Column: Progressive Views: Misrepresentation???
Our Member of Parliament, Mr. Brian Storseth, has committed a cycle of misrepresentation of the citizens of Westlock-St. Paul. He has supported legislation that fundamentally violates the basic values of our community, from supporting the violation of women’s rights to creating laws that encourage hate speech, Storseth is governing as if he were in power decades ago, and not as if he was serving in the modern progressive Canadian society.
This year, Brian Storseth put a bill before parliament (Bill C-304) that would delete section 13 of the Human Rights Act that ensures the protection of individuals who were victims of hate speech transmitted over the phone or online. This legislation that was openly encouraged and heavily supported by white supremacist groups passed in the House of Commons earlier this year.
Mr. Storseth was gleeful at the opportunity to speak with extreme right-wing, socially conservative ‘news’ organizations about his bill earlier this year, so Storseth stopped over at his friend Ezra Levant’s place over at Sun News. Unsurprisingly, Levant offered his complete endorsement of C-304 claiming it “protected Canadian freedom”. Additionally, Storseth conducted an interview in February with the quaintly named radio program ‘Roadkill Radio’, an organization that completely endorses the criminalization of abortion and gay marriage. No surprise, the hosts, Kari Simpson and Ron Gray, both individuals who were brought to human rights tribunals after accusations of hate speech, were fond of Storseth’s bill that is likely to limit repercussions for those who attack others based on their race, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation.
However, Mr. Storseth is not only a one-time offender of attacking social values that Canadians hold so dear. In fact, the organization Campaign Life Coalition, which consistently attacks the rights of homosexual Canadians, endorses the destruction of the fundamental woman’s right to choose and calls the Transgender Rights Bill “radical” and “reckless”, views Storseth favourably in contrast to other Canadian MPs. Of the Coalitions six major votes they use to determine their support or disapproval of an MP, Storseth has voted “favourably” in every case, according to the organization.
In fact, Storseth has shown a disturbingly consistent support for extreme socially Conservative issues. In 2006, Storseth voted Yea on Motion 12, a motion to reopen the same-sex marriage debate. In 2008, Storseth voted for Bill C-484, a bill that would be a major step towards criminalizing abortion. In 2011, Storseth voted against Bill C-389, a bill that would legally recognize transgender gender expression. And very recently, Storseth voted Yea on Motion 312 proposed by Tory MP Stephen Woodworth that would serve as a mechanism for re-entering the abortion debate.
Mr. Storseth was also quoted by the Redwater Tribune in 2006 as saying “I believe in a traditional marriage, between one man and one woman”.
These actions taken by our Member of Parliament show how out-of-date and out-of-touch he really is. Canada is a socially progressive society, one that respects the values, religions, ethnicities and sexual orientation of all members of our society. Storseth, along with many Conservative MPs, seem to show a very different vision of Canada. A less inclusive vision, that only involves a select few to be chosen as being a part of the Canadian franchise.
The people of Westlock-St. Paul deserve so much better than this socially regressive attitude taken by Storseth.
It is ridiculous that we are still debating issues like homosexual marriage and abortion. These issues have been decided, any Canadian has, as he or she should, the right to marry anyone, regardless of their gender, and Canadian women have the necessary right to choose an abortion. These are primary reasons why I am proud to be Canadian. I live in an accepting and open society, and it is exceedingly disconcerting for me to see this clear pattern of the suppression of these essential values associated with the very fabric of modern Canadian identity by our Member of Parliament.