Are ‘human freedom’ and ‘human dignity,’ values that we want to preserve here in Canada? Do I hear a unanimous and audacious “YES!” Do we want to preserved them here in British Columbia?
If so, then why? I can venture an answer. Because among other benefits that family autonomy achieves for us in a free society, are diversity, variety, and multiplicity. Don’t tell me that these are not important to us, to you. Few of us are enchanted by sameness.
We share and we enjoy and we approve things in common but we are not the same. Commonality is different from equivalence. BC Lions and Canucks fans all cheer when the home team scores even though these fans are different ages and weights and colors. Family autonomy secures diversity. When parents have the liberty to raise their children, that is a certification of pluralism.
If you want to threaten pluralism then one of the simplest tactics is to wrap up the parental rights of the people who appear to challenge accepted standards of what is understood to be the “best interests of the child.” What we have happening in our province is the lofty motivation of a Ministry of Children and Family Development seeking that which is in the best interests of children yet in too many cases assaulting the inviolability of the family to achieve this and thereby threatening the very values and traditions that families cherish and which make our society rich.
I am convinced that the MCFD can do better than it is doing. I am sure that it can manage its mandate more effectively than it is presently. I am sure that the government in power now could give due diligence to what I am saying and conclude that we Canadians whose social institutions are based upon certain philosophical and legal traditions are finding them threatened by post-modern human rights. Chief among these opposing rights is the less than subtle approaches to restructuring the roles and relationships of the family and the government or nation. The government is taking on consistently stronger roles in protecting the rights of children as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and dismissing parental rights.
Do any of you think that the power of the state is in collision with parents’ rights to liberty under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights?