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Alberta UCP policy resolutions take aim at parental rights, medical mandates and supervised consumption sites

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Alberta's United Conservative Party is set to hold its annual convention in Calgary this weekend and its members are expected to debate and vote on a number of new policies.

One proposal, Resolution 4, is aimed at protecting an individual's right to refuse any medical procedure they might disagree with.

"Under no circumstances regardless of provincial, federal, national, or international directive, treaty, mandate, or law should any Albertan not have the right to say no to any medical treatment, therapy, vaccine or otherwise against their own wishes," the party writes.

The proposal also suggests that any sort of enforcement or mandate cannot overcome an individual's rights "regardless of the societal benefit."

The UCP government has come under fire for its own policies of going against professional advice when it comes to medical procedures and mandates.

Last December, Premier Danielle Smith said her government would not be imposing a mask mandate in indoor public places, despite calls from medical professionals.

More recently, she and Health Minister Adriana LaGrange said that a decision about whether or not they would receive seasonal flu and COVID-19 vaccination was something they would decide with their doctors.

Another proposal, Resolution 5, says that digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, need more control.

"Digital currency is too easily manipulated," the document reads. "Many older and low-income people rely on cash transactions and do not have access to credit/debit cards."

The eighth resolution proposed by the party sets out its belief that the Alberta government should pursue a law requiring teachers and school administrators to inform parents and guardians of students under 16 years old about their child's intent to change their name or pronouns used.

"Parents, not schools, are the legal guardians of their children," the UCP said, referring to recent legislation passed by the current governments of Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.

"Schools should not be in the business of going behind parents' backs."

Some of the proposals are geared toward government itself, such as Resolution 13, which asks for a ban on the use of electronic tabulation machines in any provincial election.

The issues regarding this technology were realized most recently during May's general election, where results were delayed by several hours.

Election officials said the same system delayed results for several days back in 2019.

The resolution called the tabulators a "potential weakness in the electoral system" which could be resolved by ending the practice.

The UCP suggests all ballot boxes could instead be monitored in-person or by video broadcast. It also suggested the adoption of multi-day elections.

Resolution 15, infringement protection, aims to protect all of the rights of Albertans, not just those formally recognized in the Constitution and Charter.

It also suggests adding some fundamental rights such as parental rights, right to marry and enter a civil union, right to privacy of personal information, right to self-defence and right to keep arms.

The resolution also proposes new freedoms for Albertans, such as the freedom from over-taxation, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure and freedom to make personal health-care choices.

"Albertans suffered under Federal: Emergency Measures Act (2022 truck parking problem); bans of legally purchased firearms; attacks on freedom of speech; and over-taxation wealth transfer to the East. Albertans suffered under provincial 2020-22 pandemic restrictions and the 2013 High River gun grab," the UCP said.

Acquiring these rights, the party says, could be achieved through the Constitution, Charter or Alberta's own Sovereignty within a United Canada Act.

Another notable policy proposal, Resolution 22, calls for the immediate end of all provincial funding for supervised consumption sites in Alberta.

Calling the facilities "a failed experiment," the UCP says they haven't made any steps toward ending drug addiction in communities.

"They are blights upon the neighbourhoods they are placed in and a hazard to the Albertans living in those neighbourhoods," the resolution says.

"While promoting recovery from drug addiction is a worthwhile public investment, giving addicts a place to shoot up does nothing to resolve their addiction while significantly adversely affecting the communities where these sites are located."

BREAKING IT DOWN

If party members vote in favour of a resolution, it doesn't necessarily mean the party will introduce legislation, but political scientist Duane Bratt says the policies do typically form a rough roadmap for the party's future.

"What resolutions do tell us is what is the interest of the most activist members of the party," said Bratt, a professor at Calgary's Mount Royal University.

Christine Myatt, a former Jason Kenney staffer, says she thinks Take Back Alberta activists will shape almost everything happening this weekend.

"It's actually really surprising to me to see how much power they have amassed in such a short period of time," she said. "Their expectation is the premier and the government listen to them."

The province's minister of municipal affairs, however, disagrees.

"The premier is the leader of the province regardless of what happens here this weekend," MLA Ric McIver said. "If we all remember that, we'll be fine."

Take Back Alberta is sending a bus of its members to Calgary for the AGM.

The self-proclaimed grassroots party already holds nine of the party's board positions, and the remaining are all up for election this weekend, along with the title of president.

Spokesperson David Parker says he believes that on Saturday, a "freedom-loving person" will win "every seat on the board."

The group will also be actively involved in policy discussions.

"We need to stand for our principles but we also need to be tactical," Parker said.

While CTV News has reached out to the party for details, these proposals are not connected to any piece of existing or pending government legislation.

The full list of proposed policy resolutions can be found on the UCP's website.

The UCP AGM runs Nov. 3 and 4 at the BMO Centre at Calgary's Stampede Park.

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