ALBERTA, November 30, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Alberta Home Education Association (AHEA) has accused the CBC of bias in airing a mockery of homeschool parents during an episode of The Current, hosted by Anna Maria Tremonti.
“There was only a thin pretense of impartiality on the part of the CBC host, a bias made clear by the ludicrous skit at the end of the show,” AHEA spokesperson Paul van den Bosch told LifeSiteNews.com.
At the end of the November 14 show, Tremonti aired what she called the “last word” on homeschooling. In the skit, a homeschooling mother was portrayed as incompetent, uneducated, and sexually irresponsible.
“Ms. Tremonti, clearly had an agenda that was an anti-home education and anti-religious agenda,” said van den Bosch. “Such an agenda ought to be incompatible with the role of ‘journalist’, as Ms. Tremonti calls herself.”
Kent Hehr, Liberal MLA for Calgary Buffalo and education critic for his party, was also on the episode.
He elaborated on his homeschooling views recently in the Calgary Herald, arguing that the new Education Act carves out “an exception” for homeschoolers, suggesting that Alberta’s Human Rights Act should have been included in the province’s Education Act so that homeschooling parents would not be allowed to teach their children that “being gay is a sin”.
“As a society, we expect the Alberta Human Rights Act to apply to everyone…By exempting homeschoolers, the government is saying that it is all right to discriminate in certain circumstances,” he wrote.
Van den Bosch responded to Hehr in a letter that, according to the AHEA, the Calgary Herald refused to publish.
In the letter obtained by LifeSiteNews, van den Bosch accused Hehr of “broad-brush[ing] home educators as intolerant and as people who want ‘an exception’ so that parents can teach discrimination.”
Van den Bosch pointed out Hehr’s hypocrisy in “wanting to have the right” to say certain groups are wrong, while not wanting “home educators to have the same right.”
Van den Bosch argued that Hehr is the one “who is intolerant in this discussion” and that his position is “discriminatory (he wants special rights for some but not all), anti-family (he thinks parents can’t be trusted to teach their children in their homes), and anti-religion (he think that if a religion teaches something is a sin then that religion must be stopped).”
“In fact, if we carry his arguments to their logical conclusion, Mr. Hehr is advocating a position that gives freedom to one group — progressive liberals like himself — but not to any other group. But freedom for only some is not freedom; it is either tyranny or slavery.”
Van den Bosch noted that while Hehr is free to disagree with his position, disagreeing itself is “not being discriminatory.”
“Disagreement does not equal discrimination, nor does it equal disrespect or intolerance.”
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“You see, home educating parents don’t want any ‘exception’, we just want freedom to teach according to our own beliefs and not according to some “one-size-fits-all” moral code which is what the Alberta Human Rights Act would have required if made part of the new Education Act.”
The CBC is coming under fire for Tremonti’s apparent on-air bias.
Prior to the skit, Tremonti had interviewed Paul Faris, president of the Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada. She wanted to know why Faris’ association had supported the removal of a section of the first version of the Alberta Education Act that brought in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act.
Tremonti attempted to corner Faris into saying that parents compelled the Alberta government to remove the controversial section so that they could teach their children religious teachings on homosexuality. But Faris pointed out that the Alberta Human Rights Act was not made to “apply to private life in a home,” where homeschooling parents have “private conversation[s] in their own home with their own children”.
Hehr accused Faris’ organization during the show of being “anti-gay” and spreading “misinformation to move a political agenda.”
“While Ms. Tremonti tried repeatedly to push Mr. Faris into a corner of her choosing by trying to nail him to a specific issue, she allowed Mr. Hehr to freely spout half-truths and misinformation without asking for any further detail at all,” van den Bosch said.
Audience Relations, CBC
P.O. Box 500 Station A
Canada, M5W 1E6
CBC Online E-mail form
Kent Hehr, MLA
Calgary Buffalo Constituency Office
#130, 1177 – 11 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB
Ph: (403) 244-7737
E-mail: [email protected]