Cultural tolerance

February 20, 2024

Mr. Malone’s thoughtful opinion pieces complete with historical context are most welcome. His latest revealing piece on the lack of cultural tolerance speaks volumes in these polarized and troubling times; but, unfortunately, conditions seem to be getting worse, not better. The backlash against wokeness, political correctness and cancel culture narratives seem to be counterproductive.

Mr. Malone included a quote from a well-educated Palestinian lady who wanted to raise her sons to kill Israelis; Golda Meir said it best…“there will be no peace in the Middle East until Palestinians love their sons more than they hate Israelis.”

Music brings people together in a way like no other. Enjoy the video clip of the Andre Rieu concert in Bahrain www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oUZF8p 20pk where a Christian song played in a deeply Muslim country to the enjoyment of all might be a great start to bring people together.
 
Lynn Clark,
Camrose

Own agenda

February 13, 2024

With typical lack of consultation and her own political agenda, Danielle Smith announced policies that attack the rights and freedoms of our children who identify as trans-gender or non-binary.

She claims that her announcement is not politically driven but this is questionable in view of her ties with right wing extremist Tucker Carlson and an upcoming leadership review, gotta keep that base happy.

In the meantime, there is no evidence of consultation with the groups involved the 2SLGBTQ+ community,  parents, medical and psychological experts or educators. These groups have a right to be angry and concerned about the hurt and harm  these policies will cause to these children.

My 14 year old grandchild is angry and states “This policy harms kids. You know what? We should be protecting our kids from poverty, homelessness and hunger.”

My grandchild is right and has more empathy and concern for all Albertans than Smith. I find it sad that a 14-year-old has a better grip on the needs of kids in this province than the person responsible for leadership.
 
Arlene Hendrickson,
Camrose

Transgender polices

February 13, 2024

I am compelled to express my deep concerns regarding the transgender policies introduced by the UCP government, as articulated by Marlaina Danielle Smith. It is imperative to address the significant ramifications these policies have, particularly regarding parental rights and the well-being of transgender youth.
Smith asserts that these policies uphold “parents’ choice” and aim to “protect trans youth.” However, upon closer examination, it becomes evident that these assertions are unfounded.

The purported medical justifications presented to justify the restrictions on gender-affirming care are not only inaccurate but also lack support from credible medical evidence. Delving into the specifics seems futile when faced with a prevailing trend of selective belief regardless of empirical data.

Furthermore, the implementation of these policies directly infringes upon the rights of numerous parents in our province. Many parents, having diligently considered their child’s needs, have consented to gender-affirming care, including hormonal therapy. It is crucial to recognize that Alberta Health Services already mandates parental consent for minors under 16. Smith’s policies prohibiting access to transgender hormonal care for youth under 16, irrespective of parental consent, blatantly disregards parents’ autonomy in making healthcare decisions for their children.

Smith’s concerns about youth under 16 receiving transgender health care without parental permission appear to be based on a fictitious premise, as such occurrences are not documented in Alberta.

As a parent who has meticulously researched this issue and consulted with healthcare professionals, I made an informed decision, together with my child, to pursue transgender hormonal therapy. However, these recent policies have arbitrarily stripped away my parental rights, contradicting the assurances made by Smith and the UCP government.

In light of these developments, we must question the sincerity of the UCP government’s commitment to safeguarding parental rights. How can they claim to champion parental autonomy while simultaneously curtailing our fundamental right to provide essential medical care and treatment for our children?

Stacey Wall,
Camrose

Gender identity

February 13, 2024

I am writing to express my absolute outrage at the UCP government’s announcement about proposed “gender identity” policies.

It is a massive infringement of human rights, for both transgender children and their parents and directly puts them in danger. Rates of homelessness and suicide for transgender kids are already sky high. Suicide is the number one cause of death for LGBTQ2S+ youth. Up to 40 per cent of homeless youth are  LGBTQ2S+. This legilsation will only cause harm for trans, non-binary and gender queer kids, especially ones who are not safe to express their gender identity in their home.

The proposed legislation is directly counter to expert guidance, as evidenced by the Alberta Medical Association Section of Pediatrics statement (February 4) “this is a medical decision, and no one should be involved except the child, their parents if the child is not a mature minor, the physician and other health care team members.” The physicians providing gender affirming care are bound by professional standards, regulations, and supported by an extensive evidence base. Not to mention a patient who has every right to determine their desired care. Or do individual rights related to bodily autonomy only apply when making decisions about vaccinations?

All non-binary, transgender, and gender queer Albertans deserve to exist and be safe. The right to gender identity and gender expression are both protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act and United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Stripping basic human rights from marginalized children is not something this Albertan supports, especially considering the other myriad of issues facing our government (health care? cost of living? forest-fires?). I’d much rather our government focus on those.

Mostly, these policies are not at all representative of the Alberta I know and want. My Alberta is inclusive. I will relentlessly advocate for the LGBTQ2S+ community and call out this atrociously backwards attack for what it is: transphobic, homophobic and hateful.

Tawnya Williamson,
Camrose

Gender policies

February 13, 2024

In a familiar story in Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus reminded the people that how we treat those around us is how we are treating Jesus, God. In my reading of this passage, I hear that it is in supporting the most vulnerable that we have the opportunity to be our most compassionate, to choose to do what will give someone else support, hope and life.

The announcement from Premier Danielle Smith treats Two Spirit, transgender, non-binary, and gender-diverse people–some of our most vulnerable folk–with such disrespect that it is unimaginable.
In these decisions, despite the Premier’s claims that the proposed legislation respects them, some of our most vulnerable children are being sacrificed to an ideology that is discarding their worth and value.

Medical services are being withheld for youth below the age of 15 and mental trauma is being exacerbated. Parental rights are also being manipulated by the government as they can’t make decisions for their children under the age of 15 to engage in medical therapies, such as puberty blockers, because the government doesn’t think they have the capacity to consult, assess and respond appropriately to their children’s needs.

The statement quotes the Premier as saying this is preserving choice. I disagree. I believe that this removes choices from families, parents, children, health care professionals, and the education system. In these decisions the government has decided that it knows better than the folk who are living with family members who identify as transgender. For those who have supportive family or community units, this proposed legislation takes away the ability to fully accompany them in their journey. For those who do not have those avenues of support, it takes away the ability to find the support they need.

This is not compassionate. This is not caring. This is inhumane. These decisions remove support, remove hope, remove life.
Listen to the people whom this impacts the most. Hear the despair, fear and anger they feel in this move that devalues them as people.

We must do better for those who are the most vulnerable. We need to speak out against this atrocious flaunting of power at the cost of lives, safety, and dignity. We need to be the places of support and hope and to show them that they are valued and loved for who they are, as they are.

Look at what we are doing “for the least of these.”
 
Rev. Helen Reed,
chair of the executive, Northern Spirit Regional Council

Kurek's Column

February 13, 2024

There is much distortion and misinformation in MP Kurek’s January 30 column. What are the Liberal failures he alludes to? Perhaps instead of making partisan allegations, he could back them up by listing the perceived failures with citations from independent  and credible news sources. Canada is ranked as the second best country in the world to live in (US News and World Report) and our inflation rate is among the lowest of G7 countries. Does that sound like a broken country as  the Conservatives allege?

Trudeau’s vacation scandal that wasn’t. The ethics commissioner advised  MP’s that no rules were broken (CBC, Globe and Mail).
He states: “Liberals consistently failed to deliver on their promises.” Whether you agree with the government or not, over the past eight years, they have been busy developing policies and passing much legislation dealing with environmental, economic and social issues.

According to the Conservatives, the sky is falling because of the carbon tax. The reality? Most economists and about 78 per cent of the 50 largest oil and gas companies consider it an effective and efficient method to combat climate change (Ecological Economics, a journal).  Axing the tax will benefit the wealthy, but  the middle and lower income Canadians will be less well off (CBC, CTV). U of A economist Trevor Tombe estimates the carbon tax has contributed less than one per cent to grocery prices.

To say PM Trudeau doesn’t support Israel is a gross distortion. Canada has always, and still does, support Israel’s  right to defend itself against their hostile neighbors. However, I am sure the government has concerns and compassion for the 16,000 women and children who have been killed in Gaza since the war started. Has the Conservative Party shown any compassion or concern for the women and children dying in Gaza? MP Kurek states that we’re not supporting Ukraine. Canada has supported Ukraine from the start with aid and resources. We’ve also welcomed more than 210,000  Ukrainian refugees to Canada since the war started.
Criticism is easy: doing is difficult. Will the nattering nabobs of negativism stop pounding the pavement of pessimism and tell us what their plan is? Enough mudslinging Mr. Kurek. Be constructive and specific in your criticisms and tell us how your party will correct all the perceived Liberal failures of the last eight years.

Reg Ernst,
Camrose

Another side

February 13, 2024

Apparently Douglas M. Henderson is another rural Albertan who has bought into the lies that these Reformers trying to pretend they are conservatives have fed him. While Jason Kenney claimed that Rachael Notley and Justin Trudeau created the carbon tax to steal all our money yet it’s been in place in Sweden since 1991 and is working well as this article states; When It Comes To Emissions Sweden Has Its Cake and Eats it Too.

The truth is it was created in Alberta by Conservatives to help the oil corporations show the world that we do care about global warming and are trying to do something about it as this article proves Alberta’s Path To A Carbon Tax: A Timeline. Had Douglas bothered to do the math we know that the carbon tax rebates are actually putting some money in our pockets like the oil industry intended it to do.

In addition, while these Reformers wrongly accused Notley of destroying our coal fired electricity production it was the Conservatives under Stephen Harper who did it as this proves Harper Disappoints On Coal-Fired Power Plant Regulations.
My big question is why have so many rural Albertans allowed these Reformers to get away with their lies?  It has made them look rather foolish and has allowed them to once again put our lives at risk by the way they have treated our doctors and nurses.
 
Alan K. Spiller,
formerly of Camrose

Lending place

February 6, 2024

There is an old song called “Keep on the Sunny Side of Life.” There are words in the song that say, “There is a dark and sunny side of life, but no matter what sorrow and strife, the sunny side will always shine through.”

We live in world where listening to the news rarely includes the sunny side of life. The Camrose community has the blessing of The Camrose Booster who celebrates businesses, organizations, churches, individuals and events by reporting the good things that connect us and show that there is hope to build a better world and community.

On January 25, the Battle River Lending Place Society had its official opening of the Lending Place. It will serve those in need of medical equipment. We want to thank The Booster for their excellent coverage of the preparation for the event and reporting of the grand opening.

Erhard Pinno and
Glenys Smith, Camrose

City taxes

February 6, 2024

I just read a recent article in your paper regarding the City of Camrose tax process.  I think I was the one 2023 appeal and I have to admit I find a few comments made by the City are unfair.

Is there any interest in hearing the other side of the story? In our case our house burnt down and the City elected to charge us full rates–even though there was a clear reduction in property value.
 
 Travis Culham,
Camrose

Auto detailing

November 28, 2023

I would just like to say a huge thank you to The Camrose Booster and Integra Tire for the Premium Auto Detailing I received at the end of October. The contest was sponsored by The Camrose Booster.

Integra Tire did a wonderful job cleaning and polishing the inside and outside of my car. Thank you both so much!  I didn’t want to put anything back into it, but, after a week, I gave up.
 
Lois Maunder,
Camrose

Wall of Fame

November 28, 2023

Thank you for the article on Sherlyn McKay. On a Panama Canal cruise in 2005, I met Sherlyn at a wine party on board. We were both shocked to find out we were from Alberta, her from Bawlf and me from Killam.

We had so much in common talking about teachers I knew. When I mentioned her to my two nieces from Camrose, they knew she was on trips with them. I was saddened to read her obit (from past) in your paper.
 
Lois Prichard,
Killam

Help wanted

November 28, 2023

A Camrose Booster Help Wanted ad was the beginning of my 28-year employment with Centra Cam. Now as I leave this organization, I want to do two things in this letter.

First, thanks to The Booster for continuing to provide a quality paper with meaningful content. Your support of this community and especially the non-profit sector is phenomenal. Centra Cam has benefited in numerous ways by your attentiveness. On a different note, because I read The Booster and saw some other help wanted ads, two other people in my life, are in long-term employment. So I would encourage you that you are making a difference in many positive ways.

Second, thanks to Centra Cam. The management has been and continues to be top notch. The individuals being served are always the first priority. I love the philosophy around disabilities that drew me in from the beginning. That is, that everyone has abilities and it is our job, as Centra Cam employees, to help the clients find ways around the barriers they may face. Seeing a person learn skills, grow in confidence and succeed in their goals is something I will always treasure. It has been my privilege to be a part of that process.

I have had opportunities for learning and growth through these years. I have had numerous roles that have led me to learn much more about the world of volunteering as I supported individuals in their volunteer jobs. I learned about computers and assistive technology. Supervisory skills developed as I was mentored and observed those around me. Even running a burger booth at Jaywalkers was part of the experience. In these recent years, I’ve been involved with the second-hand stores, concluding with assisting to bring the two stores under one roof.

There are so many memories of the many great people I have worked with and experiences we have had. Thank you for continuing to provide excellent service whether it is through stellar client programs, Recycle with Centra Cam, the Wood Shop or Essentials Boutique.
 
Iona Brager,
Camrose