Posted on Nov 25, 2016

Hateful language is never acceptable

MLA Bob Wanner

By Bob Wanner, MLA for Medicine Hat.

Earlier this month on Nov. 9, a man stood in the middle of the city hall plaza and waved the Confederate flag. In this same month, MLA Sandra Jansen crossed the floor from the only party she has ever been a part of for the past three decades because of what she said was intolerance. Earlier this week, Ms. Jansen read aloud to the Assembly some of the hateful remarks that have been thrown at her over the past few months.

Whether it’s a man flying a symbol that many find offensive or it’s remarks which no thoughtful parent would ever tell their children are acceptable, there is a need for those in this province who are against these acts to stand up and have their voices heard.

No matter what one’s political stripe, those who believe in civility and mutual respect must have their voices heard. The thousands of us who are against hateful language in the town square must let their fellow citizens know this isn’t acceptable.

I have nothing but pride to represent the 87 members of the Legislative Assembly who, despite their political differences which they debate with passion each Question Period, can put aside their differing ideologies at the end of the day and be respectful of one another.

It was also earlier this month that I, and hundreds of other Hatters, attended Remembrance Day ceremonies. During this solemn time, we recognize those who fought and sacrificed for the freedoms we now enjoy.

The thousands of us who are against hateful language in the town square must let their fellow citizens know this isn’t acceptable.

Those freedoms include the right to free speech.

While there are those who will use that right to make distasteful and repugnant comments, that right also extends to those who wish to stand up against such remarks and actions.

Those are the voices Albertans now need to hear.

Hatters who fought for freedom during the Second World War are becoming fewer and fewer in numbers.

We must not forget what these veterans sacrificed for and what they fought against.

Lest we forget.

First published in the Medicine Hat News, Nov. 25, 2016.