June 8th) with Mr. Blackett.
*** Two video interviews with Minister Blackett ***
Lindsay Blackett Bill 44 video interviews (June 6th)
Lindsay Blackett Bill 44 video interviews (June 8th)
After further research and readings, I was much more prepared in my second interview and less able to simply accept Mr. Blackett’s “explanations”.
Thanks for all the comments left on this post so far (as of June 8th, 7:17am). Please keep them coming. It is important to have teachers, students and informed readers sharing their informed opinions here.
Thanks to @ChrisLaBossiere at Twitter for the @albertateachers link where I was able to download and read the excellent and fair 20090508 Submission to the Premier of Alberta (highly recommended reading). After reading the submission, I now realize Minister Lindsay Blackett‘s arguments and reasonings are much weaker than his voice or his physical presence.
The following is a selection/excerpts of some of the comments received so far, I’ve added some emphasis. Please keep them coming.
From “Ken Chapman”,
“The Minister is misleading you on teacher reaction to Bill 44. You [Blackett] did a presentation yesterday to the ATA Executive Group and Senior Adminstratin in their strategic planning session. All 60 of them were negatively concerned about Bill 44. They are getting lots of teacher feedback that expresses Bill 44 concern too.”
Note: Ken is also blogging that “Students in Medicine Hat Demonstrate Against Bill 44”
From “John Winslow”,
“Mr. Blackett denies the existence of any opinions contrary to his own. Unfortunately, he never seems to have PROOF that those who agree, outside of the obediant MLA’s, exist.”
“Over 450 teacher representatives chosen by their colleagues from across the province met at the Alberta Teachers’ Association Annual Representative Assembly over the Victoria Day Weekend. All save one voted in favour of a resolution calling for the removal of the education provisions from Bill 44.
Perhaps Hon Blackett should release all of the letters / emails that he has received relating to Bill 44.”
From ” A. Letourneau”.
“Minister Blackett should speak to his colleagues. I am a teacher, and I called my MLA Hector Goudreau to express my concerns with this bill. From conversations with other teachers, I feel the minister is wrong in his judgement that the majority of us support 44.”
Excerpt from Bill 44 (emphasis added),
9 The following is added after section 11:
Notice to parent or guardian
11.1(1) A board as defined in the School Act shall provide
notice to a parent or guardian of a student where courses of
study, educational programs or instructional materials, or
instruction or exercises, prescribed under that Act include
subject-matter that deals explicitly with religion, sexuality or
(2) Where a teacher or other person providing instruction,
teaching a course of study or educational program or using the
instructional materials referred to in subsection (1) receives a
written request signed by a parent or guardian of a student that
the student be excluded from the instruction, course of study,
educational program or use of instructional materials, the
teacher or other person shall in accordance with the request of
the parent or guardian and without academic penalty permit the
(a) to leave the classroom or place where the instruction,
course of study or educational program is taking place or
the instructional materials are being used for the duration
of the part of the instruction, course of study or
educational program, or the use of the instructional
materials, that includes the subject-matter referred to in
subsection (1), or
(b) to remain in the classroom or place without taking part
in the instruction, course of study or educational
program or using the instructional materials.