Letters To The Editor

Letter to the Editor – Feb 2021

This article is part of an email that I sent to Ms. Rosin, our MLA, in response to her article: “Freedom in a Floundering World”. I found her article deeply troubling.

My main concern with this article is the confusion between sacrifice and freedom. COVID-19 has changed every aspect of the way we live our lives, obviously, and Ms. Rosin does point out some very tangible examples of how we live differently than we did a year ago. But do these things affect our freedoms? I would argue that they are sacrifices, but they do not symbolize giving up freedom.

According to Section 2 in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, all Canadians are entitled to the following freedoms:

  • expression
  • religion
  • thought
  • belief
  • peaceful assembly
  • association

To my knowledge, every Albertan still has all of those freedoms. We are definitely free to express ourselves, practice various religions, think for ourselves, hold personal beliefs, and associate with whomever we please (albeit with some restriction regarding in person association). Even if how we engage in these things has changed, we are still free to do them. Our freedoms are not compromised by having to wear a mask or sanitize our hands frequently.

For Ms. Rosin to suggest that our freedoms are compromised because of COVID-19 restrictions put in place by our Government is irresponsible and a massive conflict of interest. After all, Ms. Rosin is our government representative in the legislature – she is the government she is suggesting is taking away our freedoms (at our request no less). That is utterly tone deaf and incorrect. It demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of what her role is in Government, how she serves her constituents, and even what the word freedom means. Mostly, however, I worry that her words are extremely divisive, potentially inciting thoughts of rebellion against government restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the pandemic. During this pandemic, and at all times, Government should listen to all of its constituents and make choices that benefit the common good, not incite dissent, frustration, and create divisions among society.

When Ms. Rosin was first elected in my riding, I was excited. I thought it was amazing to have another woman in politics and to see a young person so engaged in our provincial governance. Unfortunately, I have been repeatedly disappointed in her performance as our MLA. Her communications, including a newsletter that suggested COVID-19 was behind us, a Christmas card with a Bible verse when many of her constituents are not Christian or religious, and now this article, demonstrate her lack of inclusiveness in her governance of our riding. As Bow Valley residents, we frequently find her inaccessible and, thus feel that our community perspectives are not reflected in the provincial legislature.

I agree with Ms. Rosin that we should think about the kind of province we want. I want to live an Alberta with:

  • Clean air, clean water, and recreation along the eastern slopes that does not involve navigating around a series of open-pit coal mines.
  • Equal and free public education where my daughters can learn and grow, and know that they will have the same opportunities as anyone else who works hard (including their peers who attended private school).
  • Policies and politicians that understand that politics and religion are not bedfellows. These two things need to be kept separate at all times to ensure a diverse and equitable Alberta for all.
  • Free healthcare and a government that actually strategically considers the pandemic and its impact on healthcare capacity before a field hospital is required (how embarrassing that we got this far).
  • A government that works with ALL Albertans to strengthen and diversify our economy. A government that listens to and takes advice from ALL Albertans (not just powerful coal and oil and gas lobby groups).
  • An MLA who listens to all of her constituents, not just her base. An MLA who cares about all of her constituents, not just her base. An MLA who works to bring us all together, not further divide us.

I am taking Ms. Rosin’s advice and pushing for better in the coming year.

Sarah Elmeligi
Canmore resident, small business owner, passionate Albertan

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